B-151033, MAY 9, 1963, 42 COMP. GEN. 628

B-151033: May 9, 1963

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AT NO COST TO THE GOVERNMENT TO A SHIP WHICH IS DEPLOYED BEFORE HE IS REQUIRED TO REPORT ABOARD. WHO WHEN HIS SERVICES ARE REQUESTED BY THE SHIP'S COMMANDING OFFICER IS DIRECTED UNDER AN ENDORSEMENT TO HIS PERMISSIVE ORDERS TO TRAVEL TO JOIN THE SHIP IS ENTITLED TO A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE. THE EXPENSES OF THE TRAVEL ARE THE OBLIGATION OF THE GOVERNMENT AND HE MAY BE PAID A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE AND CREDITED FOR THE LEAVE CHARGED FOR THE TRAVEL TIME. THE REQUEST FOR DECISION WAS ASSIGNED CONTROL NO. 63-4 BY THE PER DIEM. THE MEMBER WHO WAS ASSIGNED TO DUTY ON BOARD THE U.S.S. AREA WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT IF THE REQUEST FOR TRANSFER WAS GRANTED HE WOULD BEAR ALL EXPENSES INVOLVED AND THAT THERE WOULD BE NO COST TO THE GOVERNMENT.

B-151033, MAY 9, 1963, 42 COMP. GEN. 628

MILEAGE - MILITARY PERSONNEL - PUBLIC BUSINESS TRAVEL NECESSITY - PERSONAL CONVENIENCE TRANSFER ORDERS CHANGED A NAVY MEMBER TRANSFERRED AT HIS REQUEST, FOR HIS CONVENIENCE, AT NO COST TO THE GOVERNMENT TO A SHIP WHICH IS DEPLOYED BEFORE HE IS REQUIRED TO REPORT ABOARD, WHO WHEN HIS SERVICES ARE REQUESTED BY THE SHIP'S COMMANDING OFFICER IS DIRECTED UNDER AN ENDORSEMENT TO HIS PERMISSIVE ORDERS TO TRAVEL TO JOIN THE SHIP IS ENTITLED TO A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE, THE TRAVEL CONSTITUTING ENTITLEMENT TO THE PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ALLOWANCE CONTEMPLATED BY PARAGRAPH 4150 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS UNDER THE PERMISSIVE ORDERS MODIFIED FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND THE MEMBER HAVING TRAVELED BEYOND THE PLACE DESIGNATED IN HIS ORIGINAL ORDERS ON PUBLIC BUSINESS, THE EXPENSES OF THE TRAVEL ARE THE OBLIGATION OF THE GOVERNMENT AND HE MAY BE PAID A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE AND CREDITED FOR THE LEAVE CHARGED FOR THE TRAVEL TIME.

TO LIEUTENANT (JG) D. N. HULL, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, MAY 9, 1963:

BY SECOND INDORSEMENT DATED FEBRUARY 18, 1963, THE COMPTROLLER OF THE NAVY FORWARDED HERE YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 4, 1963, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE ENTITLEMENT OF HOWARD EUGENE MOSER, 285 102 69, DCCA, USN, TO MILEAGE ALLOWANCE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED FROM NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, TO KEY WEST, FLORIDA, INCIDENT TO HIS PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS OF NOVEMBER 5, 1962. THE REQUEST FOR DECISION WAS ASSIGNED CONTROL NO. 63-4 BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT ON OCTOBER 9, 1962, THE MEMBER WHO WAS ASSIGNED TO DUTY ON BOARD THE U.S.S. STURDY (MSO-494) REQUESTED THAT HE BE TRANSFERRED TO ANY SHIP OR STATION IN THE SEVERN RIVER NAVAL COMMAND, POTOMAC RIVER NAVAL COMMAND OR THE NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, AREA WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT IF THE REQUEST FOR TRANSFER WAS GRANTED HE WOULD BEAR ALL EXPENSES INVOLVED AND THAT THERE WOULD BE NO COST TO THE GOVERNMENT. BY ORDERS DATED NOVEMBER 5, 1962, HE WAS ORDERED TO REPORT FOR DUTY NOT LATER THAN NOVEMBER 16, 1962, TO THE COMMANDING OFFICER, U.S.S. OXFORD (AG-159), AT NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, WITH DELAY OF 10 DAYS EN ROUTE TO COUNT AS LEAVE. THE ORDERS IT WAS STATED THAT THE TRANSFER WAS AUTHORIZED AT THE MEMBER'SREQUEST FOR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE AND WAS TO BE EXECUTED AT NO COST TO THE GOVERNMENT. THE ORDERS ALSO PROVIDED THAT IN CASE THE MEMBER DID NOT DESIRE TO BEAR THE EXPENSE OF THE TRANSFER HE SHOULD REGARD THE AUTHORIZATION AS REVOKED.

IT HAS BEEN REPORTED INFORMALLY BY THE NAVY DEPARTMENT THAT THE OXFORD WAS OPERATING AT SEA WHEN MOSER RECEIVED HIS ORDERS OF NOVEMBER 5, 1962, AND DID NOT RETURN TO NORFOLK WHILE HE WAS ON LEAVE.

THE ITINERARY FURNISHED WITH THE MEMBER'S CLAIM SHOWS THAT HE LEFT THE STURDY AT LITTLE CREEK, VIRGINIA, ON NOVEMBER 6, 1962, AND REPORTED TO THE RECEIVING STATION, NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, ON NOVEMBER 16, 1962, WHERE HE WAS INFORMED THAT THE OXFORD WAS NOT IN THE AREA. BY INDORSEMENT DATED NOVEMBER 19, 1962, TO HIS ORDERS OF NOVEMBER 5, 1962, HE WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED AND REPORT TO THE COMMANDING OFFICER, U.S.S. OXFORD (AG-159) AT KEY WEST, FLORIDA, PRIOR TO MIDNIGHT NOVEMBER 22, 1962. HE LEFT NORFOLK ON NOVEMBER 19, 1962, AND PERFORMED TRAVEL TO KEY WEST AT PERSONAL EXPENSE. HE REPORTED FOR DUTY ON BOARD THE OXFORD ON NOVEMBER 21, 1962.

IN YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 4, 1963, YOU SAY THAT SINCE THE ADDITIONAL ORDERS ISSUED BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER, RECEIVING STATION, NORFOLK, WERE NOT A PART OF THE ORIGINAL ORDERS ISSUED BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE U.S.S. STURDY (MSO-494), THERE IS DOUBT AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF PAYMENT OF MILEAGE ALLOWANCE FROM NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, TO KEY WEST FLORIDA, AND AS TO WHETHER THE TRAVEL SO PERFORMED CONSTITUTES ENTITLEMENT TO PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ALLOWANCE AS SET FORTH IN PARAGRAPH 4150 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

IN FIRST INDORSEMENT DATED JANUARY 5, 1963, THE COMMANDING OFFICER, U.S.S. OXFORD (AG-159), STATES THAT THE OXFORD SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED NAVAL STATION, NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, TO TRANSFER MOSER TO KEY WEST, FLORIDA, TO FILL AN URGENTLY REQUIRED BILLET WHILE DEPLOYED ON SPECIAL OPERATIONS IN THE CARIBBEAN AREA. ALSO, IT WAS REPORTED BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER, IN LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 28, 1962, TO THE CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL, THAT HAD OXFORD'S EMPLOYMENT SCHEDULE NOT BEEN CHANGED, THE SHIP WOULD HAVE BEEN AT NORFOLK ON NOVEMBER 16, IN A SECOND INDORSEMENT DATED FEBRUARY 18, 1963, TO YOUR LETTER, THE COMPTROLLER OF THE NAVY STATES THAT IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE SHIP SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED THE NAVAL STATION, NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, TO TRANSFER MOSER TO KEY WEST, FLORIDA, TO FILL AN URGENTLY REQUIRED BILLET WHILE DEPLOYED ON SPECIAL OPERATIONS IN THE CARIBBEAN AREA, IT APPEARS THAT THE EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE TRANSFER MAY BE CONSIDERED AN OBLIGATION OF THE GOVERNMENT. IN THIRD INDORSEMENT DATED FEBRUARY 27, 1963, THE CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL STATES THAT THE U.S. NAVAL RECEIVING STATION, NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, WAS CONSIDERED A NECESSARY INTERMEDIATE STATION IN EFFECTING THE TRANSFER, AND THAT IT IS CONSIDERED FURTHER THAT THE PERMISSIVE ORDERS OF NOVEMBER 5, 1962, WERE MODIFIED FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT AND AT THE SPECIFIC REQUEST OF THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE OXFORD AND, THEREFORE, THAT THE EXPENSES INCURRED SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AN OBLIGATION OF THE GOVERNMENT.

UNDER THE PERTINENT STATUTE AND REGULATIONS MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ARE ENTITLED TO MILEAGE ONLY WHILE PERFORMING TRAVEL ON PUBLIC BUSINESS UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS. THE CHARACTER OF THE SERVICE PERFORMED IS TO BE DETERMINED FROM THE FACTS IN EACH CASE AND IF FROM THE FACTS OF RECORD IT APPEARS THAT TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED NOT ON PUBLIC BUSINESS BUT FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE MEMBER OR ON PRIVATE BUSINESS, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF MILEAGE OR OTHER TRAVEL EXPENSES. SEE 9 COMP. GEN. 414 AND 30 ID. 19. THAT RULE IS FOR APPLICATION IN CASES WHERE ORDERS ARE ISSUED FOR THE PURPOSE OF ASSIGNING A MEMBER TO A PARTICULAR STATION FOR PERSONAL REASONS RATHER THAN TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THE SERVICE.

THE ORDERS OF NOVEMBER 5, 1962, CONTEMPLATED MOSER'S TRANSFER TO THE U.S.S. OXFORD AT NORFOLK ON A PERMISSIVE BASIS NOT INVOLVING PUBLIC BUSINESS OR EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT. THE MEMBER'S APPLICATION FOR THE TRANSFER INDICATES THAT HE UNDERSTOOD THAT TO BE THE SITUATION UNDER SUCH ORDERS. IT SEEMS APPARENT, HOWEVER, THAT UNDER THE ORDERS HE WAS TO REPORT ABOARD THE SHIP AT NORFOLK UPON ITS RETURN TO THAT PORT FROM SEA. MOSER REPORTED AT NORFOLK AS DIRECTED WHERE BUT FOR THE CHANGE IN EMPLOYMENT OF THE SHIP HE WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO REPORT ABOARD AND THEREBY FULFILL HIS OBLIGATION UNDER THE ORDERS. THE NECESSITY FOR THE FURTHER TRAVEL FROM THAT POINT TO KEY WEST DIRECTED BY THE ORDERS IN THE INDORSEMENT OF NOVEMBER 19, 1962, HOWEVER, CLEARLY APPEARS TO HAVE ARISEN BECAUSE OF AN URGENT NEED FOR THE MEMBER'S SERVICES ABOARD THE OXFORD IN THE KEY WEST AREA RATHER THAN AS A RESULT OF HIS REQUEST FOR TRANSFER TO A SHIP IN THE NORFOLK AREA. WHILE UNDER ORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES A MEMBER GRANTED A CHANGE OF STATION FOR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE TO DUTY ABOARD A PARTICULAR SHIP APPARENTLY WOULD BE OBLIGATED TO TRAVEL AT PERSONAL EXPENSE TO THE PLACE WHERE HE IS TO REPORT ABOARD AS A PART OF THE AGREEMENT INVOLVED IN THE ISSUANCE OF THE PERMISSIVE ORDERS, IT IS EVIDENT IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES HERE INVOLVED THAT THE ADDITIONAL TRAVEL BEYOND THAT NECESSARY TO REPORT AT THE APPOINTED PLACE WAS NOT CONTEMPLATED BY THE ORIGINAL ORDERS BUT RESULTED FROM MILITARY NEEDS OF THE SERVICE. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES IT MAY BE CONSIDERED THAT MOSER'S TRAVEL FROM NORFOLK TO KEY WEST SUBSEQUENT TO HIS REPORTING AT NORFOLK IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE BASIC ORDERS WAS REQUIRED ON PUBLIC BUSINESS. SEE DECISION OF JUNE 16, 1955, B- 117577, COPY ENCLOSED. ALSO, SINCE INDORSEMENT ON THE TRAVEL ORDERS SHOWS THAT THE MEMBER WAS AUTHORIZED 3 DAYS' TRAVEL TIME TO BE COUNTED AS LEAVE, IT APPEARS THAT HIS LEAVE ACCOUNT SHOULD BE CREDITED WITH LEAVE CHARGED FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL TIME FROM NORFOLK TO KEY WEST.

ACCORDINGLY, MOSER MAY BE PAID THE MILEAGE ALLOWANCE IN THE PROPER AMOUNT. THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER TOGETHER WITH ORIGINAL ORDERS AND INDORSEMENTS ARE RETURNED.