B-170987, DEC. 14, 1970

B-170987: Dec 14, 1970

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WHEN POSITION AT OLD DUTY STATION WAS NOT AVAILABLE UPON RETURN FROM MILITARY DUTY. NOTWITHSTANDING THAT THERE WAS NO ISSUANCE OF A TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION. AN EMPLOYEE WHO COULD NOT BE RESTORED TO HIS FORMER POSITION FROM WHICH HE RESIGNED FOR MILITARY DUTY MAY BE PAID TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES TO THE PLACE WHERE A POSITION WAS AVAILABLE. FARRALL: THIS IS IN REFERENCE TO YOUR LETTER DATED OCTOBER 6. THE FACTS ARE STATED IN YOUR LETTER AS FOLLOWS: "BY PERSONNEL ACTION DATED MAY 15. CAIN WAS REEMPLOYED FROM MILITARY DUTY. HIS NEW DUTY STATION WAS SUGAR LOAF DAMSITE NEAR LEADVILLE. AT THAT TIME HE WAS EMPLOYED AT THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION OFFICE AT GRAND JUNCTION. HE WAS REINSTATED TO A POSITION AT OUR BUREAU OF RECLAMATION CONSTRUCTION OFFICE AT LEADVILLE.

B-170987, DEC. 14, 1970

TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES - RETURN FROM MILITARY DUTY AUTHORIZING CERTIFICATION OF VOUCHER FOR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES PAID BY EMPLOYEE INCIDENT TO MOVE FROM CLIFTON, COLORADO, TO LEADVILLE, COLORADO, WHEN POSITION AT OLD DUTY STATION WAS NOT AVAILABLE UPON RETURN FROM MILITARY DUTY. NOTWITHSTANDING THAT THERE WAS NO ISSUANCE OF A TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION, AN EMPLOYEE WHO COULD NOT BE RESTORED TO HIS FORMER POSITION FROM WHICH HE RESIGNED FOR MILITARY DUTY MAY BE PAID TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES TO THE PLACE WHERE A POSITION WAS AVAILABLE.

TO MR. HAROLD J. FARRALL:

THIS IS IN REFERENCE TO YOUR LETTER DATED OCTOBER 6, 1970, AND ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT MAY BE MADE OF THE CLAIM OF MR. LESTER W. CAIN FOR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH HIS MOVE FROM CLIFTON, COLORADO, TO LEADVILLE, COLORADO.

THE FACTS ARE STATED IN YOUR LETTER AS FOLLOWS:

"BY PERSONNEL ACTION DATED MAY 15, 1970, MR. CAIN WAS REEMPLOYED FROM MILITARY DUTY. HIS NEW DUTY STATION WAS SUGAR LOAF DAMSITE NEAR LEADVILLE, COLORADO.

"MR. CAIN ENTERED MILITARY SERVICE IN JULY, 1966. AT THAT TIME HE WAS EMPLOYED AT THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION OFFICE AT GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO. HE CHOSE TO RESIGN RATHER THAN TAKE MILITARY FURLOUGH. IMMEDIATELY UPON HIS RELEASE FROM MILITARY SERVICE, ON APRIL 30, 1970, AND WITHIN THE 90- DAY PERIOD FOR APPLICATION FOR RESTORATION, HE WAS REINSTATED TO A POSITION AT OUR BUREAU OF RECLAMATION CONSTRUCTION OFFICE AT LEADVILLE, COLORADO. THERE WAS NO VACANCY AT THE TIME AT GRAND JUNCTION, WHILE THERE WAS A VACANCY AT LEADVILLE. WE BELIEVE THAT HE EXERCISED HIS RESTORATION RIGHTS AS FULLY DETAILED IN FPM 353.4 2. QUOTING FROM FPM 353.5-1, AN EMPLOYEE RETURNING FROM MILITARY DUTY WITH RESTORATION RIGHTS IS TO 'BE RESTORED WITH THE STATUS HE WOULD HAVE HAD IF HE HAD NEVER LEFT FOR MILITARY DUTY'. HOWEVER, WE CANNOT FIND THAT THIS WOULD PERMIT PAYMENT OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION FROM THE OLD DUTY STATION AT GRAND JUNCTION TO THE NEW DUTY STATION AT LEADVILLE.

"AT THE TIME OF MR. CAIN'S REEMPLOYMENT, LOCAL MANAGEMENT OFFICIALS DESIRED TO PAY TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION IF ALLOWABLE UNDER PROVISIONS OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56. WE WERE UNABLE TO MAKE A DEFINITE DETERMINATION AT THAT TIME AS TO WHETHER THE MOVE COULD BE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, SO A TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION WAS NOT ISSUED TO MR. CAIN."

IT IS STATED THAT THE CLAIM IS ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED FOR PAYMENT IF LEGAL TO DO SO.

OUR OFFICE HELD IN DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 26, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 293, QUOTING THE SYLLABUS:

"WHERE, UPON THE RETURN OF A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE FROM MILITARY DUTY, NO APPROPRIATE VACANCY EXISTS IN THE PARTICULAR AGENCY AT THE PLACE FROM WHICH HE WAS FURLOUGHED TO ENTER THE ARMED FORCES, THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE REGARDED AS RESTORED AT THAT PLACE FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYING HIS TRAVEL EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH TRANSFER, FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT, FROM THE PLACE OF RESTORATION TO A PLACE WHERE A SUITABLE VACANCY IS AVAILABLE UNDER THE SAME AGENCY."

THE RULE STATED IN THAT DECISION IS FOR APPLICATION IN THE INSTANT CASE. THEREFORE, CONSIDERING THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE ADMINISTRATIVE FAILURE TO HAVE ISSUED MR. CAIN A TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION, THE VOUCHER AND ATTACHMENTS WHICH ARE RETURNED HEREWITH MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT TO THE EXTENT OTHERWISE PROPER.