B-181253, MAR 31, 1975, 54 COMP GEN 814

B-181253: Mar 31, 1975

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CITIZEN WHO WAS HIRED OUTSIDE CONTINENTAL U.S. FOR SERVICE OVERSEAS WAS PERMITTED TO NEGOTIATE TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT. HUSBAND WAS SEPARATED IN REDUCTION IN FORCE. WIFE WAS DENIED RIGHT TO NEGOTIATE RENEWAL AGREEMENT BECAUSE OF TRAVEL BENEFITS RECEIVED BY HUSBAND FROM NON-U.S. 1975: THIS MATTER IS BEFORE US BASED UPON A REQUEST FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION SUBMITTED BY THE ACTING ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR MANPOWER AND RESERVE AFFAIRS. A NON-UNITED STATES CITIZEN WHO WAS THEN SINGLE. WAS HIRED IN ST. AT THAT TIME SHE WAS PERMITTED TO EXECUTE A TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT. SHE SERVED UNDER THAT AGREEMENT AND SUBSEQUENT RENEWAL AGREEMENTS UNTIL SEPTEMBER 1971 WHEN SHE MARRIED ALBERT GILBERT WHO WAS ALSO EMPLOYED BY THE U.S.

B-181253, MAR 31, 1975, 54 COMP GEN 814

HUSBAND AND WIFE - TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENTS - RENEWALS - OVERSEAS SERVICE SINGLE, NON-U.S. CITIZEN WHO WAS HIRED OUTSIDE CONTINENTAL U.S. FOR SERVICE OVERSEAS WAS PERMITTED TO NEGOTIATE TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT. TEN YEARS LATER EMPLOYEE MARRIED ANOTHER EMPLOYEE OF U.S. GOVERNMENT, AND THEY ELECTED, AS REQUIRED BY REGULATION, TO RETAIN HUSBAND'S TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT, WITH WIFE TRAVELING AS SPOUSE. HUSBAND WAS SEPARATED IN REDUCTION IN FORCE, AND WIFE WAS DENIED RIGHT TO NEGOTIATE RENEWAL AGREEMENT BECAUSE OF TRAVEL BENEFITS RECEIVED BY HUSBAND FROM NON-U.S. GOVERNMENT EMPLOYER. WIFE SHOULD BE PERMITTED TO NEGOTIATE RENEWAL AGREEMENT BECAUSE SHE HAS MET ALL STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS. RULES FOR LOCAL HIRES DO NOT APPLY NOR SHOULD BENEFITS FROM HUSBAND'S EMPLOYER BE CONSIDERED.

IN THE MATTER OF A TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT, MARCH 31, 1975:

THIS MATTER IS BEFORE US BASED UPON A REQUEST FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION SUBMITTED BY THE ACTING ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR MANPOWER AND RESERVE AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, FORWARDED TO OUR OFFICE BY THE EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE, REGARDING THE AUTHORITY FOR PERMITTING A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE, MRS. ALBERT GILBERT, TO REVERT TO HER ORIGINAL TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT IN ORDER TO SECURE RENEWAL AGREEMENT TRANSPORTATION.

ON OCTOBER 21, 1960, MRS. GILBERT, A NON-UNITED STATES CITIZEN WHO WAS THEN SINGLE, WAS HIRED IN ST. JOHN'S NEWFOUNDLAND, FOR EMPLOYMENT WITH THE U.S. AIR FORCE AT GOOSE BAY AIRPORT, LABRADOR. AT THAT TIME SHE WAS PERMITTED TO EXECUTE A TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT. SHE SERVED UNDER THAT AGREEMENT AND SUBSEQUENT RENEWAL AGREEMENTS UNTIL SEPTEMBER 1971 WHEN SHE MARRIED ALBERT GILBERT WHO WAS ALSO EMPLOYED BY THE U.S. AIR FORCE AT GOOSE BAY AIRPORT. SINCE BOTH OF THEM HAD SIGNED TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENTS, UNDER THE REGULATIONS THEN APPLICABLE, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET (OMB) CIRCULAR NO. A-56, SECTION 1.7 (NOW FEDERAL TRAVEL REGULATIONS (FPMR 101-7) PARA. 2-1.5H(3) (MAY 1973)) AND VOLUME 2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (JTR) PARA. C4003 2, THEY WERE REQUIRED TO EITHER CONTINUE THEIR SEPARATE AGREEMENTS FOR THEIR SEPARATE BENEFIT OR TO ELECT THAT THE TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT SIGNED BY ONE SPOUSE WOULD REMAIN IN EFFECT WITH THE OTHER SPOUSE ENTITLED TO THE BENEFITS ACCRUING TO A DEPENDENT SPOUSE. THEY ELECTED TO RETAIN MR. GILBERT'S AGREEMENT WITH MRS. GILBERT ENTITLED TO THE BENEFITS OF A DEPENDENT SPOUSE.

ON MAY 28, 1973, MR. GILBERT'S EMPLOYMENT WAS TERMINATED DUE TO A REDUCTION IN FORCE. SUBSEQUENTLY HE OBTAINED TERM EMPLOYMENT WITH THE CANADIAN MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT. AS AN INCIDENT OF THAT EMPLOYMENT, THE GILBERTS WERE ENTITLED TO ONE FAMILY TRIP PER YEAR, IF THEY PAID THE FIRST $80. WHEN MRS. GILBERT REQUESTED THAT SHE BE ALLOWED TO REVERT TO HER ORIGINAL TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT EXECUTED IN 1960 IN ORDER TO SECURE RENEWAL AGREEMENT TRAVEL, HER REQUEST WAS DENIED ON THE BASIS THAT SHE WAS ELIGIBLE TO TRAVEL AS A DEPENDENT UNDER HER HUSBAND'S TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT WITH THE CANADIAN MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT.

WHETHER OR NOT MR. GILBERT RECEIVES OR IS ENTITLED TO ANY TRAVEL BENEFITS UNDER THE TERMS OF HIS EMPLOYMENT WITH THE CANADIAN MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT IS NOT A FACTOR TO BE CONSIDERED IN DECIDING WHAT BENEFITS MRS. GILBERT HAS EARNED BECAUSE OF HER EMPLOYMENT WITH THE U.S. AIR FORCE. THE RATIONALE BEHIND THE GRANTING OF BENEFITS UNDER INITIAL AND RENEWAL TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENTS IS SET FORTH IN 2 JTR PARA. C4001 (CHANGE 98, DECEMBER 1, 1973) WHICH STATES IN PERTINENT PART THAT:

1. GENERAL. AN AGREEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION ENTITLEMENT IS AN UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE DEPARTMENT AND THE EMPLOYEE WHEREIN THE DEPARTMENT AGREES TO FURNISH TRANSPORTATION AND OTHER RELATED ALLOWANCES *** IN CONSIDERATION FOR WHICH THE EMPLOYEE AGREES TO REMAIN IN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE FOR A SPECIFIED PERIOD OR SUCH PART THEREOF AS HIS SERVICES MAY BE REQUIRED. IN ADDITION, IN THE CASE OF APPOINTMENT OR TRANSFER TO A POSITION OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, THE EMPLOYEE AGREES TO COMPLETE THE PRESCRIBED TOUR OF DUTY AT THE OVERSEAS DUTY STATION IN ORDER TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR RETURN TRAVEL, TRANSPORTATION, AND OTHER RELATED ALLOWANCES. THE COMPLETION OF THE PERIOD OF SERVICE SPECIFIED IN THE AGREEMENT ESTABLISHES TRANSPORTATION ELIGIBILITY AND DOES NOT IN ITSELF, TERMINATE THE EMPLOYEE'S EMPLOYMENT. ***

IT IS CLEAR THAT THE BENEFITS ARISING FROM A TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT ARE PART OF THE BARGAINED-FOR CONSIDERATION INCIDENT TO EMPLOYMENT, AND THAT THESE RIGHTS MAY BE DIVESTED OR REVOKED ONLY IN THE VERY LIMITITED CIRCUMSTANCES SET FORTH IN THE REGULATIONS. IT SHOULD BE NOTED IN THIS CONTEXT THAT MRS. GILBERT WAS HIRED IN ST. JOHN'S FOR SERVICE AT GOOSE BAY AIRPORT, WHICH WAS APPROXIMATELY 500 MILES AWAY. THESE TWO LOCATIONS CANNOT BE CONSIDERED TO BE IN THE SAME GEOGRAPHICAL AREA. THEREFORE, THE RULES FOR PEOPLE HIRED IN ONE GEOGRAPHICAL AREA FOR SERVICE IN ANOTHER, 2 JTR PARA. C4002, RATHER THAN THOSE RELATING TO LOCAL HIRES, 2 JTR PARA. C4003-3B, APPLY.

WHEN MRS. GILBERT WAS INITIALLY RECRUITED, SHE WAS GRANTED TRANSPORTATION BENEFITS AND WAS PERMITTED TO SIGN A TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT APPARENTLY SPECIFICALLY CHAPTER 4, SECTIONS 1(B) AND 1(C) WHICH ARE SUBSTANTIALLY IN ACCORD WITH THE CURRENT REGULATIONS FOUND IN 2 JTR, PARA. C4002 (CHANGE 98, DECEMBER 1, 1973). THAT PARAGRAPH GENERALLY DESCRIBES THOSE EMPLOYEES WITH WHOM TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENTS MUST BE NEGOTIATED. SUBPARAGRAPH 2 DEALS SPECIFICALLY WITH EMPLOYEES RECRUITED OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES FOR OVERSEAS DUTY, AND PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, THAT:

*** THE PROVISIONS IN SUBPAR. 1 ALSO APPLY TO AN EMPLOYEE RECRUITED OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES FOR ASSIGNMENT TO AN OVERSEAS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION IN A DIFFERENT GEOGRAPHICAL LOCALITY FROM THAT IN WHICH THE EMPLOYEE'S PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE IS LOCATED (26 COMP. GEN. 679). THIS AUTHORITY WILL BE EXERCISED IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE. THE QUALIFICATIONS OF THE EMPLOYEE AND CONDITIONS INVOLVED IN HIS EMPLOYMENT MUST JUSTIFY THE EXPENSES INCURRED. ***

WHEN THE AIR FORCE INITIALLY HIRED MRS. GILBERT, IT HAD DISCRETION, UNDER THIS PROVISION WITHIN CERTAIN LIMITATIONS, TO ALLOW OR NOT ALLOW HER TO SIGN A TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT. HOWEVER, ONCE THIS DISCRETION WAS EXERCISED, THEN ALL FURTHER ACTIONS WERE STRICTLY LIMITED BY THE TERMS OF THE REGULATIONS.

THE SPECIFIC QUESTIONS PRESENTED IN THE SUBMISSION WILL NOW BE CONSIDERED IN THE ORDER IN WHICH THEY ARE RAISED.

(A) HAS MRS. GILBERT BREACHED HER ENTITLEMENT TO RETURN TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS UPON SEPARATION FROM GOVERNMENT EMPLOYMENT BECAUSE OF HER ELECTION, AT THE TIME OF HER MARRIAGE, TO TRAVEL UNDER HER SPOUSE'S TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT?

THE CONDITIONS THAT MUST BE MET BEFORE AN EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO SEPARATION TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ARE SET OUT IN 2 JTR PARA. C4200 (CHANGE 107, SEPTEMBER 1, 1974). EXCEPT FOR THE FACT THAT MRS. GILBERT IS STILL EMPLOYED, SHE HAS MET THOSE CONDITIONS. SEE 31 COMP. GEN. 683 (1952). THE FACT THAT SHE ELECTED TO TRAVEL AS HER HUSBAND'S DEPENDENT WHEN REQUIRED, BY REGULATION, TO MAKE AN ELECTION, CAN IN NO WAY BE CONSIDERED A BREACH OF ANY OF HER INITIAL OR RENEWAL TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENTS. THE PURPOSE OF REQUIRING THIS ELECTION IS NOT TO DIVEST AN EMPLOYEE OF ANY EARNED BENEFITS, BUT IS INTENDED TO PREVENT THE ACCUMULATION OF DOUBLE BENEFITS FROM THE SAME EMPLOYER. THEREFORE, QUESTION (A) IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.

(B) HAS SHE BREACHED HER ENTITLEMENT TO GOVERNMENT-PAID SEPARATION TRAVEL FOR HERSELF AND DEPENDENTS BECAUSE OF THE AFOREMENTIONED ELECTION?

AS IN THE ANSWER TO THE PREVIOUS QUESTION, MRS. GILBERT HAS NOT BREACHED THE PROVISIONS OF HER INITIAL TRAVEL AGREEMENT, AND SHE AND HER IMMEDIATE FAMILY (THE APPLICABLE STATUTORY PROVISION, 5 U.S.C. 5722(A)(1), AND THE STATUTORY REGULATION, FEDERAL TRAVEL REGULATIONS (FPMR) PARA. 2-1.5G(5)(A) (MAY 1973), BOTH SPEAK IN TERMS OF AN EMPLOYEE'S "IMMEDIATE FAMILY" WITHOUT REQUIRING THAT THEY BE "DEPENDENTS") ARE ENTITLED TO SEPARATION TRAVEL. QUESTION (B) IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.

(C) IF THE ANSWER TO (A) OR (B) IS IN THE NEGATIVE, IS HER ENTITLEMENT BASED ON HER STATUS AT TIME OF EMPLOYMENT BY THE AIR FORCE, OR AT THE TIME SEPARATION TRAVEL IS PERFORMED?

WE ASSUME THAT THIS QUESTION REFERS TO THE EXTENT OF MRS. GILBERT'S ENTITLEMENT OR BENEFITS, RATHER THAN TO HER ENTITLEMENT AS SUCH SINCE AS SHOWN IN THE ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS A AND B, THE RIGHT TO THE ENTITLEMENT ITSELF IS DETERMINED AT THE TIME OF EMPLOYMENT. HOWEVER, THE MEASURE OF THAT ENTITLEMENT IS DETERMINED BY AN EMPLOYEE'S STATUS AT THE TIME THE TRAVEL IS PERFORMED. IN B-151203, MAY 10, 1963, A SIMILAR CHANGE IN STATUS OCCURRED. THERE IN RELATION TO EMPLOYMENT LEAVE TRAVEL, WE HELD THAT THE EMPLOYEE'S STATUS AT THE TIME THE TRAVEL OCCURRED WAS CONTROLLING WITH REGARD TO TRAVEL OF IMMEDIATE FAMILY. WE SEE NO REASON FOR A DIFFERENT RESULT HERE IN RELATION TO SEPARATION TRAVEL. THEREFORE, MRS. GILBERT'S STATUS AT THE TIME THE SEPARATION TRAVEL IS PERFORMED WOULD DETERMINE THE BENEFITS TO WHICH SHE AND HER IMMEDIATE FAMILY WOULD BE ENTITLED.

QUESTION (C) IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.

(D) IS A MARRIED EMPLOYEE'S ELECTION TO PERFORM RENEWAL AGREEMENT TRAVEL AS THE SPOUSE UNDER HER HUSBAND'S TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT REVOCABLE IF THERE IS A CHANGE IN DEPENDENCY STATUS, OR A LOSS OR DIMINISHMENT OF TRAVEL ENTITLEMENTS UNDER HER HUSBAND'S TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT?

IN A CASE SUCH AS THIS ONE, WHERE AN EMPLOYEE HAS EARNED AN ENTITLEMENT TO CERTAIN BENEFITS, INDEPENDENT OF WHATEVER THAT EMPLOYEE'S SPOUSE HAS DONE, THAT ENTITLEMENT IS NOT EXTINGUISHED BY THE SEPARATION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S SPOUSE. IN THE QUESTION, THE WORD "REVOCABLE" IS USED, BUT "REVERSION" WOULD BE MORE APPROPRIATE. MR. AND MRS. GILBERT WERE REQUIRED TO MAKE AN ELECTION OF BENEFITS BECAUSE THEY WERE BOTH EMPLOYED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. WHEN MR. GILBERT WAS INVOLUNTARILY SEPARATED FROM THE FEDERAL SERVICE, THE REASON FOR THE ELECTION NO LONGER EXISTED AND MRS. GILBERT AS A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE SHOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO REVERT TO HER ORIGINAL AGREEMENT. THIS WOULD NOT INCREASE HER ENTITLEMENT, BUT WOULD SIMPLY PRESERVE THOSE BENEFITS TO WHICH SHE WAS ALREADY ENTITLED. THEREFORE, IN A SITUATION AS IS PRESENTED HERE, WHERE THE SPOUSES HAVE INDEPENDENTLY EARNED THEIR RESPECTIVE ENTITLEMENTS, AND THEY ARE REQUIRED TO MAKE AN ELECTION OF BENEFITS IN ORDER TO PREVENT A DUPLICATION OF BENEFITS, IF ONE SPOUSE CEASES TO BE EMPLOYED IN THE FEDERAL SERVICE, THEREBY REMOVING THE BASIS FOR THE ELECTION, THE REMAINING SPOUSE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO REVERT TO THE AGREEMENT HELD PRIOR TO THE ELECTION.

QUESTION (D) IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.

(E) NOTWITHSTANDING THAT MRS. GILBERT IS NOT NOW UNDER A TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT, DOES SHE HAVE A VESTED RIGHT TO SEPARATION TRAVEL INCIDENT TO THE AGREEMENT EXECUTED IN 1960 AND UPON COMPLETION OF THE PRESCRIBED PERIOD OF SERVICE?

IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS A AND B, NOTHING THAT MRS. GILBERT HAS DONE JEOPARDIZES HER ENTITLEMENT TO SEPARATION TRAVEL. MRS. GILBERT HAS ALREADY COMPLETED THE REQUIRED SERVICE. THE ONLY REQUIREMENT THAT SHE HAS NOT MET IS THE TERMINATION OF HER SERVICE. WHEN SHE COMPLETED THE SERVICE REQUIRED UNDER THE ORIGINAL TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT, HER RIGHT TO SEPARATION TRAVEL VESTED, SUBJECT TO DIVESTMENT ONLY IN ACCORDANCE WITH 2 JTR PARAS. C4200-4206.

QUESTION (E) IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.

(F) UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES CITED HEREIN, WOULD MRS. GILBERT BE ELIGIBLE TO ENTER INTO A TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT SO AS TO BE ENTITLED TO PERFORM RENEWAL AGREEMENT TRAVEL?

THE BASIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR GRANTING RENEWAL AGREEMENT TRAVEL IS 5 U.S.C. 5728(A) WHICH PROVIDES THAT:

(A) UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE PRESIDENT MAY PRESCRIBE, AN AGENCY SHALL PAY FROM ITS APPROPRIATIONS THE EXPENSES OF ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL OF AN EMPLOYEE, AND THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY, BUT NOT HOUSEHOLD GOODS, FROM HIS POST OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO THE PLACE OF HIS ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF APPOINTMENT OR TRANSFER TO THE POST OF DUTY, AFTER HE HAS SATISFACTORILY COMPLETED AN AGREED PERIOD OF SERVICE OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND IS RETURNING TO HIS ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE TO TAKE LEAVE BEFORE SERVING ANOTHER TOUR OF DUTY AT THE SAME OR ANOTHER POST OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES UNDER A NEW WRITTEN AGREEMENT MADE BEFORE DEPARTING FROM THE POST OF DUTY.

THE LANGUAGE OF THIS PROVISION IS MANDATORY, "AN AGENCY SHALL PAY." THE ONLY CONDITIONS PRECEDENT ARE THAT THE REQUIRED SERVICE HAS BEEN COMPLETED AND THAT THE EMPLOYEE HAS AGREED TO PERFORM FURTHER SERVICE. THIS PROVISION IS IMPLEMENTED BY 2 JTR PARA. C4150, WHICH PROVIDES THAT:

ROUND TRIP TRAVEL FROM OVERSEAS DUTY STATIONS TO PLACES OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AND RETURN TO THE SAME OR A DIFFERENT OVERSEAS POST OF DUTY FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING LEAVE BETWEEN OVERSEAS TOURS OF DUTY WILL BE ENCOURAGED AND GRANTED UPON REQUEST OF ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES. AUTHORITY WILL NOT BE DENIED ON THE BASIS THAT THE EMPLOYEE'S POSITION CAN BE FILLED LOCALLY OR THAT IT IS NOT DESIRED TO TENDER AN ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEE A RENEWAL AGREEMENT. SEE PAR. C4003-1 FOR PROHIBITIONS REGARDING OVERSEAS LOCAL HIRES. EXCEPT AS PROVIDED FOR TEACHERS IN PAR. C4156, AUTHORITY MAY BE DENIED UNDER THE FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCES:

1. THE EMPLOYEE IS BEING PROCESSED FOR SEPARATION,

2. A REDUCTION IN FORCE INVOLVING THE EMPLOYEE IS IMMINENT,

3. A REMOVAL ACTION IS PENDING AGAINST THE EMPLOYEE,

4. THE EMPLOYEE'S REASSIGNMENT HAS BEEN DIRECTED TO A POSITION IN THE UNITED STATES,

5. THE EMPLOYEE IS TO BE REASSIGNED TO A POSITION IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES IN CONNECTION WITH ROTATION ON SIMILAR PROGRAMS WHICH WILL PRECLUDE COMPLETION OF A REQUIRED PERIOD OF SERVICE UNDER A RENEWAL AGREEMENT. ALTHOUGH THE EMPLOYEE WILL NOT BE DENIED RENEWAL AGREEMENT TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO WHICH HE HAS EARNED ENTITLEMENT, EXCEPT UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES LISTED IN ITEMS 1 THROUGH 5, THE TIME AT WHICH THE LEAVE IS GRANTED IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH TRAVEL IS SUBJECT TO APPROVAL BY THE OVERSEAS COMMAND CONCERNED. IF THE EMPLOYEE IS ENGAGED UPON A PROJECT WHICH WILL BE COMPLETED WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME, THERE IS A TEMPORARY SHORTAGE OF PERSONNEL, OR FOR OTHER COGENT REASONS, THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE REQUESTED TO POSTPONE HIS RENEWAL AGREEMENT TRAVEL FOR A REASONABLE PERIOD NOT IN EXCESS OF 90 DAYS.

THIS SECTION CLEARLY ESTABLISHES A POLICY OF ENCOURAGING RENEWAL AGREEMENT TRAVEL. IT ALSO STRICTLY LIMITS ANY DENIAL OF SUCH TRAVEL TO CASES LISTED. NONE OF THESE FACTORS HAVE BEEN SHOWN TO BE PRESENT IN MRS. GILBERT'S CASE. THEREFORE, SHE SHOULD BE PERMITTED TO NEGOTIATE A TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT GRANTING RENEWAL AGREEMENT TRAVEL. IN COMPUTING THE TIME LIMITS FOR REQUIRED SERVICE, THE TIME SHOULD RUN FROM THE RETURN OF MRS. GILBERT FROM HER LAST RENEWAL AGREEMENT TRIP UNDER EITHER HER OWN PRIOR AGREEMENT OR HER HUSBAND'S AGREEMENT WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, WHICHEVER IS LATER.

QUESTION (F) IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.

IN LIGHT OF THE ANSWER TO QUESTION F, NO ANSWER TO QUESTION G IS NECESSARY.