B-148759, JULY 11, 1962, 42 COMP. GEN. 27

B-148759: Jul 11, 1962

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IS REGARDED AS TRAVEL PERFORMED ON PUBLIC BUSINESS ENTITLING THE MEMBER TO RECEIVE THE APPROPRIATE CHANGE OF STATION TRAVEL ALLOWANCES. THE REGULATION AUTHORIZING THE PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDER CONSTITUTING ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT THE RETURN OF THE MEMBER TO HIS OVERSEAS STATION IS NOT WARRANTED. 1962: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF APRIL 2. REQUESTING THAT A CLARIFYING DECISION BE RENDERED ON THE ENTITLEMENT OF MEMBERS OF THE ARMY TO RECEIVE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCES WHEN BY REASON OF THE GRANTING OF EMERGENCY LEAVE THEY ARE RETURNED TO THE UNITED STATES PRIOR TO THE COMPLETION OF THEIR SCHEDULED OVERSEAS TOUR OF DUTY UNDER PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS ISSUED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 23B (1).

B-148759, JULY 11, 1962, 42 COMP. GEN. 27

TRAVEL EXPENSES - MILITARY PERSONNEL - PRIOR TO COMPLETION OF OVERSEAS ASSIGNMENT THE TRAVEL OF A MEMBER OF THE ARMED SERVICES OF THE UNITED STATES INCIDENT TO GRANT OF EMERGENCY LEAVE UNDER PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS, WHERE LESS THAN 60 DAYS REMAIN TO COMPLETE AN OVERSEAS TOUR OF DUTY, IS REGARDED AS TRAVEL PERFORMED ON PUBLIC BUSINESS ENTITLING THE MEMBER TO RECEIVE THE APPROPRIATE CHANGE OF STATION TRAVEL ALLOWANCES, THE REGULATION AUTHORIZING THE PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDER CONSTITUTING ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT THE RETURN OF THE MEMBER TO HIS OVERSEAS STATION IS NOT WARRANTED, A DETERMINATION THAT DOES NOT EXCEED THE AUTHORITY GRANTED THE MILITARY SECRETARIES IN SECTION 303 (A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 253 (A), TO PRESCRIBE REGULATIONS FOR THE UNIFORMED SERVICES.

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY, JULY 11, 1962:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF APRIL 2, 1962, FROM THE UNDER SECRETARY OF THE ARMY (ASSIGNED PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 62-8 BY THE PER DIEM TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE), REQUESTING THAT A CLARIFYING DECISION BE RENDERED ON THE ENTITLEMENT OF MEMBERS OF THE ARMY TO RECEIVE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCES WHEN BY REASON OF THE GRANTING OF EMERGENCY LEAVE THEY ARE RETURNED TO THE UNITED STATES PRIOR TO THE COMPLETION OF THEIR SCHEDULED OVERSEAS TOUR OF DUTY UNDER PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS ISSUED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 23B (1), ARMY REGULATIONS NO. 614-30. IT IS STATED THAT A LACK OF UNIFORMITY HAS BEEN OBSERVED IN THE SETTLEMENT OF TRAVEL VOUCHERS OF THIS TYPE BY THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF OUR OFFICE AND THE DECISION IS DESIRED FOR USE IN THE DISPOSITION OF SUCH CLAIMS BY THE ARMY FINANCE CENTER.

SECTION 303 (C) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 253 (A), PROVIDES THAT UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES SHALL BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS UPON A CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION, OR OTHERWISE, WHICH PRESUPPOSES TRAVEL ON PUBLIC BUSINESS. PARAGRAPH 3050-1, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, ISSUED PURSUANT TO THAT ACT, PROVIDES THAT MEMBERS ARE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES AS AUTHORIZED IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXISTING REGULATIONS ONLY WHILE ACTUALLY IN A "TRAVEL STATUS" AND THAT THEY SHALL BE DEEMED TO BE IN A TRAVEL STATUS WHILE PERFORMING TRAVEL AWAY FROM THEIR PERMANENT DUTY STATION, UPON PUBLIC BUSINESS, PURSUANT TO COMPETENT TRAVEL ORDERS. THE FACT THAT PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS MAY AUTHORIZE A PERIOD OF DELAY IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THE ORDERED TRAVEL, SUCH DELAY TO COUNT AS LEAVE, HAS NOT BEEN VIEWED AS AFFECTING THE PUBLIC BUSINESS ASPECT OF THE ORDERS. HOWEVER, THE TRAVEL ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED FOR MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ARE FOR THE PURPOSE OF REIMBURSING THE MEMBERS FOR THE EXPENSES INCURRED IN COMPLYING WITH THE TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS IMPOSED UPON THEM BY THE NEEDS OF THE SERVICES OVER WHICH THEY HAVE NO CONTROL, NOT FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL INDUCED BY PERSONAL REASONS, AND THE CASES HERE INVOLVED DO NOT PERTAIN TO DELAY INCIDENT TO ORDERED PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TRAVEL, BUT TO PERMANENT CHANGES OF STATION INCIDENT TO GRANTS OF EMERGENCY LEAVE. IN THIS CONNECTION, PARAGRAPH 6454 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES EXPRESSLY THAT EXPENSES INCURRED DURING PERIODS OF TRAVEL UNDER ORDERS WHICH DO NOT INVOLVE PUBLIC BUSINESS ARE NOT PAYABLE BY THE GOVERNMENT; AND IT HAS CONSISTENTLY BEEN HELD THAT ALLOWANCES ARE NOT PAYABLE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED SOLELY FOR LEAVE PURPOSES, THE TRAVEL BEING CONSIDERED AS MADE FOR PERSONAL REASONS AND NOT AS HAVING BEEN PERFORMED ON PUBLIC BUSINESS. PERRIMOND V. UNITED STATES, 19 CT.CL. 509; DAY V. UNITED STATES, 123 CT.CL. 10, 18. IT LIKEWISE HAS BEEN HELD THAT TRAVEL ALLOWANCES ARE NOT PAYABLE FOR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TRAVEL PERFORMED BY AN OFFICER TRANSFERRED AT HIS OWN REQUEST FOR PERSONAL REASONS AND NOT BECAUSE OF THE NEEDS OF THE SERVICE. B-117577, JUNE 16, 1955.

REGULATIONS CONCERNING THE GRANTING OF LEAVE TO ARMY MILITARY PERSONNEL ARE CONTAINED IN ARMY REGULATIONS NO. 630-5. EMERGENCY LEAVE IS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH 2B (2) OF THE REGULATIONS AS LEAVE WHICH IS GRANTED UPON THE REQUEST OF A SERVICE MEMBER WHEN IT IS ESTABLISHED THAT AN UNEXPECTED PERSONAL EMERGENCY EXISTS AND PRIORITY TRAVEL BETWEEN CERTAIN SPECIFIED AREAS IS REQUIRED. PARAGRAPH 10F (2) (D) PROVIDES THAT IF EMERGENCY LEAVE IS GRANTED AND A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ASSIGNMENT IS MADE PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF ARMY REGULATIONS NO. 614-30, THE PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS WILL INDICATE THAT EMERGENCY LEAVE IS INVOLVED. PARAGRAPH 23B (1), ARMY REGULATIONS NO. 614-30, CHANGE NO. 1 OF MARCH 12, 1962, SPECIFIES THAT ORDERS RETURNING PERSONNEL TO THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES OR AREA OF RESIDENCE FOR TEMPORARY DUTY OR EMERGENCY LEAVE WILL PROVIDE FOR A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, CITING THOSE REGULATIONS AS AUTHORITY, WHEN, UPON COMPLETION OF SUCH TEMPORARY DUTY OR EMERGENCY LEAVE, SUCH PERSONNEL WOULD HAVE LESS THAN 60 DAYS REMAINING IN PRESENT OVERSEAS SERVICE TOUR OR IN CATEGORY OR TERM OF SERVICE.

THE GRANTING OF LEAVE AND REASSIGNMENT OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ARE MATTERS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION BY THE SERVICES INVOLVED. AS POINTED OUT ABOVE, HOWEVER, A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IS ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF HIS TRAVEL EXPENSES ON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ONLY IN THOSE SITUATIONS WHERE THE CHANGE OF STATION MAY BE REGARDED AS HAVING BEEN INDUCED BY MILITARY CONSIDERATIONS.

WHILE IT IS CLEAR THAT THE TRAVEL OF A MEMBER TO THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES HERE CONCERNED IS MOTIVATED BY PERSONAL REASONS (THE MEMBER'S REQUEST FOR EMERGENCY LEAVE), IT IS ALSO APPARENT THAT WHERE LESS THAN 60 DAYS REMAIN OF AN OVERSEAS TOUR OF DUTY THE NEEDS OF THE SERVICE MAY BEST BE SERVED BY THE ISSUANCE OF PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE GRANTING OF THE EMERGENCY LEAVE, SINCE GENERALLY THE MEMBER WOULD BE SCHEDULED FOR REASSIGNMENT TO THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES UPON COMPLETION OF THE SMALL REMAINING PORTION OF HIS OVERSEAS TOUR OF DUTY. THE ABOVE-CITED ARMY REGULATION APPEARS TO CONSTITUTE AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT INSOFAR AS SERVICE REQUIREMENTS ARE CONCERNED THE RETURN OF THE MEMBER TO HIS OVERSEAS STATION IS NOT WARRANTED IN SUCH CASES. THE DETERMINATION SEEMS REASONABLE AND THE PROMULGATION OF THE REGULATION PROVIDING FOR THE ISSUANCE OF PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS IN SUCH SITUATIONS DOES NOT APPEAR TO EXCEED THE AUTHORITY GRANTED THE SECRETARIES IN SECTION 303 (A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, SUPRA, TO PRESCRIBE REGULATIONS FOR THE UNIFORMED SERVICES.

ACCORDINGLY, TRAVEL BY THE MEMBER FROM HIS OVERSEAS STATION TO HIS NEW PERMANENT STATION IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, PURSUANT TO PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS ISSUED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF SUCH REGULATIONS WILL BE REGARDED AS HAVING BEEN PERFORMED ON PUBLIC BUSINESS, ENTITLING THE MEMBER TO RECEIVE THE APPROPRIATE CHANGE OF STATION TRAVEL ALLOWANCES. THESE VIEWS WILL BE FOLLOWED IN THE AUDIT OF ACCOUNTS AND THE SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS.