B-150771, FEB. 25, 1963

B-150771: Feb 25, 1963

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USNR: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 22. YOU WERE TRANSFERRED FROM YOUR DUTY STATION. YOUR AUTOMOBILE WAS LOADED ON USNS DANIEL I. THE AUTOMOBILE WAS OFF-LOADED AT PORT HUENEME AND AS A RESULT YOU SAY YOU HAD TO TAKE LEAVE AND TRAVEL THERE TO OBTAIN POSSESSION OF THE VEHICLE. YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES INCURRED FOR THIS TRAVEL WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED WHILE YOU WERE ON LEAVE AND APPLICABLE REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT MEMBERS ARE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES ONLY WHILE ACTUALLY IN A TRAVEL STATUS WHILE PERFORMING TRAVEL ON PUBLIC BUSINESS UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS. IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU SAY THAT WHILE IT IS TRUE THAT YOU WERE IN A LEAVE STATUS.

B-150771, FEB. 25, 1963

TO LIEUTENANT VERNON E. STENBERG, USNR:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 22, 1963, REQUESTING REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED JANUARY 17, 1963, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES FROM OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, TO PORT HUENEME, CALIFORNIA, AND RETURN ON DECEMBER 1 AND 2, 1961.

BY ORDERS OF OCTOBER 24, 1961, YOU WERE TRANSFERRED FROM YOUR DUTY STATION, ADAK, ALASKA, TO U.S. NAVAL AMMUNITION DEPOT, CONCORD, CALIFORNIA, FOR DUTY. PURSUANT TO YOUR SIGNED APPLICATION IN WHICH YOU AGREED TO THE CONDITIONS GOVERNING SHIPMENT OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE, YOU REQUESTED TRANSOCEANIC SHIPMENT OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE INCIDENT TO YOUR CHANGE OF STATIONS. THE CARGO DOCUMENT SHOWS THAT ON NOVEMBER 6, 1961, YOUR AUTOMOBILE WAS LOADED ON USNS DANIEL I. SULTAN FOR SHIPMENT TO PORT HUENEME, CALIFORNIA, THE AUTOMOBILE WAS OFF-LOADED AT PORT HUENEME AND AS A RESULT YOU SAY YOU HAD TO TAKE LEAVE AND TRAVEL THERE TO OBTAIN POSSESSION OF THE VEHICLE. YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES INCURRED FOR THIS TRAVEL WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED WHILE YOU WERE ON LEAVE AND APPLICABLE REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT MEMBERS ARE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES ONLY WHILE ACTUALLY IN A TRAVEL STATUS WHILE PERFORMING TRAVEL ON PUBLIC BUSINESS UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS.

IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU SAY THAT WHILE IT IS TRUE THAT YOU WERE IN A LEAVE STATUS, YOUR CLAIM IS BASED ON HAVING TO RECOVER YOUR AUTOMOBILE FROM A PORT OF DEBARKATION NOT OF YOUR CHOOSING NOR ONE THAT YOU WOULD HAVE CHOSEN. IT APPEARS TO BE YOUR VIEW THAT THE GOVERNMENT WAS OBLIGATED TO TRANSPORT YOUR VEHICLE IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR INSTRUCTIONS AND SINCE IT FAILED TO DO SO IT IS LEGALLY LIABLE TO REIMBURSE YOU FOR THE ADDITIONAL EXPENSES INCURRED BY YOU IN OBTAINING POSSESSION OF THE VEHICLE.

THE PERTINENT STATUTE, 37 U.S.C. 404, PROVIDES THAT UNDER THE REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ARE ENTITLED UPON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION OR OTHERWISE, TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS. THE RULE IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT A MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES ONLY WHEN TRAVEL IS PERFORMED ON PUBLIC BUSINESS. 36 COMP. GEN. 257. IN CONFORMITY WITH THIS PRINCIPLE, PARAGRAPH 3050-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT MEMBERS SHALL BE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES ONLY WHILE IN A "TRAVEL STATUS" AND THAT THEY SHALL BE DEEMED TO BE IN A TRAVEL STATUS WHILE PERFORMING TRAVEL AWAY FROM THE PERMANENT DUTY STATION, UPON PUBLIC BUSINESS, PURSUANT TO COMPETENT TRAVEL ORDERS.

IT IS CLEAR FROM THE FACTS OF RECORD THAT YOU DID NOT TRAVEL ON PUBLIC BUSINESS UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS. ON THE CONTRARY, YOU WERE IN A LEAVE STATUS AND THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED FOR PERSONAL REASONS. IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS TO ALLOW YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES.

FURTHER, UNDER THE PERTINENT LAW AND REGULATIONS THERE IS NO BASIS FOR ALLOWING YOU REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE. UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 10 U.S.C. 6157 WHEN ANY MEMBER OF THE NAVAL SERVICE IS ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, ONE MOTOR VEHICLE OWNED BY HIM FOR PERSONAL USE MAY BE TRANSPORTED TO HIS NEW STATION ON A GOVERNMENT-OWNED VESSEL. IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS ARE CONTAINED IN VOLUME V, BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS MANUAL. PARAGRAPH 58305 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT THE EXPENSES INVOLVED IN THE MOVEMENT OF PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLES TO AND FROM PORTS WILL BE BORNE BY THE OWNER, EXCEPT (PARAGRAPH 58302) FOR MILITARY MEMBERS COMING UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE MISSING PERSONS ACT. SIMILAR PROVISIONS ARE CONTAINED IN THE CONDITIONS GOVERNING SHIPMENT WHICH WAS INCLUDED IN YOUR SIGNED APPLICATION FOR SHIPMENT OF THE VEHICLE.

THE REGULATIONS CONTEMPLATE AND IT IS THE ADMINISTRATIVE PRACTICE TO GIVE EFFECT, INSOFAR AS POSSIBLE, TO A MEMBER'S PREFERENCE AS TO DEBARKATION PORT FOR HIS VEHICLE. HOWEVER, IF FOR SOME REASON, IT IS DETERMINED THAT THE VEHICLE CANNOT BE OFF-LOADED AT PORT DESIGNATED BY THE MEMBER, SUCH CIRCUMSTANCE DOES NOT GIVE RISE TO A CLAIM AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT FOR COST OF SHIPMENT OF THE VEHICLE TO THE MEMBER.

IN THIS CONNECTION, IT IS NOTED THAT YOU REFER TO OUR SETTLEMENT OF JANUARY 17, 1963, IN WHICH WE STATED THAT THE RECORDS ON FILE SHOW THAT THE DD FORM 828, MOTOR VEHICLE SHIPMENT APPLICATION, GIVES THE PORT OF DISCHARGE AS PORT HUENEME, CALIFORNIA, AND THAT, WHILE THE FORM DD 788 GIVES THE PORT OF DISCHARGE AS OAKLAND, THIS IS A TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR. YOU SAY YOU WOULD NOT HAVE AUTHORIZED SHIPMENT TO PORT HUENEME AND THAT PERHAPS THE TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR WAS MADE ON THE CARGO DOCUMENT WHICH SHOWS THE PORT OF DESTINATION AS PORT HUENEME. THE INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS MATTER WAS FURNISHED TO US BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE AND WE DO NOT HAVE BEFORE US ALL OF THE PERTINENT DOCUMENTS FOR EXAMINATION. HOWEVER, EVEN IF IT WERE ESTABLISHED THAT THE VEHICLE WAS ERRONEOUSLY SHIPPED TO PORT HUENEME INSTEAD OF OAKLAND, IT APPEARS THAT THE GOVERNMENT'S OBLIGATION WOULD HAVE BEEN LIMITED TO TRANSPORTING THE VEHICLE BY SHIP TO OAKLAND AT A SUBSEQUENT TIME. THERE WAS NO AUTHORITY FOR LAND SHIPMENT OF THE VEHICLE. ACCORDINGLY, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO ALLOW YOU ANY ADDITIONAL AMOUNT INCIDENT TO THE MOVEMENT OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE FROM PORT HUENEME TO OAKLAND.

THE SETTLEMENT OF JANUARY 17, 1963, IS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.