B-171403, FEB 24, 1971

B-171403: Feb 24, 1971

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USAF: THIS IS IN REPLY TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 24. BROOKS AND FOUR OTHER EMPLOYEES WERE ASSIGNED TO TEMPORARY DUTY AT WHEELUS AIR BASE. THE ASSIGNMENT WAS TO COVER A PERIOD OF 179 DAYS AND COMMENCED ON JANUARY 15. ROUND-TRIP TRANSPORTATION WAS FURNISHED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. BROOKS AND ONE OTHER EMPLOYEE WERE ORDERED BY THE COMMANDER. THIS ACTION WAS TAKEN AS A RESULT OF ALLEGED MISCONDUCT INVOLVING BLACK MARKET ACTIVITIES. THERE IS NO RECORD OF ANY OTHER ALLEGED MISCONDUCT. THE EMPLOYEE'S PER DIEM WAS TERMINATED AS OF 1800 HOURS. HE WAS REQUIRED TO REFUND TO THE GOVERNMENT THE COST OF HIS RETURN TRANSPORTATION. HIS CLAIM IS BASED ON THE CONTENTION THAT HE DID NOT ABANDON HIS TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT OR DELIBERATELY FAIL TO ACCOMPLISH SUCH ASSIGNMENT.

B-171403, FEB 24, 1971

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

LIEUTENANT COLONEL D. R. BYE, USAF:

THIS IS IN REPLY TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 24, 1970, REFERENCE ACF, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ALLOWABILITY OF A VOUCHER FOR $215.35 REPRESENTING TRAVEL EXPENSES AND ALLOWANCES CLAIMED BY MR. JOSEPH L. BROOKS, AN EMPLOYEE OF YOUR AGENCY, INCIDENT TO HIS RETURN TO TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION, FROM WHEELUS AIR BASE, LIBYA.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT BY ORDERS DATED JANUARY 13, 1970, MR. BROOKS AND FOUR OTHER EMPLOYEES WERE ASSIGNED TO TEMPORARY DUTY AT WHEELUS AIR BASE, LIBYA. THE ASSIGNMENT WAS TO COVER A PERIOD OF 179 DAYS AND COMMENCED ON JANUARY 15, 1970. ROUND-TRIP TRANSPORTATION WAS FURNISHED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. ON MARCH 2, 1970, AFTER COMPLETING ONLY 46 DAYS OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT, MR. BROOKS AND ONE OTHER EMPLOYEE WERE ORDERED BY THE COMMANDER, WHEELUS AIR BASE, TO TERMINATE THEIR TEMPORARY DUTY AND RETURN TO THEIR OFFICIAL DUTY STATION. THIS ACTION WAS TAKEN AS A RESULT OF ALLEGED MISCONDUCT INVOLVING BLACK MARKET ACTIVITIES. THERE IS NO RECORD OF ANY OTHER ALLEGED MISCONDUCT. THE EMPLOYEE'S PER DIEM WAS TERMINATED AS OF 1800 HOURS, MARCH 2, 1970, AND HE WAS REQUIRED TO REFUND TO THE GOVERNMENT THE COST OF HIS RETURN TRANSPORTATION.

MR. BROOKS SEEKS REIMBURSEMENT OF RETURN TRAVEL EXPENSES INCLUDING PER DIEM FOR ACTUAL TRAVEL TIME EN ROUTE TO HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION. HIS CLAIM IS BASED ON THE CONTENTION THAT HE DID NOT ABANDON HIS TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT OR DELIBERATELY FAIL TO ACCOMPLISH SUCH ASSIGNMENT, BUT WAS ORDERED TO CURTAIL SUCH ASSIGNMENT BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY.

PARAGRAPH C3014, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, VOLUME 2, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"C3014 TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT ABANDONED OR NOT COMPLETED

EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN PAR. C3013, IF AN EMPLOYEE ABANDONS HIS TRAVEL PRIOR TO REPORTING TO A PLACE OF TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT OR PRIOR TO COMPLETION OF DUTIES IN CONNECTION WITH A TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT FOR PERSONAL REASONS WHICH ARE ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY CONCERNED, SUCH AS ILLNESS IN HIS FAMILY OR SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES, ONLY THE EXPENSE OF TRAVEL TO THE POINT OF ABANDONMENT IS ALLOWABLE. THE COST RELATING TO RETURN OF THE EMPLOYEE TO HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION WILL NOT BE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UNLESS IT IS DETERMINED ADMINISTRATIVELY THAT THE EMPLOYEE SUBSTANTIALLY COMPLETED THE MISSION REQUIREMENTS OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT OR THAT SUCH COMPLETION WAS AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT (SEE PAR. C11001)."

PARAGRAPH C11001, CITED ABOVE, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"C11001 DELIBERATE FAILURE TO ACCOMPLISH PURPOSE OF TRAVEL

AN EMPLOYEE WHO DOES NOT REPORT TO THE DESIGNATED TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT DUTY STATION OR, WHO, UPON ARRIVAL THERE, REFUSES TO PERFORM HIS MISSION OR RESIGNS, WILL BE REQUIRED TO REIMBURSE THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE REASONABLE VALUE OF TRAVEL EXPENSES, INCLUDING PER DIEM IF PAID. THIS REQUIREMENT WILL NOT BE INVOKED WHEN AN EMPLOYEE IS PRECLUDED FROM PERFORMING TEMPORARY DUTY BECAUSE OF ILLNESS NOT INDUCED BY HIS OWN MISCONDUCT (SEE PAR. C10101-1)."

THE RECORD CONTAINS A STATEMENT BY THE TRAVEL ORDER APPROVING OFFICIAL (COLONEL DALE J. PERKINS, USAF, DIRECTOR OF DISTRIBUTION) THAT PRIOR TO THEIR DEPARTURE MR. BROOKS AND THE OTHER EMPLOYEES WERE GIVEN A GENERAL BRIEFING WHICH SPECIFICALLY COVERED BLACK MARKET OPERATIONS, THAT MR. BROOKS AND ONE OTHER EMPLOYEE WERE CONSIDERED TO BE PERSONA NON GRATA BY THE COMMANDER, WHEELUS AIR BASE, AS A RESULT OF ALLEGED BLACK MARKET ACTIVITY, AND SENT HOME. THE STATEMENT ALSO INDICATES THAT NO EMPLOYEES REPLACED THE TWO SENT HOME AND THE REMAINING THREE EMPLOYEES COMPLETED THE ASSIGNMENT AFTER 135 DAYS IN LIBYA.

MR. BROOKS STATES THAT HE WAS NOT ADVISED AT THE BRIEFING THAT THE ALLEGED ACTIVITY FOR WHICH HE WAS SENT HOME WAS IMPROPER (TRADING ARTICLES FOR SERVICES) AND HE HAD REQUESTED TO STAY IN LIBYA TO PROVE HIS INNOCENCE. HE ALSO STATES THAT HE WAS INFORMED THAT THE LIBYAN WITH WHOM HE DEALT CONTINUED HIS EMPLOYMENT AT WHEELUS AIR BASE.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT MR. BROOKS DID NOT VOLUNTARILY RETURN TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION PRIOR TO THE COMPLETION OF HIS DUTIES AND NO ADDITIONAL EXPENSES WERE INCURRED BY THE GOVERNMENT TO ACCOMPLISH THE ASSIGNMENT. THERE IS NO SHOWING, HOWEVER, OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION BY AN APPROPRIATE OFFICIAL AS TO WHETHER MR. BROOKS FAILED TO COMPLETE HIS MISSION BECAUSE OF HIS OWN MISCONDUCT, NAMELY, ENGAGING IN BLACK MARKET OPERATIONS. ACCORDINGLY, THE MATTER SHOULD BE REFERRED TO THE OFFICIAL WHO ORDERED MR. BROOKS TO PERFORM THE TEMPORARY DUTY, OR AN INDIVIDUAL HAVING KNOWLEDGE OF THE FACTS AND AUTHORIZED TO ACT FOR HIM, FOR A POSITIVE DETERMINATION ON THIS POINT. SHOULD AN AFFIRMATIVE DETERMINATION OF MISCONDUCT BE MADE THE VOUCHER MAY NOT BE PAID. HOWEVER, IF A DETERMINATION BE MADE TO THE CONTRARY THE VOUCHER MAY BE PAID.

THE VOUCHER RETURNED HEREWITH SHOULD BE PROCESSED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE.