B-224088, NOV 17, 1986

B-224088: Nov 17, 1986

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CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - TRAVEL - FOREIGN SERVICE PERSONNEL - FEDERAL TRAVEL REGULATIONS - TRAVEL MODES - VESSELS DIGEST: FOR FOREIGN SERVICE EMPLOYEES ENGAGED IN SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN POINTS OF DEPARTURE AND DESTINATION SEPARATED BY OCEANS THE USE OF FOREIGN -FLAG VESSELS IS RESTRICTED BY SECTION 901 OF THE MERCHANT MARINE ACT OF 1936. WHERE SUCH SHIPS ARE AVAILABLE. SINCE NO U.S.-REGISTERED SHIPS HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE FOR SOME TIME. REQUESTED OUR EXPEDITIOUS CONSIDERATION OF A STATE DEPARTMENT INQUIRY CONCERNING WHETHER QUESTIONABLE TRAVEL COSTS SHOULD BE RECOUPED AND ANNUAL LEAVE BALANCES ADJUSTED FOR EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE TAKEN LUXURY SHIP CRUISES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. WE ARE ENCLOSING A COPY OF OUR LETTER OF TODAY (B-212445) TO MR.

B-224088, NOV 17, 1986

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - TRAVEL - FOREIGN SERVICE PERSONNEL - FEDERAL TRAVEL REGULATIONS - TRAVEL MODES - VESSELS DIGEST: FOR FOREIGN SERVICE EMPLOYEES ENGAGED IN SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN POINTS OF DEPARTURE AND DESTINATION SEPARATED BY OCEANS THE USE OF FOREIGN -FLAG VESSELS IS RESTRICTED BY SECTION 901 OF THE MERCHANT MARINE ACT OF 1936, 46 U.S.C. SEC. 1241(A) (1982) WHICH REQUIRES USE OF SHIPS REGISTERED UNDER THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES, WHERE SUCH SHIPS ARE AVAILABLE, UNLESS THE NECESSITY OF THE MISSION REQUIRES USE OF A SHIP UNDER A FOREIGN FLAG. HOWEVER, SINCE NO U.S.-REGISTERED SHIPS HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE FOR SOME TIME, FOREIGN-FLAG VESSELS MAY BE CONSIDERED FOR USE SUBJECT TO FURTHER RESTRICTIONS IN 6 FAM SEC. 133.2 WHICH ALLOWS USE OF A FOREIGN- FLAG SHIP ONLY WHEN THE USE OF AIR TRANSPORTATION WOULD BE A HEALTH HAZARD OR WHEN PAYMENT CAN BE MADE THROUGH USE OF EXCESS FOREIGN CURRENCY.

THE HONORABLE JACK BROOKS:

YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 14, 1986, REQUESTED OUR EXPEDITIOUS CONSIDERATION OF A STATE DEPARTMENT INQUIRY CONCERNING WHETHER QUESTIONABLE TRAVEL COSTS SHOULD BE RECOUPED AND ANNUAL LEAVE BALANCES ADJUSTED FOR EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE TAKEN LUXURY SHIP CRUISES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

WE ARE ENCLOSING A COPY OF OUR LETTER OF TODAY (B-212445) TO MR. ROGER B. FELDMAN, COMPTROLLER, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE, IN WHICH WE PROVIDE EXTENSIVE GUIDANCE ON TRAVEL BY SHIP DURING PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION AND HOME LEAVE TRAVEL FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AGENCIES, WHILE REFRAINING FROM RENDERING FORMAL DECISIONS ON SPECIFIC CASES FOR WHICH FULLY DEVELOPED ADMINISTRATIVE RECORDS WERE NOT SUBMITTED.

WE TRUST THAT THIS SATISFACTORILY RESPONDS TO YOUR REQUEST.