B-144900, MAR. 27, 1961

B-144900: Mar 27, 1961

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

THE MARINE WAS TRANSFERRED FROM THE UNITED STATES NAVAL HOSPITAL. WAS DIRECTED. REPORTS THAT THE TRANSFER OF SERGEANT LEIBE IS REPRESENTATIVE OF MANY SUCH TRANSFERS TO AND BETWEEN HOSPITALS OF MARINE CORPS PERSONNEL. WHEN A MARINE IS TRANSFERRED AS A PATIENT TO A HOSPITAL LOCATED AT SOME DISTANCE FROM HIS PERMANENT STATION AND IT IS DETERMINED THAT TREATMENT WILL BE PROLONGED IT IS REPORTED TO BE THE POLICY TO DIRECT A "TRANSFER BY SERVICE RECORDS" TO A MARINE CORPS INSTALLATION NEAREST THE HOSPITAL. WHEN THE MARINE IS AGAIN FIT FOR DUTY HE IS DIRECTED BY THE HOSPITAL TO REPORT TO THIS INSTALLATION FOR DUTY. IT IS FURTHER REPORTED THAT IF HIS SERVICES CAN BE UTILIZED. IT IS SELDOM THAT HE IS RETURNED TO HIS PREVIOUS STATION.

B-144900, MAR. 27, 1961

TO LIEUTENANT (JG) J. H. SCHWARZ, DISBURSING OFFICER, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED BY SECOND ENDORSEMENT, DATED JANUARY 24, 1961, FROM THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE YOUR LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 2, 1960, TRANSMITTING FOR ADVANCE DECISION THE CLAIM OF ACTING MASTER SERGEANT WARREN H. LEIBE, FOR TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE FOR HIS WIFE'S TRAVEL FROM PARRIS ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA, TO ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA, AND DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE, INCIDENT TO HIS SERVICE IN THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS. THE REQUEST FOR DECISION HAS BEEN ASSIGNED PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 60-41.

IN MARCH 1960, THE MARINE WAS TRANSFERRED FROM THE UNITED STATES NAVAL HOSPITAL, BEAUFORT, SOUTH CAROLINA, TO THE UNITED STATES NAVAL HOSPITAL, ST. ALBANS, NEW YORK, FOR FURTHER TREATMENT. DEPOT SPECIAL ORDER NO. 142- 60, DATED MARCH 22, 1960, UNDER WHICH THE MOVEMENT, CHARACTERIZED AS A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, WAS DIRECTED, TRANSFERRED THE MEMBER BY SERVICE RECORDS FROM WEAPONS TRAINING BATTALION, MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT, PARRIS ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA, TO MARINE BARRACKS, UNITED STATES NAVAL BASE, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, WHILE SICK AT THE UNITED STATES NAVAL HOSPITAL, ST. ALBANS, NEW YORK. ON THE BASIS OF THIS ORDER, CLAIM HAS BEEN PRESENTED FOR MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION FOR THE TRAVEL OF HIS WIFE, MRS. VERA C. LEIBE, FROM PARRIS, ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA, TO ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA, AND DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE. YOU QUESTION THE MEMBER'S ENTITLEMENT TO THESE ALLOWANCES FOR THE MOVEMENT OF HIS DEPENDENT INCIDENT TO HIS TRANSFER BETWEEN HOSPITALS IN THE UNITED STATES.

THE OFFICE OF THE COMMANDANT, U.S. MARINE CORPS, REPORTS THAT THE TRANSFER OF SERGEANT LEIBE IS REPRESENTATIVE OF MANY SUCH TRANSFERS TO AND BETWEEN HOSPITALS OF MARINE CORPS PERSONNEL. WHEN A MARINE IS TRANSFERRED AS A PATIENT TO A HOSPITAL LOCATED AT SOME DISTANCE FROM HIS PERMANENT STATION AND IT IS DETERMINED THAT TREATMENT WILL BE PROLONGED IT IS REPORTED TO BE THE POLICY TO DIRECT A "TRANSFER BY SERVICE RECORDS" TO A MARINE CORPS INSTALLATION NEAREST THE HOSPITAL. WHEN THE MARINE IS AGAIN FIT FOR DUTY HE IS DIRECTED BY THE HOSPITAL TO REPORT TO THIS INSTALLATION FOR DUTY. IT IS FURTHER REPORTED THAT IF HIS SERVICES CAN BE UTILIZED, AND IN MOST CASES THEY CAN, HE REMAINS FOR DUTY UNTIL TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER ACTIVITY, BUT IT IS SELDOM THAT HE IS RETURNED TO HIS PREVIOUS STATION. IT IS STATED THAT THE ACTIVITY TO WHICH A MARINE REPORTS FOR DUTY AFTER HOSPITALIZATION HAS ALWAYS BEEN CONSIDERED HIS PERMANENT STATION AND TEMPORARY DUTY PER DIEM ALLOWANCE HAS NEVER BEEN AUTHORIZED. IN VIEW OF THIS POLICY AND AS THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH MEMBERS RETURNING TO THEIR UNIT IS REMOTE, IT IS SAID THAT FOR FINANCIAL AND MORAL REASONS THE DEPENDENTS GENERALLY RELOCATE THEIR HOUSEHOLD TO AN AREA REASONABLY CLOSE TO THE HOSPITAL OR CLOSE TO THEIR RELATIVES. THE QUESTION IS THEREFORE PRESENTED WHETHER TRAVEL ALLOWANCE FOR DEPENDENTS AND DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE ARE AUTHORIZED IN THIS AND SIMILAR CASES ON THE BASIS THAT A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION WAS ACTUALLY EFFECTED BY THE TRANSFER OF THE MEMBER'S SERVICE RECORDS TO THE PLACE WHERE HE IS TO REPORT AFTER HOSPITALIZATION AS IN THE CASE OF SERGEANT LEIBE.

PARAGRAPH 7004-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT SUBJECT TO SUBPARAGRAPH 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. PARAGRAPH 7004-4 PROVIDES THAT 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 AND THAT SUCH CERTIFICATE WILL BE FURNISHED IN ADDITION TO OTHER SUPPORTING PAPERS WITH THE APPLICATION FOR TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS.

PARAGRAPH 9002-1 OF THE REGULATIONS AUTHORIZES PAYMENT OF A DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE IN OTHERWISE PROPER CASES TO A MEMBER WHENEVER DEPENDENTS RELOCATE THEIR HOUSEHOLD IN CONNECTION WITH A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. PARAGRAPH 1150-10A DEFINES A PERMANENT DUTY STATION AS THE POST OF DUTY OR OFFICIAL STATION TO WHICH A MEMBER IS ASSIGNED OR ATTACHED FOR DUTY OTHER THAN TEMPORARY DUTY.

IT HAS LONG BEEN HELD THAT AN ORDER TO PROCEED TO A HOSPITAL FOR TREATMENT FROM A DUTY STATION WITHIN THE UNITED STATES IS NOT A PERMANENT CHANGE OF THE MEMBER'S DUTY STATION SINCE HE IS NOT FIT FOR DUTY WHEN ORDERED TO THE HOSPITAL FOR TREATMENT. 4 COMP. GEN. 653; 17 ID. 133; 20 ID. 312; B-130298; APRIL 3, 1957. HENCE, THE PROVISION OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDING FOR TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS "AS FOR A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, FROM THE LAST PERMANENT DUTY STATION TO THE CITY OR TOWN IN WHICH THE HOSPITAL IS LOCATED" CONSTITUTES NO AUTHORITY FOR PROVIDING TRANSPORTATION FOR THE DEPENDENTS TO SOME OTHER LOCATION AT NO GREATER EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT, AS WOULD BE AUTHORIZED UNDER PARAGRAPH 7057 OF THE REGULATIONS IF THE TRANSFER TO THE HOSPITAL ACTUALLY WAS A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. THE CLEAR INTENT OF PARAGRAPH 7004-1 IS TO PERMIT THE DEPENDENTS TO BE NEAR THE MEMBER DURING PROLONGED PERIODS OF HOSPITALIZATION. TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS OR SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO ANY OTHER CITY IS NOT AUTHORIZED INCIDENT TO SUCH A TRANSFER. ALSO, SINCE THE RIGHT TO A DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE ACCRUES TO A MEMBER ONLY WHEN AN OTHERWISE PROPER MOVEMENT OF HIS DEPENDENTS IS MADE IN CONNECTION WITH A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE MAY NOT BE CREDITED FOR A TRANSFER BETWEEN HOSPITALS. SEE B-130298, APRIL 3, 1957; B-130953, JULY 11, 1957; AND B-132046, JULY 11, 1957. COMPARE B- 134207, DECEMBER 6, 1957, AND B-134227, DECEMBER 17, 1957.

WHILE IT IS STATED THAT IN THESE CASES THE MARINE SELDOM RETURNS TO HIS OLD STATION AND HE IS CONSIDERED AS BEING AT HIS PERMANENT STATION AFTER HE IS RELEASED FROM THE HOSPITAL AND REPORTS FOR DUTY AT THE NEARBY INSTALLATION TO WHICH HIS RECORDS HAVE BEEN TRANSFERRED, THE FACT REMAINS THAT WHEN THE MEMBER'S RECORDS ARE TRANSFERRED TO THE INSTALLATION NEAREST THE HOSPITAL TO WHICH HE IS TRANSFERRED HE IS NOT FIT FOR DUTY AND THE TRANSFER OF HIS RECORDS IS PRIMARILY FOR ADMINISTRATIVE PURPOSES. HE IS NOT ABLE TO REPORT FOR DUTY AT THE ASSIGNED STATION AT THE TIME OF THE TRANSFER OF HIS RECORDS, NOR IS HE EXPECTED TO REPORT THERE UNTIL RELEASED FROM THE HOSPITAL AS FIT FOR DUTY. SINCE HIS REPORTING AT THE ASSIGNED STATION IS CONTINGENT ON HIS RECOVERY, THERE IS NO BASIS TO CONCLUDE THAT ORDERS DIRECTING SUCH A "TRANSFER BY SERVICE RECORDS" MAY BE CONSIDERED AS PERMANENT CHANGE-OF STATION ORDERS PRIOR TO THE TIME THE MEMBER IS RELEASED FROM THE HOSPITAL AS FIT FOR DUTY AND DIRECTED TO REPORT TO SUCH STATION. ALSO, SINCE AT THE TIME OF SUCH A RECORD TRANSFER IT IS NOT KNOWN WHEN THE MEMBER WILL REPORT AT THE STATION TO WHICH HIS RECORDS ARE TRANSFERRED, IT SEEMS APPARENT THAT IT IS NOT KNOWN AT THAT TIME WHETHER HIS SERVICES CAN BE UTILIZED AT THAT STATION WHEN AND IF HE DOES REPORT FOR DUTY OR WHETHER, UPON REPORTING, HE WILL IMMEDIATELY BE TRANSFERRED ELSEWHERE. IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES WE MAY NOT VIEW THE MARINE CORPS' "TRANSFER BY SERVICE RECORDS" POLICY IN THESE HOSPITALIZATION CASES AS EXCLUDING DEPENDENT TRAVEL INCIDENT TO THE HOSPITALIZATION FROM THE PROVISIONS OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS SPECIALLY APPLICABLE TO SUCH TRAVEL.

ACCORDINGLY, THE ORDERS OF MARCH 22, 1960, CONSTITUTE NO BASIS TO REIMBURSE SERGEANT LEIBE FOR THE TRAVEL OF HIS WIFE TO ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA, OR FOR PAYMENT OF A DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE. THE PAPERS SUBMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER WILL BE RETAINED HERE.