B-154182, OCTOBER 15, 1964, 44 COMP. GEN. 212

B-154182: Oct 15, 1964

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TRAVEL EXPENSES - MILITARY PERSONNEL - AMENDMENT OR REVOCATION OF ORDERS - INTERMEDIATE STATION CHANGE WHEN THE PERMANENT CHANGE-OF-STATION ORDERS OF A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ASSIGNING HIM OVERSEAS ARE AMENDED WHILE HE IS ON LEAVE TO CHANGE THE PORT OF CALL. THE MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES PURSUANT TO THE ACT OF DECEMBER 23. AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL UNDER ORDERS THAT ARE CANCELED. 1964: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED APRIL 30. TO REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL PERFORMED BY HIMSELF AND DEPENDENTS UNDER ORDERS WHICH ARE MODIFIED. THE MEMBER WAS RELIEVED FROM HIS DUTY ASSIGNMENT AT MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE.

B-154182, OCTOBER 15, 1964, 44 COMP. GEN. 212

TRAVEL EXPENSES - MILITARY PERSONNEL - AMENDMENT OR REVOCATION OF ORDERS - INTERMEDIATE STATION CHANGE WHEN THE PERMANENT CHANGE-OF-STATION ORDERS OF A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ASSIGNING HIM OVERSEAS ARE AMENDED WHILE HE IS ON LEAVE TO CHANGE THE PORT OF CALL, WHICH NECESSITATED HIS RETURN TO THE INITIALLY DESIGNATED PORT TO PICK UP THE AUTOMOBILE AND BAGGAGE HE HAD LEFT THERE IN ANTICIPATION OF THE TRANSFER, THE MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES PURSUANT TO THE ACT OF DECEMBER 23, 1963 (37 U.S.C. 406A), AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL UNDER ORDERS THAT ARE CANCELED, REVOKED, OR MODIFIED, THE "A DIFFERENT CHANGE OF STATION" PROVISION OF SECTION 406 (A) (2) BEING APPLICABLE TO THE INTERMEDIATE PORT OF CALL, EVEN THOUGH NO CHANGE OF OVERSEAS ASSIGNMENT OCCURRED, THE MEMBER HAVING BEEN PLACED AT A PERSONAL FINANCIAL DISADVANTAGE BY THE MODIFICATION OF HIS ORDERS AFTER DEPARTURE FROM HIS OLD STATION ON AN AUTHORIZED GRANT OF LEAVE WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE 1963 ACT; THEREFORE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS HE MAY BE PAID MILEAGE NOT TO EXCEED THE DISTANCE FROM HIS OLD STATION TO THE NEW PORT OF CALL VIA THE INITIALLY DESIGNATED PORT.

TO MAJOR J. H. WEBB, DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, OCTOBER 15, 1964:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED APRIL 30, 1964, WITH ENCLOSURES, FORWARDED HERE BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE (PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 64-18) BY FIRST INDORSEMENT DATED JUNE 12, 1964, IN WHICH YOU REQUEST OUR DECISION CONCERNING THE ENTITLEMENT OF TECHNICAL SERGEANT LEROY G. STEARNS, AF26 790 466, PURSUANT TO PUBLIC LAW 88-238, APPROVED DECEMBER 23, 1963, 37 U.S.C. 406A, TO REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL PERFORMED BY HIMSELF AND DEPENDENTS UNDER ORDERS WHICH ARE MODIFIED.

BY ORDERS DATED DECEMBER 20, 1956, THE MEMBER WAS RELIEVED FROM HIS DUTY ASSIGNMENT AT MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, WASHINGTON, AND ASSIGNED TO THE 1038TH UNITED STATES AIR FORCE AUDITOR GENERAL SQUADRON (HEADQUARTERS COMMAND, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE), AIR POST OFFICE 500, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA (JAPAN), WITH DIRECTION TO REPORT TO THE COMMANDER, DETACHMENT 1, 2349TH PERSONNEL PROCESSING GROUP (CONTINENTAL AIR COMMAND) (AIR FORCE), FORT MASON, CALIFORNIA, ON RECEIPT OF PORT CALL ON OR AFTER APRIL 1, 1957, AT POST OFFICE BOX 305, EAGLE GROVE, IOWA. THE ORDERS AUTHORIZED THE MEMBER'S DEPARTURE FROM HOME STATION NOT EARLIER THAN FEBRUARY 26, 1957, AND A DELAY EN ROUTE CHARGEABLE AS ORDINARY LEAVE.

ON THE BASIS OF THOSE ORDERS, THE MEMBER AFTER AN AUTHORIZATION OF LEAVE OF ABSENCE ON OR ABOUT FEBRUARY 20, 1957, DROVE HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE CONTAINING HOLD BAGGAGE TO SAN FRANCISCO WHERE HE LEFT IT WITH A RELATIVE. HE RETURNED TO HIS HOME STATION, MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, AND REMAINED UNTIL FEBRUARY 26, 1957, WHEN HE PROCEEDED WITH HIS DEPENDENTS BY COMMERCIAL RAIL, IN A LEAVE STATUS AS AUTHORIZED BY HIS PERMANENT CHANGE- OF-STATION ORDERS, TO BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA, AND THENCE TO EAGLE GROVE, ARRIVING AT THE LATTER DESTINATION ON OR ABOUT MARCH 10, 1957. ON OR ABOUT MARCH 12, 1957, THE MEMBER RECEIVED A TWX MESSAGE NOTIFYING HIM OF CHANGE OF PORT CALL FROM FORT MASON TO FORT LAWTON, WASHINGTON, AND ON MARCH 16, 1957, A CONFIRMATORY TELEGRAM WAS DISPATCHED TO HIM ADVISING THAT THE PORT CALL AT FORT LAWTON WOULD BE ON APRIL 2, 1957, AND THAT IT CONSTITUTED AN AMENDMENT TO HIS ORDERS. CONSEQUENTLY THE MEMBER, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS DEPENDENTS, LEFT EAGLE GROVE BY COMMERCIAL RAIL ON MARCH 21, 1957, FOR SAN FRANCISCO IN ORDER TO OBTAIN HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AND HOLD BAGGAGE. ONE DAY AFTER ARRIVAL, MARCH 24, 1957, HE AND HIS DEPENDENTS DEPARTMENT BY AUTOMOBILE FOR FORT LAWTON AND ARRIVED ON OR ABOUT APRIL 1, 1957.

BY LETTER DATED JANUARY 20, 1964, THE MEMBER PRESENTED A CLAIM UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 88-238 FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF HIS AND HIS DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL EXPENSES ON THE BASIS OF THE DISTANCE BETWEEN MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE AND FORT MASON (944 MILES) AND BETWEEN FORT MASON AND FORT LAWTON (904 MILES) OR A TOTAL OF $221.76 (6 CENTS TIMES 1,848 MILES TIMES 2) LESS $2.40 PREVIOUSLY RECEIVED BY HIM AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR MILEAGE BETWEEN MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE AND FORT LAWTON.

YOU HAVE EXPRESSED DOUBT CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF PAYMENT TO THE MEMBER OF THE AMOUNT CLAIMED, UNDER PUBLIC LAW 88-238, FOR THE REASON THAT HIS INTERMEDIATE STATION PORT OF EMBARKATION RATHER THAN HIS NEW STATION WAS CHANGED, THEREBY RESULTING IN ADDITIONAL TRAVEL EXPENSES TO THE MEMBER. IN THIS CONNECTION, YOU HAVE RAISED QUESTIONS AS FOLLOWS:

UNDER THE INTENT OF THE LAW, CAN THE MODIFIED ORDERS BE CONSIDERED ADEQUATE FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THIS EXTRA EXPENSE?

OR CAN THE FIRST-NAMED PORT OF EMBARKATION (FT. MASON, CALIF.) AND THE LAST-NAMED PORT OF EMBARKATION (FT. LAWTON, WASH.) BE CONSIDERED THE SAME AS THE FIRST AND LAST-NAMED STATION (CASE 4 PARA. 4156 (JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS) FOR THE PURPOSE OF REIMBURSING THE MEMBER FOR HIS AND DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL FROM EAGLE GROVE, IOWA, TO FT. LAWTON, WASH. ?

SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF DECEMBER 23, 1963, PUBLIC LAW 88-238, 77 STAT. 475, AMENDED CHAPTER 7 OF TITLE 37, U.S.C. BY ADDING SECTION 406A AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 406A. TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES: AUTHORIZED FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED UNDER ORDERS THAT ARE CANCELED, REVOKED, OR MODIFIED.

UNDER UNIFORM REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, A MEMBER OF A UNIFORMED SERVICE IS ENTITLED TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES UNDER SECTION 404 OF THIS TITLE, AND TO TRANSPORTATION OF HIS DEPENDENTS, BAGGAGE, AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS UNDER SECTIONS 406 AND 409 OF THIS TITLE, IF OTHERWISE QUALIFIED, FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BEFORE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF ORDERS THAT DIRECT HIM TO MAKE A CHANGE OF STATION AND THAT ARE LATER---

(1) CANCELED, REVOKED, OR MODIFIED TO DIRECT HIM TO RETURN TO THE STATION FROM WHICH HE WAS BEING TRANSFERRED; OR

(2) MODIFIED TO DIRECT HIM TO MAKE A DIFFERENT CHANGE OF STATION.

SECTION 2, 37 U.S.C. 406A NOTE, PROVIDES THAT THE ACT SHALL BE EFFECTIVE ON OCROBER 1, 1949.

UNDER A STRICT INTERPRETATION OF CLAUSE (2) OF THE ABOVE ACT, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT A MEMBER WOULD BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT, AS PROVIDED IN SECTIONS 404, 406, AND 409 OF TITLE 37 OF THE U.S.C. FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL PERFORMED BY HIMSELF AND THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS DEPENDENTS, BAGGAGE, AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ONLY WHEN SUCH EXPENSES ARE INCURRED PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF HIS ORDERS AND THE ORDERS ARE MODIFIED BEFORE THEIR EFFECTIVE DATE TO DIRECT A DIFFERENT CHANGE OF STATION. UNDER SUCH AN INTERPRETATION, THE STATUTE WOULD AFFORD NO AUTHORITY FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES IN CASE THE ORDERS ARE MODIFIED ONLY TO DIRECT TRAVEL TO A DIFFERENT INTERMEDIATE STATION EN ROUTE TO THE SPECIFIED STATION. HOWEVER, IT IS APPARENT FROM THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE ACT THAT THE CONGRESS WAS CONCERNED WITH CASES INVOLVING MEMBERS WHO ARE PLACED AT A PERSONAL FINANCIAL DISADVANTAGE BY REASON OF THE CANCELLATION OR MODIFICATION OF THEIR CHANGE-OF STATION ORDERS AFTER THEIR DEPARTURE FROM THE OLD STATION ON AN AUTHORIZED GRANT OF LEAVE OR DELAY FOR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE BEFORE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THEIR ORDERS. SINCE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR LAND TRAVEL INCIDENT TO A TRANSFER OVERSEAS ARE COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF THE PORT OF EMBARKATION, IT IS OUR VIEW--- HAVING IN MIND THE BENEFICIAL NATURE OF THE LEGISLATION--- THAT CLAUSE 2 OF THE ACT REASONABLY MAY BE CONSIDERED AS APPLICABLE IN A CASE INVOLVING AN OVERSEAS TRANSFER WHEN, AFTER THE MEMBER'S DEPARTURE FROM HIS OLD STATION, HIS ORDERS ARE MODIFIED TO ASSIGN A DIFFERENT PORT OF EMBARKATION EVEN THOUGH THERE IS NO CHANGE IN THE OVERSEAS ASSIGNMENT. CONSEQUENTLY, SERGEANT STEARNS IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT AS OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED BY THE STATUTE AND REGULATIONS.

CASE 4, PARAGRAPH 4156, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, MENTIONED IN YOUR SECOND QUESTION, READS IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

(EFFECTIVE 23 DECEMBER 1963) CASE 4. PERMANENT CHANGE-OF-STATION ORDERS CANCELED OR MODIFIED EN ROUTE

A MEMBER TRAVELING UNDER PERMANENT CHANGE-OF-STATION ORDERS WHICH ARE CANCELED OR MODIFIED EN ROUTE WILL BE ENTITLED TO ALLOWANCES AS FOLLOWS:

1. * * * * * * *

2. IF THE ORDERS ARE MODIFIED TO NAME A NEW STATION, ALLOWANCES FOR THE DISTANCE FROM THE OLD STATION TO THE POINT WHERE NOTIFICATION OF THE CHANGE WAS RECEIVED, AND THENCE TO THE LAST-NAMED STATION, NOT TO EXCEED THE DISTANCE FROM THE OLD STATION TO THE LAST-NAMED STATION, VIA THE FIRST -NAMED STATION.

A SIMILAR PROVISION IS CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPH 7051, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT AND THE ABOVE-QUOTED IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS FORT MASON IS TO BE CONSIDERED AS THE FIRST NAMED STATION AND FORT LAWTON AS THE LAST-NAMED STATION IN DETERMINING THE AMOUNT FOR ALLOWANCE. YOUR QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.

YOUR ATTENTION IS DIRECTED TO THE FACT THAT AIR FORCE MANUAL 173-35, DATED OCTOBER 4, 1956, REFLECTS THE DISTANCES BETWEEN THE FOLLOWING POINTS AS INDICATED:

CHART

SAN FRANCISCO (FORT MASON) TO SEATTLE 904 MILES

SEATTLE (FORT LAWTON) TO TACOMA 30 MILES

MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE--- 10 MILES SOUTH OF TACOMA

THE MILEAGE SHOWN AND CLAIMED ON BOTH OF THE SUPPORTING VOUCHERS EXECUTED BY THE MEMBER IS IN EXCESS OF THE MILEAGE BETWEEN THE POINTS INVOLVED BASED ON THE FIGURES SHOWN ABOVE. THE AMOUNT PAYABLE TO HIM PROPERLY WOULD BE FOR COMPUTATION ON THE BASIS OF 864 MILES FOR TRAVEL FROM MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE TO FORT MASON AND 904 MILES FOR TRAVEL FROM FORT MASON TO FORT LAWTON.

THE VOUCHERS AND SUPPORTING PAPERS ARE RETURNED, PAYMENT BEING AUTHORIZED ON THE BASIS INDICATED.