B-103361, OCTOBER 25, 1951, 31 COMP. GEN. 156

B-103361: Oct 25, 1951

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

MILEAGE - CHANGE OF STATION - NAVAL OFFICER AUTHORIZED LEAVE OF ABSENCE EN ROUTE TO VESSEL A NAVAL OFFICER WHO RECEIVES ORDERS DIRECTING HIM TO PROCEED TO A PORT IN WHICH A DESIGNATED VESSEL IS LOCATED AND REPORT ON BOARD SUCH VESSEL FOR DUTY. IS ENTITLED TO MILEAGE FROM HIS OLD DUTY STATION TO THE PLACE HE MUST TRAVEL AT THE EXPIRATION OF HIS LEAVE TO REACH THE VESSEL. THE METHOD BY WHICH SOME OF SAID DISBURSING OFFICERS HAVE DETERMINED THE AMOUNT DUE OFFICERS AS MILEAGE IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL PERFORMED UNDER ORDERS DIRECTING THEM TO PROCEED TO A PORT IN WHICH A DESIGNATED VESSEL WAS LOCATED AND REPORT ON BOARD SUCH VESSEL FOR DUTY. DELAY OF 10 DAYS IN REPORTING WAS AUTHORIZED IN SUCH ORDERS.

B-103361, OCTOBER 25, 1951, 31 COMP. GEN. 156

MILEAGE - CHANGE OF STATION - NAVAL OFFICER AUTHORIZED LEAVE OF ABSENCE EN ROUTE TO VESSEL A NAVAL OFFICER WHO RECEIVES ORDERS DIRECTING HIM TO PROCEED TO A PORT IN WHICH A DESIGNATED VESSEL IS LOCATED AND REPORT ON BOARD SUCH VESSEL FOR DUTY, WITH LEAVE AUTHORIZED EN ROUTE, IS ENTITLED TO MILEAGE FROM HIS OLD DUTY STATION TO THE PLACE HE MUST TRAVEL AT THE EXPIRATION OF HIS LEAVE TO REACH THE VESSEL, NOTWITHSTANDING THE VESSEL HAS MOVED CLOSER IN OR FARTHER AWAY DURING THE PERIOD OF HIS LEAVE. 18 COMP. GEN. 536, OVERRULED IN PART.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, OCTOBER 25, 1951:

THERE RECENTLY HAS COME TO ATTENTION IN THE AUDIT OF VOUCHERS PAID BY DISBURSING OFFICERS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, THE METHOD BY WHICH SOME OF SAID DISBURSING OFFICERS HAVE DETERMINED THE AMOUNT DUE OFFICERS AS MILEAGE IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL PERFORMED UNDER ORDERS DIRECTING THEM TO PROCEED TO A PORT IN WHICH A DESIGNATED VESSEL WAS LOCATED AND REPORT ON BOARD SUCH VESSEL FOR DUTY, LEAVE EN ROUTE BEING AUTHORIZED IN SUCH ORDERS.

AS AN EXAMPLE OF THE MILEAGE PAYMENTS REFERRED TO ABOVE, VOUCHERS NUMBERED 13 AND 14, JULY 1950, ACCOUNT OF C. W. UTTERBACK, COVER THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE TO LIEUTENANT (JG) JOHN C. KELLEHER, SC, USN, FOR TRAVEL FROM NEW YORK, NEW YORK, TO LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA, AND THENCE TO NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, UNDER ORDERS OF MAY 10, 1950, DETACHING HIM FROM DUTY AT NEW YORK ON MAY 21 AND DIRECTING HIM TO PROCEED TO THE PORT WHERE THE U.S.S. MANATEE MIGHT BE LOCATED AND REPORT FOR DUTY THEREON. DELAY OF 10 DAYS IN REPORTING WAS AUTHORIZED IN SUCH ORDERS. IT IS STATED THAT HE LEFT NEW YORK ON JUNE 4 AND REPORTED AT LONG BEACH ON JUNE 26, 1950. THIRD ENDORSEMENT OF JULY 21, 1950, U.S. NAVAL STATION, LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA, DETACHED HIM FROM TEMPORARY DUTY AT THAT STATION AND DIRECTED HIM TO CARRY OUT BASIC ORDERS, TRAVEL TO NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, TO REPORT TO THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE U.S.S. MANATEE, BEING DIRECTED IN SUCH ENDORSEMENT. IT APPEARS THAT HE LEFT LONG BEACH ON JULY 25 AND ARRIVED AT NORFOLK THE FOLLOWING DAY. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT PRIOR TO THE TIME OF HIS DEPARTURE FROM NEW YORK HE ASCERTAINED THAT THE VESSEL WAS AT LONG BEACH. INFORMATION FURNISHED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY INDICATES THAT THE VESSEL WAS LOCATED AT LONG BEACH UNTIL JUNE 8, THAT IT ARRIVED AT NORFOLK ON JUNE 28, 1950, DEPARTED THEREFROM ON JULY 3, AND RETURNED THERETO ON JULY 25, 1950.

AS ANOTHER EXAMPLE, VOUCHER NO. 79, SEPTEMBER 1950, ACCOUNT OF R. HELVEY, COVERS PAYMENT OF MILEAGE TO ENSIGN ROBERT J. SCHUSTER, USN FOR TRAVEL FROM SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, TO NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, AND RETURN, UNDER ORDERS OF MAY 22, 1950, DELIVERED TO HIM AT SAN FRANCISCO ON JULY 31, 1950, DIRECTING HIM TO PROCEED TO THE PORT WHERE THE U.S.S. RENSHAW MIGHT BE AND UPON ARRIVAL, REPORT ABOARD FOR DUTY, A DELAY OF 20 DAYS BEING AUTHORIZED THEREIN. IT IS STATED THAT THE OFFICER LEFT SAN FRANCISCO ON AUGUST 1 AND REPORTED AT NORFOLK ON AUGUST 29, AND THAT HE WAS DETACHED ON THE SAME DAY AND DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO SAN FRANCISCO FOR FURTHER TRANSPORTATION TO THE U.S.S. RENSHAW. UPON ARRIVAL AT SAN FRANCISCO ON SEPTEMBER 3, HE WAS FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION FOR OVERSEAS TRAVEL AND FINALLY REPORTED ON BOARD HIS DESIGNATED VESSEL ON SEPTEMBER 6, 1950, APPARENTLY AT PEARL HARBOR, T. H. IT IS INDICATED THAT THE VESSEL WAS LOCATED AT NORFOLK ON JULY 31, 1950, AT WHICH TIME IT LEFT THAT PLACE FOR SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, ARRIVING THEREAT ON AUGUST 11 AND DEPARTING ON AUGUST 14, 1950, EN ROUTE TO PEARL HARBOR.

THE RULE HAS BEEN LONG ESTABLISHED THAT WHEN LEAVE OF ABSENCE IS GRANTED IN CONNECTION WITH CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS, THE PERSON CONCERNED IS NOT REQUIRED FOR ANY OFFICIAL REASON TO PERFORM TRAVEL THEREUNDER UNTIL THE EXPIRATION OF THE LEAVE GRANTED AND HENCE, THAT IF HE TRAVELS BEFORE THAT TIME FOR PERSONAL REASONS IT IS AT THE RISK OF HAVING HIS ORDERS OR TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS THEREUNDER MODIFIED, SO THAT ANY EXCESS TRAVEL INVOLVED MUST BE REGARDED AS TRAVEL ON LEAVE AND NOT ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS. 8 COMP. GEN. 524; 9 ID. 315; 19 ID. 217; ID. 308; 26 ID. 40. AT THE TIME LIEUTENANT KELLEHER WAS REQUIRED TO COMMENCE TRAVEL FROM NEW YORK, THE U.S.S. MANATEE WAS EN ROUTE TO NORFOLK AND SINCE THE ONLY TRAVEL NECESSARY TO COMPLY WITH THE ORDERS OF MAY 10, 1950, WAS FROM NEW YORK TO NORFOLK, HE WAS ENTITLED TO MILEAGE ONLY FOR THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THOSE TWO PLACES. THE FACT THAT PRIOR TO THE TIME OF HIS DEPARTURE FROM NEW YORK ON LEAVE HE ASCERTAINED THAT THE VESSEL WAS THEN LOCATED AT LONG BEACH DID NOT ADD TO HIS RIGHTS. HE SHOULD HAVE ASCERTAINED WHERE THE VESSEL WAS OR WOULD BE WHEN HE WAS REQUIRED TO REPORT THEREON AT THE EXPIRATION OF HIS LEAVE. AT THE TIME ENSIGN SCHUSTER'S LEAVE EXPIRED, THE U.S.S. RENSHAW WAS EN ROUTE TO PEARL HARBOR AND NO TRAVEL IN THE UNITED STATES WAS REQUIRED TO REPORT FOR DUTY ON THAT VESSEL. HENCE, HE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO MILEAGE FOR THE TRAVEL FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO NORFOLK AND RETURN.

AUDIT ACTION ON THE ABOVE-MENTIONED AND OTHER SIMILAR VOUCHERS WILL BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING. TO THE EXTENT THAT DECISION OF DECEMBER 9, 1938, 18 COMP. GEN. 536, WHERE THE VESSEL MOVED FARTHER AWAY WHILE THE OFFICER WAS ON LEAVE, IS IN CONFLICT WITH THE PRINCIPLES OF THE ESTABLISHED RULE APPLIED HEREIN, IT NO LONGER WILL BE FOLLOWED. THAT IS, TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IN SUCH CASES IS AUTHORIZED FROM THE OLD STATION TO THE PLACE WHERE THE PERSON MUST TRAVEL AT THE EXPIRATION OF HIS LEAVE TO REACH THE VESSEL, WHETHER THE VESSEL HAVE MOVED CLOSER IN, AS IN THE TWO CASES HERE INVOLVED, OR FARTHER AWAY, AS IN THE CASE CONSIDERED IN THE SAID DECISION.