B-66709, JUNE 23, 1947, 26 COMP. GEN. 950

B-66709: Jun 23, 1947

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AN EMPLOYEE PLACED ON FURLOUGH UPON BEING REACHED FOR REDUCTION IN FORCE MAY BE REGARDED AS SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE ON THE LAST DAY HE IS IN A PAY STATUS. IS TO BE TAKEN LITERALLY OR WHETHER IT IS INTENDED TO BE USED BROADLY IN THE LOSS OF POSITION BY REDUCTION IN FORCE. IT IS THE PRACTICE TO FURLOUGH PERMANENT EMPLOYEES WHO ARE AFFECTED BY REDUCTION IN FORCE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RETENTION PREFERENCE REGULATIONS. IT IS THE VIEW OF THIS DEPARTMENT THAT THE TYPE OF ACTION TAKEN IS IMMATERIAL. - THAT IS. WHETHER AN EMPLOYEE IS ACTUALLY SEPARATED OR FURLOUGHED. - AS FAR AS RETURN TRANSPORTATION TO THE STATES IS CONCERNED. YOUR RULING ON THIS QUESTION WILL BE APPRECIATED. AN EMPLOYEE PLACED ON FURLOUGH PROPERLY MAY BE CONSIDERED AS SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE ON THE LAST DAY ON WHICH HE IS IN A PAY STATUS.

B-66709, JUNE 23, 1947, 26 COMP. GEN. 950

TRAVELING EXPENSES - RETURN TO U.S. FROM OVERSEAS DUTY - EMPLOYEES FURLOUGHED DUE TO REDUCTION IN FORCE FOR THE PURPOSE OF APPLYING THE REQUIREMENT OF SECTION 7 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE STATUTE OF AUGUST 2, 1946, THAT, UNLESS "SEPARATED" FOR REASONS BEYOND THEIR CONTROL, APPOINTEES FOR OVERSEAS DUTY RENDER 12 MONTHS' SERVICE AS A CONDITION TO PAYMENT OF EXPENSES TRAVEL TO AND FROM THE OVERSEAS STATION, AN EMPLOYEE PLACED ON FURLOUGH UPON BEING REACHED FOR REDUCTION IN FORCE MAY BE REGARDED AS SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE ON THE LAST DAY HE IS IN A PAY STATUS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, JUNE 23, 1947: STEPS TO $4,024.20 EFFECTIVE RETROACTIVELY TO APRIL 21, 1946.

A QUESTION HAS ARISEN IN CONNECTION WITH THE REDUCTION OF FORCE OF THIS DEPARTMENT IN ALASKA AS TO WHETHER THE WORD "SEPARATED" USED IN SECTION 7 OF PUBLIC LAW 600, IS TO BE TAKEN LITERALLY OR WHETHER IT IS INTENDED TO BE USED BROADLY IN THE LOSS OF POSITION BY REDUCTION IN FORCE. IT IS THE PRACTICE TO FURLOUGH PERMANENT EMPLOYEES WHO ARE AFFECTED BY REDUCTION IN FORCE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RETENTION PREFERENCE REGULATIONS, AND IT IS THE VIEW OF THIS DEPARTMENT THAT THE TYPE OF ACTION TAKEN IS IMMATERIAL--- THAT IS, WHETHER AN EMPLOYEE IS ACTUALLY SEPARATED OR FURLOUGHED--- AS FAR AS RETURN TRANSPORTATION TO THE STATES IS CONCERNED. YOUR RULING ON THIS QUESTION WILL BE APPRECIATED.

SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1947, PUBLIC LAW 600, 60 STAT. 808, PROVIDES:

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.

WHILE THE GRANTING OF A FURLOUGH TO AN EMPLOYEE REACHED FOR SEPARATION IN A REDUCTION IN FORCE REQUIRES THE RETAINING OF THE EMPLOYEE ON THE OFFICIAL RECORDS OF THE FURLOUGHING OFFICE UNTIL EXPIRATION OF THE FURLOUGH--- THUS PRESERVING CERTAIN BENEFITS WHICH OTHERWISE WOULD BE LOST BY AN IMMEDIATE SEPARATION--- SUCH FURLOUGHS DO, IN FACT, SEPARATE THE EMPLOYEE FROM ACTIVE DUTY; ACCORDINGLY, FOR THE PURPOSES OF APPLYING THE PHRASE,"UNLESS SEPARATED FOR REASONS BEYOND HIS CONTROL," AS USED IN SECTION 7 OF THE ABOVE-QUOTED ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, AN EMPLOYEE PLACED ON FURLOUGH PROPERLY MAY BE CONSIDERED AS SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE ON THE LAST DAY ON WHICH HE IS IN A PAY STATUS. CF. 26 COMP. GEN. 347, PAGE 349.