B-128901, SEPT. 11, 1956

B-128901: Sep 11, 1956

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POLANS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JUNE 21. WHILE YOU WERE SERVING AS A COMMISSIONED OFFICER IN THE UNITED STATES ARMY RESERVE. YOU WERE GRANTED 14 DAYS EMERGENCY LEAVE AND THAT YOU TRAVELED BY MILITARY AIR TRANSPORT TO SEATTLE. WERE AMENDED. AFTER RECITING THAT YOU WERE ELIGIBLE FOR RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES IN AUGUST 1953. YOU WERE PAID THE SUM OF $183.96 ON VOUCHER NO. 804428 OF THE SEPTEMBER ACCOUNTS OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL MICHAEL COHEN. AN AUDIT EXCEPTION IN THE AMOUNT OF $181.80 WAS ISSUED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE REPRESENTING THE AMOUNT PAID TO YOU ON VOUCHER NO. 804428 LESS THE SUM OF $2.16 REPRESENTING MILEAGE AT $0.06 A MILE FOR 36 MILES. THE EXCEPTION WAS ISSUED ON THE BASIS THAT THE ORDERS OF SEPTEMBER 26.

B-128901, SEPT. 11, 1956

TO MR. LAWRENCE M. POLANS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JUNE 21, 1956, WITH ENCLOSURES, CONCERNING YOUR INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE AMOUNT OF $181.80 FOR THE OVERPAYMENT TO YOU OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED DURING THE PERIOD MAY 23 TO JUNE 6, 1953, WHILE YOU WERE SERVING AS A COMMISSIONED OFFICER IN THE UNITED STATES ARMY RESERVE.

IT APPEARS THAT BY ORDERS DATED MAY 23, 1953, FORT RICHARDSON, ALASKA, YOU WERE GRANTED 14 DAYS EMERGENCY LEAVE AND THAT YOU TRAVELED BY MILITARY AIR TRANSPORT TO SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, AND THENCE TO NEW YORK, NEW YORK, BY COMMERCIAL AIR AT PERSONAL EXPENSE. BY ORDERS DATED SEPTEMBER 26, 1953, THE SAME STATION, THE ORDERS OF MAY 23, 1953, WERE AMENDED. AFTER RECITING THAT YOU WERE ELIGIBLE FOR RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES IN AUGUST 1953, THE ORDERS OF SEPTEMBER 26 RELIEVED YOU FROM DUTY AT FORT RICHARDSON AND REASSIGNED YOU TO CAMP KILMER, NEW JERSEY, ON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION BASIS, EFFECTIVE JUNE 15, 1953. YOU WERE PAID THE SUM OF $183.96 ON VOUCHER NO. 804428 OF THE SEPTEMBER ACCOUNTS OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL MICHAEL COHEN, DISBURSING OFFICER, REPRESENTING THE MILEAGE AT $0.06 A MILE FROM SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, TO CAMP KILMER, NEW JERSEY.

AN AUDIT EXCEPTION IN THE AMOUNT OF $181.80 WAS ISSUED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE REPRESENTING THE AMOUNT PAID TO YOU ON VOUCHER NO. 804428 LESS THE SUM OF $2.16 REPRESENTING MILEAGE AT $0.06 A MILE FOR 36 MILES, THE DISTANCE FROM NEW YORK, NEW YORK, TO CAMP KILMER, NEW JERSEY. THE EXCEPTION WAS ISSUED ON THE BASIS THAT THE ORDERS OF SEPTEMBER 26, 1953, DIRECTING YOUR TRANSFER TO CAMP KILMER, NEW JERSEY, WERE ISSUED AFTER YOU DEPARTED ON LEAVE FROM YOUR OLD STATION, FORT RICHARDSON, ALASKA. BY LETTERS DATED FEBRUARY 16 AND APRIL 6, 1956, OUR CLAIMS DIVISION ADVISED YOU THAT THE ORDERS OF SEPTEMBER 26, 1953, WERE WITHOUT RETROACTIVE EFFECT SO AS TO ENTITLE YOU TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRAVEL PERFORMED. THERE WAS ENCLOSED WITH THE LETTER OF JUNE 21, 1956, YOUR LETTER OF MAY 4, 1956, TO THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY REITERATING YOUR PREVIOUS CONTENTION TO THE CLAIMS DIVISION THAT THE ORDERS OF SEPTEMBER 26, 1953, SHOULD BE GIVEN RETROACTIVE EFFECT.

SECTION 303 (A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 814, PROVIDES THAT UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES SHALL BE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS. JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROMULGATED UNDER THAT ACT PROVIDE (PARAGRAPH 3050-1) THAT MEMBERS ARE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES ONLY WHEN ACTUALLY IN A TRAVEL STATUS AND THAT THEY SHALL BE DEEMED TO BE IN A TRAVEL STATUS WHILE PERFORMING TRAVEL ON PUBLIC BUSINESS UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS. PARAGRAPH 6453 OF THE SAME REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT ORDERS PERMITTING A MEMBER TO TRAVEL, AS DISTINGUISHED FROM ORDERS DIRECTING HIM TO TRAVEL, DO NOT ENTITLE HIM TO EXPENSES OF TRAVEL. LONG HAS BEEN HELD THAT TRAVEL ON LEAVE MUST BE PERFORMED AT PERSONAL EXPENSE. 30 COMP. GEN. 19. ALSO, SEE CASE 14 OF PARAGRAPH 4153 OF THE REGULATIONS, IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF THE TRAVEL HERE INVOLVED, WHICH SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED THAT WHEN THE STATION OF A MEMBER IS CHANGED WHILE HE IS ON LEAVE HE WILL BE ENTITLED TO MILEAGE FROM THE PLACE WHERE HE RECEIVED THE ORDERS TO THE NEW STATION NOT TO EXCEED THE COST FROM THE OLD STATION TO THE NEW.

AS TO THE ORDERS OF SEPTEMBER 26, 1953, BEING RETROACTIVELY EFFECTIVE, IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT LEGAL RIGHTS AND LIABILITIES IN REGARD TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCES VEST AS AND WHEN THE TRAVEL IS PERFORMED UNDER THE ORDERS, AND THAT SUCH ORDERS MAY NOT BE REVOKED OR MODIFIED RETROACTIVELY SO AS TO INCREASE OR DECREASE THE RIGHTS WHICH HAVE BECOME FIXED UNDER THE APPLICABLE STATUTES OR REGULATIONS UNLESS ERROR IS APPARENT ON THE FACE OF THE ORDERS, OR ALL THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES CLEARLY DEMONSTRATE THAT SOME PROVISION PREVIOUSLY DETERMINED AND DEFINITELY INTENDED HAD BEEN OMITTED THROUGH ERROR AND INADVERTENCE IN PREPARING THE ORDERS. KATZER V. UNITED STATES, 52 C.CLS. 32; 23 COMP. GEN. 713; 24 ID. 439; 34 ID. 427. THE ORDERS OF MAY 23, 1953, WERE CLEAR AND UNAMBIGUOUS AND EXPRESSED THE ORIGINAL INTENT OF THE ISSUING AUTHORITY, THAT IS, TO GRANT YOU 14 DAYS EMERGENCY LEAVE.

IT IS CLEAR THAT UNDER THE LAW AND REGULATIONS YOU WERE OVERPAID THE SUM OF $181.80 AND THAT YOU ARE INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES IN THAT AMOUNT. ACCORDINGLY, IT IS REQUESTED THAT, WITHIN 30 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THIS LETTER, YOU REMIT THE SUM OF $181.80, OR MAKE SATISFACTORY ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE PROMPT LIQUIDATION OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS. THE AMOUNT OF THE INDEBTEDNESS SHOULD BE FORWARDED BY CHECK, DRAFT, OR MONEY ORDERS, PAYABLE TO THE UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, ADDRESSED AS FOLLOWS: UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE POST OFFICE BOX 2610 WASHINGTON 13, D.C. ..END :