B-173142, JUL 26, 1971

B-173142: Jul 26, 1971

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CLAIMANT WAS PAID UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM OF SECTION 6.4A. THERE IS NO ADDITIONAL AMOUNT DUE OR PROPERLY PAYABLE TO MR. BRANDE: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 27. THE ITEMS CLAIMED ARE FOR EXPENSES WHICH EXCEEDED THOSE ALLOWED UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM AND FOR PER DIEM ALLOWANCES FOR DEPENDENTS. PER DIEM WAS AUTHORIZED IN ACCORDANCE WITH DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH. ANY OTHER RELOCATION ALLOWANCE OR BENEFIT WAS "AUTHORIZED IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET (NOW THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET) *** IN CONJUNCTION WITH *** INITIAL APPOINTMENT FOR PERMANENT DUTY *** .". BACON'S ORIGINAL CLAIM HAS BEEN PAID EXCEPT FOR THE ADJUSTED SUM OF $512.43 WHICH IS COMPRISED OF AN AMOUNT OF $212.67.

B-173142, JUL 26, 1971

TRAVEL AND PER DIEM - COMMUTED RATES - EXCESS EXPENSES AN ADVANCE DECISION CONCERNING CLAIM OF MR. THEODORE D. BACON FOR ADDITIONAL REIMBURSEMENT OF EXCESS TRAVEL EXPENSES AND PER DIEM INCIDENT TO HIS SELECTION TO A POSITION WITH THE OFFICE OF EDUCATION. THE AGREEMENT SIGNED BY CLAIMANT STATED THAT TRAVEL AND PER DIEM ALLOWANCES WOULD BE PAID IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE REGULATIONS. CLAIMANT WAS PAID UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM OF SECTION 6.4A, OMB CIRCULAR A-56. CONSEQUENTLY, THE AMOUNTS IN EXCESS OF THE PROVIDED SCHEDULES OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCES MAY NOT BE PAID. SECTION 2.2C(1), OMB CIRCULAR A-56, PROHIBITS THE PAYMENT OF THE PER DIEM RATES TO THE MEMBERS OF CLAIMANT'S FAMILY. UNDER THE CONTROLLING REGULATIONS, THERE IS NO ADDITIONAL AMOUNT DUE OR PROPERLY PAYABLE TO MR. BACON.

TO MR. FLETCHER R. BRANDE:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 27, 1971, REFERENCE ADM:FD:FSB, AND ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION ON THE CLAIM OF MR. THEODORE D. BACON FOR ADDITIONAL REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES INCIDENT TO HIS SELECTION FOR APPOINTMENT TO A "MANPOWER SHORTAGE" POSITION WITH THE OFFICE OF EDUCATION. THE ITEMS CLAIMED ARE FOR EXPENSES WHICH EXCEEDED THOSE ALLOWED UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM AND FOR PER DIEM ALLOWANCES FOR DEPENDENTS.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT PURSUANT TO AUTHORIZED TRAVEL ORDERS MR. BACON MOVED HIMSELF, HIS FAMILY, PERSONAL EFFECTS, AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM THE VICINITY OF LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, TO WASHINGTON, D.C. THOSE ORDERS GAVE AUTHORIZATION FOR THE TRAVEL OF THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS DEPENDENTS BY AUTOMOBILE AT 12 CENTS PER MILE AND TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS. PER DIEM WAS AUTHORIZED IN ACCORDANCE WITH DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE POLICY AND THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (SGTR) AT THE VARYING RATES PRESCRIBED BY SGTR. THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE AGREEMENT EXECUTED BY MR. BACON RECITED THAT PAYMENT OF HIS TRAVEL EXPENSES AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FOR HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY, HOUSEHOLD GOODS, PERSONAL EFFECTS, AND ANY OTHER RELOCATION ALLOWANCE OR BENEFIT WAS "AUTHORIZED IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET (NOW THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET) *** IN CONJUNCTION WITH *** INITIAL APPOINTMENT FOR PERMANENT DUTY *** ." YOUR LETTER STATES THAT MR. BACON'S ORIGINAL CLAIM HAS BEEN PAID EXCEPT FOR THE ADJUSTED SUM OF $512.43 WHICH IS COMPRISED OF AN AMOUNT OF $212.67, THE EXCESS EXPENSES FOR STORAGE AND TRANSPORTATION OVER THE AMOUNT ALLOWED UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM, AND AN AMOUNT OF $306 FOR PER DIEM TRAVEL ALLOWANCES FOR HIS SPOUSE AND TWO CHILDREN. THE DIFFERENTIAL OF $6.24 RESULTED FROM AN ERROR IN THE COMPUTATION OF MR. BACON'S CLAIM FOR MILEAGE ($327.36) AND THE AMOUNT PROPERLY PAID ($333.60).

YOU HAVE STATED THAT "MR. BACON BELIEVES THAT HE SHOULD BE REIMBURSED FOR THE FULL AMOUNT CLAIMED BECAUSE HE ACTED IN GOOD FAITH IN COMPLYING WITH INSTRUCTIONS PROVIDED BY THE OFFICE OF EDUCATION." THE "INSTRUCTIONS" HE APPARENTLY RELIES ON ARE CONTAINED IN THE THIRD PARAGRAPH OF A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 18, 1968, WHICH GENERALLY OFFERED HIM THE POSITION OF SUPERVISORY COMPUTER SPECIALIST. THAT PARAGRAPH STATES: "THE GOVERNMENT WILL BEAR THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND THE TRAVEL EXPENSES OF YOU AND YOUR DEPENDENTS TO YOUR POST OF DUTY PROVIDED YOU SIGN AND RETURN TWO COPIES OF THE ENCLOSED AGREEMENT TO SERVE IN THE GOVERNMENT FOR ONE YEAR. *** " AS PREVIOUSLY INDICATED THAT "ENCLOSED AGREEMENT" MAKES AN EXPLICIT INCORPORATING REFERENCE TO PAYMENT OF EXPENSES AND RELOCATION ALLOWANCES AS AUTHORIZED BY REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET (NOW THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET).

IT IS CLEAR THAT THE PARAGRAPH QUOTED ABOVE, TOGETHER WITH THE REGULATION -INCORPORATING PROVISIONS OF THE SERVICE AGREEMENT EXECUTED BY MR. BACON, DOES NOT AUTHORIZE THE REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES WHICH ARE NOT OTHERWISE ALLOWABLE UNDER CONTROLLING PROVISIONS OF LAW.

THE BASIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF NEW APPOINTEES IS FOUND IN 5 U.S.C. 5723, AND REIMBURSEMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES IS CONDITIONED ON THE NEW EMPLOYEE'S EXECUTION AND FULFILLMENT OF A 12-MONTH SERVICE AGREEMENT. IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS ARE AUTHORIZED AND HAVE BEEN ISSUED IN OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56. SECTION 5 GENERALLY PROVIDES THAT NEW APPOINTEES MAY RECEIVE VARIOUS TYPES OF ALLOWANCES FOR THEIR OWN EXPENSES OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILIES, HOUSEHOLD GOODS, AND PERSONAL EFFECTS FROM THE PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF SELECTION FOR APPOINTMENT TO THEIR FIRST PERMANENT DUTY STATION. THE ALLOWANCES WILL BE PAID AS PROVIDED IN OTHER PERTINENT SECTIONS OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56.

ONE OF THOSE SECTIONS IS SECTION 6 WHICH COVERS THE TRANSPORTATION AND STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS. SECTION 6.4A DESCRIBES THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM WHICH WAS USED IN THE CASE OF MR. BACON. REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THIS SYSTEM IS LIMITED TO THE APPLICABLE SCHEDULE AND COVERS EACH OF THE SERVICES PROVIDED BY THE CARRIER INCLUDING NOT ONLY TRANSPORTATION BUT ALSO PACKING AND UNPACKING, CRATING, DRAYAGE, AND TEMPORARY STORAGE. ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM WAS USED AND PAYMENTS WERE PRESUMABLY MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE APPLICABLE SCHEDULE, THERE IS NO BASIS ON WHICH TO AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF ANY CLAIM ($212.67) FOR ADDITIONAL TRANSPORTATION AND STORAGE EXPENSE INCIDENT TO THE MOVEMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS. SEE B-172017, MARCH 16, 1971, COPY ENCLOSED.

YOUR LETTER INDICATED THAT $75 OF THE $212.67 CLAIM WAS FOR SHIPMENT OF A BOAT AND TRAILER. THE DEFINITION CONTAINED IN SECTION 1.2H OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 EXPRESSLY EXCLUDES BOATS FROM THE CATEGORY OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS AND WOULD APPEAR TO IMPLICITLY EXCLUDE BOAT TRAILERS FROM SUCH CATEGORY. THEREFORE, AN ADDITIONAL BASIS EXISTS FOR DISALLOWANCE OF THE EXPENSE FOR SHIPMENT OF THE BOAT AND TRAILER.

SECTIONS 2.1 AND 2.2A OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56, RESPECTIVELY, AUTHORIZE THE ALLOWANCE OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES, TRANSPORTATION COSTS, AND OTHER TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR THE EMPLOYEE AND CERTAIN TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR THE EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY IN ACCORDANCE WITH SGTR. SECTION 2.2C(1) EXPRESSLY EXCLUDES THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM ALLOWANCES FOR MEMBERS OF A NEW APPOINTEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING WE CONCLUDE THAT NO ADDITIONAL AMOUNT IS DUE OR PROPERLY PAYABLE TO MR. BACON. YOUR ENCLOSURES ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.