B-128210, AUG. 10, 1956

B-128210: Aug 10, 1956

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TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT WAS DIRECTED. IN ONE OF THE FOUR SPACES FOLLOWING THE WORDS "TRANSPORTATION IS AUTHORIZED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOLLOWING:" AN X WAS TYPED IN THE SPACE LABELED "GROUP TRAVEL.'. ENDORSEMENTS ON SUCH ORDERS STATED THAT NO SCHEDULED GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WAS AVAILABLE BETWEEN PHILADELPHIA AND NORFOLK. IT IS SHOWN THAT THE ENLISTED MEN ARRIVED AT DAM NECK AT 7:55 P.M. - IT IS ASSUMED THAT TRAVEL WAS ACCOMPLISHED BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE. PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS: "A MEMBER PERFORMING GROUP TRAVEL IS NOT ENTITLED TO MILEAGE OR MONETARY ALLOWANCES IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION. IF AVAILABLE AND REQUIRED) WILL BE FURNISHED BY GOVERNMENT CONVEYANCE OR GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS.'.

B-128210, AUG. 10, 1956

TO MR. K. A. PETERSON, DISBURSING OFFICER, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY:

BY LETTER OF JUNE 5, 1956, THE OFFICE OF THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL OF THE NAVY FORWARDED YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 10, 1956, FOR ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE AMOUNT DUE GERARD S. ROZYCKI, BM 3, USN, WILLIAM R. GEIST, FT 3, USN, AND CHARLES R. GUTIERZ, SN, USNR, FOR TRAVEL AND TEMPORARY DUTY PERFORMED BY THEM DURING THE PERIOD NOVEMBER 26 TO DECEMBER 3, 1955.

STANDARD TRANSFER ORDER NO. 122-56, DATED NOVEMBER 23, 1955, DIRECTED THE ENLISTED MEN TO PROCEED FROM THE U.S.S. WALLACE L. LIND (DD-703), THEN LOCATED AT PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, AND REPORT NOT LATER THAN MIDNIGHT, NOVEMBER 27, 1955, AT FADTC, DAM NECK, VIRGINIA, FOR TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY UNDER INSTRUCTION AND UPON COMPLETION RETURN TO PHILADELPHIA. TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT WAS DIRECTED, IF AVAILABLE, AND IN ONE OF THE FOUR SPACES FOLLOWING THE WORDS "TRANSPORTATION IS AUTHORIZED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOLLOWING:" AN X WAS TYPED IN THE SPACE LABELED "GROUP TRAVEL.' ENDORSEMENTS ON SUCH ORDERS STATED THAT NO SCHEDULED GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WAS AVAILABLE BETWEEN PHILADELPHIA AND NORFOLK, VIRGINIA. IT IS SHOWN THAT THE ENLISTED MEN ARRIVED AT DAM NECK AT 7:55 P.M. NOVEMBER 27 AND THAT THEY LEFT THAT PLACE EN ROUTE TO PHILADELPHIA ON DECEMBER 2, 1955. SINCE THE TIME REQUIRED FOR TRAVEL EACH WAY EXCEEDED 30 HOURS--- RAIL AND FERRY TRAVEL TIME BETWEEN PHILADELPHIA AND NORFOLK, LOCATED NEAR DAM NECK, APPEARS TO BE LESS THAN 12 HOURS--- IT IS ASSUMED THAT TRAVEL WAS ACCOMPLISHED BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE.

PARAGRAPH 4101-1, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"A MEMBER PERFORMING GROUP TRAVEL IS NOT ENTITLED TO MILEAGE OR MONETARY ALLOWANCES IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION. NECESSARY TRANSPORTATION (INCLUDING SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS, IF AVAILABLE AND REQUIRED) WILL BE FURNISHED BY GOVERNMENT CONVEYANCE OR GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS.'

SUBPARAGRAPH 2 OF SUCH REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER TRAVELING UNDER GROUP TRAVEL ORDERS WILL BE SUBSISTED EN ROUTE BY MEALS PURCHASED OR FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT, SUCH AS MEAL TICKETS, BOX LUNCHES, OR GOVERNMENT PREPARED MEALS.

UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS A MEMBER IS ENTITLED ONLY TO TRANSPORTATION IN KIND AND SUBSISTENCE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FOR TRAVEL UNDER GROUP TRAVEL ORDERS. IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT MILITARY PERSONNEL PERFORMING TRAVEL UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES ENTITLING THEM ONLY TO TRANSPORTATION IN KIND AND MEAL TICKETS, WHO FAIL TO AVAIL THEMSELVES OF THE TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE AUTHORIZED, MAY NOT BE PAID A MONETARY ALLOWANCE, OR THE CASH EQUIVALENT OF THE TRANSPORTATION AND MEAL TICKETS WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN FURNISHED. ON THE BASIS, HOWEVER, THAT THE LAW CONTEMPLATES THAT OFFICIAL TRAVEL SHALL BE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, A MEMBER WHO PERFORMS SUCH TRAVEL BY OTHER THAN THE AUTHORIZED MEALS, NOT BECAUSE OF HIS OWN ELECTION, BUT BECAUSE OF THE DENIAL OR FAILURE OF RESPONSIBLE OFFICERS, WITHOUT THE MEMBER'S FAULT, TO FURNISH THE REQUISITE TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE IN KIND, MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR ACTUAL EXPENDITURES NOT TO EXCEED THE COSTS OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED, TO THE EXTENT THAT SUCH EXPENSES ARE SUPPORTED BY RECEIPTS OR OTHER ACCEPTANCE EVIDENCE. 35 COMP. GEN. 522.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE GROUP TRAVEL TRANSFER ORDER OF NOVEMBER 23 WAS CLEARLY MARKED ,GROUP TRAVEL" AND DIRECTED THE DISBURSING OFFICER "TO FURNISH SUCH TRANSPORTATION AND/OR SUBSISTENCE AS MAY BE INVOLVED IN THE EXECUTION OF THE ORDERS" AND THE RECORD CONTAINS NO INFORMATION AS TO WHY TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS AND MEAL TICKETS WERE NOT FURNISHED THE ENLISTED MEN, IT APPEARS REASONABLE TO ASSUME THAT THESE MEN DID NOT AVAIL THEMSELVES OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE IN KIND BECAUSE THEY PREFERRED TO TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE. IF SUCH WERE THE FACTS, THE ENLISTED MEN ARE NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THEIR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL.

THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER IS RETURNED HEREWITH AND PAYMENT THEREON IS AUTHORIZED FOR PER DIEM AT THE PROPER RATE COVERING THE FOUR DAYS TEMPORARY DUTY UNDER INSTRUCTION AT DAM NECK, PLUS REIMBURSEMENT ON THE BASIS INDICATED ABOVE FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN TRAVELING TO AND FROM THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION, IF IT SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED THAT THE DISBURSING OFFICER'S FAILURE TO FURNISH TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE IN KIND WAS SOLELY HIS FAULT, RATHER THAN THE FAULT OF THE ENLISTED MEN IN FAILING TO REQUEST THE FURNISHING OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE.