B-97243, AUGUST 16, 1950, 30 COMP. GEN. 80

B-97243: Aug 16, 1950

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EMPLOYEES ARE NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 2. FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN RETURNING THEIR DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO THE UNITED STATES UNLESS THE ISSUANCE OF ORDERS FOR THEIR OWN RETURN IS CONTEMPLATED. IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED TO BE IN THE GOVERNMENT'S INTEREST. 29 COMP. DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY REFER TO EXPENSES OF RETURNING TO THE UNITED STATES THE DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF EMPLOYEES IN THE ARMED FORCES RESERVE STATIONED OVERSEAS WHO ARE SUMMONED TO ACTIVE DUTY. 1950: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF AUGUST 3. IT IS STATED IN THE LETTER OF AUGUST 3 THAT RECENT EVENTS IN THE FAR EAST HAVE CAUSED GRAVE CONCERN AMONG EMPLOYEES OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION WHO ARE UNITED STATES CITIZENS FOR THE SAFETY AND WELFARE OF THEIR FAMILIES IN MANILA AND THAT THE FEELING IS PREVALENT THAT.

B-97243, AUGUST 16, 1950, 30 COMP. GEN. 80

TRANSPORTATION - DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - RETURN TO U.S. WHILE, USUALLY, EMPLOYEES ARE NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN RETURNING THEIR DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO THE UNITED STATES UNLESS THE ISSUANCE OF ORDERS FOR THEIR OWN RETURN IS CONTEMPLATED, IN VIEW OF THE DESIRE OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE AND EMPLOYEES STATIONED IN THE PHILIPPINES TO RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES DEPENDENTS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS IN ADVANCE OF THE EMPLOYEES' RETURN BECAUSE OF HOSTILITIES IN THE FAR EAST, AUTHORITY FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES SO INCURRED MAY BE INCLUDED IN ORDERS LATER ISSUED FOR RETURN OF THE EMPLOYEES, PROVIDED THE PRIOR RETURN OF THE DEPENDENTS, ETC., IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED TO BE IN THE GOVERNMENT'S INTEREST. 29 COMP. GEN. 160, AMPLIFIED. WHILE SECTION 7 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE STATUTE OF AUGUST 2, 1946, DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY REFER TO EXPENSES OF RETURNING TO THE UNITED STATES THE DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF EMPLOYEES IN THE ARMED FORCES RESERVE STATIONED OVERSEAS WHO ARE SUMMONED TO ACTIVE DUTY, ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS MAY BE ISSUED AUTHORIZING THE RETURN TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF THE DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF SUCH EMPLOYEES WHEN CALLED TO ACTIVE DUTY.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, AUGUST 16, 1950:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF AUGUST 3, 1950, FROM THE DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR, RELATIVE TO THE RETURN FROM MANILA, PHILIPPINES, TO THE UNITED STATES OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF EMPLOYEES OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 600, APPROVED AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 806.

IT IS STATED IN THE LETTER OF AUGUST 3 THAT RECENT EVENTS IN THE FAR EAST HAVE CAUSED GRAVE CONCERN AMONG EMPLOYEES OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION WHO ARE UNITED STATES CITIZENS FOR THE SAFETY AND WELFARE OF THEIR FAMILIES IN MANILA AND THAT THE FEELING IS PREVALENT THAT, IN THE EVENT OF THE SPREAD OF HOSTILITIES, THE DEPENDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES EMPLOYEES WOULD BE EXPOSED TO DANGER, HARDSHIP, AND POSSIBLE LOSS OF PERSONAL PROPERTY THROUGH ABANDONMENT. IT IS STATED FURTHER THAT APPREHENSION OF THE EMPLOYEES HAS CREATED A PROBLEM IN MAINTAINING MORALE; AND THAT SEVERAL EMPLOYEES HAVE REQUESTED AUTHORITY TO RETURN THEIR FAMILIES AND THEIR PROPERTY TO THE UNITED STATES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, WHILE OTHERS ALREADY HAVE SENT THEIR FAMILIES HOME AT PERSONAL EXPENSE OR HAVE INDICATED THEIR INTENTION TO DO SO WITHIN THE NEAR FUTURE. THE DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR POINTS OUT THAT IT IS THE DESIRE OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION TO PERMIT THE RETURN OF THE EMPLOYEES' DEPENDENTS (AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS) AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE SINCE SUCH TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION WILL DOUBTLESS INVOLVE NO GREATER ULTIMATE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT THAN IF THE RETURN OF THE DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WAS DELAYED UNTIL THE EMPLOYEES ARE RETURNED TO THIS COUNTRY; THAT, AT THE PRESENT TIME, THERE IS NO INTENTION TO RETURN EMPLOYEES SERVING IN MANILA TO THE UNITED STATES, EXCEPT IN INDIVIDUAL CASES AS THE NEEDS OF THE SERVICE REQUIRE; BUT THAT ANY EXPENSES INCURRED FOR RETURN OF DEPENDENTS AND PERSONAL BELONGINGS FROM THE PHILIPPINES IN ADVANCE OF THE EMPLOYEES WOULD BE RECOVERED FROM SUCH EMPLOYEES IF FOR ANY REASON THEY SHOULD FORFEIT THEIR RIGHT TO BE RETURNED TO THE UNITED STATES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

THERE ARE PRESENTED FOR CONSIDERATION THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

1.MAY TRAVEL ORDERS BE ISSUED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF DEPENDENTS OF EMPLOYEES STATIONED IN MANILA, PHILIPPINES IF ISSUANCE OF TRAVEL ORDERS FOR RETURN OF THE EMPLOYEES THEMSELVES IS ANTICIPATED AT SOME FUTURE UNDETERMINED DATE?

2. MAY AUTHORIZATION BE GRANTED FOR SHIPMENT OF EMPLOYEES' HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IN ADVANCE OF ISSUANCE OF ORDERS FOR RETURN OF THE EMPLOYEES TO THE UNITED STATES?

3. IF THE ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS 1 AND 2 ARE IN THE NEGATIVE MAY ORDERS WHICH ARE EVENTUALLY ISSUED TO EMPLOYEES FOR RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE INCLUDE AUTHORITY FOR TRAVEL OF MEMBERS OF IMMEDIATE FAMILIES AND SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS FOR THE PURPOSE OF PERMITTING REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES PERSONALLY INCURRED BY THE EMPLOYEES FOR SUCH TRANSPORTATION AND SHIPMENT IN ADVANCE OF THE ISSUANCE OF THE ORDERS?

4. IF EMPLOYEES IN THE ARMED FORCES RESERVE ARE SUMMONED TO ACTIVE DUTY MAY ORDERS BE ISSUED FOR RETURN OF THEIR FAMILIES AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO THEIR RESIDENCES IN THE UNITED STATES?

IN DECISION OF OCTOBER 6, 1949, 29 COMP. GEN. 160, REFERRED TO IN THE SAID LETTER OF AUGUST 3, YOU WERE ADVISED GENERALLY THAT WHERE THE RETURN TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS OCCURS PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF PROPER ORDERS DIRECTING THE RETURN OF THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS DEPENDENTS, NO TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION MAY BE ISSUED THEREFOR AND THE EXPENSES INCIDENT THERETO MAY NOT BE PAID FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS. THAT RULE LIKEWISE IS FOR APPLICATION TO THE AUTHORIZATION FOR SHIPMENT OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF AN EMPLOYEE PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF AN AUTHORIZATION COVERING THE RETURN OF THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS EFFECTS. ACCORDINGLY, QUESTIONS 1 AND 2 ARE ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.

IT WAS ALSO CONCLUDED IN THE ABOVE-MENTIONED DECISION THAT WHERE THE EMPLOYEE HAS PAID EXPENSES FOR THE PRIOR RETURN OF HIS DEPENDENTS FROM HIS PERSONAL FUNDS, HE MAY SUBMIT A CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES UPON THE BASIS OF A PROPER SHOWING THAT THE RETURN OF THE DEPENDENTS WAS INCIDENT TO, OR IN REASONABLE ANTICIPATION OF, ORDERS SUBSEQUENTLY ISSUED TO THE EMPLOYEE AUTHORIZING RETURN TRAVEL BOTH FOR HIMSELF AND HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY. AS INDICATED BY THE LANGUAGE OF THE DECISION, IN THE USUAL CASE, FOR THE EMPLOYEE TO BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR OTHERWISE PROPER EXPENSES INCURRED IN RETURNING HIS DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO THE UNITED STATES PRIOR TO HIS RETURN, THE ISSUANCE OF PROPER ORDERS FOR HIS TRAVEL WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME FROM THE DATE OF TRAVEL OF HIS DEPENDENTS AND/OR TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS MUST HAVE BEEN CONTEMPLATED AT THE TIME SUCH PRIOR TRAVEL AND/OR TRANSPORTATION WAS UNDERTAKEN. HOWEVER, THAT DECISION WILL NOT BE CONSTRUED AS PROHIBITING REIMBURSEMENT TO THE EMPLOYEE, UPON HIS RETURN, OF OTHERWISE PROPER TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED FOR THE PRIOR RETURN OF HIS DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES SUCH AS OUTLINED IN THE LETTER OF AUGUST 3 FROM THE DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR, PROVIDED, OF COURSE, IT BE ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT THE PRIOR RETURN OF HIS DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IS IN THE INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES. QUESTION 3 IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.

WHILE SECTION 7 OF PUBLIC LAW 600, 60 STAT. 808, DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY REFER TO EXPENSES OF RETURN OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF EMPLOYEES IN THE ARMED FORCES RESERVE WHO ARE SUMMONED TO ACTIVE DUTY, THIS OFFICE WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO THE ISSUANCE OF ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORIZATIONS, UNDER SAID PROVISION OF LAW, COVERING SUCH TRANSPORTATION EXPENSE, IT BEING EVIDENT THAT THE NECESSITY FOR INCURRING THE EXPENSES WOULD BE THE DIRECT RESULT OF THE INVOLUNTARY CESSATION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S CIVILIAN EMPLOYMENT FOR PURPOSES OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND THE SUBJECTION OF THE EMPLOYEE TO MILITARY CONTROL WITH RESPECT TO ASSIGNMENT TO HIS POST OF DUTY THEREAFTER. ACCORDINGLY, QUESTION 4 IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.