B-164279, JUN. 24, 1968

B-164279: Jun 24, 1968

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YOU AND YOUR IMMEDIATE FAMILY WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM SAN FRANCISCO. YOU REQUESTED REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF YOUR WIFE'S ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL BETWEEN NEWARK AND SAN FRANCISCO ($210) ON THE BASIS THAT SUCH TRAVEL WAS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED IN THE TRAVEL ORDER OF AUGUST 8. IT IS CLEAR THAT NEITHER THE STATUTE NOR THE REGULATIONS CONTEMPLATES REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUCH ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL WHEN PERFORMED FOR A PURPOSE OTHER THAN SEEKING RESIDENCE QUARTERS. THE FACTS OF RECORD IN YOUR CASE CLEARLY SHOW THAT THE TRAVEL PERFORMED BY YOUR WIFE BETWEEN NEWARK AND SAN FRANCISCO WAS FOR THE PURPOSE OF ARRANGING FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT YOUR OLD DUTY STATION AND NOT FOR THE PURPOSE OF SEEKING RESIDENCE QUARTERS AT YOUR NEW DUTY STATION.

B-164279, JUN. 24, 1968

TO MR. WAYNE W. A KEY:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 25, 1968, REQUESTING REVIEW OF OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT DATED DECEMBER 13, 1967, WHICH DISALLOWED IN PART YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL OF YOUR WIFE BETWEEN NEWARK, NEW JERSEY, AND SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, UNDER SECTION 2.4 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966.

BY TRAVEL ORDER DATED AUGUST 8, 1967, AMENDED SEPTEMBER 6, 1967, YOU AND YOUR IMMEDIATE FAMILY WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, TO NEWARK, NEW JERSEY, INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. ITEM 10B OF THAT TRAVEL ORDER AUTHORIZED YOUR WIFE TO PERFORM ONE ROUND TRIP BETWEEN SAN FRANCISCO AND NEWARK FOR THE PURPOSE OF SEEKING PERMANENT RESIDENCE QUARTERS AT THE NEW DUTY STATION.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU, YOUR WIFE, AND DAUGHTER DEPARTED SAN FRANCISCO VIA PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE ON SEPTEMBER 1, 1967, AND ARRIVED AT NEWARK ON SEPTEMBER 9, 1967. ON SEPTEMBER 18, 1967, YOU SIGNED A LEASE FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCE QUARTERS AT YOUR NEW DUTY STATION. ON THE FOLLOWING DAY (SEPTEMBER 19) YOUR WIFE RETURNED BY AIR TO YOUR FORMER RESIDENCE IN SAN FRANCISCO FOR THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF ARRANGING FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO NEWARK. YOUR WIFE RETURNED TO NEWARK ON OCTOBER 13, 1967.

YOU REQUESTED REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF YOUR WIFE'S ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL BETWEEN NEWARK AND SAN FRANCISCO ($210) ON THE BASIS THAT SUCH TRAVEL WAS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED IN THE TRAVEL ORDER OF AUGUST 8, 1967.

THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF OUR OFFICE ALLOWED YOUR CLAIM OF $210 FOR YOUR SPOUSE'S TRAVEL ON THE BASIS OF "HOUSE-HUNTING TRIP" , AND AUTHORIZED YOUR ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE TO PAY YOU THE SUM OF $100 LESS WITHHOLDING TAX ($210 LESS PREVIOUSLY ALLOWED PER DIEM FOR OTHER PURPOSES). THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU ACTUALLY RECEIVED $80.

UNDER SECTION 5724A (2) OF TITLE 5, U.S.C. AND SECTION 2.4 OF THE IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS CONTAINED IN BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A- 56, AN EMPLOYEE AND/OR HIS SPOUSE MAY BE AUTHORIZED ONE ROUND TRIP BETWEEN HIS OLD AND NEW DUTY STATIONS FOR THE PURPOSE OF SEEKING RESIDENCE QUARTERS AT THE NEW DUTY STATION. SECTION 2.4A OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 SETS FORTH GENERAL GUIDELINES AND ADVISES THE AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT TO EXERCISE RESTRAINT IN AUTHORIZING SUCH ,HOUSE-HUNTING" TRIPS IN ORDER TO ELIMINATE WASTEFUL OR UNNECESSARY TRAVEL. IT IS CLEAR THAT NEITHER THE STATUTE NOR THE REGULATIONS CONTEMPLATES REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUCH ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL WHEN PERFORMED FOR A PURPOSE OTHER THAN SEEKING RESIDENCE QUARTERS.

THE FACTS OF RECORD IN YOUR CASE CLEARLY SHOW THAT THE TRAVEL PERFORMED BY YOUR WIFE BETWEEN NEWARK AND SAN FRANCISCO WAS FOR THE PURPOSE OF ARRANGING FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT YOUR OLD DUTY STATION AND NOT FOR THE PURPOSE OF SEEKING RESIDENCE QUARTERS AT YOUR NEW DUTY STATION. THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS TO REIMBURSE YOU FOR SUCH TRAVEL.

WE MUST REQUEST, THEREFORE, THAT YOU REMIT THE PAYMENT OF $80 TO OUR OFFICE. PLEASE FORWARD YOUR CHECK OR MONEY ORDER MADE PAYABLE TO THE U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE TO THIS OFFICE AT POST OFFICE BOX 2610, WASHINGTON, D.C. 20013. REFERENCE SHOULD BE MADE TO Z-2352338 IN REMITTING YOUR PAYMENT.

WE SINCERELY REGRET ANY INCONVENIENCE WE MAY HAVE CAUSED YOU IN THIS MATTER.