B-144783, MAR. 8, 1961

B-144783: Mar 8, 1961

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RA 26 782 408: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 19. YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM YOUR DUTY STATION AT WEST DRAYTON. FURTHER PROVIDED THAT YOUR MODE OF TRANSPORTATION WAS TO BE AS DETERMINED BY THE LOCAL TRANSPORTATION OFFICER. YOU TRAVELED BY YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FOR WHICH YOU SAY YOU HAVE BEEN REIMBURSED ON A MILEAGE BASIS FOR THE LAND TRAVEL INVOLVED. THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR SHIPMENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLES OF MEMBERS OF THE ARMY IS SET FORTH IN 10 U.S.G. 4748. IS THERE PROVIDED THAT WHEN A MEMBER OF THE ARMY IS ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. THE AUTHORITY TO SHIP MOTOR VEHICLES OWNED BY GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL WAS ENLARGED BY THE ACT OF MAY 28.

B-144783, MAR. 8, 1961

TO SERGEANT FIRST CLASS ROBERT L. WELCHER, RA 26 782 408:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 19, 1960, REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT DATED NOVEMBER 16, 1960, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES FOR SHIPPING YOUR AUTOMOBILE ACROSS THE ENGLISH CHANNEL INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION UNDER ORDERS OF MAY 12, 1959.

BY LETTER ORDER NO. 5-10, ISSUED BY HEADQUARTERS, USAREUR ENGINEER INTELLIGENCE CENTER, DATED MAY 12, 1959, YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM YOUR DUTY STATION AT WEST DRAYTON, ENGLAND, AND ASSIGNED TO DUTY IN SCHWETZINGEN, GERMANY, ON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. THESE ORDERS, WHICH AUTHORIZED CONCURRENT TRAVEL FOR YOU AND YOUR DEPENDENTS (WIFE AND DAUGHTER), AUTHORIZED TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE, AND FURTHER PROVIDED THAT YOUR MODE OF TRANSPORTATION WAS TO BE AS DETERMINED BY THE LOCAL TRANSPORTATION OFFICER. YOU TRAVELED BY YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FOR WHICH YOU SAY YOU HAVE BEEN REIMBURSED ON A MILEAGE BASIS FOR THE LAND TRAVEL INVOLVED. YOU NOW CLAIM ADDITIONAL REIMBURSEMENT IN THE SUM OF 12/10/9 ENGLISH POUNDS REPRESENTING THE AMOUNT YOU PAID FOR TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE FROM HARWICH, ENGLAND--- ACROSS THE ENGLISH CHANNEL--- TO HOOK OF HOLLAND, HOLLAND. YOU STATE THAT YOU UTILIZED A BRITISH RAILWAYS CARRIER (APPARENTLY A VESSEL PLYING THE ENGLISH CHANNEL) AFTER BEING ADVISED BY YOUR LOCAL TRANSPORTATION OFFICE OF INABILITY TO EFFECT SHIPMENT OF YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE TO YOUR NEW DUTY STATION OR TO HOOK OF HOLLAND.

THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR SHIPMENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLES OF MEMBERS OF THE ARMY IS SET FORTH IN 10 U.S.G. 4748. IS THERE PROVIDED THAT WHEN A MEMBER OF THE ARMY IS ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, ONE MOTOR VEHICLE OWNED BY HIM AND FOR HIS PERSONAL USE MAY BE TRANSPORTED TO HIS NEW STATION ON A VESSEL OWNED BY THE UNITED STATES. THE AUTHORITY TO SHIP MOTOR VEHICLES OWNED BY GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL WAS ENLARGED BY THE ACT OF MAY 28, 1956, 70 STAT. 187, 46 U.S.G. 1241 (C) TO AUTHORIZE THE UTILIZATION OF PRIVATELY OWNED AMERICAN SHIPPING SERVICES WHEN SUCH SHIPMENTS ARE OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED. ARMY REGULATION NO. 55-76, DATED FEBRUARY 24, 1959, PROVIDES THAT AN ENLISTED MAN MAY DELIVER ONE PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE TO AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL AT A PORT FOR SHIPMENT PRIOR TO DEPARTURE OF THE ENLISTED MAN OR HIS DEPENDENT. SUCH SHIPMENTS ARE AUTHORIZED FREE OF OCEAN TRANSPORTATION CHARGES ABOARD GOVERNMENT-OWNED OR PRIVATELY OWNED AMERICAN VESSELS, PURSUANT TO PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS INVOLVING TRANSOCEANIC MOVEMENTS. NO PROVISION IS MADE FOR SUCH SHIPMENTS ON FOREIGN VESSELS, AND IT IS CONTEMPLATED THAT SHIPPING ARRANGEMENTS WILL BE MADE BY THE APPROPRIATE TRANSPORTATION OFFICERS RATHER THAN BY THE MEMBER HIMSELF. THAT CONNECTION PARAGRAPH 13 OF ARMY REGULATION NO. 55-76 PROVIDES THAT "A SPONSOR (MILITARY OR CIVILIAN) IS NOT AUTHORIZED REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF SHIPMENT OF PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLES BY COMMERCIAL MEANS WHEN HE PERSONALLY ARRANGES FOR SUCH SERVICE.' THE REASONS WHICH MAY HAVE INDUCED YOU TO TRANSPORT YOUR AUTOMOBILE IN A MANNER NOT CONTEMPLATED BY THE LAW AND REGULATIONS AFFORDS NO LEGAL BASIS TO ALLOW REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COSTS INVOLVED. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO REIMBURSE YOU FOR THE EXPENSE CLAIMED. ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 16, 1960, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR SHIPPING YOUR AUTOMOBILE ACROSS THE ENGLISH CHANNEL, IS SUSTAINED.

IT IS NOTED THAT IN THE CLAIM WHICH YOU EXECUTED ON JANUARY 22, 1960, YOU STATED THAT YOU HAD RECEIVED REIMBURSEMENT ONLY FOR THE LAND TRAVEL INVOLVED AND THAT REIMBURSEMENT FOR FERRY FARES WAS REFUSED ON THE BASIS OF OUR DECISION OF AUGUST 19, 1959, 39 COMP. GEN. 116. IN THAT DECISION WE CONCLUDED THAT FARES FOR CROSSING THE ENGLISH CHANNEL MAY BE VIEWED AS FERRY FARES WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949 AND THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, RELATING TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES, AND ARE REIMBURSABLE ON THAT BASIS AS THERE AUTHORIZED. SUCH DECISION, HOWEVER, IS NOT APPLICABLE TO MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES, THEIR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES BEING GOVERNED BY SECTION 303 OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 253, AND THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. AS EXPLAINED IN DECISION OF TODAY, B-140560, COPY ENCLOSED, FARES FOR CROSSING THE CHANNEL ARE REIMBURSABLE TO MILITARY PERSONNEL IN OTHERWISE PROPER CASES ON THE BASIS THAT SUCH TRAVEL CONSTITUTES TRANSOCEANIC TRAVEL AS DEFINED IN THE REGULATIONS.

ACCORDINGLY, IF YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR ANY AMOUNT PAID FOR TRANSPORTATION FOR YOURSELF AND DEPENDENTS ACROSS THE ENGLISH CHANNEL THE MATTER SHOULD BE TAKEN UP WITH THE PROPER ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS. IN CASE A SATISFACTORY SETTLEMENT IS NOT REACHED, YOU MAY FILE A CLAIM FOR SUCH AMOUNT WITH OUR CLAIMS DIVISION. SUCH CLAIM, IF SUBMITTED, SHOULD SHOW THE EXACT POINTS BETWEEN WHICH THE CROSSING WAS MADE, THE FARES PAID (SUPPORTED BY RECEIPTS) AND AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION AS TO THE AVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION.