B-176778, NOV 16, 1972

B-176778: Nov 16, 1972

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AN EMPLOYEE WHO IMPROPERLY ABANDONED A TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT WHICH WAS NOT COMPLETED MAY STILL BE REIMBURSED FOR THE EXPENSE OF THE RETURN TRAVEL TO HIS PERMANENT STATION. IF HIS PERFORMANCE WAS SATISFACTORY PRIOR TO HIS RETURN. IF THE NON-COMPLETION OF THE ASSIGNMENT WAS NOT DUE TO HIS IMPROPER DEPARTURE AND THERE WERE NO ADDITIONAL COSTS INCURRED BY THE GOVERNMENT TO TRANSPORT A REPLACEMENT EMPLOYEE. F. ADAMS: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 7. DAVIS WAS ASSIGNED AS A MEMBER OF A TEAM OF SIX EMPLOYEES TO TEMPORARY DUTY IN THE EUROPEAN AREA FOR A PERIOD OF ABOUT 60 DAYS. HE WAS ALMOST INVOLVED IN AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT DUE TO HIS LACK OF FAMILIARITY WITH ENGLISH DRIVING SYSTEM LAWS.

B-176778, NOV 16, 1972

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - TRAVEL EXPENSES - TEMPORARY DUTY - UNAUTHORIZED RETURN DECISION ALLOWING PAYMENT OF A TRAVEL VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MACK H. DAVIS, A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, WHO RETURNED TO HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION FROM A TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF HIS SUPERVISOR. AN EMPLOYEE WHO IMPROPERLY ABANDONED A TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT WHICH WAS NOT COMPLETED MAY STILL BE REIMBURSED FOR THE EXPENSE OF THE RETURN TRAVEL TO HIS PERMANENT STATION, IF HIS PERFORMANCE WAS SATISFACTORY PRIOR TO HIS RETURN, AND IF THE NON-COMPLETION OF THE ASSIGNMENT WAS NOT DUE TO HIS IMPROPER DEPARTURE AND THERE WERE NO ADDITIONAL COSTS INCURRED BY THE GOVERNMENT TO TRANSPORT A REPLACEMENT EMPLOYEE.

TO CAPTAIN D. F. ADAMS:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 7, 1972, REFERENCE ACFCP, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF PAYING A TRAVEL VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. MACK H. DAVIS, A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF YOUR AGENCY, WHO RETURNED TO HIS PERMANENT POST OF DUTY FROM A TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF HIS SUPERVISOR.

BY A TRAVEL ORDER DATED MARCH 21, 1972, MR. DAVIS WAS ASSIGNED AS A MEMBER OF A TEAM OF SIX EMPLOYEES TO TEMPORARY DUTY IN THE EUROPEAN AREA FOR A PERIOD OF ABOUT 60 DAYS. HE DEPARTED FROM HIS STATION ON MARCH 30, 1972, PROCEEDED TO GERMANY AND PERFORMED DUTIES THERE UNTIL APRIL 8, 1972, WHEN HE PROCEEDED TO ENGLAND. PURSUANT TO HIS TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION MR. DAVIS RENTED A CAR IN ENGLAND. MR. DAVIS STATED THAT ON APRIL 9, 1972, HE WAS ALMOST INVOLVED IN AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT DUE TO HIS LACK OF FAMILIARITY WITH ENGLISH DRIVING SYSTEM LAWS, SIGNS, ETC. HE BECAME NERVOUS AS A RESULT OF THAT INCIDENT AND REQUESTED PERMISSION TO RETURN HOME BECAUSE HE WAS AFRAID HE MIGHT BE INVOLVED IN AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT. AFTER PERMISSION WAS REFUSED, HE TURNED IN HIS EQUIPMENT ON APRIL 13, 1972, AND RETURNED TO HIS DUTY STATION. AT THE TIME MR. DAVIS RETURNED A REPLACEMENT WAS REQUESTED. HOWEVER, DUE TO A SHORTAGE OF EQUIPMENT (WHICH EXISTED AT THE TIME MR. DAVIS RETURNED) THE WORK WAS TERMINATED ON APRIL 21, 1972, AND THE TEAM RETURNED TO THE UNITED STATES BEFORE A REPLACEMENT EMPLOYEE WAS SENT OUT.

MR. DAVIS RETIRED ON APRIL 28, 1972, AND $1,000.73 WAS WITHHELD FROM HIS FINAL PAY. THIS AMOUNT CONSISTS OF $800.05, REPRESENTING THE BALANCE DUE ON A TRAVEL ADVANCE (WHICH IS ALSO THE SAME AMOUNT CLAIMED ON THE TRAVEL VOUCHER), AND THE AMOUNT OF $200.68, THE AIR FARE FOR MR. DAVIS' RETURN TRIP SECURED ON A GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST.

PARAGRAPH C 3014, VOLUME 2, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN PAR. C 3013, IF AN EMPLOYEE ABANDONS HIS TRAVEL PRIOR TO REPORTING TO A PLACE OF TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT OR PRIOR TO COMPLETION OF DUTIES IN CONNECTION WITH A TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT FOR PERSONAL REASONS WHICH ARE ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY CONCERNED, SUCH AS ILLNESS IN HIS FAMILY OR SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES, ONLY THE EXPENSE OF TRAVEL TO THE POINT OF ABANDONMENT IS ALLOWABLE. THE COST RELATING TO RETURN OF THE EMPLOYEE TO HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION WILL NOT BE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UNLESS IT IS DETERMINED ADMINISTRATIVELY THAT THE EMPLOYEE SUBSTANTIALLY COMPLETED THE MISSION REQUIREMENTS OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT OR THAT SUCH COMPLETION WAS AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT (SEE PAR. C 11001)."

IN THE INSTANT CASE THE ASSIGNMENT UPON WHICH MR. DAVIS WAS WORKING WAS NOT COMPLETED. HOWEVER, THE FAILURE TO COMPLETE THE ASSIGNMENT WAS NOT DUE TO MR. DAVIS' ABANDONMENT OF THE PROJECT, WHICH WAS IMPROPER AND NOT TO BE CONDONED, BUT DUE TO A LACK OF EQUIPMENT. THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT INDICATES THAT MR. DAVIS' PERFORMANCE WAS COMPLETELY SATISFACTORY UP TO THE TIME HE DECIDED TO RETURN TO HIS STATION. THE ASSIGNMENT WAS COMPLETED BY THE REMAINDER OF THE WORK TEAM TO THE EXTENT THAT AVAILABLE EQUIPMENT PERMITTED AND NO ADDITIONAL EXPENSES WERE INCURRED TO TRANSPORT ANY EMPLOYEE TO REPLACE MR. DAVIS.

SINCE NO ADDITIONAL COSTS WERE INCURRED BY THE GOVERNMENT, THE VOUCHER, RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE PAID IF OTHERWISE PROPER AND APPLIED TO THE BALANCE OF THE TRAVEL ADVANCE. ALSO, THE AMOUNT WHICH WAS WITHHELD FROM MR. DAVIS' FINAL PAY MAY BE PAID TO HIM.

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