B-139163, MAY 28, 1959

B-139163: May 28, 1959

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CHRISTENSEN: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 18. THAT TRAVEL IN RETURNING TO OCEANA WAS PERFORMED DURING THE PERIOD NOVEMBER 23 TO 24. YOUR CLAIM WAS MADE ON THE BASIS THAT YOU WERE A PART OF THE GROUP DEPLOYED TO KEY WEST EVEN THOUGH YOUR NAME WAS NOT INCLUDED WITH THOSE LISTED ON THE ORDERS. YOU HAVE SUBMITTED EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THAT CONTENTION. WHICH SPECIFICALLY DIRECT THE TRAVEL AND TEMPORARY DUTY INCIDENT TO WHICH ALLOWANCES ARE CLAIMED. PARAGRAPH 3002.1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES IN THAT RESPECT THAT "WRITTEN ORDERS ISSUED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY ARE REQUIRED FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL OR FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCIDENT THERETO.". PARAGRAPH 3002.2 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT "A VERBAL ORDER GIVEN IN ADVANCE OF TRAVEL SUBSEQUENTLY CONFIRMED IN WRITING GIVING DATE OF VERBAL ORDER AND APPROVED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY WILL MEET THE REQUIREMENTS FOR WRITTEN ORDERS.".

B-139163, MAY 28, 1959

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

CLARENCE L. CHRISTENSEN:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 18, 1959, REQUESTING REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 13, 1959, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR PER DIEM INCIDENT TO TEMPORARY DUTY PERFORMED AT THE NAVAL AIR STATION, KEY WEST, FLORIDA, DURING THE PERIOD OCTOBER 27 TO NOVEMBER 22, 1955, WHILE ATTACHED TO FIGHTER SQUADRON 82 DURING OPERATIONAL DEPLOYMENT ACTIVITIES OF THAT SQUADRON.

ORDERS OF THE COMMANDING OFFICER, FIGHTER SQUADRON 82, DATED MAY 1, 1956, ADDRESSED TO 78 DESIGNATED MEMBERS OF THAT SQUADRON, PURPORT TO DIRECT THAT THOSE NAMED PROCEED, IN ACCORDANCE WITH COMMANDER AIR FORCE, UNITED STATES ATLANTIC FLEET NOTICE 03120 OF OCTOBER 1, 1955, ON OCTOBER 26, 1955, TO THE UNITED STATES NAVAL AIR STATION AT KEY WEST FOR TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY IN CONNECTION WITH DEPLOYMENT FOR A PERIOD OF APPROXIMATELY 30 DAYS, AND RETURN TO THEIR DUTY STATION. ENDORSEMENTS TO THOSE ORDERS, DATED MAY 2, 1956, STATE THAT FIGHTER SQUADRON 82 LEFT OCEANA, VIRGINIA, AND REPORTED AT KEY WEST, ON OCTOBER 26, 1955, AND THAT TRAVEL IN RETURNING TO OCEANA WAS PERFORMED DURING THE PERIOD NOVEMBER 23 TO 24, 1955. YOUR CLAIM WAS MADE ON THE BASIS THAT YOU WERE A PART OF THE GROUP DEPLOYED TO KEY WEST EVEN THOUGH YOUR NAME WAS NOT INCLUDED WITH THOSE LISTED ON THE ORDERS, AND YOU HAVE SUBMITTED EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THAT CONTENTION.

THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 303(A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 813, AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCES ONLY IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL PERFORMED UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS, CONTEMPLATE TRAVEL PERFORMED UNDER WRITTEN ORDERS, GENERALLY ISSUED IN ADVANCE OF TRAVEL, WHICH SPECIFICALLY DIRECT THE TRAVEL AND TEMPORARY DUTY INCIDENT TO WHICH ALLOWANCES ARE CLAIMED. PARAGRAPH 3002.1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES IN THAT RESPECT THAT "WRITTEN ORDERS ISSUED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY ARE REQUIRED FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL OR FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCIDENT THERETO." IN RECOGNITION THAT ADMINISTRATIVE DIFFICULTIES IN SOME INSTANCES MAKE IT IMPRACTICABLE TO ISSUE WRITTEN ORDERS IN ADVANCE OF PERFORMANCE OF TRAVEL, PARAGRAPH 3002.2 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT "A VERBAL ORDER GIVEN IN ADVANCE OF TRAVEL SUBSEQUENTLY CONFIRMED IN WRITING GIVING DATE OF VERBAL ORDER AND APPROVED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY WILL MEET THE REQUIREMENTS FOR WRITTEN ORDERS."

IT IS NOT ENTIRELY CLEAR WHETHER THE ORDERS OF MAY 1, 1956, ISSUED SUBSEQUENT TO THE TRAVEL IN QUESTION, WERE INTENDED TO CONSTITUTE A REDUCTION TO WRITING OF VERBAL ORDERS ISSUED PRIOR TO THE PERFORMANCE OF TRAVEL OR WHETHER THEY WERE INTENDED TO PARAPHRASE THE CONTENTS OF NOTICE 03120 OF OCTOBER 1, 1955, CITED AS AUTHORITY FOR THEIR ISSUANCE. CONSEQUENTLY, THEIR VALUE AS COMPETENT WRITTEN TRAVEL ORDERS IS DOUBTFUL IN VIEW OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE REGULATIONS. EVEN IF OTHERWISE ACCEPTABLE AS COMPETENT TRAVEL ORDERS, HOWEVER, THEY COULD SERVE AS AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCES ONLY TO THOSE TO WHOM DIRECTED, THOSE PERSONS BEING THE ONLY ONES WHO COULD BE CONSIDERED AS HAVING BEEN ORDERED TO PERFORM THE TRAVEL DIRECTED WITHIN THE CONTEMPLATION OF THE CITED REGULATIONS. THERE IS NO SHOWING THAT YOU WERE EXPRESSLY DIRECTED BY COMPETENT ORDERS TO PERFORM THE TRAVEL AND TEMPORARY DUTY IN QUESTION AND, HENCE, NO AUTHORITY EXISTS FOR THE PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 13, 1959, IS SUSTAINED.