B-134181, NOV. 21, 1957

B-134181: Nov 21, 1957

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YOU WERE DETACHED FROM DUTY AT WILLIAMS AIR FORCE BASE. UPON COMPLETION OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY YOU WERE TO PROCEED TO CAMP STONEMAN. APPEARS THAT YOUR DEPENDENTS WERE NOT PERMITTED TO ACCOMPANY YOU OVERSEAS. YOU WERE GRANTED 25 DAYS' LEAVE DURING WHICH TIME YOU RETURNED TO YOUR HOME AND WERE MARRIED. YOU WERE PAID $158.40 ON THAT VOUCHER. EXCEPTION WAS TAKEN TO THE PAYMENT FOR THE REASON THAT YOU WERE NOT MARRIED UNTIL AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF YOUR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS OF MARCH 20. YOU SAY THAT SINCE TWO PERIODS OF LEAVE ARE INVOLVED IN THE CHANGE OF STATION YOU BELIEVE YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO RETAIN THIS MONEY. PARAGRAPH 7060-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO THAT ACT AUTHORIZES TRANSPORTATION OF A WIFE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IF THE MARRIAGE DATE WAS PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ORDERS DIRECTING A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION.

B-134181, NOV. 21, 1957

TO MR. DAVID A. HENRY:

YOUR LETTER DATED OCTOBER 7, 1957, REQUESTS REVIEW OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE SUM OF $158.40 REPRESENTING REIMBURSEMENT FOR YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL INCIDENT TO YOUR ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY AT A STATION OVERSEAS.

BY ORDERS OF MARCH 20, 1952, YOU WERE DETACHED FROM DUTY AT WILLIAMS AIR FORCE BASE, CHANDLER, ARIZONA, AND DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, ARIZONA, ON OR ABOUT MARCH 23, 1952, FOR TEMPORARY DUTY FOR APPROXIMATELY EIGHT WEEKS. UPON COMPLETION OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY YOU WERE TO PROCEED TO CAMP STONEMAN, CALIFORNIA, FOR TRANSPORTATION OVERSEAS. APPEARS THAT YOUR DEPENDENTS WERE NOT PERMITTED TO ACCOMPANY YOU OVERSEAS. YOU STATE THAT UPON REPORTING FOR DUTY AT LUKE AIR FORCE BASE ON MARCH 23, 1952, YOU WERE GRANTED 25 DAYS' LEAVE DURING WHICH TIME YOU RETURNED TO YOUR HOME AND WERE MARRIED. ON APRIL 18, 1952, YOU RETURNED TO LUKE AIR FORCE BASE WITH YOUR WIFE AND REMAINED THERE UNTIL JULY 4, 1952, WHEN YOU WENT ON LEAVE AND TRAVELED WITH YOUR WIFE TO HER HOME AT PLAINFIELD, NEW JERSEY. YOU THEN PROCEEDED TO CAMP STONEMAN FOR YOUR OVERSEAS ASSIGNMENT. ON AUGUST 13, 1952, YOU SIGNED A VOUCHER ON WHICH YOU CLAIMED REIMBURSEMENT FOR YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL DURING THE PERIOD JULY 5 TO 6, 1952, FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONA, TO PLAINFIELD, NEW JERSEY. YOU WERE PAID $158.40 ON THAT VOUCHER. UPON AUDIT OF THE VOUCHER, EXCEPTION WAS TAKEN TO THE PAYMENT FOR THE REASON THAT YOU WERE NOT MARRIED UNTIL AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF YOUR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS OF MARCH 20, 1952. IT APPEARS TO BE YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOU SHOULD NOT BE HELD LIABLE FOR THIS INDEBTEDNESS BECAUSE YOU FILED YOUR CLAIM UPON THE ADVICE OF THE BASE FINANCE OFFICER AT YOUR OVERSEAS DUTY STATION. ALSO, YOU SAY THAT SINCE TWO PERIODS OF LEAVE ARE INVOLVED IN THE CHANGE OF STATION YOU BELIEVE YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO RETAIN THIS MONEY.

SECTION 303 (C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 814, PROVIDES THAT UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHEN ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION SHALL BE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION IN KIND FOR THEIR DEPENDENTS OR TO A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION IN KIND. PARAGRAPH 7060-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO THAT ACT AUTHORIZES TRANSPORTATION OF A WIFE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IF THE MARRIAGE DATE WAS PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ORDERS DIRECTING A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. PARAGRAPH 3003-1B OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT WHEN LEAVE OR DELAY IN REPORTING TO THE NEW STATION IS AUTHORIZED IN THE BASIC ORDER, THE AMOUNT OF SUCH LEAVE OR DELAY WILL BE ADDED TO THE DATE OF RELIEF FROM THE OLD STATION (DETACHMENT) TO DETERMINE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ORDERS. THE ONLY CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH HAVE BEEN RECOGNIZED AS FIXING A LATER EFFECTIVE DATE ARE THOSE INVOLVED IN SITUATIONS WHERE TEMPORARY DUTY EN ROUTE IS DIRECTED IN PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS, IN WHICH EVENT THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ORDERS FOR THE PURPOSE OF DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL IS THE DATE FURTHER TRAVEL IS REQUIRED FROM THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION. SEE, IN THIS CONNECTION, 26 COMP. GEN. 339, 32 ID. 543, AND PARAGRAPH 7060-3 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. THE LATTER RULE HAS NOT BEEN REGARDED AS APPLICABLE IN CASES INVOLVING TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS UNDER ORDERS ASSIGNING A MEMBER TO A STATION OVERSEAS TO WHICH HIS DEPENDENTS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO TRAVEL WITH HIM SINCE PARAGRAPH 7008-3 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT WHEN DEPENDENTS ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL TO THE MEMBER'S NEW STATION OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES "AT THE TIME THE MEMBER DEPARTS FROM HIS OLD STATION" TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS IS AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM THE PLACE THEY ARE LOCATED "UPON RECEIPT OF THE CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS" TO A DESIGNATED PLACE WITHIN THE LIMITATIONS THERE PROVIDED. UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS, THE RIGHT TO TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS IS FIXED NOT LATER THAN THE TIME HE DEPARTS FROM HIS OLD STATION AND SINCE SOME DELAY OR TEMPORARY DUTY EN ROUTE ORDINARILY IS REQUIRED AT STAGING AREAS OR PORTS OF EMBARKATION IN SUCH CASES, IT APPARENTLY WAS INTENDED THAT DELAY OR TEMPORARY DUTY EN ROUTE WAS NOT TO HAVE THE EFFECT OF DELAYING THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF ORDERS DIRECTING THE PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TO SUCH OVERSEAS STATION. COMP. GEN. 332. PARAGRAPH 7005 OF THE REGULATIONS CONTAINS SOMEWHAT SIMILAR PROVISIONS CONCERNING A MEMBER WHO IS TRANSFERRED ON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TO A PLACE WHERE HIS DEPENDENTS ARE NOT PERMITTED, FOR MILITARY REASONS, TO ACCOMPANY HIM.

IT APPEARING THAT TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS WAS NOT PERMITTED TO YOUR OVERSEAS STATION AND SINCE YOU WERE UNMARRIED AT THE TIME YOU LEFT WILLIAMS AIR FORCE BASE, YOU DID NOT HAVE A DEPENDENT WIFE ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF YOUR ORDERS OF MARCH 20, 1952. LEAVE GRANTED AND TAKEN AFTER YOU REPORTED AT LUKE AIR FORCE BASE WAS WITHOUT EFFECT TO EXTEND SUCH EFFECTIVE DATE. HENCE, YOU WERE ERRONEOUSLY PAID THE SUM OF $158.40 FOR YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL FROM PHOENIX TO PLAINFIELD. YOUR LEGAL OBLIGATION TO REPAY THIS SUM TO THE UNITED STATES IS NOT IN ANY WAY AFFECTED BY THE FACT THAT YOU FILED THE CLAIM FOR HER TRAVEL IN GOOD FAITH UPON ADVICE OF THE FINANCE OFFICER AT YOUR OVERSEAS DUTY STATION, SINCE ERRONEOUS ADVICE CAN CONFER NO RIGHTS NOT AUTHORIZED BY LAW.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE SUM OF $158.40, AND PAYMENT IN THE FORM OF A CHECK OR MONEY ORDER MADE PAYABLE TO THE "U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE" SHOULD BE MAILED TO THE UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, P.O. BOX 2610, WASHINGTON 13, D.C. ..END :