B-129214, OCT. 12, 1956

B-129214: Oct 12, 1956

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THE MEMBER WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT FROM HIS OVERSEAS DUTY STATION TO THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES FOR EMERGENCY LEAVE PURPOSES. IT BEING FURTHER STATED THAT NO GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WAS AVAILABLE FOR HIS TRAVEL FROM PATUXENT RIVER TO MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE. HIS CLAIM IS FOR MILEAGE COMPUTED ON THE DISTANCE FROM PATUXENT RIVER TO MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE. PROVIDES THAT MEMBERS ARE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES AS AUTHORIZED IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXISTING REGULATIONS ONLY WHILE ACTUALLY IN A "TRAVEL STATUS" AND THAT THEY SHALL BE DEEMED TO BE IN A TRAVEL STATUS WHILE PERFORMING TRAVEL UPON PUBLIC BUSINESS. IT IS FURTHER PROVIDED THAT THE GOVERNMENT CANNOT GUARANTEE RETURN TRANSPORTATION BY GOVERNMENT CONVEYANCE AND WILL NOT AUTHORIZE TRANSPORTATION BY COMMERCIAL CONVEYANCES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

B-129214, OCT. 12, 1956

TO P. V. MOFFAT, JR., DISBURSING OFFICER, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY:

BY LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 11, 1956, THE DEPUTY JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL OF THE NAVY FORWARDED YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 7, 1956, SUBMITTING FOR ADVANCE DECISION A VOUCHER STATED IN FAVOR OF JOHNATHAN J. PEDEN, SN, USN, FOR MILEAGE FOR HIS TRAVEL FROM PATUXENT RIVER, MARYLAND TO MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE, NEW JERSEY, IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES SHOWN.

BY ORDERS DATED AUGUST 15, 1955, THE MEMBER WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT FROM HIS OVERSEAS DUTY STATION TO THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES FOR EMERGENCY LEAVE PURPOSES, HIS LEAVE ADDRESS BEING SHOWN AS WICHITA, KANSAS. SUCH ORDERS PROVIDED THAT UPON EXPIRATION OF THE LEAVE GRANTED HE WOULD REPORT TO THE AIR TRANSPORT OFFICER, PATUXENT RIVER, MARYLAND, NOT LATER THAN SEPTEMBER 8, 1955. A MEMORANDUM ENDORSEMENT DATED SEPTEMBER 8, 1955, FROM THE COMMANDING OFFICER, U.S. NAVAL AIR STATION, PATUXENT RIVER, MARYLAND, STATES THAT THE MEMBER REPORTED THERE ON SEPTEMBER 7, 1955. SUCH ENDORSEMENT DIRECTED HIM TO REPORT TO MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE, NEW JERSEY, FOR FURTHER TRANSPORTATION TO HIS OVERSEAS STATION, IT BEING FURTHER STATED THAT NO GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WAS AVAILABLE FOR HIS TRAVEL FROM PATUXENT RIVER TO MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE. IT APPEARS THAT HE TRAVELED AT PERSONAL EXPENSE BETWEEN THOSE PLACES ON SEPTEMBER 10, 1955. HIS CLAIM IS FOR MILEAGE COMPUTED ON THE DISTANCE FROM PATUXENT RIVER TO MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE.

SECTION 303 (A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 813, 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, WHICH PRESUPPOSES TRAVEL ON PUBLIC BUSINESS. PARAGRAPH 3050-1, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, ISSUED PURSUANT TO THAT ACT, PROVIDES THAT MEMBERS ARE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES AS AUTHORIZED IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXISTING REGULATIONS ONLY WHILE ACTUALLY IN A "TRAVEL STATUS" AND THAT THEY SHALL BE DEEMED TO BE IN A TRAVEL STATUS WHILE PERFORMING TRAVEL UPON PUBLIC BUSINESS, PURSUANT TO COMPETENT TRAVEL ORDERS. PARAGRAPH 6455 OF THE SAME REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT PERSONNEL ATTACHED TO ACTIVITIES BEYOND CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES SHOULD MAKE DEFINITE PLANS BEFORE THEY REQUEST LEAVE AS TO WHEN AND HOW THEY CAN RETURN AT THE EXPIRATION OF THE LEAVE. IT IS FURTHER PROVIDED THAT THE GOVERNMENT CANNOT GUARANTEE RETURN TRANSPORTATION BY GOVERNMENT CONVEYANCE AND WILL NOT AUTHORIZE TRANSPORTATION BY COMMERCIAL CONVEYANCES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. PARAGRAPH 6454 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT EXPENSES INCURRED DURING PERIODS OF TRAVEL UNDER ORDERS WHICH DO NOT INVOLVE PUBLIC BUSINESS ARE NOT PAYABLE BY THE GOVERNMENT.

IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT THE TRAVEL OF THE MEMBER HERE INVOLVED FROM HIS OVERSEAS STATION TO THE UNITED STATES AND RETURN WAS NOT TRAVEL ON PUBLIC BUSINESS, BUT WAS FOR HIS OWN CONVENIENCE FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF TAKING LEAVE. HENCE, THERE IS NO BASIS UNDER APPLICABLE LAW AND REGULATIONS FOR REIMBURSING HIM FOR HIS TRAVEL FROM PATUXENT RIVER, MARYLAND, TO MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE, NEW JERSEY. ACCORDINGLY, PAYMENT ON THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER IS NOT AUTHORIZED AND IT WILL BE RETAINED HERE.

THE ORIGINAL ORDERS DATED AUGUST 15, 1955, AND MEMORANDUM ENDORSEMENT DATED SEPTEMBER 8, 1955, ARE HEREWITH RETURNED.