B-173836, OCT 27, 1971

B-173836: Oct 27, 1971

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

PRIOR ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORIZATION FOR TRAVEL WAS NOT OBTAINED. NO REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE MADE AS THERE WAS NO PRIOR DETERMINATION THAT RELOCATION OF RESIDENCE WAS INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATIONS. ADDITIONALLY WE NOTE THAT THE DISTANCE FROM THE GRANITE CITY ARMY DEPOT - YOUR OLD DUTY STATION - TO SCOTT AFB - YOUR NEW DUTY STATION - IS APPROXIMATELY 25 MILES. STATES IN PERTINENT PART: "(1) WHEN CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION OR OTHER ACTION DESCRIBED BELOW IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY SUCH OFFICIAL OR OFFICIALS AS THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT MAY DESIGNATE. TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES AND APPLICABLE ALLOWANCES AS PROVIDED HEREIN ARE PAYABLE IN THE CASE OF (A) TRANSFER OF AN EMPLOYEE FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER FOR PERMANENT DUTY.

B-173836, OCT 27, 1971

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - RELOCATION EXPENSES - PRIOR AUTHORIZATION DECISION CONCERNING CLAIM OF MR. LOUIS C. FRY FOR RELOCATION EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO TRANSFER FROM DEPARTMENT OF ARMY DEPOT AT GRANITE CITY, ILL. TO SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, ILL., A DISTANCE OF 25 MILES. PRIOR ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORIZATION FOR TRAVEL WAS NOT OBTAINED. ALTHOUGH FAILURE TO OBTAIN PRIOR AUTHORIZATION WOULD ORDINARILY NOT BE DETRIMENTAL TO SUCH A CLAIM, IN VIEW OF THE SHORT DISTANCE INVOLVED, NO REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE MADE AS THERE WAS NO PRIOR DETERMINATION THAT RELOCATION OF RESIDENCE WAS INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATIONS.

TO MR. LOUIS C. FRY:

WE REFER FURTHER TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 29, 1971, WHICH IN EFFECT SEEKS REVERSAL OF THE SETTLEMENT ACTION OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION DATED JULY 13, 1971, DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM FOR RELOCATION EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO YOUR TRANSFER TO SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE (AFB), ILLINOIS, FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY DEPOT AT GRANITE CITY, ILLINOIS.

THE SETTLEMENT LETTER OF JULY 13 STATES IN PERTINENT PART:

"THE RECORD INDICATES THAT YOU DID NOT OBTAIN PRIOR ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORIZATION FOR THE TRAVEL IN QUESTION. THEREFORE, IN THE ABSENCE OF SUCH AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL BY EITHER THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY OR THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, REIMBURSEMENT MAY NOT BE MADE FOR YOUR EXPENSES."

ADDITIONALLY WE NOTE THAT THE DISTANCE FROM THE GRANITE CITY ARMY DEPOT - YOUR OLD DUTY STATION - TO SCOTT AFB - YOUR NEW DUTY STATION - IS APPROXIMATELY 25 MILES. IN THIS CONNECTION SECTION 1.3A OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED JUNE 26, 1969, STATES IN PERTINENT PART:

"(1) WHEN CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION OR OTHER ACTION DESCRIBED BELOW IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY SUCH OFFICIAL OR OFFICIALS AS THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT MAY DESIGNATE, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES AND APPLICABLE ALLOWANCES AS PROVIDED HEREIN ARE PAYABLE IN THE CASE OF (A) TRANSFER OF AN EMPLOYEE FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER FOR PERMANENT DUTY, PROVIDED THAT: THE TRANSFER IS IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT AND IS NOT PRIMARILY FOR THE CONVENIENCE OR BENEFIT OF THE EMPLOYEE OR AT HIS REQUEST; THE TRANSFER IS TO A NEW OFFICIAL STATION WHICH IS AT LEAST TEN MILES DISTANT FROM THE OLD OFFICIAL STATION; AND, IN CASE OF A RELATIVELY SHORT DISTANCE RELOCATION, A DETERMINATION OF ELIGIBILITY IS MADE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 1.3A(2) ***

"(2) WHEN THE CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION INVOLVES A SHORT DISTANCE WITHIN THE SAME GENERAL LOCAL OR METROPOLITAN AREA, THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES AND APPLICABLE ALLOWANCES IN CONNECTION WITH THE EMPLOYEE'S RELOCATION OF HIS RESIDENCE MAY BE AUTHORIZED ONLY WHEN THE AGENCY DETERMINES THAT THE RELOCATION WAS INCIDENT TO THE CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION. SUCH DETERMINATION SHOULD TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION SUCH FACTORS AS COMMUTING TIME AND DISTANCE BETWEEN THE EMPLOYEE'S RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF NOTIFICATION OF TRANSFER AND HIS OLD AND NEW POSTS OF DUTY AS WELL AS THE COMMUTING TIME AND DISTANCE BETWEEN A PROPOSED NEW RESIDENCE AND THE NEW POST OF DUTY. ORDINARILY, A RELOCATION OF RESIDENCE SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS INCIDENT TO A CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION UNLESS THE ONE-WAY COMMUTING DISTANCE FROM THE OLD RESIDENCE TO THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION IS AT LEAST TEN MILES GREATER THAN FROM THE OLD RESIDENCE TO THE OLD OFFICIAL STATION. EVEN THEN, CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING A PARTICULAR CASE, E.G., RELATIVE COMMUTING TIME, MAY SUGGEST THAT THE MOVE OF RESIDENCE WAS NOT INCIDENT TO THE CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION."

THE MATTER OF THE PRIOR ISSUANCE OF TRAVEL ORDERS ORDINARILY WOULD NOT BE A DETERRENT TO CONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR CERTAIN OF THE RELOCATION EXPENSES IF APPROVED BY YOUR AGENCY. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF THE SHORT DISTANCE INVOLVED IN YOUR MOVE AS INDICATED ABOVE, IT WOULD ALSO BE NECESSARY FOR YOUR AGENCY TO DETERMINE THAT THE RELOCATION OF YOUR RESIDENCE WAS INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION. IN THE ABSENCE OF SUCH DETERMINATION THERE IS NO BASIS FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM. SEE B-163955, MARCH 14, 1969; B-167171, AUGUST 8, 1969, AND B-173961, SEPTEMBER 27, 1971, COPIES ENCLOSED.