B-134405, JAN. 6, 1958

B-134405: Jan 6, 1958

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SINCE SHE WAS REQUIRED TO RETURN TO THE HOSPITAL IN NOVEMBER. YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM YOUR PERMANENT DUTY STATION AT PHOENIX AND ASSIGNED TO DUTY AT MYRTLE BEACH AIR FORCE BASE. YOU WERE ALLOWED MILEAGE IN THE SUM OF $8.22 FOR HER TRAVEL FROM SOUTHPORT TO MYRTLE BEACH. YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF HER TRAVEL FROM PHOENIX TO MYRTLE BEACH WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT SHE PERFORMED THE TRAVEL TO SOUTHPORT PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF YOUR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS OF NOVEMBER 1. IT APPEARS TO BE YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOU SHOULD BE REIMBURSED FOR YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL FROM PHOENIX SINCE HER TRAVEL FROM THERE TO WALTER REED MEDICAL CENTER FOR MEDICAL ATTENTION WAS RECOMMENDED BY THE AIR FORCE AND ARMY MEDICAL AUTHORITIES AT LUKE AIR FORCE BASE.

B-134405, JAN. 6, 1958

TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL FREDERICK S. COVINGTON, USAF:

YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 31, 1957, REQUESTS REVIEW OF THE ACTION TAKEN BY OUR OFFICE ON OCTOBER 18, 1957, IN SETTLEMENT OF YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENT FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONA, TO MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA, INCIDENT TO YOUR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS OF NOVEMBER 1, 1956.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT ON SEPTEMBER 10, 1956, YOU TOOK EMERGENCY LEAVE FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING YOUR WIFE FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONA, TO WALTER REED MEDICAL CENTER, WASHINGTON, D.C., FOR MEDICAL ATTENTION. SINCE SHE WAS REQUIRED TO RETURN TO THE HOSPITAL IN NOVEMBER, SHE DID NOT RETURN WITH YOU TO PHOENIX BUT WENT TO HER MOTHER'S HOME AT SOUTHPORT, NORTH CAROLINA. BY ORDERS DATED NOVEMBER 1, 1956, YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM YOUR PERMANENT DUTY STATION AT PHOENIX AND ASSIGNED TO DUTY AT MYRTLE BEACH AIR FORCE BASE, SOUTH CAROLINA. YOUR WIFE TRAVELED THERE FROM SOUTHPORT. FEBRUARY 26, 1957, YOU SUBMITTED A VOUCHER FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL FROM PHOENIX TO MYRTLE BEACH. BY OUR SETTLEMENT OF OCTOBER 18, 1957, YOU WERE ALLOWED MILEAGE IN THE SUM OF $8.22 FOR HER TRAVEL FROM SOUTHPORT TO MYRTLE BEACH. YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF HER TRAVEL FROM PHOENIX TO MYRTLE BEACH WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT SHE PERFORMED THE TRAVEL TO SOUTHPORT PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF YOUR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS OF NOVEMBER 1, 1956.

IT APPEARS TO BE YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOU SHOULD BE REIMBURSED FOR YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL FROM PHOENIX SINCE HER TRAVEL FROM THERE TO WALTER REED MEDICAL CENTER FOR MEDICAL ATTENTION WAS RECOMMENDED BY THE AIR FORCE AND ARMY MEDICAL AUTHORITIES AT LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, ARIZONA.

SECTION 303 (C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 814, PROVIDES IN PART THAT 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, MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ,WHEN ORDERED TO MAKE A CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION" SHALL BE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION IN KIND FOR DEPENDENTS, OR TO REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR, OR TO A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION IN KIND. JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO THAT PROVISION OF LAW PROVIDE FOR TRANSPORTATION (OR MONETARY ALLOWANCE) OF DEPENDENTS OF OFFICERS, WARRANT OFFICERS AND CERTAIN ENLISTED MEN WHEN ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION INCLUDING THE CHANGE FROM HOME TO FIRST STATION AND FROM LAST STATION TO HOME. THE REGULATIONS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDE (PARAGRAPH 7000-9), THAT TRANSPORTATION IS NOT AUTHORIZED WHERE THE DEPENDENTS DEPART THE OLD STATION "PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF ORDERS" AND THE VOUCHER IS NOT SUPPORTED BY A CERTIFICATE OF THE COMMANDING OFFICER OR HIS DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE OF THE HEADQUARTERS ISSUING THE ORDERS THAT THE MEMBER WAS ADVISED PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF THE CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS THAT SUCH ORDERS WOULD BE ISSUED.

THE PURPOSE OF THE STATUTE AND REGULATIONS AUTHORIZING TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS TO RELIEVE A MEMBER OF THE BURDEN OF PERSONALLY DEFRAYING THE TRAVEL EXPENSES OF HIS DEPENDENTS WHEN SUCH TRAVEL IS MADE NECESSARY BY AN ORDERED CHANGE OF STATION. YOUR WIFE TRAVELED FROM PHOENIX TO WASHINGTON FOR MEDICAL ATTENTION AT WALTER REED MEDICAL CENTER. SHE DID NOT PERFORM THAT TRAVEL BECAUSE YOU WERE ORDERED TO MYRTLE BEACH AIR FORCE BASE. ON THE CONTRARY, THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE COMMANDER, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE HOSPITAL, LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, RECOMMENDED FOR COMPASSIONATE REASONS YOUR TRANSFER FROM YOUR OLD STATION TO FACILITATE THE NECESSARY TREATMENT AND IT WAS BECAUSE OF THESE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT YOU WERE TRANSFERRED TO MYRTLE BEACH AIR FORCE BASE.

WHILE WE APPRECIATE THE UNFORTUNATE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT NECESSITATED YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL, SINCE SHE DID NOT PERFORM THE TRAVEL AS A RESULT OF YOUR CHANGE OF STATION WE ARE WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO ALLOW YOUR CLAIM FOR HER TRAVEL BASED ON THE DISTANCE FROM PHOENIX TO MYRTLE BEACH.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF OCTOBER 18, 1957, WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.

IN THE THIRD PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER YOU REQUEST AN EXPLANATION OF WHAT YOU REGARD AS A REVERSAL OF OUR POSITION, IT APPARENTLY BEING YOUR UNDERSTANDING THAT THE ACTION TAKEN IN OUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 12, 1957, IN FORWARDING YOUR CLAIM TO THE AIR FORCE FINANCE CENTER FOR APPROPRIATE ACTION CONSTITUTED A DETERMINATION THAT YOU WERE ENTITLED TO BE PAID AS CLAIMED. NO SUCH DETERMINATION OF YOUR RIGHT TO PAYMENT WAS MADE IN THAT LETTER, BUT YOUR CLAIM WAS MERELY FORWARDED TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION AND, IF OTHERWISE FREE FROM DOUBT, FOR ALLOWANCE IN THE AMOUNT DETERMINED TO BE DUE, THAT BEING THE ESTABLISHED PROCEDURE IN THE SETTLEMENT OF SUCH CLAIMS. SINCE THE CLAIM WAS RETURNED FOR SETTLEMENT BY US, THE SETTLEMENT OF OCTOBER 18, 1957, CONSTITUTED THE FIRST DETERMINATION BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION OF YOUR RIGHTS IN THE MATTER.