B-147429, DEC. 11, 1961

B-147429: Dec 11, 1961

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LOCKETT: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 3. YOU WERE PLACED ON A TEMPORARY DUTY STATUS AT U.S. YOU WERE DIRECTED TO PROCEED FROM GERMANY TO CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES BY THE FIRST AVAILABLE MILITARY AIR TRANSPORTATION AND UPON ARRIVAL TO REPORT FOR PROCESSING AT MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE. UPON EXPIRATION OF LEAVE YOU WERE DIRECTED TO REPORT TO FORT DIX. YOUR ORDERS WERE TO BE ENDORSED UPON ARRIVAL AT FORT DIX AND UPON YOUR RETURN AFTER LEAVE. THE ORDERS PROVIDED THAT TRAVEL BY RAIL AT NO EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT AND SURFACE TRANSPORTATION WAS AUTHORIZED. TRAVEL BY MILITARY AIRCRAFT WAS ALSO AUTHORIZED. NO PER DIEM ALLOWANCES WERE AUTHORIZED. IT APPEARS THAT YOU WERE ACCOMPANIED BY YOUR WIFE ON THE TRIP AND WERE ADVISED THAT THERE WOULD BE SOME DELAY IN YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL BY MILITARY AIR TRANSPORT SERVICE FROM GERMANY.

B-147429, DEC. 11, 1961

TO CAPTAIN CYRUS F. LOCKETT:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 3, 1961, REQUESTING REVIEW OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION SETTLEMENT OF SEPTEMBER 27, 1961, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO YOUR TRAVEL FROM FRANKFURT, GERMANY, TO MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE, NEW JERSEY, AND RETURN DURING THE PERIOD MAY 18 TO 27, 1961.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BY LETTER ORDER 5-6 DATED MAY 17, 1961, HEADQUARTERS 210TH ARTILLERY GROUP, UNITED STATES FORCES, APO 177, YOU WERE PLACED ON A TEMPORARY DUTY STATUS AT U.S. ARMY PERSONNEL CENTER, FORT DIX, NEW JERSEY, FOR THE PURPOSE OF BEING GRANTED EMERGENCY LEAVE IN THE UNITED STATES FOR A PERIOD NOT TO EXCEED 30 DAYS ON ACCOUNT OF THE DEATH OF YOUR MOTHER. YOU WERE DIRECTED TO PROCEED FROM GERMANY TO CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES BY THE FIRST AVAILABLE MILITARY AIR TRANSPORTATION AND UPON ARRIVAL TO REPORT FOR PROCESSING AT MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE, NEW JERSEY, INCIDENT TO LEAVE. UPON EXPIRATION OF LEAVE YOU WERE DIRECTED TO REPORT TO FORT DIX, NEW JERSEY, AND RETURN TO YOUR PERMANENT STATION OVERSEAS BY FIRST AVAILABLE SURFACE TRANSPORTATION. YOUR ORDERS WERE TO BE ENDORSED UPON ARRIVAL AT FORT DIX AND UPON YOUR RETURN AFTER LEAVE, TO INDICATE THE EXACT DAYS OF DEPARTURE ON LEAVE AND RETURN TO A TEMPORARY DUTY STATUS. THE ORDERS PROVIDED THAT TRAVEL BY RAIL AT NO EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT AND SURFACE TRANSPORTATION WAS AUTHORIZED. TRAVEL BY MILITARY AIRCRAFT WAS ALSO AUTHORIZED. HOWEVER, NO PER DIEM ALLOWANCES WERE AUTHORIZED. PARAGRAPHS 5 AND 6 OF THE LETTER ORDER CITED THE ACCOUNTING CLASSIFICATION OF FUNDS TO BE USED FOR REIMBURSEMENT TO THE MILITARY AIR TRANSPORT SERVICE FOR THE COST OF THE TRAVEL IF FURNISHED BY THAT SERVICE.

IT APPEARS THAT YOU WERE ACCOMPANIED BY YOUR WIFE ON THE TRIP AND WERE ADVISED THAT THERE WOULD BE SOME DELAY IN YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL BY MILITARY AIR TRANSPORT SERVICE FROM GERMANY. YOU THEN PURCHASED ROUND TRIP TICKETS FOR COMMERCIAL AIR TRAVEL FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR WIFE TO THE UNITED STATES. UPON EXPIRATION OF YOUR LEAVE AND REPORTING AT MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE FOR THE RETURN TRIP, YOU WERE INFORMED OF A SIMILAR DELAY IN YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL BACK TO GERMANY AND YOU UTILIZED THE RETURN PORTION OF THE TICKETS YOU HAD PURCHASED. YOUR CLAIM IS FOR THE AMOUNT THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN PAYABLE TO MILITARY AIR TRANSPORT SERVICE AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR YOUR OWN TRANSPORTATION IF IT HAD BEEN FURNISHED BY THAT SERVICE.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT OF SEPTEMBER 27, 1961, FOR THE REASON THAT LEAVE OF ABSENCE FROM THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTY IS CONSIDERED AS GRANTED FOR THE PERSONAL CONVENIENCE OF THE SERVICE MEMBER RATHER THAN FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE GOVERNMENT AND IS NOT CONSIDERED "PUBLIC BUSINESS.' SINCE EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO TRAVEL WHICH DOES NOT INVOLVE PUBLIC BUSINESS ARE NOT PAYABLE BY THE GOVERNMENT, IT WAS CONCLUDED THAT PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

IN YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 3, 1961, APPEALING THE DISALLOWANCE, YOU AGAIN CLAIM ENTITLEMENT TO THE AMOUNT THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN PAYABLE TO MATS FOR THE TRAVEL INVOLVED, FOR THE REASONS THAT YOU WERE ON TEMPORARY DUTY AND NOT IN A LEAVE STATUS DURING THE PERIODS OF TRAVEL, AND THAT BY THE UTILIZATION OF COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION YOU WERE ABLE TO RETURN TO DUTY THREE DAYS EARLIER THAN WOULD HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE IF RETURN TRAVEL HAD BEEN BY MILITARY AIR TRANSPORT SERVICE.

PARAGRAPH 20B, ARMY REGULATIONS 630-5, IN EFFECT AT THE TIME TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED, PERTAINING TO TRAVEL IN CONNECTION WITH LEAVE, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"B. EMERGENCY LEAVE. TRAVEL PERFORMED IN CONNECTION WITH EMERGENCY LEAVE IS AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE ONLY FROM OVERSEA PORT OF EMBARKATION TO CONUS PORT OF DEBARKATION AND IDENTIFIED AREAS AS STATED IN PARAGRAPH 10B. GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AS USED IN THESE REGULATIONS RELATES TO EXPENDITURE OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS IN REIMBURSEMENT TO MATS OR MSTS FOR SPACE REQUIRED TRAVEL. COMMERCIAL TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS NOT AUTHORIZED FOR ANY PORTION OF TRAVEL AUTHORIZED IN CONNECTION WITH EMERGENCY LEAVE. TRAVEL OF MILITARY PERSONNEL ON EMERGENCY LEAVE WILL BE CHARGED TO OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE, ARMY APPROPRIATION OF THE COMMAND AUTHORIZING THE TRAVEL. ORDERS OF THE COMMAND AUTHORIZING MILITARY EMERGENCY LEAVE TRAVEL WILL CITE THE COMPLETE ACCOUNTING CLASSIFICATION OF THE APPLICABLE MISSION FUNDS AND THE APPROPRIATE CUSTOMER IDENTIFICATION CODE. FUNDS CITED WILL BE SUFFICIENT TO COVER COST OF ROUND TRIP TRAVEL. LEAVE STATUS COMMENCES OR TERMINATES UPON ARRIVAL AT PORT OF DEBARKATION OR REPORTING TO PORT OF EMBARKATION FOR RETURN TRAVEL. ALL TRAVEL PERFORMED WITHIN CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES IS AT INDIVIDUAL'S EXPENSE AND IN A LEAVE STATUS. * * *"

IT IS TO BE NOTED THAT THE REGULATIONS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDE THAT COMMERCIAL TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS NOT AUTHORIZED FOR ANY PORTION OF THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZED IN CONNECTION WITH EMERGENCY LEAVE. THE REGULATION AUTHORIZES THE USE OF AVAILABLE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION FROM THE OVERSEAS PORT OF EMBARKATION TO THE PORT OF DEBARKATION IN THE UNITED STATES IN CONNECTION WITH EMERGENCY LEAVE, BUT IF SUCH TRANSPORTATION IS NOT AVAILABLE, OR NOT USED WHEN AVAILABLE, THE REGULATION PRECLUDES REIMBURSEMENT FOR COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION. THE BASIS FOR SUCH RESTRICTION IS THAT ONLY TRAVEL ON PUBLIC BUSINESS IS AUTHORIZED AT PUBLIC EXPENSE. WHILE, UNDER THE TERMS OF YOUR ORDERS, YOU WERE IN A LEAVE STATUS ONLY DURING THE PERIOD WHILE IN THE UNITED STATES, THE TRAVEL TO AND FROM THE UNITED STATES WAS ONLY FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING SUCH EMERGENCY LEAVE AND, THEREFORE, REIMBURSEMENT IN ANY AMOUNT FOR THE COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION USED IS NOT AUTHORIZED UNDER THE SPECIFIC TERMS OF THE ABOVE REGULATIONS. IN THAT CONNECTION PARAGRAPH 6455 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT PERSONNEL ATTACHED TO ACTIVITIES BEYOND CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES SHOULD MAKE DEFINITE PLANS, BEFORE THEY REQUEST LEAVE, AS TO WHEN AND HOW THEY CAN RETURN AT THE EXPIRATION OF THEIR LEAVE AS THE GOVERNMENT CANNOT GUARANTEE TRANSPORTATION BY GOVERNMENT CONVEYANCE AND WILL NOT AUTHORIZE TRANSPORTATION BY COMMERCIAL CONVEYANCE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

AS REQUIRED BY THE REGULATIONS, YOUR ORDERS CITED THE ACCOUNTING CLASSIFICATION OF FUNDS TO BE USED TO REIMBURSE THE MILITARY AIR TRANSPORT SERVICE FOR THE COST OF THE TRAVEL IF YOU HAD UTILIZED THAT SERVICE. SINCE, HOWEVER, AS INDICATED ABOVE THE EFFECT OF THE GOVERNING REGULATIONS IS TO DIRECT THE USE OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION FOR TRANSOCEANIC TRAVEL IF SUCH TRANSPORTATION IS TO BE SUPPLIED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, THE FACT THAT MATS, WHICH NOW OPERATES AS AN INDUSTRIAL-FUND FINANCED ACTIVITY (40 COMP. GEN. 482, 486), WOULD HAVE BEEN REIMBURSED IN THE AMOUNT OF THE ESTABLISHED FARE FOR SUCH TRAVEL AFFORDS NO BASIS TO ALLOW YOU THAT AMOUNT. NEITHER DOES THE FACT THAT YOU WERE ABLE TO RETURN TO YOUR DUTY STATION EARLIER BY USING COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED A BASIS TO ALLOW YOUR CLAIM, CONTRARY TO THE REGULATIONS.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF SEPTEMBER 27, 1961, WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.