B-145242, MAY 10, 1961

B-145242: May 10, 1961

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COSTELLO: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 11. OUR RECORDS SHOW THAT THIS SAME TRAVEL FORMED THE BASIS OF A CLAIM WHICH WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR SETTLEMENT OF JUNE 4. YOUR LETTER WILL BE CONSIDERED AS A REQUEST FOR A REVIEW OF THE ACTION TAKEN IN THE SETTLEMENT. WHICH WAS YOUR DUTY STATION WHILE AWAITING REASSIGNMENT. YOU WERE AUTHORIZED 45 DAYS DELAY EN ROUTE AT PHILADELPHIA. IT APPEARS THAT YOU WERE ON AUTHORIZED FURLOUGH AND AWAY FROM YOUR DUTY STATION ON JANUARY 26. THE DATE YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO FORT KNOX. WERE PROMULGATED AND PARAGRAPH 32 OF THOSE REGULATIONS PROVIDED THAT: "ENLISTED PERSONNEL. THE RIGHT OF MILITARY PERSONNEL TO REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES IS DEPENDENT UPON THE PERFORMANCE OF TRAVEL DIRECTED BY COMPETENT ORDERS WHICH ESTABLISH THAT SUCH TRAVEL WAS ON PUBLIC BUSINESS.

B-145242, MAY 10, 1961

TO SERGEANT FIRST CLASS VINCENT P. COSTELLO:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 11, 1961, AND ENCLOSURE, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO YOUR ENTITLEMENT TO RECEIVE TRAVEL PAY AT THE RATE OF THREE CENTS A MILE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED DURING 1948 IN CONNECTION WITH A CHANGE OF YOUR DUTY STATION FROM FORT LAWTON, WASHINGTON, TO FORT KNOX, KENTUCKY. OUR RECORDS SHOW THAT THIS SAME TRAVEL FORMED THE BASIS OF A CLAIM WHICH WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR SETTLEMENT OF JUNE 4, 1953, ADDRESSED TO YOU AT "1 CEDAR STREET, MT. HOLLY, NEW JERSEY.' YOUR LETTER WILL BE CONSIDERED AS A REQUEST FOR A REVIEW OF THE ACTION TAKEN IN THE SETTLEMENT.

IT APPEARS THAT ON JANUARY 15, 1948, YOU ARRIVED FROM OVERSEAS AT FORT LAWTON, WASHINGTON, WHICH WAS YOUR DUTY STATION WHILE AWAITING REASSIGNMENT, AND YOU DEPARTED THAT STATION, JANUARY 17, 1948, ON LEAVE, PRIOR TO THE RECEIPT OF YOUR ASSIGNMENT ORDERS. YOU WERE AUTHORIZED 45 DAYS DELAY EN ROUTE AT PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, YOUR ADDRESS WHILE ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE, WHERE YOU RECEIVED SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 21, ISSUED JANUARY 26, 1948, BY HEADQUARTERS, FORT LAWTON, WASHINGTON, ASSIGNING YOU TO DUTY AT FORT KNOX, KENTUCKY. HENCE, IT APPEARS THAT YOU WERE ON AUTHORIZED FURLOUGH AND AWAY FROM YOUR DUTY STATION ON JANUARY 26, 1948, THE DATE YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO FORT KNOX, KENTUCKY.

THE LAST PARAGRAPH OF SECTION 12 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942, 56 STAT. 359, 366, 37 U.S.C. 112, 1946 ED., IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF YOUR TRAVEL, AUTHORIZED THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED TO DETERMINE WHAT SHALL CONSTITUTE A TRAVEL STATUS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE LAWS GOVERNING THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE OR OTHER TRAVEL EXPENSES. PURSUANT TO SUCH AUTHORITY ARMY REGULATIONS 35-4810, DATED APRIL 8, 1947, WERE PROMULGATED AND PARAGRAPH 32 OF THOSE REGULATIONS PROVIDED THAT:

"ENLISTED PERSONNEL, INCLUDING THOSE OF THE NATIONAL GUARD AND THE RESERVES, TRAVELING UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS WHICH ENTITLE THEM TO TRANSPORTATION OR TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE AS DISTINGUISHED FROM MILEAGE, WHO, UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR, TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY-OWNED CONVEYANCE, SHALL BE ENTITLED, IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION BY THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE NOW AUTHORIZED BY LAW TO BE FURNISHED IN KIND, TO A MONEY ALLOWANCE AT THE RATE OF 3 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE SAME DISTANCE, PROVIDED THAT THIS PROVISION SHALL NOT APPLY TO ANY PERSON ENTITLED TO TRAVELING EXPENSES UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF AR 35-150.'

THE RIGHT OF MILITARY PERSONNEL TO REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES IS DEPENDENT UPON THE PERFORMANCE OF TRAVEL DIRECTED BY COMPETENT ORDERS WHICH ESTABLISH THAT SUCH TRAVEL WAS ON PUBLIC BUSINESS. THE GENERAL RULE IS THAT TRAVEL PERFORMED BY MILITARY PERSONNEL WHILE ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE, EVEN IN CASES WHERE SUCH TRAVEL IS ACTUALLY DIRECTED BY OTHERWISE COMPETENT ORDERS, IS NOT TRAVEL ON PUBLIC BUSINESS, BUT IS REGARDED AS FOR PERSONAL REASONS IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH AUTHORIZED LEAVE AND THERE IS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR REIMBURSEMENT FROM PUBLIC FUNDS OF ANY TRAVEL EXPENSES SO INCURRED.

THE FACT THAT WHEN YOU WERE GRANTED LEAVE ON JANUARY 17, 1948, YOU HAD SERVED OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES AND WERE ATTACHED TO A STATION UNDER ORDERS FOR THE PURPOSE OF REASSIGNMENT, DOES NOT BY ITSELF, OPERATE TO ENTITLE YOU TO A MONEY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION IN KIND FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY YOU INCIDENT TO YOUR AUTHORIZED LEAVE OF ABSENCE FROM THE DUTY STATION TO WHICH YOU WERE ATTACHED AND TO WHICH YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO RETURN HAD NOT ORDERS BEEN ISSUED TRANSFERRING YOU TO A DIFFERENT DUTY STATION PRIOR TO EXPIRATION OF AUTHORIZED LEAVE. YOUR ORDERS OF JANUARY 26, 1948, MENTIONED ABOVE, AUTHORIZED REIMBURSEMENT AT THE RATE OF THREE CENTS PER MILE FOR THE TRAVEL PERFORMED AND THOSE ORDERS SPECIFICALLY CITED PARAGRAPH 33A, TECHNICAL MANUAL 14-503 AND 24 COMP. GEN. 302, AS AUTHORITY FOR SUCH PAYMENT. PARAGRAPH 33A (1) OF THE MANUAL PROVIDES THAT AN ENLISTED PERSON WHO HAS RETURNED TO THE STATION FROM LEAVE, HIS UNIT HAVING CHANGED STATION DURING HIS ABSENCE, IS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION AT THE EXPENSE OF THE GOVERNMENT FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW STATION OF HIS UNIT. (AR 55-120, 23 COMP. GEN. 951.) THOSE PROVISIONS AUTHORIZED REIMBURSEMENT ONLY IF THE ENLISTED PERSON RETURNED TO THE STATION FROM WHICH HE WAS GRANTED LEAVE. PARAGRAPH 33A (2) OF THE SAME MANUAL PROVIDES THAT WHEN THE STATION OF AN ENLISTED PERSON CHANGES WHILE HE IS ON LEAVE, HE IS ENTITLED ONLY TO THE AMOUNT OF THE DIFFERENCE IN COST OF TRAVEL TO THE NEW STATION TO WHICH ASSIGNED OVER THE COST OF TRAVEL TO THE OLD STATION FROM WHICH HE WAS GRANTED LEAVE. THOSE REGULATIONS CITE 24 COMP. GEN. 302, WHEREIN IT WAS HELD THAT ENLISTED MEN TRAVELING TO A NEW STATION UNDER CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS RECEIVED WHILE ON AUTHORIZED LEAVE ARE ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED ONLY FOR THE EXCESS OF THE COST OF TRAVEL FROM THE PLACE OF LEAVE TO THE NEW STATION OVER THE COST OF RETURN TO THE OLD STATION, NOT TO EXCEED THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW STATION.

SINCE IT APPEARS THAT YOU PROCEEDED TO YOUR NEW DUTY STATION AT FORT KNOX, KENTUCKY, FROM PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, YOUR PLACE OF LEAVE, AND APPARENTLY WHERE YOU RECEIVED THE CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS DATED JANUARY 26, 1948, AND, INASMUCH AS THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THOSE TWO PLACES IS LESS THAN THE DISTANCE BETWEEN YOUR OLD AND NEW STATION, NO RIGHT TO REIMBURSEMENT ACCRUED FOR SUCH TRAVEL OR ANY PART THEREOF, NOTWITHSTANDING THAT PROVISION FOR REIMBURSEMENT WAS CONTAINED IN THE ORDERS. B-68362, SEPTEMBER 5, 1947.