Request for Reconsideration of Fly America Act Violation

B-192548: Nov 23, 1979

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An employee requested reconsideration of a decision in which he was assessed a penalty because his wife was in violation of the Fly America Act when she accompanied him on a temporary duty assignment en route from home leave to his permanent duty station. The employee stated that the assessment of the penalty denied him of his wife's companionship while on temporary duty. However, there is no obligation on the part of the Government to assure an individual his spouse's companionship while on temporary duty, and except in limited circumstances there is no authority for the Government to pay for the cost of travel of an employee's spouse incident to temporary duty. GAO has held that considerations of preferences or convenience will not justify the use of a foreign air carrier where a U.S. air carrier is available to provide transportation authorized to be performed at Government expense. Since the employee's decision to have his wife accompany him was a matter of personal preference, he was liable under the Fly America Act for losses suffered by U.S. air carrier service direct to the permanent duty station. Accordingly, the prior decision was affirmed.