B-125139, NOV 29, 1955

B-125139: Nov 29, 1955

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USN: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 14. WHILE YOU WERE ENGAGED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF A LOCAL FLIGHT IN THE IMMEDIATE AREA OF THE NAVAL STATION. YOU WERE VERBALLY DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO THE HARMON AIR FORCE BASE BECAUSE LOCAL WEATHER CONDITIONS WERE DETERIORATING BELOW SAFE MINIMUMS FOR LANDING AIRCRAFT. THE EXPENSES IN QUESTION WERE INCURRED BECAUSE OF THE NECESSITY TO LAND AWAY FROM YOUR STATION UNDER THOSE CIRCUMSTANCES. YOU STATE THAT REFUND FOR MEALS PAID FOR IN ADVANCE ON A MONTHLY BASIS AT THE COMMISSIONED OFFICERS' MESS (CLOSED) AT ARGENTIA IS NOT PERMITTED FOR ABSENCES OF LESS THAN SIX DAYS REGARDLESS OF THE CAUSE OF ABSENCE. IT IS YOUR CONTENTION THAT REIMBURSEMENT FOR YOUR EXPENSES AT THE HARMON AIR FORCE BASE IS PROPER ON THE BASIS THAT YOU WERE IN A TRAVEL STATUS ON GOVERNMENT BUSINESS WHEN SUCH EXPENSES WERE INCURRED.

B-125139, NOV 29, 1955

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

COMMANDER L. M. CULJAT, USN:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 14, 1955, REQUESTING A REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF JUNE 29, 1955, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF $2.40 WHICH YOU PAID FOR AN EVENING MEAL, LODGING, AND BREAKFAST FURNISHED TO YOU AT THE HARMON AIR FORCE BASE, NEWFOUNDLAND, ON JANUARY 6 AND 7, 1955.

YOU STATE THAT ON JANUARY 6, 1955, WHILE YOU WERE ENGAGED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF A LOCAL FLIGHT IN THE IMMEDIATE AREA OF THE NAVAL STATION, ARGENTIA, NEWFOUNDLAND, YOU WERE VERBALLY DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO THE HARMON AIR FORCE BASE BECAUSE LOCAL WEATHER CONDITIONS WERE DETERIORATING BELOW SAFE MINIMUMS FOR LANDING AIRCRAFT. THE EXPENSES IN QUESTION WERE INCURRED BECAUSE OF THE NECESSITY TO LAND AWAY FROM YOUR STATION UNDER THOSE CIRCUMSTANCES. ALSO, YOU STATE THAT REFUND FOR MEALS PAID FOR IN ADVANCE ON A MONTHLY BASIS AT THE COMMISSIONED OFFICERS' MESS (CLOSED) AT ARGENTIA IS NOT PERMITTED FOR ABSENCES OF LESS THAN SIX DAYS REGARDLESS OF THE CAUSE OF ABSENCE, WHICH FACT RESULTED IN YOUR BEING CHARGED TWICE FOR MEALS FOR THE SAME PERIOD. IT IS YOUR CONTENTION THAT REIMBURSEMENT FOR YOUR EXPENSES AT THE HARMON AIR FORCE BASE IS PROPER ON THE BASIS THAT YOU WERE IN A TRAVEL STATUS ON GOVERNMENT BUSINESS WHEN SUCH EXPENSES WERE INCURRED.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF AMOUNTS TO MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES FOR SUBSISTENCE AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES ARISING FROM THE NECESSITY TO PERFORM TRAVEL AWAY FROM THEIR DUTY STATIONS IS CONTAINED IN SECTION 303(A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 813, AS AMENDED. UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THAT SECTION PAYMENTS ARE AUTHORIZED, UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, ONLY IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL PERFORMED UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS. SUCH PROVISIONS CONTEMPLATE TRAVEL PERFORMED UNDER WRITTEN ORDERS WHICH SPECIFICALLY DIRECT THE TRAVEL INCIDENT TO WHICH SUBSISTENCE AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES ARE INCURRED. SUBPARAGRAPH 3002-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES, IN THAT CONNECTION, THAT "WRITTEN ORDERS ISSUED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY ARE REQUIRED FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL OR FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCIDENT THERETO." SUBPARAGRAPH 3002-2 OF THE REGULATIONS RECOGNIZES VERBAL ORDERS GIVEN IN ADVANCE OF TRAVEL AS MEETING THE REQUIREMENT FOR WRITTEN ORDERS ONLY IF SUBSEQUENTLY CONFIRMED IN WRITING AND APPROVED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY.

THE TRAVEL IN QUESTION IS STATED TO HAVE BEEN VERBALLY DIRECTED AND IT IS NOT SHOWN THAT SUCH VERBAL ORDER WAS CONFIRMED IN WRITING AND APPROVED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY AS REQUIRED IN THE CITED REGULATIONS. CONSEQUENTLY, IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT NO AUTHORITY EXISTS FOR THE PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM. ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF JUNE 29, 1955, IS SUSTAINED.