B-79912, NOVEMBER 3, 1948, 28 COMP. GEN. 285

B-79912: Nov 3, 1948

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EVEN THOUGH THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION AUTHORIZATIONS WERE ISSUED AT TIME OF SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE. THE SITUATIONS PRESENTED ARE AS FOLLOWS: 1. SHARP WAS SEPARATED FROM THE ARMED FORCES IN ALASKA ON SEPTEMBER 29. HE WAS SEPARATED BY THIS ADMINISTRATION FROM THAT REGIONAL OFFICE ON AUGUST 6. SINCE HE IS "UNABLE TO RETURN. WILSON WAS SEPARATED FROM THE ARMED FORCES IN ALASKA. WAS SEPARATED BY THIS ADMINISTRATION FROM THAT REGIONAL OFFICE IN JUNE 1948. SINCE HE IS "UNABLE FOR PERSONAL REASONS TO DETERMINE EXACTLY WHEN THE TRANSPORTATION WILL BE REQUIRED.'. ALAN BRANNAN WAS TRANSFERRED FROM WASHINGTON. HE WAS SEPARATED BY THIS ADMINISTRATION FROM THAT REGIONAL OFFICE ON DECEMBER 27.

B-79912, NOVEMBER 3, 1948, 28 COMP. GEN. 285

TRAVELING EXPENSES AND TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - POSTPONEMENT OF RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES AFTER TERMINATION OF ASSIGNMENT THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE STATUTE OF AUGUST 2, 1946, DO NOT AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF ANY OF THE EXPENSES CONNECTED WITH THE RETURN OF A FORMER EMPLOYEE, HIS FAMILY, OR HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS FROM AN OVERSEAS STATION TO THE UNITED STATES WHERE SUCH EMPLOYEE FOR VOLUNTARY PERSONAL REASONS ELECTED NOT TO RETURN WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME AFTER THE DATE THAT HIS ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES HAD BEEN TERMINATED EITHER BY RESIGNATION OR FOR REASONS BEYOND HIS CONTROL, EVEN THOUGH THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION AUTHORIZATIONS WERE ISSUED AT TIME OF SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE ADMINISTRATOR, WAR ASSETS ADMINISTRATION, NOVEMBER 3, 1948:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 2, 1948, REFERENCE AA, PRESENTING SEVERAL SITUATIONS AND QUESTIONS INVOLVING THE APPLICATION OF SECTION 7 OF PUBLIC LAW 600, APPROVED AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 808, AND EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, OF NOVEMBER 25, 1946, WITH RESPECT TO THE EXPENSES OF RETURN TO CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES OF FORMER EMPLOYEES OF THE WAR ASSETS ADMINISTRATION AND EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS. THE SITUATIONS PRESENTED ARE AS FOLLOWS:

1. ROBERT E. SHARP WAS SEPARATED FROM THE ARMED FORCES IN ALASKA ON SEPTEMBER 29, 1945, AND ENTERED ON DUTY IN THE ALASKA REGIONAL OFFICE OF THE PREDECESSOR OF THIS ADMINISTRATION ON OCTOBER 1, 1945, AND HE WAS SEPARATED BY THIS ADMINISTRATION FROM THAT REGIONAL OFFICE ON AUGUST 6, 1948. HE HAS REQUESTED AUTHORIZATION FOR TRAVEL FOR HIMSELF AND TRANSPORTATION FOR HIS TWO DEPENDENTS AND 1,000 POUNDS OF PERSONAL BELONGINGS, FROM ALASKA TO HIS ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT TIME OF ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY IN THE ALASKA REGIONAL OFFICE, BUFFALO, OKLAHOMA. HE HAS FURTHER REQUESTED THAT THE AUTHORIZATION PROVIDE FOR THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION TO BE ACCOMPLISHED WITHIN TWO YEARS, SINCE HE IS "UNABLE TO RETURN, DUE TO PERSONAL REASONS.' THIS ADMINISTRATION HAS BEEN INFORMALLY ADVISED THAT MR. SHARP DID NOT WISH TO RETURN TO CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AT THE TIME OF HIS SEPARATION FROM THIS ADMINISTRATION FOR THE REASON THAT HE HAD ACCEPTED PRIVATE EMPLOYMENT IN ALASKA.

2. DONALD R. WILSON WAS SEPARATED FROM THE ARMED FORCES IN ALASKA, AND ENTERED ON DUTY IN THE ALASKA REGIONAL OFFICE OF THE PREDECESSOR OF THIS ADMINISTRATION, ON NOVEMBER 16, 1945, AND WAS SEPARATED BY THIS ADMINISTRATION FROM THAT REGIONAL OFFICE IN JUNE 1948. HE HAS REQUESTED AUTHORIZATION FOR TRAVEL FOR HIMSELF AND FOR TRANSPORTATION FOR ONE AND ONE-HALF DEPENDENTS AND 1,000 POUNDS OF PERSONAL BELONGINGS, FROM ALASKA TO HIS ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT TIME OF ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY IN THE ALASKA REGIONAL OFFICE, WOONSOCKET, RHODE ISLAND. HE HAS FURTHER REQUESTED THAT THE AUTHORIZATION PROVIDE FOR THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION TO BE ACCOMPLISHED WITHIN TWO YEARS, SINCE HE IS "UNABLE FOR PERSONAL REASONS TO DETERMINE EXACTLY WHEN THE TRANSPORTATION WILL BE REQUIRED.' THIS ADMINISTRATION HAS BEEN INFORMALLY ADVISED THAT MR. WILSON DID NOT WISH TO RETURN TO CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AT THE TIME OF HIS SEPARATION FROM THIS ADMINISTRATION FOR THE REASON THAT HE HAD ACCEPTED PRIVATE EMPLOYMENT IN ALASKA.

3. ALAN BRANNAN WAS TRANSFERRED FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO THE PUERTO RICO REGIONAL OFFICE BY THE PREDECESSOR OF THIS ADMINISTRATION ON NOVEMBER 22, 1944, AND HE WAS SEPARATED BY THIS ADMINISTRATION FROM THAT REGIONAL OFFICE ON DECEMBER 27, 1947. ON DECEMBER 30, 1947, THE DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR FOR THE OFFICE OF DISPOSAL, U.S. TERRITORIES AND POSSESSIONS, OF THIS ADMINISTRATION, TRANSMITTED THE FOLLOWING TELEGRAM TO THE PUERTO RICO REGIONAL OFFICE: " RECURABLE DECEMBER 29, I HEREBY APPROVE RETURN TRAVEL TO PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE OF EMPLOYEES ALAN BRANNAN . . . PROVIDING REQUIREMENTS OF EXISTING INSTRUCTIONS ARE MET.' FOR PERSONAL REASONS MR. BRANNAN DID NOT RETURN TO CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AT THE TIME HE WAS SEPARATED FROM THIS ADMINISTRATION. ON JULY 12,1948, HE REQUESTED THIS ADMINISTRATION TO ISSUE AUTHORIZATION FOR TRAVEL FOR HIMSELF AND FOR TRANSPORTATION FOR HIS WIFE, FROM PUERTO RICO TO WASHINGTON, D.C.

UNDER THOSE SITUATIONS, THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS ARE PRESENTED FOR DECISION:

1. WOULD THIS ADMINISTRATION BE AUTHORIZED TO ISSUE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION AUTHORIZATIONS TO THE PERSONS IN QUESTION, WHO WERE FORMERLY EMPLOYEES OF WAR ASSETS ADMINISTRATION, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE PERSONS, FOR PERSONAL REASONS, INTEND TO REMAIN AT THEIR POSTS WHERE LAST EMPLOYED FOR A PERIOD BEYOND THAT NORMALLY REQUIRED TO ACCOMPLISH THEIR RETURN TO CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES UPON SEPARATION; BUT WITHIN THE TWO YEARS PROVIDED FOR IN E. O. 9805? IF SUCH AN AUTHORIZATION MAY BE ISSUED, MAY IT BE ISSUED AFTER AN EMPLOYEE HAS BEEN SEPARATED FROM WAR ASSETS ADMINISTRATION?

2. IF THE AUTHORIZATION IS ISSUED IN EITHER CASE ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT REGARDLESS OF PRESENT INDICATIONS OR INFERENCES THE EMPLOYEES WILL COMPLETE THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION "AT THE EARLIEST PRACTICABLE DATE" AND THIS OFFICE SUBSEQUENTLY LEARNS THAT ANY DELAY OF APPARENTLY UNREASONABLE LENGTH WAS PURELY FOR THE PERSONAL INTERESTS AND CONVENIENCE OF THE EMPLOYEE (SUCH AS TO ACCEPT OTHER EMPLOYMENT OR PARTICIPATE IN PRIVATE BUSINESS IN THE TERRITORIES) WOULD IT BE PROPER FOR AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICERS OF THIS ADMINISTRATION TO CERTIFY VOUCHERS IN LIQUIDATION OF EXPENSES OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION IF OTHERWISE IN ORDER?

3. WOULD YOUR ANSWERS TO THE PRECEDING QUESTIONS BE THE SAME WHETHER THE EMPLOYEE VOLUNTARILY RESIGNED OR WAS SEPARATED FOR REASONS BEYOND HIS CONTROL?

THE FIRST QUESTION WHICH MUST BE DECIDED IS WHETHER SECTION 5 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, DATED NOVEMBER 25, 1946, WAS INTENDED TO PERMIT THE ALLOWANCE OF TWO YEARS AFTER THE DATE OF SEPARATION FOR THE RETURN OF EMPLOYEES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM THEIR POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO THE PLACES OF THEIR ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES. IN THAT CONNECTION, THERE IS FOR NOTING THAT THE REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, SUPRA, ARE BASED UPON THE AUTHORITY PLACED IN THE PRESIDENT BY SECTION 1 AND SECTION 7 OF PUBLIC LAW 600, APPROVED AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 806, 808, AS FOLLOWS:

THAT (A) UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE PRESIDENT MAY PRESCRIBE, ANY CIVILIAN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT WHO, IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT, IS TRANSFERRED FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER, INCLUDING TRANSFER FROM ONE DEPARTMENT TO ANOTHER, FOR PERMANENT DUTY, SHALL, EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED HEREIN, WHEN AUTHORIZED, IN THE ORDER DIRECTING THE TRAVEL, BY SUCH SUBORDINATE OFFICIAL OR OFFICIALS OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED AS THE HEAD THEREOF MAY DESIGNATE FOR THE PURPOSE, BE ALLOWED AND PAID FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS THE EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF HIMSELF AND THE EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY (OR A COMMUTATION THEREOF IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931) AND THE EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION PACKING, CRATING, TEMPORARY STORAGE, DRAYAGE, AND UNPACKING OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS (NOT TO EXCEED SEVEN THOUSAND POUNDS IF UNCRATED OR EIGHT THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY POUNDS IF CRATED OR THE EQUIVALENT THEREOF WHEN TRANSPORTATION CHARGES ARE BASED ON CUBIC MEASUREMENT) * * *.

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.

ON SEPTEMBER 10, 1946, PURSUANT TO AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, SUPRA, THE PRESIDENT ISSUED EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9778, PRESCRIBING INTERIM REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF NEW APPOINTEES FROM PLACES OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF APPOINTMENT TO PLACES OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, AND SUCH EXPENSES ON RETURN OF EMPLOYEES FROM THEIR POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO PLACES OF THEIR ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF ASSIGNMENT. SECTION 4 OF THAT EXECUTIVE ORDER OF SEPTEMBER 10, 1946, PROVIDES THAT BEGINNING NOVEMBER 1, 1946, SUCH EXPENDITURES SHALL BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATIONS "TO BE ISSUED UNDER AUTHORITY OF SECTION 1 OF THE AFORESAID ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946.' SECTION 5 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, OF NOVEMBER 25, 1946, ISSUED PURSUANT TO AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, PROVIDES:

SEC. 5. TIME LIMIT. ALL TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWABLE UNDER THESE REGULATIONS SHALL BEGIN WITHIN TWO YEARS FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEE, EXCEPT THAT FOR EMPLOYEES WHO ENTER UPON ACTIVE MILITARY, NAVAL, OR COAST GUARD DUTY AT ANY TIME PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF SUCH PERIOD AND ARE FURLOUGHED FOR THE DURATION OF SUCH DUTY, THE TWO- YEAR PERIOD SHALL BE EXCLUSIVE OF THE TIME SPENT ON SUCH FURLOUGH; AND FOR EMPLOYEES TRANSFERRED TO POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES THE TWO-YEAR PERIOD SHALL BE EXCLUSIVE OF ANY TIME DURING WHICH SHIPPING RESTRICTIONS MAKE THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION IMPOSSIBLE. ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS SHALL ENDEAVOR TO COMPLETE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION AT THE EARLIEST PRACTICABLE DATES. ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

THAT SECTION PRIMARILY IS CONCERNED WITH TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION INCIDENT TO TRANSFER AND DOUBTLESS WAS ISSUED PURSUANT TO AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, RELATING TO TRANSFERS FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER INCLUDING TRANSFERS FROM ONE DEPARTMENT TO ANOTHER FOR PERMANENT DUTY, RATHER THAN PURSUANT TO AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 7 RELATING TO THE EXPENSES OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION OF NEW APPOINTEES FROM PLACES OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF APPOINTMENT TO PLACES OF EMPLOYMENT OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND THE RETURN OF EMPLOYEES FROM THEIR POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO THE PLACES OF THEIR ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. NEVERTHELESS, THE PRINCIPLES OF THAT SECTION MAY BE APPLIED TO SUCH TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION AS MAY BE AUTHORIZED IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 7 OF THE ACT, SUPRA, AND IN THE ABSENCE OF A REGULATION SPECIFICALLY CONTROLLING, I AM INCLINED TO HOLD THAT THEY SHALL BE APPLIED TO THE QUESTIONS PRESENTED IN THE MANNER SET OUT BELOW.

THE "EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRANSFER" OF AN EMPLOYEE TRANSFERRED FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER IN THE SAME DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY IS THE DATE THAT HE ACTUALLY ENTERS UPON DUTY AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION, OR, IF AN EMPLOYEE ALREADY IS PERFORMING TEMPORARY DUTY UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS, THE TRANSFER IS EFFECTIVE UPON THE DATE HE RECEIVES NOTICE THEREOF. SEE 27 COMP. GEN. 294; 26 ID. 293, AND CASES THEREIN CITED. IN THE ORDINARY CASE, THE TRAVEL FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER IS PERFORMED WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME AFTER THE DATE OF THE ORDER DIRECTING THE TRANSFER. CONSEQUENTLY, IN TRANSFER CASES, THE TIME LIMIT PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 5 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, SUPRA, BEGINS TO RUN FROM THE DATE THAT THE EMPLOYEE ACTUALLY ENTERS UPON DUTY AT THE NEW STATION, SO THAT, NECESSARILY, SUCH TIME LIMIT CAN BE APPLICABLE ONLY TO THE TRAVEL OF THE EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY AND THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS. THERE IS NO REASON WHY THE SAID PROVISIONS SHOULD BE CONSTRUED ANY DIFFERENTLY IN CASES WHERE THE UNITED STATES IS TO ASSUME THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF EMPLOYEES WHO ARE BEING RETURNED FROM POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO THEIR PLACES OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES. FIRST, THE TRAVEL OF SUCH EMPLOYEE SHOULD BE INCIDENTAL TO THE TERMINATION OF ASSIGNMENT, COMMENCING WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME AFTER THE ASSIGNMENT HAS BEEN TERMINATED; NEXT, THE TIME LIMIT OF TWO YEARS SHOULD BE APPLIED ONLY TO THE TRAVEL OF THE FAMILY AND THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS OF THE EMPLOYEE; AND, FINALLY, THE PERIOD SHOULD BEGIN TO RUN FROM THE TIME OF THE EMPLOYEE'S RETURN TO THE PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT TIME OF ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES.

WHERE AN EMPLOYEE DOES NOT RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES AS AN INCIDENT TO THE TERMINATION OF HIS ASSIGNMENT OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES, THE STATUTES MAY NOT REASONABLY BE CONSTRUED AS AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF ANY OF THE EXPENSES CONNECTED WITH THE RETURN OF THE EMPLOYEE, HIS FAMILY, OR HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS TO THE UNITED STATES. THAT IS, WHERE AN EMPLOYEE FOR VOLUNTARY PERSONAL ELECTS NOT TO RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES AFTER THE DATE THAT HIS ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES HAS BEEN TERMINATED, THEN HIS RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES IS NOT IN FACT INCIDENTAL TO THE TERMINATION OF HIS ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES AND NONE OF THE EXPENSES OF THAT RETURN IS PAYABLE UNDER SECTION 7 OF THE STATUTE, SUPRA. THE ORDER AUTHORIZING THE RETURN TRAVEL OF THE EMPLOYEE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE MAY PROVIDE ONLY FOR THE LAPSE OF A REASONABLE PERIOD OF TIME--- THE LENGTH OF WHICH TO BE DEPENDENT UPON ALL THE ATTENDANT CIRCUMSTANCES, SUCH AS, FOR EXAMPLE, THE EXISTENCE OF AVAILABLE FACILITIES UNDER THE CONDITIONS MENTIONED IN YOUR LETTER--- BETWEEN THE TERMINATION OF THE DUTY AND THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE TRAVEL. IN DECISION OF APRIL 1, 1948, 27 COMP. GEN. 567, TO THE CHIEF OF OFFICE, THE PANAMA CANAL, IT WAS HELD THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF A REGULATIONS SPECIFICALLY CONTROLLING, PROPER ORDERS COULD BE ISSUED AUTHORIZING THE EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILIES AND THE EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS TO THE PLACES OF THEIR ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES OF THOSE FORMER EMPLOYEES OF THE PANAMA CANAL TO WHOM THE BENEFITS ALLOWABLE UNDER SECTION 7 OF PUBLIC LAW 600 WOULD HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED IN PROPER TRAVEL ORDERS BUT FOR ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR OR DOUBT EXISTING AT THE TIME THE EMPLOYEES' SERVICES WERE TERMINATED AS TO THEIR BEING ENTITLED TO SUCH BENEFITS. THE SAME PRINCIPLE APPLIES HERE. ORDINARILY, HOWEVER, THE AUTHORIZATION FOR INCURRING SUCH EXPENSES SHOULD BE ISSUED PRIOR TO THE TERMINATION OF ASSIGNMENT AND PRIOR TO THE INCURRING OF ANY TRAVEL OR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSE.

IN LINE WITH THE FOREGOING, QUESTIONS 1 AND 2 ARE ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE, AND QUESTION 3 IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.