B-150853, APR. 2, 1963

B-150853: Apr 2, 1963

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

RA 043685: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 5. YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO DUTY WITH THE UNITED STATES ARMY ADVISOR GROUP (NGUS). YOU WERE ASSIGNED AS ADVISOR TO COMBAT COMMAND "C" . YOUR ASSIGNMENT TO BOTH GROUPS WAS CONTINUED. THE HEADQUARTERS OF COMBAT COMMAND "C" WAS CHANGED FROM ATLANTA TO FORSYTH. AT THAT TIME YOU WERE ADVISED BY THE SENIOR ARMY ADVISOR TO COMMUTE TO FORSYTH BY GOVERNMENT AUTOMOBILE. A WEEK AFTER THAT YOU WERE DIRECTED BY THE SENIOR ARMY ADVISOR TO COMMUTE TO FORSYTH AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE. RECITED THAT YOU WERE REQUIRED TO UTILIZE YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF YOUR OFFICIAL DUTY. YOU RECEIVED VERBAL INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE SENIOR ARMY ADVISOR THAT YOUR OFFICE WOULD REMAIN IN ATLANTA AND THAT YOU WERE TO COMMUTE TO FORSYTH BY GOVERNMENT SEDAN.

B-150853, APR. 2, 1963

TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL HARRY A. GREER, RA 043685:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 5, 1963, REQUESTING REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 17, 1962, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR MILEAGE FOR 262 TRIPS BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE FROM ATLANTA, GEORGIA, TO FORSYTH, GEORGIA, AND RETURN, DURING THE PERIOD JUNE 23, 1959, TO SEPTEMBER 7, 1961, AS ARMY ADVISOR, U.S. ARMY ADVISOR GROUP (ARNGUS), GEORGIA.

BY PARAGRAPH 4, SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 36, HEADQUARTERS, UNITED STATES FORCES, KOREA, DATED NOVEMBER 6, 1958, YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO DUTY WITH THE UNITED STATES ARMY ADVISOR GROUP (NGUS), GEORGIA, AT ATLANTA, GEORGIA, AFTER COMPLETION OF A REFRESHER COURSE. UPON REPORTING TO YOUR DUTY STATION AT ATLANTA, JANUARY 26, 1959, YOU WERE ASSIGNED AS ADVISOR TO COMBAT COMMAND "C" , 48TH ARMORED DIVISION, GEORGIA ARMY NATIONAL GUARD, WITH AN ADDITIONAL MISSION AS ADVISOR TO THE 48TH DIVISION MILITARY POLICE COMPANY, BOTH LOCATED IN ATLANTA. BY PARAGRAPH 2, SPECIAL ORDER NO. 48, HEADQUARTERS, UNITED STATES ARMY ADVISOR GROUP (ARNGUS), GEORGIA, ATLANTA, GEORGIA, DATED JUNE 30, 1959, YOUR ASSIGNMENT TO BOTH GROUPS WAS CONTINUED. ON JULY 1, 1959, THE HEADQUARTERS OF COMBAT COMMAND "C" WAS CHANGED FROM ATLANTA TO FORSYTH, GEORGIA, AND AT THAT TIME YOU WERE ADVISED BY THE SENIOR ARMY ADVISOR TO COMMUTE TO FORSYTH BY GOVERNMENT AUTOMOBILE. IT SEEMS THAT ABOUT A WEEK LATER YOUR SENIOR ARMY ADVISOR DIRECTED YOU TO ESTABLISH YOUR MAIN OFFICE IN FORSYTH, BUT YOU REMAINED IN ATLANTA AND CONTINUED TO USE GOVERNMENT CONVEYANCE IN COMMUTING TO FORSYTH. A WEEK AFTER THAT YOU WERE DIRECTED BY THE SENIOR ARMY ADVISOR TO COMMUTE TO FORSYTH AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE. A STATEMENT DATED APRIL 28, 1961, AUTHORIZED BY THE SENIOR ARMY ADVISOR, RECITED THAT YOU WERE REQUIRED TO UTILIZE YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF YOUR OFFICIAL DUTY.

IN PRESENTING YOUR CLAIM FOR MILEAGE FOR 262 ROUND TRIPS BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE FROM ATLANTA TO FORSYTH DURING THE PERIOD JUNE 23, 1959, TO SEPTEMBER 7, 1961, YOU STATED THAT ON JULY 1, 1959, UPON THE RELOCATION OF THE HEADQUARTERS OF COMBAT COMMAND "C" TO FORSYTH, GEORGIA, YOU RECEIVED VERBAL INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE SENIOR ARMY ADVISOR THAT YOUR OFFICE WOULD REMAIN IN ATLANTA AND THAT YOU WERE TO COMMUTE TO FORSYTH BY GOVERNMENT SEDAN. YOU STATED FURTHER THAT ON OR ABOUT JULY 7, 1959, YOU WERE VERBALLY ADVISED THAT YOUR PRIMARY OFFICE WOULD BE IN FORSYTH AND THAT TRAVEL BETWEEN ATLANTA AND FORSYTH SHOULD BE PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BECAUSE THE ORDERS OF THE SENIOR ARMY ADVISOR FOR YOU TO COMMUTE BETWEEN DUTY POINTS BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED AS COMPETENT ORDERS TO OBLIGATE GOVERNMENT FUNDS. IN YOUR LETTER REQUESTING REVIEW OF YOUR CLAIM, YOU STATE THAT THE VERBAL ORDERS BY THE SENIOR ARMY ADVISOR ARE JUST AS BINDING AS WRITTEN ORDERS AND THE RECIPIENT HAS NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO COMPLY WITH THEM.

PURSUANT TO THE PERTINENT STATUTE, 37 U.S.C. 404, PARAGRAPHS 3002-1 AND 3002-2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT WRITTEN ORDERS ISSUED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY ARE REQUIRED FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL OR FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCIDENT THERETO, BUT THAT A VERBAL ORDER GIVEN IN ADVANCE OF TRAVEL AND SUBSEQUENTLY CONFIRMED IN WRITING GIVING THE DATE OF THE VERBAL ORDER AND APPROVED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY WILL MEET THE REQUIREMENTS FOR WRITTEN ORDERS. THAT AUTHORITY IS CONSIDERED TO CONTEMPLATE ONLY THOSE SITUATIONS WHERE THE EXIGENCIES OF THE SERVICE PREVENT THE ISSUANCE OF WRITTEN ORDERS IN ADVANCE OF TRAVEL AND THE DEFICIENCY IS REMEDIED AT THE EARLIEST PRACTICAL TIME BY THE ISSUANCE OF WRITTEN CONFIRMING ORDERS.

IT LONG HAS BEEN THE RULE OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT THAT VERBAL ORDERS MUST BE CONFIRMED IN WRITING WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME IN ORDER TO BE ACCEPTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYMENT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCES. THIS IS BASED UPON THE FACT THAT THE CONTENT OF VERBAL ORDERS IS UNRECORDED AND HENCE REQUIRES WRITTEN ORDERS TO PERMIT PAYMENT OF PUBLIC FUNDS ON THE BASIS THEREOF. THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 3002-2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AS REFERRED TO ABOVE, MAKE WRITTEN ORDERS A REQUIREMENT FOR THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCES UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 37 U.S.C. 404. IT MAY THEREFORE BE SEEN THAT VERBAL ORDERS, EVEN IF THEY ARE COMPLIED WITH BY THE RECIPIENT, PROVIDE NO BASIS FOR THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCE UNDER APPLICABLE STATUTE AND REGULATIONS.

THE STATEMENT DATED APRIL 26, 1961, WHICH RECITES THAT YOU WERE REQUIRED TO UTILIZE YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF YOUR OFFICIAL DUTIES MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED AS WRITTEN CONFIRMATORY ORDERS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE REGULATIONS. SINCE THE RECORD INDICATED THAT THE REQUIRED WRITTEN ORDERS WERE NOT ISSUED, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM. IN THAT CONNECTION, IT IS NOTED THAT YOU CLAIM REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE FOR ALL TRIPS FROM JUNE 23, 1959, WHEREAS THE RECORD INDICATES THAT SOME OF THE EARLY TRIPS WERE PERFORMED BY GOVERNMENT SEDAN.

ACCORDINGLY, IN THE ABSENCE OF WRITTEN ORDERS THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 17, 1962, MUST BE SUSTAINED. IF YOU DESIRE TO PURSUE THE MATTER FURTHER, IT IS SUGGESTED THAT YOU COMMUNICATE WITH THE ARMY BOARD FOR THE CORRECTION OF MILITARY RECORDS. SEE 10 U.S.C. 1552.