B-150935, JUL. 23, 1970

B-150935: Jul 23, 1970

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TO THE NEW STATION IS NOT REQUIRED TO HAVE CONSTRUCTIVE TRANSPORTATION COST COMPUTED AS IF FAMILY TRAVELED TOGETHER BUT MAY BE ALLOWED REIMBURSEMENT FOR STEPSON'S TRAVEL NOT TO EXCEED COST OF GOVT. D. KELLY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 20. MATHIS WAS AUTHORIZED. THE TRAVEL ORDER ALSO PROVIDED AS FOLLOWS: "THE EXPENSE OF TRAVEL OTHER THAN AUTHORIZED WILL BE BORNE BY THE TRAVELER AND REIMBURSEMENT IS LIMITED TO THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT BY THE AUTHORIZED MODE AND USUAL ROUTING.". WAS NOT IN THE CANAL ZONE AT THE TIME THE ORDER WAS ISSUED. THE ORDER WAS AMENDED BY TRAVEL ORDER NO. THE AMENDMENT ALSO PROVIDED THAT " *** REIMBURSEMENT IS LIMITED TO THE COST BY THE USUAL ROUTE AND AUTHORIZED MODE FROM RELEASING OFFICIAL STATION TO NEW OFFICIAL STATION.".

B-150935, JUL. 23, 1970

CIVIL PAY -- TRAVEL EXPENSES -- DEPENDENT TRAVELING FROM DIFFERENT LOCATION DECISION TO AIR FORCE ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE OFFICER CONCERNING COMPUTATION OF TRAVEL EXPENSES ALLOWABLE INCIDENT TO TRANSFER OF AIR FORCE EMPLOYEE FROM ALBROOK AIR FORCE BASE, CANAL ZONE, TO LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS WHEN ONE DEPENDENT DID NOT TRAVEL WITH FAMILY. EMPLOYEE WHO, WHEN AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL BY GOVT. AIR AND PRIVATELY OWNED AUTO FROM CANAL ZONE TO LACKLAND AFB, TEXAS, HAD SON TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL AIR FROM NORFOLK, VA. TO THE NEW STATION IS NOT REQUIRED TO HAVE CONSTRUCTIVE TRANSPORTATION COST COMPUTED AS IF FAMILY TRAVELED TOGETHER BUT MAY BE ALLOWED REIMBURSEMENT FOR STEPSON'S TRAVEL NOT TO EXCEED COST OF GOVT. AIR FROM NORFOLK, VA., TO TEXAS IF AVAILABLE OR IF NOT AVAILABLE COST OF DIRECT COMMERCIAL AIR FARE NOT IN EXCESS OF GOVT. AIR FROM CANAL ZONE TO TEXAS.

TO MAJOR J. D. KELLY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 20, 1970, ENCLOSING A VOUCHER AND REQUESTING OUR ADVANCE DECISION CONCERNING THE COMPUTATION OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSES OF MR. JEFF H. MATHIS PURSUANT TO HIS TRANSFER FROM ALBROOK AIR FORCE BASE, CANAL ZONE, TO LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT INCIDENT TO HIS TRANSFER, MR. MATHIS WAS AUTHORIZED, BY TRAVEL ORDER NO. A-857, AUGUST 28, 1969, TO USE GOVERNMENT AIR TRANSPORTATION AND A PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. THE TRAVEL ORDER ALSO PROVIDED AS FOLLOWS:

"THE EXPENSE OF TRAVEL OTHER THAN AUTHORIZED WILL BE BORNE BY THE TRAVELER AND REIMBURSEMENT IS LIMITED TO THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT BY THE AUTHORIZED MODE AND USUAL ROUTING."

SINCE MR. MATHIS' STEPSON, RICKY S. DERMODY, WAS NOT IN THE CANAL ZONE AT THE TIME THE ORDER WAS ISSUED, THE ORDER WAS AMENDED BY TRAVEL ORDER NO. A -869 ON SEPTEMBER 4, 1969, TO AUTHORIZE HIS TRAVEL FROM NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, TO LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS. THE AMENDMENT ALSO PROVIDED THAT " *** REIMBURSEMENT IS LIMITED TO THE COST BY THE USUAL ROUTE AND AUTHORIZED MODE FROM RELEASING OFFICIAL STATION TO NEW OFFICIAL STATION."

YOU STATE THAT THE SOLE QUESTION AT ISSUE IS WHETHER THE CONSTRUCTIVE TRANSPORTATION COST SHOULD BE COMPUTED AS IF THE FAMILY TRAVELED AS A UNIT EVEN WHEN SOME DEPENDENTS WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL SEPARATELY.

THERE IS NOTHING IN THE TRAVEL ORDER WHICH PREVENTS THE ALLOWANCE OF THE TRANSPORTATION COST OF STEPSON, RICKY S. DERMODY, SEPARATELY, NOR ARE WE AWARE OF ANY REGULATION WHICH LIMITS REIMBURSEMENT TO WHAT THE COST WOULD HAVE BEEN IF A DEPENDENT HAD TRAVELED WITH THE REST OF THE FAMILY PROVIDED, OF COURSE, THAT THE SEPARATE TRAVEL IS NECESSARY AND, WHEN HE IS NOT AT THE OLD STATION, DOES NOT EXCEED WHAT THE COST WOULD HAVE BEEN FOR SEPARATE TRAVEL FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW STATION. WE NOTE THAT THE STEPSON ACTUALLY TRAVELED BY COMMERCIAL AIR FROM NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, TO SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, VIA ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI. FROM ST. LOUIS HE MADE A SIDE TRIP TO SUMMERFIELD, ILLINOIS, BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WHICH IS NOT FOR CONSIDERATION HERE.

UNDER THE AMENDMENT TO THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL ORDER, PREVIOUSLY REFERRED TO, THE TRAVEL OF THE STEPSON WAS RESTRICTED TO GOVERNMENT AIR OR PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE. THE ONLY USE OF AN AUTOMOBILE WAS AS PREVIOUSLY INDICATED. THEREFORE, REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE STEPSON'S TRAVEL SHOULD NOT EXCEED COST OF GOVERNMENT AIR FROM NORFOLK TO SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, PLUS PER DIEM AND TAXI FARES (ASSUMING THIS IS LESS THAN DIRECT COMMERCIAL AIR TRANSPORTATION). IF GOVERNMENT AIR WAS NOT AVAILABLE OR FEASIBLE FROM NORFOLK WE SEE NO OBJECTION TO ALLOWANCE OF DIRECT COMMERCIAL AIR FARE NOT IN EXCESS OF GOVERNMENT AIR FROM THE CANAL ZONE TO SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS. WE ASSUME THAT THE USE OF A SECOND AUTOMOBILE, IF AVAILABLE, WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED. SEE SECTION C 6156 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

AS TO THE TRAVEL OF THE FAMILY THE ACTUAL COST OF TRANSPORTATION BY BOAT FOR THREE MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY FROM THE CANAL ZONE TO NEW ORLEANS (LESS $20 FOR TIPS TO STEWARDS WHICH IS INCLUDED IN PER DIEM) PLUS PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE AND MILEAGE FROM NEW ORLEANS TO SAN ANTONIO AT 10 CENTS PER MILE APPEARS TO TOTAL $410.12. THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST BY GOVERNMENT AIR FROM THE CANAL ZONE TO CHARLESTON AIR FORCE BASE AND HENCE BY AUTOMOBILE TO SAN ANTONIO, WHICH WE ASSUME WAS THE METHOD OF TRAVEL CONTEMPLATED BY THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL ORDER (AND WHICH IS USED IN CONSTRUCTIVE COMPUTATIONS CONTAINED IN THE PAPERS TRANSMITTED HERE), HAS BEEN COMPUTED BY US AS TOTALING $416. THEREFORE, THE LESSER AMOUNT OF $410.12 IS PROPER FOR ALLOWANCE.

THE VOUCHER IS RETURNED HEREWITH FOR PROCESSING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE.