B-132211, AUG. 20, 1957

B-132211: Aug 20, 1957

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THE MEMBER WAS ORDERED TO PROCEED FROM HEADQUARTERS COMPANY. HE WAS TRANSFERRED ON JANUARY 6. EVIDENCE ACCOMPANYING THE VOUCHER SHOWS THAT THE SCHEDULED LENGTH OF THE COURSE WAS 16 WEEKS. HE WAS TRANSFERRED. NO INFORMATION WAS FURNISHED AS TO THE SCHEDULED LENGTH OF THE COURSE. INSOFAR AS THE DUTY AT TREASURE ISLAND WAS CONCERNED. ON THE APPARENT LENGTH OF THE COURSE AS INDICATED BY THE TIME CONSUMED IN ATTENDANCE AND THE FACT THAT THE FIFTH INDORSEMENT ON THE ORDERS STATED THAT TRAVEL TO THE SCHOOL WAS ON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. ORDINARILY THE SCHEDULED LENGTH OF A COURSE OF INSTRUCTION IS DETERMINATIVE OF THE QUESTION WHETHER AN ASSIGNMENT TO ATTEND SUCH COURSE EFFECTS A TEMPORARY OR A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION.

B-132211, AUG. 20, 1957

TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL W. O. ADAMS, USMC, DISBURSING OFFICER, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS:

BY FIRST ENDORSEMENT OF MAY 30, 1957, THE COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS FORWARDED YOUR UNDATED LETTER SUBMITTING FOR ADVANCE DECISION A VOUCHER COVERING PAYMENT OF PER DIEM TO PRIVATE FIRST CLASS PETE L. NEITER, 1528050, USMC, FOR TEMPORARY DUTY FOR THE PERIOD FROM JANUARY 7,1956, THROUGH JULY 2, 1956, AND FOR TRAVEL ON JULY 3, 1956.

BY ORDERS OF NOVEMBER 8, 1955, THE MEMBER WAS ORDERED TO PROCEED FROM HEADQUARTERS COMPANY, HEADQUARTERS AND SERVICE BATTALION, MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, TO CAMP PENDLETON, CALIFORNIA, FOR TEMPORARY DUTY UNDER INSTRUCTION IN THE INDIVIDUAL COMBAT TRAINING COURSE. UPON COMPLETION OF THAT TRAINING, HE WAS TRANSFERRED ON JANUARY 6, 1956, TO MARINE BARRACKS, NAVAL STATION, TREASURE ISLAND, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, FOR DUTY UNDER INSTRUCTION IN THE ELECTRONICS TECHNICIAN COURSE (CLASS A). EVIDENCE ACCOMPANYING THE VOUCHER SHOWS THAT THE SCHEDULED LENGTH OF THE COURSE WAS 16 WEEKS. UPON COMPLETION OF THE COURSE ON JULY 2, 1956, OR SIX MONTHS LATER, HE WAS TRANSFERRED, EFFECTIVE JULY 3, 1956, TO MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, FOR DUTY UNDER INSTRUCTION AT THE COMMUNICATION-ELECTRONICS SCHOOLS BATTALION FOR A PERIOD OF 17 WEEKS.

YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER SEEMS TO ARISE BY REASON OF OUR DECISION TO YOU OF OCTOBER 2, 1956, B-129047, IN THE CASE OF PRIVATE FIRST CLASS WILLIAM W. SMITH, WHICH DENIED PAYMENT OF PER DIEM TO HIM FOR ATTENDING THE SAME COURSE OF INSTRUCTION UNDER SIMILAR ORDERS. WITH RESPECT TO SMITH, NO INFORMATION WAS FURNISHED AS TO THE SCHEDULED LENGTH OF THE COURSE, A MATERIAL FACT IN CASES SUCH AS THIS, AND THE DECISION TURNED, INSOFAR AS THE DUTY AT TREASURE ISLAND WAS CONCERNED, ON THE APPARENT LENGTH OF THE COURSE AS INDICATED BY THE TIME CONSUMED IN ATTENDANCE AND THE FACT THAT THE FIFTH INDORSEMENT ON THE ORDERS STATED THAT TRAVEL TO THE SCHOOL WAS ON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION.

ORDINARILY THE SCHEDULED LENGTH OF A COURSE OF INSTRUCTION IS DETERMINATIVE OF THE QUESTION WHETHER AN ASSIGNMENT TO ATTEND SUCH COURSE EFFECTS A TEMPORARY OR A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. BASICALLY, HOWEVER, THE QUESTION OF WHETHER AN ASSIGNMENT TO A PARTICULAR STATION IS TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT IS A QUESTION OF FACT TO BE DETERMINED BY THE ORDERS UNDER WHICH THE ASSIGNMENT IS MADE AND, WHERE NECESSARY, FROM THE CHARACTER OF THE ASSIGNMENT--- PARTICULARLY AS TO ITS DURATION, ETC. 24 COMP. GEN. 667, 670; 33 ID. 98. THUS, AS IN THESE CASES, WHERE IT IS DEMONSTRATED THAT ATTENDANCE UPON A COURSE OF INSTRUCTION CONSISTENTLY IS FOR A PERIOD WHICH DIFFERS MATERIALLY FROM THAT PUBLISHED AS ITS SCHEDULED LENGTH, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE PUBLISHED SCHEDULE MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED AS CONTROLLING. SINCE PRIVATE FIRST CLASS NEITER ATTENDED THE ELECTRONICS TECHNICIAN COURSE (CLASS A) AT TREASURE ISLAND FOR APPROXIMATELY SIX MONTHS UNDER ORDERS WHICH DID NOT SPECIFY THE LENGTH OF THE COURSE, AND WHICH BEAR AN ENDORSEMENT EXECUTED CONTEMPORANEOUSLY WITH HIS REPORTING DATE THAT TRAVEL TO TREASURE ISLAND WAS ON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, THE CONCLUSION IS REQUIRED THAT TREASURE ISLAND WAS A PERMANENT STATION WITHIN THE MEANING OF PARAGRAPH 1150-10B, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. 34 COMP. GEN. 260. FOLLOWS THAT PAYMENT OF PER DIEM FOR SUCH PERIOD IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

ACCORDINGLY, PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, IS AUTHORIZED ONLY AS TO THE PER DIEM CLAIMED FOR JULY 3, 1955, FOR TRAVEL INCIDENT TO TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNED AT SAN DIEGO. THE VOUCHER AND ALL SUPPORTING PAPERS ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.