B-95848, AUGUST 1, 1950, 30 COMP. GEN. 55

B-95848: Aug 1, 1950

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1950: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 1. IT APPEARS THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS APPOINTED FOR DUTY OVERSEAS ON OCTOBER 18. WAS FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO HIS DUTY STATION IN GERMANY IN COMPLIANCE WITH TRAVEL AUTHORITY OF OCTOBER 27. THE EMPLOYEE HAD NO DEPENDENTS AND THE TRAVEL AUTHORITY WAS DRAWN ACCORDINGLY. THE EMPLOYEE REMAINED AT HIS POST UNTIL FEBRUARY 1950 WHEN HE WAS ORDERED TO REPORT TO WASHINGTON. THE EMPLOYEE WAS MARRIED AND NOW REQUESTS AUTHORITY TO TRANSPORT HIS WIFE TO HIS OVERSEAS POST. THE ONLY LAW OF GENERAL APPLICATION PROVIDING FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT IS THAT CONTAINED IN SECTIONS 1 AND 7 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2.

B-95848, AUGUST 1, 1950, 30 COMP. GEN. 55

TRANSPORTATION OF AFTER-ACQUIRED DEPENDENTS TO EMPLOYEES' OVERSEAS DUTY STATION THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE STATUTE OF AUGUST 2, 1946, AUTHORIZING THE TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF NEWLY APPOINTED EMPLOYEES AND THEIR DEPENDENTS TO POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS ENTITLING AN EMPLOYEE TO TRANSPORT TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE HIS WIFE WHOM HE MARRIED UPON RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES ON TEMPORARY DUTY, AND THE EXECUTION BY THE EMPLOYEE OF A RENEWAL OF HIS EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT WOULD NOT ENLARGE HIS RIGHT IN THE MATTER.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE CHAIRMAN, DISPLACED PERSONS COMMISSION, AUGUST 1, 1950:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 1, 1950, DPC-142, PRESENTING FOR DECISION THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER THE DISPLACED PERSONS COMMISSION PROPERLY MAY AUTHORIZE THE TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF AN EMPLOYEE'S NEWLY ACQUIRED WIFE TO HIS OVERSEAS DUTY STATION UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES SET FORTH BELOW.

IT APPEARS THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS APPOINTED FOR DUTY OVERSEAS ON OCTOBER 18, 1948, AND, UNDER AUTHORITY OF SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 806, 808, WAS FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO HIS DUTY STATION IN GERMANY IN COMPLIANCE WITH TRAVEL AUTHORITY OF OCTOBER 27, 1948. AT THAT TIME, THE EMPLOYEE HAD NO DEPENDENTS AND THE TRAVEL AUTHORITY WAS DRAWN ACCORDINGLY. THE EMPLOYEE REMAINED AT HIS POST UNTIL FEBRUARY 1950 WHEN HE WAS ORDERED TO REPORT TO WASHINGTON, D.C., FOR TEMPORARY DUTY ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND, UPON COMPLETION THEREOF, TO RETURN TO HIS OVERSEAS DUTY STATION. DURING HIS SOJOURN IN THE UNITED STATES ON TEMPORARY DUTY, THE EMPLOYEE WAS MARRIED AND NOW REQUESTS AUTHORITY TO TRANSPORT HIS WIFE TO HIS OVERSEAS POST, PRESUMABLY AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

THE ONLY LAW OF GENERAL APPLICATION PROVIDING FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT IS THAT CONTAINED IN SECTIONS 1 AND 7 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, SUPRA. SECTION 1 OF THE SAID ACT, 60 STAT. 806, OF COURSE, APPLIES ONLY WHERE THERE IS INVOLVED THE TRANSFER OF AN EMPLOYEE FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER FOR PERMANENT DUTY AND, AS SUGGEST IN YOUR LETTER, THAT SECTION AND THE OFFICE DECISIONS RENDERED THEREUNDER ARE NOT RELEVANT TO THE CASE UNDER CONSIDERATION.

WITH RESPECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7, REFERENCE TO THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, DISCLOSES THAT THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THAT SECTION WAS TO INSURE THAT, IN THE CASE OF POSITIONS ABROAD TO BE FILLED BY CITIZENS FROM THIS COUNTRY, THERE WOULD NOT BE APPLIED THE GENERAL RULE THAT AN EMPLOYEE MUST BEAR THE EXPENSES OF REPORTING TO HIS FIRST DUTY STATION AND OF RETURNING TO HIS HOME UPON SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE. SEE PAGE 6, SENATE REPORT NO. 1636, 79TH CONGRESS, 2D SESSION. THUS, WHILE THE SECTION PROVIDES FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF NEW APPOINTEES AND THEIR DEPENDENTS BY THE GOVERNMENT, IT REASONABLY CANNOT BE CONSTRUED TO APPLY TO OTHER THAN DEPENDENTS OF THE NEW APPOINTEE AT THE TIME OF HIS APPOINTMENT.

WITH RESPECT TO THE VIEW, EXPRESSED IN THE CONCLUDING PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER, THAT THROUGH THE EXECUTION OF A RENEWAL AGREEMENT BY THE EMPLOYEE IT MAY BE IN ORDER TO AUTHORIZE THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS WIFE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, IT MUST BE SAID THAT THE RENEWAL OF AN AGREEMENT OF THE NATURE REQUIRED BY SECTION 7 OF THE SAID ACT WOULD NOT ENLARGE THE EMPLOYEE'S RIGHT IN THE MATTER. THE PROVISO OF SECTION 7 IS APPLICABLE ONLY TO NEW APPOINTEES AND IS REQUIRED ONLY IN THE INTEREST OF THE UNITED STATES FOR TRANSPORTATION THAT MAY BE FURNISHED. IT DOES NOT REQUIRE THE GOVERNMENT TO TRANSPORT A NEW APPOINTEE FROM HIS OVERSEAS STATION TO THE UNITED STATES UPON COMPLETION OF 12 MONTHS OF SERVICE, NEITHER DOES IT BIND THE GOVERNMENT TO RETAIN HIS SERVICES FOR THAT LENGTH OF TIME. ACCORDINGLY, IT SEEMS THAT NO USEFUL PURPOSE WOULD BE SERVED BY THE EXECUTION OF A RENEWAL AGREEMENT BY THE EMPLOYEE INVOLVED. 29 COMP. GEN. 160; 28 ID. 651.

THEREFORE, THERE BEING NO LAW OR REGULATION KNOWN TO THIS OFFICE PROVIDING FOR PAYMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF THE EMPLOYEE'S WIFE TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES PRESENT IN THE INSTANT CASE, IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT SUCH TRANSPORTATION IS UNAUTHORIZED.

REFERRING TO THE MATTER OF A SEPARATION ALLOWANCE, WHICH IS MENTIONED AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE ALLOWANCE OF THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF THE WIFE, SUCH ALLOWANCES INVOLVE TO A GREAT DEGREE THE EXERCISE OF ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION, SUBJECT ONLY TO THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT CIVILIAN ALLOWANCE REGULATIONS. A STUDY OF SUCH REGULATIONS BY THIS OFFICE WITH RELATION TO THE INSTANT CASE FAILS TO DISCLOSE THE BASIS UPON WHICH SUCH AN ALLOWANCE LAWFULLY COULD BE GRANTED.