B-117873, JANUARY 27, 1954, 33 COMP. GEN. 318

B-117873: Jan 27, 1954

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WAS PAID TRAVEL ALLOWANCE PRESCRIBED BY PARAGRAPH 4154. IN EFFECT ON DATE OF DISCHARGE IS NOT ENTITLED TO ADDITIONAL TRAVEL ALLOWANCE BASED ON A MEMORANDUM PURPORTING TO AMEND SUCH REGULATIONS RETROACTIVELY TO DATE PRIOR TO DISCHARGE DATE. 1954: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 28. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU WERE DISCHARGED ON OCTOBER 29. THAT YOU WERE PAID $12.30 REPRESENTING MILEAGE FROM NEW YORK. YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOU ARE ENTITLED TO MILEAGE FROM A PORT OF DEBARKATION ON THE WEST COAST TO WORCESTER. IS BASED ON INSTRUCTION MEMORANDA 2-3. THE REGULATIONS FIXING THE AMOUNT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID WHICH WERE IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF YOUR DISCHARGE AND REENLISTMENT WERE ISSUED PURSUANT TO THAT STATUTORY AUTHORITY.

B-117873, JANUARY 27, 1954, 33 COMP. GEN. 318

TRAVELING EXPENSES - MILITARY, NAVAL, ETC., PERSONNEL - JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS - RETROACTIVE EFFECT A RIGHT TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE WHICH HAS VESTED AND BECOME FIXED MAY NOT BE INCREASED OR DECREASED BY SUBSEQUENT ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION IN PROMULGATING RETROACTIVE REGULATIONS, AND THEREFORE AN ENLISTED MAN WHO, INCIDENT TO DISCHARGE FROM SERVICE, WAS PAID TRAVEL ALLOWANCE PRESCRIBED BY PARAGRAPH 4154, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, IN EFFECT ON DATE OF DISCHARGE IS NOT ENTITLED TO ADDITIONAL TRAVEL ALLOWANCE BASED ON A MEMORANDUM PURPORTING TO AMEND SUCH REGULATIONS RETROACTIVELY TO DATE PRIOR TO DISCHARGE DATE.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL WEITZEL TO DONALD P. F. LACERTE, JANUARY 27, 1954:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 28, 1953, REQUESTING REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT DATED JULY 16, 1953, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL TRAVEL ALLOWANCE INCIDENT TO YOUR DISCHARGE AND REENLISTMENT OVERSEAS.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU WERE DISCHARGED ON OCTOBER 29, 1951; THAT YOU REENLISTED IN THE REGULAR AIR FORCE, AND THAT YOU WERE PAID $12.30 REPRESENTING MILEAGE FROM NEW YORK, NEW YORK (PORT OF DEBARKATION NEAREST HOME) TO WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS (HOME), IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 4154, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, IN EFFECT AT THAT TIME. YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOU ARE ENTITLED TO MILEAGE FROM A PORT OF DEBARKATION ON THE WEST COAST TO WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS, LESS THE PRIOR PAYMENT, IS BASED ON INSTRUCTION MEMORANDA 2-3, DATED DECEMBER 1, 1951, PURPORTING TO AMEND PARAGRAPH 4154, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, RETROACTIVELY TO AUGUST 1, 1951.

SECTION 303 (A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 813, 814, PROVIDES THAT UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES SHALL BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES UPON SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE, AND THAT THE SECRETARIES MAY PRESCRIBE THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES SHALL BE AUTHORIZED. THE REGULATIONS FIXING THE AMOUNT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID WHICH WERE IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF YOUR DISCHARGE AND REENLISTMENT WERE ISSUED PURSUANT TO THAT STATUTORY AUTHORITY. UNDER THOSE REGULATIONS YOU ACQUIRED A VESTED RIGHT TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE AS PROVIDED THEREIN AND SUBSEQUENT REGULATIONS MAY NOT INCREASE OR DIMINISH THAT VESTED RIGHT. SINCE YOU HAVE BEEN PAID THE FULL AMOUNT AUTHORIZED BY THE REGULATIONS WHEN YOU WERE DISCHARGED THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF ANY ADDITIONAL AMOUNT.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF JULY 16, 1953, WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.

WITH RESPECT TO YOUR REQUEST THAT YOU BE FURNISHED COPIES OF ALL CORRESPONDENCE CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM, YOU ARE INFORMED THAT THERE ARE NO PAPERS ON FILE HERE OTHER THAN YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 16, 1952, AND A COPY OF THE REPORT OF YOUR SEPARATION FURNISHED BY YOU, EXCEPT AN ADMINISTRATIVE TRANSMITTAL SHEET BEARING NO RECOMMENDATION AND A COPY OF YOUR PAY CARD SHOWING A CREDIT OF $12.30 AS TRAVEL ALLOWANCE FROM NEW YORK TO WORCESTER. IN THIS CONNECTION, HOWEVER, YOU MAY BE ADVISED THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE HAS NO FURTHER JURISDICTION OVER CLAIMS WHICH HAVE BEEN SETTLED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE.