B-148268, JUN. 1, 1962

B-148268: Jun 1, 1962

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THE REQUEST FOR DECISION WAS ASSIGNED CONTROL NO. THE MEMBERS LISTED THEREON WERE DETACHED FROM THEIR PARENT SCHOOL AT U.S. UPON COMPLETION OF THE DUTY THEY WERE DIRECTED TO DEPART FROM FORT EUSTIS. VOUCHER NO. 101237 IN YOUR AUGUST 1961 ACCOUNTS REVEAL THAT THE MEMBERS WERE RELEASED FROM THE TRANSPORTATION SCHOOL AT 1200 HOURS AND DEPARTED FORT EUSTIS. AIR TRAVEL WAS DIRECTED FOR DISTANCES EXCEEDING 500 MILES. IT IS REPORTED THAT ACCORDING TO THE AIR SCHEDULE. THE RESERVISTS COULD HAVE DEPARTED FROM PATRICK HENRY AIRPORT AT 1355 HOURS ON AUGUST 26. AT THE TIME PAYMENT FOR AN ADDITIONAL DAY'S PAY AND ALLOWANCES WAS WITHHELD. YOUR OFFICE WAS NOT AWARE THAT IN OUR DECISION OF JUNE 10. YOUR QUESTION IS WHETHER OUR DECISION OF JUNE 10.

B-148268, JUN. 1, 1962

FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING OFFICER DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY:

BY FIRST INDORSEMENT DATED FEBRUARY 23, 1962, THE FIELD DIVISION, OFFICE CHIEF OF FINANCE, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, FORWARDED YOUR LETTER DATED JANUARY 18, 1962, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF PAYMENT OF ONE ADDITIONAL DAY'S PAY (AUGUST 27, 1961) TO RESERVISTS WHO ATTENDED ACTIVE DUTY FOR TRAINING AT FORT EUSTIS, VIRGINIA, FROM AUGUST 13 TO 26, 1961. THE REQUEST FOR DECISION WAS ASSIGNED CONTROL NO. A633 BY THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE MILITARY PAY AND ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE.

BY ORDERS DATED JULY 13, 1961, AS AMENDED BY ORDERS DATED AUGUST 1, 1961, THE MEMBERS LISTED THEREON WERE DETACHED FROM THEIR PARENT SCHOOL AT U.S. ARMY RESERVE CENTER, NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, AND ATTACHED TO A HOST SCHOOL FOR 14 DAYS, ACTIVE DUTY FOR TRAINING AT FORT EUSTIS, VIRGINIA. THE ORDERS DIRECTED THE MEMBERS TO PROCEED FROM THEIR HOME STATION, NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, AFTER 0001 HOURS AUGUST 13, 1961, AND REPORT TO DUTY STATION AT FORT EUSTIS, VIRGINIA, NOT LATER THAN 1700 HOURS THE SAME DAY. UPON COMPLETION OF THE DUTY THEY WERE DIRECTED TO DEPART FROM FORT EUSTIS, VIRGINIA, IN SUFFICIENT TIME TO ARRIVE HOME AND REVERT TO INACTIVE STATUS NOT LATER THAN 2400 HOURS AUGUST 27, 1961.

THE ITINERARIES REFLECTED ON D.O. VOUCHER NO. 101237 IN YOUR AUGUST 1961 ACCOUNTS REVEAL THAT THE MEMBERS WERE RELEASED FROM THE TRANSPORTATION SCHOOL AT 1200 HOURS AND DEPARTED FORT EUSTIS, VIRGINIA, BETWEEN 1200 AND 1400 HOURS AUGUST 26, 1961. AIR TRAVEL WAS DIRECTED FOR DISTANCES EXCEEDING 500 MILES. IT IS REPORTED THAT ACCORDING TO THE AIR SCHEDULE, THE RESERVISTS COULD HAVE DEPARTED FROM PATRICK HENRY AIRPORT AT 1355 HOURS ON AUGUST 26, 1961, AND ARRIVED AT NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, AT 2025 HOURS ON THE SAME DAY. VOUCHER NO. 101237 SHOWS, HOWEVER, THAT THE RESERVISTS RETURNED HOME BY AUTOMOBILE, ARRIVING ON AUGUST 27. YOU SAY THAT YOUR OFFICE DID NOT PAY THE MEMBERS FOR AUGUST 27, 1961, IN VIEW OF OUR DECISION DATED OCTOBER 27, 1959, B-140916. AT THE TIME PAYMENT FOR AN ADDITIONAL DAY'S PAY AND ALLOWANCES WAS WITHHELD, HOWEVER, YOUR OFFICE WAS NOT AWARE THAT IN OUR DECISION OF JUNE 10, 1960, B-140916, WE HAD RECONSIDERED THE DECISION OF OCTOBER 27, 1959. YOUR QUESTION IS WHETHER OUR DECISION OF JUNE 10, 1960, IS APPLICABLE TO THE CLAIMS SUBMITTED AND WHETHER THE MEMBERS MAY BE PAID FOR AUGUST 27, 1961.

IN OUR DECISION OF OCTOBER 27, 1959, B-140916, WE HELD THAT IN THE CASE OF A RESERVIST WHO WAS RELEASED FROM HIS TRAINING DUTY STATION ON OCTOBER 17, 1958, AND WHO WAS PAID FOR THE PERIOD OCTOBER 5 TO 18, 1958, AND WHO ARRIVED AT THE PLACE FROM WHICH ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY ON OCTOBER 18, 1958, THERE ARE NO PROVISIONS IN THE APPLICABLE STATUTES AND REGULATIONS WHEREBY HE MAY BE ALLOWED PAY AND ALLOWANCES FOR OCTOBER 19 AND 20, 1958. WHILE THE MATTER WAS RECONSIDERED IN OUR DECISION OF JUNE 10, 1960, NO CHANGE WAS MADE IN THE HOLDING OF THE DECISION OF OCTOBER 27, 1959. WAS POINTED OUT, HOWEVER, THAT IN THE SPECIAL SITUATION WHERE AT LEAST ONE DAY'S TRAVEL TIME BACK TO THE RESERVIST'S HOME IS CONTEMPLATED UNDER HIS ORDERS, BUT HE ACTUALLY RETURNS TO HIS HOME ON THE DAY OF COMPLETION OF HIS DUTY ASSIGNMENT, HE IS ENTITLED TO ONE DAY'S TRAVEL TIME.

IT IS OUR VIEW THAT THE APPLICABLE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 201 (D) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 232 (D), CONTEMPLATE THAT THE DATE ON WHICH PAY SHOULD BEGIN FOR A RESERVIST 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 EXCEPT IN CASES WHERE HE RETURNS TO HIS HOME ON THE DATE OF COMPLETION OF THE DUTY ASSIGNMENT. 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 USED OR TRAVEL BY THAT MODE WAS DIRECTED AND WAS AVAILABLE. IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES TRAVEL TIME IS TO BE COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF AVAILABLE AIR TRANSPORTATION EXCEPT THAT IF SUCH TRANSPORTATION WOULD PERMIT RETURN HOME ON THE DAY THAT THE TRAINING DUTY IS COMPLETED, THE MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO ONE DAY'S TRAVEL TIME.

SINCE THE MEMBERS WERE RELEASED FROM THE TRAINING SCHOOL AT 1200 HOURS ON AUGUST 26, 1961, APPARENTLY HAVING COMPLETED THEIR DUTY ASSIGNMENTS AT THAT TIME, THEY ARE ENTITLED TO ACTIVE DUTY PAY AND ALLOWANCES FOR ONE DAY'S TRAVEL AFTER THAT DATE UNDER THE RULE OF 4 COMP. GEN. 894 EVEN THOUGH THEY COULD HAVE RETURNED HOME ON THE 26TH BY USING AIR TRANSPORTATION AS DIRECTED.

ACCORDINGLY, PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHERS, RETURNED HEREWITH, IS AUTHORIZED, IF OTHERWISE PROPER.