B-154363, JUN. 22, 1964

B-154363: Jun 22, 1964

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YOU ARE AUTHORIZED ROUND TRIP TRAVEL BY AIR FROM ROCK ISLAND. YOU CONTEND THAT YOUR RETURN TO YOUR OFFICIAL STATION BY PRIVATELY-OWNED VEHICLE WAS ACTUALLY INTENDED BY YOUR AGENCY BUT WAS NOT AUTHORIZED IN YOUR TRAVEL ORDERS DUE TO ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR. IN SUPPORT OF YOUR CONTENTION YOU HAVE SUBMITTED A LETTER IN WHICH THE DIRECTOR OF YOUR AGENCY HAS CONCURRED WITH YOUR STATEMENT OF THE FACTS. FOR THE RETURN PORTION OF YOUR TRIP YOU HAVE REQUESTED REIMBURSEMENT FOR MILEAGE LIMITED TO THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF TRAVEL BY RAIL FROM BOSTON TO ROCK ISLAND. IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT A TRAVEL ORDER MAY NOT BE RETROACTIVELY AMENDED OR MODIFIED TO INCREASE OR DECREASE THE RIGHTS OF A TRAVELER OR TO ALTER THE LIABILITY OF THE GOVERNMENT EXCEPT WHEN IT IS AMBIGUOUS.

B-154363, JUN. 22, 1964

TO MR. JOHN A. GILBERTO:

YOUR LETTER OF MAY 26, 1964, REQUESTS REVIEW OF OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT DATED MAY 1, 1964, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR $43.45, REPRESENTING ADDITIONAL REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL FROM BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, TO ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS, AND RETURN, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE U.S. ARMY MANAGEMENT ENGINEERING TRAINING AGENCY.

BY TRAVEL ORDER AMXOM 3193, DATED JANUARY 9, 1964, YOU ARE AUTHORIZED ROUND TRIP TRAVEL BY AIR FROM ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS, TO BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, IN CONNECTION WITH A TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT IN BOSTON. ALTHOUGH YOUR WRITTEN ORDERS AUTHORIZED TRAVEL ONLY BY AIR,UPON COMPLETION OF YOUR TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT YOU RETURNED TO ROCK ISLAND BY PRIVATELY- OWNED VEHICLE. YOU CONTEND THAT YOUR RETURN TO YOUR OFFICIAL STATION BY PRIVATELY-OWNED VEHICLE WAS ACTUALLY INTENDED BY YOUR AGENCY BUT WAS NOT AUTHORIZED IN YOUR TRAVEL ORDERS DUE TO ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR. IN SUPPORT OF YOUR CONTENTION YOU HAVE SUBMITTED A LETTER IN WHICH THE DIRECTOR OF YOUR AGENCY HAS CONCURRED WITH YOUR STATEMENT OF THE FACTS. FOR THE RETURN PORTION OF YOUR TRIP YOU HAVE REQUESTED REIMBURSEMENT FOR MILEAGE LIMITED TO THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF TRAVEL BY RAIL FROM BOSTON TO ROCK ISLAND.

IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT A TRAVEL ORDER MAY NOT BE RETROACTIVELY AMENDED OR MODIFIED TO INCREASE OR DECREASE THE RIGHTS OF A TRAVELER OR TO ALTER THE LIABILITY OF THE GOVERNMENT EXCEPT WHEN IT IS AMBIGUOUS, INCOMPLETE OR IRREGULAR ON ITS FACE, OR WHEN A PROVISION ORIGINALLY INTENDED TO BE INCLUDED WAS OMITTED THROUGH ERROR OR INADVERTENCE. COMP. GEN. 713; 24 ID. 439.

THE PRESENT RECORD DOES NOT CONTAIN AN EXPLANATION AS TO HOW THE ALLEGED ERROR OCCURRED OR A DEFINITE STATEMENT FROM A RESPONSIBLE OFFICIAL THAT RETURN TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY-OWNED VEHICLE (WITH REIMBURSEMENT LIMITED TO COST OF TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER) WAS INTENDED TO BE AUTHORIZED IN YOUR TRAVEL ORDERS OF JANUARY 9, 1964. THEREFORE, WE ARE REQUIRED TO SUSTAIN THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM.