B-128397, AUG. 23, 1956

B-128397: Aug 23, 1956

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

THE OFFICER WAS PLACED ON TEMPORARY DUTY FOR APPROXIMATELY 24 DAYS AT FORT BANKS. AUTHORITY WAS GIVEN TO VARY HIS ITINERARY AND TO PROCEED TO SUCH ADDITIONAL PLACES AS MIGHT BE NECESSARY FOR THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF HIS MISSION. IT IS SHOWN THAT HE TRAVELED BY HELICOPTER VIA MORRISTOWN. - WHERE A THREE DAYS' STOP WAS MADE BECAUSE OF WEATHER CONDITIONS. THAT THE BASE OF HIS OPERATIONS WAS THE RUTLAND AIRPORT LOCATED ABOUT TEN MILES SOUTH OF RUTLAND. " AS APPARENTLY WAS REQUIRED AT 48-HOUR INTERVALS FOR THE PROPER MAINTENANCE OF A HELICOPTER. HE STATES FURTHER THAT TAXICABS WERE THE ONLY MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION AVAILABLE BETWEEN HOTEL AND AIRPORT AT MORRISTOWN AND RUTLAND. THE TAXI FARES IN QUESTION ARE THOSE FROM HOTEL IN MORRISTOWN TO AIRPORT.

B-128397, AUG. 23, 1956

TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL R. J. CLYNES, FC, FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING OFFICER, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY:

BY SECOND INDORSEMENT OF JUNE 25, 1956, THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, FORWARDED YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 12, 1956, FOR ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE ENTITLEMENT OF CAPTAIN CLAIR E. HEINBACH, TC, TO TAXICAB FARES IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES DISCUSSED BELOW.

IT APPEARS THAT BY PARAGRAPH 17, SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 37, ISSUED AT FORT BELVOIR, VIRGINIA, UNDER DATE OF FEBRUARY 23, 1956--- STATED TO BE IN CONFIRMATION OF VERBAL ORDERS OF THE COMMANDING GENERAL OF FEBRUARY 16, 1955 (1956/--- AS AMENDED BY PARAGRAPH 17, SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 49, MARCH 12, 1956, THE OFFICER WAS PLACED ON TEMPORARY DUTY FOR APPROXIMATELY 24 DAYS AT FORT BANKS, MASSACHUSETTS, FOR THE PURPOSE OF ASSISTING IN THE INSTALLATION OF RADAR EQUIPMENT, AND AUTHORITY WAS GIVEN TO VARY HIS ITINERARY AND TO PROCEED TO SUCH ADDITIONAL PLACES AS MIGHT BE NECESSARY FOR THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF HIS MISSION.

IT IS SHOWN THAT HE TRAVELED BY HELICOPTER VIA MORRISTOWN, NEW JERSEY--- WHERE A THREE DAYS' STOP WAS MADE BECAUSE OF WEATHER CONDITIONS--- TO FORT BANKS AND THAT HE PROCEEDED THENCE TO RUTLAND, VERMONT, WHERE HE ARRIVED ON FEBRUARY 20, 1956. HE STATES THAT HIS MISSION CONSISTED OF FLYING EQUIPMENT BY HELICOPTER FROM RUTLAND TO THE TOP OF PICO PEAK, THAT THE BASE OF HIS OPERATIONS WAS THE RUTLAND AIRPORT LOCATED ABOUT TEN MILES SOUTH OF RUTLAND, AND THAT ON A NUMBER OF DAYS WHEN HE DID NOT MOVE EQUIPMENT TO PICO PEAK, HE TRAVELED FROM RUTLAND TO THE AIRPORT FOR THE PURPOSE OF "MAINTAINING, AND POST FLIGHTING THE HELICOPTER AND RUNNING UP THE ENGINE OF ME," AS APPARENTLY WAS REQUIRED AT 48-HOUR INTERVALS FOR THE PROPER MAINTENANCE OF A HELICOPTER. HE STATES FURTHER THAT TAXICABS WERE THE ONLY MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION AVAILABLE BETWEEN HOTEL AND AIRPORT AT MORRISTOWN AND RUTLAND. THE TAXI FARES IN QUESTION ARE THOSE FROM HOTEL IN MORRISTOWN TO AIRPORT, AND RETURN, ON FEBRUARY 17, 1956, FROM HOTEL IN RUTLAND TO AIRPORT, AND RETURN, ON FEBRUARY 22, 24, 27, 28, MARCH 1, 4 AND 6, WHEN TRIPS WERE MADE TO PICO PEAK, AND FEBRUARY 21, 26, 29, MARCH 3 AND 8, 1956, WHEN HE TRAVELED FROM HOTEL TO THE AIRPORT AT RUTLAND, AND RETURN, FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAINTAINING THE HELICOPTER.

WHERE A MEMBER OF THE ARMED FORCES IS DIRECTED BY COMPETENT ORDERS TO PERFORM TRAVEL AWAY FROM HIS POST OF DUTY, THE OBLIGATION OF THE GOVERNMENT TO FURNISH NECESSARY TRANSPORTATION TO ACCOMPLISH THE DIRECTED TRAVEL, OR TO REIMBURSE HIM FOR REASONABLE NECESSARY EXPENSES INCURRED IN ITS PERFORMANCE, LONG HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED BY THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT. THE TAXI FARES ON THE DAYS EQUIPMENT WAS MOVED TO PICO PEAK CLEARLY WERE NECESSARY IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS ASSIGNED DUTIES. WHEN THE GOVERNMENT REQUIRES A MEMBER TO TRAVEL TO A PLACE SUCH AS AN AIRPORT BY GOVERNMENT CONVEYANCE, IN THIS CASE A HELICOPTER, WHICH REQUIRES SERVICING BY HIM AT STATED INTERVALS, IT WOULD SEEM THAT TRAVEL BY THE ONLY MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION AVAILABLE BETWEEN THE NEAREST CITY WHERE LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS COULD BE SECURED AND THE AIRPORT TO CARE FOR THE HELICOPTER IS A NECESSARY EXPENSE OF TRAVEL IN CARRYING OUT HIS ASSIGNED DUTIES.

CONCERNING THE TAXI FARES AT MORRISTOWN ON FEBRUARY 17, THE OFFICER STATES THAT HE WENT TO THE AIRPORT FOR THE PURPOSE OF FILING A FLIGHT PLAN IN AN ATTEMPT TO CONTINUE HIS FLIGHT TO FORT BANKS, BUT THAT A "FLIGHT PLAN WAS REFUSED BY FLIGHT SERVICE DUE TO BELOW MINIMUM WEATHER OUTE.' WAS UNDER ORDERS TO PROCEED TO FORT BANKS AND, IN VIEW OF THE UNCERTAINTIES OF THE WEATHER, IT CANNOT BE SAID THAT TRAVEL TO THE AIRPORT ON THAT DATE IN THE HOPE THAT WEATHER CONDITIONS WOULD PERMIT A CONTINUATION OF THE FLIGHT TO FORT BANKS, WAS NOT A NECESSARY EXPENSE OF TRAVEL.

ACCORDINGLY, PAYMENT ON THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER, RETURNED HEREWITH, IS AUTHORIZED, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.