A-15523, OCTOBER 12, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 252

A-15523: Oct 12, 1926

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - AERIAL SURVEYS - PER DIEM ALLOWANCES THE RULE THAT OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVY ARE NOT IN A TRAVEL STATUS AND NOT ENTITLED TO PER DIEM ALLOWANCES OR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHEN MOVING FROM POINT TO POINT WITH A NAVAL AVIATION UNIT IS LIMITED TO THE MOVEMENT OF AVIATION UNITS IN THE PERFORMANCE OF FUNCTIONS PECULIAR TO THEM AS PART OF THE NAVY AND DOES NOT BAR THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACT OF MARCH 3. THE DISALLOWANCE WAS BASED ON THE GROUND THAT TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED WITH A NAVAL UNIT AND NOT UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS. THAT THE WORK WAS PERFORMED IN JULY. WAS DIRECTED TO REPORT TO LIEUT. ORDERS FROM THE COMMANDANT OF THE ELEVENTH NAVAL DISTRICT WERE ISSUED TO LIEUTENANT WYATT.

A-15523, OCTOBER 12, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 252

TRAVELING EXPENSES - AERIAL SURVEYS - PER DIEM ALLOWANCES THE RULE THAT OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVY ARE NOT IN A TRAVEL STATUS AND NOT ENTITLED TO PER DIEM ALLOWANCES OR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHEN MOVING FROM POINT TO POINT WITH A NAVAL AVIATION UNIT IS LIMITED TO THE MOVEMENT OF AVIATION UNITS IN THE PERFORMANCE OF FUNCTIONS PECULIAR TO THEM AS PART OF THE NAVY AND DOES NOT BAR THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1925, 43 STAT. 1190, TO OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVY WHILE TRAVELING UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS BY AIRPLANE TO AND FROM A BASING POINT FOR AERIAL SURVEYS AND WHILE ACTUALLY ENGAGED ON THE DUTY SO ASSIGNED AT SUCH BASING POINT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, OCTOBER 12, 1926:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 27, 1926, REQUESTING REVIEW OF DISALLOWANCE OF THE CLAIM OF THOMAS WILLIAM WILLIAMS, A.P., UNITED STATES NAVY, FOR PER DIEM ALLOWANCE UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1925, 43 STAT. 1190, WHILE ON DUTY JULY 8 TO SEPTEMBER 29, 1925, IN CONNECTION WITH AN AERIAL SURVEY OF NAVAL OIL SHALE RESERVES NOS. 1 AND 3, IN COLORADO. THE DISALLOWANCE WAS BASED ON THE GROUND THAT TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED WITH A NAVAL UNIT AND NOT UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS.

IT APPEARS THAT UPON REQUEST OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, THE NAVY DEPARTMENT AUTHORIZED THE MAPPING OF THESE NAVAL SHALE RESERVES AND DETAILED LIEUT. B. H. WYATT, UNITED STATES NAVY, AND EIGHT ENLISTED MEN TO COMPOSE THE SURVEYING PARTY, AND THAT THE WORK WAS PERFORMED IN JULY, AUGUST, AND SEPTEMBER, 1925. T. W. WILLIAMS, AVIATION PILOT, UNITED STATES NAVY, BY ORDERS FROM THE COMMANDANT ELEVENTH NAVAL DISTRICT DATED JULY 6, 1925, WAS DIRECTED TO REPORT TO LIEUT. B. H. WYATT "TO ASSIST IN THE AERIAL SURVEY OF NAVAL SHALE RESERVES NOS. 1 AND 3.' INDORSEMENTS ON HIS ORDERS SHOW THAT HE REPORTED TO LIEUTENANT WYATT AT THE NAVAL AIR STATION AT SAN DIEGO, CALIF., ON JULY 6, 1925, AND THAT HE RETURNED TO SAID STATION, DUTY COMPLETED, ON SEPTEMBER 29, 1925.

ORDERS FROM THE COMMANDANT OF THE ELEVENTH NAVAL DISTRICT WERE ISSUED TO LIEUTENANT WYATT, JULY 6, 1925, DIRECTING HIM TO PROCEED VIA AIR TO RIFLE, COLO., FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING AN AERIAL SURVEY AT NAVAL SHALE RESERVES NOS. 1 AND 3. THESE ORDERS WERE CONFIRMED BY ORDERS FROM THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY AS FOLLOWS:

1. THE DEPARTMENT HEREBY APPROVES THE ACTION OF THE COMMANDANT ELEVENTH NAVAL DISTRICT, UNDER DATE OF JULY 6, 1925, IN DIRECTING YOU TO PROCEED, VIA AIR, FROM SAN DIEGO, CALIF., TO RIFLE, LO., FOR TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY TO MAKE AN AERIAL SURVEY AT NAVAL SHALE RESERVES NUMBERS ONE AND THREE.

2. YOU WILL BE REIMBURSED FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THIS DUTY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 5 OF AN ACT OF CONGRESS APPROVED MARCH 3, 1925 (PUBLIC NO. 585, 68TH CONGRESS) (H.R. 11472).

3. CLAIM FOR EXPENSES INCURRED WILL BE SUBMITTED VIA THE BUREAU OF NAVIGATION IN ORDER THAT THE AMOUNT THEREOF MAY BE MADE A MATTER OF RECORD.

SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1925, 43 STAT. 1190, PROVIDES:

TO COVER ACTUAL ADDITIONAL EXPENSES TO WHICH FLIERS ARE SUBJECTED WHEN MAKING AERIAL SURVEYS, HEREAFTER A PER DIEM OF $7 IN LIEU OF OTHER TRAVEL ALLOWANCES SHALL BE PAID TO OFFICERS, WARRANT OFFICERS, AND ENLISTED MEN OF THE ARMY, NAVY, AND MARINE CORPS FOR THE ACTUAL TIME CONSUMED WHILE TRAVELING BY AIR, UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS, IN CONNECTION WITH AERIAL SURVEYS OF RIVERS AND HARBORS, OR OTHER GOVERNMENTAL PROJECTS, AND A PER DIEM OF $6 FOR THE ACTUAL TIME CONSUMED IN MAKING SUCH AERIAL SURVEYS, TO BE PAID FROM APPROPRIATIONS AVAILABLE FOR THE PARTICULAR IMPROVEMENT OR PROJECT FOR WHICH THE SURVEY IS BEING MADE: PROVIDED, THAT NOT MORE THAN ONE OF THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE PAID FOR ANY ONE DAY.

THERE HAS BEEN A MISAPPREHENSION AS TO THE EFFECT OF DECISIONS OF FEBRUARY 25, 1926, A-11628, AND APRIL 7, 1926, A-13730, DENYING REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE TO AVIATION PERSONNEL UNDER LAWS RELATING TO TRAVEL BY AIR WHEN OPERATING AS A NAVAL UNIT OR A PART THEREOF. IN THE FORMER CASE IT WAS SAID:

THE CLAIMANT STATES HE WAS IN COMMAND OF A DIVISION OF THREE SEAPLANES WHICH INDICATES THAT SUPPLEMENTAL OR OTHER ORDERS CONTEMPLATED A MOVEMENT OF A NAVAL UNIT. OFFICERS MOVING WITH THEIR UNITS ARE NOT IN A TRAVEL STATUS ENTITLING TO REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES, WHETHER THE CRAFT USED BE AIRCRAFT OR WATERCRAFT.

IN THE CASE CONSIDERED IN DECISION OF APRIL 7, 1926, IT APPEARS THAT THE UNIT CONSISTED OF FOUR PLANES AND THE MINE SWEEPER GANNET, ASSIGNED AS TENDER, AND THE OTHERS COVERING THE MOVEMENT PROVIDED:

3. THIS EXPEDITION WILL BE CONSIDERED AS A UNIT OF THE AIRCRAFT SQUADRON, BATTLE FLEET, ASSIGNED ON DETACHED DUTY, AND AS SUCH WILL BE ORGANIZED AND EQUIPPED FROM PERSONNEL AND MATERIAL AVAILABLE TO COMMAND AIRCRAFT SQUADRONS.

THE BASIS OF THE HOLDINGS WAS AND IS THAT OFFICERS AND MEN ASSIGNED TO DUTY ON VESSELS OF THE NAVY ARE NOT IN A TRAVEL STATUS BECAUSE THE VESSEL MOVES FROM PLACE TO PLACE; THAT THE SAME IS TRUE OF AVIATION PERSONNEL SO ASSIGNED, THAT MOVEMENTS OF AVIATION UNITS IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THE FUNCTIONS PECULIAR TO THEM AS A PART OF THE NAVY DO NOT PLACE THAT PERSONNEL IN A TRAVEL STATUS ANY MORE THAN PERSONNEL ASSIGNED TO WATER- BORNE VESSELS OF THE NAVY IN LIKE SITUATION, AND THEIR RIGHT TO SUBSISTENCE IS IDENTICALLY THE SAME. IT WAS NOT THE PURPOSE, NOR DOES THE LANGUAGE USED JUSTIFY THE VIEW, THAT ALL ORDERED TRAVEL BY AIRPLANE WITH MORE THAN ONE PERSON CONSTITUTED A MOVEMENT OF A NAVAL UNIT, TO THE PRACTICAL NULLIFICATION OF THE LAWS PROVIDING FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES FOR TRAVEL BY AIR.

SO, ALSO, HAS THERE BEEN A MISAPPREHENSION AS TO THE HOLDING IN THE DECISION OF FEBRUARY 25, 1926, THAT THE ORDER IN THAT CASE ON THE FACTS THEN APPEARING WAS NOT A COMPETENT ORDER WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF JULY 11, 1919, 41 STAT. 109. THE ORDERS IN THAT CASE MERELY DIRECTED A MOVEMENT FROM HAMPTON ROADS, VA., TO POLAND SPRINGS, ME., AND THE CLAIM WAS FOR "REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH ATTENDANCE OF NAVAL PLANES AT CONFERENCE OF GOVERNORS HELD AT POLAND SPRINGS, ME.' THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED DID NOT SHOW THAT ANY NAVAL DUTIES WERE PERFORMED AND NO COMPETENT OFFICIAL OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT HAD CERTIFIED THAT ANY TRAVEL UNDER THAT ORDER WAS NECESSARY IN THE NAVAL SERVICE. WHETHER THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE NAVY WERE PROPERLY CHARGEABLE WITH OR AVAILABLE FOR EXPENSES OF THE TRAVEL COULD NOT BE ASCERTAINED FROM THE FACTS PRESENTED AND ON THOSE FACTS IT WAS HELD THAT THE ORDERS WERE NOT COMPETENT. IT WAS NOT THE PURPOSE NOR DESIGN OF THAT DECISION TO REQUIRE A PARTICULAR FORMULA OF WORDS IN TRAVEL ORDERS, NO VIRTUE ATTACHES TO THE USE OF PARTICULAR PHRASES. THE HOLDING OBVIOUSLY HAS NO APPLICATION WHERE THE ORDERS AND SUPPORTING PAPERS, AS IN THIS CASE, SHOW A PROPER ORDER EMANATING FROM AN AUTHORIZED OFFICIAL DIRECTING IN DETAIL THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTIES LEGALLY FOR PERFORMANCE BY OR UNDER THE NAVY DEPARTMENT.

UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES STATED THESE MEN ARE ENTITLED TO PER DIEM ALLOWANCES TO COVER EXPENSES INCURRED BY REASON OF SUCH TRAVEL AND DUTY AS PROVIDED IN THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1925--- THAT IS, $7 PER DAY FOR TIME CONSUMED IN TRAVEL FROM SAN DIEGO, CALIF., TO RIFLE, COLO., AND FOR THE RETURN JOURNEY AND TO $6 PER DAY WHILE ACTUALLY ON THE SURVEY DUTY AT THE BASING POINT.

SCHEDULE OF TRAVEL AND SURVEY PERIOD SUBMITTED BY AVIATION PILOT WILLIAMS SHOWS THAT HE LEFT SAN DIEGO, CALIF., JULY 8, AND ARRIVED AT RIFLE, COLO., JULY 9, 1925; THAT HE WAS ENGAGED IN MAPPING NAVAL RESERVES NOS. 1 AND 3 AND PARACHUTE CREEK QUADRANGLE FROM JULY 10 TO SEPTEMBER 25, 1925, INCLUSIVE, 77 DAYS; THAT HE LEFT RIFLE, COLO., VIA AIR ON RETURN TRIP ON SEPTEMBER 26, AND ARRIVED AT SAN DIEGO, CALIF., HIS PERMANENT STATION, SEPTEMBER 29, 1925, THUS CONSUMING 6 DAYS IN TRAVEL AND 77 DAYS IN SURVEY WORK.

IT APPEARS THAT UPON REQUEST OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY ORDERED LIEUTENANT WYATT, UPON COMPLETION OF DUTY IN MAKING AERIAL SURVEY OF THESE NAVAL SHALE RESERVES AND BEFORE HIS DEPARTURE FROM RIFLE, COLO., TO PHOTOGRAPH PARACHUTE CREEK QUADRANGLE ADJACENT TO THE NAVAL RESERVES, THE EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH SURVEY TO BE REIMBURSED BY THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT AS INDICATED IN LETTER OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, DECEMBER 7, 1925. PILOT WILLIAMS DOES NOT STATE IN THE SCHEDULE SUBMITTED HOW MUCH TIME WAS CONSUMED BY HIM IN SURVEY WORK ON THE PARACHUTE CREEK QUADRANGLE. SINCE THE EXPENSES INCURRED WHILE ON THE LATTER SURVEY ARE REIMBURSABLE FROM AN INTERIOR DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION, THE VOUCHERS SHOULD SHOW PERIOD OF TIME CLAIMANT WAS EMPLOYED ON THE PARACHUTE CREEK SURVEY.

UPON REVIEW THE DISALLOWANCE IS MODIFIED, AND UPON RECEIPT OF NECESSARY EVIDENCE TO PROPERLY CHARGE THE APPROPRIATIONS INVOLVED CLAIMANT WILL BE ALLOWED REIMBURSEMENT AS STATED HEREIN.