B-180677, JUN 11, 1974

B-180677: Jun 11, 1974

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MAY BE REIMBURSED SON'S TRAVEL EXPENSES SINCE SON WAS UNDER 21 WHEN HE TRAVELLED TO FRANKFURT BUT REIMBURSEMENT IS LIMITED BY APPLICABLE REGULATIONS FOUND IN OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-56 TO CONSTRUCTIVE TRAVEL TO EMPLOYEE'S ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT TIME OF APPOINTMENT AND NOT HIS RESIDENCE AT NEW DUTY STATION SINCE REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT REIMBURSEMENT TO EMPLOYEE FOR TRAVEL OF CHILD OVER 21 IS LIMITED TO TRAVEL TO THE EMPLOYEE'S RESIDENCE ON APPOINTMENT AND NO ALLOWANCE IS MADE FOR FURTHER TRAVEL OF SUCH CHILD. HUMPHREY: THIS ACTION IS AT THE REQUEST OF MR. PATRICK'S ROUTE WAS FRANKFURT TO PHILADELPHIA TO WALLA WALLA COLLEGE IN WASHINGTON STATE. BOULDEN'S NEW RESIDENCE WAS LOCATED. THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF 22 POUNDS EXCESS BAGGAGE TO LANGLEY PARK VIA UNITED STATES PARCEL POST AND INSURANCE ON SAME IS ALSO CLAIMED.

B-180677, JUN 11, 1974

GAO EMPLOYEE WHO RETURNED HIS 21-YEAR-OLD SON TO UNITED STATES FROM FRANKFURT, PRIOR TO EMPLOYEE'S OWN RETURN, MAY BE REIMBURSED SON'S TRAVEL EXPENSES SINCE SON WAS UNDER 21 WHEN HE TRAVELLED TO FRANKFURT BUT REIMBURSEMENT IS LIMITED BY APPLICABLE REGULATIONS FOUND IN OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-56 TO CONSTRUCTIVE TRAVEL TO EMPLOYEE'S ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT TIME OF APPOINTMENT AND NOT HIS RESIDENCE AT NEW DUTY STATION SINCE REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT REIMBURSEMENT TO EMPLOYEE FOR TRAVEL OF CHILD OVER 21 IS LIMITED TO TRAVEL TO THE EMPLOYEE'S RESIDENCE ON APPOINTMENT AND NO ALLOWANCE IS MADE FOR FURTHER TRAVEL OF SUCH CHILD.

TO MR. JAMES L. HUMPHREY:

THIS ACTION IS AT THE REQUEST OF MR. JAMES L. HUMPHREY, AN AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION ON A VOUCHER SUBMITTED TO HIM FOR PAYMENT.

CLAIMANT, MR. HAROLD M. BOULDEN, A GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE EMPLOYEE, TRAVELLED FROM FRANKFURT, GERMANY, TO WASHINGTON, D. C., IN AUGUST 1973, PURSUANT TO PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TRAVEL ORDERS DATED JULY 17, 1973. HOWEVER, MR. BOULDEN'S 21-YEAR-OLD SON, PATRICK, HAD MADE THE RETURN TRIP FROM FRANKFURT TO THE UNITED STATES SEPTEMBER 12-19, 1971. PATRICK'S ROUTE WAS FRANKFURT TO PHILADELPHIA TO WALLA WALLA COLLEGE IN WASHINGTON STATE. MR. BOULDEN CLAIMS REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE ACTUAL COST OF PATRICK'S FRANKFURT TO PHILADELPHIA TRAVEL, THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF THE AIR FARE FROM PHILADELPHIA TO WASHINGTON, D. C., AND THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF CAB AND LIMOUSINE FARE TO LANGLEY PARK, MARYLAND, A SUBURB OF WASHINGTON, D. C., WHERE MR. BOULDEN'S NEW RESIDENCE WAS LOCATED. THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF 22 POUNDS EXCESS BAGGAGE TO LANGLEY PARK VIA UNITED STATES PARCEL POST AND INSURANCE ON SAME IS ALSO CLAIMED.

ADMINISTRATIVE EXCEPTION IS APPARENTLY TAKEN TO THE CLAIM FOR CONSTRUCTIVE TRAVEL AND BAGGAGE COSTS FROM PHILADELPHIA TO LANGLEY PARK. IT IS ASSERTED THAT MR. BOULDEN MAY ONLY BE REIMBURSED FOR HIS SON'S CONSTRUCTIVE TRAVEL COSTS TO ELKTON, MARYLAND, WHICH WAS MR. BOULDEN'S RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF HIS APPOINTMENT TO FRANKFURT.

SECTION 5729(B) OF TITLE 5, U.S.C. STATES:

"(B) UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE PRESIDENT MAY PRESCRIBE, AN AGENCY SHALL REIMBURSE FROM ITS APPROPRIATIONS AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE POST OF DUTY IS OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES FOR THE PROPER TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF RETURNING HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY AND HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS TO THE UNITED STATES OR ITS TERRITORIES OR POSSESSIONS, WHEN -

"(1) THEIR RETURN WAS MADE AT THE EXPENSE OF THE EMPLOYEE BEFORE HIS RETURN AND FOR OTHER THAN REASONS OF PUBLIC INTEREST; AND

"(2) HE ACQUIRES ELIGIBILITY FOR THOSE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES."

THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING SECTION 5729(B) ARE TO BE FOUND IN OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET (OMB) CIRCULAR NO. A-56, EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 1971. SEE COMPTROLLER GENERAL ORDER 1.34, PARAGRAPH 4. THE REGULATIONS FOUND IN THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS MANUAL (FAM) CITED BY BOTH THE EMPLOYEE AND THE REVIEWING AUDITOR ONLY APPLY TO DEPARTMENT OF STATE, UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, AND UNITED STATES INFORMATION AGENCY EMPLOYEES.

SECTION 1.11 OF OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-56 STATES IN PART:

"C. ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE DESIGNATION

"(1) DESIGNATION BY EMPLOYEE. WHEN AN EMPLOYEE IS SELECTED FOR TRANSFER OR APPOINTMENT TO A POST OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, THE PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE SHALL BE DETERMINED AT THE TIME OF SELECTION AND DESIGNATED IN THE WRITTEN AGREEMENT, PRESCRIBED IN 1.5A(2), TO REMAIN IN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE FOR A MINIMUM PERIOD OF TIME PRESCRIBED BY THE AGENCY HEAD PURSUANT TO LAW. AN EMPLOYEE HIRED LOCALLY AT A LOCATION OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, WHO CLAIMS RESIDENCE AT ANOTHER LOCATION IN THE UNITED STATES OR ITS POSSESSIONS OR IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO, AT TIME OF APPOINTMENT SHALL DESIGNATE IN WRITING THE CLAIMED PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF AGENCY OFFICIALS.

"E. PRIOR RETURN OF IMMEDIATE FAMILY

"(1) WHEN EMPLOYEE IS ELIGIBLE FOR RETURN TRANSPORTATION. WHEN AN EMPLOYEE HAS BECOME ELIGIBLE FOR RETURN TRANSPORTATION BY SATISFACTORILY COMPLETING AN AGREED UPON PERIOD OF SERVICE AT A POST OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES THE GOVERNMENT WILL PAY ONE WAY TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FOR RETURNING THE EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS PRIOR TO THE EMPLOYEE'S RETURN TO HIS PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE IN THE 50 STATES, THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO, UNITED STATES TERRITORIES OR POSSESSIONS.

"(5) ALTERNATE DESTINATION. IF THE EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS ARE RETURNED TO A LOCATION IN THE 50 STATES, THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO, OR TO A UNITED STATES TERRITORY OR POSSESSION OTHER THAN THE PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE THEREIN, THE ALLOWABLE EXPENSES SHALL NOT EXCEED THOSE ALLOWABLE FOR RETURN OVER A USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BETWEEN THE POST OF DUTY AND THE PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE.

"(6) PRIOR RETURN AT EMPLOYEE'S EXPENSE - REIMBURSEMENT. THERE MAY BE CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH AN EMPLOYEE ELECTS TO RETURN HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY AND HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS OR ANY PART THEREOF AT HIS OWN EXPENSE TO ANY OF THE 50 STATES, THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO, A UNITED STATES TERRITORY OR POSSESSION WHEN HE IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR SUCH TRANSPORTATION UNDER 1.11E(1) OR (2). IN SUCH A CASE AFTER THE EMPLOYEE BECOMES ELIGIBLE FOR TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, HE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR THE PROPER EXPENSES WHICH HE HAD PREVIOUSLY PAID. HE WILL BE REIMBURSED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE APPLICABLE PROVISIONS OF 1.11E ONLY FOR EXPENSES WHICH ARE SUPPORTED BY RECEIPTS OR OTHER APPROPRIATE DOCUMENTATION FURNISHED TO THE GOVERNMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED.

"F. RETURN OF FAMILY MEMBER OVER 21. WITH RESPECT TO OVERSEAS TRAVEL, IF A MEMBER OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY, AS DEFINED IN 1.2D, REACHES HIS TWENTY- FIRST BIRTHDAY WHILE THE EMPLOYEE IS ASSIGNED TO DUTY OVERSEAS, SUCH PERSON MAY BE RETURNED TO THE UNITED STATES (OR FOREIGN LOCATION AT WHICH THE ACTUAL RESIDENCE IS LOCATED) AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE PROVIDED HIS LAST TRAVEL OVERSEAS WAS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AS A MEMBER OF THE EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY. RETURN OF SUCH PERSON IS AUTHORIZED IN CONNECTION WITH THE EMPLOYEE'S NEXT ENTITLEMENT TO TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES (OR FOREIGN LOCATION AT WHICH THE ACTUAL RESIDENCE IS LOCATED) BUT NOT BEYOND THE END OF THE EMPLOYEE'S CURRENT AGREED TOUR OF DUTY."

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT PATRICK TRAVELLED TO FRANKFURT PRIOR TO HIS 21ST BIRTHDAY SO HIS RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES AFTER HE BECAME 21 IS A REIMBURSABLE EXPENSE UNDER THE ABOVE REGULATIONS. IN THE CASE OF THE PRIOR RETURN OF AN EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY AT HIS OWN EXPENSE UNDER SECTION 1.11E(6), AS QUOTED ABOVE, REIMBURSEMENT IS LIMITED BY SECTION 1.11E(5) TO AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED THAT ALLOWABLE FOR RETURN TO THE PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE. AT THE TIME IN QUESTION, ELKTON, MARYLAND, WAS MR. BOULDEN'S ACTUAL RESIDENCE.

THEREFORE, REIMBURSEMENT TO MR. BOULDEN IS LIMITED TO THE COST OF THE FRANKFURT TO PHILADELPHIA TRAVEL AND THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF TRAVEL AND POSTAGE FROM PHILADELPHIA TO ELKTON, MARYLAND.