B-171585, MAR 8, 1971

B-171585: Mar 8, 1971

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THESE WERE OBVIOUS ERRORS AND IN NO WAY AFFECT THE AGENCY'S REPORT THAT HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION HAD BEEN ESTABLISHED AT KANSAS CITY. WHERE CLAIMANT WAS ON TEMPORARY DUTY AT THE TIME OF THE TRANSFER AND DID NOT RETURN TO HIS OLD DUTY STATION AND HIS WIFE ACCOMPANIED HIM AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM THE PLACE OF TEMPORARY DUTY TO THE NEW STATION. WAS PROPERLY DENIED. THOMPSON: THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 2. WHICH WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR CERTIFICATE OF SETTLEMENT DATED SEPTEMBER 14. YOU WERE ASKED WHETHER YOU WOULD ACCEPT A CHANGE IN PERMANENT DUTY STATION TO KANSAS CITY. YOU AND YOUR WIFE WERE AUTHORIZED TRAVEL EXPENSES TO KANSAS CITY. YOU WERE INFORMED KANSAS CITY WAS YOUR PERMANENT DUTY STATION AND ANY RETURN FOR THAT PURPOSE TO CORAL GABLES COULD NOT BE AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

B-171585, MAR 8, 1971

PER DIEM - CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION DECISION DENYING CLAIM BY WAYNE C. THOMPSON FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION EMPLOYEE FOR PER DIEM INCIDENT TO A CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION FROM CORAL GABLES, FLORIDA TO KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI. ALTHOUGH ORDERS AND PERSONNEL ACTIONS SUBSEQUENT TO CLAIMANT'S CHANGE OF STATION REFERRED TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION AS STILL BEING CORAL GABLES, THESE WERE OBVIOUS ERRORS AND IN NO WAY AFFECT THE AGENCY'S REPORT THAT HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION HAD BEEN ESTABLISHED AT KANSAS CITY. FURTHER, WHERE CLAIMANT WAS ON TEMPORARY DUTY AT THE TIME OF THE TRANSFER AND DID NOT RETURN TO HIS OLD DUTY STATION AND HIS WIFE ACCOMPANIED HIM AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM THE PLACE OF TEMPORARY DUTY TO THE NEW STATION, A REQUEST TO RETURN TO THE OLD DUTY STATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO ARRANGE FOR THE TRANSFER OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS, WAS PROPERLY DENIED.

TO MR. WAYNE C. THOMPSON:

THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 2, 1970, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR PER DIEM INCIDENT TO YOUR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM CORAL GABLES, FLORIDA, TO KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, WHICH WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR CERTIFICATE OF SETTLEMENT DATED SEPTEMBER 14, 1970.

ON APRIL 24, 1969, WHILE ON TEMPORARY DUTY IN DENVER, AWAY FROM YOUR THEN PERMANENT DUTY STATION AT CORAL GABLES, FLORIDA, YOU WERE ASKED WHETHER YOU WOULD ACCEPT A CHANGE IN PERMANENT DUTY STATION TO KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI. YOU ADVISED YOUR OFFICE THE FOLLOWING DAY THAT YOU WOULD ACCEPT SUCH A REASSIGNMENT. IT APPEARS THAT YOUR WIFE JOINED YOU IN DENVER AND ACCOMPANIED YOU TO YOUR SUBSEQUENT TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT AT NORTH DIGHTON, MASSACHUSETTS. FROM THERE, ON JUNE 3, 1969, YOU AND YOUR WIFE WERE AUTHORIZED TRAVEL EXPENSES TO KANSAS CITY. YOU STATE YOU WENT TO KANSAS CITY ASSUMING THE POST THERE WOULD BE TEMPORARY UNTIL YOU COULD RETURN TO CORAL GABLES TO ARRANGE FOR THE TRANSFER OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS, BUT THAT SHORTLY AFTER ARRIVING THERE (JUNE 10), YOU WERE INFORMED KANSAS CITY WAS YOUR PERMANENT DUTY STATION AND ANY RETURN FOR THAT PURPOSE TO CORAL GABLES COULD NOT BE AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. YOU ADD THAT FROM THE DATE OF YOUR ARRIVAL AT KANSAS CITY ON JUNE 8, 1969, UNTIL SEPTEMBER 25, 1969, WHEN, INCIDENT TO A TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA, YOU WERE ABLE TO MAKE THE NECESSARY SHIPPING ARRANGEMENTS, YOU WERE FORCED TO RENT FURNITURE AND INCUR EXTRAORDINARY EXPENSES DUE TO THE UNAVAILABILITY OF YOUR PERSONAL EFFECTS. ON THIS ACCOUNT YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 10, 1970, REQUESTS PER DIEM FOR THE PERIOD OF JUNE 8, 1969, THROUGH SEPTEMBER 25, 1969.

YOU WERE ADVISED BY OUR SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE THAT SECTION 6.8 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PRECLUDES YOUR BEING PAID PER DIEM FOR THE PERIOD IN QUESTION IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT YOU WERE REGARDED AS BEING AT YOUR PERMANENT DUTY STATION. YOUR PRESENT LETTER REQUESTS THAT FOR SUCH PERIOD CORAL GABLES, FLORIDA, BE DECLARED TO BE YOUR PERMANENT DUTY STATION IN ORDER THAT PER DIEM MIGHT BE AUTHORIZED. SUPPORT OF THIS REQUEST YOU CITE CERTAIN IRREGULARITIES IN THE DESIGNATION OF YOUR PERMANENT DUTY STATION ON DOCUMENTS ISSUED TO YOU DURING THAT PERIOD OF TIME. YOU STATE:

"IN YOUR RECENT SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE OF 14 SEPTEMBER 1970, YOU FAIL TO NOTE THAT FAA ACKNOWLEDGED MY OFFICIAL DUTY STATION AS BEING CORAL GABLES, FLORIDA FROM 15 JUNE 1969 TO 24 AUGUST 1969 BY ISSUING 'NOTIFICATION OF PERSONNEL ACTION' ON 15 JUNE 1969 SHOWING REASSIGNMENT TO THE OFFICIAL DUTY STATION OF CORAL GABLES, FLORIDA AND THEN ON 27 JUNE 1969 ISSUED A THREE MONTH TRAVEL ORDER SHOWING CORAL GABLES, FLORIDA AS MY OFFICIAL DUTY STATION AND AGAIN ON 24 AUGUST 1969 FAA ISSUED A 'NOTIFICATION OF PERSONNEL ACTION' SHOWING A CHANGE IN MY OFFICIAL DUTY STATION FROM CORAL GABLES, FLORIDA TO KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI. *** "

YOUR AGENCY HAS SPECIFICALLY STATED THAT YOU WERE NOTIFIED ON JUNE 3, 1969, OF YOUR TRANSFER TO KANSAS CITY. IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY AND YOU HAVE PRESENTED NONE WE MUST ACCEPT THE AGENCY'S REPORT IN THAT RESPECT. PRESUMABLY YOU WERE AWARE THAT YOU WERE TRAVELING TO KANSAS CITY FOR THAT PURPOSE. THEREFORE, WE SEE NO BASIS FOR CONCLUDING THAT YOU DID NOT RECEIVE NOTICE OF SUCH CHANGE OF STATION PRIOR TO REPORTING TO KANSAS CITY. ALSO, YOUR OWN STATEMENT INDICATES THAT SUCH CHANGE OF STATION WAS CONFIRMED ORALLY AT LEAST BY JUNE 10. THE SUBSEQUENT ORDERS AND PERSONNEL ACTIONS REFERRING TO YOUR OFFICIAL STATION AS STILL BEING CORAL GABLES WERE OBVIOUS ERRORS WHICH YOU APPARENTLY RECOGNIZED. OUR OFFICE HAS CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF AN EMPLOYEE'S TRANSFER FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER IS THE DATE HE ACTUALLY ENTERS ON DUTY AT HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION AND THAT A DELAY IN ISSUING FORMAL DOCUMENTATION OF SUCH CHANGE DOES NOT PREVENT THE CHANGE FROM BECOMING THEN EFFECTIVE IF IT WAS PROPERLY ORDERED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY AND IF THE EMPLOYEE WAS PROPERLY NOTIFIED OF SUCH CHANGE, 28 COMP. GEN. 285 (1948); 46 COMP. GEN. 595 (1967).

YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 10, 1970, EXPRESSES DISSATISFACTION WITH THE FACT THAT YOU WERE ALLOWED TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR YOUR WIFE AND YOURSELF FROM NORTH DIGHTON RATHER THAN CORAL GABLES. THIS APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 2.2 OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED JUNE 26, 1969, WHICH PROVIDES:

"A. TRANSPORTATION. EXCEPT AS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED IN THESE REGULATIONS, ALLOWABLE TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR THE EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY, INCLUDING TRANSPORTATION, ARE GOVERNED BY 5 U.S.C. 5701-5708 AND THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. TRAVEL OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY MAY BEGIN AT THE EMPLOYEE'S OLD OFFICIAL STATION OR SOME OTHER POINT, OR PARTIALLY AT BOTH, OR MAY END AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION OR SOME OTHER PLACE SELECTED BY THE EMPLOYEE, OR PARTIALLY AT BOTH. HOWEVER, THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY WILL NOT EXCEED THE ALLOWABLE COST BY USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BETWEEN THE EMPLOYEE'S OLD AND NEW OFFICIAL STATION."

IT MAY BE THAT THE DIFFICULTY WHICH YOU EXPERIENCED IN ARRANGING YOUR AFFAIRS IN CORAL GABLES STEMMED FROM THE FACT THAT YOU CHOSE TO HAVE YOUR WIFE ACCOMPANY YOU ON YOUR TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENTS FOR PERSONAL REASONS AND AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE. HAD SHE NOT DONE SO SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN IN A POSITION TO SEE TO THE NECESSARY ARRANGEMENTS, AND THE COST OF HER TRANSPORTATION FROM CORAL GABLES TO KANSAS CITY WOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWABLE UNDER THE ABOVE PROVISION. MOREOVER, UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES A HOUSE HUNTING TRIP FOR HER MIGHT HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED.

IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT CIRCUMSTANCES DID NOT DICTATE THAT YOU BE RETURNED TO CORAL GABLES BEFORE YOUR STATION WAS CHANGED TO KANSAS CITY. HOWEVER, AS PREVIOUSLY INDICATED, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR ALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM.