A Government employees union requested reconsideration of the Claims Group settlement which disallowed the claims of two union representatives for the granting of leave and reimbursement for travel expenses incurred when they attended a meeting. The union contended that the employees' attendance at the meeting was in the best interest of the Government, that management officials attended and that, therefore, the claims should have been allowed. GAO held that: (1) the employees were not entitled to reimbursement of travel that was not certified as primarily in the interest of the Government, since neither the applicable Executive Order nor the Joint Travel Regulations authorized such reimbursement; and (2) the determination as to whether to excuse employees from duty without charge to leave when the employees are representing labor organizations at a meeting is within the discretion of the agency. Such determinations will stand unless the agency action is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law. Accordingly, the prior decision was affirmed.
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