B-138269, FEB 17, 1959

B-138269: Feb 17, 1959

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU WERE EMPLOYED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY IN GERMANY AND THAT BY LETTER ORDER NO. 3-175. YOUR WIFE WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL. YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL BETWEEN GERMANY AND THE UNITED STATES ON HOME LEAVE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. RETURN OF YOUR WIFE TO GERMANY LIKEWISE WAS AUTHORIZED IN THE ORDERS. YOU HAVE RECEIVED PAYMENT FOR YOUR TRAVEL EXPENSES AND FOR THE COST OF YOUR WIFE'S LAND TRAVEL IN EUROPE AND IN THE UNITED STATES. THE DATE OF YOUR TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES IS NOT OF RECORD HERE. YOU SAY THAT REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OF YOUR WIFE BY COMMERCIAL VESSEL WAS DENIED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE ON THE BASIS THAT YOUR WIFE COULD HAVE TRAVELED BY GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION ON A SPACE AVAILABLE BASIS.

B-138269, FEB 17, 1959

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

MR. GLEN R. HENDERSON:

YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 8, 1958, REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF DECEMBER 1, 1958, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED BY YOUR WIFE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED FROM GENOA, ITALY, TO NEW YORK, NEW YORK.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU WERE EMPLOYED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY IN GERMANY AND THAT BY LETTER ORDER NO. 3-175, DATED MARCH 23, 1957, YOUR WIFE WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL, PURSUANT TO DA CPR T3, FROM HEIDELBERG, GERMANY, TO WICHITA, KANSAS, WITH DIRECTION THAT TRANSPORTATION COSTS BE AT YOUR PERSONAL EXPENSE. UPON COMPLETION OF A REQUIRED PERIOD OF SERVICE BY YOU, AT YOUR OVERSEAS STATION, THE ORDER CONSTITUTED AUTHORITY FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE NORMAL COST OF TRANSPORTATION. YOUR WIFE TRAVELED BY FOREIGN VESSEL FROM GENOA, ITALY, TO NEW YORK, NEW YORK. BY ORDERS DATED JUNE 26, 1957, YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL BETWEEN GERMANY AND THE UNITED STATES ON HOME LEAVE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. RETURN OF YOUR WIFE TO GERMANY LIKEWISE WAS AUTHORIZED IN THE ORDERS. WHILE THE RECORD DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY SO STATE, WE ASSUME THAT UNDER YOUR ORDERS YOU PROCEEDED TO AND FROM THE UNITED STATES BY MILITARY AIRCRAFT, AND THAT YOUR WIFE PERFORMED THE RETURN TRANSPORTATION TO GERMANY BY MILITARY AIRCRAFT. EVIDENTLY, YOU HAVE RECEIVED PAYMENT FOR YOUR TRAVEL EXPENSES AND FOR THE COST OF YOUR WIFE'S LAND TRAVEL IN EUROPE AND IN THE UNITED STATES. THE DATE OF YOUR TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES IS NOT OF RECORD HERE.

IN YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 13, 1957, SUBMITTING YOUR CLAIM TO THE CHIEF, SETTLEMENTS OPERATIONS, FINANCE CENTER, U. S. ARMY, INDIANAPOLIS 49, INDIANA, YOU SAY THAT REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OF YOUR WIFE BY COMMERCIAL VESSEL WAS DENIED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE ON THE BASIS THAT YOUR WIFE COULD HAVE TRAVELED BY GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION ON A SPACE AVAILABLE BASIS. YOU ALSO SAY THAT IT WAS IMPERATIVE THAT YOUR WIFE GET TO THE STATES IN A SHORT TIME, AND, SINCE YOU WERE INFORMED BY THE CIVILIAN PERSONNEL OFFICE THAT SPACE AVAILABLE WAS PRACTICALLY AN IMPOSSIBILITY AT THAT TIME, YOU DECIDED TO SEND HER BY COMMERCIAL SHIP. WE HAVE INFORMALLY ASCERTAINED FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY THAT SPACE WAS AVAILABLE ABOARD GOVERNMENT VESSELS, DURING THE PERIOD OF YOUR CLAIM, SAILING FROM EUROPE TO THE UNITED STATES.

LETTER ORDER NO. 3-175, AUTHORIZES TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR WIFE PURSUANT TO "DA CPET3." CONCERNING THE RETURN OF DEPENDENTS PRIOR TO THE RETURN OF THE EMPLOYEE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY CIVILIAN PERSONNEL REGULATIONS T3.10- 6B PROVIDES THAT GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WILL BE USED IF AVAILABLE, AND REIMBURSEMENT FOR COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION TO, FROM, AND BETWEEN OVERSEAS AREAS WILL NOT BE AUTHORIZED WHEN THE CHIEF OF TRANSPORTATION DETERMINES THAT USE OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WOULD NOT HAVE OCCASIONED A DELAY OF 30 DAYS OR MORE. THE REGULATION ALSO PROVIDES THAT THE AMOUNT OF REIMBURSEMENT SHALL NOT EXCEED THE AMOUNT THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWED AT THE TIME THE EMPLOYEE BECAME ELIGIBLE FOR RETURN AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. THEREFORE, OTHER CONSIDERATIONS ASIDE, IF YOUR TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED TO THE UNITED STATES PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1957, NO BASIS WOULD APPEAR TO EXIST UNDER THE REGULATION FOR PAYMENT OF ANY SUM FOR TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR WIFE, SINCE WE UNDERSTAND THAT FOR TRAVEL PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1957, THE MILITARY AIR TRANSPORT SERVICE DID NOT OBTAIN REIMBURSEMENT FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY FOR TRANSPORTATION OF ITS CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES.

IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU SUGGEST THAT REIMBURSEMENT SHOULD BE MADE IN THE AMOUNT AT LEAST EQUIVALENT TO THE AMOUNT OF NORMAL COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR WIFE, BECAUSE THE TRAVEL ORDER AUTHORIZED SUCH PAYMENT. EVEN IF YOU SHOULD FURNISH EVIDENCE THAT GOVERNMENT SURFACE TRANSPORTATION WAS NOT AVAILABLE AND THAT YOUR TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 1957, THERE STILL IS FOR CONSIDERATION SECTION 901 OF THE MERCHANT MARINE ACT OF 1936, 49 STAT. 2015, 46 U.S.C. 1241(A), WHICH SECTION PROVIDES THAT ANY OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS OVERSEAS OR TO OR FROM ANY OF THE POSSESSIONS OF THE UNITED STATES SHALL TRAVEL ON SHIPS REGISTERED UNDER THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES WHEN SUCH SHIPS ARE AVAILABLE UNLESS THE NECESSITY OF HIS MISSION REQUIRES THE USE OF A SHIP UNDER A FOREIGN FLAG. SEE, ALSO, PARAGRAPH T3.3-D(4) OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY CIVILIAN PERSONNEL REGULATIONS. OUR OFFICE HAS HELD REPEATEDLY THAT THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 901 ARE MANDATORY AND REQUIRE THE DISALLOWANCE OF ALL TRAVELING EXPENSES ON A FOREIGN VESSEL. THE ARGUMENTS CONTAINED IN YOUR LETTER DO NOT REVEAL ANY FACT OR CIRCUMSTANCE WHICH MIGHT BE REGARDED AS EVIDENCE - A STATEMENT ON NONAVAILABILITY OF SPACE ON AN AMERICAN SHIP FURNISHED BY THE STEAMSHIP COMPANY WOULD BE SUCH EVIDENCE - THAT THE NATURE OF YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL REQUIRED THAT SHE USE A FOREIGN VESSEL OR THAT NO AMERICAN VESSEL WAS AVAILABLE. OUR OFFICE HAS HELD REPEATEDLY THAT QUESTIONS OF CONVENIENCE OF THE TRAVELER OR ECONOMY ALONE DO NOT JUSTIFY THE USE OF FOREIGN VESSELS BY GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, OR THEIR DEPENDENTS, IN TRAVELING OVERSEAS. SEE, GENERALLY, 18 COMP. GEN. 375, ID. 858, 30 ID. 407, AND 31 ID. 351.

THEREFORE, UPON THE PRESENT RECORD, THE SETTLEMENT OF DECEMBER 1, 1958, IS SUSTAINED.