B-140879, OCT. 22, 1959

B-140879: Oct 22, 1959

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WILLIAMS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 17. YOU WERE RELEASED FROM TEMPORARY DUTY AT THAT SCHOOL. AT THE TIME YOU WERE BEING CREDITED WITH A PER DIEM OF $1.65 PER DAY. THE RATE THEN AUTHORIZED WHEN ATTENDING A COURSE OF INSTRUCTION AT AN INSTALLATION WHERE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND SUBSISTENCE WERE AVAILABLE. FOR THE REASON THAT UPON RECEIPT OF THE LATTER ORDERS NAMING FORT LEE AS YOUR PERMANENT STATION THAT PLACE THEN BECAME YOUR DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY AND YOU WERE NO LONGER ENTITLED TO PER DIEM. YOU WERE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE THE PER DIEM PAYMENTS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 4209 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. YOU FURTHER STATE THAT YOU ARE THE ONLY MEMBER OF YOUR CLASS WHO HAS BEEN REQUESTED TO REFUND THE PER DIEM PAYMENTS.

B-140879, OCT. 22, 1959

TO MR. GORDON L. WILLIAMS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 17, 1959, RELATIVE TO YOUR INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE SUM OF $62.70 ARISING FROM YOUR SERVICE AS A SECOND LIEUTENANT, ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU REPORTED FOR TEMPORARY DUTY AT THE QUARTERMASTER SCHOOL, FORT LEE, VIRGINIA, ON FEBRUARY 28, 1955, AND THAT BY PARAGRAPH 77, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 95, DATED MAY 13, 1955, YOU WERE RELEASED FROM TEMPORARY DUTY AT THAT SCHOOL, AND ASSIGNED TO PERMANENT DUTY WITH THE QUARTERMASTER TRAINING COMMAND, FORT LEE, EFFECTIVE JUNE 23, 1955. AT THE TIME YOU WERE BEING CREDITED WITH A PER DIEM OF $1.65 PER DAY, THE RATE THEN AUTHORIZED WHEN ATTENDING A COURSE OF INSTRUCTION AT AN INSTALLATION WHERE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND SUBSISTENCE WERE AVAILABLE. UPON AUDIT OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER'S ACCOUNTS WE TOOK EXCEPTION TO THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM FOR THE PERIOD MAY 16 TO JUNE 22, 1955, FOR THE REASON THAT UPON RECEIPT OF THE LATTER ORDERS NAMING FORT LEE AS YOUR PERMANENT STATION THAT PLACE THEN BECAME YOUR DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY AND YOU WERE NO LONGER ENTITLED TO PER DIEM.

IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU CONTEND THAT SINCE YOUR STATUS AS A STUDENT CONTINUED UNTIL JUNE 23, 1955, YOU WERE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE THE PER DIEM PAYMENTS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 4209 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, THEN IN EFFECT. YOU FURTHER STATE THAT YOU ARE THE ONLY MEMBER OF YOUR CLASS WHO HAS BEEN REQUESTED TO REFUND THE PER DIEM PAYMENTS. ALSO, YOU REQUEST THAT THE INDEBTEDNESS BE WAIVED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF H.R. 7529, PASSED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ON AUGUST 17, 1959.

THE BILL TO WHICH YOU REFER, IF ENACTED INTO LAW, WOULD AUTHORIZE THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL, UPON RECOMMENDATION OF THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY CONCERNED AND A SHOWING THAT COLLECTION WOULD BE AGAINST EQUITY AND GOOD CONSCIENCE, TO WAIVE INDEBTEDNESS GROWING OUT OF ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS TO ANY CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT OR TO ANY MEMBER OF THE MILITARY OR NAVAL FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES. THE BILL, HOWEVER, WAS NOT ENACTED INTO LAW, AND, HENCE, IS NOT FOR CONSIDERATION IN THE DISPOSITION OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS.

AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM TO MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IS CONTAINED IN SECTION 303/A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 253, WHICH PROVIDES THAT UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES SHALL BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED OR TO BE PERFORMED UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS UPON CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION OR OTHERWISE,"OR WHEN AWAY FROM THEIR DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY.' UNDER SUCH PROVISIONS OF LAW, A RIGHT TO PER DIEM CANNOT ACCRUE TO A MEMBER UNLESS HE IS IN A TRAVEL STATUS AWAY FROM HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY. IN YOUR CASE, THE ORDERS OF MAY 13, 1955, DESIGNATED FORT LEE AS YOUR PERMANENT STATION OR POST OF DUTY AND YOU BECAME AWARE OF THAT FACT UPON RECEIPT OF SUCH ORDERS. CONTRARY TO YOUR BELIEF, A MEMBER'S DUTY STATION IS A GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION, RATHER THAN THE ORGANIZATION TO WHICH ASSIGNED AT A MILITARY INSTALLATION AND YOUR POST OF DUTY INCLUDED THE ENTIRE AREA OF FORT LEE. SEE PARAGRAPH 1150-10, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. ALTHOUGH SUCH ORDERS DIRECTED THE CONTINUED PERFORMANCE OF YOUR THEN TEMPORARY DUTY, NO RIGHT TO PER DIEM ACCRUED TO YOU THEREAFTER FOR SUCH DUTY SINCE IT THEN WAS FOR PERFORMANCE AT YOUR DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY. SEE 34 COMP. GEN. 427. WHILE PARAGRAPH 4209 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS THEN IN EFFECT, GAVE THE IMPRESSION THAT WHEN A MEMBER AT A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION RECEIVED ORDERS DESIGNATING THAT STATION AS HIS PERMANENT STATION AT SOME FUTURE DATE PER DIEM COULD CONTINUE UNTIL THE DESIGNATED DATE, SUCH REGULATIONS WERE WITHOUT EFFECT SINCE THEY WERE CONTRARY TO THE ABOVE CITED PROVISIONS OF LAW. THAT PARAGRAPH WAS AMENDED EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 1955, TO EXPRESS THE CLEAR REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW. SUCH AMENDMENT BARRED PAYMENT OF PER DIEM "AFTER RECEIPT OF THE PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS AT HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION.' OTHER MEMBERS OF YOUR CLASS WERE PAID PER DIEM UNDER THE SAME CIRCUMSTANCES AS ARE INVOLVED IN YOUR CASE, THOSE PAYMENTS LIKEWISE WERE ERRONEOUS AND SHOULD BE REPAID. THE MATTER IS BEING REFERRED TO OUR DEFENSE ACCOUNTING AND AUDITING DIVISION FOR APPROPRIATE ACTION.

IT IS CLEAR THAT YOU ARE INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE SUM OF $62.70. PAYMENT SHOULD BE MADE IN THE FORM OF MONEY ORDER OR CHECK PAYABLE TO THE U. S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AND SHOULD BE SENT TO: U. S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, BOX 2610, WASHINGTON 13, D. C. ..END :