B-134803, FEB. 3, 1958

B-134803: Feb 3, 1958

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CURRIE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 13. THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO ACTIVE DUTY AT BAUMHOLDER. WHEN YOUR REQUEST FOR LEAVE WAS APPROVED SO AS TO ENABLE YOU TO RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES FOR THE PURPOSE OF ATTENDING YOUR FATHER'S FUNERAL. YOU REQUEST REIMBURSEMENT OF THE AMOUNT THAT THE GOVERNMENT WOULD HAVE EXPENDED FOR THAT PORTION OF THE RETURN JOURNEY PERFORMED BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT. YOU FURTHER STATE THAT RETURN TRANSPORTATION HAD TO BE HURRIEDLY ARRANGED AND THAT GOVERNMENT AIR TRANSPORTATION WAS NOT IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE DUE TO THE HUNGARIAN AIRLIFT THEN IN OPERATION WHICH AFFORDED HUNGARIAN REFUGEES A HIGHER PRIORITY RATING THAN THAT AVAILABLE TO YOU.

B-134803, FEB. 3, 1958

TO MR. JAMES A. CURRIE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 13, 1957, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED JUNE 24, 1957, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO YOUR TRANSPORTATION FROM FRANKFURT, GERMANY, TO NEW YORK, NEW YORK, WHILE ON LEAVE FROM DUTY AS A FIRST LIEUTENANT, 14TH ARMORED FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION, UNITED STATES ARMY, APO 34.

THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO ACTIVE DUTY AT BAUMHOLDER, GERMANY, WHEN YOUR REQUEST FOR LEAVE WAS APPROVED SO AS TO ENABLE YOU TO RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES FOR THE PURPOSE OF ATTENDING YOUR FATHER'S FUNERAL. YOU STATE THAT YOU TRAVELED FROM YOUR OVERSEAS DUTY STATION TO WALDOBOR, MAINE, PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF TRAVEL ORDERS, AND YOU REQUEST REIMBURSEMENT OF THE AMOUNT THAT THE GOVERNMENT WOULD HAVE EXPENDED FOR THAT PORTION OF THE RETURN JOURNEY PERFORMED BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT--- TRANS-WORLD AIRLINES--- BETWEEN FRANKFURT AND NEW YORK, DECEMBER 20-21, 1956, AT PERSONAL EXPENSE. YOU FURTHER STATE THAT RETURN TRANSPORTATION HAD TO BE HURRIEDLY ARRANGED AND THAT GOVERNMENT AIR TRANSPORTATION WAS NOT IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE DUE TO THE HUNGARIAN AIRLIFT THEN IN OPERATION WHICH AFFORDED HUNGARIAN REFUGEES A HIGHER PRIORITY RATING THAN THAT AVAILABLE TO YOU.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT WHILE ON LEAVE IN THE UNITED STATES YOU MADE REQUEST FOR A TRANSFER OR REASSIGNMENT TO THE NEW ENGLAND AREA IN ORDER THAT YOU MIGHT BE OF SOME ASSISTANCE IN THE SETTLEMENT OF YOUR FATHER'S ESTATE. YOUR REQUEST FOR TRANSFER IS SHOWN TO HAVE BEEN APPROVED AND AT THE EXPIRATION OF AUTHORIZED LEAVE YOU WERE RELIEVED OF FURTHER DUTY WITH THE OVERSEAS ORGANIZATION AND ASSIGNED TO THE 76TH FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION, FORT DEVENS, MASSACHUSETTS, WITH INSTRUCTIONS TO REPORT FOR DUTY THERE NOT LATER THAN JANUARY 24, 1957. THEREAFTER, THE MOVEMENT OF YOUR DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO A PORT OF DEBARKATION IN CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES WAS OFFICIALLY AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

SECTION 303 (A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 813, PROVIDES THAT UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES SHALL BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED OR TO BE PERFORMED UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS UPON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION OR OTHERWISE, THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED TO PRESCRIBE THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES MAY BE AUTHORIZED.

THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT THERETO (PARAGRAPHS 3002 AND 3050) IN EFFECT DURING DECEMBER 1956, PROVIDE THAT MEMBERS SHALL BE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES ONLY WHEN IN A TRAVEL STATUS, THAT IS, WHILE PERFORMING TRAVEL ON PUBLIC (GOVERNMENT) BUSINESS AWAY FROM THEIR PERMANENT STATIONS PURSUANT TO COMPETENT TRAVEL ORDERS. WRITTEN ORDERS ISSUED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY ARE REQUIRED FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL OR FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCIDENT THERETO. HOWEVER, A VERBAL ORDER GIVEN IN ADVANCE OF THE TRAVEL AND SUBSEQUENTLY CONFIRMED IN WRITING BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY WILL MEET THE REQUIREMENT FOR WRITTEN ORDERS. PARAGRAPH 6453 OF THE CITED REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT AN ORDER PERMITTING A MEMBER TO TRAVEL AS DISTINGUISHED FROM DIRECTING A MEMBER TO TRAVEL DOES NOT ENTITLE HIM TO EXPENSES OF TRAVEL. THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS (PARAGRAPH 4159-4) CONTEMPLATE THE PERFORMANCE OF ALL TRANSOCEANIC TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT OR VESSEL, IF AVAILABLE, UNLESS SOME OTHER MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION IS ESPECIALLY AUTHORIZED. CONSEQUENTLY, REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF COMMERCIAL OCEAN TRAVEL IS AUTHORIZED ONLY (1) WHEN SUCH TRAVEL IS SPECIFICALLY DIRECTED OR (2) WHEN GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION (AIRCRAFT OR SURFACE VESSEL) IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE AUTHORIZED TRAVEL.

THUS, IT WILL BE OBSERVED THAT YOU ACQUIRED NO RIGHT TO REIMBURSEMENT BY REASON OF THE LEAVE GRANTED YOU WITH PERMISSION TO PERFORM THE RETURN TRAVEL. ASIDE FROM THE FACT THAT YOUR RETURN WAS FOR PERSONAL REASONS--- NOT FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT--- AND NOT AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, THE REPORT OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE SHOWS THAT GOVERNMENT SURFACE TRANSPORTATION FROM GERMANY TO THE UNITED STATES WAS AVAILABLE TO ALL ELIGIBLE MILITARY PERSONNEL DURING THE INVOLVED PERIOD. THE FACT THAT YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM YOUR OVERSEAS STATION TO THE UNITED STATES IF YOU HAD REMAINED AT THAT STATION UNTIL ORDERED TO RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES, CONSTITUTES NO BASIS FOR REIMBURSING YOU FOR THE TRAVEL WHICH YOU PERFORMED FOR PERSONAL REASONS. FOR REASONS HEREIN INDICATED THE ALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM IS NOT AUTHORIZED, HENCE, THE SETTLEMENT OF JUNE 24, 1957, MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.

REGARDING YOUR REQUEST FOR INFORMATION AS TO THE OFFICE WHICH YOU SHOULD CONTACT FOR ADDITIONAL CLARIFICATION OF THE MATTER, YOU ARE INFORMED THAT THE ACTION OF THIS OFFICE ON CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES IF FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE UPON THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT. HOWEVER, INDEPENDENTLY OF THE ACTION TAKEN BY OUR OFFICE, THE COURT OF CLAIMS OF THE UNITED STATES HAS JURISDICTION TO CONSIDER AND DETERMINE CERTAIN CLAIMS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT, IF FILED THERE ..END :