B-245113, Dec 23, 1991

B-245113: Dec 23, 1991

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Roux was scheduled for approved annual leave for July 9 through July 13. His request was granted on July 6. Roux contends that the meeting was only a possibility until he was notified that it would definitely take place. It is necessary to cancel the employee's authorized leave status and recall him to duty at his permanent duty station within 24 hours after his departure therefrom. When his request for a travel order was approved. Even though the time of the meeting may not have been definite. The meeting was neither an urgent nor an unforseen circumstance. We note that he was not recalled to duty at his official duty station within 24 hours of his departure therefrom. As are all federal government employees.

B-245113, Dec 23, 1991

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

Richard G. Roux:

Mr. Richard G. Roux, a civilian employee of the Department of the Army, appeals our Claims Group's action which denied his claim for travel expenses for return to, and travel from, his official duty station, while on annual leave, in order to attend an important meeting. /1/ For the following reasons, we affirm our Claims Group's action.

Mr. Roux was scheduled for approved annual leave for July 9 through July 13, 1990. Prior to his departure for annual leave in Hartford, Connecticut, he requested a travel order, to proceed from his annual leave point back to his official duty station, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, and for return to his annual leave point, for 2 days, in order to attend a meeting. His request was granted on July 6, 1991.

Mr. Roux contends that the meeting was only a possibility until he was notified that it would definitely take place. This notification occurred approximately 16 hours prior to his departure from Connecticut on July 10, 1991, at 4 p.m. Mr. Roux attended the meeting on July 11 and 12, 1991, and then traveled back to his annual leave point.

Paragraph C4555(4) Of Volume 2 of the Joint Travel Regulations (JTR) provides that:

"When an employee departs from his permanent duty station for the purpose of taking an authorized leave of absence for 5 days or more and, because of an urgent unforseen circumstance, it is necessary to cancel the employee's authorized leave status and recall him to duty at his permanent duty station within 24 hours after his departure therefrom, the return travel may be authorized at Government expense."

In the present case, Mr. Roux knew about the possibility of this meeting by July 6, 1990, when his request for a travel order was approved. Thus, even though the time of the meeting may not have been definite, the meeting was neither an urgent nor an unforseen circumstance, as paragraph 2 JTR C4555(4) requires. Also, we note that he was not recalled to duty at his official duty station within 24 hours of his departure therefrom.

Mr. Roux also contends that he should not be held financially responsible for following an approved travel order. As are all federal government employees, Mr. Roux, however, was on at least constructive notice of the JTR provision, and it is well settled that the government is not bound by the erroneous advice of its agents. Office of Personnel Management v. Richmond, 110 S.Ct. 2465 (1990).

Accordingly, our Claims Group's action is affirmed, and Mr. Roux must reimburse the Army for the travel expenses involved.

/1/ Z-2867087, June 25, 1991.