B-235150, Jun 20, 1990

B-235150: Jun 20, 1990

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CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - Travel - Advances - Overpayments - Debt collection - Waiver DIGEST: This summary letter decision addresses well established rules which have been discussed in previous Comptroller General decisions. Was transferred to Comiso. Cooley learned that it was a restricted duty station and her husband could not remain there. Cooley was retransferred to Eglin Air Force Base. Her combined claim was disallowed in part and payment was made without taking into account the previous advance payments. Per diem and temporary quarters entitlements were calculated and settled by Eglin Air Force Base. We have reconstructed Mrs. We have determined that under the provisions of the Federal Travel Regulations and Volume 2 of the Joint Travel Regulations.

B-235150, Jun 20, 1990

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - Travel - Advances - Overpayments - Debt collection - Waiver DIGEST: This summary letter decision addresses well established rules which have been discussed in previous Comptroller General decisions. To locate substantive decisions addressing this issue, refer to decisions indexed under the above listed index entry.

Mrs. M. Priscilla Cooley:

Mrs. Cooley, an employee of the Department of the Air Force stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, was transferred to Comiso, Italy, on June 28, 1983, to be accompanied by her dependent husband. She received an $843.75 travel advance incident to that transfer. On arrival at Comiso, Mrs. Cooley learned that it was a restricted duty station and her husband could not remain there. On July 18, 1983, Mrs. Cooley was retransferred to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, where her dependent husband could accompany her.

Following Mrs. Cooley's arrival and employment at Eglin Air Force Base, she received $3,900 in December 1984 as advance payment pending her submission of itemized travel vouchers to cover the expenses of both transfers. When she filed her vouchers, her combined claim was disallowed in part and payment was made without taking into account the previous advance payments. On March 1, 1985, Mrs. Cooley retired.

On April 2, 1985, Eglin Air Force Base certified to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) $3,900 as a debt due the United States to be recovered from her monthly Civil Service Annuity.

Subsequent to that action, Mrs. Cooley appealed the expenses disallowed on her itemized vouchers. Our Claims Group, by Settlement Z 2865523, March 10, 1989, sustained the agency's findings.

Mrs. Cooley has further appealed that action. She contends that she has not received payment for all her reimbursable expenses. As a result, she argues that OPM should not continue collection of supposed overpayments from her annuity.

Because of the complexity of Mrs. Cooley's travels and the somewhat confusing manner in which her travel, transportation, per diem and temporary quarters entitlements were calculated and settled by Eglin Air Force Base, we have reconstructed Mrs. Cooley's itinerary and recalculated her entitlements for both transfers with the assistance of the Air Force Accounting and Finance Center (AFAFC). Based on that accounting reconstruction, we have determined that under the provisions of the Federal Travel Regulations and Volume 2 of the Joint Travel Regulations, which were in effect when each of those transfers occurred, Mrs. Cooley was entitled to be reimbursed $5,168. The authorities at the AFAFC concur with that finding. We have determined also that Mrs. Cooley received a total of $8,500.77 as advance and voucher payments. This resulted in an overpayment to her in the amount of $3,332.77 incident to both transfers.

Therefore, the amount of $3,900 certified to OPM on April 2, 1985, for recovery from Mrs. Cooley's annuity as a debt incident to those transfers is incorrect. It should be recertified to OPM in the amount of $3,332.77.