B-154160, OCT. 7, 1964

B-154160: Oct 7, 1964

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SUMPH: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 31. WE ALSO HAVE RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 18. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE AMOUNT CLAIMED AND THE AMOUNT PAID IS $33.24. WHICH PROVIDED FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL COST OF TRANSPORTATION IN SITUATIONS WHERE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WERE NOT AVAILABLE TO THE TRAVELER AT THE TIME OR PLACE REQUIRED. WERE NOT APPLICABLE IN THIS CASE BECAUSE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WERE AVAILABLE TO YOUR SON. NO EVIDENCE HAD BEEN SUBMITTED TO ESTABLISH THAT THE CENTER IN FACT WAS ON NOTICE THAT YOUR SON DESIRED TO AVAIL HIMSELF OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTED AND. OUR CLAIMS DIVISION HAD NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO ACCEPT THE FACTS WHICH WERE REPORTED BY THE NAVY AND WHICH WERE VERIFIED AND PREDICATED ON OFFICIAL RECORDS.

B-154160, OCT. 7, 1964

TO MRS. LOIS N. SUMPH:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 31, 1964, CONCERNING OUR LETTER OF JUNE 5, 1964, B-154160, TO THE HONORABLE FRANCES P. BOLTON, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 206 FEDERAL BUILDING, CLEVELAND, OHIO, 44114. IN THE LETTER TO REPRESENTATIVE BOLTON WE REPLIED TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 30, 1964, PROTESTING THE DISALLOWANCE BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION OF THE CLAIM FOR YOUR SON, GEORGE W. SUMPH, JR., A NAVAL RESERVIST, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT ON ACCOUNT OF AIR TRAVEL PERFORMED FROM CLEVELAND, OHIO, TO CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA, ON JUNE 17, 1962, AND RETURN ON JUNE 30, 1962. WE ALSO HAVE RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 18, 1964.

IN THE LETTER OF JUNE 5, 1964, TO REPRESENTATIVE BOLTON WE REPORTED THE FACTS AS DISCLOSED BY THE PAPERS ON FILE IN THIS OFFICE, REGARDING YOUR SON'S APPLICATION FOR A 2 WEEKS' TOUR OF ACTIVE DUTY FOR TRAINING WITH PAY, PURSUANT TO WHICH HE TRAVELED BY UNITED AIR LINES ON JUNE 17, 1962, FROM CLEVELAND TO CHARLESTON, VIA ATLANTA, GEORGIA, AT A COST OF $149.16. WE ALSO ADVISED THAT THE NAVY LIMITED THE PAYMENT ON YOUR SON'S CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE AIR FARE TO $115.92, REPRESENTING MILEAGE ALLOWANCE AT THE RATE OF 6 CENTS PER MILE FOR 1,932 MILES, THE ROUND TRIP DISTANCE BETWEEN CLEVELAND AND CHARLESTON. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE AMOUNT CLAIMED AND THE AMOUNT PAID IS $33.24. IN ADDITION, WE FURNISHED A RESUME OF THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE NAVY ON A SUPPLEMENTAL CLAIM FOR THE DIFFERENCE OF $33.24, AND ADVISED THAT OUR CLAIMS DIVISION HAD DISALLOWED THE CLAIM ON THE GROUND THAT THE PROVISIONS OF SUBPARAGRAPH 4150-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, WHICH PROVIDED FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL COST OF TRANSPORTATION IN SITUATIONS WHERE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WERE NOT AVAILABLE TO THE TRAVELER AT THE TIME OR PLACE REQUIRED, WERE NOT APPLICABLE IN THIS CASE BECAUSE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WERE AVAILABLE TO YOUR SON.

IN YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 30, 1964, TO MRS. BOLTON, YOU QUESTIONED, IN EFFECT, THE PROPRIETY OF THE SETTLEMENT OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION AND ASSERTED, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT AT THE TIME YOUR SON REQUESTED MODIFICATION OF HIS ORDERS OF APRIL 25, 1962, HE REQUESTED NAVY TRANSPORTATION AS HE DID NOT KNOW WHERE HE WOULD BE SENT. IN OUR LETTER TO MRS. BOLTON, WE REFERRED TO THAT STATEMENT AND STATED THAT, IN VIEW OF THE REPORTS OF THE U.S. NAVAL AND MARINE CORPS RESERVE TRAINING CENTER TO THE CONTRARY, THE QUESTION RESOLVED ITSELF INTO A DISPUTED QUESTION OF FACT AND THAT IN SUCH SITUATIONS WE MUST ACCEPT THE FACTS AS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE LEGALLY SUFFICIENT TO OVERCOME THE PRESUMPTION OF THEIR CORRECTNESS. WE FURTHER STATED THAT OTHER THAN YOUR STATEMENTS, NO EVIDENCE HAD BEEN SUBMITTED TO ESTABLISH THAT THE CENTER IN FACT WAS ON NOTICE THAT YOUR SON DESIRED TO AVAIL HIMSELF OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTED AND, HENCE, OUR CLAIMS DIVISION HAD NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO ACCEPT THE FACTS WHICH WERE REPORTED BY THE NAVY AND WHICH WERE VERIFIED AND PREDICATED ON OFFICIAL RECORDS.

YOU SAY IN YOUR LETTER OF JULY 31, 1964, THAT YOU DESIRE TO REPLY TO MRS. BOLTON, BUT BECAUSE OF "MANY DISCREPANCIES" IN OUR LETTER OF JUNE 5, 1964, YOU HAVE REQUESTED US TO REVIEW IT. THIS OFFICE, OF COUSE, HAS NO FIRST- HAND INFORMATION IN THE MATTER AND, THEREFORE, WE NECESSARILY HAD TO RELY UPON THE ORGANIZATIONAL REPORTS, CORRESPONDENCE, AND OTHER PAPERS WHICH THE NAVY TRANSMITTED HERE ALONG WITH THE SUPPLEMENTAL CLAIM. IN REPORT DATED JANUARY 27, 1964, THE U.S. NAVAL AND MARINE CORPS RESERVE TRAINING CENTER, CLEVELAND, OHIO, STATED, CONCERNING YOUR SON'S TRAVEL, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"B. ENCLOSURE (1) INDICATED SUMPH'S DESIRE TO TRAVEL AT OWN EXPENSE SUBJECT TO REIMBURSEMENT. AT NO TIME PRIOR TO 16 JUNE 1962 DID SUMPH EXPRESS A DESIRE TO TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE (TR).

"C. ON 13 JUNE 1962 SUMPH REPORTED THAT HE COULD NOT LEAVE CLEVELAND UNTIL 16 JUNE 1962 BECAUSE HE WAS WORKING THE EVENING OF 15 JUNE 1962 AT EUCLID BEACH PARK. INASMUCH AS HE FELT HE COULD NOT LEAVE UNTIL 16 JUNE 1962 HE WOULD HAVE TO FLY TO ARRIVE ON TIME. HE WAS ADVISED TO PURCHASE A PLANE TICKET AND TO SUBMIT A CLAIM FOR TRANSPORTATION AT A LATTER DATE.

"D. ENCLOSURE (4) STATES THAT OFFICIAL RAIL DISTANCE BETWEEN CLEVELAND AND CHARLESTON IS 966 MILES AT 6 CENTS A MILE. SUMPH RECEIVED A CHECK IN THE AMOUNT OF $115.92 WHICH IS CORRECT BY THIS MILEAGE. HOWEVER, EASTERN AIRLINES HAD A DIRECT FLIGHT FROM CLEVELAND TO CHARLESTON BUT WAS ON STRIKE AT THE TIME AND THE ONLY OTHER AVAILABLE FLIGHT WAS WITH UNITED AIRLINES, FIRST CLASS, LEAVING CLEVELAND AND GOING VIA ATLANTA, GEORGIA AND THEN TO CHARLESTON. THEREFORE, THERE WAS A DIFFERENCE IN MILES AND SUBSEQUENTLY PRICE OF THE TICKET. SUMPH WAS REIMBURSED AT THE RATE OF 6 CENTS PER MILE FROM CLEVELAND TO CHARLESTON AND RETURN.'

THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES DISCLOSED IN OUR LETTER OF JUNE 5, 1964, WERE TAKEN FROM THE ABOVE-QUOTED ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT. HOWEVER, WE FIND THAT THE INFORMATION IN PARAGRAPH "D" ABOVE IS PARTLY INCORRECT. IN VIEW OF YOUR STATEMENT THAT "EASTERN AIR LINES NEVER HAD, NOR DOES HAVE A DIRECT FLIGHT FROM CLEVELAND TO CHARLESTON, S.C., " WE REQUESTED A REPORT FROM OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION AND IT IS SHOWN THEREIN THAT THERE WAS NO DIRECT FLIGHT FROM CLEVELAND TO CHARLESTON IN JUNE 1962. WE REGRET THIS ERRONEOUS INFORMATION AS REPORTED HERE BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE. CONCERNING YOUR STATEMENT THAT YOUR SON DID NOT PRESENT A CLAIM FOR $149.16, BUT FOR $33.24, WE ARE ENCLOSING A PHOTOCOPY OF A COPY OF NAVCOMPT FORM 2021 "TRAVEL CLAIM" WHICH HE EXECUTED ON JULY 11, 1962, REQUESTING REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED FROM CLEVELAND TO CHARLESTON AND RETURN, AND WHICH SUPPORTED THE PAYMENT OF $115.92 TO HIM. THERE IS ALSO ON FILE A COPY OF NAVCOMPT FORM 2021 "TRAVEL CLAIM (MILEAGE/PER DIEM)," PREPARED BY YOU, CONSTITUTING THE CLAIM FOR THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNT OF $33.24.

WHILE YOU STATE THAT YOUR SON TOOK THE MODIFICATION OF HIS ORDERS OF JUNE 11, 1962, TO THE CENTER AND EXPRESSED THE FACT THAT THERE WAS NO GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST, THE REPORTS OF THE CENTER STATE SPECIFICALLY THAT HE DID NOT MAKE A REQUEST FOR GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS. SEE THE ABOVE-QUOTED PARAGRAPH "B" OF THE CENTER'S REPORT DATED JANUARY 27, 1964. ALSO, IN A SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT DATED APRIL 7, 1964, TO THE U.S. NAVY FINANCE CENTER, WASHINGTON, D.C., THE CLEVELAND CENTER SAID:

"THE ONLY RECORD OF SUMPH'S DESIRES AS TO TRANSPORTATION IS INDICATED IN ENCLOSURE (2) OVER HIS SIGNATURE "REQUEST TRAVEL AT OWN EXPENSE SUBJECT TO REIMBURSEMENT.' NO RECORD EXISTS OF A REQUEST BY SUBJECT MAN OR A SECOND PARTY FOR A T/R.'

ACCORDINGLY, IN VIEW OF THE REPORTS OF THE U.S. NAVAL AND MARINE CORPS RESERVE TRAINING CENTER AND ON THE BASIS OF THE RECORD BEFORE US, NO ADDITIONAL TRAVEL PAY MAY BE PAID IN YOUR SON'S CASE.

WHILE IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT YOUR SON'S TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION WAS NOT CLARIFIED PRIOR TO HIS DEPARTURE FOR TRAINING DUTY, WE HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT CONTRARY TO THE FACTS AS REPORTED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE. A COPY OF THIS LETTER IS BEING FORWARDED TODAY TO THE HONORABLE FRANCES P. BOLTON, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, FOR HER INFORMATION.