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TRANSPORTATION - DEPENDENTS - EMPLOYEES ELECTING TO REMAIN OVERSEAS FOR ADDITIONAL PERIOD AN EMPLOYEE WHO HAS COMPLETED AN AGREED PERIOD OF SERVICE AT AN OVERSEAS POST IS ENTITLED. SINCE THE PHRASE "PLACES OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT TIME OF APPOINTMENT OR TRANSFER" IS NOT DEFINED IN THE HOME LEAVE ACT OF AUGUST 31. AN EMPLOYEE WHO WAS STATIONED IN KANSAS CITY. WHOSE ACTUAL RESIDENCE WAS IN RHODE ISLAND. 1955: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JULY 12. PUBLIC LAW 737 IS IN PART AS FOLLOWS: * * * PROVIDED FURTHER. SHALL BE ALLOWED IN THE CASE OF PERSONS WHO HAVE SATISFACTORILY COMPLETED AN AGREED PERIOD OF SERVICE OVERSEAS AND ARE RETURNING TO THEIR ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING LEAVE PRIOR TO SERVING ANOTHER TOUR OF DUTY AT THE SAME OR SOME OTHER OVERSEAS POST.

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B-124663, AUGUST 24, 1955, 35 COMP. GEN. 101

TRANSPORTATION - DEPENDENTS - EMPLOYEES ELECTING TO REMAIN OVERSEAS FOR ADDITIONAL PERIOD AN EMPLOYEE WHO HAS COMPLETED AN AGREED PERIOD OF SERVICE AT AN OVERSEAS POST IS ENTITLED, UNDER THE HOME LEAVE ACT OF AUGUST 31, 1954, TO ONE-WAY TRANSPORTATION FOR MEMBERS OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY WHO TRAVEL TO HIS RESIDENCE IN UNITED STATES UNACCOMPANIED BY HIM, AND WHERE THE EMPLOYEE PERFORMS ROUND-TRIP HOME LEAVE TRAVEL AT A LATER DATE EXPENSES OF RETURNING FAMILY TO HIS OVERSEAS POST AT AN EARLIER DATE WOULD THEN BE REIMBURSABLE, PROVIDED THAT PRIOR TO HIS DEPARTURE FROM OVERSEAS HE SIGNS A NEW AGREEMENT FOR SERVICE TO BEGIN ON RETURN. SINCE THE PHRASE "PLACES OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT TIME OF APPOINTMENT OR TRANSFER" IS NOT DEFINED IN THE HOME LEAVE ACT OF AUGUST 31, 1954, AND THE ACT DOES NOT RESTRICT PAYMENT TO THE PLACE FROM WHICH TRANSFERRED, AN EMPLOYEE WHO WAS STATIONED IN KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, AT THE TIME OF TRANSFER TO AN OVERSEAS STATION IN THE PACIFIC, BUT WHOSE ACTUAL RESIDENCE WAS IN RHODE ISLAND, MAY BE PAID FOR HOME LEAVE TRAVEL TO HIS RESIDENCE IN RHODE ISLAND ON COMPLETION OF HIS REQUIRED TOUR OF DUTY AND AGREEMENT TO SERVE AN ADDITIONAL PERIOD OVERSEAS.

TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, AUGUST 24, 1955:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JULY 12, 1955, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF COMMERCE FOR ADMINISTRATION, REQUESTING A DECISION IN TWO CASES INVOLVING THE APPLICATION OF THE HOME LEAVE TRAVEL PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 31, 1954, 68 STAT. 1008, PUBLIC LAW 737, 5 U.S.C. 73B 3.

THE FIRST CASE INVOLVES AN EMPLOYEE PRESENTLY SERVING AT THE WEATHER BUREAU AIRPORT STATION AT HONOLULU, T.H., WHO HAS COMPLETED A TOUR OF DUTY AT THAT POINT. HE HAS INDICATED A WILLINGNESS TO SIGN AN EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT TO SERVE ANOTHER TOUR OF DUTY IN THE PACIFIC. HOWEVER, HE HAS ASKED, IN REQUESTING AUTHORITY TO TRAVEL, THAT HIS WIFE BE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL TO THE STATES AND RETURN THIS YEAR AND THAT HE BE PERMITTED TO PERFORM TRAVEL NEXT YEAR.

PUBLIC LAW 737 IS IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

* * * PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT EXPENSES OF ROUND TRIP TRAVEL OF EMPLOYEE AND TRANSPORTATION OF IMMEDIATE FAMILY BUT EXCLUDING HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, FROM THEIR POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO THE PLACES OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT TIME OF APPOINTMENT OR TRANSFER TO SUCH OVERSEAS POSTS OF DUTY, SHALL BE ALLOWED IN THE CASE OF PERSONS WHO HAVE SATISFACTORILY COMPLETED AN AGREED PERIOD OF SERVICE OVERSEAS AND ARE RETURNING TO THEIR ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING LEAVE PRIOR TO SERVING ANOTHER TOUR OF DUTY AT THE SAME OR SOME OTHER OVERSEAS POST, UNDER A NEW WRITTEN AGREEMENT ENTERED INTO BEFORE DEPARTING FROM THE OVERSEAS POST: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY AND SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF ANY EMPLOYEE FROM THE POST OF DUTY OF SUCH EMPLOYEE OUTSIDE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES IN PLACES OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE SHALL BE ALLOWED, NOT IN EXCESS OF ONE TIME, PRIOR TO THE RETURN OF SUCH EMPLOYEE TO THE UNITED STATES, INCLUDING ITS TERRITORIES AND POSSESSIONS, WHEN THE EMPLOYEE HAS ACQUIRED ELIGIBILITY FOR SUCH TRANSPORTATION * * *.

UNDER THE FIRST PROVISO OF THE QUOTED STATUTE THE GOVERNMENT'S OBLIGATION TO PAY THE ROUND-TRIP TRANSPORTATION OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY IS CONTINGENT UPON ITS OBLIGATION TO PAY THE HOME LEAVE TRAVEL EXPENSES OF THE EMPLOYEE HIMSELF. AN EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO EXPENSES OF HOME LEAVE TRAVEL ONLY WHEN PERFORMED BETWEEN THE DATE OF COMPLETION OF ONE AGREEMENT AND "PRIOR TO SERVING ANOTHER TOUR OF DUTY * * * UNDER A NEW WRITTEN AGREEMENT.' THE ROUND-TRIP TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF MEMBERS OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY MUST BE INCURRED INCIDENT TO HOME LEAVE TRAVEL PERFORMED BY AN EMPLOYEE HIMSELF TO BE REIMBURSABLE.

ON THE OTHER HAND, WHERE AN EMPLOYEE HAS ACQUIRED ELIGIBILITY FOR RETURN TRANSPORTATION TO THE UNITED STATES BY REASON OF HAVING COMPLETED AN AGREED PERIOD OF SERVICE AT AN OVERSEAS POST, HE IS ENTITLED UNDER THE SECOND PROVISO OF THE QUOTED SECTION TO ONE-WAY TRANSPORTATION TO HIS ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES FOR THOSE MEMBERS OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY WHO ACTUALLY TRAVEL TO THAT POINT UNACCOMPANIED BY HIM. THE RETURN TRANSPORTATION OF SUCH MEMBERS OF THE EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY TO THE EMPLOYEE'S OVERSEAS POST, HOWEVER, IS NOT ALLOWABLE UNDER THAT PROVISO. IN THE EVENT THE EMPLOYEE HIMSELF ACTUALLY PERFORMS ROUND- TRIP HOME LEAVE TRAVEL AT A LATER DATE, THE EXPENSES OF RETURNING HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY TO HIS OVERSEAS POST WOULD BE REIMBURSABLE BY THE GOVERNMENT UNDER THE LEAVE PROVISO. SHOULD SUCH SEPARATE TRAVEL OCCUR, IT WOULD BE NECESSARY THAT PRIOR TO HIS DEPARTURE FROM HIS OVERSEAS STATION THE EMPLOYEE SIGN A NEW AGREEMENT SPECIFYING A PERIOD OF SERVICE TO BEGIN ON THE DATE OF HIS RETURN FROM LEAVE.

THE SECOND CASE INVOLVES AN EMPLOYEE WHO ALSO HAS COMPLETED A TOUR OF DUTY IN THE PACIFIC, HAS INDICATED A WILLINGNESS TO SIGN AN AGREEMENT TO SERVE AN ADDITIONAL TOUR OF DUTY, AND HAS REQUESTED TRAVEL FROM HONOLULU TO HIS RESIDENCE IN RUMFORD, RHODE ISLAND, AND RETURN. THIS EMPLOYEE WAS ORIGINALLY APPOINTED FOR DUTY AT BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, ON JANUARY 27, 1948, AND, BEFORE BEING TRANSFERRED TO HONOLULU, SERVED AT A NUMBER OF STATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES FOR SHORT PERIODS. HE LAST SERVED IN THE STATES AT KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI. IT STATED THAT YOUR DEPARTMENT IS IN DOUBT AS TO WHETHER EXPENSES SHOULD BE RESTRICTED TO THOSE INVOLVING ROUND -TRIP TRAVEL TO KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI. IT STATED FURTHER THAT THE EMPLOYEE'S ACTUAL RESIDENCE IS RUMFORD, RHODE ISLAND, AND HE HAS NO INTEREST IN THE STATION FROM WHICH TRANSFERRED.

THE TERM "PLACES OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT TIME OF APPOINTMENT OR TRANSFER" IS NOT DEFINED IN PUBLIC LAW 737 AND NEITHER IS IT DEFINED IN THE REGULATIONS OF THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET IMPLEMENTING THAT LAW. WHILE IN MANY--- PERHAPS THE MAJORITY--- CASES THE PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT TIME OF THE TRANSFER OVERSEAS FACTUALLY WOULD BE THE PLACE FROM WHICH TRANSFERRED, THE LAW DOES NOT RESTRICT THE PAYMENT OF HOME LEAVE TRAVEL EXPENSES TO THAT PLACE. THE PLACE CONSTITUTING THE "ACTUAL RESIDENCE" MUST BE DETERMINED UPON THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES IN EACH INDIVIDUAL CASE. THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THAT DETERMINATION IS PRIMARILY AN ADMINISTRATIVE ONE. IN DOUBTFUL CASES WE WOULD, OF COURSE, MAKE SUCH A DETERMINATION UPON REQUEST, PROVIDED THE COMPLETE FACTS BE SUBMITTED. THE INSTANT CASE, WE ARE UNABLE TO MAKE AN INDEPENDENT DETERMINATION AS TO THE LOCATION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S ACTUAL RESIDENCE FROM THE MEAGER FACTS PRESENTED. ASSUMING, HOWEVER, THE CORRECTNESS OF THE CONCLUSIONS STATED IN THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S LETTER CONCERNING THE ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE OF THE EMPLOYEE BEING RUMFORD, RHODE ISLAND, AT TIME OF TRANSFER, WE BELIEVE THAT PAYMENT OF OTHERWISE PROPER HOME LEAVE TRAVEL EXPENSE TO THAT POINT WOULD BE AUTHORIZED BY LAW.

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