B-130459, MAR. 4, 1957

B-130459: Mar 4, 1957

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REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE SEVEN OFFICERS WHOSE CLAIMS WERE ENCLOSED MAY BE PAID PER DIEM ALLOWANCE FOR INDIVIDUAL TRAVEL OR WHETHER THEIR TRAVEL SHOULD BE REGARDED AS GROUP TRAVEL FOR WHICH NO PER DIEM ALLOWANCE ACCRUES. UPON COMPLETION OF WHICH HE WAS TO RETURN TO THE VESSEL AND RESUME HIS REGULAR DUTIES. THE PERIOD OF TEMPORARY DUTY INDICATED FOR EACH OF THE OFFICERS HERE INVOLVED WAS ONE DAY. FOR OTHER OFFICERS THE INDICATED PERIOD WAS TWO. THE METHOD OF TRANSPORTATION TO BE USED WAS NOT SPECIFIED. THE ORDERS WERE NOT DESIGNATED AS GROUP TRAVEL ORDERS. IT IS NOTED. THAT AN ESTIMATED PER DIEM COST OF $6 EACH DAY PER INDIVIDUAL WAS MENTIONED. THE ITINERARIES OF THE SEVEN OFFICERS WHOSE CLAIMS YOU SUBMITTED SHOW THAT TRAVEL WAS BY GOVERNMENT AIR.

B-130459, MAR. 4, 1957

TO MR. MELVIN R. SEIDEN, DISBURSING OFFICER, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY:

BY LETTER DATED JANUARY 24, 1957 (JAG:1342.2:SH 100492), THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL OF THE NAVY TRANSMITTED YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 27, 1956, REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE SEVEN OFFICERS WHOSE CLAIMS WERE ENCLOSED MAY BE PAID PER DIEM ALLOWANCE FOR INDIVIDUAL TRAVEL OR WHETHER THEIR TRAVEL SHOULD BE REGARDED AS GROUP TRAVEL FOR WHICH NO PER DIEM ALLOWANCE ACCRUES.

BY ORDERS DATED JULY 23, 1956, THE COMMANDING OFFICER, USS ESSEX (DVA-9), FLEET POST OFFICE, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, DIRECTED EACH OF THE 59 OFFICERS NAMED IN THOSE ORDERS TO PROCEED ON OR ABOUT JULY 24, 1956, TO THE NAVAL AIR STATION, BARBERS POINT, OAHU, TERRITORY OF HAWAII, FOR TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY FOR THE PERIOD INDICATED OPPOSITE HIS NAME, UPON COMPLETION OF WHICH HE WAS TO RETURN TO THE VESSEL AND RESUME HIS REGULAR DUTIES. THE PERIOD OF TEMPORARY DUTY INDICATED FOR EACH OF THE OFFICERS HERE INVOLVED WAS ONE DAY. FOR OTHER OFFICERS THE INDICATED PERIOD WAS TWO, THREE, OR FOUR DAYS, RESPECTIVELY. THE METHOD OF TRANSPORTATION TO BE USED WAS NOT SPECIFIED. THE ORDERS WERE NOT DESIGNATED AS GROUP TRAVEL ORDERS. IT IS NOTED, HOWEVER, THAT AN ESTIMATED PER DIEM COST OF $6 EACH DAY PER INDIVIDUAL WAS MENTIONED. THE ITINERARIES OF THE SEVEN OFFICERS WHOSE CLAIMS YOU SUBMITTED SHOW THAT TRAVEL WAS BY GOVERNMENT AIR. YOU STATE THAT, EXCEPT FOR THE FACT THAT THE ORDER-ISSUING COMMAND DID NOT DESIGNATE THE ORDERS AS GROUP TRAVEL ORDERS, THE FACTS SEEM TO INDICATE IT WAS SUCH, WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF APPLICABLE REGULATIONS, IN THAT THREE OR MORE MEMBERS TRAVELED TO THE SAME DESTINATION, DEPARTED AND RETURNED AT THE SAME OR APPROXIMATELY THE SAME TIME, AND UTILIZED GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION.

YOUR DOUBT IN THE PRESENT CASE APPARENTLY WAS ENGENDERED BY OUR AUDIT ACTION IN A CASE INVOLVING TRAVEL OF 107 ENLISTED MEN FROM MIRAMAR, CALIFORNIA, TO EL CENTRO, CALIFORNIA, AND RETURN, BY GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT. IN THAT CASE, HOWEVER, THE ORDERS TO THE ENLISTED MEN WERE REQUIRED TO BE TREATED AS GROUP TRAVEL ORDERS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE C-5403A (2) (A), BUREAU OF NAVAL PERSONNEL MANUAL, WHICH PROVIDES THAT WHEN STANDARD TRANSFER ORDERS ARE ISSUED TO THREE OR MORE MEMBERS TRAVELING TOGETHER AT THE SAME TIME FROM THE SAME POINT OF ORIGIN TO THE SAME DESTINATION, ON EITHER PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, TEMPORARY DUTY, OR ADDITIONAL TEMPORARY DUTY, THE ORDER-ISSUING AUTHORITY SHALL DESIGNATE THE ORDER AS A GROUP TRAVEL ORDER.

PARAGRAPH 4100, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, DEFINES GROUP TRAVEL AS A MOVEMENT EITHER ON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION OR ON TEMPORARY DUTY OF THREE OR MORE MEMBERS TRAVELING IN A GROUP FOR WHICH TRANSPORTATION WILL BE FURNISHED BY GOVERNMENT CONVEYANCE OR TRAVEL REQUESTS FROM THE SAME POINT OF ORIGIN TO THE SAME DESTINATION UNDER ONE ORDER WHICH IS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATED BY THE ORDER-ISSUING AUTHORITY AS A GROUP TRAVEL ORDER. PARAGRAPH 14, BUREAU OF NAVAL PERSONNEL INSTRUCTION 1321.2B, DATED JULY 16, 1956, PROVIDES THAT ORDER-WRITING COMMANDS SHOULD CONSIDER THE FEASIBILITY OF GROUP TRAVEL ORDERS WHERE THREE OR MORE MEMBERS OF A COMMAND OR UNIT ARE TO TRAVEL TOGETHER FROM A COMMON POINT OF ORIGIN TO A COMMON DESTINATION, AND THAT DETACHMENTS OR UNITS INVOLVED IN ROUTINE OR FLEET DEPLOYMENT EVOLUTIONS ARE CONSIDERED APPROPRIATE CASES WHEREIN GROUP TRAVEL ORDERS SHOULD BE UTILIZED.

IN THE PRESENT CASE, THE ORDER-ISSUING AUTHORITY, PRESUMABLY AFTER GIVING DUE CONSIDERATION TO THE FEASIBILITY OF GROUP TRAVEL AS REQUIRED BY BUREAU OF NAVAL PERSONNEL INSTRUCTIONS, DID NOT DESIGNATE THE ORDERS AS A GROUP TRAVEL ORDER, BUT SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED AN ESTIMATE OF PER DIEM COST. THUS, SINCE OFFICER PERSONNEL APPARENTLY DO NOT FALL WITHIN THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE C-5403A (3) (A), BUREAU OF NAVAL PERSONNEL MANUAL, AND SINCE GROUP TRAVEL WAS NOT ORDERED, PAYMENT OF A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IS AUTHORIZED FOR THE TRAVEL AND TEMPORARY DUTY. THE VOUCHERS AND SUPPORTING PAPERS ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.