B-127678, JUN. 26, 1956

B-127678: Jun 26, 1956

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JR.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 29. YOU WERE INCLUDED IN AN ORGANIZATION SHIPMENT BEING PROCESSED FOR MOVEMENT TO THE NEW YORK PORT OF EMBARKATION ON CALL OF THE COMMANDING GENERAL. THE READINESS DATE AND FINAL ARRIVAL DATE AT THE PORT OF EMBARKATION WAS JUNE 16. COORDINATE TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS WAS NOT AUTHORIZED. YOUR NAME WAS DELETED FROM THE ORDERS OF APRIL 27. YOU SAY THAT AFTER THE ORIGINAL ORDERS WERE ISSUED YOU WERE GRANTED LEAVE TO MOVE YOUR DEPENDENTS FROM ALBUQUERQUE. YOU SUBMITTED CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRAVEL AND WERE PAID $126.90 ON VOUCHER NO. 15094. EXCEPTIONS WERE TAKEN TO THESE PAYMENTS BY OUR ARMY AUDIT BRANCH AND REPEATED EFFORTS TO EFFECT REFUND OF THE AMOUNTS OF THE VOUCHERS HAVE BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL.

B-127678, JUN. 26, 1956

TO MR. DELBERT K. SANTEE, JR.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 29, 1956, CONCERNING YOUR INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES ON ACCOUNT OF IMPROPER PAYMENTS MADE TO YOU AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS (WIFE AND TWO CHILDREN) WHILE SERVING ON ACTIVE DUTY AS AN OFFICER OF THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE RESERVE.

BY SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 86, DATED APRIL 27, 1951, HEADQUARTERS SANDIA BASE, ARMED FORCES SPECIAL WEAPONS PROJECT, ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, YOU WERE INCLUDED IN AN ORGANIZATION SHIPMENT BEING PROCESSED FOR MOVEMENT TO THE NEW YORK PORT OF EMBARKATION ON CALL OF THE COMMANDING GENERAL, NEW YORK PORT OF EMBARKATION, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK,FOR FURTHER MOVEMENT OVERSEAS. THE READINESS DATE AND FINAL ARRIVAL DATE AT THE PORT OF EMBARKATION WAS JUNE 16, 1951. COORDINATE TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS WAS NOT AUTHORIZED, THE ORDERS PROVIDING THAT MOVEMENT OF DEPENDENTS WOULD BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH PRIORITY ESTABLISHED AT THE UNITS'S DESTINATION. BY SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 30, DATED JUNE 13, 1951, YOUR NAME WAS DELETED FROM THE ORDERS OF APRIL 27, 1951.

YOU SAY THAT AFTER THE ORIGINAL ORDERS WERE ISSUED YOU WERE GRANTED LEAVE TO MOVE YOUR DEPENDENTS FROM ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, TO CATASAUQUA, PENNSYLVANIA, BETWEEN MAY 7 AND 13, 1951, AND THAT THEY RETURNED TO ALBUQUERQUE BETWEEN JUNE 19 AND 26, 1951, FOLLOWING THE DELETION OF YOUR NAME FROM THE ORDERS OF APRIL 27, 1951. YOU SUBMITTED CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRAVEL AND WERE PAID $126.90 ON VOUCHER NO. 15094, AND $126.60 ON VOUCHER NO. 292, OF THE JUNE AND JULY 1951 ACCOUNTS, RESPECTIVELY, OF COLONEL GEORGE W. STUDEBAKER, FC, SYMBOL 215-208, A TOTAL OF $253.50. EXCEPTIONS WERE TAKEN TO THESE PAYMENTS BY OUR ARMY AUDIT BRANCH AND REPEATED EFFORTS TO EFFECT REFUND OF THE AMOUNTS OF THE VOUCHERS HAVE BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL.

PARAGRAPH 7005, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, IN EFFECT DURING THE PERIODS HERE INVOLVED, PROVIDED, IN PERTINENT PART, THAT, WHEN A MEMBER WAS TRANSFERRED OR ASSIGNED UNDER PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS TO A PLACE WHERE HIS DEPENDENTS WERE NOT PERMITTED, FOR MILITARY REASONS, TO ACCOMPANY HIM, HE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM THE PLACE AT WHICH THE DEPENDENTS WERE LOCATED ON THE DATE HE RECEIVED SUCH ORDERS TO ANY PLACE IN THE UNITED STATES WHICH HE MIGHT DESIGNATE NOT TO EXCEED THE DISTANCE FROM THE LAST POINT TO WHICH THEY WERE TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO THE PLACE SO DESIGNATED.

THE TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS TO A DESIGNATED PLACE OF RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES WOULD HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED UNDER THE ORDERS OF APRIL 27, 1951, IF THE ORDERED CHANGE OF STATION HAD BEEN EFFECTED. SUCH ORDERS HOWEVER, WERE CANCELED, INSOFAR AS YOU ARE CONCERNED, WHEN YOUR NAME WAS DELETED FROM THOSE ORDERS BY THE ORDERS OF JUNE 13, 1951. YOU WERE AT ALBUQUERQUE WHEN THE ORDERS OF JUNE 13, 1951, WERE ISSUED AND IT MUST BE CONSIDERED THAT NO OFFICIAL TRAVEL WAS REQUIRED UNTIL SUCH TIME AS YOU MUST HAVE DEPARTED FROM ALBUQUERQUE BY ORDINARY MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION (RAIL UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED) TO REACH YOUR NEW STATION ON THE DATE DESIGNATED IN YOUR TRAVEL ORDERS. SINCE YOUR ORDERS WERE CANCELED WHILE YOU WERE STILL AT ALBUQUERQUE, AND BEFORE THE REQUIRED TIME OF DEPARTURE FOR THE NEW YORK PORT OF EMBARKATION, ANY TRAVEL PERFORMED BY YOUR DEPENDENTS PRIOR TO THAT DATE MUST BE REGARDED AS PREMATURE AND UNAUTHORIZED. ACCORDINGLY, SINCE YOU WERE NOT TRANSFERRED FROM YOUR STATION AT ALBUQUERQUE UNDER THE ORDERS OF APRIL 27, 1951, THERE WAS NO AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF THE ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL PERFORMED BY YOUR DEPENDENTS IN MAY AND JUNE 1951, AND THE PAYMENTS TO YOU AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF SUCH TRAVEL, WERE ERRONEOUS.

IN YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 29, 1956, YOU SUGGEST (1) THAT THE INDEBTEDNESS BE CANCELED, (2) THAT WE ACCEPT A COMPROMISE OFFER OF $2.54 (1 PERCENT) IN FULL SETTLEMENT, OR (3) THAT WE ACCEPT MONTHLY PAYMENTS OF ONE CENT EACH BEGINNING WITH THE DATE OF YOUR LETTER. THERE WERE ENCLOSED TWO CHECKS, ONE IN THE AMOUNT OF $2.54 AND THE OTHER FOR $0.01. IN THAT CONNECTION, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT WE HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO CANCEL CLAIMS IN FAVOR OF THE UNITED STATES OR TO SETTLE SUCH CLAIMS FOR ANY SUM LESS THAN THE FULL AMOUNT DUE. WE MAY, HOWEVER, SUBMIT A REASONABLE COMPROMISE OFFER TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE RECOMMENDING ACCEPTANCE OR REJECTION, DEPENDING IN PART UPON THE DEBTOR'S ABILITY TO LIQUIDATE THE INDEBTEDNESS IN FULL, OR WE MAY PERMIT LIQUIDATION OF THE INDEBTEDNESS BY REASONABLE INSTALLMENT PAYMENTS. THE JUDICIAL PRECEDENTS ARE CLEAR IN ESTABLISHING THE RIGHT OF THE GOVERNMENT TO RECOVER PAYMENTS ERRONEOUSLY MADE AND SHOULD IT BECOME NECESSARY TO INSTITUTE SUIT AND SECURE JUDGMENT, THE PAYMENT OF INTEREST AND COURT COSTS WOULD BE MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION FOR ADDING TO THE PRINCIPAL INDEBTEDNESS, WHEREAS PAYMENTS DIRECTLY TO THIS OFFICE, EVEN IN INSTALLMENTS, WOULD AVOID THE ADDITION OF SUCH INTEREST AND COSTS.

THE CHECKS ENCLOSED WITH YOUR LETTER ARE RETURNED AND UNLESS THE FULL AMOUNT DUE OR A REASONABLE INSTALLMENT PAYMENT IS RECEIVED WITHIN 30 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THIS LETTER, THE MATTER WILL BE REFERRED TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES FOR COLLECTION OR SUCH OTHER ACTION AS DEEMED APPROPRIATE.