B-139807, JUL. 1, 1959

B-139807: Jul 1, 1959

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W2152553: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 22. IT APPEARS THAT YOU WERE ASSIGNED ON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TO QUITO. PAYMENT WAS MADE TO YOU FOR YOUR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR DEPENDENTS AT THE RATE OF $0.12 PER MILE FOR TWO ADULT DEPENDENTS AND $0.06 PER MILE FOR YOURSELF. YOUR CLAIM IS FOR ADDITIONAL MILEAGE ON THE BASIS OF THE DISTANCE ACTUALLY TRAVELED (373 MILES) AT THE RATES PREVIOUSLY PAID. YOUR CLAIM WAS SUBMITTED ORIGINALLY BY LETTER OF NOVEMBER 19. THIS LETTER WAS FORWARDED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY. THE CHIEF OF FINANCE REPLIED THAT THE DISTANCE WAS FIXED ON THE BASIS OF AIR DISTANCE SINCE AIR TRANSPORTATION APPEARED TO BE THE ONLY COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION AVAILABLE.

B-139807, JUL. 1, 1959

TO ANTHONY A. MANN, CWO, USA, W2152553:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 22, 1959, REQUESTING REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF MAY 8, 1959, WHICH DENIED YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL PERFORMED BETWEEN EL TIGRE AND CARACUS, VENEZUELA, ON AUGUST 30, 1957, INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. YOU ALSO REQUEST THAT YOUR CLAIM BE REFERRED TO THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, FOR RECONSIDERATION OF THE OFFICIAL LAND MILEAGE DISTANCE FROM EL TIGRE TO CARACAS, PREVIOUSLY FIXED BY THAT AUTHORITY AT 226 MILES.

IT APPEARS THAT YOU WERE ASSIGNED ON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TO QUITO, ECUADOR, BY LETTER ORDER NO. 2727, DATED AUGUST 15, 1957, HEADQUARTERS U.S. ARMY CARIBBEAN. PARAGRAPH TWO OF THOSE ORDERS AUTHORIZED/YOU TO PROCEED FROM EL TIGRE TO CARACAS VIA PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE AND PARAGRAPH THREE AUTHORIZED CONCURRENT TRAVEL OF YOUR TWO DEPENDENTS. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT YOU TRAVELED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FROM EL TIGRE TO CARACAS, AN ACTUAL HIGHWAY DISTANCE OF 373 MILES. PAYMENT WAS MADE TO YOU FOR YOUR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR DEPENDENTS AT THE RATE OF $0.12 PER MILE FOR TWO ADULT DEPENDENTS AND $0.06 PER MILE FOR YOURSELF, ON THE BASIS OF A DISTANCE OF 226 MILES ESTABLISHED BY THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, IN DD FORM NO. 753, DATED OCTOBER 25, 1957. YOUR CLAIM IS FOR ADDITIONAL MILEAGE ON THE BASIS OF THE DISTANCE ACTUALLY TRAVELED (373 MILES) AT THE RATES PREVIOUSLY PAID.

YOUR CLAIM WAS SUBMITTED ORIGINALLY BY LETTER OF NOVEMBER 19, 1957, TO THE INSTALLATION FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING OFFICER, FORT CLAYTON, CANAL ZONE, SETTING FORTH THE ESSENTIAL FACTS AND A SCHEDULE OF THE DISTANCE TRAVELED. THIS LETTER WAS FORWARDED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, CHIEF OF FINANCE, FOR REDETERMINATION OF THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE BETWEEN EL TIGRE AND CARACAS, IN VIEW OF THE INFORMATION FURNISHED BY YOU. THE CHIEF OF FINANCE REPLIED THAT THE DISTANCE WAS FIXED ON THE BASIS OF AIR DISTANCE SINCE AIR TRANSPORTATION APPEARED TO BE THE ONLY COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION AVAILABLE. BY THIRD INDORSEMENT THE INSTALLATION FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING OFFICER RESUBMITTED YOUR CLAIM AND REFERRED TO THE ROAD USED BY YOU, STATING THAT HE FELT THAT THE DISTANCE OF 226 MILES WAS NOT EQUITABLE IN VIEW OF THE FACTS PRESENTED. IN FOURTH INDORSEMENT THE CHIEF OF FINANCE STATED THAT THE DISTANCE OF 373 MILES WAS PREVIOUSLY CONSIDERED EXCESSIVE AND THAT THE DISTANCE OF 226 MILES WAS THEREFOR ESTABLISHED. IT WAS ALSO POINTED OUT THAT OFFICIAL DISTANCES ARE ORDINARILY DETERMINED VIA ROUTES USED BY COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION RATHER THAN PERSONAL MEANS AS SET FORTH IN PARAGRAPH 5 OF THE OFFICIAL TABLE OF DISTANCES.

THE AUTHORITY OF THE CHIEF OF FINANCE TO DETERMINE OFFICIAL DISTANCES IS PROVIDED IN SECTION 303 (A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 37 U.S.C. 253, AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES WHICH SHALL BE AUTHORIZED FOR EACH TYPE OF TRAVEL SHALL BE LIMITED TO ONE OF THE FOLLOWING: (1) TRANSPORTATION IN KIND, REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR, OR A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF COST OF TRANSPORTATION AT A RATE NOT IN EXCESS OF 7 CENTS PER MILE BASED ON DISTANCES ESTABLISHED OR TO BE ESTABLISHED OVER THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTES, IN ACCORDANCE WITH MILEAGE TABLES PREPARED BY THE CHIEF OF FINANCE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY * * *.'

UNDER SUCH STATUTORY PROVISIONS, THE AUTHORITY OF THE CHIEF OF FINANCE TO DETERMINE OFFICIAL DISTANCES IS CLEAR AND WE MAY NOT QUESTION DETERMINATIONS SO MADE. THE DISTANCE BETWEEN EL TIGRE AND CARACAS WAS CONSIDERED ON THREE SEPARATE OCCASIONS BY THE CHIEF OF FINANCE WITH THE RESULTING DETERMINATION THAT THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE WAS 226 MILES. INASMUCH AS THAT DETERMINATION WAS MADE WITH FULL KNOWLEDGE OF THE FACTS PRESENTED BY YOU, THE MATTER WILL NOT BE RESUBMITTED TO THAT OFFICIAL FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION.

YOU EXPRESS THE BELIEF THAT LETTER ORDER NO. 2727 AUTHORIZED COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE FROM EL TIGRE TO CARACAS AND THAT DRIVING THAT AUTOMOBILE FROM EL TIGRE TO CARACAS RESULTED IN A SAVING TO THE UNITED STATES AND THE GOVERNMENT OF ECUADOR. THIS CONTENTION APPEARS TO BE BASED UPON A MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE CITED ORDERS. PARAGRAPH FIVE STATES, IN PERTINENT T,"SHPMT OF ONE (1) POV BY GOVT AND/OR COML VES AUTH FR CARACAS, VENEZUELA TO QUITO, EQUADOR (AR 55-76).' PARAGRAPH SIX STATES (IN PERTINENT PART): "THE GOVT OF ECUADOR WILL REIMBURSE THE US GOVT FOR COST INCURRED IN THE MOV OF OFF, DEPN, TRANS BY AND SHPMT OF POV AND SHPMT OF HHG FR PRESENT STA TO ECUADOR.' IT IS CLEAR THAT PARAGRAPH FIVE AUTHORIZES SHIPMENT OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE ONLY FROM CARACAS TO QUITO. PARAGRAPH SIX DID NOT CONFER ADDITIONAL RIGHTS UPON YOU. IT MERELY INDICATED THE MEASURE OF REIMBURSEMENT WHICH WOULD BE MADE TO THE UNITED STATES BY THE GOVERNMENT OF ECUADOR. PARAGRAPH 9, ARMY REGULATIONS 55-76, SEPTEMBER 26, 1955, EXPRESSLY PROVIDED THAT COMMERCIAL LAND SHIPMENT OF PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLES WAS NOT AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. THE UNDERSCORED PORTIONS OF PARAGRAPH SIX OF YOUR ORDERS DO NOT INDICATE THAT PAYMENT WAS TO BE MADE FOR COMMERCIAL SHIPMENT OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE FROM EL TIGRE, BUT RATHER THAT REIMBURSEMENT WAS TO BE MADE FOR THE COST OF TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE (EL TIGRE TO CARACAS) AND SHIPMENT OF THAT VEHICLE FROM CARACAS TO QUITO, AS WELL AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM YOUR OLD STATION (EL TIGRE) TO QUITO.

IT THEREFORE APPEARS THAT THERE IS NO BASIS FOR THE PAYMENT OF ADDITIONAL ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS OR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE. ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF MAY 22, 1959, IS SUSTAINED.