B-155951, FEB. 23, 1965, 44 COMP. GEN. 513

B-155951: Feb 23, 1965

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- AN OFFICER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHO RELOCATES HIS HOUSEHOLD FOR HIS OWN CONVENIENCE IS NOT ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF A DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE. THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF A DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE TO THE OFFICER IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE THAT HE WAS REQUIRED TO VACATE HIS QUARTERS OR A STATEMENT BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER. THAT THE RELOCATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD WAS NECESSARY AS A DIRECT RESULT OF THE PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. 1965: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 25. LIEUTENANT ABRAHAM WAS REASSIGNED. WHICH IT IS UNDERSTOOD IS USED FOR REASSIGNMENTS WHEN A CHANGE OF DUTY STATION IS INVOLVED BUT RELOCATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD IS NOR REQUIRED. AN INDIVIDUAL MAY RELOCATE HIS HOUSEHOLD FOR HIS OWN CONVENIENCE BUT DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE IS NOT PAYABLE.

B-155951, FEB. 23, 1965, 44 COMP. GEN. 513

TRANSPORTATION - DEPENDENTS - MILITARY PERSONNEL - DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE - MOVES WITHIN SAME CITY, ETC. UPON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF DUTY ASSIGNMENT BETWEEN STATIONS LOCATED IN PROXIMITY TO EACH OTHER IN HAWAII--- A DISTANCE OF 19 MILES--- AN OFFICER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHO RELOCATES HIS HOUSEHOLD FOR HIS OWN CONVENIENCE IS NOT ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF A DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE, THE CHARGE IN DUTY ASSIGNMENT OF THE OFFICER HAVING BEEN MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH AREA POLICY THAT DOES NOT REQUIRE RELOCATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD INCIDENT TO A DUTY REASSIGNMENT, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF A DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE TO THE OFFICER IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE THAT HE WAS REQUIRED TO VACATE HIS QUARTERS OR A STATEMENT BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER, PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH 9002-1, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, THAT THE RELOCATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD WAS NECESSARY AS A DIRECT RESULT OF THE PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION.

TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL E. C. HEFFELFINGER, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, FEBRUARY 23, 1965:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 25, 1964, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF MAKING PAYMENT TO FIRST LIEUTENANT BRUCE R. ABRAHAM, 093548, FOR DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE INCIDENT TO AN ORDERED CHANGE IN DUTY ASSIGNMENT. THE REQUEST HAS BEEN ASSIGNED PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 65-1.

BY PARAGRAPH 3, SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 185, HEADQUARTERS, UNITED STATES ARMY, HAWAII, DATED OCTOBER 18, 1963, LIEUTENANT ABRAHAM WAS REASSIGNED, EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 23, 1963, FROM DUTY AT SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, HAWAII, TO 89TH ORDNANCE COMPANY, FORT SHAFTER, HAWAII, A DISTANCE OF APPROXIMATELY 19 MILES. THE ORDERS CITE CHANGE OF ASSIGNMENT CODE 97, WHICH IT IS UNDERSTOOD IS USED FOR REASSIGNMENTS WHEN A CHANGE OF DUTY STATION IS INVOLVED BUT RELOCATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD IS NOR REQUIRED. FOR THAT REASON, THE STATEMENT REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH 9002-1, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, COULD NOT BE ISSUED TO SUPPORT THE CLAIM. AN AREA ASSIGNMENT POLICY STATEMENT INDICATES FURTHER THAT UNDER THE ASSIGNMENT CODE NUMBER, AN INDIVIDUAL MAY RELOCATE HIS HOUSEHOLD FOR HIS OWN CONVENIENCE BUT DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE IS NOT PAYABLE.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT ON JANUARY 17, 1964, LIEUTENANT ABRAHAM VOLUNTARILY VACATED FAMILY TYPE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AT SCHOFIELD BARRACKS AND WAS ASSIGNED FAMILY TYPE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS IN THE FORT SHAFTER AREA. CLAIMING DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE FOR THE MOVE, THE OFFICER STATES THAT THE MILITARY BUS SCHEDULE BETWEEN SCHOFIELD BARRACKS AND FORT SHAFTER DID NOT CORRESPOND WITH HIS WORKING HOURS, INASMUCH AS THE DUTY DAY AT FORT SHAFTER STARTED AT 0730 AND THE EARLIEST BUS ARRIVAL AT THE PLACE WAS 0800. FOR THAT REASON HE SAYS HE MOVED FROM SCHOFIELD BARRACKS TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION AS SOON AS HOUSING WAS AVAILABLE THERE.

IN YOUR LETTER YOU REFER TO THE CLAIM OF FIRST LIEUTENANT JOHN A. MACINTYRE, JR., FOR DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE UNDER SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES, WHICH WAS ALLOWED BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION EVEN THOUGH THE ORDERS CONTAINED ASSIGNMENT CODE 97 AND THE CLAIM WAS NOT SUPPORTED BY THE STATEMENT REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH 9002-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. IF IT IS DETERMINED THAT LIEUTENANT ABRAHAM'S CLAIM IS PAYABLE, YOU REQUEST ADVICE WHETHER HIS ORDERS MUST BE AMENDED TO RESCIND ASSIGNMENT CODE 97, WHETHER PAYMENT SHOULD BE SUPPORTED BY THE STATEMENT REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH 9002-1, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AND WHETHER SIMILAR CLAIMS MAY BE SETTLED ADMINISTRATIVELY. IN THE FOURTH INDORSEMENT BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE, DATED JANUARY 14, 1965, THE OPINION IS EXPRESSED THAT THE CASE INVOLVES A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION BETWEEN STATIONS LOCATED IN PROXIMITY TO EACH OTHER AND THAT PAYMENT OF DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE IS SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 9002-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND THE STATEMENT PRESCRIBED BY THAT PARAGRAPH SHOULD BE FURNISHED IN THIS CASE AND SIMILAR CASES WHENEVER THE MEMBER RELOCATES HIS HOUSEHOLD NEARER TO HIS NEW PERMANENT DUTY STATION.

IN OUR DECISION OF MARCH 7, 1963, 42 COMP. GEN. 460, WE CONSIDERED STATUTORY PROVISIONS TO THE EFFECT THAT THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE "CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU" INCLUDE ALL OF THE ISLAND OAHU AND OTHER ADJACENT ISLANDS NOT INCLUDED IN OTHER COUNTIES. SINCE THE BOUNDARIES OF THE DISTRICT OF HONOLULU ARE DEFINED BY STATUTE AND CORRESPOND, GENERALLY, WITH THE URBAN AREA OF THE CITY OF HONOLULU, WE CONCLUDED, FOR THE REASONS SET FORTH, THAT WE WOULD CONTINUE TO REGARD SUCH BOUNDARIES (SEE 19 COMP GEN. 602) FOR AUDIT PURPOSES AS THE BOUNDARIES OF A MEMBER'S OFFICIAL STATION WHO IS STATIONED WITHIN SUCH BOUNDARIES. THE MATTER IS NOT SO FREE FROM DOUBT, HOWEVER, AS TO REQUIRE US TO QUESTION AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE CLEARLY TO THE CONTRARY, THAT A RELOCATION OF THE MEMBER'S HOUSEHOLD IS NOT REQUIRED INCIDENT TO HIS ASSIGNMENT FROM ONE STATION TO ANOTHER STATION ON THAT ISLAND BECAUSE THE STATIONS ARE IN PROXIMITY TO EACH OTHER.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE ASSIGNMENT OF LIEUTENANT ABRAHAM TO FORT SHAFTER WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH AN AREA ASSIGNMENT POLICY WHICH HAD DETERMINED THAT PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION REASSIGNMENTS IN THE AREA DID NOT REQUIRE RELOCATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF PARAGRAPH 9002-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS EXCEPT IN CERTAIN CASES SPECIALLY AUTHORIZED. THEREFORE, IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE THAT THE OFFICER WAS REQUIRED TO VACATE HIS QUARTERS AT SCHOFIELD BARRACKS OR A STATEMENT BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER THAT THE RELOCATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD WAS NECESSARY AS A DIRECT RESULT OF THE PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, AS REQUIRED BY APPLICABLE REGULATIONS, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETAINED HERE, IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

THE ALLOWANCE OF LIEUTENANT MACINTYRE'S CLAIM WAS ERRONEOUS AND STEPS WILL BE TAKEN TO RECOVER THE PAYMENT MADE.