FAM Revisions for Implementing Domestic Partner Benefits

FAM Revisions for Implementing Domestic Partner Benefits

 

GENERAL

1. New 3 FAM 1610 (definition of “domestic partner” for purposes of qualifying for benefits/obligations under FAM provisions)

Domestic Partners

Definition of a Domestic Partner

A domestic partner for purposes of this section is an individual who meets all of the criteria listed in and who has been declared to be a domestic partner of an employee in accordance with subpart (B) below.

Declaration of a Domestic Partner

To obtain benefits and assume obligations of a “domestic partner” under the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) and Department of State Standardized Regulations (DSSR), an employee must file an affidavit of eligibility for benefits and obligations (3 FAM 1610 Appx.) with the

  • Bureau of Human Resources, Executive Office, Assignment Support Unit (HR/EX/ASU) (for Department of State employees),
  • Office of Human Resources/Foreign Service Personnel Division (for Agency for International Development employees)
  • Office of Human Resources/Operations and Benefits (OHR/O) (for the Broadcasting Board of Governors employees)
  • Office of Foreign Service Human Resources (OFSHR) (for Foreign Commercial Service employees)
  • Office of Foreign Service Operations (DAFAS) (for Foreign Agricultural Service employees)

identifying the domestic partner of the employee and certifying that the employee and the domestic partner of the employee –

  • are each other’s sole domestic partner and intend to remain committed to one another indefinitely;
  • have a common residence, and intend to continue the arrangement;
  • are at least 18 years of age and mentally competent to consent to contract;
  • share responsibility for a significant measure of each other’s common welfare and financial obligations;
  • are not married to, joined in civil union with, or domestic partners with anyone else;
  • are same-sex domestic partners, and not related in a way that would prohibit legal marriage in the State in which they reside;
  • agree to inform the Department of State of any dissolution of the partnership in accordance with subpart C below;
  • understand that the domestic partner will be held to standards of conduct in the FAM that apply to family members; and
  • understand that falsification of information within the affidavit may constitute a criminal violation under 18 U.S.C. 1001 and may lead to disciplinary action.

Dissolution of Domestic Partnership

(1) An employee or domestic partner of an employee who obtains benefits under the FAM and DSSR based on the domestic partnership must file a statement of dissolution of the domestic partnership not later than 30 days after the death of the employee or the domestic partner or the date of dissolution of the domestic partnership with —

  • the Bureau of Human Resources, Executive Office, Assignment Support Unit (HR/EX/ASU) (for Department of State employees)
  • Office of Human Resources/Foreign Service Personnel Division (for Agency for International Development employees)
  • Office of Human Resources/Operations and Benefits (OHR/O) (for the Broadcasting Board of Governors employees)
  • Office of Foreign Service Human Resources (OFSHR) (for Foreign Commercial Service employees)
  • Office of Foreign Service Operations (DAFAS) (for Foreign Agricultural Service employees)

(2) The Department is authorized to terminate any benefits received by the employee or domestic partner as a result of death of the employee or domestic partner or the dissolution of the partnership.

(3) Failure to file a timely statement of dissolution of the domestic partnership may result in disciplinary action and the recovery from the employee of the cost of benefits that should not have been received.

Other

For purposes of affording benefits, any child or children of a domestic partner of an employee shall be deemed a stepchild of the employee. The terms “child” or “children” shall include natural offspring, step-children, adopted children, and those under permanent legal guardianship (at least until age 18), or comparable permanent custody arrangement, of the employee or domestic partner when dependent upon and normally residing with the guardian or custodial party.

EMPLOYMENT

1. Changes to 3 FAM 7121 (to permit domestic partners to obtain employment preference at posts abroad currently provided to spouses and certain unmarried children):

Appointment eligible family member (AEFM): An individual who may qualify for a direct-hire Foreign Service appointment on either a family member appointment (FMA; defined below) or a temporary appointment (TEMP; defined below) provided that all of the following criteria are met:

(1) U.S. citizen; and
(2) The spouse or the domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610 of the sponsoring employee, or a child of the sponsoring employee, who is unmarried and at least 18 years old; and
(3) Listed on the travel orders of a sponsoring employee, i.e., a direct-hire Foreign Service, Civil Service, or uniformed services member who is permanently assigned to or stationed abroad at a U.S. mission, or at an office of the American Institute in Taiwan, and who is under chief-of-mission authority; and
(4) Residing at the sponsoring employee’s post of assignment abroad or, as appropriate, office of the American Institute in Taiwan; and
(5) Does not receive a U.S. Government retirement annuity or pension from a career in the U.S. Foreign Service or Civil Service.

Other family members or dependents of direct-hire Foreign Service, Civil Service, or uniformed services member’s travel orders are not AEFMs or U.S. citizen EFMs for purposes of 3 FAM 8200.

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U.S. citizen eligible family member (USEFM): For purposes of receiving a preference in hiring for a qualified position, a USEFM is an individualwho meets the following criteria:
(1) U.S. citizen; and
(2) The spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610) of the sponsoring employee, or a child of the sponsoring employee who is unmarried and at least 18 years old; and
(3) Listed on the travel orders of a sponsoring employee, i.e., a direct-hire Foreign Service, Civil Service, or uniformed services member who is permanently assigned to or stationed abroad at a U.S. mission, or at an office of the American Institute in Taiwan; and who is under chief-of-mission authority, and either:
(a) Resides at the sponsoring employee’s post of assignment abroad or, as appropriate, at an office of the American Institute in Taiwan; or
(b) Resides at an involuntary separate maintenance allowance (ISMA) location authorized under 3 FAM 3232.2. If residing at an ISMA location, the individual will not be listed on the sponsoring officer’s travel orders but will have a Form SF-1190 processed authorizing ISMA.

Other family members or dependents on direct-hire Foreign Service, Civil Service, or uniformed services member’s travel orders are not USEFMs or AEFMs for purposes of 3 FAM 8200.

2. Changes to 3 FAM 2212.3 (employment of spouses or dependents)

a. It is the policy of the Department to consider the employment or re-employment of spouses, domestic partners as defined in 3 FAM 1610, dependents or employees who wish to work at posts abroad. Such employment is subject to the approval of the chief of mission (see 3 FAM2220 and 3 FAM 4120).

b. Posts should routinely survey families as they arrive to determine which spouses, domestic partners or dependents desire employment and have skills which may be needed at the post. The usual provision for security clearances must be observed for all such appointments.

3. Changes to 3 FAM 8212 (Family Member Limited Noncareer Appointments – Definitions)

a. Family Member Appointment (FMA) is a type of Foreign Service Limited Noncareer Appointment available only to Appointment Eligible Family Members, as defined below, under the authority of Sections 309 and 311(a) of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended (22 U.S.C. 3949, 22 U.S.C. 3951(a)). A Family Member Appointment has a term of more than one year but not more than five years. A Family Member Appointment may be extended or renewed in accordance with Sections 309 and 311 (a) of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, and the regulations in 3 FAM 8210.

b. Appointment Eligible Family Member (AEFM) for purposes of 3 FAM 8210 is defined as a U.S. citizen spouse or domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610, or a U.S. citizen child as referred to in 14 FAM 511.3 who is at least age 18, and who, in either case, is on the travel orders of a Foreign or Civil Service employee or uniformed service member permanently assigned to or stationed at a U.S. Foreign Service post or establishment abroad or at an office of the American Institute in Taiwan abroad, and who does not receive a U.S. Government retirement annuity or pension based on a career in the U.S. Foreign, Civil, or uniformed service. The AEFM must be resident at the sponsoring employee’s or uniformed service member’s post or officeof assignment abroad, approved safe haven abroad, or alternate safe haven abroad. Other family members or dependents on the sponsoring employee’s or uniformed service member’s travel orders are not AEFMs for purposes of 3 FAM 8210.

BRIEFINGS, TRAINING,TRAVEL & MEDICAL

1. Changes to 14 FAM 511.3 (definitions to Foreign Service Travel Regulations’ Authority and Applicability; to provide for inclusion in travel orders, medical evacuation from post, travel and shipment of household effects, emergency visitation authority, inclusion in housing allocations, and training at FSI):

Eligible family members:

(1) Children who are unmarried and under 21 years of age or, regardless of age, are unmarried and incapable of self support. The term “children” shall include natural offspring, step-children, adopted children, and those under permanent legal guardianship (at least until age 18), or comparable permanent custody arrangement, of the employee or spouse or domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610 when dependent upon and normally residing with the guardian or custodial party;

(2) Parents (including stepparents and legally adoptive parents) of the employee or of the spouse or domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610, when such parents are at least 51 percent dependent on the employee for support (these parents are not authorized medical travel);

(3) Sisters and brothers (including stepsisters or stepbrothers, or adoptive sisters or brothers) of the employee, or of the spouse or domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610, when such sisters and brothers are at least 51 percent dependent on the employee for support, unmarried and under 21 years of age, or regardless of age, are incapable of self-support (these sisters and brothers are not authorized medical travel; see 3 FAM 3700); and

(4) Spouse or domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610;

2. Change to 16 FAM 116 (medical program)

Eligible family member: For the purpose of receiving medical benefits, includes the following members of an employee’s family:
(1) A spouse; or
(2) A domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610; or
(3) A child who is unmarried and under 21 years of age or, regardless of age, who is disabled, provided such disability existed on or before the 21st birthday of the child. An unmarried child who travels to post on educational travel orders. The term child includes natural offspring, stepchildren, legally adopted children, and those under legal guardianship of the employee or the spouse or the domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610 when such children are expected to be under legal guardianship at least until they reach 21 years of age and when dependent upon and normally residing with the guardian.

3. Change to 16 FAM 531 (medical coverage limitations)

Hospitalization and other benefits under the Medical and Health Program are subject to the following limitations:
(1) An eligible family member other than a spouse or domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610 is covered until his or her 21st birthday. An unmarried child who travels to post on educational travel orders is also covered. If the family member is disabled or is incapable of self-support because of a disabling medical condition as of his or her 21st birthday, the employee may request a continuation of insurance benefits. Such a request must be submitted to the Office of Medical Services (MED) no later than 31 days prior to the last day of the month in which the family member becomes 21. Periodically, MED will review the family member’s medical condition or disability to determine eligibility for continuing this benefit. The employee is responsible for informing MED of any changes in the family member’s medical condition that might affect his or her coverage under the program;

4. Changes to 3 FAM 1415 (briefings for eligible family members)

a. The schedule of briefings for a chief of mission includes scheduling of briefings for spouses or domestic partners as defined in 3 FAM 1610, so that they may also make careful preparation for assignments abroad. The Foreign Service Institute and the regional bureau will provide briefings on the following:
(1) Government organization;
(2) Current foreign policy;
(3) Post problems;
(4) The nature and character of the country where assigned, and its people; and
(5) The embassy, the residence, and the staff.
b. Spouses and domestic partners as defined in 3 FAM 1610 are encouraged to attend, along with the new ambassador, the two-week Ambassadorial Seminar organized by the Foreign Service Institute.
c. The Family Liaison Office (M/DGHR/FLO) seeks to establish continuing relationships with the spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610) of the chief of mission in order to assist such spouse or domestic partner in arranging for his or her departure and life after arrival at the post. M/ DGHR/FLO maintains current and comprehensive files on the contributions of dependents on the economic, political, and social-welfare life of countries of assignment. The Director and M/DGHR/FLO staff are prepared to discuss community activities at the post and the availability of support for embassy dependents’ projects with the chief of mission’s dependent(s). There are also files available on previous experience of direct interest to spouses and domestic partners.

5. Changes to 12 FAM 424.2 (spouse and dependent briefings)

a. Post management must strongly emphasize the advisability of having all spouses, domestic partners as defined in 3 FAM 1610, and adult dependents briefed on the security situation at post and actively encourage them to attend all security briefings to which they are invited.
b. The RSO or PSO must make unclassified security briefings available for spouses, domestic partners as defined in 3 FAM 1610, and other adult dependents of post employees as soon as possible after their arrival at post. Regularly scheduled post orientations may be used for this purpose. However, if a post does not have a formal orientation program, the security officer should make arrangements with the post’s community liaison office (CLO) to establish a dependent briefing program that would include all adult dependents.

6. Change to 12 FAM 264.2 (personal travel to critical HUMINT threat countries)

h. The Department encourages spouses, domestic partners as defined in 3 FAM 1610, and adult dependents of employees to advise the RSO, PSO, or DS/ICI/CAS as appropriate of their personal travel, and to receive any available defensive security briefings, especially those at post of residence.

7. Change to 12 FAM 276 (reporting travel to critical HUMINT threat countries)

i. The Department encourages spouses, domestic partners as defined in 3 FAM 1610, and adult dependents of employees to advise the RSO, PSO, or DS/ICI/CI, as appropriate, of their personal travel, and to receive any available CI defensive briefings, especially those at post of residence.

8. Changes to 3 FAM 3723 (dual entitlements to Rest & Recuperation Travel)

a. Employees or eligible family members may not receive dual entitlements. Therefore, the spouse or domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610 of an employee of a foreign affairs agency who is serving at post as a member of the uniformed services or as an employee of the same or another U.S. Government agency is eligible for R&R travel as the employee’s eligible family member provided:

(1) The other agency or uniformed service does not accord comparable benefits; and

(2) The spouse or domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610 is included on the employee’s Foreign Service Residence and Dependency Report (Form OF-126).

9. Changes to 3 FAM 3753.1 (children of separated families (distance) eligible for travel)

Eligibility for this travel extends to children as defined in 14 FAM 511.3 (eligible family members-EFMs), except that children under legal guardianship need not be normally residing with the employee at post. Accordingly:

(1) Natural children, stepchildren, adopted children, and children under legal guardianship or comparable permanent custody arrangement of a Foreign Service member when not residing with the member at post, are authorized visitation travel to post under section 3 FAM 3752 and section 901(15)(A) of the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (22 U.S.C. 4081(15)(A);
(2) Natural children, stepchildren, adopted children, and children under legal guardianship or comparable permanent custody arrangement of a Foreign Service employee who are living with the member at post are authorized visitation travel to visit the other parent or guardian under section 3 FAM 3752 and section 901(15)(B) of the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (22 U.S.C. 4081(15)(B));
(3) Stepchildren are eligible for visitation travel only if the spouse or domestic partner (as defined under 3 FAM 1610) parent (whether adoptive or natural) is residing at post with the Foreign Service member; and
(4) Children under the legal guardianship of an employee or spouse or domestic partner (as defined under 3 FAM 1610), or comparable permanent custody arrangement, are eligible for visitation travel from the member’s post of assignment abroad to visit a natural parent only when a court has ordered visitation rights.

10. Changes to Emergency Visitation Travel Provisions

3 FAM 3744 GENERAL PROVISIONS

EVT is authorized only under the following circumstances

(1) MEDICAL-A member of the employee’s or the employee’s spouse’s or domestic partner’s (as defined in 3 FAM 1610) immediate family is seriously ill or injured and faces imminent death. (Requires approval by the post upon recommendation by the Office of Medical Services.)
(2) DEATH-A member of the employee’s or the employee’s spouse’s or domestic partner’s (as defined in 3 FAM 1610) immediate family has died or the eligible family members must accompany the remains of the employee or of an eligible family member resident at the post of assignment who dies abroad to the place of interment in the United States or abroad. (Requires approval by the post.)
(3) INCAPACITATED PARENT-A parent of the employee or the employee’s spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610) becomes incapacitated and travel is necessary to arrange for the parent’s medical treatment or otherwise help assess the parent’s need for a new living situation or other form of care. (Requires approval by the Office of Employee Relations for State Department employees and by the Office of Human Resources for employees of other agencies.)
(4) UNUSUAL PERSONAL HARDSHIP-An employee or employee’s spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610) requires emergency family visitation in certain exceptional circumstances involving unusual personal hardship other than those provided in 3 FAM 3744, paragraphs (1) through (3). (Requires approval by the Office of Employee Relations for State Department employees and by the Office of Human Resources for employees of other agencies.)

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(7) Ordinarily, only the employee or the spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610) related to the seriously ill, injured or deceased family member will be authorized for EVT. However, in exceptional circumstances, such as the critical illness or injury of the traveler who otherwise would be authorized for EVT, the chief of mission or head of the Agriculture, BBG, Commerce, or USAID establishment abroad may authorize the employee, spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610) to travel in place of such traveler. In the case of travel authorized in 3 FAM 3744, paragraph (3), an employee may designate a spouse to travel in place of the employee.

3 FAM 3745 DEFINITIONS

(1) Eligible family member-Refer to 14 FAM 511.3.
(2) Immediate family member-The spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610) of the employee, and the children (including stepchildren, adopted children, and those who are or were under legal guardianship) and parents of the employee and the employee’s spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610). For EVT travel in cases of death, immediate family members shall also include the siblings (including stepbrothers and stepsisters) of the employee and of the employee’s spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610). Refer to 3 FAM 3746.2-2.
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(4) Parent-A mother or a father of the employee or the employee’s spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610), including stepparents, adoptive parents, or individuals who have stood in place of a parent. In no circumstance may an individual be deemed to have more than two parents.

3 FAM 3746 CATEGORIES OF AUTHORIZED EVT TRAVEL

3 FAM 3746.1 Medical

Employees and their spouses or domestic partners (as defined in 3 FAM 1610) are limited to one round trip for each serious illness or injury of each immediate family member. However, if the traveler returns to post from an EVT visit and the ill or injured immediate family member subsequently dies, a second trip may be approved under the provision of 3 FAM 3744, paragraph (2).

3 FAM 3746.1-1 Authorization Procedure

a. Upon receiving a request from the employee for EVT approval under this category, the post shall immediately request, via cable, that MED assess the medical condition of the immediate family member to be visited to determine whether the medical condition of the family member meets the requirements of 3 FAM 3745, paragraph (6). The cable shall include:

The name and address of the immediate family member, and the family member’s relationship to the employee or the employee’s spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610);

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e. In the event that the employee or employee’s spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610) has already identified two individuals as parents for EVT and subsequent request for EVT elects a third parental individual to visit, the offices above will advise the post that EVT is not authorized.

3 FAM 3746.1-3 Travel in Advance of Authorization

a. The employee or eligible spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610) may elect to travel in advance of authorized EVT. Travel expenses may be paid by either of the following methods:
(1) As a personal expense of the employee subject to reimbursement in the event of subsequent authorization; or
(2) As a Government expense subject to collection as an overpayment if it is determined upon further inquiry that the circumstances for which EVT was approved do not meet EVT authorization standards.
b. If an employee or eligible spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610) travels in advance of authorization of Government expense, the employee shall execute the following repayment acknowledgement prior to commencing travel:

REPAYMENT ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
“I, (Name), certify that I have read and understand 3 FAM 3740, and that all expenditures made by (Department of State, Agriculture, BBG, Commerce, or USAID) in connection with my Emergency Visitation Travel (or Emergency Visitation Travel of my eligible spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610) (Name), shall be subject to collection as an overpayment in the event that approval of such travel is determined to be unwarranted under the provisions of 3 FAM 3740. If I do not repay these funds immediately upon demand, I authorize the Government to deduct these funds from salary, allowances, lump sum payments, or any other source of funding that would otherwise be provided by the Government to me.”

________________________________
(Signature) (Date) (Typed Name)

After execution of the Repayment Acknowledgement, the post may procure transportation.

3 FAM 3746.2 Death

a. Only one round trip may be taken by the employee or the employee’s spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610) in case of death of any immediate family member.
b. Travel must commence as soon as practical upon notice that the immediate family member has died.
c. In case of death of an employee or eligible family member stationed abroad (whether death occurs at post of assignment or elsewhere), one round trip to the place of interment is allowable for eligible family members resident at post.

3 FAM 3746.2-1 Statement of Travel

a. The employee shall prepare a statement not more than 30 calendar days after completion of the travel providing the name and relationship (to the employee or employee’s spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610)) of the deceased.

3 FAM 3746.2-2 Reimbursement for Travel at Own Expense to Visit Sibling Who Subsequently Dies

In the event the employee or employee’s spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610) travels at his or her own expense to visit an ill or injured sibling, and the visited sibling dies within 45 calendar days of the traveler’s departure from post to make that visit, then the traveler may elect, either (but not both) of the following:

(1) Reimbursement for the round trip visitation travel already undertaken at his or her own expense (however, if the travel does not otherwise conform to all applicable Government travel regulations, reimbursement may only be provided up to the equivalent cost of round trip travel which meets such requirements); or

(2) Subsequent EVT round trip travel for the interment of that sibling.

 

3 FAM 3746.3 Incapacitated Parent

a. Travel must be to arrange medical care or home care services or to evaluate a facility placement for a parent who has become incapacitated and may not be able to continue living independently. Examples of circumstances in which this EVT may be approved include (but are not limited to) the following:
(1) Eyesight of a mother/father/stepparent (or one who has acted in this capacity) has deteriorated so that he or she may no longer be able to continue living independently;
(2) A mother/father/step-parent (or one who has acted in this capacity) must leave his or her assisted living facility because he or she requires medical or other care that is not available at that facility;
(3) A mother/father/step-parent (or one who has acted in this capacity) is showing increasing signs of dementia and may require placement in a skilled nursing facility.
b. EVT for the care of an incapacitated parent may not exceed two round trips over the lifetime of each eligible individual (the employee, the employee’s spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610)).
c. The employee or the employee’s spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610) may choose to use both EVT trips in this category in connection with the needs of one parent.

3 FAM 3746.3-1 Authorization Procedure

a. The employee shall submit a statement, or certification, to the post to serve as evidence of eligibility for the EVT benefit. The employee should provide as much detail as available at the time of the request for travel at Government expense that demonstrates that the request is consistent with the requirements of 3 FAM 3744, paragraph (3). The employee may choose to supplement the statement with additional detail as more information becomes available. A sample certification follows below.
b. At a minimum the certification must include:
(1) The name and address of the parent and that of the care facility if the parent is under temporary care away from the normal place of residence;
(2) A detailed description of the circumstances pursuant to which the EVT benefit is being claimed; and
(3) If the parent is other than a biological, step, or adoptive parent, a detailed description of the nature of the relationship which supports a claim that the individual “stood in the place of” a parent to the employee or the employee’s spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610).

 

SAMPLE CERTIFICATION

“I, (Name) certify that it is necessary for me (or for my spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610)) (Name), to travel to the location of my (or eligible spouse’s or domestic partner’s (as defined in 3 FAM 1610)) parent, (Name), who resides at (Complete Address), in order to assist in getting appropriate care or making new living arrangements due to recently discovered incapacity. I have the following indications that my (or eligible spouse’s or domestic partner’s (as defined in 3 FAM 1610)) parent may not be able to continue living independently:
————————————————————————————————————————————
I hereby declare that, if approved, this would be my (first/or second) eldercare trip at Government expense.

———————
(Signature)(Date)(Typed Name).

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e. Travel at Government expense without prior authorization is permitted, but the employee or eligible spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610) will provide the required certification statement of the parent’s health status and purpose of travel described above not more than 30 calendar days after completion of travel. The post shall follow the same procedures described in 3 FAM 3746.1-3 (with the exception of any MED determination). The employee shall be responsible for any expenditure not approved by the authorizing office, and all such costs shall be subject to collection as an overpayment.
f. In the event the employee or the employee’s spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610) elects to travel in advance of authorization, the following statement must be included in the employee certification:

“I have read and understand 3 FAM 3746.1-3, that all expenditures made by (the Department of State, Agriculture, BBG, Commerce or USAID) in connection with my Emergency Visitation Travel (or Emergency Visitation Travel of my eligible spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610)) (Name) shall be subject to collection as an overpayment in the event that approval of such travel is determined to be unwarranted under the provisions 3 FAM 3744. If I do not repay these funds immediately upon demand, I authorize the Government to deduct these funds from salary, allowances, lump payments, or any other source of funding that would otherwise be provided by the Government to me.”

FAM 3746.4 Unusual Personal Hardship

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d. Travel at Government expense without prior authorization is permitted, but the employee or eligible spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610) will provide the required certification statement of the parent’s health status and purpose of travel described above not more than 30 calendar days after completion of travel. The post shall follow the same procedures described in 3 FAM 3746.1-3 (with the exception of any MED approval). The traveler shall be responsible for all expenditures not approved by the authorizing office.

3 FAM 3748 TRAVEL LIMITATIONS AND FUNDING

3 FAM 3748.1 Travel Limitations

a. Travel from the post of assignment (place of temporary abode where the employee or employee’s spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610) is located because of official orders) to location in the United States of the seriously ill, injured, or deceased immediate family member or incapacitated parent will be by the most direct, usually traveled and inexpensive route.
b. Indirect travel may be performed only when necessitated by official duties to be performed enroute or when advantageous to the Government to purchase the ticket in foreign currency at an intermediate point.
c. Excess and near-excess foreign currencies are to be used to the maximum extent feasible.
d. In the event the seriously ill, injured, or deceased immediate family member or incapacitated parent is outside the United States or the remains of an immediate family member who has died abroad are to be accompanied to a place outside the United States, the cost of the travel by the employee or employee’s spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610) may not exceed the transportation expenses that would have been incurred for travel between the post and the employee’s separation residence of record, unless the presence outside the United States of the person to be visited is incident to the employee’s assignment abroad.

NB – Also make conforming changes to chart at 3FAM 3749

HOME LEAVE 

1. Proposed Change to 3 FAM 3433.2 (dual entitlements)

Employees may not receive dual entitlements, therefore:

(1) Each member of a tandem couple may accrue and use home leave in his or her own right when both are assigned abroad. However, if one member goes on LWOP to accompany his or her spouse or domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610 abroad, that member will be considered a dependent for travel and home leave entitlement purposes. Home leave travel as a dependent is considered a break in continuous service abroad. Home leave accrued prior to going on LWOP will remain to the employee’s credit and may be used when the employee returns to duty status and establishes eligibility; and

(2) The spouse or domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610 of an employee of the foreign affairs agencies who is serving at post as a member of the uniformed services or as an employee of another U.S. Government (USG) agency is eligible for home leave as the employee’s family member provided:

(a) The other agency or uniformed service does not accord comparable benefits; and

(b) The spouse or domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610 is included on the employees’ Form OF-126, Residence and Dependency Report.

OBLIGATIONS 

Proposed change to 3 FAM 1300 Appendix A (anti-nepotism)

Any ambassador, chief of mission, deputy chief of mission, principal officer or deputy principal officer because of the special responsibility and authority of these positions, must obtain the Director General’s approval of the arrangements proposed to be made to comply with this section when the spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610) of such an officer is assigned to the same post. The requirement for approval by the Director General also applies to the employment of a family member under the posts’ dependent-hire program.