B-174092, NOV 19, 1971

B-174092: Nov 19, 1971

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IT IS NOTED THAT UNDER 28 U.S.C. 536 ALL POSITIONS IN THE F.B.I. ARE ACCEPTED FROM THE COMPETITIVE SERVICE. WOULD HAVE NO OBJECTION TO PAYMENT OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSES AS WELL AS THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FOR AUGUST 1 AND 2. ROW: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 9. KIM ALAN RICHARDSON ON THE VOUCHER SUBMITTED IS PROPER FOR REIMBURSEMENT. THE CLAIM IS FOR TRAVEL AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED BY MR. RICHARDSON'S APPOINTMENT WAS CANCELED. ADVISING THAT THE APPOINTMENT WAS CANCELED WAS NOT RECEIVED BY MR. THE TELEGRAM WAS APPARENTLY LOST DURING TRANSMISSION BY WESTERN UNION DUE TO A STRIKE OF WESTERN UNION EMPLOYEES. THE BUREAU DID NOT CALL HIM SINCE THE BUREAU'S POLICY IS TO ADVISE APPOINTEES OF PERSONNEL ACTIONS IN WRITING.

B-174092, NOV 19, 1971

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - TRAVEL EXPENSES - CANCELLED APPOINTMENT DECISION ALLOWING PARTIAL PAYMENT OF A CLAIM BY MR. KIM ALAN RICHARDSON FOR TRAVEL AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED IN TRAVELING FROM HIS RESIDENCE IN WATFORD CITY, N.D., TO HIS INITIAL DUTY STATION WITH THE F.B.I. IN WASHINGTON, D.C., AND RETURNING TO HIS RESIDENCE AFTER BEING ADVISED THAT HIS APPOINTMENT HAD BEEN CANCELLED. WHILE CLAIMANT'S RETURN EXPENSES WOULD NOT BE AUTHORIZED UNDER 5 U.S.C. 536, IT IS NOTED THAT UNDER 28 U.S.C. 536 ALL POSITIONS IN THE F.B.I. ARE ACCEPTED FROM THE COMPETITIVE SERVICE. THUS, ROUND-TRIP EXPENSES INCURRED FOR THE PURPOSE OF PREEMPLOYMENT INTERVIEWS FOR ANY POSITION WITH THE F.B.I. WOULD APPEAR TO BE AUTHORIZED IF DEEMED NECESSARY. THEREFORE, THE COMP. GEN. WOULD HAVE NO OBJECTION TO PAYMENT OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSES AS WELL AS THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FOR AUGUST 1 AND 2, 1971.

TO MR. MAURICE F. ROW:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 9, 1971, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHAT PORTION, IF ANY, OF THE AMOUNT CLAIMED BY MR. KIM ALAN RICHARDSON ON THE VOUCHER SUBMITTED IS PROPER FOR REIMBURSEMENT. THE CLAIM IS FOR TRAVEL AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED BY MR. RICHARDSON IN TRAVELING FROM HIS ACTUAL RESIDENCE IN WATFORD CITY, NORTH DAKOTA, TO HIS INITIAL DUTY STATION IN WASHINGTON, D.C., AND RETURNING TO HIS RESIDENCE AFTER BEING ADVISED THAT HIS APPOINTMENT HAD BEEN CANCELED.

PRIOR TO REPORTING FOR DUTY MR. RICHARDSON'S APPOINTMENT WAS CANCELED. HOWEVER, A TELEGRAM SENT ON JULY 29, 1971, ADVISING THAT THE APPOINTMENT WAS CANCELED WAS NOT RECEIVED BY MR. RICHARDSON PRIOR TO HIS DEPARTURE. THE TELEGRAM WAS APPARENTLY LOST DURING TRANSMISSION BY WESTERN UNION DUE TO A STRIKE OF WESTERN UNION EMPLOYEES. ALTHOUGH MR. RICHARDSON HAS A TELEPHONE IN HIS RESIDENCE, THE BUREAU DID NOT CALL HIM SINCE THE BUREAU'S POLICY IS TO ADVISE APPOINTEES OF PERSONNEL ACTIONS IN WRITING.

THROUGH NO FAULT OF HIS OWN MR. RICHARDSON FAILED TO LEARN OF THE CANCELLATION OF THE APPOINTMENT UNTIL HE REPORTED FOR DUTY ON AUGUST 2, 1971. WE UNDERSTAND THAT EVEN IF THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (FBI) HAD NOT BEEN INFORMED OF THE FACTS OF THIS CASE UNTIL AUGUST 2 THE APPOINTMENT WOULD STILL HAVE BEEN CANCELED.

WHILE MR. RICHARDSON'S EXPENSES TO WASHINGTON WERE AUTHORIZED UNDER THE SHORTAGE CATEGORY PROVISIONS OF 5 U.S.C. 5723, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY PROVIDED THEREIN FOR RETURN EXPENSES IN THE EVENT AN APPOINTMENT IS CANCELED OR THE EMPLOYEE'S SERVICES OTHERWISE ARE TERMINATED. HOWEVER, WE NOTE THAT UNDER 28 U.S.C. 536 ALL POSITIONS IN FBI ARE EXCEPTED FROM THE COMPETITIVE SERVICE. THUS, ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED FOR THE PURPOSE OF PREEMPLOYMENT INTERVIEWS IN CONNECTION WITH ANY POSITION IN FBI, INCLUDING A GS-2 CLERK POSITION, WOULD APPEAR TO BE AUTHORIZED IF DEEMED NECESSARY. SEE OUR DECISIONS IN 38 COMP. GEN. 483 (1959).

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE WE SEE NO REASON WHY MR. RICHARDSON'S TRIP TO WASHINGTON SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS TANTAMOUNT TO A PREEMPLOYMENT INTERVIEW WHICH WOULD PERMIT REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRAVEL BACK TO HIS HOME AS WELL AS TO WASHINGTON. APPARENTLY, THE AUTHORIZATION FOR THE TRAVEL TO WASHINGTON WAS NOT INTENDED TO AUTHORIZE ANY PER DIEM FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES AND MR. RICHARDSON'S VOUCHER DOES NOT APPEAR TO INCLUDE ANY SUCH EXPENSES UNTIL AFTER HE ARRIVED IN WASHINGTON. IN ACCORDANCE WITH OUR DECISIONS IN 40 COMP. GEN. 221 (1960) WE WOULD NOT OBJECT TO ALLOWANCE OF THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES CLAIMED FOR AUGUST 1 AND 2, 1971, SINCE THEY APPEAR REASONABLE. THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FOR JULY 31, 1971, SHOULD BE DENIED ON THE BASIS THAT NO NECESSITY IS SHOWN FOR THE INDIVIDUAL ARRIVING IN WASHINGTON ON THAT DATE TO REPORT FOR DUTY THE MORNING OF AUGUST 2.

THE VOUCHER IS RETURNED HEREWITH FOR HANDLING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE.