B-126006, FEB. 15, 1956

B-126006: Feb 15, 1956

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YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES ON OR ABOUT JULY 11. WAS ALSO AUTHORIZED AT NO EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT. YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF SUCH TRAVEL WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REPORTEDLY WAS AVAILABLE. PROVIDES THAT WHERE TRAVEL IS DIRECTED TO BE PERFORMED BY GOVERNMENT CONVEYANCE AND SUCH CONVEYANCE IS AVAILABLE. TRAVEL IS PERFORMED BY ANOTHER MODE OF TRANSPORTATION. PAYMENT OF MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION IS PROHIBITED. STATES THAT GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WAS AVAILABLE FROM THE CANAL ZONE TO NEW YORK. YOU SAY THAT YOU WERE "INFORMED BY THE OFFICERS RESPONSIBLE THAT I WOULD NOT LEAVE THE CANAL ZONE UNTIL "SOMETIME IN AUGUST" INASMUCH AS THERE WAS "NO SPACE AVAILABLE FOR MY SHIPMENT.'" WHEN THERE IS A DISPUTE AS TO THE FACTS BETWEEN A CLAIMANT AND AN ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE.

B-126006, FEB. 15, 1956

TO COLONEL WILLIAM ALEXANDER, USA, RETIRED:

YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 20, 1955, REQUESTS REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED OCTOBER 17, 1955, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOU AND YOUR WIFE FROM CRISTOBAL, CANAL ZONE, TO NEW YORK, NEW YORK, DURING THE PERIOD JULY 11 TO 16, 1952.

BY EVACUATION ORDER NO. 89, DATED JULY 8, 1952, YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES ON OR ABOUT JULY 11, 1952, BY GOVERNMENT WATER TRANSPORTATION. TRAVEL VIA COMMERCIAL MEANS (PANAMA CANAL LINES) ON OR ABOUT JULY 12, 1952, WAS ALSO AUTHORIZED AT NO EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU AND MRS. ALEXANDER SAILED ON THE S.S. CRISTOBAL FROM CRISTOBAL, CANAL ZONE, TO NEW YORK, NEW YORK, ON JULY 11, 1952, FOR WHICH YOU PAID $110. YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF SUCH TRAVEL WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REPORTEDLY WAS AVAILABLE.

PARAGRAPH 4203-3C OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO SECTION 303 (A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 814, PROVIDES THAT WHERE TRAVEL IS DIRECTED TO BE PERFORMED BY GOVERNMENT CONVEYANCE AND SUCH CONVEYANCE IS AVAILABLE, BUT TRAVEL IS PERFORMED BY ANOTHER MODE OF TRANSPORTATION, PAYMENT OF MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION IS PROHIBITED. PARAGRAPH 7002-1B OF THE REGULATIONS, INSOFAR AS HERE PERTINENT, PROVIDES THAT TRANSPORTATION FOR DEPENDENTS TO OR FROM OVERSEAS STATIONS SHALL NOT BE OTHER THAN BY GOVERNMENT VESSEL IF AVAILABLE.

A REPORT FURNISHED BY THE CHIEF OF TRANSPORTATION, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, STATES THAT GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WAS AVAILABLE FROM THE CANAL ZONE TO NEW YORK, NEW YORK, ON JULY 12 AND 16, AND AUGUST 3 AND 12. YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 20, 1955, YOU SAY THAT YOU WERE "INFORMED BY THE OFFICERS RESPONSIBLE THAT I WOULD NOT LEAVE THE CANAL ZONE UNTIL "SOMETIME IN AUGUST" INASMUCH AS THERE WAS "NO SPACE AVAILABLE FOR MY SHIPMENT.'"

WHEN THERE IS A DISPUTE AS TO THE FACTS BETWEEN A CLAIMANT AND AN ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE, THIS OFFICE, NOT HAVING FIRST-HAND KNOWLEDGE OF THE FACTS, MUST NECESSARILY RELY ON THE FACTS AS REPORTED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE, IN ABSENCE OF CONVINCING EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY. SINCE THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT CLEARLY SHOWS THAT GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WAS AVAILABLE, THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS FOR REIMBURSEMENT TO YOU FOR THE COST OF THE TRANSPORTATION PERFORMED BY COMMERCIAL VESSEL AT PERSONAL EXPENSE.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF OCTOBER 17, 1955, WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.