B-170558, NOV. 17, 1970

B-170558: Nov 17, 1970

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WHERE INDIVIDUAL UPON RELIANCE OF OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT BY EMPLOYEE WITHOUT AUTHORITY PERFORMS AIR TRAVEL BUT TRAVEL IS NOT AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR REIMBURSING INDIVIDUAL FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES. ARNOLD PETTY: THIS WILL REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 6. THE VOUCHER IN QUESTION IS FOR AN AMOUNT OF $430.55 REPRESENTING AIR FARE FROM SAN FRANCISCO. WE HAVE BEEN INFORMED THAT. WHERE A CADRE OF EMERGENCY FIREFIGHTERS IS STATIONED FOR A PERIOD OF APPROXIMATELY TWO MONTHS DURING THE SUMMER WHEN FOREST FIRES ARE MOST LIKELY TO OCCUR IN THE AREA SERVED. THE STATIONS ARE GENERALLY STAFFED BY LOCALLY HIRED RESIDENTS WHO ORDINARILY ARE OF SUFFICIENT NUMBER TO PERFORM THE REQUIRED WORK.

B-170558, NOV. 17, 1970

TRAVEL EXPENSES - INVITATIONAL TRAVEL DECISION DENYING AUTHORIZATION TO CERTIFY VOUCHER FOR AIR TRAVEL FROM SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF., TO GALENA, ALASKA, AND FROM GALENA TO TUCSON, ARIZONA, IN CONNECTION WITH UNAUTHORIZED OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT MADE TO CLAIMANT - CHARLES P. DAVIS - BY EMPLOYEE OF BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT. WHERE INDIVIDUAL UPON RELIANCE OF OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT BY EMPLOYEE WITHOUT AUTHORITY PERFORMS AIR TRAVEL BUT TRAVEL IS NOT AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR REIMBURSING INDIVIDUAL FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES.

TO MR. ARNOLD PETTY:

THIS WILL REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 6, 1970, REQUESTING THE DECISION OF THIS OFFICE AS TO WHETHER A VOUCHER COVERING CERTAIN TRAVEL EXPENSES MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT. THE VOUCHER IN QUESTION IS FOR AN AMOUNT OF $430.55 REPRESENTING AIR FARE FROM SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, TO GALENA, ALASKA, AND FROM GALENA TO TUCSON, ARIZONA, IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL UNDERTAKEN BY CHARLES P. DAVIS. THE TRAVEL OCCURRED AS THE RESULT OF AN UNAUTHORIZED OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT AT GALENA MADE TO THE CLAIMANT BY AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT.

WE HAVE BEEN INFORMED THAT, IN CONNECTION WITH ITS FIRE SUPPRESSION OPERATIONS IN ALASKA, THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT OPERATES SEVERAL SMALL STATIONS, INCLUDING ONE AT GALENA, WHERE A CADRE OF EMERGENCY FIREFIGHTERS IS STATIONED FOR A PERIOD OF APPROXIMATELY TWO MONTHS DURING THE SUMMER WHEN FOREST FIRES ARE MOST LIKELY TO OCCUR IN THE AREA SERVED. THE STATIONS ARE GENERALLY STAFFED BY LOCALLY HIRED RESIDENTS WHO ORDINARILY ARE OF SUFFICIENT NUMBER TO PERFORM THE REQUIRED WORK. THEIR SERVICES ARE SUPPLEMENTED WHEN NECESSARY, ON AN EMERGENCY BASIS, BY OTHER FIREFIGHTER PERSONNEL RECRUITED BY THE BUREAU'S FIRE CONTROL CENTER AT BOISE, IDAHO.

YOUR LETTER AND A MEMORANDUM FROM THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FOR ADMINISTRATION STATES THAT THE EMPLOYEE WHO EXTENDED THE EMPLOYMENT OFFER TO CHARLES P. DAVIS WAS WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO DO SO. IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT AN AGENT OF THE GOVERNMENT MAY PROPERLY ACT ONLY WITHIN THE SCOPE OF HIS AUTHORITY AND THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT LIABLE FOR THE UNAUTHORIZED ACTS OF ITS EMPLOYEES EVEN THOUGH EXPENSES MAY HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY ANOTHER PARTY AS A RESULT THEREOF. SEE B-156327, MARCH 24, 1965 (COPY ENCLOSED), AND CASES CITED THEREIN. THUS, THE ERRONEOUS OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT AND MR. DAVIS' RELIANCE UPON IT ARE INEFFECTIVE TO ESTABLISH ANY ENTITLEMENT TO PAYMENT OF THE COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION CLAIMED. MOREOVER, ASIDE FROM THE QUESTION OF THE UNAUTHORIZED EMPLOYMENT OFFER, WE FIND NOTHING IN THE FILE TO INDICATE THAT THE TRAVEL INVOLVED WAS EVER AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY APPROPRIATE AUTHORITY, AS REQUIRED IN ORDER TO BE COMPENSABLE.

WE ARE AWARE OF NO AUTHORITY UNDER WHICH TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED IN THIS CASE MAY BE REIMBURSED BY THE GOVERNMENT. ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.