B-139624, JUN 29, 1959

B-139624: Jun 29, 1959

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PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF APRIL 29. REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER IT WOULD BE WITHIN THE "SPIRIT AND INTENT OF THE LAW" IF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WERE AMENDED TO PROVIDE (1) AN ALLOWANCE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF A TRAILER WITHIN ALASKA. THE REGULATIONS INVOLVED ARE CONTAINED IN CHAPTER 10 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. PARAGRAPH 10000 OF THAT CHAPTER STATES THAT THE STATUTE PROVIDING FOR THE TRAILER ALLOWANCE LIMITS THE ALLOWANCE TO THE DISTANCE A HOUSE TRAILER IS ACTUALLY TRANSPORTED "WITHIN CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES" AND TO CASES IN WHICH THE HOUSE TRAILER IS INTENDED FOR USE AS A RESIDENCE AT DESTINATION. THAT THE TRANSPORTATION OF A HOUSE TRAILER OUTSIDE THE "UNITED STATES" IS AT PERSONAL EXPENSE OF THE MEMBER.

B-139624, JUN 29, 1959

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF APRIL 29, 1959, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE, PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE CONTROL NO. 59-12, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER IT WOULD BE WITHIN THE "SPIRIT AND INTENT OF THE LAW" IF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WERE AMENDED TO PROVIDE (1) AN ALLOWANCE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF A TRAILER WITHIN ALASKA, AND (2) AN ALLOWANCE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF A TRAILER BETWEEN THE STATE OF ALASKA AND ANOTHER ONE OF THE STATES WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES.

PUBLIC LAW 20 (ACT OF MARCH 31, 1955, 69 STAT. 22) AMENDED SECTION 303(C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 814, TO PROVIDE IN PERTINENT PART, THAT -

"*** IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, A MEMBER OF A UNIFORMED SERVICE WHO TRANSPORTS A HOUSE TRAILER OR MOBILE DWELLING WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES FOR USE AS A RESIDENCE AND WHO WOULD OTHERWISE BE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, UNDER THIS SECTION, SHALL UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARY CONCERNED BE ENTITLED TO A REASONABLE ALLOWANCE, NOT TO EXCEED 20 CENTS PER MILE, OR TO THE DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED IN THIS SECTION, WHICHEVER HE SHALL ELECT."

THE REGULATIONS INVOLVED ARE CONTAINED IN CHAPTER 10 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. PARAGRAPH 10000 OF THAT CHAPTER STATES THAT THE STATUTE PROVIDING FOR THE TRAILER ALLOWANCE LIMITS THE ALLOWANCE TO THE DISTANCE A HOUSE TRAILER IS ACTUALLY TRANSPORTED "WITHIN CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES" AND TO CASES IN WHICH THE HOUSE TRAILER IS INTENDED FOR USE AS A RESIDENCE AT DESTINATION; THAT THE TRANSPORTATION OF A HOUSE TRAILER OUTSIDE THE "UNITED STATES" IS AT PERSONAL EXPENSE OF THE MEMBER.

IN OUR DECISION OF DECEMBER 18, 1958, B-137903, 38 COMP. GEN. 447, WE CONSIDERED THE EFFECT OF SECTION 8(D) OF THE ACT OF JULY 7, 1958, PUBLIC LAW 85-508, 72 STAT. 344, WHICH PROVIDES THAT "ALL OF THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES SHALL HAVE THE SAME FORCE AND EFFECT WITHIN SAID STATE (ALASKA) AS ELSEWHERE WITHIN THE UNITED STATES." WE CONCLUDED THAT THE EFFECT OF THAT PROVISION MERELY WAS TO GIVE THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES SUCH AS THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, 60 STAT. 806, AND THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 166, THE SAME VALIDITY AND FORCE IN ALASKA - AFTER ADMISSION AS A STATE - AS ELSEWHERE IN THE UNITED STATES. WE THEN WENT ON TO SAY IN THAT DECISION THAT "UNDER THIS VIEW OF THE QUOTED STATUTORY PROVISION LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES SUCH AS HERE INVOLVED WHILE BEING APPLICABLE IN ALASKA WOULD IN NO WAY BE MODIFIED BY THE ADMISSION OF ALASKA AS A STATE AND THE SCOPE AND COVERAGE OF ANY PARTICULAR LAW WOULD, AS IS THE CASE AT THE PRESENT TIME, DEPEND UPON THE LANGUAGE AND LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF SUCH LAW."

THE SIGNIFICANT TERM IN THE STATUTES CONSIDERED IN THAT DECISION AND IN SECTION 303(C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, IS "CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES." UNDER THE STATUTES DIFFERENT TREATMENT WAS ACCORDED EMPLOYEES AND MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA BECAUSE THEY WERE OUTSIDE THE "CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES." PARAGRAPH 1150-16 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS DEFINES THE TERM "UNITED STATES" AS USED IN THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AS "THE 48 STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA." THAT SAME DEFINITION CONSISTENTLY HAS BEEN APPLIED IN CONSTRUING THE TERM "CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES." CF. 16 COMP. GEN. 772. UNDER ANALOGOUS CIRCUMSTANCES, WE CONCLUDED IN OUR DECISION, 38 COMP. GEN. 447, THAT THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 166, AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, 60 STAT. 806, WOULD CONTINUE TO APPLY IN ALASKA AFTER HER ADMISSION AS A STATE IN THE SAME MANNER AS THERETOFORE APPLIED. ON THE BASIS OF THAT DECISION AND SINCE NO INDICATION HAD BEEN FOUND OF A LEGISLATIVE INTENT TO ABOLISH THE PRESENT DIFFERENTIATION BETWEEN ALASKA AND THE "48 STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA," OUR VIEW IS THAT SECTION 303(C) SHOULD CONTINUE TO BE APPLIED AS HERETOFORE UNTIL SUCH TIME AS THE CONGRESS MAY EXPRESSLY MODIFY SAID SECTION TO PRESCRIBE A DIFFERENT METHOD OF APPLICATION.

ACCORDINGLY, THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.