B-145251, MAR. 27, 1961

B-145251: Mar 27, 1961

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THOSE ORDERS AUTHORIZED YOU TO TRAVEL ONLY BY GOVERNMENT REQUESTED TRANSPORTATION AND YOU WERE ISSUED A GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST COVERING TRAVEL BY AIR FROM SIOUX FALLS. APPARENTLY YOUR PLANS WERE BASED UPON AN UNDERSTANDING THAT YOU COULD TRAVEL BY PRIVATE AUTOMOBILE AND BE PAID THE AMOUNT WHICH THE GOVERNMENT WOULD HAVE TO PAY FOR GOVERNMENT REQUESTED TRANSPORTATION. THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS ISSUED UNDER SUCH STATUTORY AUTHORITY ARE CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPH 6003-2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS: "2. IN THE EVENT SUCH TRANSPORTATION IS NOT PROVIDED THE MEMBER THROUGH NO FAULT OF HIS OWN. THE MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES ACTUALLY INCURRED.

B-145251, MAR. 27, 1961

TO LIEUTENANT COMMANDER HOWARD M. SAUER:

YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 25, 1961, TO MR. GEORGE MCGOVERN, SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT, THE WHITE HOUSE, WASHINGTON, D.C., CONCERNING OUR SETTLEMENT DATED FEBRUARY 13, 1961, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF YOUR TRAVEL FROM BROOKINGS, SOUTH DAKOTA, TO SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, AND RETURN, INCIDENT TO ORDERS OF JUNE 30, 1960, HAS BEEN REFERRED TO US FOR REPLY.

THE ORDERS OF JUNE 30 DIRECTED YOU, IF FOUND PHYSICALLY QUALIFIED, TO REPORT TO THE COMMANDER, SAN DIEGO GROUP, PACIFIC RESERVE FLEET, U.S. NAVAL STATION, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, FOR 14 DAYS OF ACTIVE DUTY TRAINING WITHOUT PAY. THOSE ORDERS AUTHORIZED YOU TO TRAVEL ONLY BY GOVERNMENT REQUESTED TRANSPORTATION AND YOU WERE ISSUED A GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST COVERING TRAVEL BY AIR FROM SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA, TO SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, AND RETURN. YOU RETURNED THIS REQUEST FOR CANCELLATION BECAUSE YOU HAD ALREADY MADE PLANS TO DRIVE TO THE WEST COAST WITH YOUR WIFE. APPARENTLY YOUR PLANS WERE BASED UPON AN UNDERSTANDING THAT YOU COULD TRAVEL BY PRIVATE AUTOMOBILE AND BE PAID THE AMOUNT WHICH THE GOVERNMENT WOULD HAVE TO PAY FOR GOVERNMENT REQUESTED TRANSPORTATION.

SECTION 501 (B) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 826, 37 U.S.C. 301 (B) AUTHORIZES THE PROMULGATION OF REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE FURNISHING OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL TO AND FROM TRAINING DUTY WITHOUT PAY. THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS ISSUED UNDER SUCH STATUTORY AUTHORITY ARE CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPH 6003-2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"2. TRANSPORTATION. TRANSPORTATION IN KIND (GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST, GOVERNMENT CONVEYANCE, OR TRANSPORTATION PROCURED BY THE GOVERNMENT) OR, IN THE EVENT SUCH TRANSPORTATION IS NOT PROVIDED THE MEMBER THROUGH NO FAULT OF HIS OWN, THE MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES ACTUALLY INCURRED, SUPPORTED BY RECEIPTS WHEN PRACTICABLE, NOT TO EXCEED THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT HAD TRANSPORTATION BEEN FURNISHED.'

SUCH REGULATIONS AND YOUR ORDERS HAVE THE EFFECT OF DIRECTING TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION. IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES A RIGHT TO REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES CAN ACCRUE UNDER THE REGULATIONS ONLY IN THE EVENT THAT TRAVEL AT PERSONAL EXPENSE WAS PERFORMED BECAUSE OF THE REFUSAL OR FAILURE OF RESPONSIBLE OFFICERS TO FURNISH TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. SINCE THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU WERE FURNISHED A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST FOR ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL FROM SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA, TO SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, AND THAT YOU RETURNED SUCH TRANSPORTATION REQUEST BECAUSE YOU HAD MADE ARRANGEMENTS TO TRAVEL WITH YOUR WIFE BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE, IT MAY NOT BE CONCLUDED THAT YOU PERFORMED THE TRAVEL AT PERSONAL EXPENSE BECAUSE OF THE REFUSAL OR FAILURE OF THE GOVERNMENT TO FURNISH YOU WITH TRANSPORTATION. ACCORDINGLY, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM FOR THE ROUND TRIP TRAVEL BETWEEN THESE CITIES.

THE LAW AND REGULATIONS CONTEMPLATE, HOWEVER, THAT ALL OFFICIAL TRAVEL SHALL BE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AND SINCE YOU WERE NOT FURNISHED A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST FOR TRAVEL FROM BROOKINGS, SOUTH DAKOTA, TO SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA, AND RETURN, YOU ARE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES ACTUALLY INCURRED FOR THIS PART OF YOUR TRAVEL, NOT TO EXCEED THE COST HAD GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION BEEN FURNISHED. COMP. GEN. 522. THEREFORE, WE WILL CONSIDER A CLAIM FROM YOU TO THE EXTENT THAT SUCH EXPENSES ARE SUPPORTED BY RECEIPTS OR OTHER ACCEPTABLE EVIDENCE OF EXPENDITURES MADE INCIDENT TO THE TRAVEL PERFORMED FROM BROOKINGS TO SIOUX FALLS AND RETURN. RECEIPTS NORMALLY ARE THE BEST EVIDENCE OF EXPENDITURES MADE FOR A GIVEN PURPOSE BUT FAILURE TO OBTAIN RECEIPTS, IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES HERE INVOLVED, WILL NOT PRECLUDE CONSIDERATION OF OTHER INFORMATION REASONABLY ESTABLISHING THE EXPENSES ACTUALLY INCURRED, WHICH MAY BE SUBMITTED BY YOU. ANY CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES FOR OPERATING YOUR AUTOMOBILE SHOULD INCLUDE A STATEMENT AS TO THE ESTIMATED AMOUNT OF GASOLINE AND OIL AND THE COST THEREOF.

WHILE IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT NAVY PERSONNEL ADVISED YOU THAT REIMBURSEMENT WOULD BE MADE IF YOU ACCEPTED THE ORDERS, THAT CIRCUMSTANCE MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED TO PROVIDE A BASIS FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF THAT PART OF YOUR CLAIM NOT AUTHORIZED BY THE LAW AND REGULATIONS.