B-126644, MAY 2, 1956, 35 COMP. GEN. 607

B-126644: May 2, 1956

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SUBSISTENCE - PER DIEM - NAVAL PERSONNEL - RESERVE FLEET OVERHAUL NAVAL PERSONNEL WHO ARE ASSIGNED TO TEMPORARY DUTY FOR PERFORMANCE OF SECURITY AND INSPECTION IN THE QUINQUENNIAL OVERHAUL OF RESERVE ("MOTHBALL") FLEET VESSELS ON WHICH BERTHING AND MESSING FACILITIES ARE NOT GENERALLY AVAILABLE. WHO OCCASIONALLY RIDE THE VESSELS WHILE THEY ARE TOWED TO NEARBY SHIPYARDS. ARE NOT REGARDED AS TRAVELING ON BOARD GOVERNMENT VESSELS AND. THEY ARE ENTITLED TO PER DIEM AT REDUCED RATES. 1956: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JANUARY 7. IT IS POINTED OUT THAT THE VESSELS IN QUESTION CONSTITUTE THE RESERVE FLEET. BERTHING AND MESSING FACILITIES ARE NOT AVAILABLE ABROAD SUCH VESSELS WHILE UNDERGOING QUINQUENNIAL OVERHAUL.

B-126644, MAY 2, 1956, 35 COMP. GEN. 607

SUBSISTENCE - PER DIEM - NAVAL PERSONNEL - RESERVE FLEET OVERHAUL NAVAL PERSONNEL WHO ARE ASSIGNED TO TEMPORARY DUTY FOR PERFORMANCE OF SECURITY AND INSPECTION IN THE QUINQUENNIAL OVERHAUL OF RESERVE ("MOTHBALL") FLEET VESSELS ON WHICH BERTHING AND MESSING FACILITIES ARE NOT GENERALLY AVAILABLE, AND WHO OCCASIONALLY RIDE THE VESSELS WHILE THEY ARE TOWED TO NEARBY SHIPYARDS, ARE NOT REGARDED AS TRAVELING ON BOARD GOVERNMENT VESSELS AND, THEREFORE, THEY ARE ENTITLED TO PER DIEM AT REDUCED RATES, AND THE QUARTERS PORTION OF THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE NEED NOT BE SUPPORTED BY RECEIPTS.

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, MAY 2, 1956:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JANUARY 7, 1956, WITH ENCLOSURE, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE NAVY ( PERSONNEL AND RESERVE FORCES) CONCERNING EXCEPTIONS TAKEN BY OUR NAVY AUDIT BRANCH, CLEVELAND, OHIO, TO PAYMENTS OF PER DIEM ALLOWANCE TO MEMBERS ATTACHED TO THE RESERVE FLEET COMMANDS IN TACOMA, WASHINGTON, AND ORANGE, TEXAS, FOR TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY IN CONNECTION WITH QUINQUENNIAL OVERHAUL OF RESERVE FLEET VESSELS. IT IS POINTED OUT THAT THE VESSELS IN QUESTION CONSTITUTE THE RESERVE FLEET--- COMMONLY REFERRED TO AS THE "MOTHBALL FLEET"--- AND THAT, GENERALLY, BERTHING AND MESSING FACILITIES ARE NOT AVAILABLE ABROAD SUCH VESSELS WHILE UNDERGOING QUINQUENNIAL OVERHAUL. IT IS FURTHER STATED THAT WHEN ONE OF THESE VESSELS IS TAKEN FROM THE RESERVE FLEET BERTHING AREA, A SMALL GROUP OF PERSONNEL IS ORDERED TO PERFORM TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY IN CONNECTION WITH THE SECURITY AND INSPECTION OF THE VESSEL UNDERGOING OVERHAUL, AND THAT OCCASIONALLY THEY RIDE THE VESSEL WHILE IT IS BEING TOWED FROM THE BERTHING AREA TO THE SHIPYARD AND RETURN, WHILE IN OTHER INSTANCES THEY ARE PROVIDED TRANSPORTATION BY SOME OTHER MEANS. THERE WAS ENCLOSED A LETTER DATED JUNE 26, 1953, FROM THE CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL TO THE COMMANDERS OF BOTH THE ATLANTIC AND PACIFIC RESERVE FLEET, ISSUED PURSUANT TO FOOTNOTE Z, PARAGRAPH 4205 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PRESCRIBING LESSER PER DIEM RATES EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1953, FOR PERSONNEL ON TEMPORARY DUTY AT NAVAL OR COMMERCIAL SHIPYARDS IN CONNECTION WITH QUINQUENNIAL OVERHAUL OF VESSELS OF THE RESERVE FLEET THAN THOSE AUTHORIZED GENERALLY FOR OTHER TYPES OF TEMPORARY DUTY. THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY REQUESTS THAT PER DIEM PAYMENTS IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES BE DETERMINED TO BE LEGAL AND PROPER, AND THAT THE EXCEPTIONS BE REMOVED.

THE EXCEPTIONS INVOLVED WERE TAKEN ON THE BASIS OF OUR DECISIONS DATED DECEMBER 31, 1952, B-112626, AND JULY 27, 1953, B-115679, TO INDIVIDUAL CLAIMANTS. THOSE DECISIONS CONCERNED MEMBERS WHO WERE ORDERED TO REPORT TO THE OFFICER IN CHARGE OF THE EDGECOMBE (APA-164) AS MEMBERS OF A FERRY CREW FOR THAT VESSEL FROM PORTSMOUTH, VIRGINIA, TO BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, AND RETURN, AND FOR SUCH FURTHER DUTY AS MIGHT BE ASSIGNED ABOARD THE SHIP AT THE MARYLAND DRY DOCK COMPANY WHILE UNDERGOING QUINQUENNIAL OVERHAUL FOR A PERIOD OF ABOUT 62 DAYS. WE HELD THAT THE QUARTERS PORTION OF THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE COULD BE PAID IN THESE CASES ONLY IF SUPPORTED BY RECEIPTS BECAUSE, ON THE BASIS OF THE DUTY PERFORMED ON BOARD THE EDGECOMBE AND DURING THE PERIOD OF OVERHAUL WAS DUTY ON BOARD A VESSEL WITHIN THE MEANING OF PARAGRAPH 4201-9, CHANGE 2, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. UNDER THAT PARAGRAPH, PER DIEM WAS PAYABLE ONLY AS AUTHORIZED IN PARAGRAPH 4210, CHANGE 2, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, WHICH PROVIDED IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

MEMBERS TRAVELING UNDER ORDERS ON BOARD GOVERNMENT VESSELS ON THE INLAND OR COASTAL WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES SHALL NOT BE ENTITLED TO THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED BY PAR. 4205 FROM THE TIME OF EMBARKATION (BEGINNING OF TRIP) ON SUCH VESSEL TO THE TIME OF DEBARKATION (END OF TRIP) THEREFROM. * * * IF MEMBERS ARE REQUIRED TO PROCURE MEALS AND/OR QUARTERS OFF THE VESSEL WHILE PERFORMING SUCH TRAVEL ABOARD VESSEL, THEY SHALL BE ENTITLED TO A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE OBTAINED BY MULTIPLYING THE NUMBER OF MEALS REQUIRED TO BE PROCURED BY $1.50; PLUS A DAILY ALLOWANCE OF NOT TO EXCEED $4.50 FOR QUARTERS PURCHASED AS EVIDENCED BY RECEIPT. ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

REPRESENTATIVE OF THE EXCEPTIONS NOW UNDER CONSIDERATION ARE (1) VOUCHER NO. 61268, MARCH 1955 ACCOUNTS OF G. E. VAN, IN FAVOR OF NOLAN P. BERGER, BM1, FOR $107.50, CHECKED IN THE MEMBER'S PAY ACCOUNT OPENED JULY 1, 1955, AND (2) VOUCHER NO. 33533, MARCH 1955 ACCOUNTS OF G. F. FREISE, IN FAVOR OF WILLIAM H. BERGSTRESSER, CHMACH FOR $163, ALSO CHECKED IN THE MEMBER'S PAY ACCOUNT. BERGER WAS DIRECTED BY ORDERS DATED SEPTEMBER 1, 1954, TO PROCEED FROM ORANGE, TEXAS, TO GULFPORT SHIPBUILDING CORPORATION, PORT ARTHUR, TEXAS, A DISTANCE OF ABOUT 22 MILES, FOR TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY AS A MEMBER OF THE SECURITY DETAIL FOR THE QUINQUENNIAL OVERHAUL OF THE INVADE (AM-254) FOR A PERIOD OF ABOUT 47 DAYS. HE CERTIFIES THAT HE TRAVELED TO HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION, AND RETURNED, BY GOVERNMENT VESSEL. BERGSTRESSER WAS DIRECTED BY ORDERS DATED DECEMBER 21, 1954, TO PROCEED FROM TACOMA, WASHINGTON, A DISTANCE OF 32 MILES, FOR TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY AS OFFICER IN CHARGE OF THE SECURITY AND INSPECTION CREW FOR THE QUINQUENNIAL OVERHAUL OF THE U.S.S. CAPE GLOUCESTER (CVE-109), FOR A PERIOD OF APPROXIMATELY 59 DAYS. IT IS SHOWN THAT HE TRAVELED TO HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION, AND RETURNED, BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE. BOTH CASES THE ORDERS CONTAINED A REFERENCE TO THE LETTER OF JUNE 26, 1953, ISSUED BY THE CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL PRESCRIBING LESSER PER DIEM PAYMENTS THAN THOSE OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED IN PARAGRAPH 4205-6, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AND THERE IS A CERTIFICATION THAT NO GOVERNMENT QUARTERS OR MESSING FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE.

IT SEEMS EVIDENT, IN THE LIGHT OF THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE LETTER OF JANUARY 7, 1956, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE NAVY FOR PERSONNEL AND RESERVE FORCES, THAT THE ORDERS IN THESE CASES SERVED ONLY TO ASSIGN THE MEMBERS CONCERNED TO TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY AT SHIPYARDS IN THE GENERAL AREA OF THEIR PERMANENT DUTY STATIONS. HENCE, WE MUST CONCLUDE THAT THESE MEMBERS WERE NOT TRAVELING ABOARD GOVERNMENT VESSELS AND THAT THEIR RIGHT TO PER DIEM WAS NOT RESTRICTED BY THE LIMITATION IN PARAGRAPH 4210, CHANGE 2, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, THAT PAYMENT OF THE QUARTERS PORTION OF THE ALLOWANCE MUST BE SUPPORTED BY RECEIPTS FOR QUARTERS PURCHASED.

IT FOLLOWS THAT THESE MEMBERS AND OTHERS SIMILARLY DETAILED TO SECURITY AND INSPECTION DUTY IN CONNECTION WITH QUINQUENNIAL OVERHAUL OF VESSELS OF THE "MOTHBALL FLEET" ARE ENTITLED TO PER DIEM UNDER PARAGRAPH 4205, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AT THE REDUCED RATES PRESCRIBED BY THE CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL IN HIS LETTER OF JUNE 26, 1953, AND SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATIONS UPON THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM OTHERWISE IMPOSED BY LAW AND REGULATIONS. THE EXCEPTIONS IN QUESTION WILL BE REVISED OR REMOVED ACCORDINGLY.