B-61379, NOVEMBER 14, 1946, 26 COMP. GEN. 322

B-61379: Nov 14, 1946

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REQUEST DECISION WHETHER IN THE CASE OF EMPLOYEES BEING SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE OF THE PANAMA CANAL UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES AS TO ENTITLE THEM TO THE BENEFITS OF THE SAID SECTION THEY MAY TRAVEL AND HAVE THEIR FAMILIES AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WHEN THE RETURN IS TO PLACE IN THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES OTHER THAN THE PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF HIS ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY IN THE CANAL ZONE. IT IS NOTED THAT THE PROVISION FOR RETURN OF EMPLOYEES TO THIS COUNTRY AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS NOT DIRECTLY COUPLED WITH AUTHORITY TO PAY THE EXPENSES OF THEIR OUTWARD JOURNEY. IT IS IMMATERIAL TO THE PURPOSE OF SUCH PROVISION (REPATRIATION) WHETHER THE SEPARATED EMPLOYEE RETURNS TO THE IDENTICAL PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF ASSIGNMENT TO FOREIGN DUTY.

B-61379, NOVEMBER 14, 1946, 26 COMP. GEN. 322

TRAVELING EXPENSES AND TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - RETURN TO U.S. FROM OVERSEAS STATION THE PROVISION OF SECTION 7 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE STATUTE OF AUGUST 2, 1946, SPECIFYING ,PLACES OF THEIR ACTUAL RESIDENCE" AT TIME OF ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES AS THE PLACES TO WHICH THE EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF SEPARATED EMPLOYEES AND THE EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR FAMILIES AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS MAY BE ALLOWED FROM OVERSEAS POSTS OF DUTY CONSTITUTES A LIMITATION ON THE EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT, ONLY, AND DOES NOT PRECLUDE ALLOWANCE OF EXPENSES OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION TO A PLACE WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OTHER THAN SUCH PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE, PROVIDED THE GOVERNMENT'S COST BE NO GREATER.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE GOVERNOR, THE PANAMA CANAL, NOVEMBER 14, 1946:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 19, 1946, IN WHICH YOU REFER TO SECTION 7 OF PUBLIC LAW 600 APPROVED AUGUST 2, 1946, AND REQUEST DECISION WHETHER IN THE CASE OF EMPLOYEES BEING SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE OF THE PANAMA CANAL UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES AS TO ENTITLE THEM TO THE BENEFITS OF THE SAID SECTION THEY MAY TRAVEL AND HAVE THEIR FAMILIES AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WHEN THE RETURN IS TO PLACE IN THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES OTHER THAN THE PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF HIS ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY IN THE CANAL ZONE.

SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, PUBLIC LAW 600, 60 STAT. 808, PROVIDES:

SEC. 7. APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENTS SHALL BE AVAILABLE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT, FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF NEW APPOINTEES, EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILIES AND EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS FROM PLACES OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT TIME OF APPOINTMENT TO PLACES OF EMPLOYMENT OUTSIDE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, AND FOR SUCH EXPENSES ON RETURN OF EMPLOYEES FROM THEIR POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO THE PLACES OF THEIR ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT TIME OF ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES: PROVIDED, THAT SUCH EXPENSES SHALL NOT BE ALLOWED NEW APPOINTEES UNLESS AND UNTIL THE PERSON SELECTED FOR APPOINTMENT SHALL AGREE IN WRITING TO REMAIN IN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE FOR THE TWELVE MONTHS FOLLOWING HIS APPOINTMENT, UNLESS SEPARATED FOR REASONS BEYOND HIS CONTROL. IN CASE OF A VIOLATION OF SUCH AGREEMENT ANY MONEYS EXPENDED BY THE UNITED STATES ON ACCOUNT OF SUCH TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION SHALL BE CONSIDERED AS A DEBT DUE BY THE INDIVIDUAL CONCERNED TO THE UNITED STATES. THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FOREIGN SERVICE, STATE DEPARTMENT.

IT IS NOTED THAT THE PROVISION FOR RETURN OF EMPLOYEES TO THIS COUNTRY AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS NOT DIRECTLY COUPLED WITH AUTHORITY TO PAY THE EXPENSES OF THEIR OUTWARD JOURNEY. ALSO, IT IS IMMATERIAL TO THE PURPOSE OF SUCH PROVISION (REPATRIATION) WHETHER THE SEPARATED EMPLOYEE RETURNS TO THE IDENTICAL PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF ASSIGNMENT TO FOREIGN DUTY. IT WOULD SEEM RATHER THAT THE MENTION OF PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE WAS FOR THE PURPOSE OF FIXING THE MAXIMUM EXPENSE TO THE UNITED STATES IN THAT CONNECTION. ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT (EXCEPT WHERE SUCH ACTION IS FORECLOSED BY APPLICABLE STATUTORY OR REGULATORY INHIBITION IN THAT CONNECTION) IN CASES SUCH AS REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER THIS OFFICE WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO THE PAYMENT OF EXPENSES, IF OTHERWISE PROPER, OF TRANSPORTATION TO A PLACE IN THE UNITED STATES OTHER THAN THE PLACE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY IN THE CANAL ZONE SO LONG AS THE EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT IN THAT CONNECTION IS NO GREATER.