B-130184, JAN. 10, 1957

B-130184: Jan 10, 1957

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

A COPY OF WHICH WAS FORWARDED HERE BY LETTER DATED DECEMBER 21. THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED PURSUANT TO INVITATIONAL TRAVEL ORDERS OF HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES ARMY CARIBBEAN. ISSUED WHILE YOU WERE ON ACTIVE DUTY AT THAT STATION AS AN ENLISTED MAN IN THE ARMY. THE ORDERS STATED THAT YOUR WIFE WAS AUTHORIZED AND INVITED. IT BEING INDICATED THAT THE MOVEMENT WAS AUTHORIZED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 7009-3. IT WAS STATED FURTHER THAT TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENT BEYOND THE PORT OF DEBARKATION WOULD NOT BE FURNISHED PRIOR TO YOUR MOVEMENT UNDER PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS. YOU WERE RELEASED FROM ASSIGNMENT AT FORT AMADOR. YOU WERE RELEASED FROM ACTIVE DUTY AT THAT STATION ON SEPTEMBER 14.

B-130184, JAN. 10, 1957

TO MR. FRANCIS R. BURKE:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 18, 1956, A COPY OF WHICH WAS FORWARDED HERE BY LETTER DATED DECEMBER 21, 1956, FROM HONORABLE J. ERNEST WHARTON, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, CONCERNING THE ACTION TAKEN BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IN SETTLEMENT DATED DECEMBER 12, 1956, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL FROM MIAMI, FLORIDA, TO POUGHKEEPSIE, NEW YORK, DURING THE PERIOD MAY 24 TO 25, 1956.

THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED PURSUANT TO INVITATIONAL TRAVEL ORDERS OF HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES ARMY CARIBBEAN, PORT AMADOR, CANAL ZONE, DATED MAY 14 AND 15, 1956, ISSUED WHILE YOU WERE ON ACTIVE DUTY AT THAT STATION AS AN ENLISTED MAN IN THE ARMY. THE ORDERS STATED THAT YOUR WIFE WAS AUTHORIZED AND INVITED, AS YOUR LEGAL DEPENDENT, TO PROCEED BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE ON OR ABOUT MAY 24, 1956, FROM THE CANAL ZONE, TO MIAMI, FLORIDA, IT BEING INDICATED THAT THE MOVEMENT WAS AUTHORIZED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 7009-3, ITEM 1, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. IT WAS STATED FURTHER THAT TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENT BEYOND THE PORT OF DEBARKATION WOULD NOT BE FURNISHED PRIOR TO YOUR MOVEMENT UNDER PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS. IT APPEARS FROM THE RECORD THAT YOUR WIFE TRAVELED BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT FROM THE CANAL ZONE TO POUGHKEEPSIE, NEW YORK, BY WAY OF MIAMI, FLORIDA, DURING THE PERIOD MAY 24 AND 25, 1956. YOUR CLAIM COVERS THAT PART OF THE TRAVEL FROM MIAMI, FLORIDA, TO POUGHKEEPSIE, NEW YORK. BY ORDERS DATED JULY 23, 1956, AND SEPTEMBER 12, 1956, YOU WERE RELEASED FROM ASSIGNMENT AT FORT AMADOR, CANAL ZONE, AND ULTIMATELY ASSIGNED TO FORT DIX, NEW JERSEY, FOR THE PURPOSE OF BEING RELEASED FROM ACTIVE DUTY. YOU WERE RELEASED FROM ACTIVE DUTY AT THAT STATION ON SEPTEMBER 14, 1956.

IN YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 18, 1956, YOU STATE: "MY WIFE'SBROTHER IN-LAW WAS KILLED IN AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT SHORTLY AFTER CHRISTMAS 1955. SEVERAL MONTHS LATER MY WIFE'S FAMILY EXPRESSED THEIR DESIRES TO HAVE HER RETURN FROM PANAMA WHERE I WAS STATIONED TO ASSIST THEM DURING THIS CRISIS.'

ORDINARILY TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS IS AUTHORIZED ONLY AFTER ISSUANCE OF CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS FOR THE MEMBER CONCERNED. IN ADDITION TO THE AUTHORITY FOR TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS OF MILITARY PERSONNEL AT PUBLIC EXPENSE ON THE BASIS OF A PERMANENT CHANGE OF DUTY STATION, SECTION 303 (C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 814, PROVIDES THAT WHEN ORDERS DIRECTING A CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION FOR THE MEMBER CONCERNED HAVE NOT BEEN ISSUED OR WHEN ORDERS ARE OF SUCH NATURE AS TO NOT AUTHORIZE TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED MAY, NEVERTHELESS, AUTHORIZE THE MOVEMENT OF THE DEPENDENTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE "ONLY UNDER UNUSUAL OR EMERGENCY CIRCUMSTANCES.' REGULATIONS PROVIDING FOR TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS FROM STATIONS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES ISSUED PURSUANT TO THAT AUTHORITY ARE CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPH 7009 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

SUBPARAGRAPHS 7009-3 OF THE REGULATION PROVIDES THAT, UPON THE REQUEST OF A MEMBER OTHERWISE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS, ORDERS MAY BE ISSUED AUTHORIZING ADVANCE RETURN OF HIS DEPENDENTS TO THE UNITED STATES PROVIDED THE ORDERS SPECIFICALLY LIMIT THE TRANSPORTATION TO BE FURNISHED TO TRANSPORTATION FROM THE OVERSEAS STATION TO THE PORT OF DEBARKATION IN THE UNITED STATES. THE REGULATION FURTHER PROVIDES THAT UPON COMPLETION OF THE OVERSEAS TOUR OF DUTY AND TRANSFER OF THE MEMBER UNDER PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS TO A DUTY STATION IN CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS AUTHORIZED, IF OTHERWISE PROPER, AT NOT TO EXCEED ENTITLEMENT FROM THE PORT OF DEBARKATION TO WHICH RETURNED TO THE NEW DUTY STATION. LISTED AS AMONG THE REASONS FOR AUTHORIZING TRANSPORTATION UNDER THE SUBPARAGRAPH ARE SEVEN SUGGESTED CATEGORIES. CATEGORY NO. 1, THE REASON CITED IN THE ORDERS OF MAY 14, 1956, FOR YOUR DEPENDENT'S TRAVEL, IS "DEATH OR SERIOUS ILLNESS WITHIN THE FAMILY OR AMONG CLOSE RELATIVES.'

SINCE YOUR WIFE DID NOT RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES UNTIL APPROXIMATELY FIVE MONTHS AFTER THE DEATH OF HER BROTHER-IN-LAW, THERE IS CONSIDERABLE DOUBT AS TO WHETHER THE ADVANCE TRAVEL WAS PROPERLY AUTHORIZED AS BEING UNDER "UNUSUAL OR EMERGENCY CIRCUMSTANCES" AS CONTEMPLATED BY SECTION 303 (C) OF THE 1949 ACT. BUT HOWEVER THAT MAY BE, NO RIGHT TO REIMBURSEMENT ACCRUES FOR TRAVEL IN THE UNITED STATES FROM POINT OF DEBARKATION UNDER A TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION ISSUED PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH 7009-3, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PERFORMED BY DEPENDENTS PRIOR TO ISSUANCE OF THE MEMBER'S PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS. IN OTHER WORDS, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 7009-3 A MEMBER'S RIGHT TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR DEPENDENT TRAVEL FROM THE PORT OF DEBARKATION IN THE UNITED STATES IS CONTINGENT UPON THE ISSUANCE OF THE MEMBER'S PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS AND THE TRAVEL OF THE DEPENDENTS AFTER THE ISSUANCE OF THOSE ORDERS. THE AMOUNT ALLOWABLE FOR SUCH TRAVEL ACTUALLY PERFORMED AND OTHERWISE PROPER MAY NOT EXCEED THE AMOUNT WHICH WOULD BE ALLOWABLE FOR TRAVEL OF THE DEPENDENT FROM THE PORT OF DEBARKATION TO THE MEMBER'S NEW DUTY STATION. CONTRARY TO YOUR APPARENT BELIEF, HOWEVER, THE REGULATION MAKES NO PROVISION FOR REIMBURSEMENT, UPON TRANSFER OF THE MEMBER TO A PERMANENT DUTY STATION IN THE UNITED STATES, FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY HIS DEPENDENT BEYOND THE PORT OF DEBARKATION PRIOR TO HIS TRANSFER. SINCE YOUR WIFE TRAVELED FROM MIAMI, FLORIDA (PORT OF DEBARKATION), TO POUGHKEEPSIE, NEW YORK, DURING THE PERIOD MAY 24 AND 25, 1956, OR PRIOR TO YOUR ORDERS OF JULY 23, 1956, AND SINCE IT APPEARS SHE REMAINED AT POUGHKEEPSIE, NEW YORK, AND PERFORMED NO TRAVEL SUBSEQUENT TO THE ISSUANCE OF YOUR CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS OF JULY 23, 1956, THERE IS NO PROPER BASIS FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR HER TRAVEL FROM MIAMI, FLORIDA, TO POUGHKEEPSIE, NEW YORK.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF DECEMBER 12, 1956, WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.

A COPY OF THIS LETTER IS BEING FORWARDED BY LETTER OF TODAY TO CONGRESSMAN WHARTON.