B-128296, AUG 10, 1956

B-128296: Aug 10, 1956

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PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JUNE 15. IT WAS CONCLUDED THAT WHEN DIFFERENT UNITS OF AN ORGANIZATION WERE STATIONED AT DIFFERENT PLACES AND MEMBERS OF ONE UNIT WERE DIRECTED TO PERFORM TEMPORARY DUTY WITH ANOTHER UNIT UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE BOTH GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND MESSING FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE. SUCH DUTY WAS REGARDED AS PERFORMED AT THE MEMBER'S DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY. AT A LATER TIME WE WERE ADVISED THAT THE REPORTS. GAVE AN ERRONEOUS IMPRESSION AND THAT TEMPORARY DUTY ACTUALLY WAS PERFORMED AWAY FROM THE PERMANENT STATIONS OF THE MEMBERS CONCERNED. IT WAS CONCLUDED THAT SUCH MEMBERS WERE IN A TRAVEL STATUS AND WERE ENTITLED TO PER DIEM FOR THE TEMPORARY DUTY INVOLVED. 34 COMP.

B-128296, AUG 10, 1956

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

SECRETARY OF THE NAVY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JUNE 15, 1956, FROM THE ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER OF THE NAVY, REQUESTING OUR COMMENTS CONCERNING SECNAV INSTRUCTION 7220.19, APPROVED BY THE UNDER SECRETARY OF THE NAVY ON JUNE 4, 1956.

IT APPEARS THAT AT ONE TIME, AND BASED ON AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION SUPPORTING SUCH POINT OF VIEW, IT WAS CONCLUDED THAT WHEN DIFFERENT UNITS OF AN ORGANIZATION WERE STATIONED AT DIFFERENT PLACES AND MEMBERS OF ONE UNIT WERE DIRECTED TO PERFORM TEMPORARY DUTY WITH ANOTHER UNIT UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE BOTH GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND MESSING FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE, SUCH DUTY WAS REGARDED AS PERFORMED AT THE MEMBER'S DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY. B-117935, FEBRUARY 5, 1954. AT A LATER TIME WE WERE ADVISED THAT THE REPORTS, CONVEYING THE ADMINISTRATIVE POINT OF VIEW, GAVE AN ERRONEOUS IMPRESSION AND THAT TEMPORARY DUTY ACTUALLY WAS PERFORMED AWAY FROM THE PERMANENT STATIONS OF THE MEMBERS CONCERNED. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, IT WAS CONCLUDED THAT SUCH MEMBERS WERE IN A TRAVEL STATUS AND WERE ENTITLED TO PER DIEM FOR THE TEMPORARY DUTY INVOLVED. 34 COMP. GEN. 284. IN A SOMEWHAT SIMILAR SITUATION, YOU WERE ADVISED IN OUR DECISION DATED MAY 18, 1956, B 126908, THAT WHERE MEMBERS OF A PATROL SQUADRON WERE DIRECTED TO PROCEED ON OPERATIONAL DEPLOYMENT FROM THEIR STATION TO ARGENTIA, NEWFOUNDLAND, FOR TEMPORARY DUTY AND THE ORDERS INVOLVED DID NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF PARAGRAPHS 3000-3003, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES OF TRAVEL, PER DIEM COULD BE PAID TO THE PERSONS INVOLVED WHERE PROPER CONFIRMATORY ORDERS ARE ISSUED.

SECNAV INSTRUCTION 7220.19 DEALS WITH THE PROBLEM OF PAYMENT OF PER DIEM WHERE PROPER WRITTEN ORDERS WERE NOT ISSUED BECAUSE OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE CONCLUSION THAT PER DIEM WAS NOT PAYABLE AS INDICATED IN OUR DECISION OF FEBRUARY 5, 1954, B-117935. THE INSTRUCTION PROVIDES, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT MEMBERS CURRENTLY DEPLOYED WHO HAVE NOT BEEN ISSUED WRITTEN TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL ORDERS, WILL BE ISSUED PROPER CONFIRMATORY ORDERS, AND THAT MEMBERS WHO HAVE COMPLETED A PERIOD OF TEMPORARY DUTY AND WHO, PRIOR TO RECEIPT OF THE SECNAV INSTRUCTION, WERE ISSUED WRITTEN TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL ORDERS, WILL BE PAID THE APPROPRIATE PER DIEM ALLOWANCES. PARAGRAPH 6D OF SUCH INSTRUCTION IS AS FOLLOWS:

"MEMBERS WHO HAVE COMPLETED A PERIOD OF TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY FOR WHICH THE REQUIRED WRITTEN ORDERS WERE NOT ISSUED PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THIS INSTRUCTION WILL NOT BE ISSUED CONFIRMING ORDERS."

SECTION 303(A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 813, AUTHORIZES THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED "UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS." IF COMPETENT ORDERS ARE NOT ISSUED AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPHS 3000-3003, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES OF TRAVEL. WHERE COMPETENT ORDERS HAVE NOT BEEN ISSUED BECAUSE OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE BELIEF THAT PER DIEM WAS NOT PAYABLE AND THE EXPENSES OF TRAVEL WERE OF MINOR NATURE DUE TO THE FACT THAT BOTH GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND MESSING FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE, THE QUESTION OF WHETHER PROPER CONFIRMATORY ORDERS SHOULD BE ISSUED IN SOME OR ALL CASES INCLUDING THOSE INVOLVING PERIODS AS FAR BACK AS APRIL 1, 1951, THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, IS A MATTER FOR ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION. ONE FACTOR FOR CONSIDERATION IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, IS POSSIBLE DISCRIMINATION BETWEEN DIFFERENT GROUPS OF NAVAL PERSONNEL.

CLAIMS OF THE TYPE DISCUSSED ABOVE, WHICH ARE SUBMITTED HERE, WILL BE CONSIDERED ON THE BASIS OF THE ORDERS WHICH ARE FURNISHED IN SUPPORT OF SUCH CLAIMS.