B-131492, AUG. 14, 1957

B-131492: Aug 14, 1957

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YOU REQUEST DECISION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MASTER SERGEANT LUIS A. YOU STATE THAT THE MEMBER DID NOT REQUEST OR RECEIVE AUTHORIZATION EITHER FOR CONCURRENT TRAVEL OR FOR TRAVEL AT A LATER DATE BECAUSE PUERTO RICO IS THEIR HOME AND. THE PLACE HE WOULD DESIGNATE TO SEND HIS DEPENDENTS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 7005 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IF TRAVEL WERE NOT OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED. YOU INDICATE A BELIEF THAT PAYMENT FOR THE TRAVEL FROM THE OLD STATION TO NEW YORK CITY IS PROPER UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 7008-3 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WITHOUT THAT AUTHORIZATION. REGULATIONS ISSUED UNDER THAT AUTHORITY ARE CONTAINED IN THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

B-131492, AUG. 14, 1957

TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL C. F. MAY, FC:

IN YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 19, 1957, FORWARDED HERE BY INDORSEMENT OF THE CHIEF OF FINANCE DATED APRIL 12, 1957, YOU REQUEST DECISION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MASTER SERGEANT LUIS A. DIAZ, U.S. ARMY, FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OF HIS DEPENDENT WIFE FROM LEESVILLE, LOUISVILLE, TO NEW YORK, NEW YORK, INCIDENT TO HIS PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM FORT POLK, LOUISIANA, TO FORT BUCHANAN, PUERTO RICO, UNDER ORDERS DATED OCTOBER 3, 1956.

THE ORDERS OF OCTOBER 3, 1956, DIRECTED THE TRANSFER OF SERGEANT DIAZ FROM FORT POLK TO FORT DIX, NEW JERSEY, FOR FURTHER SHIPMENT TO THE UNITED STATES ARMY FORCES, ANTILLES, FOR ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY AT FORT BUCHANAN, AND DID NOT CONTAIN AUTHORIZATION FOR CONCURRENT TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS. SERGEANT DIAZ- WIFE TRAVELED WITH HIM FROM FORT POLK TO NEW YORK CITY BY PRIVATE CONVEYANCE; AND PROCEEDED THEREAFTER FROM NEW YORK CITY TO PUERTO RICO BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT AT PERSONAL EXPENSE. YOU STATE THAT THE MEMBER DID NOT REQUEST OR RECEIVE AUTHORIZATION EITHER FOR CONCURRENT TRAVEL OR FOR TRAVEL AT A LATER DATE BECAUSE PUERTO RICO IS THEIR HOME AND, THEREFORE, THE PLACE HE WOULD DESIGNATE TO SEND HIS DEPENDENTS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 7005 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IF TRAVEL WERE NOT OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED. YOU INDICATE A BELIEF THAT PAYMENT FOR THE TRAVEL FROM THE OLD STATION TO NEW YORK CITY IS PROPER UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 7008-3 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WITHOUT THAT AUTHORIZATION, IF NOT INCONSISTENT WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF OUR DECISION OF AUGUST 2, 1955, 35 COMP. GEN. 61. ALSO, YOU REQUEST ADVICE AS TO WHETHER A DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE WOULD BE PAYABLE IN CASES SUCH AS THAT OF SERGEANT DIAZ PRIOR TO CHANGE 55 TO THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, DATED FEBRUARY 1, 1957.

SECTION 303 (C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 814, PROVIDES FOR THE TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF DEPENDENTS OF MILITARY PERSONNEL, WHEN ORDERED TO MAKE A CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION, UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS AND FOR SUCH RANKS, GRADES, OR RATINGS AND TO AND FROM SUCH LOCATIONS AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED. REGULATIONS ISSUED UNDER THAT AUTHORITY ARE CONTAINED IN THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. PARAGRAPH 7000 OF THOSE REGULATIONS PROVIDES, GENERALLY, THAT MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES (EXCEPT ENLISTED MEN IN ALL LOWER PAY GRADES) ARE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, UPON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW STATION OR BETWEEN POINTS OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED IN SUCH REGULATIONS. PARAGRAPH 7008-3 (2), CHANGE 42 TO THE REGULATIONS, DATED JANUARY 1, 1956, PROVIDES THAT DEPENDENTS NOT AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL TO THE MEMBER'S NEW DUTY STATION OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES AT THE TIME THE MEMBER DEPARTS FROM HIS OLD STATION MAY BE TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM THE PLACE THEY ARE LOCATED UPON RECEIPT OF THE CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS, NOT TO EXCEED THE COST FROM THE MEMBER'S OLD PERMANENT STATION TO THE POINT OF ACTUAL DEPARTURE OF DEPENDENTS FROM THE UNITED STATES, IN CONJUNCTION WITH TRAVEL TO A POINT OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES DESIGNATED BY THE MEMBER.

THE RIGHT TO DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL IS NOT AN ABSOLUTE ONE BUT MAY BE ADMINISTRATIVELY RESTRICTED, SUSPENDED, OR DENIED FOR REASONS OF MILITARY NECESSITY OR EXPEDIENCY. CULP V. UNITED STATES, 76 C.CLS. 507. ADVANCE APPLICATION FOR CONCURRENT TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS ON A CHANGE OF STATION TO PUERTO RICO WAS REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH 6 OF ARMY REGULATIONS 55-47, DATED MAY 18, 1955. SUCH A RESTRICTION HAS BEEN CONSIDERED AS REQUIRING THE DENIAL OF A RIGHT TO TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS TO THE FOREIGN STATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IN THE ABSENCE OF THE PROPER TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION. IT HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED, HOWEVER, THAT TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IN THE UNITED STATES NOT TO EXCEED THE APPROPRIATE DISTANCE TO THE PROPER PORT FOR THE RESTRICTED STATION IS AUTHORIZED. SEE B-130175, FEBRUARY 1, 1957, AND B-130251, FEBRUARY 27, 1957. THE DECISION OF AUGUST 2, 1955, 35 COMP. GEN. 61, WHICH YOU CITED AS CAUSING DOUBT IN THE MATTER OF THE PROPOSED PAYMENT, DENIED TRANSPORTATION FOR LAND TRAVEL INVOLVED WHEN DEPENDENTS PROCEEDED FROM A DESIGNATED POINT WITHIN THE UNITED STATES, TO WHICH THEY HAD BEEN SENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE INCIDENT TO THEIR SPONSOR'S ASSIGNMENT TO KOREA, TO HAWAII INCIDENT TO THE SPONSOR'S FURTHER CHANGE OF DUTY ASSIGNMENT TO HAWAII, AN OVERSEAS AREA OPERATING UNDER THE PRIORITY SYSTEM. SUCH DENIAL WAS BASED ON REGULATIONS EXPRESSLY RESTRICTING DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL FROM A DESIGNATED PLACE TO WHICH SENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE INCIDENT TO THE SPONSOR'S ASSIGNMENT TO A RESTRICTED DUTY STATION UNTIL THE RESTRICTION IS REMOVED AT THAT STATION OR HE IS TRANSFERRED TO A DUTY STATION TO WHICH MOVEMENT OF DEPENDENTS IS AUTHORIZED, AND HAS NO APPLICATION IN THIS CASE.

ACCORDINGLY, PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON THE VOUCHER, RETURNED HEREWITH, COVERING THE TRAVEL OF SERGEANT DIAZ- WIFE FROM LEESVILLE, LOUISIANA, TO NEW YORK, NEW YORK, NOT TO EXCEED THE COST FROM FORT POLK TO NEW YORK CITY, AS INDICATED ABOVE.

THE PAYMENT OF A DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE IS NOT INVOLVED IN THE VOUCHER SUBMITTED AND THE FACTS DISCLOSED ARE NOT SUFFICIENT TO PERMIT A DETERMINATION OF THE PROPRIETY OF SUCH A PAYMENT. SEE PARAGRAPH 11 3A, ARMY REGULATIONS 37-103, DATED DECEMBER 6, 1956.