B-153749, JUN. 26, 1964

B-153749: Jun 26, 1964

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WHICH WILL BE CONSIDERED AS REQUESTING REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED SEPTEMBER 20. YOU WERE DIRECTED TO PROCEED ON OR ABOUT MAY 16. UPON COMPLETION OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY YOU WERE TO RETURN TO YOUR DUTY STATION. THE STATED PURPOSE OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY WAS TO PERFORM MAINTENANCE ON COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT AND BE A COURIER OF COMMUNICATIONS MATERIAL. THE ORDERS PROVIDED THAT TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WAS DETERMINED TO BE MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. UPON YOUR ARRIVAL THERE IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT CERTAIN ITEMS OF CLASSIFIED EQUIPMENT NECESSARY FOR COMPLETION OF THE PROJECT WERE NOT AVAILABLE. WERE ISSUED AFTER RETURN TO YOUR DUTY STATION TO AMEND YOUR BASIC ORDERS OF MAY 16.

B-153749, JUN. 26, 1964

TO CAPTAIN RICHARD J. HUBBARD, USAF:

BY LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 27, 1964, THE AIR FORCE ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE CENTER, DENVER, COLORADO, FORWARDED HERE YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 22, 1963, WITH ENCLOSURES, ADDRESSED TO THE 7101ST AIR BASE WING (CAF), WHICH WILL BE CONSIDERED AS REQUESTING REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED SEPTEMBER 20, 1963, DENYING YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL MILEAGE ALLOWANCE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED INCIDENT TO YOUR TEMPORARY DUTY ORDERS OF MAY 16, 1963, AS AMENDED BY ORDERS DATED MAY 21, 1963.

UNDER THE ORDERS DATED MAY 16, 1963, YOU WERE DIRECTED TO PROCEED ON OR ABOUT MAY 16, 1963, FROM WIESBADEN, GERMANY, TO LAON AIR BASE, FRANCE, FOR A PERIOD OF TEMPORARY DUTY OF APPROXIMATELY 3 DAYS. UPON COMPLETION OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY YOU WERE TO RETURN TO YOUR DUTY STATION. THE STATED PURPOSE OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY WAS TO PERFORM MAINTENANCE ON COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT AND BE A COURIER OF COMMUNICATIONS MATERIAL. THE ORDERS PROVIDED THAT TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WAS DETERMINED TO BE MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU DEPARTED FROM LINDSEY AIR STATION, GERMANY, ON MAY 16, 1963, AND ARRIVED AT LAON AIR BASE, FRANCE, THE NEXT DAY. UPON YOUR ARRIVAL THERE IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT CERTAIN ITEMS OF CLASSIFIED EQUIPMENT NECESSARY FOR COMPLETION OF THE PROJECT WERE NOT AVAILABLE. THIS REQUIRED YOU TO PERFORM ADDITIONAL TRAVEL TO VERSAILLES ON MAY 17, 1963, TO OBTAIN THESE ITEMS AND TO RETURN TO LAON AIR BASE ON THE NEXT DAY FOR COMPLETION OF DUTY UNDER THE ORDERS. THE RECORD ALSO SHOWS THAT TIME DID NOT ALLOW FOR THE ISSUANCE OF WRITTEN ORDERS AUTHORIZING THIS ADDITIONAL TRAVEL, AND THAT THE ORDERS OF MAY 21, 1963, WERE ISSUED AFTER RETURN TO YOUR DUTY STATION TO AMEND YOUR BASIC ORDERS OF MAY 16, 1963, SO AS TO AUTHORIZE THIS TRAVEL.

PAYMENT WAS MADE TO YOU FOR YOUR TRAVEL AT THE RATE OF 7 CENTS PER MILE ON THE BASIS OF 694 MILES, OR A TOTAL OF $48.58, COMPUTED ON OFFICIAL MILEAGE TABLES ESTABLISHED BY THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, CONTAINED IN AIR FORCE MANUAL 177-136, AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE

WIESBADEN TO LUXEMBOURG 132 MILES

LUXEMBOURG TO LAON 145 MILES

LAON TO PARIS 70 MILES

TOTAL 347 MILES

RETURN TO WIESBADEN 347 MILES

694 MILES

SUBSEQUENTLY THE SUM OF $9.80, REPRESENTING MILEAGE FOR THE ADDITIONAL TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVEL FROM LAON AIR BASE TO VERSAILLES, WAS COLLECTED FROM YOU BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE FOR THE REASON THAT IT WAS CONSIDERED AN OVERPAYMENT SINCE IT WAS PAID INCIDENT TO YOUR ORDERS OF MAY 21, 1963, WHICH WERE ISSUED AFTER THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED AND WHICH WERE REGARDED AS RETROACTIVE ORDERS. IN PRESENTING YOUR CLAIM FOR RECONSIDERATION IT HAS BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY RECOMMENDED THAT YOUR CLAIM FOR THE REFUND BE ALLOWED AND, IN ADDITION, THAT YOU BE REIMBURSED FOR ADDITIONAL MILEAGE FOR ROUND TRIP TRAVEL PERFORMED BETWEEN PARIS AND VERSAILLES, WHICH WAS NOT INCLUDED IN THE ORIGINAL COMPUTATION. THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THESE POINTS IS SHOWN IN THE OFFICIAL MILEAGE TABLES AS 12 MILES, OR 24 MILES FOR THE ROUND TRIP.

IN YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW IT APPEARS THAT YOU BELIEVE THAT YOUR CLAIM SHOULD BE COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF THE DISTANCE ACTUALLY TRAVELED, RATHER THAN ON THE BASIS OF THE OFFICIAL TABLE OF DISTANCE.

THE PERTINENT STATUTE, 37 U.S.C. 404 (A), PROVIDES THAT UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICE SHALL BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED UNDER ORDERS WHEN AWAY FROM THEIR DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY. SUBPARAGRAPH (D) OF THAT SECTION IN PERTINENT PART PROVIDES THAT THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES WHICH SHALL BE AUTHORIZED MAY INCLUDE PAYMENT OF A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION, WHEN NOT FURNISHED IN KIND, "AT A RATE THAT IS NOT MORE THAN 7 CENTS PER MILE BASED ON DISTANCES ESTABLISHED, OVER THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE, UNDER MILEAGE TABLES PREPARED BY THE CHIEF OF FINANCE OF THE ARMY UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY.'

THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT TO THE ABOVE SECTION 404, WITH REFERENCE TO TEMPORARY DUTY ALLOWANCES OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES, PROVIDE IN PARAGRAPH 4251 THAT TEMPORARY DUTY TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES WILL BE AS PRESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH 4203. PARAGRAPH 4203-3B (1) PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"B. TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE

"/1) POLICY. IT IS THE POLICY OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES TO "AUTHORIZE" (AS DISTINGUISHED FROM "PERMIT") MEMBERS TO TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE WHENEVER SUCH MODE OF TRANSPORTATION IS ACCEPTABLE TO THE MEMBER AND IS DETERMINED TO BE MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. THIS DETERMINATION SHOULD BE BASED ON THE FACTS IN EACH INDIVIDUAL CASE AND AUTHORIZATION SHOULD NOT BE GRANTED UNLESS THE ORDER-ISSUING AUTHORITY IS CONVINCED THAT SUCH MODE OF TRAVEL IS CLEARLY MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT THAN TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT CONVEYANCE OR PUBLIC CARRIER. THE ADVANTAGE GAINED BY THE GOVERNMENT MAY BE, FOR EXAMPLE, A MORE EFFICIENT, ECONOMICAL, OR EXPEDITIOUS ACCOMPLISHMENT OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS, SHORT TRIPS OVER ROUTES WHERE COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION IS NONEXISTENT OR WOULD BE SO TIME-CONSUMING AS TO UNDULY DELAY PUBLIC BUSINESS.

"/2) REIMBURSEMENT. FOR TRAVEL ACTUALLY PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE UNDER ORDERS AUTHORIZING SUCH MODE OF TRANSPORTATION AS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT, THE MEMBER WILL BE PAID A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION AT THE RATE OF $0.07 PER MILE FOR THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE; PROVIDED, THAT PAYMENT FOR SUCH TRAVEL IN EXCESS OF $0.05 PER MILE WILL NOT BE MADE, IRRESPECTIVE OF THE TERMS OF THE ORDERS, IN THE ABSENCE OF A SIGNED STATEMENT FROM THE MEMBER TO THE EFFECT THAT HE WAS IN FACT THE OWNER OR OPERATOR OF THE PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE UTILIZED AND THAT HE WAS PRIMARILY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE OPERATING EXPENSES THEREOF.' THE LAST PARAGRAPH QUOTED AUTHORIZES PAYMENT OF MILEAGE AT THE RATE OF 7 CENTS PER MILE ONLY FOR THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE BETWEEN THE POINTS OF TRAVEL. PARAGRAPH 4155-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT "OFFICIAL DISTANCES WILL BE ESTABLISHED BY THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMPUTING PAYMENT OF MILEAGE OR MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION.'

ACCORDING TO THE OFFICIAL TABLE OF DISTANCES PREPARED BY THE CHIEF OF FINANCE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE BETWEEN THE POINTS OF TRAVEL PERFORMED BY YOU INCIDENT TO YOUR ORDERS WAS A TOTAL OF 718 MILES (694 PLUS 24). UNDER THE STATUTORY PROVISIONS MENTIONED ABOVE PAYMENT FOR TRAVEL ON A MILEAGE BASIS MAY BE MADE ONLY FOR THE "OFFICIAL DISTANCE" OVER THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE. THEREFORE THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO ALLOW YOU ADDITIONAL MILEAGE ON ANY OTHER BASIS.

YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF THE SUM OF $9.80 WHICH WAS COLLECTED FROM YOU, AND YOUR CLAIM FOR PAYMENT OF MILEAGE FOR THE DISTANCE OF 24 MILES ROUND TRIP FROM PARIS TO VERSAILLES, NOT INCLUDED IN THE ORIGINAL MILEAGE COMPUTATION, WERE CONSIDERED DOUBTFUL FOR THE REASON THAT THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED PRIOR TO ORDERS. PARAGRAPH 3002-2, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROVIDES THAT A VERBAL ORDER GIVEN IN ADVANCE OF TRAVEL AND SUBSEQUENTLY CONFIRMED IN WRITING AND APPROVED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY WILL MEET THE REQUIREMENT FOR WRITTEN ORDERS. SUCH PROVISION CONTEMPLATES A WRITTEN ORDER EXPRESSLY IDENTIFYING AND CONFIRMING A VERBAL ORDER. HOWEVER, THE RECORD CONTAINS A STATEMENT FROM YOUR HEADQUARTERS COMMAND THAT TIME DID NOT ALLOW FOR ISSUANCE OF WRITTEN ORDERS IN ADVANCE OF THE TRAVEL DIRECTING YOU TO PERFORM THE ADDITIONAL TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVEL. IN VIEW OF THIS, AND SINCE IT APPEARS YOU PERFORMED THE ADDITIONAL TRAVEL PURSUANT TO VERBAL ORDERS WHICH WERE SHORTLY FOLLOWED BY THE ISSUANCE OF THE AMENDING ORDERS OF MAY 21, 1963, SUCH ORDERS MAY BE REGARDED AS WRITTEN CONFIRMATORY ORDERS AS CONTEMPLATED BY THE REGULATION.

ACCORDINGLY, INSTRUCTIONS ARE BEING ISSUED TO ALLOW THAT PART OF YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF THE SUM OF $9.80 AND FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR MILEAGE FOR THE DISTANCE OF 24 MILES FOR ROUND TRIP TRAVEL BETWEEN PARIS AND VERSAILLES AND SETTLEMENT WILL ISSUE IN DUE COURSE FOR THE AMOUNT FOUND TO BE DUE ON THAT BASIS.