B-139828, AUG. 7, 1959

B-139828: Aug 7, 1959

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BLANKENSHIP: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MAY 6. YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM ASSIGNMENT AND DUTY AT THAT STATION AND ASSIGNED TO PARKS AIR FORCE BASE. YOU WERE TO REPORT NOT LATER THAN OCTOBER 25. WERE PAID $352.65. IT IS REPORTED THAT YOU WERE HOSPITALIZED AT THE 3275TH UNITED STATES AIR FORCE HOSPITAL. YOU WERE DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO YOUR HOME OF RECORD. ON WHICH DATE YOU WERE TO BE RELIEVED FROM EXTENDED ACTIVE DUTY. WERE PAID $406.05. PARAGRAPH 7004-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT: "SUBJECT TO SUBPAR. 4 WHEN A MEMBER IS TRANSFERRED FROM EITHER A TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT DUTY STATION TO A HOSPITAL OR FROM A HOSPITAL WHERE LISTED AS A PATIENT TO ANOTHER HOSPITAL FOR OBSERVATION AND TREATMENT.

B-139828, AUG. 7, 1959

TO MR. ROBERT O. BLANKENSHIP:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MAY 6, 1959, CONCERNING YOUR INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE AMOUNT OF $698.25, REPRESENTING OVERPAYMENT FOR TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS INCIDENT TO YOUR SERVICE IN THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BY PARAGRAPH 8, SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 226, ISSUED SEPTEMBER 30, 1953, AT HEADQUARTERS CHANUTE AIR FORCE BASE AND 3345TH TECHNICAL TRAINING WING, CHANUTE AIR FORCE BASE, ILLINOIS, YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM ASSIGNMENT AND DUTY AT THAT STATION AND ASSIGNED TO PARKS AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA. YOU WERE TO REPORT NOT LATER THAN OCTOBER 25, 1953, FOR FURTHER TREATMENT, OBSERVATION AND/OR DISPOSITION. INFORMATION FURNISHED BY THE HOSPITAL AT CHANUTE AIR FORCE BASE SETS FORTH THE REASON FOR YOUR TRANSFER AS IN ACCORDANCE WITH AIR FORCE MANUAL 35-4 FOR APPEARANCE BEFORE MEDICAL AND PHYSICAL EVALUATION BOARDS. PURSUANT TO THE ABOVE MENTIONED ORDERS YOU EXECUTED A VOUCHER FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL FROM URBANA, ILLINOIS, TO SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, OCTOBER 6 TO 19, 1953, AND WERE PAID $352.65, AS EVIDENCED BY DISBURSING OFFICER VOUCHER NO. 9180, OCTOBER 1953 ACCOUNTS OF R. R. BRYANT, SYMBOL 225-066.

IT IS REPORTED THAT YOU WERE HOSPITALIZED AT THE 3275TH UNITED STATES AIR FORCE HOSPITAL, PARKS AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA, A TOTAL OF 11 DAYS--- FROM OCTOBER 19 TO OCTOBER 29, 1953. BY PARAGRAPH 1, SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 245, ISSUED OCTOBER 30, 1953, AT HEADQUARTERS, PARKS AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA, YOU WERE DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO YOUR HOME OF RECORD, 3855 GRAPEVINE, HUNTINGTON, WEST VIRGINIA, TO ARRIVE THERE ON NOVEMBER 10, 1953, ON WHICH DATE YOU WERE TO BE RELIEVED FROM EXTENDED ACTIVE DUTY. PURSUANT TO THOSE ORDERS YOU EXECUTED A VOUCHER FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL FROM PARKS AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA, TO HUNTINGTON, WEST VIRGINIA, NOVEMBER 2 TO 11, 1953, AND WERE PAID $406.05, AS EVIDENCED BY DISBURSING OFFICER VOUCHER NO. 13955, DECEMBER 1953 ACCOUNTS OF R. R. BRYANT, SYMBOL 225-066.

PARAGRAPH 7004-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT:

"SUBJECT TO SUBPAR. 4 WHEN A MEMBER IS TRANSFERRED FROM EITHER A TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT DUTY STATION TO A HOSPITAL OR FROM A HOSPITAL WHERE LISTED AS A PATIENT TO ANOTHER HOSPITAL FOR OBSERVATION AND TREATMENT, TRANSPORTATION FOR HIS DEPENDENTS IS AUTHORIZED, AS FOR A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, FROM THE LAST PERMANENT DUTY STATION TO THE CITY OR TOWN IN WHICH THE HOSPITAL IS LOCATED.'

SUBPARAGRAPH 4 PROVIDES, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"4. CERTIFICATE REQUIRED. WHEN A MEMBER IS HOSPITALIZED AND A CERTIFICATE IS EXECUTED BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE HOSPITAL SETTING FORTH THE FINDING THAT THE PERIOD OF TREATMENT CAN BE EXPECTED TO BE PROLONGED, DEPENDENTS OF THE MEMBER MAY BE TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE * * "

IN OUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 4, 1959, YOU WERE INFORMED THAT AN EXAMINATION OF THE RECORDS FAILED TO DISCLOSE THAT A CERTIFICATE, AS REQUIRED BY SUBPARAGRAPH 4, HAD BEEN ISSUED BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER AT PARKS AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA. THE CERTIFICATE FURNISHED BY YOU IN SUPPORT OF THE PAYMENTS RECEIVED WAS ISSUED AT CHANUTE AIR FORCE BASE, ILLINOIS, AND CANNOT BE HELD TO HAVE SATISFIED THE REQUIREMENTS SPECIFIED BY SUBPARAGRAPH 4 SINCE IT IS CLEAR THAT THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE HOSPITAL WHO IS TO ISSUE THE CERTIFICATE REQUIRED BY THAT SUBPARAGRAPH IS THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF A HOSPITAL RECEIVING THE PATIENT. THE OBVIOUS PURPOSE OF THE CITED REGULATIONS IS TO PREVENT UNNECESSARY TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS--- TRAVEL INCIDENT TO A BRIEF, AS CONTRASTED TO A PROLONGED, HOSPITALIZATION--- BY REQUIRING AN EVALUATION OF THE PATIENT'S CONDITION AND PROGNOSIS BY THE RECEIVING HOSPITAL AUTHORITIES BEFORE TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS IS AUTHORIZED.

IN YOUR LETTER OF MAY 6, 1959, YOU POINT OUT THAT YOUR ORDERS (S.O. NO. 226, SEPTEMBER 30, 1953) DIRECTED A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM CHANUTE AIR FORCE BASE TO PARKS AIR FORCE BASE AND APPARENTLY YOU CONTEND THAT TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS IS AUTHORIZED ON THE BASIS OF A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. PARAGRAPH 1150-10 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS DEFINES A PERMANENT STATION AS THE POST OF DUTY OR OFFICIAL STATION TO WHICH A MEMBER IS "ASSIGNED OR ATTACHED FOR DUTY.' ALTHOUGH THE REGULATIONS (PARAGRAPH 7004-1 AND 7004-4) AUTHORIZE TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS, IF THE PROPER CERTIFICATE IS ISSUED, WHEN A MEMBER IS TRANSFERRED TO A HOSPITAL OR FROM ONE HOSPITAL TO ANOTHER HOSPITAL, IT WILL BE NOTED THAT SUCH AUTHORIZATION IS NOT ON THE BASIS THAT AN ACTUAL PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION IS INVOLVED BUT FOR TRANSPORTATION "AS FOR A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION.' WHILE SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 226 DIRECTED A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION YOU WERE NOT ASSIGNED OR ATTACHED TO PARKS AIR FORCE BASE HOSPITAL FOR DUTY. IT IS CLEAR THAT YOU WERE TRANSFERRED TO THE HOSPITAL FOR APPEARANCE BEFORE MEDICAL AND PHYSICAL EVALUATION BOARDS AND FOR FURTHER "TREATMENT, OBSERVATION AND/OR DISPOSITION.' HENCE, UNDER THE LAW AND THE REGULATIONS, THE SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 226 MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED AS CONSTITUTING A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FOR PURPOSES OF REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS. SEE, ALSO, 4 COMP. GEN. 653 AND 17 ID. 133, WHEREIN IT WAS HELD THAT ADMISSION TO A HOSPITAL FOR TREATMENT DOES NOT OPERATE AS A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ENTITLING DEPENDENTS TO TRANSPORTATION WHEN THE OFFICER IS STATIONED WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES.

HOWEVER, AS WAS NOTED IN OUR PRIOR SETTLEMENT, YOU WERE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR DEPENDENTS NOT TO EXCEED THE DISTANCE FROM YOUR LAST PERMANENT DUTY STATION (CHANUTE AIR FORCE BASE, ILLINOIS) TO YOUR HOME (HUNTINGTON, WEST VIRGINIA), A DISTANCE OF 403 MILES, AT 15 CENTS PER MILE. THIS AMOUNTS TO $60.45 WHICH REDUCES YOUR INDEBTEDNESS TO $698.25 ($352.65 PLUS $486.05 MINUS $60.45 EQUALS $698.25).

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE SUM OF $698.25. IN ORDER TO PRECLUDE THE NECESSITY OF FURTHER LEGAL ACTION IN THIS MATTER, PAYMENT OF THIS AMOUNT SHOULD BE MADE BY CHECK OR MONEY ORDER PAYABLE TO THE "U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE," AND FORWARDED TO THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS:

U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE

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