B-123963, SEP. 16, 1955

B-123963: Sep 16, 1955

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RAF: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 14. REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE PAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FOR TRAVEL UNDER AN INVITATION AUTHORIZATION SUCH AS THAT ISSUED TO YOU ARE CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPH 4. WHICH PROVIDES THAT WHEN TRAVEL IS AUTHORIZED BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE OF 7 CENTS PER MILE WILL BE PRESCRIBED. REIMBURSEMENT WILL NOT EXCEED THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSE BY USUAL COMMON CARRIER EXCEPT WHEN THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE IS DETERMINED AND SO AUTHORIZED AS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT.'. COMMERCIAL RAIL OR BUS WAS AUTHORIZED. TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED BY YOU BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE DURING THE PERIOD FROM JUNE 5 TO JULY 16.

B-123963, SEP. 16, 1955

TO SQUADRON LEADER DEREK S. SANDERSON, RAF:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 14, 1955, REQUESTING REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT DATED JANUARY 4, 1955, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED UNDER INVITATIONAL TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. 10288 DATED MAY 27, 1953, ISSUED AT HEADQUARTERS, AIR MATERIEL COMMAND, WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO, LESS AMOUNTS PREVIOUSLY CREDITED TO YOU FOR THAT TRAVEL.

REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE PAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FOR TRAVEL UNDER AN INVITATION AUTHORIZATION SUCH AS THAT ISSUED TO YOU ARE CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPH 4, CHAPTER AF T 11.5 AIR FORCE MANUAL 40-1 DATED MARCH 16, 1951, WHICH PROVIDES THAT WHEN TRAVEL IS AUTHORIZED BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE OF 7 CENTS PER MILE WILL BE PRESCRIBED, EXCEPT THAT ,REIMBURSEMENT WILL NOT EXCEED THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSE BY USUAL COMMON CARRIER EXCEPT WHEN THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE IS DETERMINED AND SO AUTHORIZED AS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT.'

UNDER THE AUTHORIZATION OF MAY 27, 1953, THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE INVITED AND AUTHORIZED YOU, AS AN RAF OFFICER UNDER THE USAF-RAF EXCHANGE PROGRAM, TO PROCEED ON OR ABOUT JUNE 5, 1953, FROM WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO, TO SEVERAL AIR FORCE BASES AND RETURN TO WRIGHT- PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, FOR THE PURPOSE OF STUDYING AIR MATERIEL COMMAND DEPOT SUPPLY OPERATIONS. TRAVEL BY MILITARY OR COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT, COMMERCIAL RAIL OR BUS WAS AUTHORIZED. ALSO, THE ORDERS AUTHORIZED "TPA" (TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE), AND STATED THAT TRANSPORTATION COSTS WOULD BE PAID BY THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT. TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED BY YOU BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE DURING THE PERIOD FROM JUNE 5 TO JULY 16, 1953. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT AN ADVANCE PAYMENT OF $300 WAS MADE TO YOU FOR THE TRAVEL IN QUESTION. UPON COMPLETION OF THE TRAVEL THE SUM OF $193.39, REPRESENTING THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR FIRST CLASS RAIL TRANSPORTATION AND PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS FOR THE TRAVEL, WAS FOUND DUE YOU WHICH WAS CHARGED AGAINST THE ADVANCE PAYMENT, AND THE BALANCE OF $106.61 WAS COLLECTED FROM YOU.

INVITATIONAL TRAVEL AMENDMENT NO. 22159, DATED DECEMBER 23, 1953, PURPORTS TO CONFIRM VERBAL ORDERS OF THE COMMANDER ON JUNE 5, 1953, AMENDING THE AUTHORIZATION OF MAY 27, 1953, TO PROVIDE, IN LIEU OF THE PROVISION FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE,"TPA, IT HAVING BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THIS MODE OF TVL IS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVT., " FOLLOWED BY THE SYMBOL "ESPWO" (EXIGENCIES OF THE SERVICE HAVING BEEN SUCH AS TO PRECLUDE THE ISSUANCE OF COMPETENT WRITTEN ORDERS IN ADVANCE). ACCOMPANYING YOUR CLAIM WAS A CERTIFICATION OF COLONEL LLOYD W. THACKER, USAF (WHO APPARENTLY WAS THE OFFICIAL RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ISSUANCE OF THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION OF MAY 27, 1953) DATED DECEMBER 21, 1953, TO THE EFFECT THAT IN AUTHORIZING YOUR TRAVEL HE HAD DETERMINED THAT THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE WAS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT AND THAT IT WAS HIS INTENTION THAT THE TRAVEL SHOULD BE SO AUTHORIZED. IN A COMMUNICATION FROM THAT OFFICER BEARING THE DATE OF NOVEMBER 16, 1953, HOWEVER, WITH REFERENCE TO YOUR CLAIM, IT WAS STATED THAT HE HAD INTENDED THAT TRAVEL BY PRIVATE CONVEYANCE SHOULD BE AUTHORIZED NOT MERELY AS A MODE OF TRAVEL BUT "ALSO IN RESPECT OF SUBSEQUENT REIMBURSEMENT," IT BEING CONSIDERED THAT GOVERNING DIRECTIVES PLACED RAF EXCHANGE OFFICERS ON THE SAME BASIS AS USAF OFFICERS WITH RESPECT TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL, AND THAT IT WAS NOT UNTIL THREE MONTHS AFTER THE TRAVEL AUTHORITY HAD BEEN ISSUED THAT THE WORDING ACTUALLY USED WAS FOUND INADEQUATE TO ACCOMPLISH THAT PURPOSE. PRESUMABLY SUCH DISCOVERY RESULTED IN THE ULTIMATE ISSUANCE OF THE AMENDMENT OF DECEMBER 23, 1953. IN ANY EVENT IT APPEARS TO INDICATE DEFINITELY THAT THE AMENDMENT WAS NOT IN FACT A CONFIRMATION OF A VERBAL ORDER OF JUNE 5, 1953, AS REPRESENTED, THE CAUSE FOR ITS ISSUANCE NOT ARISING UNTIL AFTER THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED.

OUR DECISIONS ARE UNIFORMLY TO THE EFFECT THAT EXCEPT TO COMPLETE OR CLARIFY INCOMPLETE OR AMBIGUOUS PROVISIONS, TRAVEL ORDERS MAY BE AMENDED RETROACTIVELY ONLY TO INCLUDE A PROVISION WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY INTENDED TO BE INCLUDED BUT WHICH WAS OMITTED THROUGH ERROR OR INADVERTENCE IN PREPARING THE ORDERS. 24 COMP. GEN. 439. YOUR INVITATIONAL ORDERS OF MAY 27, 1953, APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN COMPLETE AND FREE FROM AMBIGUITY. INDICATED IN COLONEL THACKER'S COMMUNICATION OF NOVEMBER 16, 1953, THEY WERE ISSUED IN A FORM THOUGHT TO AUTHORIZE ALLOWANCES COMPARABLE TO THOSE PROVIDED FOR AIR FORCE PERSONNEL. THE WORDING USED IN THE ORDERS WAS THE WORDING INTENDED TO BE USED AND WHILE IT GAVE RISE UNDER GOVERNING REGULATIONS TO A DIFFERENT FORM OF REIMBURSEMENT FOR RAF OFFICERS (REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES NOT TO EXCEED THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT HAD TRANSPORTATION IN KIND BEEN FURNISHED) THAN THAT AUTHORIZED FOR AIR FORCE PERSONNEL (MONETARY ALLOWANCE OF 5 CENTS PER MILE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION) IT MAY NOT BE CONCLUDED THAT THAT DIFFERENCE RESULTED BECAUSE OF AN OMISSION, THROUGH ERROR OR INADVERTENCE, OF A PROVISION INTENDED TO BE INCLUDED IN THE ORDERS AT THE TIME OF ISSUANCE. ACCORDINGLY, THE AMENDMENT OF DECEMBER 23, 1953, COULD HAVE NO RETROACTIVE EFFECT TO AMEND THE BASIC INVITATIONAL AUTHORIZATION OF MAY 27, 1953.

SINCE IT APPEARS THAT YOU HAVE RECEIVED CREDIT FOR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES TO THE EXTENT ALLOWABLE UNDER THE REGULATIONS, THERE IS FOUND NO PROPER BASIS FOR ALLOWING AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT ON YOUR CLAIM AS TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE, AND THE SETTLEMENT OF JANUARY 4, 1955, IS SUSTAINED.