B-150419, JAN. 29, 1963

B-150419: Jan 29, 1963

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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF NOVEMBER 9. THE REQUEST WAS ASSIGNED PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 62-23. THE REQUIREMENT IN QUESTION IS SPECIFICALLY SET FORTH IN PARAGRAPH (24). AS FOLLOWS: "/24) THE REQUEST PROVIDES FOR "TRAVELER'S SIGNATURE" AND "ISSUING OFFICER'S SIGNATURE" AND BOTH MUST BE SIGNED BY HAND BEFORE THE DOCUMENT IS VALID FOR SERVICE. * * *" SEE ALSO SECTION 2040.10. BEFORE THAT DOCUMENT IS VALID FOR SERVICE. THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY STATES THAT MANY SITUATIONS ARE ENCOUNTERED WHEN THE ABOVE SIGNATURE REQUIREMENT WORKS A HARDSHIP ON THE TRAVELER. WHEN DEPENDENTS DO NOT TRAVEL CONCURRENTLY WITH THEIR SPONSOR THEY ARE THEN AUTHORIZED TRANSPORTATION TO A DESIGNATED LOCATION.

B-150419, JAN. 29, 1963

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF NOVEMBER 9, 1962, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE (FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT), REQUESTING A DECISION WHETHER, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES STATED, AN EXCEPTION MAY BE MADE TO THE REQUIREMENT CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPH (24) OF APPENDIX A, CHAPTER 2000, TITLE 5 OF OUR POLICY AND PROCEDURES MANUAL, COVERING PASSENGER TRANSPORTATION SERVICES. THE REQUEST WAS ASSIGNED PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 62-23.

THE REQUIREMENT IN QUESTION IS SPECIFICALLY SET FORTH IN PARAGRAPH (24), APPENDIX A, TITLE 5, CHAPTER 2000 OF OUR POLICY AND PROCEDURES MANUAL, AS FOLLOWS:

"/24) THE REQUEST PROVIDES FOR "TRAVELER'S SIGNATURE" AND "ISSUING OFFICER'S SIGNATURE" AND BOTH MUST BE SIGNED BY HAND BEFORE THE DOCUMENT IS VALID FOR SERVICE. * * *"

SEE ALSO SECTION 2040.10, TITLE 5 OF THE MANUAL. THE ABOVE QUOTED PARAGRAPH (24) REQUIRES THAT THE WRITTEN SIGNATURE OF THE TRAVELER BE PLACED IN THE SPACE PROVIDED THEREFOR ON STANDARD FORM NO. 1169, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA TRANSPORTATION REQUEST, BEFORE THAT DOCUMENT IS VALID FOR SERVICE.

THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY STATES THAT MANY SITUATIONS ARE ENCOUNTERED WHEN THE ABOVE SIGNATURE REQUIREMENT WORKS A HARDSHIP ON THE TRAVELER, PARTICULARLY IN THE CASE OF DEPENDENTS TRAVELING OVERSEAS SUBSEQUENT TO THE MILITARY SPONSOR. WHEN DEPENDENTS DO NOT TRAVEL CONCURRENTLY WITH THEIR SPONSOR THEY ARE THEN AUTHORIZED TRANSPORTATION TO A DESIGNATED LOCATION, WITHIN CERTAIN LIMITATIONS. IT IS POINTED OUT THAT THE ONLY REMAINING ACTION AT THE TIME TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS TO THE OVERSEAS AREA IS APPROVED, IS ARRANGING FOR PERSONAL TRAVEL AND, IN SOME INSTANCES, THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. IT IS FURTHER POINTED OUT THAT IN MANY INSTANCES THE DESIGNATED LOCATION FOR MOVEMENT OF DEPENDENTS WHO ARE AWAITING APPROVAL TO JOIN THEIR SPONSOR OVERSEAS IS CONSIDERABLY REMOVED FROM A MILITARY FACILITY. OFTEN THESE DEPENDENTS, IT IS STATED, ARE WITHOUT MEANS OF PRIVATE TRANSPORTATION TO THE MILITARY FACILITY AND MUST USE PERSONAL FUNDS TO TRAVEL TO THAT LOCATION TO PROCURE THE NECESSARY TRANSPORTATION FROM THEIR HOME TO THE OVERSEAS AREA. IT IS STATED THAT THIS IS BOTH COSTLY AND INCONVENIENT. IF ALL OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESSING WAS NOT COMPLETED AT THE FORMER DUTY STATION OF THE SPONSOR, HOWEVER, THEN TRAVEL TO THE MILITARY FACILITY BY THE DEPENDENT IS NECESSARY.

IN LIEU OF THE SIGNATURE REQUIREMENT AS SET FORTH IN THE REGULATIONS, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY PROPOSES, IF APPROVED, THAT THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE TWO SIGNATURES ON THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST WOULD BE SATISFIED BY DESIGNATING THE RESPONSIBLE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER AS AN AGENT TO SIGN THIS DOCUMENT WHEN THE TRAVELER IS NOT READILY AVAILABLE AND THE LOCATION OF THE TRAVELER MAKES IT IMPRACTICABLE TO OBTAIN THE TRAVELER'S SIGNATURE ON THE REQUEST. IT IS STATED THAT THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER WOULD PROCURE THE NECESSARY TICKETS AND FORWARD THEM TO THE INDIVIDUAL BY REGISTERED MAIL, AND THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT FORM REQUIRED TO ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT WOULD ASSURE PROPER CONTROL AND SAFEGUARD OF TICKETS ISSUED UNDER THE PROPOSED PROCEDURE.

THE REGULATIONS INVOLVED WERE FORMULATED AFTER CONSIDERABLE DISCUSSION WITH THE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES AND REPRESENTATIVES OF THE TRANSPORTATION INDUSTRY, AS BEING BEST DESIGNED TO PROTECT THE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT, THE TRAVELERS, AND THE CARRIERS. UNLESS UNUSUAL SITUATIONS OR EMERGENCIES ARISE WHICH ARE PRODUCTIVE OF DISADVANTAGES AND UNECONOMICAL OPERATIONS BECAUSE OF ADHERENCE TO THE SPECIFIED REQUIREMENTS OF THE REGULATIONS, WE ARE RELUCTANT TO APPROVE REQUESTS FOR EXCEPTIONS TO THEM. WHILE WE RECOGNIZE, IN APPROPRIATE SITUATIONS, THE DESIRABILITY OF CONCURRING IN THE ESTABLISHMENT OF ANY EFFECTIVE MEASURES WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO MORE EFFICIENT AND ECONOMICAL ADMINISTRATIVE OPERATIONS WITHOUT DETRIMENT TO THE GOVERNMENT'S OVERALL INTERESTS, A BLANKET EXCEPTION TO THE REQUIREMENT OF PARAGRAPH (24) AS REQUESTED, DOES NOT APPEAR JUSTIFIED.

IN B-135236, MARCH 4, 1958, TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, AND B 140941, JANUARY 6, 1960, TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE, WE DENIED SIMILAR REQUESTS SUBSTANTIALLY FOR THE REASON THAT THE REQUESTS WERE VERY BROAD AND WERE NOT PRESENTED IN SUFFICIENT DETAIL TO ENABLE THOROUGH CONSIDERATION. THOSE CASES INVOLVED A REQUEST TO APPOINT AGENTS TO SIGN TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS FOR CIVILIAN AND MILITARY PERSONNEL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY AND MILITARY PERSONNEL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE.

THE SUBMITTED PROPOSAL IS VERY BROAD AND IS NOT PRESENTED IN SUFFICIENT DETAIL TO ENABLE THOROUGH CONSIDERATION OF THE MATTER. FOR EXAMPLE, THE VOLUME OF TRAFFIC INVOLVED IS VAGUELY INDICATED BY THE STATEMENT "MANY SITUATIONS ARE ENCOUNTERED WHEN THIS REQUIREMENT WORKS A HARDSHIP * * *" AND "IN MANY INSTANCES THE DESIGNATED LOCATION FOR MOVING OF DEPENDENTS WHO ARE AWAITING APPROVAL TO JOIN THEIR SPONSOR OVERSEAS IS CONSIDERABLY REMOVED FROM A MILITARY FACILITY.' THESE ALLEGATIONS ARE UNSUPPORTED BY ANY FACTUAL EVIDENCE AS TO THE NUMBER OR FREQUENCY OF THESE OCCASIONS. ADDITION, THERE IS NO SHOWING THAT THE MAIL SERVICES APPARENTLY UTILIZED FOR THE SUBSEQUENT DELIVERY OF TICKETS, ETC., COULD NOT ALSO HAVE BEEN UTILIZED FOR THE TRANSMITTAL OF THE RELATED TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS. THIS CONNECTION, NOTHING HAS BEEN PRESENTED TO SHOW THAT TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE TO EXPEDITE THE HANDLING OF THE TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS. MERE INCONVENIENCE TO TRAVELERS IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO AUTHORIZE A DEPARTURE OF OUR REGULATIONS. WHILE WE RECOGNIZE THAT IN A LIMITED NUMBER OF INSTANCES THE PRESENT REQUIREMENT MIGHT RESULT IN SOME INCONVENIENCE AND ADDITIONAL EXPENSE TO THE DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL, IT IS OUR VIEW THAT THIS COULD BE PRACTICALLY ELIMINATED BY THE JUDICIOUS USE OF MAIL SERVICES.

ACCORDINGLY, FOR THE REASONS STATED ABOVE, WE CANNOT PROPERLY APPROVE THE PROPOSAL AS SUBMITTED.