B-141426, MARCH 31, 1960, 39 COMP. GEN. 659

B-141426: Mar 31, 1960

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

IS LIMITED TO THE PARTICULAR ALLOWANCES SPECIFICALLY ENUMERATED. 1960: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF NOVEMBER 9. THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY CALLS ATTENTION TO PARAGRAPH 1100-5 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH CURRENTLY PROVIDES THAT ADVANCE PAYMENT OF THE TRAILER ALLOWANCE IS NOT AUTHORIZED. IT IS POINTED OUT THAT SECTION 303 (A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949. IS STATED THAT. ON THE BASIS THAT ALL ALLOWANCES CONTAINED IN SECTION 303 OF THE ACT ARE "TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES. A QUESTION HAS ARISEN AS TO WHETHER THE LIMITATION ON TRAILER ALLOWANCE CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPH 1100-5 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS REQUIRED BY LAW. SINCE THE MAJORITY OF MEMBERS WHO USE HOUSE TRAILERS FOR SHIPMENT OF EFFECTS ARE ENLISTED PERSONNEL.

B-141426, MARCH 31, 1960, 39 COMP. GEN. 659

MILITARY PERSONNEL - TRAILER ALLOWANCE - ADVANCE PAYMENTS THE AUTHORITY FOR ADVANCE PAYMENTS OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IN SECTION 303 (A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 37 U.S.C. 253, IS LIMITED TO THE PARTICULAR ALLOWANCES SPECIFICALLY ENUMERATED; AND, IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC AUTHORITY FOR ADVANCE PAYMENTS OF TRAILER ALLOWANCES, THE ADVANCE PAYMENT PROHIBITION IN SECTION 3648, REVISED STATUTES, 31 U.S.C. 529, PRECLUDES THE ISSUANCE OF A REGULATION WHICH WOULD AUTHORIZE ADVANCE PAYMENTS OF TRAILER ALLOWANCE.

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, MARCH 31, 1960:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF NOVEMBER 9, 1959, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE NAVY ( PERSONNEL AND RESERVE FORCES), PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 59-46, REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS MAY PROPERLY BE AMENDED TO AUTHORIZE THE ADVANCE PAYMENT OF TRAILER ALLOWANCE.

THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY CALLS ATTENTION TO PARAGRAPH 1100-5 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH CURRENTLY PROVIDES THAT ADVANCE PAYMENT OF THE TRAILER ALLOWANCE IS NOT AUTHORIZED. IT IS POINTED OUT THAT SECTION 303 (A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 253 (A), AUTHORIZES THE SECRETARIES OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES, AMONG OTHER THINGS, TO "PRESCRIBE (1) THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES SHALL BE AUTHORIZED, INCLUDING ADVANCE PAYMENTS THEREOF.' IS STATED THAT, ON THE BASIS THAT ALL ALLOWANCES CONTAINED IN SECTION 303 OF THE ACT ARE "TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES," AS EVIDENCED BY THE TITLE OF THAT SECTION, A QUESTION HAS ARISEN AS TO WHETHER THE LIMITATION ON TRAILER ALLOWANCE CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPH 1100-5 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS REQUIRED BY LAW, OR WHETHER THE ADVANCE PAYMENT AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN SECTION 303 (A) OF THE ACT MAY BE CONSIDERED AS OVERCOMING THE GENERAL PROHIBITION AGAINST ADVANCE PAYMENTS CONTAINED IN SECTION 3648, REVISED STATUTES, 31 U.S.C. 529.

THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY STATES THAT UNDER INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION REGULATIONS, SHIPMENTS OF HOUSE TRAILERS MUST BE PAID FOR NO LATER THAN DATE OF ACCEPTANCE OF TRAILER AT DESTINATION. SINCE THE MAJORITY OF MEMBERS WHO USE HOUSE TRAILERS FOR SHIPMENT OF EFFECTS ARE ENLISTED PERSONNEL, CONSIDERABLE DIFFICULTY IN RAISING THE MONEY TO PAY FOR THE TRAILER HAUL IS BEING EXPERIENCED IN MANY CASES. IT IS PROPOSED, THEREFORE, TO AMEND THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO AUTHORIZE THE ADVANCE PAYMENT OF THE TRAILER ALLOWANCE, IF AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 303 (A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949.

SECTION 303 (A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 37 U.S.C. 253, AUTHORIZES THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED TO PRESCRIBE THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES SHALL BE AUTHORIZED, INCLUDING ADVANCE PAYMENTS, IN LANGUAGE AS FOLLOWS:

* * * ALLOWANCES ABOVE AUTHORIZED MAY BE PAID WITHOUT REGARD TO THE COMPARATIVE COSTS OF THE VARIOUS MODES OF TRANSPORTATION. THE RESPECTIVE SECRETARIES CONCERNED MAY PRESCRIBE (1) THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES SHALL BE AUTHORIZED, INCLUDING ADVANCE PAYMENTS THEREOF, AND (2) THE ALLOWANCES FOR TYPES OF TRAVEL NOT TO EXCEED AMOUNTS HEREIN AUTHORIZED. 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, (2) TRANSPORTATION IN KIND, REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR, OR A MONETARY ALLOWANCE AS PROVIDED IN (1) OF THIS SENTENCE PLUS A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE NOT TO EXCEED $12 PER DAY, OR (3) A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE OF NOT EXCEEDING 10 CENTS PER MILE BASED ON DISTANCES ESTABLISHED OR TO BE ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO EXISTING LAW: * * *

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

ACCORDINGLY, THE PROVISION AUTHORIZING ADVANCE PAYMENTS IN SECTION 303 (A) OF THE ACT DOES NOT OVERCOME THE PROHIBITION AGAINST ADVANCE PAYMENTS CONTAINED IN SECTION 3648, REVISED STATUTES, AND IN THE ABSENCE OF SOME SPECIFIC STATUTORY PROVISION, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR THE PROPOSED REVISION OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO AUTHORIZE ADVANCE PAYMENTS OF TRAILER ALLOWANCE.