B-181080, MAY 21, 1974

B-181080: May 21, 1974

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MANPOWER SHORTAGE APPOINTEE IN DEPARTMENT OF LABOR WAS ENTITLED ONLY TO TRAVEL EXPENSES (INCLUDING PER DIEM) FOR HIMSELF. TO SECRETARY OF LABOR: THIS DECISION IS IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST BY THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AS TO WHETHER A RECLAIM TRAVEL VOUCHER SUBMITTED BY MR. PITCHFORTH WHO WAS LIVING AT CONCORD. WAS GIVEN AN INITIAL APPOINTMENT TO A POSITION IN A MANPOWER SHORTAGE CATEGORY IN LONG BEACH. WHICH WERE DISALLOWED ADMINISTRATIVELY ON THE EMPLOYEE'S VOUCHER OF JULY 13. APPOINTEES TO MANPOWER SHORTAGE POSITIONS ARE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES IN ACCORDANCE WITH 5 U.S.C. 5723. OTHER EXPENSES ARE AUTHORIZED IN SECTION 5723. WHICH WERE IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF MR. (3) MILEAGE IF PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE IS USED IN TRAVEL.

B-181080, MAY 21, 1974

MANPOWER SHORTAGE APPOINTEE IN DEPARTMENT OF LABOR WAS ENTITLED ONLY TO TRAVEL EXPENSES (INCLUDING PER DIEM) FOR HIMSELF; TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY; AND SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION UNDER 5 U.S.C. 5723, 5724 AND IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS NOTWITHSTANDING AN ERRONEOUS ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORIZATION OF OTHER EXPENSES SINCE THE GOVERNMENT CANNOT BE BOUND BEYOND ACTUAL AUTHORITY CONFERRED UPON ITS AGENTS BY STATUTE AND REGULATION.

TO SECRETARY OF LABOR:

THIS DECISION IS IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST BY THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AS TO WHETHER A RECLAIM TRAVEL VOUCHER SUBMITTED BY MR. LEHI L. PITCHFORTH, IN THE AMOUNT OF $3,442.20 MAY BE PROCESSED FOR PAYMENT.

IT APPEARS THAT MR. PITCHFORTH WHO WAS LIVING AT CONCORD, CALIFORNIA, WAS GIVEN AN INITIAL APPOINTMENT TO A POSITION IN A MANPOWER SHORTAGE CATEGORY IN LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA. HOWEVER, THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION ERRONEOUSLY INCLUDED ALLOWANCES WHICH MAY BE AUTHORIZED ONLY FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES INVOLVED IN TRANSFERS BETWEEN OFFICIAL STATIONS. THE COPY OF THE RECLAIM VOUCHER FURNISHED US INCLUDES SUCH ITEMS AS REAL ESTATE EXPENSES, MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE, AND PER DIEM FOR FAMILY TOTALING $3,157.25, WHICH WERE DISALLOWED ADMINISTRATIVELY ON THE EMPLOYEE'S VOUCHER OF JULY 13, 1972, COVERING A TOTAL CLAIM OF $4,528.57. ADDITION, THE RECLAIM VOUCHER INCLUDES $284.95 FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS.

MR. PITCHFORTH REQUESTED CONSIDERATION OF HIS CLAIM BY OUR OFFICE. ALLEGES THAT AN AGENCY OFFICIAL HAD ASSURED HIM AT THE TIME OF HIS APPOINTMENT THAT TRAVEL FOR HIS DEPENDENTS AND REAL ESTATE EXPENSES WOULD BE PAID BY THE AGENCY AND HE ACTED IN GOOD FAITH ACCORDING TO INSTRUCTIONS.

APPOINTEES TO MANPOWER SHORTAGE POSITIONS ARE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES IN ACCORDANCE WITH 5 U.S.C. 5723, WHICH PROVIDES FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSES OF THE APPOINTEE AND PAYMENT OF THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY AND OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS TO THE EXTENT AUTHORIZED IN 5 U.S.C. 5724. OTHER EXPENSES ARE AUTHORIZED IN SECTION 5723. IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS IN SECTION 1.10C OF THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED AUGUST 17, 1971, WHICH WERE IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF MR. PITCHFORTH'S APPOINTMENT, SET FORTH AS ALLOWABLE EXPENSES (1) TRAVEL EXPENSES INCLUDING PER DIEM FOR THE APPOINTEE, (2) TRANSPORTATION FOR IMMEDIATE FAMILY, (3) MILEAGE IF PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE IS USED IN TRAVEL, (4) TRANSPORTATION AND TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS, (5) NONTEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS IF APPOINTED TO AN ISOLATED LOCATION, AND (6) TRANSPORTATION OF MOBILE HOMES. THE LAST PARAGRAPH OF THAT SUBSECTION EXPRESSLY PROHIBITS THE REIMBURSEMENT OF REAL ESTATE AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS AND PAYMENT OF THE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE AND PER DIEM FOR THE APPOINTEE'S FAMILY. UNDER THAT REGULATION THE AMOUNTS CLAIMED BY MR. PITCHFORTH ARE NOT FOR PAYMENT.

IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT MR. PITCHFORTH AS A SHORTAGE CATEGORY EMPLOYEE WAS AUTHORIZED ALLOWANCES WHICH ARE STATUTORILY CONFERRED ONLY UPON TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES. IT IS A WELL-SETTLED RULE OF LAW, HOWEVER, THAT THE GOVERNMENT CANNOT BE BOUND BEYOND THE ACTUAL AUTHORITY CONFERRED UPON ITS AGENTS BY STATUTE OR BY REGULATIONS, AND THIS IS SO EVEN THOUGH THE AGENT MAY HAVE BEEN UNAWARE OF THE LIMITATIONS ON HIS AUTHORITY. SEE GERMAN BANK V. UNITED STATES, 148 U.S. 573, 579 (1893); FEDERAL CROP INSURANCE CORP. V. MERRILL, 332 U.S. 380, 384 (1947); 53 COMP. GEN. , (B- 178673, JULY 12, 1973); AND B-177565, FEBRUARY 9, 1973.

ACCORDINGLY, THE RECLAIM VOUCHER MAY NOT BE PROCESSED FOR PAYMENT.