B-146551, DEC. 13, 1961

B-146551: Dec 13, 1961

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HAS DISCLOSED INSTANCES WHERE MEMBERS ARE BEING PAID PAY AND ALLOWANCES FOR DAYS ON WHICH NO TRAINING DUTY OR NECESSARY TRAVEL IS PERFORMED. MANY OF THESE OVERPAYMENTS RESULTED FROM SITUATIONS WHERE MEMBERS WERE ORDERED TO SHORT COURSES OF TRAINING DUTY FOR A DEFINITELY SCHEDULED PERIOD. UNDER ORDERS DIRECTING THAT THEY REPORT NOT LATER THAN A SPECIFIED DATE AND THEY REPORTED AT THEIR DUTY STATIONS EARLIER THAN WAS NECESSARY TO BEGIN TRAINING ON THE ACTUAL DATE OF COMMENCEMENT OF TRAINING CONTEMPLATED BY THE PARTICULAR PROGRAM. THUS PAY IS BEGUN ON A PREDETERMINED EFFECTIVE DATE SHOWN IN THE ORDERS AS THE DATE ON WHICH TRAVEL IS TO BEGIN INSTEAD OF DETERMINING THE BEGINNING DATE FOR PAY PURPOSES BY USING THE TRAVEL TIME ALLOWABLE FOR THE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION ACTUALLY USED.

B-146551, DEC. 13, 1961

TO THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE:

OUR AUDIT OF MILITARY PAY OF AIR FORCE RESERVE AND AIR NATIONAL GUARD MEMBERS, CALLED TO ACTIVE DUTY FOR TRAINING FOR PERIODS OF LESS THAN THIRTY DAYS, HAS DISCLOSED INSTANCES WHERE MEMBERS ARE BEING PAID PAY AND ALLOWANCES FOR DAYS ON WHICH NO TRAINING DUTY OR NECESSARY TRAVEL IS PERFORMED. MANY OF THESE OVERPAYMENTS RESULTED FROM SITUATIONS WHERE MEMBERS WERE ORDERED TO SHORT COURSES OF TRAINING DUTY FOR A DEFINITELY SCHEDULED PERIOD, INCLUDING TRAVEL TIME, UNDER ORDERS DIRECTING THAT THEY REPORT NOT LATER THAN A SPECIFIED DATE AND THEY REPORTED AT THEIR DUTY STATIONS EARLIER THAN WAS NECESSARY TO BEGIN TRAINING ON THE ACTUAL DATE OF COMMENCEMENT OF TRAINING CONTEMPLATED BY THE PARTICULAR PROGRAM. THUS PAY IS BEGUN ON A PREDETERMINED EFFECTIVE DATE SHOWN IN THE ORDERS AS THE DATE ON WHICH TRAVEL IS TO BEGIN INSTEAD OF DETERMINING THE BEGINNING DATE FOR PAY PURPOSES BY USING THE TRAVEL TIME ALLOWABLE FOR THE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION ACTUALLY USED. AS CONTEMPLATED BY THE GOVERNING STATUTE AND THE IMPLEMENTING EXECUTIVE ORDERS. OTHER INSTANCES ARE BEING ENCOUNTERED WHERE IT IS REASONABLY APPARENT THAT THE MEMBERS HAVE ARRIVED HOME PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY FOR TRAINING SPECIFIED IN THE ORDERS.

SECTION 201 (D) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 232 (D), PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART THAT:

"ALL MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHEN ON THE ACTIVE LIST, WHEN ON ACTIVE DUTY, OR WHEN PARTICIPATING IN FULL-TIME TRAINING, TRAINING DUTY WITH PAY OR OTHER FULL-TIME DUTY * * * SHALL BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE THE BASIC PAY OF THE PAY GRADE TO WHICH ASSIGNED * * * PROVIDED, THAT IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT, IN THE CASE OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES CALLED OR ORDERED TO EXTENDED ACTIVE DUTY IN EXCESS OF THIRTY DAYS, ACTIVE DUTY SHALL INCLUDE THE TIME REQUIRED TO PERFORM TRAVEL FROM HOME TO FIRST DUTY STATION AND FROM LAST DUTY STATION TO HOME BY THE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION AUTHORIZED IN ORDERS FOR SUCH MEMBERS * * *. ANY PAYMENTS ACCRUING UNDER ANY LAW TO ANY MEMBER OF A UNIFORMED SERVICE INCIDENT TO HIS RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY OR ACTIVE DUTY FOR TRAINING OR FOR HIS RETURN HOME INCIDENT TO RELEASE FROM THAT DUTY, MAY BE PAID TO THAT MEMBER BEFORE HIS DEPARTURE FROM HIS LAST DUTY STATION, WHETHER OR NOT HE ACTUALLY PERFORMS THE TRAVEL INVOLVED. * * *" REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO SECTION 201 (D) ARE CONTAINED IN EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10153, AS AMENDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10649, DECEMBER 28, 1955. SECTION 3 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10153, PROVIDES:

"THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED (WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 102 (F) OF THE SAID CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949) MAY PRESCRIBE WITH RESPECT TO PERSONNEL OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WITHIN THEIR RESPECTIVE DEPARTMENTS OR AGENCIES SUCH SUPPLEMENTAL REGULATIONS NOT INCONSISTENT HEREWITH AS THEY MAY DEEM NECESSARY OR DESIRABLE FOR CARRYING OUT THESE REGULATIONS, AND SUCH SUPPLEMENTAL REGULATIONS SHALL BE UNIFORM FOR ALL THE SERVICES TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PRACTICABLE.'

PURSUANT TO AUTHORIZATION CONTAINED IN THE ABOVE STATUTE AND EXECUTIVE ORDER, PARAGRAPH 104C (3), AIR FORCE MANUAL 10-3, PROVIDES THAT ORDERS FOR AIR FORCE RESERVE PERSONNEL FOR TOURS OF ACTIVE DUTY WILL CONTAIN A STATEMENT THAT THE INDIVIDUAL WILL BE RELIEVED FROM THE ORGANIZATION TO WHICH ATTACHED OR ASSIGNED IN TIME TO ARRIVE AT THE PLACE FROM WHICH ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF RELEASE FROM TRAINING OR DUTY, ON WHICH DATE HE WILL REVERT TO AN INACTIVE STATUS UNLESS SOONER RELIEVED.

PARAGRAPH 50126C, AIR FORCE MANUAL 177-105, PROVIDES THAT A PAY STATUS BEGINS ON THE DATE THAT A MEMBER OFFICIALLY AND NECESSARILY COMPLIES WITH THE ORDER CALLING HIM TO ACTIVE DUTY FOR TRAINING AND CONTINUES TO, AND INCLUDING, THE DATE HE IS RELIEVED FROM SUCH DUTY.

PARAGRAPH 50126D (3), AIR FORCE MANUAL 117-105 PROVIDES THAT OCCUPATION OF THE PERIOD OF TRAVEL TIME UPON CALL TO OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY FOR TRAINING FOR PERIODS OF THIRTY DAYS OR LESS WILL BE MADE ON THE BASIS OF CONSTRUCTIVE TRAVEL TIME OF COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION OVER THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE REGARDLESS OF THE MODE OF TRAVEL ACTUALLY USED. IS ALSO PROVIDED THAT PAY AND ALLOWANCES WILL ACCRUE DURING TRAVEL TIME INCIDENT TO RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY FOR TRAINING REGARDLESS OF ACTUAL PERFORMANCE OF TRAVEL.

PARAGRAPH 50126E, AIR FORCE MANUAL 117-105 PROVIDES THAT PRIOR TO RELEASE AT THE LAST DUTY STATION, THE MEMBER WILL BE PAID ALL PAY AND ALLOWANCES DUE, INCLUDING ANY PAY AND ALLOWANCES WHICH ACCRUE DURING THE PERIOD OF ALLOWABLE TRAVEL TIME.

PARAGRAPH 50328B (1) (A) (7), AIR FORCE MANUAL 177-105 PROVIDES THAT VOUCHERS IN PAYMENT OF ACTIVE DUTY PAY AND ALLOWANCES WILL SHOW THE DATE OF DEPARTURE FROM HOME, THE DATE OF ARRIVAL AT THE TRAINING STATION, THE DATE OF DEPARTURE FROM THE TRAINING STATION AND THE DATE OF REVERSION TO AN INACTIVE DUTY STATUS.

IT IS OUR VIEW THAT THE LAW AND EXECUTIVE ORDERS CONTEMPLATE THAT THE DATE ON WHICH PAY SHOULD BEGIN FOR A RESERVE OFFICER CALLED TO ACTIVE DUTY WILL BE BASED ON A DETERMINATION OF THE DATE HE NECESSARILY WAS REQUIRED TO BEGIN THE TRAVEL FROM HIS HOME BY THE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION AUTHORIZED AND ACTUALLY USED SO AS TO ARRIVE AT HIS DUTY STATION ON THE DESIGNATED REPORTING DATE. ALSO, IT IS OUR VIEW THAT A RESERVE MEMBER MAY BE PAID ONLY FOR THE PERIOD OF NECESSARY TRAVEL TIME TO RETURN TO HIS HOME. WHILE PAYMENT MUST BE MADE ON THE BASIS OF CONSTRUCTIVE TRAVEL TIME IF NO TRAVEL IS PERFORMED TO THE HOME--- CONSTRUCTIVE TRAVEL TIME BY RAIL APPEARS APPROPRIATE IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES--- THE LAW DOES NOT CONTEMPLATE PAYMENT ON THAT BASIS WHEN TRANSPORTATION BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT ACTUALLY IS FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT. THE SOLE PURPOSE OF THE LAW IS TO PAY A RESERVIST FOR THE NECESSARY TRAVEL TIME FROM HIS HOME TO HIS TRAINING DUTY STATION AND IF HE IS FURNISHED COMMERCIAL AIR TRANSPORTATION HE IS ENTITLED TO BE PAID ONLY FOR THE TIME NECESSARY TO PERFORM SUCH TRAVEL. IF COMMERCIAL AIR TRANSPORTATION IS FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR RETURN TRAVEL PERFORMED UPON RELEASE FROM TRAINING DUTY, PAYMENT OF PAY AND ALLOWANCES FOR CONSTRUCTIVE TRAVEL TIME BY RAIL IS NOT AUTHORIZED, DESPITE THE LANGUAGE CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPH 50126D (3), AIR FORCE MANUAL 177-105.

THE PROBLEM INVOLVED WITH RESPECT TO TRAVEL TO THE TRAINING DUTY STATION, IS SIMILAR TO THAT CONSIDERED IN LETTER OF MAY 1, 1961, B 143649, TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY, COPIES OF WHICH WERE FORWARDED TO YOU ON THAT DATE. WHILE THAT CORRESPONDENCE WAS ADDRESSED TO THE MATTER OF ARMY RESERVE OFFICERS CALLED TO ACTIVE DUTY FOR PERIODS IN EXCESS OF NINETY DAYS IT IS OUR VIEW THAT THE PERTINENT STATUTE AND EXECUTIVE ORDERS CITED HEREIN CONTEMPLATE THAT THEIR PROVISIONS SHOULD APPLY TO RESERVISTS OF ALL BRANCHES CALLED TO ACTIVE DUTY WITHOUT REGARD TO THE DURATION OF TIME FOR WHICH CALLED.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT ORDERS FOR AIR FORCE (AND ARMY) PERSONNEL PROVIDE FOR AN OVERALL TRAINING PERIOD OF A CERTAIN NUMBER OF DAYS, WHICH INCLUDES AUTHORIZED TRAVEL TIME TO AND FROM THE TRAINING LOCATION. THE "RELEASE DATE" SHOWN IN ORDERS FOR ARMY AND AIR FORCE MEMBERS IS THE CONSTRUCTIVE DATE ON WHICH A MEMBER IS DUE TO ARRIVE HOME AND BE RELIEVED FROM DUTY AND IS ALSO THE FINAL DAY FOR WHICH PAY AND ALLOWANCES ACCRUE.

BY WAY OF COMPARISON, UNDER EXISTING NAVY AND MARINE CORPS PROCEDURES THE PERIOD OF TRAINING SPECIFIED IN THE ORDERS IS THE ACTUAL DURATION OF TRAINING DUTY, EXCLUSIVE OF TRAVEL TIME. THE ORDERS DIRECT THE MEMBER TO REPORT ON A SPECIFIC DATE FOR THE SPECIFIED NUMBER OF DAYS (NORMALLY 14 DAYS) TRAINING DUTY, PLUS "THE TIME NECESSARY TO PERFORM TRAVEL.' THERE IS NO SPECIFIC ,RELEASE DATE," AS SUCH, INDICATED IN THE ORDERS OF NAVY AND MARINE CORPS RESERVE MEMBERS. THE CONTROLLING DATE IS THE DATE OF DETACHMENT FROM THE TRAINING DUTY STATION, AND SUCH DATE IS ENDORSED ON THE MEMBER'S ORDERS. THIS DETACHMENT DATE IS THEN USED TO COMPUTE THE CONSTRUCTIVE DATE--- USED IN COMPUTING PAY PRIOR TO DEPARTURE--- ON WHICH HE IS TO ARRIVE HOME AND ON WHICH PAY AND ALLOWANCES CEASE TO ACCRUE. THE CONTROLLING NAVY AND MARINE CORPS REGULATIONS CLEARLY LIMIT PAY FOR ACTIVE DUTY FOR TRAINING TO THE PERIOD COVERED BY THE ORDERS TO SUCH DUTY, PLUS THE TIME REQUIRED FOR TRAVEL, NOT TO EXCEED THE CONSTRUCTIVE TRAVEL TIME. SEE NAVY COMPTROLLER MANUAL, PARAGRAPHS 044735-1 AND 2.

IN ORDER TO REMOVE THE CAUSE OF SIMILAR OVERPAYMENTS IN THE FUTURE IT IS REQUESTED THAT A REVEIW OF AIR FORCE AND ARMY TRAINING DUTY PAY REGULATIONS BE MADE WITH A VIEW TO HAVING THEM CONFORM MORE CLOSELY IN EFFECT WITH THOSE OF THE NAVY REGULATIONS RELATING TO THESE MATTERS. THE REPORTING DATE AND DATE OF RELEASE FROM THE TRAINING DUTY STATION IS ESSENTIAL TO UNIFORMITY, SINCE WITHOUT THOSE DATES NO BASIS IS PRESENT FOR COMPUTING NECESSARY OR CONSTRUCTIVE TRAVEL TIME.

WE WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR GIVING THIS MATTER YOUR ATTENTION AND ADVISING US AS TO THE ACTION TAKEN.