B-139793, JUL. 10, 1959

B-139793: Jul 10, 1959

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED JUNE 1. ON THE GROUND THAT THE PAYMENT WAS FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED IN CONNECTION WITH THE MEMBER'S TRANSFER BETWEEN TWO DUTY STATIONS OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES UNDER ORDERS WHICH DIRECTED TRAVEL TO THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES FOR LEAVE PURPOSES. THE EXCEPTION WAS CLEARED ON THE BASIS OF A REPLY REPORTING CHECK AGE OF THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE ERRONEOUS PAYMENT. THE PAY RECORDS SHOW THAT DELAGRANGE WAS DETACHED FROM DUTY AT THE NAVAL AIR STATION. WE CONSISTENTLY HAVE RULED THAT TRAVEL WHILE ON LEAVE INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. IS NOT TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS. THE INSTANT CASE IS ONE OF APPROXIMATELY 250 WHICH REQUIRED IDENTICAL AUDIT ACTION ON OVERPAID ALLOWANCES FOR LEAVE TRAVEL PERFORMED BETWEEN JULY 1.

B-139793, JUL. 10, 1959

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED JUNE 1, 1959, FROM THE DEPUTY COMPTROLLER OF THE NAVY, TRANSMITTING THE MEMORANDUM OF SENATOR HENRY M. JACKSON DATED MARCH 6, 1959, AND ENCLOSURE, RELATIVE TO DEDUCTIONS FROM THE PAY OF ALPHONSES K. DELAGRANGE, UTC, USN, IN THE AMOUNT OF $69.39, FOR MILEAGE PAID FROM TREASURE ISLAND, CALIFORNIA, TO SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, AND PER DIEM IN MAY AND JUNE 1956.

OUR DEFENSE ACCOUNTING AND AUDITING DIVISION TOOK EXCEPTION TO A PAYMENT ON VOUCHER NO. 208, JULY 1956 ACCOUNT OF B. K. ARADT, SYMBOL NO. 540680, ON THE GROUND THAT THE PAYMENT WAS FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED IN CONNECTION WITH THE MEMBER'S TRANSFER BETWEEN TWO DUTY STATIONS OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES UNDER ORDERS WHICH DIRECTED TRAVEL TO THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES FOR LEAVE PURPOSES. THE EXCEPTION WAS CLEARED ON THE BASIS OF A REPLY REPORTING CHECK AGE OF THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE ERRONEOUS PAYMENT.

THE PAY RECORDS SHOW THAT DELAGRANGE WAS DETACHED FROM DUTY AT THE NAVAL AIR STATION, ATSUGI, JAPAN, ON MAY 10, 1956, AND ARRIVED IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES ON MAY 17, 1956; THAT HE TOOK LEAVE FROM MAY 19 TO JUNE 16, 1956, AND REPORTED AT THE NAVAL RECEIVING STATION, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, ON JUNE 18, 1956; THAT HE DEPARTED SEATTLE ON JUNE 22, 1956, AND REPORTED FOR DUTY WITH MOBILE CONSTRUCTION BATTALION NO. 5 AT ADAK, ALASKA, ON JUNE 24, 1956.

IN OUR DECISIONS INTERPRETING THE LAW AND REGULATIONS APPLICABLE IN CASES SIMILAR TO THE ONE HERE INVOLVED, WE CONSISTENTLY HAVE RULED THAT TRAVEL WHILE ON LEAVE INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, TO THE EXTENT THAT SUCH TRAVEL EXCEEDS THE DISTANCE FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW STATION, IS NOT TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS. THE INSTANT CASE IS ONE OF APPROXIMATELY 250 WHICH REQUIRED IDENTICAL AUDIT ACTION ON OVERPAID ALLOWANCES FOR LEAVE TRAVEL PERFORMED BETWEEN JULY 1, 1955, AND JUNE 30, 1958, AND FOR WHICH CHECK AGE OR COLLECTION HAS BEEN EFFECTED.

PUBLIC LAW 86-25, APPROVED MAY 13, 1959, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"THAT THE ISSUANCE OF TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS (INCLUDING THE COST OF TRANSPORTING EXCESS BAGGAGE) AND PAYMENTS MADE FOR MILEAGE OR PER DIEM, OR BOTH, TO MEMBERS OF THE NAVAL SERVICE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY THEM BY COMMERCIAL CARRIERS AFTER JUNE 30, 1955, AND BEFORE JULY 1, 1958, UNDER ORDERS THAT TRANSFERRED THEM BETWEEN DUTY STATIONS (INCLUDING VESSELS) OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES AND AUTHORIZED THEM LEAVE EN ROUTE IN THE UNITED STATES ARE VALIDATED. ANY MEMBER OR FORMER MEMBER OF THE NAVAL SERVICE WHO HAS WHOLLY OR PARTLY REIMBURSED THE UNITED STATES FOR THE VALUE OF TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS SO ISSUED TO HIM OR FOR PAYMENTS SO MADE TO HIM IS ENTITLED TO HAVE REFUNDED THE AMOUNT HE HAS SO REIMBURSED THE UNITED STATES.

"SEC. 2. CURRENT APPROPRIATIONS AVAILABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY FOR THE PAY AND ALLOWANCES OF MEMBERS OF THE NAVAL SERVICE ARE AVAILABLE FOR REFUNDS UNDER THIS ACT.'

AUTHORITY TO MAKE REFUND TO THE MEMBERS CONCERNED, REQUESTED BY THE NAVY FINANCE CENTER PURSUANT TO PUBLIC LAW 86-25, HAS BEEN GRANTED. ALTHOUGH IT APPEARS THAT THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF PUBLIC LAW 86-25 WAS TO RELIEVE LIABILITY FOR THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS ERRONEOUSLY FURNISHED FOR LEAVE TRAVEL, ITS PROVISIONS APPEAR BROAD ENOUGH TO INCLUDE THE INSTANT AND SIMILAR CASES. ACCORDINGLY, RECREDIT OF THE AMOUNT DEDUCTED IN DELAGRANGE'S CASE AND IN SIMILAR CASES ALSO MAY BE EFFECTED BY THE NAVY FINANCE CENTER, IF OTHERWISE PROPER.

SENATOR JACKSON IS BEING ADVISED BY LETTER OF TODAY OF OUR ACTION IN THIS MATTER.