B-151484, JUN. 6, 1963

B-151484: Jun 6, 1963

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USCG (RETIRED): REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 29. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU WERE DETACHED FROM ALL DUTIES AT JUNEAU. THAT MESSAGE ALSO INCLUDED INFORMATION THAT YOUR DEPENDENTS WILL TRAVEL TO WASHINGTON. YOUR CLAIM FOR TRAVEL DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED WAS DISALLOWED SINCE IT DID NOT APPEAR THAT SUCH TRAVEL WAS FOR THE PURPOSE OF ESTABLISHING A BONA FIDE RESIDENCE AT THE TIME IN EITHER PURCELLVILLE. THAT YOU OWN HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN THE WASHINGTON AREA WHICH YOU ARE NOT BRINGING TO ALASKA. YOU ARE HER SOLE HEIR AND WILL INHERIT HER PROPERTY. THAT YOU HAVE NOT REGISTERED AS A VOTER IN ALASKA. A MEMBER OF A UNIFORMED SERVICE WHO IS RETIRED IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED. REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT TO THAT AUTHORITY ARE CONTAINED IN THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

B-151484, JUN. 6, 1963

TO CAPTAIN ALBERT E. HARNED, USCG (RETIRED):

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 29, 1963, REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT DATED APRIL 4, 1963, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR YOUR TRAVEL FROM SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, TO PURCELLVILLE, VIRGINIA, DURING THE PERIOD FEBRUARY 28 TO MARCH 9, 1963, INCIDENT TO YOUR RETIREMENT AS A CAPTAIN FROM THE UNITED STATES COAST GUARD.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU WERE DETACHED FROM ALL DUTIES AT JUNEAU, ALASKA, EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 28, 1963, AND PLACED ON THE RETIRED LIST PURSUANT TO ORDER NO. 38106/99202033X DATED FEBRUARY 25, 1963. THE FIFTH INDORSEMENT TO THESE ORDERS, DATED FEBRUARY 28, 1963, STATES THAT YOU DESIGNATED PURCELLVILLE AS YOUR HOME OF SELECTION SUBSEQUENT TO RETIREMENT. THE RECORD ALSO CONTAINS A COPY OF A MESSAGE FROM THE COAST GUARD, 17 DISTRICT, TO THE COMMANDANT OF THE COAST GUARD, DATED JANUARY 25, 1963, STATING THAT YOU INTENDED TO NAME WASHINGTON, D.C., AS YOUR HOME OF SELECTION AND VISIT THERE IMMEDIATELY AFTER YOUR RETIREMENT, AND THEN RETURN TO ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, TO ASSUME DUTIES AS THE PORT DIRECTOR ON MARCH 15. THAT MESSAGE ALSO INCLUDED INFORMATION THAT YOUR DEPENDENTS WILL TRAVEL TO WASHINGTON, D.C., DURING JUNE 1963, AND THEN REJOIN YOU IN ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, AND THAT YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WOULD BE SHIPPED TO ANCHORAGE. YOUR CLAIM FOR TRAVEL DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED WAS DISALLOWED SINCE IT DID NOT APPEAR THAT SUCH TRAVEL WAS FOR THE PURPOSE OF ESTABLISHING A BONA FIDE RESIDENCE AT THE TIME IN EITHER PURCELLVILLE, VIRGINIA, OR WASHINGTON, D.C.

IN YOUR CURRENT REQUEST FOR REVIEW, YOU AVER THAT YOU OWN PROPERTY IN NEIGHBORING VIRGINIA AND PLAN TO RETURN THERE TO LIVE; THAT YOU OWN HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN THE WASHINGTON AREA WHICH YOU ARE NOT BRINGING TO ALASKA; THAT YOUR MOTHER RESIDES IN NEARBY VIRGINIA, AND YOU ARE HER SOLE HEIR AND WILL INHERIT HER PROPERTY; AND THAT YOU HAVE NOT REGISTERED AS A VOTER IN ALASKA. YOU ALSO CITE OUR DECISION OF MAY 17, 1957, B-131130 (36 COMP. GEN. 774), AND APPARENTLY BELIEVE ON THE BASIS OF YOUR INTENT TO MOVE TO PURCELLVILLE, VIRGINIA, AT SOME FUTURE TIME AND YOUR CERTIFICATION OF PURCELLVILLE AS YOUR HOME OF SELECTION THAT PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM SHOULD BE MADE.

THE CONTROLLING STATUTE, 37 U.S.C. 404, PROVIDES THAT, UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, A MEMBER OF A UNIFORMED SERVICE WHO IS RETIRED IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED, MAY SELECT HIS HOME FOR THE PURPOSE OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES PAYABLE UNDER THIS SECTION. REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT TO THAT AUTHORITY ARE CONTAINED IN THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. PARAGRAPH 1150-3 (B) PROVIDES THAT THE TERM "HOME OF SELECTION," AS USED IN THESE REGULATIONS, MEANS A PLACE SELECTED BY A MEMBER AS HIS HOME UPON RETIREMENT. PARAGRAPH 4158-1A PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER UPON RETIREMENT MAY SELECT HIS HOME AND RECEIVE TRAVEL ALLOWANCES THERETO, PROVIDED TRAVEL IS COMPLETED TO THE SELECTED HOME WITHIN ONE YEAR AFTER TERMINATION OF ACTIVE DUTY. ALSO, PARAGRAPH 7012-1A PROVIDES FOR DEPENDENTS' TRANSPORTATION UPON RETIREMENT IF TRAVEL IS COMPLETED TO THE HOME OF SELECTION WITHIN ONE YEAR AFTER MEMBER'S TERMINATION OF ACTIVE DUTY AND PARAGRAPH 8260-1 PROVIDES FOR SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IF SUCH EFFECTS ARE TURNED OVER TO A TRANSPORTATION OFFICER OR CARRIER FOR SHIPMENT WITHIN ONE YEAR FOLLOWING TERMINATION OF ACTIVE DUTY. UNDER THE CURRENT REGULATIONS SUCH GOODS MAY BE SHIPPED TO OTHER THAN THE HOME OF SELECTION UNDER THE CONDITIONS THERE SPECIFIED.

THE PURPOSE OF THE STATUTE AND REGULATIONS IS TO AUTHORIZE TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FOR A MEMBER AND HIS DEPENDENTS TO THE PLACE WHERE HE GOES TO RESIDE FOLLOWING RETIREMENT, AND UNTIL SUCH A PLACE HAS BEEN SELECTED AND TRAVEL TO IT FOR THAT PURPOSE HAS BEEN PERFORMED, NO RIGHT TO SUCH TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES ACCRUES. 36 COMP. GEN. 774.

THE INTENT TO ESTABLISH A HOME AT THE SELECTED PLACE, AT THE TIME OF TRAVEL THERETO BY A MEMBER, IS A NECESSARY CONDITION PRECEDENT TO THE RIGHT TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES TO SUCH PLACE. THE BEST EVIDENCE, OF COURSE, THAT THE TRAVEL FOR WHICH A MEMBER SEEKS REIMBURSEMENT WAS TO A PLACE SELECTED BY HIM AS HIS HOME, IN HIS CONTINUED RESIDENCE AT THAT PLACE. WHEN, HOWEVER, A MEMBER DOES NOT CLEARLY ESTABLISH HIS INTENTION BY TAKING UP AN EXTENDED RESIDENCE AT THE PLACE TO WHICH MILEAGE IS CLAIMED BUT GOES ON TO SOME OTHER PLACE, HIS INTENT NECESSARILY MUST BE INFERRED FROM THE SURROUNDING CIRCUMSTANCES. IN CASES IN WHICH THE MEMBER'S STAY IN A PARTICULAR PLACE DOES NOT EXCEED THE SPAN OF AN ORDINARY VISIT, VACATION OR BUSINESS TRIP, THE CONCLUSION, IN THE ABSENCE OF OTHER CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY, IS THAT THE TRAVEL INVOLVED WAS NOT TRAVEL TO A SELECTED HOME WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

THE PRESENT RECORD INDICATES THAT YOU DID NOT TRAVEL TO PURCELLVILLE, VIRGINIA, OR WASHINGTON, D.C., DURING THE PERIOD FEBRUARY 28 TO MARCH 9, 1963, FOR THE PURPOSE OF ESTABLISHING A BONA FIDE RESIDENCE AT THAT TIME. WHILE YOU STILL MAY HAVE SOME HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN BOTH THE PURCELLVILLE AND WASHINGTON AREAS, AND YOU HAVE STATED THAT YOU INTEND RETURNING TO THE WASHINGTON AREA SOMETIME IN THE FUTURE, SUCH FACTORS FORM NO BASIS FOR THE PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM AT THIS TIME. THE PRESENT RECORD IS CONSISTENT WITH THE VIEW THAT YOU INTEND TO MAKE YOUR HOME IN THE WASHINGTON, D.C., AREA AT SOME FUTURE DATE. IF YOU AND YOUR DEPENDENTS TRAVEL THERETO AND ESTABLISH A BONA FIDE RESIDENCE WITHIN THE TIME LIMIT SPECIFIED IN THE REGULATIONS, YOU WILL BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES AS PROVIDED BY THE REGULATIONS. HOWEVER, YOUR OWNERSHIP OF PROPERTY IN VIRGINIA AND PLAN TO EVENTUALLY RETURN THERE TO LIVE AND YOUR TRAVEL THERE DURING THE PERIOD FEBRUARY 28 TO MARCH 9, 1963, BEFORE RETURNING TO ALASKA, DO NOT SATISFY THE ACTUAL RESIDENCE REQUIREMENTS SINCE IT IS CLEAR THAT YOU DID NOT INTEND TO REMAIN AT PURCELLVILLE, BUT INTENDED TO RETURN ALMOST IMMEDIATELY TO ALASKA WHERE YOU HAD EMPLOYMENT.

ACCORDINGLY, ON THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT RECORD, THE SETTLEMENT OF APRIL 4, 1963, IS SUSTAINED.