B-128307, AUGUST 10, 1956, 36 COMP. GEN. 111

B-128307: Aug 10, 1956

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A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION IS ENTITLED TO ELECT EITHER A TRAILER ALLOWANCE OR A DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE. 1956: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 13. WHICH PROVIDES THAT "THE TRAILER ALLOWANCE IS NOT AUTHORIZED IN THE ABSENCE OF AN AFFIRMATIVE ELECTION BY THE MEMBER EXECUTED ON OR PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ORDERS TO THE EFFECT THAT THE MEMBER HAS ELECTED TO RECEIVE THE TRAILER ALLOWANCE.'. ALCORN STATES THAT HE HAS OWNED AND USED THE TRAILER AS A RESIDENCE SINCE JUNE 1952 AND THAT IT WAS HIS INTENTION TO HAVE THE TRAILER HAULED TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION. AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTING A HOUSE TRAILER ONLY WHERE SUCH PAYMENT IS WAIVED IN FAVOR OF A DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE.

B-128307, AUGUST 10, 1956, 36 COMP. GEN. 111

MILITARY PERSONNEL - PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION - TRAILER AND DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE ELECTIONS - REGULATION INCONSISTENT WITH LAW UNDER SECTION 303 OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION IS ENTITLED TO ELECT EITHER A TRAILER ALLOWANCE OR A DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE, AND ANY REGULATION, WHICH WOULD REQUIRE AN ADVANCE ELECTION PRIOR TO AFFORDING THE MEMBER AN OPPORTUNITY TO DETERMINE THE RESPECTIVE BENEFITS, WOULD BE INCONSISTENT WITH THE STATUTE AND MAY NOT OPERATE TO DENY A TRAILER ALLOWANCE TO A MEMBER WHO DID NOT COMPLY WITH THE ADVANCE ELECTION REQUIREMENT.

TO J. E. BONOMI, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE, AUGUST 10, 1956:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 13, 1956, SUBMITTING FOR ADVANCE DECISION A VOUCHER STATED IN FAVOR OF USED. E. ALCORN, SPECIAL AGENT, OFFICE OF SPECIAL INVESTIGATION, COVERING REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN HAULING HIS HOUSE TRAILER BY TRAILER CONVOY ON MAY 18, 1956, FROM GLENDORA, CALIFORNIA, TO EL PASO, CALIFORNIA ( TEXAS), INCIDENT TO TRAVEL AUTHORIZED BY PARAGRAPH 13, SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 75, DATED MARCH 29, 1956, HEADQUARTERS 6000TH SUPPORT WING ( FEAF), APO 925, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA.

YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER APPEARS TO BE DUE TO THE FACT THAT MR. ALCORN DID NOT COMPLY WITH PARAGRAPH 10003, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, CHANGE 36, DATED JULY 1, 1955, WHICH PROVIDES THAT "THE TRAILER ALLOWANCE IS NOT AUTHORIZED IN THE ABSENCE OF AN AFFIRMATIVE ELECTION BY THE MEMBER EXECUTED ON OR PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ORDERS TO THE EFFECT THAT THE MEMBER HAS ELECTED TO RECEIVE THE TRAILER ALLOWANCE.' IN A CERTIFICATE DATED JUNE 5, 1956, MR. ALCORN STATES THAT HE HAS OWNED AND USED THE TRAILER AS A RESIDENCE SINCE JUNE 1952 AND THAT IT WAS HIS INTENTION TO HAVE THE TRAILER HAULED TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION.

SECTION 303 (C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS ADDED BY SECTION 2 (13) OF PUBLIC LAW 20, 84TH CONGRESS, APPROVED MARCH 31, 1955, 69 STAT. 22, 37 U.S.C. SUPP. III, 253, READS, IN PERTINENT PART--

IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, A MEMBER OF A UNIFORMED SERVICE WHO TRANSPORTS A HOUSE TRAILER OR MOBILE DWELLING WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES FOR USE AS A RESIDENCE AND WHO WOULD OTHERWISE BE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, UNDER THIS SECTION, SHALL UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARY CONCERNED BE ENTITLED TO A REASONABLE ALLOWANCE, NOT TO EXCEED 20 CENTS PER MILE, OR TO THE DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED IN THIS SECTION, WHICHEVER HE SHALL ELECT.

IN AN OTHERWISE PROPER CASE, THIS STATUTE PROHIBITS PAYMENT OF AN ALLOWANCE, AT A RATE TO BE FIXED BY REGULATIONS IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED 20 CENTS A MILE, AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTING A HOUSE TRAILER ONLY WHERE SUCH PAYMENT IS WAIVED IN FAVOR OF A DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE. REASONABLY WAS TO BE EXPECTED THAT THE ELECTION AFFORDED BY THE STATUTE WOULD BE INFLUENCED BY THE VALUE OF THE RESPECTIVE BENEFITS, AND THAT IT COULD BE EXERCISED WITH FULL KNOWLEDGE OF ALL THE FACTS ONLY AFTER THE COST OF TRANSPORTING A TRAILER UNDER A GIVEN SET OF CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION ORDERS HAD BEEN ESTABLISHED. ON THIS BASIS IT WOULD APPEAR THAT ANY REGULATION WHICH WOULD REQUIRE THE EXERCISING OF AN ELECTION IN ADVANCE OF AN OPPORTUNITY TO DETERMINE THE RESPECTIVE VALUES OF THE BENEFITS INVOLVED WOULD BE INCONSISTENT WITH THE STATUTES AND OF NO EFFECT. ALSO, WE UNDERSTAND THAT PARAGRAPH 10003 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED WAS DESIGNED TO FACILITATE THE ADMINISTERING OF THE STATUTE AND WAS NOT INTENDED TO OPERATE IN ANY WAY SO AS TO DEPRIVE MEMBERS OF RIGHTS ACCRUING TO THEM UNDER IT. IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, PARAGRAPH 10003 OF THE REGULATIONS AS PUBLISHED IN CHANGE 48, JULY 1, 1956, MAY BE TREATED AS EXPRESSING THE ORIGINAL INTENTION OF THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED.

ACCORDINGLY, UPON EXECUTION OF A CERTIFICATE AS CURRENTLY REQUIRED, YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER, RETURNED HEREWITH, NOT TO EXCEED 20 CENTS PER MILE, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.