B-173569, DEC 10, 1971

B-173569: Dec 10, 1971

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CLAIMANT WAS SEPARATED FROM HIS POSITION AS GENERAL ENGINEER (GS-11) AT REDSTONE DUE TO A REDUCTION IN FORCE AND ACCEPTED A GS-7 POSITION AT RED RIVER IN THE ARMY CAREER TRAINEE PROGRAM. BONNETT WAS IN A TRAINEE STATUS. BONNETT WAS TRANSFERRED PRIMARILY UNDER THE DOD STABILITY OF EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM. AS HIS DUTY WILL BE WORK. PAYMENT OF TRAVEL AND PER DIEM IS AUTHORIZED. YOUR REQUEST WAS ASSIGNED PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 71-26. BONNETT WAS NOTIFIED THAT HE WOULD BE SEPARATED BY REDUCTION-IN FORCE EFFECTIVE JUNE 29. HE WAS SELECTED ON MAY 19. THE STANDARD FORM 75 "REQUEST FOR PRELIMINARY EMPLOYMENT DATA" WHICH WAS EXECUTED IN CONNECTION THEREWITH CONTAINS THE STATEMENT "TRAVEL WILL BE FOR TRAINING.".

B-173569, DEC 10, 1971

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - REDUCTION IN FORCE - TRANSFER OF STATIONS DECISION ALLOWING CLAIM OF MR. ROBERT W. BONNETT, CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATIONS FROM REDSTONE ARSENAL, ALA., TO RED RIVER ARMY DEPOT, TEXARKANA, TX. CLAIMANT WAS SEPARATED FROM HIS POSITION AS GENERAL ENGINEER (GS-11) AT REDSTONE DUE TO A REDUCTION IN FORCE AND ACCEPTED A GS-7 POSITION AT RED RIVER IN THE ARMY CAREER TRAINEE PROGRAM. HIS TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION ALLOWED USUAL EXPENSES INCIDENT TO CHANGE OF STATIONS WHICH THE ARMY FINANCE CENTER REFUSED TO PAY AS MR. BONNETT WAS IN A TRAINEE STATUS. SINCE THE FACTS INDICATE THAT MR. BONNETT WAS TRANSFERRED PRIMARILY UNDER THE DOD STABILITY OF EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM, RATHER THAN AN ASSIGNMENT FOR TRAINING, AND AS HIS DUTY WILL BE WORK, NOT TRAINING, PAYMENT OF TRAVEL AND PER DIEM IS AUTHORIZED.

TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL T. W. FITZGERALD:

BY LETTER DATED DECEMBER 8, 1970, FILE REFERENCE AMSMI-FA, WITH ENCLOSURES, FORWARDED HERE BY 1ST INDORSEMENT DATED JULY 9, 1971, OF THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE, YOU REQUEST A DECISION CONCERNING THE ENTITLEMENT OF MR. ROBERT W. BONNETT, A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR CERTAIN EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO HIS CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION FROM REDSTONE ARSENAL, ALABAMA, TO RED RIVER ARMY DEPOT, TEXARKANA, TEXAS. YOUR REQUEST WAS ASSIGNED PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 71-26.

THE PAPERS FORWARDED HERE SHOW THAT BY LETTER DATED APRIL 27, 1970, MR. BONNETT WAS NOTIFIED THAT HE WOULD BE SEPARATED BY REDUCTION-IN FORCE EFFECTIVE JUNE 29, 1970, FROM HIS POSITION AS GENERAL ENGINEER, GS-11, AT REDSTONE ARSENAL, ALABAMA. CONSEQUENTLY, ON MAY 13, 1970, HE APPLIED FOR ENTRANCE IN THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY CAREER TRAINEE PROGRAM AND INDICATED THAT IF SELECTED HE WOULD AGREE, AMONG OTHER THINGS, TO REMAIN WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY FOR A PERIOD OF AT LEAST 3 YEARS FOLLOWING THE DATE OF COMPLETION OF GOVERNMENT FACILITY TRAINING. HE WAS SELECTED ON MAY 19, 1970, FOR THE POSITION OF GENERAL ENGINEER IN THE DEFENSE PRODUCTION DESIGN PROGRAM AT RED RIVER ARMY DEPOT, TEXARKANA, TEXAS, HOWEVER, THE STANDARD FORM 75 "REQUEST FOR PRELIMINARY EMPLOYMENT DATA" WHICH WAS EXECUTED IN CONNECTION THEREWITH CONTAINS THE STATEMENT "TRAVEL WILL BE FOR TRAINING."

ON MAY 25, 1970, TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. AMSMI-P-233-70 WAS ISSUED SHOWING THE REPORTING DATE AS JUNE 12, 1970, AND AUTHORIZING SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS NOT IN EXCESS OF 11,000 POUNDS UNDER GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING, TEMPORARY STORAGE OF SUCH GOODS NOT TO EXCEED 60 DAYS, TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AND OTHER RELOCATION ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED BY APPLICABLE LAW AND REGULATION TO AN EMPLOYEE UPON A CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION, EXCEPT ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL TO SEEK PERMANENT RESIDENCE.

THE PAPERS ALSO SHOW THAT MR. BONNETT RECEIVED A TRAVEL ADVANCE OF $1,400 AND THAT HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE SHIPPED UNDER A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING. TRAVEL FROM HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA, TO TEXARKANA WAS PERFORMED BY MR. BONNETT AND HIS FOUR DEPENDENTS (WIFE AND THREE MINOR CHILDREN) ON JUNE 10 AND 11, 1970, BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE. DURING THE PERIOD JUNE 11 TO 27, MR. BONNETT AND HIS FAMILY UTILIZED MOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS AND ON JUNE 27 THEY MOVED INTO PERMANENT QUARTERS. SUBSEQUENTLY MR. BONNETT SUBMITTED A TRAVEL VOUCHER IN WHICH HE MADE CLAIM FOR THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:

PER DIEM FOR SELF $ 37.50

PER DIEM FOR DEPENDENTS 84.38

MILEAGE (514 MILES $0.12) 61.68

TEMPORARY QUARTERS SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE 748.70

MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE 200.00

$1,132.26

IN ORDER TO DETERMINE MR. BONNETT'S ENTITLEMENT TO THE ITEMS CLAIMED, THE FINANCE AND ACCOUNTS DIVISION, RED RIVER ARMY DEPOT, REQUESTED THE CIVILIAN PERSONNEL DIVISION OF THAT DEPOT TO ADVISE WHETHER MR. BONNETT'S ASSIGNMENT WAS UNDER THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES TRAINING ACT. IN REPLY, THE CIVILIAN PERSONNEL DIVISION ADVISED ON JULY 27, 1970, ADVISED AS FOLLOWS:

"MR. BONNETT ACCEPTED A GS-07 JOB AS A PRODUCTION ENGINEERING INTERN IN THE USAMC INTERN TRAINING CENTER. HIS ASSIGNMENT TO THIS TRAINING IS UNDER THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES TRAINING ACT."

NOTWITHSTANDING THAT THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION PROVIDED FOR PERMANENT CHANGE-OF-STATION BENEFITS THE FINANCE AND ACCOUNTS DIVISION DECLINED TO ALLOW THE ITEMS CLAIMED ON THE BASIS OF THE ABOVE-QUOTED REPLY INDICATING THAT MR. BONNETT BEING A TRAINEE AND BEING ASSIGNED PRIMARILY FOR TRAINING WOULD NOT BE ENTITLED TO CERTAIN BENEFITS NORMALLY AVAILABLE FOR CHANGE-OF -STATION TRAVEL, THAT IS, PER DIEM FOR DEPENDENT TRAVEL, TEMPORARY QUARTERS SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE, AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE.

THE ORDER-ISSUING AUTHORITY, REDSTONE ARSENAL, HAS JUSTIFIED THE ISSUANCE OF THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION IN THIS CASE ON THE GROUND THAT MR. BONNETT'S MOVEMENT WAS INCIDENT TO A REDUCTION-IN-FORCE AND AS A RESULT HE WAS OFFERED A TRANSFER TO ANOTHER DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE INSTALLATION WHICH HE ACCEPTED. IT WAS POINTED OUT IN THIS CONNECTION THAT DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE INSTRUCTIONS AND PARAGRAPH C4101, VOLUME 2, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROVIDING FOR ALLOWANCE OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF AN EMPLOYEE AND HIS DEPENDENTS AND MOVEMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS, WOULD APPLY IN THIS SITUATION RATHER THAN PARAGRAPHS C3052 AND C4102 OF THE REGULATIONS WHICH WOULD LIMIT BENEFITS FOR MOVEMENTS "INCIDENT TO ASSIGNMENT FOR TRAINING." THAT AUTHORITY ALSO POINTED OUT THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY POLICY REQUIRES THAT ITS ACTIVITIES MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO PROVIDE STABILITY OF EMPLOYMENT TO ITS EMPLOYEES AND THAT MR. BONNETT'S SKILL AS A PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER IS IN A SHORTAGE CATEGORY.

WE NOTE THAT THE FINANCE CENTER, INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, STATES THAT THE FOLLOWING ADVICE IN THIS MATTER WAS OBTAINED FROM THE DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF FOR PERSONNEL, OFFICE OF CIVILIAN PERSONNEL:

"1. IT IS THE VIEW OF THIS OFFICE THAT THE TRAVEL AND TRANSFER OF MR. BONNETT WAS PERFORMED ATTENDANT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDER WHICH IS VALID FOR PAYMENT ON ITS FACE. A REALISTIC REVIEW OF THE SUPPORTING MATERIAL INDICATES THAT THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED UNDER THE DOD STABILITY OF EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM RATHER THAN AS AN ASSIGNMENT FOR TRAINING UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARA. C3052-2.

"2. IN VIEW OF THE INDIVIDUAL CAPABILITY WHICH IS EVIDENT FROM MR. BONNETT'S PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYMENT AT THE GS-11 LEVEL IT IS CLEAR THAT THE PREPONDERANCE OF HIS TIME WILL BE OCCUPIED IN THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF WORK AND THAT HIS ASSIGNMENT TO THE POSITION IS PRIMARILY FOR THE PURPOSE OF WORK AS OPPOSED TO RECEIVING TRAINING. SUCH CONSIDERATION OVERRIDES THE STATEMENT THAT THE PROGRAM TO WHICH MR. BONNETT IS ASSIGNED AND THE VARYING DEGREE OF TRAINING RECEIVED IS ACCOMPLISHED PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE'S TRAINING ACT."

WE SEE NO REASON TO DISAGREE WITH THE ABOVE QUOTED STATEMENT. IN VIEW THEREOF, THE VOUCHER, WITH SUPPORTING PAPERS, IS RETURNED HEREWITH FOR PROCESSING FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.