A-12580, JANUARY 21, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 512

A-12580: Jan 21, 1926

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TEXAS FOR PASSAGE TO OBSERVE THE TESTS ON THE BB-47 (EX-WASHINGTON) WHICH WERE CONDUCTED AT SEA. WERE NOT. WERE IN A DUTY STATUS AND ARE NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR MESS BILLS INCURRED WHILE ON THE TEXAS. - 9.00 THE SAID VOUCHERS WERE DISALLOWED ON THE GROUND THAT THE OFFICERS WERE IN A DUTY STATUS WHILE ON THE TEXAS AND THEREFORE NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR COST OF SUBSISTENCE. WAS ISSUED TO LIEUTENANT COMMANDER WILSON. YOU WILL PROCEED TO HAMPTON ROADS. THIS IS IN ADDITION TO YOUR PRESENT DUTIES. UPON THE COMPLETION THEREOF YOU WILL RETURN TO WASHINGTON. WAS DETACHED FROM THE U.S.S. THE VOUCHER IN HIS FAVOR WAS TO REIMBURSE HIM FOR THE AMOUNT OF HIS MESS BILL WHILE ON BOARD THE U.S.S.

A-12580, JANUARY 21, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 512

TRAVELING EXPENSES - OFFICERS OF THE NAVY OFFICERS OF THE NAVY ORDERED TO PROCEED TO HAMPTON ROADS, VA., AND REPORT TO THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE U.S.S. TEXAS FOR PASSAGE TO OBSERVE THE TESTS ON THE BB-47 (EX-WASHINGTON) WHICH WERE CONDUCTED AT SEA, AND UPON COMPLETION OF THIS DUTY TO RETURN TO THEIR REGULAR STATIONS, WERE NOT, WHILE ON BOARD THE TEXAS, TRAVELING EITHER WITHIN OR OUTSIDE THE LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES IN NORTH AMERICA WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, 42 STAT. 631, BUT WERE IN A DUTY STATUS AND ARE NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR MESS BILLS INCURRED WHILE ON THE TEXAS.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, JANUARY 21, 1926:

F. G. PYNE, COMMANDER (S.C.), UNITED STATES NAVY, HAS APPLIED FOR REVISION OF SETTLEMENT NO. M-16317-N, DATED NOVEMBER 30, 1925, DISALLOWING CERTAIN VOUCHERS IN HIS ACCOUNTS FOR DECEMBER, 1924, AND JANUARY, 1925, COVERING REIMBURSEMENT FOR MESS BILLS INCURRED BY CERTAIN NAVY OFFICERS ON THE U.S.S. TEXAS, AS FOLLOWS:

CHART VOUCHER

NO. IN FAVOR OF--- AMOUNT 18981 LT. COMDR. W. W. WILSON ---------------- -------------- $9.00 19180 COMDR. GARRETT L. SCHUYLER ------------------- -------- 9.00 20263 REAR ADMIRAL CHARLES F. HUGHES ----------------------- 9.00 20628 CAPT. BION B. BIERER --------------------------------- 9.00 20686 LT. COMDR. A. M. CHARLTON ---------------------------- 8.00 20690 LT. COMDR. LESLIE L. JORDAN -------------------------- 9.00 20693 REAR ADMIRAL ROBERT STOCKER -------------------------- 4.00 20694 COMDR. HERBERT S. HOWARD ----------------------------- 9.00 21331 COMDR. HENRY K. HEWITT ------------------------------- 9.00 21332 LT. (J.G.) ROY T. COUDREY ---------------------------- 7.00 21792 COMDR. C. R. HYATT ------

9.00 21969 LT. J. E. KIERNAN (C.C.) ----------------------------- 10.00 22683 LT. JOHN D. CRECCA (C.C.) ---------------------------- 11.00 24040 CAPT. LEWIS B. MCBRIDE (C.C.) ------------------------ 9.00 24209 COMDR. KENNETH WHITING ------------------------------- 9.00

THE SAID VOUCHERS WERE DISALLOWED ON THE GROUND THAT THE OFFICERS WERE IN A DUTY STATUS WHILE ON THE TEXAS AND THEREFORE NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR COST OF SUBSISTENCE.

IN REGARD TO THE FIRST-DESCRIBED VOUCHER IT APPEARS THAT THE FOLLOWING ORDER, DATED NOVEMBER 11, 1924, WAS ISSUED TO LIEUTENANT COMMANDER WILSON, BUREAU OF ORDNANCE, NAVY DEPARTMENT: UBJECT: TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY.

1. ON OR ABOUT 15 NOVEMBER, 1924, YOU WILL PROCEED TO HAMPTON ROADS, VA., AND REPORT TO THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE U.S.S. TEXAS FOR PASSAGE TO OBSERVE THE TESTS ON THE BB-47 EX WASHINGTON.

2. THIS IS IN ADDITION TO YOUR PRESENT DUTIES, AND UPON THE COMPLETION THEREOF YOU WILL RETURN TO WASHINGTON, D.C., AND RESUME YOUR REGULAR DUTIES.

3. YOUR CLAIM FOR SUBSISTENCE WHILE ON BOARD THE U.S.S. TEXAS SHOULD BE FORWARDED VIA THE BUREAU OF NAVIGATION.

IT APPEARS FROM THE INDORSEMENTS ON THE ORDER QUOTED THAT LIEUTENANT COMMANDER WILSON LEFT WASHINGTON, D.C., 6.30 P.M. NOVEMBER 16, 1924; ARRIVED OLD POINT, VA., 6.30 A.M. NOVEMBER 17, 924; AND THERE REPORTED ON THE U.S.S. TEXAS; WAS DETACHED FROM THE U.S.S. TEXAS AT OLD POINT, A., 6.45 P.M., NOVEMBER 25, 1924, DUTY HAVING BEEN COMPLETED, AND ARRIVED AT WASHINGTON, D.C., THE NEXT MORNING. THE VOUCHER IN HIS FAVOR WAS TO REIMBURSE HIM FOR THE AMOUNT OF HIS MESS BILL WHILE ON BOARD THE U.S.S. TEXAS FROM NOVEMBER 17 TO 25, 1924, INCLUSIVE, AND IS IN ADDITION TO MILEAGE FROM WASHINGTON TO OLD POINT, VA., AND RETURN.

SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, 42 STAT. 631, PROVIDES MILEAGE FOR OFFICERS "WHEN TRAVELING UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS WITHOUT TROOPS" AT THE RATE OF 8 CENTS; AUTHORIZES ACTUAL EXPENSES OR PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FOR REPEATED TRAVEL AND PROVIDES:

* * * ACTUAL EXPENSES ONLY SHALL BE PAID FOR TRAVEL UNDER ORDERS OUTSIDE THE LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES IN NORTH AMERICA. * * *

THE CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR MESS BILLS WHILE ON THE TEXAS IS ON THE THEORY THAT THE OFFICER WAS TRAVELING UNDER ORDERS OUTSIDE THE LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES. IT IS TO BE OBSERVED THAT THE ORDER QUOTED DIRECTED NO TRAVEL OUTSIDE THE LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES. IT REFERS TO THE REPORTING ON THE U.S.S. TEXAS AS "FOR PASSAGE," BUT FOR PASSAGE TO WHAT POINT IS LEFT TO THE IMAGINATION. THE DUTY WAS "TO OBSERVE THE TESTS ON THE BB-47 (EX WASHINGTON)" AND IT IS UNDERSTOOD THESE TESTS WERE OBSERVED FROM THE TEXAS; AND THAT THE WASHINGTON WAS ANCHORED SOME 15 MILES AT SEA.

THE OFFICER WAS ACTUALLY ORDERED TO PERFORM A TEMPORARY DUTY POSSIBLE OF PERFORMANCE ONLY FROM ABOARD SHIP AND THE PORT AT WHICH THE SHIP NAMED COULD BE REACHED WAS STATED IN HIS ORDERS. AFTER REPORTING ABOARD FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNED HIS TRAVEL STATUS CEASED UNTIL THE DUTY WAS COMPLETED AND HE COMMENCED THE RETURN JOURNEY TO HIS PERMANENT STATION AFTER DETACHMENT FROM THE SHIP. SUCH MOVEMENT OF THE VESSEL AS WAS NECESSARY TO OBSERVE THE TESTS DID NOT CONSTITUTE THE OFFICER A TRAVELER ENTITLING HIM TO REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES IN ANY FORM, BUT WAS TRAVEL IN THE DISTRICT WHERE HIS DUTIES LAY. 4 COMP. DEC. 86; 19 ID. 17; 15 MS. COMP. DEC. 55, CASE OF BERTOLETTE, OCTOBER 4, 1900, AND 2 COMP. GEN. 673. IN THE LATTER CASE IT WAS SAID WITH RESPECT TO TRAVEL IN A MILEAGE STATUS TO A TEMPORARY STATION, REIMBURSEMENT BEING UNDER SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922:

* * * AN OFFICER IS NOT IN A TRAVEL STATUS AFTER ARRIVAL AT A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AND IS NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR ANY EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE AT SUCH TEMPORARY DUTY STATION. * * *

SEE ALSO 1 COMP. GEN. 728.

AS HAS BEEN FREQUENTLY STATED, MILEAGE IS A FORM OF COMMUTATION OF TRAVELING EXPENSE, BEING INTENDED TO REIMBURSE THE OFFICER FOR THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION, AND THE COST OF SUBSISTENCE, BOTH WHILE TRAVELING AND WHILE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF TEMPORARY DUTY. THE ASSUMPTION IN THIS CASE IS THAT THE OFFICER WAS ORDERED TO A DESIGNATED POINT ON THE HIGH SEAS AND RETURN THEREFROM, THUS GIVING HIM MILEAGE FOR THE LAND TRAVEL AND SUBSISTENCE DURING THE ENTIRE PERIOD OF THE PERFORMANCE OF TEMPORARY DUTY. THE NORMAL STATION OF A NAVAL OFFICER IS ON A NAVAL VESSEL, AND IF WHILE ON SHORE DUTY IN THE UNITED STATES HE IS ASSIGNED TO TEMPORARY DUTY POSSIBLE OF PERFORMANCE ONLY WHILE ABOARD A NAVAL VESSEL A FEW MILES FROM SHORE ON THE HIGH SEAS, HE IS NOT AFTER GOING ABOARD THE SHIP TRAVELING "UNDER ORDERS OUTSIDE THE LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES IN NORTH AMERICA" WITHIN THE INTENT AND MEANING OF SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10.

THE OTHER VOUCHERS DISALLOWED COVERED THE MESS BILLS OF THE RESPECTIVE OFFICERS WHILE ON BOARD THE TEXAS TO OBSERVE SAID TESTS UNDER SIMILAR ORDERS.