B-149770, OCT. 15, 1962

B-149770: Oct 15, 1962

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JACQUES: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR WIFE'S LETTER OF AUGUST 6. INCIDENT TO THE ADVANCE RETURN OF YOUR DEPENDENTS TO THE UNITED STATES FROM ALASKA WHERE YOU WERE SERVING AS A MEMBER OF THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE. IT IS CONTENDED THAT THE CLAIM SHOULD BE ALLOWED FOR THE REASONS THAT SINCE YOUR HOME WAS LOCATED AT BALDWIN PARK. THE GOVERNMENT WAS AUTHORIZED AT THE TIME OF YOUR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY TO PAY FOR THE ADVANCE RETURN OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO THAT LOCATION. WHERE THEY WERE NEEDED BY YOUR DEPENDENTS. IN THE EVENT PAYMENT WAS NOT LEGALLY AUTHORIZED PRIOR THERETO. IT IS FURTHER CONTENDED THAT YOUR ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT SHOULD NOT BE AFFECTED BY THE POSSIBILITY OF HAVING USED IMPROPER FORMS.

B-149770, OCT. 15, 1962

TO DR. SYLVAN A. JACQUES:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR WIFE'S LETTER OF AUGUST 6, 1962, REQUESTING IN YOUR BEHALF RECONSIDERATION OF SETTLEMENT DATED JULY 17, 1962, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN 1956 FROM SEATTLE, WASHINGTON (PORT OF DEBARKATION), TO YOUR HOME AT BALDWIN PARK, CALIFORNIA, INCIDENT TO THE ADVANCE RETURN OF YOUR DEPENDENTS TO THE UNITED STATES FROM ALASKA WHERE YOU WERE SERVING AS A MEMBER OF THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE. IT IS CONTENDED THAT THE CLAIM SHOULD BE ALLOWED FOR THE REASONS THAT SINCE YOUR HOME WAS LOCATED AT BALDWIN PARK, BOTH UPON YOUR ENTRANCE ON ACTIVE DUTY AND RELEASE FROM THE AIR FORCE, THE GOVERNMENT WAS AUTHORIZED AT THE TIME OF YOUR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY TO PAY FOR THE ADVANCE RETURN OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO THAT LOCATION, WHERE THEY WERE NEEDED BY YOUR DEPENDENTS, IN THE EVENT PAYMENT WAS NOT LEGALLY AUTHORIZED PRIOR THERETO. IT IS FURTHER CONTENDED THAT YOUR ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT SHOULD NOT BE AFFECTED BY THE POSSIBILITY OF HAVING USED IMPROPER FORMS.

THE DISALLOWANCE DID NOT IN ANY WAY INVOLVE ERRORS WHICH MAY HAVE BEEN MADE IN THE EXECUTION OF THE PRESCRIBED FORMS FOR SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS BUT WAS PREMISED ON PERTINENT REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO STATUTE AND APPLICABLE TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF YOUR CASE.

BY SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 134, ISSUED JUNE 6, 1956, BY HEADQUARTERS, 5039TH AIR BASE WING, ALASKAN AIR COMMAND, APO 942, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, YOUR DEPENDENTS WERE AUTHORIZED TO PROCEED ON JULY 30 BUT NOT LATER THAN AUGUST 1, 1956, FROM YOUR STATION IN ALASKA TO MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, WASHINGTON. SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WAS ALSO AUTHORIZED. THE ORDERS, HOWEVER, SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED THAT TRANSPORTATION BEYOND MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE WOULD NOT BE FURNISHED PRIOR TO YOUR RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES UNDER PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS. PARAGRAPHS 7009-3 AND 8010-2 (CHANGE 43) OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WERE CITED IN THE AUTHORITY FOR THE ORDERS. PURSUANT TO THOSE ORDERS, YOUR DEPENDENTS DEPARTED ALASKA ON AUGUST 1, 1956, ARRIVED AT MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE ON AUGUST 2 AND THEN PROCEEDED TO BALDWIN PARK, ARRIVING THEREON AUGUST 6, 1956. YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE PICKED UP BY COMMERCIAL CARRIER AT YOUR RESIDENCE IN ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, DURING DULY 1956 AND WERE DELIVERED TO YOUR HOME IN BALDWIN PARK DURING SEPTEMBER 1956. BY SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 286, DATED DECEMBER 10, 1956, YOU WERE RELEASED FROM YOUR ALASKAN ASSIGNMENT AND WERE TRANSFERRED TO NORTON AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA, FOR PROCESSING AND SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE.

THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES AND TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS UPON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, INCLUDING THE CHANGE FROM LAST STATION TO HOME, IS CONTAINED IN SECTION 303 (C) OF THE CARRIER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 253 (C). THAT SECTION FURTHER PROVIDES FOR SUCH TRANSPORTATION IN THE ABSENCE OF CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS ONLY UNDER UNUSUAL OR EMERGENCY CONDITIONS, INCLUDING WHEN THE MEMBER IS SERVING OVERSEAS. THOSE PROVISIONS ARE NOT SELF-EXECUTING, HOWEVER, BUT REQUIRE THE ISSUANCE OF REGULATIONS BY THE SECRETARIES OF THE SERVICES CONCERNED. SUBPARAGRAPHS 7009-3 AND 8010-2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, ISSUED BY THE SECRETARIES TO IMPLEMENT THAT STATUTORY AUTHORITY, AND IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF THE RETURN OF YOUR DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO YOUR HOME, PROVIDE FOR THE ADVANCE RETURN OF DEPENDENTS AND SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES FROM OVERSEAS TO THE UNITED STATES, AND REQUIRE THAT ORDERS DIRECTING ADVANCE RETURN OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO THE UNITED STATES SHALL SPECIFICALLY LIMIT TRANSPORTATION OF THE DEPENDENTS TO THE POINT OF DEBARKATION IN THE UNITED STATES AND PROHIBIT SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS BEYOND THE POINT OF DEBARKATION IN THE UNITED STATES. AFTER THE MEMBER HAS COMPLETED HIS CURRENT OVERSEAS TOUR OF DUTY AND IS TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER OVERSEAS DUTY STATION OF AT LEAST 18 MONTHS' DURATION OR TO A DUTY STATION IN THE UNITED STATES, FURTHER TRANSPORTATION IS AUTHORIZED, IF OTHERWISE PROPER, FROM THE PLACE WHERE THE DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS THEN ARE LOCATED TO THE NEW DUTY STATION OR ELSEWHERE, NOT TO EXCEED ENTITLEMENT FROM THE POINT OF DEBARKATION IN THE UNITED STATES TO WHICH RETURNED TO THE MEMBER'S NEW DUTY STATION OR TO HIS HOME UPON SEPARATION AS THE CASE MAY BE.

THUS, UNDER THE PROVISIONS WHICH AUTHORIZED YOUR DEPENDENTS' RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES AND SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS PRIOR TO PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS DIRECTING YOUR RETURN, TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS AND SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WERE AUTHORIZED ONLY TO THE PORT OF DEBARKATION IN THE UNITED STATES. FURTHER TRAVEL AND SHIPMENT AT PUBLIC EXPENSE WERE NOT AUTHORIZED UNTIL FURTHER PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS WERE ISSUED. SINCE YOUR DEPENDENTS DID NOT TRAVEL AND YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE NOT SHIPPED FROM THE PORT OF DEBARKATION (SEATTLE) TO YOUR HOME (BALDWIN PARK) INCIDENT TO THE ORDERS DIRECTING YOUR RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES BUT WERE ALREADY AT YOUR HOME, HAVING ARRIVED THERE PRIOR TO ANY ORDERS AUTHORIZING SUCH TRANSPORTATION, THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS FOR THE PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM.

THE ABOVE REGULATORY PROVISIONS, PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO STATUTORY AUTHORITY, HAVE THE FORCE AND EFFECT OF LAW AND WE MAY MAKE NO EXCEPTION TO SUCH PROVISIONS IN THE SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS BY OUR OFFICE. THE PLAIN TERMS OF THOSE PROVISIONS HAVE CONSISTENTLY BEEN HELD AS LIMITING REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS BEYOND THE PORT OF DEBARKATION TO EXPENSES INCURRED FOR SUCH TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION PERFORMED AFTER ISSUANCE OF PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS TO THE MEMBER. THEREFORE, EVEN THOUGH ORDERS WERE SUBSEQUENTLY ISSUED ON DECEMBER 10, 1956, THEREAFTER AUTHORIZING THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO YOUR HOME, SUCH ORDERS AFFORD NO BASIS FOR ALLOWING REIMBURSEMENT FOR THAT TRANSPORTATION WHICH HAD ALREADY TAKEN PLACE.

ACCORDINGLY, THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM BY SETTLEMENT DATED JULY 17, 1962, WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.

ALTHOUGH, AS STATED ABOVE, THERE WAS NO AUTHORITY FOR TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR DEPENDENTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSES BEYOND THE PORT OF DEBARKATION, THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BY VOUCHER DATED JANUARY 30, 1957, YOU WERE PAID MILEAGE IN THE AMOUNT OF $163.68 FOR YOUR DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL FROM MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, WASHINGTON, TO BALDWIN PARK, CALIFORNIA. THUS, THE AMOUNT OF SUCH PAYMENT WILL BE INCLUDED IN A REVISED AND COMPLETE STATEMENT OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES WHICH WILL BE FURNISHED YOU BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION.