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Civilian Personnel

Travel

Bonuses I Acceptance II Propriety A government employee received a one-time round-trip airfare certificate as an incentive to obtain a personal credit card. He used the certificate in conjunction with his temporary duty travel so that his wife could accompany him on the trip. The certificate was obtained separately and not incident to the use of official travel and, therefore, is not the property of the federal government. See, Use of Discover Charge Cards, B-236219, May 4, 1990. The employee is entitled to reimbursement of his airfare.

251 Temporary duty II Per diem

Additional expenses

Rest periods When an intermediate rest stop is precluded or not authorized for travel beginning or ending outside CONUS (the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia), the FTR, 41 C.F.R. § 301-7.11(e) (1991), permits agencies to schedule the arrival time at the temporary duty point to allow a reasonable rest period before reporting for duty. In the exercise of its sound discretion an agency may allow an additional rest period at destination when an employee is scheduled to arrive too late at night to permit adequate rest before reporting for duty. We will not overturn an agency's action unless it is unreasonable or an abuse of discretion. Thus, where two employees flew directly from Alaska to CONUS arriving late at night, an agency's allowance of an additional rest period before reporting for duty is upheld as reasonable.

3 Temporary duty Travel expenses Reimbursement

Eligibility A government employee received a one-time round-trip airfare certificate as an incentive to obtain a personal credit card. He used the certificate in conjunction with his temporary duty travel so that his wife could accompany him on the trip. The certificate was obtained separately and not incident to the use of official travel and, therefore, is not the property of the federal government. See, Use of Discover Charge Cards, B-236219, May 4, 1990. The employee is entitled to reimbursement of his airfare.

251

Military Personnel

Pay
Payroll deductions

Survivor benefits III Refunds Under 10 U.S.C. § 1452(b) the retired pay of a member who elects child-only Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP) coverage shall be reduced to provide coverage only as long as he has an eligible beneficiary. A retired reservist whose pay continued to be reduced after his daughter ceased to be eligible for an RCSBP annuity is entitled to a refund of amounts withheld from his retired pay since the time his child became ineligible for an annuity. Interest on such refund is not payable.

1 Survivor benefits

| Annuities III Eligibility

I Former spouses A provision in a property settlement agreement incorporated into a final divorce decree which states that the husband will not oppose the wife's right to perfect survivor benefits is unclear regarding whether the agreement is in regard to a Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuity and therefore, is not definite enough to provide a basis for the former spouse's deemed election request under SBP.

293

Miscellaneous Topics

Environment/Energy/Natural Resources

Natural resources II Leases

Interest III Computation Where section 506 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, 43 U.S.C. § 1334(a)2), charged the Secretary of the Interior to promulgate regulations specifying the interest rates to be used in calculating compensation due canceled lessees, the Secretary may establish any interest rate that is not arbitrary or inconsistent with the statute.

122

Finance Industry
Government corporations

Small business set-asides
II Funding levels

Amount determination The Export-Import Bank (Bank) should calculate the amount authorized for the small business setaside mandated by 12 U.S.C. $ 635(b)(1)(E)(v) by using its subsidy appropriation as the basis for its projection, plus such other reasonable factors that reflect aggregate Bank program activity. Since the set-aside is available exclusively for small business, the Bank may not use unspent amounts in the set-aside for other purposes.

347

Transportation
Public transportation systems
Commuting expenses

Discounts Federal agencies are required by section 118 of the Clean Air Act to comply with state regulations regarding the control of air pollution. 42 U.S.C. § 7418(a). Section 118 provides the statutory basis for an agency's use of appropriated funds to comply with a state regulation under which employers are required to provide financial incentives to employees for commuting to work by means of public transportation, carpooling and vanpooling, bicycling, and walking.

225

Procurement

Bid Protests IGAO procedures I Agency-level appeals II Preparation costs Costs incurred in filing and appealing agency's denial of Freedom of Information Act request are disallowed where request and associated costs were incurred after the filing of protest to the General Accounting Office (GAO) and the information requested was not necessary nor reasonably incurred for the filing and pursuit of the protest.

232 GAO procedures GAO decisions

Reconsideration The protester has the duty to set forth a detailed statement of all legal and factual grounds in its initial protest; issues not reasonably identified as protest grounds will not be considered as such by the General Accounting Office in response to protester's request for reconsideration of dismissal of its protest as untimely.

117 GAO procedures IGAO decisions

Reconsideration Request for reconsideration is denied where agency failed to conduct meaningful discussions with firm; agency should have discussed its concerns regarding technical proposals serious weaknesses which required amplification and had a significant adverse affect on the proposal's technical evaluation despite agency's failure to label these serious weaknesses as deficiencies or the determination that the proposal was otherwise acceptable. Reconsideration of protest decision is not warranted where requester essentially raises same arguments on reconsideration as were raised in original protest and request for reconsideration does not demonstrate that decision was based on an error of fact or law.

221 IGAO procedures

GAO decisions

Reconsideration The General Accounting Office's resolution of protest without holding a hearing does not constitute error warranting reconsideration of prior decision where the written record contained no inconsistent statements or evidence suggesting questionable or incomplete testimony by the contracting agency and there were no deficiencies otherwise apparent in the record.

265

Procurement

IGAO procedures
IGAO decisions

Reconsideration Request for reconsideration is denied where it is based on evidence that could have been but was not submitted by protester in the course of the original protest.

265 IGAO procedures

GAO decisions

Reconsideration Request to reconsider dismissal of a protest alleging that the Small Business Administration (SBA) failed to consider vital information regarding protester's past performance history in conjunction with a certificate of competency (COC) proceeding is denied where record shows that protester did not discharge its obligation to provide its own assessment of its performance history to SBA when requested to do so during the COC proceeding rather than that the procuring agency failed to furnish any required information to SBA.

273 GAO procedures GAO decisions Reversal

Legal errors Decision holding that the individual who signed a Certificate of Procurement Integrity did not have the required authority to bind the bidder at the time the bid was submitted is reversed, where on reconsideration the evidence establishes that the individual who signed the certificate was authorized to sign the certificate and bind the bidder.

262 IGAO procedures Information submission

Timeliness Request for reconsideration is denied where it is based on evidence that could have been but was not submitted by protester in the course of the original protest.

265 GAO procedures Interested parties

Direct interest standards Protester remained an interested party to pursue protest notwithstanding offer during protest process to charter to another agency vessels proposed under protested procurement where contracting agency had previously determined to continue performance notwithstanding the protest and had accepted delivery of up to 9 of the 12 ships for which award had been made; in these circumstances, it was primarily the actions of the agency, and not those of the protester, after the protest was filed

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