B-166797, JUN. 30, 1969

B-166797: Jun 30, 1969

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IS REQUIRED TO REFUND $1. MORALES WAS APPOINTED TO THE POSITION OF AUDITOR (TRAINEE) AND ASSIGNED TO THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION. HIS DUTY STATION WAS CHANGED FROM SANTA FE. HIS DUTY STATION WAS CHANGED FROM SPRINGFIELD. HIS DUTY STATION WAS CHANGED FROM HELENA. HE WAS REIMBURSED $470.26 INCIDENT TO HIS FIRST TRANSFER AND $617 INCIDENT TO THE SECOND. MORALES WAS NOT INSTITUTED BECAUSE IT WAS UNDERSTOOD THAT EACH NEW EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT CANCELLED THE PREVIOUS AGREEMENT AND THE EMPLOYEE WAS LIABLE ONLY FOR THE CHANGE OF STATION COSTS INCURRED AS A RESULT OF HIS LAST CHANGE OF STATION RATHER THAN ALL CHANGE OF STATION COSTS INCURRED WITHIN THE PAST YEAR. ONE OF THE REASONS FOR THIS APPROACH WAS GENERATED BY THE FACT THAT PERSONNEL IN THE AGENCY'S TRAINING PROGRAMS ARE REQUIRED TO TRANSFER FROM STATION TO STATION AS OFTEN AS TWO OR THREE TIMES A YEAR IN ORDER TO OBTAIN THE VARIETY AND TYPE OF TRAINING CONSIDERED NECESSARY FOR THE COMPLETION OF THEIR PARTICULAR PROGRAM AND EDUCATION.

B-166797, JUN. 30, 1969

TO MR. E. G. SMITH:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 18, 1969, REFERENCE 24-27, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION FROM OUR OFFICE WHETHER MR. PETE A. MORALES, A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, IS REQUIRED TO REFUND $1,087.20 REPRESENTING RELOCATION EXPENSES ALLOWED HIM INCIDENT TO CHANGES OF OFFICIAL STATIONS.

THE INFORMATION FURNISHED SHOWS THAT ON JUNE 4, 1967, MR. MORALES WAS APPOINTED TO THE POSITION OF AUDITOR (TRAINEE) AND ASSIGNED TO THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION, PERSONNEL AND TRAINING DIVISION, WASHINGTON, D.C., WITH HIS DUTY STATION AT SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO. ON DECEMBER 3, 1967, HIS DUTY STATION WAS CHANGED FROM SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO, TO SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS. ON MAY 19, 1968, HIS DUTY STATION WAS CHANGED FROM SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, TO HELENA, MONTANA. ON JUNE 16, 1968, HIS DUTY STATION WAS CHANGED FROM HELENA, MONTANA, TO FRANKFORT, KENTUCKY. MR. MORALES SIGNED EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENTS TO REMAIN IN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE FOR 12 MONTHS FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF EACH TRANSFER. EFFECTIVE AUGUST 28, 1968, MR. MORALES RESIGNED FROM THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE FOR PERSONAL REASONS. MR. MORALES DID NOT SUBMIT A TRAVEL VOUCHER FOR THE LAST TRANSFER. HOWEVER, HE WAS REIMBURSED $470.26 INCIDENT TO HIS FIRST TRANSFER AND $617 INCIDENT TO THE SECOND, A TOTAL OF $1,087.26.

YOU SAY THAT COLLECTION ACTION AGAINST MR. MORALES WAS NOT INSTITUTED BECAUSE IT WAS UNDERSTOOD THAT EACH NEW EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT CANCELLED THE PREVIOUS AGREEMENT AND THE EMPLOYEE WAS LIABLE ONLY FOR THE CHANGE OF STATION COSTS INCURRED AS A RESULT OF HIS LAST CHANGE OF STATION RATHER THAN ALL CHANGE OF STATION COSTS INCURRED WITHIN THE PAST YEAR. ONE OF THE REASONS FOR THIS APPROACH WAS GENERATED BY THE FACT THAT PERSONNEL IN THE AGENCY'S TRAINING PROGRAMS ARE REQUIRED TO TRANSFER FROM STATION TO STATION AS OFTEN AS TWO OR THREE TIMES A YEAR IN ORDER TO OBTAIN THE VARIETY AND TYPE OF TRAINING CONSIDERED NECESSARY FOR THE COMPLETION OF THEIR PARTICULAR PROGRAM AND EDUCATION.

WE INFORMALLY HAVE ASCERTAINED THAT IN YOUR AGENCY ONLY THE FORMAL CLASSROOM TRAINING PROGRAMS WHICH ARE CONDUCTED IN THE WASHINGTON, D.C. OFFICE AND OUT-SERVICE TRAINING INVOLVING TRAVEL ARE REGARDED AS TRAINING UNDER PUBLIC LAW 85-507, GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES TRAINING ACT, NOW 5 U.S.C. 4101-4118. ASSIGNMENTS TO VARIOUS LOCATIONS TO COMPLETE DIFFERENT PHASES OF ON-THE-JOB TRAINING WORK ARE CONSIDERED AS TRANSFERS PRIMARILY FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTY RATHER THAN FOR THE PURPOSE OF TRAINING.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION HAS DETERMINED THAT MR. MORALES' RESIGNATION WAS NOT FOR REASONS BEYOND HIS CONTROL AND ACCEPTABLE TO THE ADMINISTRATION. IN VIEW THEREOF IT WOULD APPEAR THAT MR. MORALES IS LIABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE AMOUNTS ALLOWED HIM FOR RELOCATION EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFERS OF STATIONS. SEE B-162159, AUGUST 23, 1967.

THEREFORE, STEPS SHOULD BE INITIATED TO COLLECT FROM MR. MORALES THE AMOUNT OF REIMBURSEMENT ALLOWED HIM FOR RELOCATION EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFERS IN QUESTION.

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