HR Order DOJ200.1: Part 13, Chapter 13-1: Leave and Travel Policy for Personnel on Overseas Assignments or Details (March 12, 2009)

Prepared by: JMD Human Resources and JMD Finance Staff

A. References.

Public Law (P.L.)

P.L. 109-234, § 1603

P.L. 110-417, § 1102

 

United States Code (U.S.C.)

5 U.S.C. § 6305

22 U.S.C. § 4081

28 U.S.C. § 530A

49 U.S.C. § 40118

Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.)

5 C.F.R. § 550, Subpart N

5 C.F.R. § 630

41 C.F.R. §§ 301-10.107, 10.136 to .138

Additional Guidance

Foreign Affairs Handbook (FAH)

Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM)

Specific Authorities

Appendix

B. Policy.

  1. Purpose

    The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to Department of Justice(DOJ or Department) Components regarding the management of leave and the payment of travel expenses related to the Department's Rest and Recuperation (R&R), Family Visitation Travel, and Home Leave programs. These programs are available to DOJ employees who are permanently assigned overseas and to individuals employed by, or detailed to, DOJ who are on official duty in Iraq or Afghanistan.

  2. Definitions
     

    1. Rest and Recuperation (R&R)

      This benefit allows DOJ employees permanently assigned overseas at certain posts that have been designated by the Secretary of State for R&R trips (R&R-designated posts) to travel to a designated R&R relief point having different social, climactic, or environmental conditions than the employees' assigned posts. Personnel receiving this benefit shall be granted all approved leave of absence from their assigned posts for which they may use accrued annual leave, sick leave, earned compensatory time, or leave without pay as appropriate. Travel and transportation expenses that personnel may incur as the result of R&R shall be paid by the Departmental Component.

    2. R&R Relief Points

      R&R relief points are travel destination areas designated by the Secretary of State for R&R trips. 3 FAH - Exhibit H-3722 (1) through(5) lists R&R-designated posts and their designated relief points. The United States is also a designated relief point for R&R travel.

    3. Special Rest and Recuperation (Special R&R)

      This benefit is provided to DOJ employees and individuals detailed to DOJ who serve at R&R-designated posts or at certain non-R&R posts that may become certified to receive "Special R&R" benefits in extraordinary circumstances where the otherwise non-designated post is experiencing "unique conditions of hardship." The Special R&R benefit allows personnel to be granted additional travel to a designated R&R relief point as defined in section 2.b. above, and to receive an approved leave of absence from their assigned posts for which they may be grained administrative leave. As of January 12, 2006, only Afghanistan and Iraq have been certified by the Secretary of State for employee eligibility to receive Special R&R travel benefits. DOJ will afford Special R&R travel benefits during fiscal years 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 to individuals employed by, or detailed to, DOJ who are serving in these locations.

    4. Regional Rest Breaks (RRB)

      This type of Special R&R benefit allows DOJ employees and individuals detailed to DOJ who are serving at R&R-designated posts or at certain non-R&R posts that may become certified to receive "Special R&R" benefits to receive relief from the extraordinary circumstances at their assigned posts to travel to areas in close proximity to the assigned posts (RRB Relief Points) and to be granted administrative leave for this purpose. Afghanistan and Iraq have been certified by the Secretary of State to receive RRBs. The Department will afford RRB benefits during fiscal years 2006, 2007, 2008. and 2009 to individuals employed by, or detailed to DOJ who are serving in these locations.

    5. RRB Relief Points

      RRB relief points are travel destination areas in close proximity to R&R- designated posts, which are designated by the Secretary of State. The RRB relief point, for personnel serving in Iraq is Amman, Jordan. Dubai is the RRB relief point for personnel serving in Afghanistan.

    6. Family Visitation Travel

      This benefit allows DOJ employees who are permanently assigned overseas and members of their families to travel for the purpose of family visitation. The benefit is afforded to eligible DOJ employees in situations: 1) where the employee's family is prevented by official order from accompanying the employee to, or has been ordered from, the assigned post because of imminent danger due to the prevalence of disturbed conditions: or 2) of family emergency. An eligible DOJ employee receives an approved leave of absence for which he/she may use accrued annual leave, sick leave, earned compensatory time, or leave without pay, as appropriate.

      The benefit is afforded to members of an eligible DOJ employee's family located overseas: 1) to travel from the employee's post of assignment to the U.S., or to another location outside the U.S., in situations of family emergency, or 2; to travel to the employee's post in emergency situations involving personal hardship if the employee's family is prevented by official order from residing at the employee's post.

    7. Home Leave

      An employee serving in a post outside of the United States (the several states and the District of Columbia) which is not his/her place of residence earns home leave at rates stated in 5 C.F.R. §§ 630.604 - 630.605. Home leave may only be used for travel to the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or U.S. territories or possessions. Employees, except for those in Afghanistan or Iraq, must complete a "base period" of 24 months of continuous service at the overseas location before they may use the leave. Generally, home leave may only be granted where the employee is expected to return to service overseas immediately following use of the leave or on completion of his/her assignment in the U.S. or at the close of a tour of duty substantially in excess of the base period (5 C.F.R. § 630.606). Home leave may be granted in combination with other forms of leave.

      Pursuant to section 1603 of the Emergency Supplemental Appropriation Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Hurricane Recovery, P.L. 109- 234, as amended by section 1102 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2009, P.L.. 110-417, the Attorney General is authorized during fiscal years 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 to provide home leave, and to pay for home leave travel for individuals employed by, or detailed to, DOJ on official duty in Afghanistan or Iraq who are expected to return to service abroad following their completion of twelve (12) months of continuous service at these posts. The Attorney General may further extend benefits in Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011 comparable to benefits granted by the Secretary of State to members of the Foreign Service serving in combat zones.

  3. Travel and Leave for DOJ Employees Permanently Assigned to Overseas Posts other than Iraq or Afghanistan

a. R&R Travel

  1. Eligibility Requirements
     

    1. DOJ employees permanently assigned overseas to designated R&R posts for a continuous two-year period are eligible to receive one (1) round trip to the U.S. or a designated R&R relief point.
       
    2. DOJ employees permanently assigned overseas to designated R&R posts for a continuous three-year period are eligible to receive two (2) round trips to the U.S. or designated R&R relief points.
       
    3. DOJ employees may take only one (1) R&R trip within any six-month period.
  2. Reporting Leave of Absence
    1. Time spent at designated R&R relief points will be charged to the employee's leave balance. Leave charged to the employee's balance will begin the first regularly scheduled work day after arrival and end on the last regularly scheduled work day prior to departure from the designated relief point. Employees are not entitled to any local (post) holidays, which occur after departure from the post on R&R travel.
       
    2. In most instances, travel to or from the R&R relief point should occur on non-work days. In locations where air transportation is erratic or unavailable on non-work days, travel time is excessively long, or connections are difficult, or for compassionate reasons, the authorizing official may determine that actual travel time may be charged to administrative leave. If granted for this purpose, administrative leave should not exceed two (2) days on either end of the trip. If travel is arranged to be taken on a work day for the convenience of the employee, transit time should he charged to the employee's leave balance.
       
    3. In accordance with 5 C.F.R. § 550, Subpart N, Compensatory Time Off for Travel, compensatory time cannot be earned while in transit for R&R travel. Such compensatory time can only be earned during other "official" travel, if eligible.
       
    4. The maximum length of an employee's leave of absence for R&R may be decided by the authorizing official with responsibility for the employee in question. Typically, the employee may be granted no more than ten (10) days leave for any one R&R trip.
       
    5. When managing R&R travel benefits, the authorizing official for the employee in question will assess mission needs and negotiate the schedule for any leave of absence with the employee. The authorizing official has the final approval for all leaves of absence.
  3. Travel and Transportation
     

    1. Travel and transportation expenses incurred as a result of R&R will be paid by the Departmental Component. Per diem is not authorized.
       
    2. Employees will use coach class for travel to and from designated R&R relief points. Premium class travel accommodations cannot be authorized for R&R travel. Employees may pay the difference in order to upgrade from coach to a higher class, as well as for travel to places other than designated R&R relief points. Cost construction using Government contract fares will be required for purposes of calculating amounts to be paid by employees. Travel and transportation expenses will be paid by the Government only for the trip between the designated R&R post and the designated R&R relief point. Travel costs exceeding the cost to and from the designated relief point are the employee's responsibility. The travel authorization must state the authorized R&R relief point.
       
    3. Employees will use Government contract Fares and the Fly America Act, 49 U.S.C. § 40118, must be observed. Exceptions to these requirements are covered in the Federal Travel Regulation (F.T.R), 41 C.F.R. § § 301 -10.107, 10.136 to 138. Government contract fares may not be used lor travel to points other than the designated R&R relief points.
       
    4. Employees who do not complete their assigned tour of duty must repay their Component for travel and transportation expenses that are associated with R&R travel and/or for RRBs already taken. Repayment will not be required in certain circumstances. see 3 FAM 3722(b). and the Department will consider waiving repayment in appropriate cases. The Component Head funding the detail or assignment may consider requests to waive repayment, which must be submitted in writing.
       
    5. Eligible family members may be authorized R&R travel consistent with 3 FAM 3721.4(c),(d).

    b. Family Visitation Travel

    1. A Department employee who is permanently assigned overseas is eligible to receive family visitation travel in situations where the employee's family is prevented by official order from accompanying the employee to, or has been ordered from, the assigned post because of imminent danger due to the prevalence of disturbed conditions. The benefit permits the eligible employee to use his/her available leave to travel and visit with his/her family located either in or outside the United States (U.S.). The definition of "family" found in 14 FAM 111.3 applies to DOJ employees.
       
    2. When family visitation travel is to the U.S., an eligible employee may elect either two (2) family visitation trips and no rest and recuperation travel; or one (1) family visitation trip and one (1) rest and recuperation trip. In exceptional circumstances involving unusual personal hardship, an eligible employee may be authorized two (2) family visitation trips and one (1) rest and recuperation trip.
       
    3. When the purpose of family visitation travel is to visit family members located abroad, an eligible employee may elect one (1) family visitation trip and one (1) rest and recuperation trip.
       
    4. Payment of travel and related expenses of a Department employee serving abroad who is eligible for family visitation travel is authorized pursuant to 28 U.S.C § 530A. With respect to any eligible employee whose family is located in the U.S., the Department may pay travel costs and expenses not to exceed two (2) round trips in a 12-month period. With respect to any eligible employee whose family is located outside the U.S., the Department may pay travel costs and expenses in a 12-month period not to exceed the cost of two (2) round trips to the District of Columbia.
       
    5. Members of an eligible DOJ employee's family located overseas may be permitted to travel from the employee's post of assignment to the U.S., or to another location outside the U.S., in situations of family emergency, or, if the employee's family is prevented by official order from residing at the employee's post, to travel to the post in emergency situations involving personal hardship.
       
    6. Payment for travel by family members of an eligible employee in situations of family emergency, or to an employee's post of assignment in emergency situations involving personal hardship, is authorized pursuant to 28 U.S.C § 530A. Travel to an employee's post of assignment may, however, be provided only where the employee's family is prevented by official order from residing at such post.

    c. Home Leave

    1. DOJ employees who are permanently assigned overseas must serve continuously at least one 24-month period at the assigned post before home leave can be used.
       
    2. Eligible DOJ employees may be granted leave of absence for home leave at a rate not to exceed one (1) week for each four (4) months of their service at the assigned, overseas post without regard to other leave provided in accordance with this policy. Travel for home leave for these employees will not be paid by the Department.
       
    3. Home leave must be taken in the U.S. or its territories or possessions.
       
    4. Employees who have served continuously for 24 months on an overseas assignment may use home leave during their continuing service oversells or within a reasonable time after their return provided that the employee will return to service overseas either immediately or on completion of an assignment in the U.S. (5 C.F.R. § 630.606(c)(2)).
  4. Travel and Leave for Department Personnel Employed in, or Detailed to, Afghanistan or Iraq

a. Special R& R Travel

  1. Eligibility Requirements

    1.  
    2. Eligibility for the Special R&R travel benefit is based on the total length of continuous assignment in, or detail to Afghanistan or Iraq during Fiscal Years 2006-2009.
       
    3. Eligible DOJ employees or individuals detailed to DOJ should take only one (1) Special R&R travel within a 6-month period.

      Afghanistan:

    4. Employees or individuals detailed to DOJ who are assigned or detailed to Afghanistan for twelve (12) months or more are entitled to two (2) Special R&R trips and two (2) RRBs of five (5) working days each.
       
    5. Employees or individuals detailed to DOJ who are assigned or detailed to Afghanistan for more than six (6) months but less than twelve (12) months are entitled to one (1) Special R&R trip and one (1) RRB of five (5) working days

      Iraq:

    6. Employees or individuals detailed to DOJ who are assigned or detailed to Iraq for twelve (12) months or more are eligible to receive either three (3) Special R&R trips to the United States or London, and no RRBs; or two (2) Special R&R trips to the United States or London, and three (3) RRBs of five (5) working days each (to be distributed evenly by opportunities for rest at reasonable intervals).
       
    7. Employees or individuals detailed to DOJ who are assigned or detailed to Iraq for at least nine (9) months but less than twelve (12) months are eligible to receive one (1) Special R&R trip to the U.S., only upon completion of 90 days service in Iraq, and two (2) RRBs of five (5) working days each.
       
    8. Employees or individuals detailed to DOJ who are assigned or detailed to Iraq for at least six (6) but less than nine (9) months are eligible to receive one (1) Special R&R trip to the U.S., only upon completion of 90 days service in Iraq, and one (1) RRB of five (5) working days.
  2. Reporting Leave of Absence for Special Rest and Recuperation and/or Regional Rest Breaks
     

    1. All DOJ employees or individuals detailed to DOJ who serve continuously in Afghanistan or Iraq for six (6) months or more will be authorized a limited amount of administrative leave to be used during Special R&Rs and RRBs.
       
    2. Employees or individuals detailed to DOJ on an assignment or detail of one (1) year (365 consecutive days) are authorized to receive up to twenty (20) days of administrative leave per year, not to exceed five (5) work days per RRB or ten (10) work days per Special R&R trip.
       
    3. Employees or individuals detailed to DOJ on an alignment or detail of nine (9) months but less than twelve (12) months are authorized to receive up to fifteen (15) days of administrative leave per year, not to exceed five (5) work days per RRB or ten (10) work days per Special R&R trip.
       
    4. Employees or individuals detailed to DOJ on an assignment or detail of six (6) months but less than nine (9) months are authorized to receive up to ten (10) days of administrative leave per year, not to exceed five (5) work days per RRB or ten (10) work days per Special R&R trip.
       
    5. In all cases, administrative leave shall not exceed ten (10) days per Special R&R trip or five (5) days per RRB.
       
    6. At the completion of a temporary duty assignment in Afghanistan or Iraq, with approval of the authorizing official for the individual in question, DOJ employees or persons detailed to DOJ may exhaust administrative leave earned for Special R&R and/or RRB trips and not used prior to returning to their permanent duty stations.
       
    7. Work day time spent traveling directly to the Special R&R or RRB relief point or work day travel time spent returning directly to post will be charged to administrative leave. (This does not include the administrative leave allotted above.)
       
    8. In accordance with 5 C.F.R. § 550, Subpart N, Compensatory Time Off for Travel, compensatory time cannot be earned while in transit for Special R&R or RRB travel. This can only be earned during other "official" travel, if eligible.
       
    9. With the approval of the authorizing official with responsibility for the individual in question, other leave may be charged to the individual's leave balance in order to extend a Special R&R trip or an RRB. For example, individuals who are assigned or detailed for 12 months in Afghanistan or Iraq may receive the maximum of 20 days of administrative leave for taking a combination of R&R and/or RRBs. The authorizing official does not have to grant all 20 days of administrative leave for one (1) trip, but administrative leave granted under this authority may be used in combination with approved annual leave in order to extend the leave of absence.
       
    10. The authorizing official with responsibility for the individual in question may approve administrative leave for Special R&R or RRB trips taken prior to the issuance of this policy by DOJ employees or individuals detailed to DOJ who were assigned to Afghanistan or Iraq retroactively back to fiscal year 2006. In order to recredit leave to the employee's leave balance, the timekeeper must prepare a certified leave audit signed by the employee's supervisor.
  3. Travel and Transportation
     

    1. Travel and transportation expenses incurred as a result of Special R&R or RRB benefits will be paid by the Department Component funding the detail. Per diem is not authorized while on, or in transit to or from, Special R&R or RRB trips; however, in special circumstances where the use of military flights for Special R&R or RRB travel in accordance with this policy necessitates an overnight stay enroute to or from the Special R&R destination or RRB relief point, the authorizing official may authorize payment of one day's per diem.
       
    2. When taking special R&R or RRB travel, individuals employed by, or detailed to, DOJ who are on official duty in Iraq must generally use military flights out of Baghdad. In special circumstances, however, e.g., a personal emergency or due to security concerns, the authorizing official may authorize payment for the cost of a commercial flight. Persons employed by, or detailed to, DOJ on official duty in Afghanistan may use commercial flights for Special R&R or RRB travel.
       
    3. DOJ employees or detailees traveling on commercial flights will use coach class for Special R&R travel; however, they may pay the difference in order to upgrade to higher class, as well as for travel to places other than designated Special R&R or RRB relief points. Premium class travel accommodations cannot be authorized for Special R&R or RRB travel. Cost construction using Government contract fares will be required for purposes of calculating amounts to be paid by employees or detailees.
       
    4. Government contract fares and the Fly America Act, 49 U.S.C § 40118, must be observed for Special R&R and RRB trips. Exceptions to these requirements are covered in F.T.R. 41 C.T.R. §§ 301-10.107, 10.136 to .138. Government contract fares may not be used for travel to R&R or RRB relief points other than those designated by the Secretary of State. The travel authorization must state the designated R&R relief point.
       
    5. If travel is extended beyond these designated areas, cost will be generated to the individual's Component upon Component approval.
       
    6. DOJ employees or detailees are not entitled to any local (post) holidays while on travel for a Special R&R or RRB.

      For example, since London or the U.S. are the designated Special R&R relief points for Afghanistan and Iraq. the Government will pay the expenses of an individual's trip between his or her assigned post and London or the U.S. If. however, the individual travels to Paris. France, instead, for R&R travel, then any difference between the cost of this trip and a trip to and from London or the U.S. will be paid by the individual, to the extent that that cost of the Paris trip exceeds the amount of a trip to the designated Special R&R relief point. The travel authorization must state either London or the U.S. as the designated Special R&R relief point The employee will ensure any differences are explained on the travel voucher.

    b. Home Leave

    1. During Fiscal Years 2006-2009, the Attorney General may grant home leave to, and may fund home leave travel for, a DOJ employee or detailee following completion by such employee or detailee of a continuous 12- month period of service in Iraq or Afghanistan.
       
    2. Individuals who have been employed by, or detailed to, DOJ and who serve continuously for twelve (12) months in Afghanistan or Iraq may use home leave during their continuing service overseas or within a reasonable time after their return provided that the individual will return to service overseas either immediately or on completion of an assignment in the United States (5 C.F.R. § 630.606(c)(2)).
       
    3. If an eligible individual chooses to take home leave, he or she must take a minimum of ten (10) work days. Use of home leave is optional; however, there is no requirement that individuals use this benefit after twelve (12) months at a designated post.

    5. Authorization

    1. Travel authorization for R&R, Special R&R and/or RRBs is made at the discretion of those officials with authority to approve travel and leave. Funding authorization for transportation costs should not be made until concurrence of the authorizing official for the individual in question and approval of leave has been obtained. In all cases, travel should only be requested after discussion and concurrence of the authorizing official.
       
    2. These benefits are subject to change, reduction, or termination when conditions at a post no longer warrant the need. The Department's decisions regarding the granting of additional benefits to specific posts will be made consistent with applicable statutory authority and determinations made by the Secretary of State.

    6. Guidance

    Questions pertaining to the administration of this program may be directed to the employee's servicing human resources office. If the servicing human resources office has questions, it may contact Justice Management Division, Human Resources. Questions pertaining to travel allowances may be directed to Justice Management Division, Finance Staff.

APPENDIX

SPECIFIC AUTHORITIES

R&R Travel and Benefits

Pursuant to the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (1980 FSA), 22 U.S.C. § 4081(6), the Department of State is authorized to utilize an R&R program for members of the Foreign Service serving abroad. As a result of recent counter-terrorism activity, the Department of State has provided additional R&R benefits, which are called Special Rest and Recuperation benefits (Special R&R) and Regional Rest Breaks (RRBs), for employees assigned in Afghanistan and Iraq. Pursuant to 281 U.S.C. § 530A, the Department administers R&R-related travel benefits for DOJ employees serving abroad consistent with the 1980 FSA and regulations issued by the Secretary of State, 3 Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) 3720, et seq.

Pursuant to section 1603 of the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, The Global War on Terror and Hurricane Recovery, P. L. 109-234, as amended by section 1102 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2009, P.L. 110-417, the Attorney General is authorized during Fiscal years 2006, 2007, and 2008, to provide to individuals employed by, or assigned or detailed to, DOJ who are on official duty in Iraq or Afghanistan the additional R&R benefits, (Special R&R and RRBs), which the Secretary of State provides to members of the Foreign Service serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. In Fiscal Years 2009, 2010, and 2011, the Attorney General may extend benefits comparable to those granted by the Secretary of State to members of the foreign Service serving in combat zones. Quarterly, the Secretary of State reviews the benefits extended to those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Department may modify the benefits it extends to those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan from the beginning of Fiscal Year 2009 forward to be consistent with the Department of State.

Family Visitation Travel

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C 530A, the Department pays the travel and related expenses of DOJ employees permanently assigned overseas for purposes of family visitation in situations where the employee's family is prevented by official order from accompanying the employee to or has been ordered from, the assigned post because of imminent danger due to the prevalence of disturbed conditions; or in situations of family emergency.

Also pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 530A, the Department may pay travel and related expenses for family members of eligible employees located overseas to travel from the employee's post of assignment to the U.S., or to another location outside the U.S. in situations of family emergency, or, if the employee's family is prevented by official order from residing at the employee's post, to travel to the employee's post in emergency situations involving personal hardship.

The Department administers this benefit for DOJ employees permanently assigned overseas consistent with the 1980 FSA, 22 U.S.C. § 4081(8),(9), and regulations issued by the Secretary of State, 3 Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) 3730, et seq. Family Visitation Travel is not available to individuals employed by, or detailed to, DOJ who are serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Home Leave

Pursuant to 5 U.S.C § 6305, home leave may be granted to DOJ employes permanently assigned to overseas posts other than Afghanistan or Iraq who are expected to return to service abroad following their completion of 24 months of continuous service at the overseas post.

Pursuant to section 1603 of the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, The Global War on Terror, and Hurricane Recovery, P.L. 109-234, as amended by section 1102 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2009, the Attorney General is authorized to provide and pay for home leave travel during fiscal years 2006, 2007, and 2008 for individuals employed by or assigned or detailed to DOJ who are on official duty, and who have completed 12 months of continuous service, in Iraq or Afghanistan. In Fiscal Years 2009, 2010, and 2011, the Attorney General may extend benefits comparable to those granted by the Secretary of State to members of the Foreign Service serving in combat zones. Quarterly, the Secretary of State reviews the benefits extended to those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Department may modify the benefits it extends to those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan from the beginning of Fiscal Year 2009 forward to be consistent with the Department of State.

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