B-146576, AUG. 22, 1961

B-146576: Aug 22, 1961

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T. JANSEN: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR WIFE'S LETTER OF JULY 21. YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM YOUR OVERSEAS DUTY STATION AND ATTACHED UNASSIGNED TO THE 17TH REINFORCEMENT BATTALION FOR RETURN TO ZONE OF INTERIOR FOR DISCHARGE AT A SEPARATION CENTER. NO MENTION OF TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS WAS MADE IN THOSE ORDERS. YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF HER SEA TRAVEL WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT OF APRIL 1. FOR THE REASON THAT GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WAS AVAILABLE FOR ELIGIBLE DEPENDENTS. IN HER PRESENT LETTER YOUR WIFE STATES THAT HER VISA WOULD HAVE EXPIRED ON APRIL 30. SHE SAYS SHE WAS ALSO TOLD THAT HER VISA WOULD NOT BE RENEWED. THAT THERE WAS NO GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION AVAILABLE AT THAT TIME.

B-146576, AUG. 22, 1961

TO MR. RALPH J. T. JANSEN:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR WIFE'S LETTER OF JULY 21, 1961, REQUESTING IN YOUR BEHALF, REVIEW OF THAT PART OF SETTLEMENT DATED APRIL 1, 1947, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL FROM LE HAVRE, FRANCE, TO NEW YORK, NEW YORK.

PURSUANT TO ORDERS DATED FEBRUARY 20, 1946, YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM YOUR OVERSEAS DUTY STATION AND ATTACHED UNASSIGNED TO THE 17TH REINFORCEMENT BATTALION FOR RETURN TO ZONE OF INTERIOR FOR DISCHARGE AT A SEPARATION CENTER. NO MENTION OF TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS WAS MADE IN THOSE ORDERS. BETWEEN APRIL 4 AND 18, 1946, YOUR WIFE TRAVELED TO THE UNITED STATES BY COMMERCIAL WATER TRANSPORTATION AT PERSONAL EXPENSE. YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF HER SEA TRAVEL WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT OF APRIL 1, 1947, FOR THE REASON THAT GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WAS AVAILABLE FOR ELIGIBLE DEPENDENTS.

IN HER PRESENT LETTER YOUR WIFE STATES THAT HER VISA WOULD HAVE EXPIRED ON APRIL 30, 1946, WHICH MEANT THAT SHE HAD TO BE OUT OF THE COUNTRY BEFORE THAT DATE. SHE SAYS SHE WAS ALSO TOLD THAT HER VISA WOULD NOT BE RENEWED; THAT THERE WAS NO GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION AVAILABLE AT THAT TIME, AND THAT SHE SHOULD TAKE PRIVATE TRANSPORATION AND APPLY FOR REIMBURSEMENT.

THE TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS OF MILITARY PERSONNEL IS GOVERNED BY LAW ENACTED BY THE CONGRESS AND BY REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT THERETO BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY. SECTION 12 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942, 56 STAT. 365, 366, WHICH WAS THE LAW IN EFFECT AT THE TIME PROVIDES, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT WHEN ANY OFFICER, WARRANT OFFICER, OR ENLISTED MAN IN THE FIRST THREE PAY GRADES, HAVING DEPENDENTS AS DEFINED IN SECTION 4 OF THAT ACT, IS ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, THE UNITED STATES SHALL FURNISH TRANSPORTATION TO THE NEW STATION FOR SUCH DEPENDENTS OR REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE AUTHORIZED FOR TRAVEL COMPLETED AT PERSONAL EXPENSE, PROVIDED THAT FOR RESERVE AND RETIRED PERSONNEL THE WORDS "PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION" SHALL INCLUDE THE CHANGE FROM LAST STATION TO HOME. IT FURTHER PROVIDES THAT THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION IN EXCESS OF THAT FROM THE OLD STATION TO THE NEW SHALL BE BORNE BY THE OFFICER, WARRANT OFFICER OR ENLISTED MEN CONCERNED, AND THAT THE TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS TO OR FROM STATIONS OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES SHALL NOT BE OTHER THAN BY GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT IF SUCH TRANSPORTATION IS AVAILABLE AS MAY BE DETERMINED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED.

HENCE, ON THE BASIS OF THE ORDERS RETURNING YOU TO THE UNITED STATES FOR RELIEF FROM ACTIVE DUTY, YOU WERE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION (OR REIMBURSEMENT) FOR YOUR WIFE FROM PRAGUE, CZECHOSLOVAKIA, TO YOUR HOME, OTO, IOWA, BY THE DIRECT USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE, SUBJECT TO THE REQUIREMENT AS TO THE USE OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION, IF AVAILABLE. TO THE AVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION FOR YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL, THE CHIEF OF TRANSPORTATION (TO WHOM THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY HAD, PURSUANT TO LAW, DELEGATED THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE SUCH DETERMINATION) HAS REPORTED THAT "GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WAS AVAILABLE FROM LE HAVRE, FRANCE TO THE UNITED STATES FOR DEPENDENTS OF MILITARY PERSONNEL AT THE TIME TRAVEL IN QUESTION WAS PERFORMED.' WHILE YOUR WIFE'S STATEMENTS CONCERNING THE AVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION ARE DIRECTLY CONTRARY TO THE OFFICIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT, WE MUST ACCEPT THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT AS CORRECT IN THE ABSENCE OF CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE THAT IT IS INCORRECT. SEE 31 COMP. GEN. 288.

SINCE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION IS REPORTED TO HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE FOR YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL FROM LE HAVRE, FRANCE, TO NEW YORK, NEW YORK, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO REIMBURSE YOU FOR THE COST OF HER OCEAN TRAVEL. ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF APRIL 1, 1947, IS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.