A-8972, NOVEMBER 21, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 358

A-8972: Nov 21, 1925

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TRANSPORTATION - COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY OFFICER AND DEPENDENTS TRAVELING FROM AN OVERSEAS STATION TO THE UNITED STATES WHERE AN OFFICER OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY IS RELIEVED FROM DUTY AT AN OVERSEAS STATION AND ORDERED TO THE UNITED STATES. IS GRANTED PERMISSION TO TRAVEL BY AN INDIRECT ROUTE. HE MAY BE PAID AS REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES ONLY SUCH AMOUNTS AS ARE CLEARLY SHOWN WOULD HAVE BEEN NECESSARILY INCURRED BY HIM FOR TRAVEL BY THE DIRECT OFFICIAL ROUTE. THE DEPENDENTS OF AN OFFICER OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY MUST BE TRANSPORTED FROM AN OVERSEAS STATION TO THE UNITED STATES BY GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT IF A REGULAR SERVICE IS MAINTAINED BETWEEN SUCH OVERSEAS STATION AND THE UNITED STATES.

A-8972, NOVEMBER 21, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 358

TRANSPORTATION - COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY OFFICER AND DEPENDENTS TRAVELING FROM AN OVERSEAS STATION TO THE UNITED STATES WHERE AN OFFICER OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY IS RELIEVED FROM DUTY AT AN OVERSEAS STATION AND ORDERED TO THE UNITED STATES, AND IS GRANTED PERMISSION TO TRAVEL BY AN INDIRECT ROUTE, HE MAY BE PAID AS REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES ONLY SUCH AMOUNTS AS ARE CLEARLY SHOWN WOULD HAVE BEEN NECESSARILY INCURRED BY HIM FOR TRAVEL BY THE DIRECT OFFICIAL ROUTE. TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS MAY NOT BE ISSUED FOR TRAVEL VIA EUROPE TO AN OFFICER OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY RELIEVED FROM DUTY IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS AND ASSIGNED STATION AT WASHINGTON, D.C., THE ISSUANCE OF TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS AUTHORIZED BY LAW BEING LIMITED TO TRANSPORTATION BY, OR SUBSTANTIALLY BY, THE OFFICIAL, DIRECT, AND SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE. THE DEPENDENTS OF AN OFFICER OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY MUST BE TRANSPORTED FROM AN OVERSEAS STATION TO THE UNITED STATES BY GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT IF A REGULAR SERVICE IS MAINTAINED BETWEEN SUCH OVERSEAS STATION AND THE UNITED STATES, UNLESS IT IS SHOWN THAT ACCOMMODATIONS WERE NOT AVAILABLE FOR SUCH DEPENDENTS ON TRANSPORTS SAILING AT OR ABOUT THE TIME THE OFFICER WAS RELIEVED FROM DUTY AT HIS FOREIGN STATION. WHERE AN OFFICER OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY IS RELIEVED FROM DUTY IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS AND ASSIGNED STATION AT WASHINGTON, D.C., IF NO GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT IS AVAILABLE HE MAY BE REIMBURSED THE COST OF COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION OF HIS DEPENDENTS FROM THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS TO HIS STATION IN THE UNITED STATES BY THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE, THE ROUTE OF ACTUAL TRAVEL OF THE DEPENDENTS NOT BEING MATERIAL.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, NOVEMBER 21, 1925:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 8, 1925, AS FOLLOWS:

YOUR RULING IS REQUESTED ON THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS WHICH HAVE ARISEN IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THIS DEPARTMENT:

(A) A COMMISSIONED OFFICER IN THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY IS ORDERED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY FROM MANILA, P.I., TO WASHINGTON D.C., WITH A CORRESPONDING CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION. NO GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT IS AVAILABLE FOR HIS TRANSPORTATION ACROSS THE PACIFIC. HE HAS PERMISSION TO TRAVEL VIA EUROPE AND RETURNS THAT ROUTE. WHAT TRAVEL EXPENSES WILL BE ALLOWED HIM UPON HIS REPORTING AT WASHINGTON, D.C. ?

(B) THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY REGULATIONS PROVIDE: "IF DELAY EN ROUTE IS AUTHORIZED IN AN OFFICER'S ORDERS FOR HIS CONVENIENCE, THE OFFICER ISSUING THE TRANSPORTATION IS AUTHORIZED TO ISSUE SEPARATE TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS FOR THE COMPONENT PARTS OF THE JOURNEY, PROVIDED THE DISTANCE THUS INVOLVED DOES NOT EXCEED TWICE THE DISTANCE BY THE DIRECT ROUTE, AS GIVEN BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TABLE OF DISTANCES.' IN VIEW OF THIS, MAY THE DIRECTOR OF COAST SURVEYS ISSUE A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST TO THE OFFICER MENTIONED IN (A) FOR ALL OR ANY PART OF HIS TRAVEL BETWEEN MANILA AND WASHINGTON VIA EUROPE?

(C) UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES MENTIONED IN (A), WHAT TRAVEL ALLOWANCES WILL BE MADE FOR THE DEPENDENTS OF A COMMISSIONED OFFICER ACCOMPANYING HIM?

IN THE ACT OF JUNE 16, 1874, 18 STAT. 72, MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE ARMY FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1875, IT WAS PROVIDED:

* * * THAT ONLY ACTUAL TRAVELING EXPENSES SHALL BE ALLOWED TO ANY PERSON HOLDING EMPLOYMENT OR APPOINTMENT UNDER THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL ALLOWANCES FOR MILEAGES AND TRANSPORTATION IN EXCESS OF THE AMOUNT ACTUALLY PAID ARE HEREBY DECLARED ILLEGAL; AND NO CREDIT SHALL BE ALLOWED TO ANY OF THE DISBURSING OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES FOR PAYMENTS OR ALLOWANCES IN VIOLATION OF THIS PROVISION.

IN THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1875, 18 STAT. 452, THE FOREGOING PROVISION WAS REENACTED IN THE FOLLOWING LANGUAGE:

* * * THAT HEREAFTER ONLY ACTUAL TRAVELING EXPENSES SHALL BE ALLOWED TO ANY PERSON HOLDING EMPLOYMENT OR APPOINTMENT UNDER THE UNITED STATES, EXCEPT MARSHALS, DISTRICT ATTORNEYS, AND CLERKS OF THE COURTS OF THE UNITED STATES AND THEIR DEPUTIES; AND ALL ALLOWANCES FOR MILEAGE AND TRANSPORTATION IN EXCESS OF THE AMOUNT ACTUALLY PAID, EXCEPT AS ABOVE EXCEPTED, ARE HEREBY DECLARED ILLEGAL; AND NO CREDIT SHALL BE ALLOWED TO ANY OF THE DISBURSING OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES FOR PAYMENT OR ALLOWANCES IN VIOLATION OF THIS PROVISION.

THIS ENACTMENT PROHIBITS REIMBURSEMENT FOR CONSTRUCTIVE TRAVEL AS WELL AS PROHIBITS PAYMENT OF MILEAGE OR OTHER FORMS OF COMMUTATION OF TRAVELING EXPENSES. SUBSEQUENTLY MILEAGE WAS PROVIDED BY LAW FOR OFFICERS OF THE ARMY, NAVY, AND MARINE CORPS, AND MORE RECENTLY FOR OFFICERS OF THE COAST GUARD, PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, AND COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY, AND IN THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, 42 STAT. 631, SECTION 12, PROVISION WAS MADE FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR SUCH OFFICERS WHEN TRAVELING OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES. THE 1875 STATUTE HAS ALSO BEEN MODIFIED BY PROVISION FOR THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE WHEN TRAVELING, NOT ONLY IN THE SERVICES MENTIONED BUT GENERALLY. TO THE EXTENT THAT PARTICULAR CLASSES HAVE BEEN TAKEN OUT OF THE STATUTE BY SUBSEQUENT LEGISLATION IT HAS BEEN MODIFIED, BUT OTHERWISE THE ACT IN SUBSISTING LAW. IT PROHIBITS "REIMBURSEMENT" OF EXPENSES NOT ACTUALLY INCURRED, IN THE NATURE OF COMMUTATION, AND REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION NOT ACTUALLY PAID.

TRAVEL ON PUBLIC BUSINESS IS REQUIRED TO BE BY THE MOST DIRECT ROUTE, THAT IS, PROMPTLY AND AT THE LOWEST COST CONSISTENT WITH REASONABLE COMFORT TO THE TRAVELER, OR, AS IT IS GENERALLY EXPRESSED, THE TRAVEL MUST BE BY THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE. WHERE TRAVEL IS IN THE UNITED STATES THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS HAVE NOT QUESTIONED REASONABLE DEVIATION FROM THE MOST DIRECT ROUTE OF OFFICIAL TRAVEL APPROVED BY THE SUPERIOR OF THE TRAVELER FOR THE PRIVATE TRAVEL APPROVED BY THE SUPERIOR OF THE TRAVELER FOR THE PRIVATE INTERESTS AND CONVENIENCE OF THE TRAVELER UPON PAYMENT BY THE TRAVELER OF THE INCREASED COST FOR TRANSPORTATION, REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUBSISTENCE BEING NECESSARILY STOPPED WHILE THE TRAVELER IS NOT ON THE DIRECT ROUTE OF TRAVEL AND IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES. IN THIS CASE THERE IS NO VIOLATION OF THE 1875 ACT, AS THE SETTLEMENT IS CONCERNED WITH REIMBURSEMENT TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE INCREASED COST OF TRANSPORTATION.

THE CASE YOU HAVE PRESENTED IS THAT OF AN OFFICER RELIEVED FROM DUTY IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS AND ORDERED TO A NEW STATION IN THE UNITED STATES WHO IS PERMITTED TO TRAVEL BY WAY OF THE SUEZ CANAL AND EUROPE AND IS NOT SIMILAR TO THE REASONABLE DEVIATIONS PERMITTED IN TRAVEL IN THE UNITED STATES. NO TRAVEL BY THE ROUTE SELECTED IN THE CASE YOU HAVE PRESENTED IS REQUIRED IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND NONE OF THE EXPENSES OF SUCH TRAVEL ARE REIMBURSABLE. THIS SEEMS TO BE UNDERSTOOD, AND YOUR INQUIRY IS AS TO WHAT, IF ANY, OF THE ESTIMATED EXPENSES OF THE OFFICER BY THE OFFICIAL ROUTE CAN BE PAID HIM WHERE NO TRAVEL BY THAT ROUTE IS PERFORMED. SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, UNDER WHICH OFFICERS OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY ARE ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED THEIR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL, PROVIDES:

THAT OFFICERS OF ANY OF THE SERVICES MENTIONED IN THE TITLE OF THIS ACT, WHEN TRAVELING UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS WITHOUT TROOPS, SHALL RECEIVE A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE AT THE RATE OF 8 CENTS PER MILE, DISTANCE TO BE COMPUTED BY THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE AND EXISTING LAWS PROVIDING FOR THE ISSUE OF TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS TO OFFICERS OF THE ARMY TRAVELING UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS, AND FOR DEDUCTION TO BE MADE FROM MILEAGE ACCOUNTS WHEN TRANSPORTATION IS FURNISHED BY THE UNITED STATES, ARE HEREBY MADE APPLICABLE TO ALL THE SERVICES MENTIONED IN THE TITLE OF THIS ACT, BUT IN CASES WHEN ORDERS ARE GIVEN FOR TRAVEL TO BE PERFORMED REPEATEDLY BETWEEN TWO OR MORE PLACES IN THE SAME VICINITY, AS DETERMINED BY THE HEAD OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED, HE MAY, IN HIS DISCRETION, DIRECT THAT ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES ONLY BE ALLOWED. ACTUAL EXPENSES ONLY SHALL BE PAID FOR TRAVEL UNDER ORDERS OUTSIDE THE LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES IN NORTH AMERICA. UNLESS OTHERWISE EXPRESSLY PROVIDED BY LAW, NO OFFICER OF THE SERVICES MENTIONED IN THE TITLE OF THIS ACT SHALL BE ALLOWED OR PAID ANY SUM IN EXCESS OF EXPENSES ACTUALLY INCURRED FOR SUBSISTENCE WHILE TRAVELING ON DUTY AWAY FROM HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY, NOR ANY SUM FOR SUCH EXPENSES ACTUALLY INCURRED IN EXCESS OF $7 PER DAY. THE HEADS OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS CONCERNED ARE AUTHORIZED TO PRESCRIBE PER DIEM RATES OF ALLOWANCE, NOT EXCEEDING $6, IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE TO OFFICERS TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND AWAY FROM THEIR DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY.

IN SUCH A CASE AS YOU HAVE PRESENTED, FOR MANY YEARS THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS HAVE PERMITTED PAYMENT OF AN AMOUNT WHICH IT IS SHOWN WOULD, IN ANY EVENT, HAVE BEEN NECESSARILY INCURRED BY THE DIRECT ROUTE OF TRAVEL (29 MS. COMP. DEC. 903, JUNE 3, 1904, CASE OF MAJOR HOUSTON, WHERE THE OFFICER TRAVELED BY COMMERCIAL VESSEL FROM MANILA TO THE UNITED STATES AND WAS REIMBURSED FOR THE EXPENSES HE WOULD HAVE NECESSARILY INCURRED ON AN ARMY TRANSPORT). WHILE THE PRACTICE IS OPEN TO QUESTION UNDER THE ACT OF 1875, IT WILL NOT BE DISTURBED. IT SHOULD, HOWEVER, BE PROPERLY AND CAREFULLY GUARDED BY ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS, AND THE GOVERNMENT'S INTERESTS SHOULD BE CONSERVED. AS TO WHEN GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTS ARE NOT AVAILABLE, SEE BELOW.

ANSWERING YOUR QUESTION (A) SPECIFICALLY, IN THE CASE YOU HAVE PRESENTED, IF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT IS AVAILABLE THE OFFICER WOULD BE ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF WHAT HIS EXPENSES WOULD HAVE BEEN ON THE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT, PLUS HIS MILEAGE FOR ORDERED TRAVEL IN THE UNITED STATES. IF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT IS IN FACT NOT AVAILABLE, HE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF WHAT IT WOULD HAVE COST THE GOVERNMENT TO HAVE TRANSPORTED HIM BY COMMERCIAL VESSEL BY THE DIRECT ROUTE, THE ACCOMMODATIONS BEING LIMITED TO THE LOWEST PRICED FIRST-CLASS RATE, PLUS MILEAGE FOR ORDERED TRAVEL IN THE UNITED STATES.

THE ACT OF JUNE 12, 1906, 34 STAT. 246, PROVIDED MILEAGE FOR OFFICERS OF THE ARMY AT 7 CENTS PER MILE AND ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR SEA TRAVEL, WITH A PROVISION THAT "TRAVEL IN THE PHILIPPINE ARCHIPELAGO, THE HAWAIIAN ARCHIPELAGO, THE HOME WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES, AND BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND ALASKA SHALL NOT BE REGARDED AS SEA TRAVEL AND SHALL BE PAID FOR AT THE RATES ESTABLISHED BY LAW FOR LAND TRAVEL WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF THE UNITED STATES.' CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT RESPECTING THE ISSUANCE OF TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS HAVE BEEN EXTENDED TO ALL THE SERVICES MENTIONED IN THE TITLE OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, BY SECTION 12 OF THE ACT, QUOTED. THESE PROVISIONS ARE AS FOLLOWS:

* * * THAT OFFICERS WHO SO DESIRE MAY, UPON APPLICATION TO THE QUARTERMASTER'S DEPARTMENT, BE FURNISHED UNDER THEIR ORDERS TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS FOR THE ENTIRE JOURNEY BY LAND, EXCLUSIVE OF SLEEPING AND PARLOR CAR ACCOMMODATIONS, OR BY WATER; AND THE TRANSPORTATION SO FURNISHED SHALL, IF TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED UNDER A MILEAGE STATUS, BE A CHARGE AGAINST THE OFFICER'S MILEAGE ACCOUNT, TO BE DEDUCTED AT THE RATE OF THREE CENTS PER MILE BY THE PAYMASTER PAYING THE ACCOUNT, AND OF THE AMOUNT SO DEDUCTED THERE SHALL BE TURNED OVER TO AN AUTHORIZED OFFICER OF THE QUARTERMASTER'S DEPARTMENT THREE CENTS PER MILE FOR TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED, EXCEPT OVER ANY RAILROAD WHICH IS A FREE OR FIFTY PERCENTUM LAND-GRANT RAILROAD, FOR THE CREDIT OF THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE ARMY AND ITS SUPPLIES: AND PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT WHEN THE ESTABLISHED ROUTE OF TRAVEL SHALL, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, BE OVER THE LINE OF ANY RAILROAD ON WHICH THE TROOPS AND SUPPLIES OF THE UNITED STATES ARE ENTITLED TO BE TRANSPORTED FREE OF CHARGE, OR OVER ANY FIFTY PERCENTUM LAND-GRANT RAILROAD, OFFICERS TRAVELING AS HEREIN PROVIDED FOR SHALL, FOR THE TRAVEL OVER SUCH ROADS, BE FURNISHED WITH TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS, EXCLUSIVE OF SLEEPING AND PARLOR CAR ACCOMMODATIONS, BY THE QUARTERMASTER'S DEPARTMENT: AND PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT WHEN TRANSPORTATION IS FURNISHED BY THE QUARTERMASTER'S DEPARTMENT, OR WHEN THE ESTABLISHED ROUTE OF TRAVEL IS OVER ANY OF THE RAILROADS ABOVE SPECIFIED, THERE SHALL BE DEDUCTED FROM THE OFFICER'S MILEAGE ACCOUNT BY THE PAYMASTER PAYING THE SAME THREE CENTS PER MILE FOR THE DISTANCE FOR WHICH TRANSPORTATION HAS BEEN OR SHOULD HAVE BEEN FURNISHED: * * *.

FOR MANY YEARS PRIOR TO THIS LEGISLATION THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACTS OF THE ARMY HAD CONTAINED THE SUBSTANCE OF THIS PROVISION FOR FURNISHING TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS, AND THE DESIGN WAS TO SECURE TO THE GOVERNMENT THE BENEFIT OF LAND-GRANT DEDUCTIONS WHERE OFFICERS WERE TRAVELING IN A MILEAGE STATUS. IT WILL BE OBSERVED THAT THE AUTHORITY TO FURNISH TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS TO OFFICERS IS "UNDER THEIR ORDERS," THE TRANSPORTATION CONTEMPLATED TO BE FURNISHED IS OVER THE ROUTE THE OFFICER WILL BE REQUIRED TO TRAVEL UNDER THOSE ORDERS, AND WHERE TRAVEL DOES NOT ENTITLE THE OFFICER TO MILEAGE THE TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED IS THE EQUIVALENT OF REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES TO WHICH HE WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED HAD THE TRANSPORTATION NOT BEEN FURNISHED IN KIND. THIS PROVISION DOES NOT, HOWEVER, AUTHORIZE THE ISSUANCE OF TRANSPORTATION TO AN OFFICER TO TRAVEL IN A DIRECTION DIRECTLY OPPOSITE TO THAT REQUIRED BY HIS ORDERS.

QUESTION (B) IS ANSWERED BY SAYING THAT THE ISSUANCE OF TRANSPORTATION FOR ANY PORTION OF A JOURNEY VIA EUROPE ON A CHANGE OF STATION FROM MANILA TO WASHINGTON, D.C., IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF MAY 18, 1920, 41 STAT. 604, AUTHORIZED THE FURNISHING OF TRANSPORTATION FOR THE WIFE AND DEPENDENT CHILD OR CHILDREN OF AN OFFICER ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION AND PROVIDED:

* * * THAT IF THE COST OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION EXCEEDS THAT FOR TRANSPORTATION FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW STATION THE EXCESS COST SHALL BE PAID TO THE UNITED STATES BY THE OFFICER CONCERNED: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT TRANSPORTATION SUPPLIED THE WIFE OR DEPENDENT CHILD OR CHILDREN OF SUCH OFFICER, TO OR FROM STATIONS BEYOND THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES SHALL NOT BE OTHER THAN BY GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT, IF SUCH TRANSPORTATION IS AVAILABLE: * * *.

THE ISSUANCE OF TRANSPORTATION IN EXCESS OF THAT REQUIRED BY TRAVEL FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW STATION CHARGEABLE TO THE OFFICER AUTHORIZED IN THIS ACT IS TO PROVIDE FOR SITUATIONS WHERE THE DEPENDENTS OF THE OFFICER ARE NOT RESIDING WITH HIM AT HIS OLD STATION. IT DOES NOT CONTEMPLATE THE ISSUANCE OF TRANSPORTATION TO ANY POINT SELECTED TO THE AMOUNT IN VALUE OF TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN THE OLD AND THE NEW STATION. TRANSPORTATION FROM OVERSEAS STATIONS IS REQUIRED TO BE BY GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT. WHERE THERE IS A REGULAR SERVICE BY GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT BETWEEN AN OVERSEAS STATION AND THE UNITED STATES, SUCH TRANSPORT IS AVAILABLE UNLESS IT CAN BE SHOWN THAT ON THE VESSEL OR VESSELS SAILING AT OR ABOUT THE TIME OF THE OFFICER'S RELIEF FROM DUTY AT THE OVERSEAS STATION NO ACCOMMODATIONS WERE AVAILABLE FOR HIS DEPENDENTS ON SUCH GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT. THE MERE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SAILING DATES OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTS AND COMMERCIAL VESSELS WILL NOT CONSTITUTE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTS UNAVAILABLE ON THE DATE OF SAILING OF THE COMMERCIAL VESSEL; THAT IS, THERE MUST BE A GENUINE NONAVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT BEFORE THERE IS A RIGHT TO TRANSPORTATION BY COMMERCIAL VESSEL. 29 MS. COMP. DEC. 903.

THE LAST PARAGRAPH OF SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, PROVIDES:

IN LIEU OF THE TRANSPORTATION IN KIND AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 12 OF AN ACT ENTITLED "AN ACT TO (ETC.)" APPROVED MAY 18, 1920, TO BE FURNISHED BY THE UNITED STATES FOR DEPENDENTS, THE PRESIDENT MAY AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT IN MONEY OF AMOUNTS EQUAL TO SUCH COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION COSTS WHEN SUCH TRAVEL SHALL HAVE BEEN COMPLETED. DEPENDENT CHILDREN SHALL BE SUCH AS ARE DEFINED IN SECTION 4 OF THIS ACT.

THE RIGHT TO REIMBURSEMENT OF COMMERCIAL COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION AUTHORIZED BY THIS PROVISION AND THE REGULATIONS ISSUED THEREUNDER IS APPLICABLE TO TRANSPORTATION "FROM STATIONS BEYOND THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES" ONLY WHEN GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT IS NOT AVAILABLE AS HEREIN INDICATED. IF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT IS ACTUALLY AVAILABLE THERE IS NO RIGHT TO REIMBURSEMENT. YOUR QUESTION (C) IS ANSWERED BY SAYING THAT WHERE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT IS SHOWN TO BE NOT AVAILABLE, AS HEREIN INDICATED, REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE MADE OF THE COMMERCIAL COST OF TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN THE OVERSEAS STATION AND THE NEW STATION BY THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE "WHEN SUCH TRAVEL SHALL HAVE BEEN COMPLETED.'