B-213697, APR 16, 1984

B-213697: Apr 16, 1984

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BECAUSE HE WAS AUTHORIZED ANNUAL LEAVE. HE IS ENTITLED TO INCREASED RELOCATION BENEFITS EFFECTIVE FOR EMPLOYEES WHO REPORT TO THEIR NEW DUTY STATIONS ON OR AFTER OCTOBER 1. IS ENTITLED TO INCREASED RELOCATION BENEFITS UNDER TRAVEL REGULATIONS CLEARLY PROVIDING THAT THE INCREASES ARE EFFECTIVE FOR EMPLOYEES REPORTING AT THEIR NEW DUTY STATION ON OR AFTER OCTOBER 1. DORRIS RECEIVED TRAVEL ORDERS STATING THAT HE WAS TO TRANSFER FROM HIS OLD DUTY STATION. CERTAIN RELOCATION BENEFITS WERE INCREASED EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1. THE INCREASES AND OTHER CHANGES ARE INTRODUCED BY THE FOLLOWING NOTATION BEFORE SEVERAL PARAGRAPHS IN VOLUME 2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. "EFFECTIVE FOR THOSE EMPLOYEES WHOSE EFFECTIVE DATE OF TRANSFER (DATE THE EMPLOYEE REPORTS FOR DUTY AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION) IS ON OR AFTER 1 OCTOBER 1982.".

B-213697, APR 16, 1984

DIGEST: AN EMPLOYEE'S PERMANENT CHANGE-OF-STATION TRAVEL ORDERS DESIGNATED HIS REPORTING DATE AT HIS NEW DUTY STATION AS "ON OR ABOUT SEPTEMBER 26, 1982," BUT THE EMPLOYEE DELAYED REPORTING UNTIL OCTOBER 4, 1982, BECAUSE HE WAS AUTHORIZED ANNUAL LEAVE. HE IS ENTITLED TO INCREASED RELOCATION BENEFITS EFFECTIVE FOR EMPLOYEES WHO REPORT TO THEIR NEW DUTY STATIONS ON OR AFTER OCTOBER 1, 1982, SINCE THE ACTUAL RATHER THAN DESIGNATED REPORTING DATE GOVERNS THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE INCREASES.

DANIEL DORRIS:

THIS DECISION ANSWERS SPECIFIC QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF AN EMPLOYEE'S TRANSFER. IT CONCLUDES THAT MR. DANIEL DORRIS, AN ARMY CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE, IS ENTITLED TO INCREASED RELOCATION BENEFITS UNDER TRAVEL REGULATIONS CLEARLY PROVIDING THAT THE INCREASES ARE EFFECTIVE FOR EMPLOYEES REPORTING AT THEIR NEW DUTY STATION ON OR AFTER OCTOBER 1, 1982. FN1

MR. DORRIS RECEIVED TRAVEL ORDERS STATING THAT HE WAS TO TRANSFER FROM HIS OLD DUTY STATION, RADCLIFF, KENTUCKY, AND REPORT AT HIS NEW DUTY STATION, FORT LEAVENWORTH, KANSAS, "ON OR ABOUT" SEPTEMBER 26, 1982. HOWEVER, BECAUSE HIS SUPERVISOR GRANTED HIM ANNUAL LEAVE HE DELAYED TRAVEL UNTIL OCTOBER 3, 1982, AND REPORTED FOR DUTY AT FORT LEAVENWORTH THE FOLLOWING DAY, OCTOBER 4.

CERTAIN RELOCATION BENEFITS WERE INCREASED EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 1982, FOR EMPLOYEES WHO REPORTED AT THEIR NEW DUTY STATIONS ON OR AFTER THAT DATE. THE INCREASES AND OTHER CHANGES ARE INTRODUCED BY THE FOLLOWING NOTATION BEFORE SEVERAL PARAGRAPHS IN VOLUME 2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, CHANGE 208, FEBRUARY 1, 1983.

"EFFECTIVE FOR THOSE EMPLOYEES WHOSE EFFECTIVE DATE OF TRANSFER (DATE THE EMPLOYEE REPORTS FOR DUTY AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION) IS ON OR AFTER 1 OCTOBER 1982."

THE PARAGRAPHS INCLUDE C4250 1 (MILEAGE ALLOWANCES FOR PERMANENT DUTY TRAVEL); C9000, C9003 (MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCES); C13000, C13007-1, C13008-4 (EXPENSE WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS); C14000-2, C14002-1D, C14002-2 (REAL ESTATE EXPENSE). AS USED IN THE NOTATION, THE "EFFECTIVE DATE OF TRANSFER" IS SYNONYMOUS WITH "DATE THE EMPLOYEE REPORTS FOR DUTY AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION" AND IS SIMILARLY DEFINED IN THE GLOSSARY OF TERMS, APPENDIX D, OF VOLUME 2, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

THE REQUEST FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION ASKS THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

A. IS IT PROPER FOR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS TO CONTAIN AN "ON OR ABOUT" DATE FOR REPORTING?

B. IF AN "ON OR ABOUT" DATE IS PROPER, WHAT DATE IS USED TO DETERMINE ENTITLEMENT TO RELOCATION BENEFITS?

C. IF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF TRANSFER FOR ACCOUNTABILITY IS DIFFERENT FROM THE DATE THE EMPLOYEE ACTUALLY REPORTS FOR DUTY, WHICH DATE IS USED TO DETERMINE RELOCATION BENEFITS?

D. IS MR. DORRIS ENTITLED TO BE PAID AT THE RATES THAT WERE EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 1982?

CONCERNING QUESTION A., WE HAVE NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO ENTERING UPON THE TRAVEL ORDERS AN "ON OR ABOUT" DATE FOR REPORTING AT THE NEW DUTY STATION. WITH RESPECT TO QUESTIONS B. AND C. CONCERNING ENTITLEMENT TO RELOCATION BENEFITS AND APPLICABILITY OF THE CHANGES REFLECTED IN CHANGE 208, VOLUME 2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, THE NOTATION QUOTED ABOVE CLEARLY STATES THAT THEY ARE EFFECTIVE FOR EMPLOYEES WHO ACTUALLY REPORT FOR DUTY AT THEIR NEW DUTY STATION ON OR AFTER OCTOBER 1, 1982. THIS EFFECTIVE DATE COMPLIES WITH, AND IS IDENTICAL TO, THE EFFECTIVE DATE ANNOUNCED FOR THE SAME INCREASES AND CHANGES IN THE FEDERAL TRAVEL REGULATIONS, GSA BULLETIN FPMR A-40, SUPP. 4. UNDER THE IDENTICALLY- WORDED PROVISIONS OF THE FEDERAL TRAVEL REGULATIONS WE HAVE HELD THAT THE ACTUAL REPORTING DATE AT THE NEW DUTY STATION DETERMINES WHETHER THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO THE OCTOBER 1, 1982 INCREASES, EVEN THOUGH A DIFFERENT REPORTING DATE APPEARS ON AN EMPLOYEE'S NOTICE OF PERSONNEL ACTION, STANDARD FORM 50. SEE MATTER OF MOTES, B-210953, APRIL 22, 1983. THE SAME WOULD BE TRUE WHERE, AS IN MR. DORRIS' CASE, THE EMPLOYEE'S ACTUAL REPORTING DATE DIFFERS FROM THE DUTY REPORTING DATE INDICATED ON HIS TRAVEL ORDERS. THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF TRANSFER FOR ACCOUNTABILITY PURPOSES IS THE DATE DESIGNATED FOR ALLOCATING THE FUNDING OF THE EMPLOYEE'S SALARY AND LEAVE BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW DUTY STATIONS. IT IS NOT CONTROLLED BY THE ACTUAL REPORTING DATE AT THE NEW DUTY STATION, WHICH BY THE TERMS OF TRAVEL REGULATIONS, IS THE EFFECTIVE DATE FOR DETERMINING THE ENTITLEMENT TO RELOCATION BENEFITS. SEE 26 COMP.GEN. 862 (1947).

THUS, OUR ANSWER TO QUESTION D. IS THAT MR. DORRIS SHOULD BE PAID THE INCREASED BENEFITS AUTHORIZED FOR EMPLOYEES ACTUALLY REPORTING TO THEIR NEW DUTY STATIONS ON OR AFTER OCTOBER 1, 1982. THIS IS TRUE EVEN THOUGH HE DID NOT REPORT TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION BY THE "ON AND ABOUT" DATE OF SEPTEMBER 26, 1982, DESIGNATED ON HIS TRAVEL ORDERS. THE DELAY IN MR. DORRIS' CASE APPEARS TO BE ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE AUTHORIZED GRANTING OF ANNUAL LEAVE PRIOR TO DEPARTURE FROM HIS OLD DUTY STATION. WE HAVE HELD THAT THE TRANSFER IS NOT EFFECTIVE UNTIL THE ACTUAL REPORTING DATE EVEN THOUGH THE EMPLOYEE WOULD HAVE REPORTED EARLIER HAD HE NOT BEEN AUTHORIZED ANNUAL LEAVE. SEE B-161266, MAY 1, 1967.

FN1 MAJOR PATRICK T. SHINE, FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING OFFICER, HEADQUARTERS, COMBINED ARMS CENTER AND FORT LEAVENWORTH, REQUESTED THIS ADVANCE DECISION, AND THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE ASSIGNED THIS REQUEST PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 83-21. THE VOUCHER SUBMITTED IS RETURNED FOR PAYMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS DECISION.