B-155959, APR. 16, 1965

B-155959: Apr 16, 1965

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USAF: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 19. WE HAVE BEEN INFORMALLY ADVISED BY THE PER DIEM. YOU SAY THAT COLONEL MCCULLIN IS CLAIMING REIMBURSEMENT FOR MEAL PAYMENTS TO CHINESE MILITARY DRIVERS WHILE PERFORMING VICINITY TRAVEL DURING SEPTEMBER 1964 IN TAIWAN. ALSO YOU SAY THAT THESE EXPENSES ARE PECULIAR TO TAIWAN SINCE MEMBERS WHO ARE ORDERED TO PERFORM TEMPORARY DUTY AND VICINITY TRAVEL THERE ARE PERMITTED TO UTILIZE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WITH CHINESE MILITARY DRIVERS AND THAT WHEN THE DUTY IS REMOTE. IT IS IMPRACTICAL OR IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE USER TO SEND THE DRIVER BACK TO HIS ORGANIZATION FOR MEALS AND LODGING. SAYS THAT HIS OFFICE WAS ADVISED BY THE COMMANDER.

B-155959, APR. 16, 1965

TO MAJOR HAL D. HOLLAND, ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE OFFICER, USAF:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 19, 1964, AND ENCLOSURES, FORWARDED HERE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE LEGALITY OF REIMBURSING LIEUTENANT COLONEL BENJAMIN N. MCCULLIN FOR MEAL PAYMENTS IN THE AMOUNT OF $5.50 UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED. WE HAVE BEEN INFORMALLY ADVISED BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE THAT YOUR REQUEST HAS BEEN ASSIGNED PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 65-4.

IN YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 19, 1964, YOU SAY THAT COLONEL MCCULLIN IS CLAIMING REIMBURSEMENT FOR MEAL PAYMENTS TO CHINESE MILITARY DRIVERS WHILE PERFORMING VICINITY TRAVEL DURING SEPTEMBER 1964 IN TAIWAN. ALSO YOU SAY THAT THESE EXPENSES ARE PECULIAR TO TAIWAN SINCE MEMBERS WHO ARE ORDERED TO PERFORM TEMPORARY DUTY AND VICINITY TRAVEL THERE ARE PERMITTED TO UTILIZE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WITH CHINESE MILITARY DRIVERS AND THAT WHEN THE DUTY IS REMOTE, IT IS IMPRACTICAL OR IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE USER TO SEND THE DRIVER BACK TO HIS ORGANIZATION FOR MEALS AND LODGING. YOU POINT OUT, HOWEVER, THAT PARAGRAPH 5C OF HEDSUPPACT TAIPEI INSTRUCTION 11240.2C DATED AUGUST 14, 1963, PROVIDES THAT THE EXPENSES FOR THE DRIVER'S MEALS AND LODGING BECOMES THE USER'S RESPONSIBILITY.

THE ABOVE INSTRUCTION STATES THAT CHINESE MILITARY DRIVERS SHALL BE PERMITTED TO RETURN TO THEIR UNIT DURING MEAL HOURS OR SHALL BE PROVIDED NT $15.00 BY THE USER FOR EACH MEAL MISSED, AND THE USER SHALL MAKE ARRANGEMENTS FOR LODGING OR PROVIDE THE DRIVER WITH NT $20.00 FOR EACH NIGHT AWAY FROM HIS UNIT. IN LETTER OF MARCH 10, 1965, TO HEADQUARTERS, U.S. AIR FORCE, THE EXECUTIVE AGENT FOR MILITARY ATTACHES, THE FOREIGN SERVICE, USA, OFFICE OF THE AIR ATTACHE, TAIPEI, TAIWAN, SAYS THAT HIS OFFICE WAS ADVISED BY THE COMMANDER, HEADQUARTERS SUPPORT ACTIVITY. TAIPEI, THAT THIS PARAGRAPH WAS PROMULGATED BECAUSE OF THE EXTREMELY LOW PAY OF APPROXIMATELY NT $160 (US $4) PER MONTH FOR CHINESE MILITARY PERSONNEL; THAT CHINESE MILITARY DRIVERS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO USE MESSING OR LODGING FACILITIES OF OTHER CHINESE MILITARY UNITS AND MUST OBTAIN FOOD AND LODGING ON THE LOCAL MARKET WHEN THEY ARE AWAY FROM THEIR ASSIGNED UNIT; AND THAT THE RATE OF NT $15 (US $0.38) FOR EACH MEAL MISSED AND NT $20 (US $0.50) FOR EACH NIGHT AWAY FROM HIS UNIT IS CONSIDERED THE MINIMUM AMOUNT NECESSARY FOR A CHINESE MILITARY DRIVER TO OBTAIN MEALS AND LODGING ON THE LOCAL MARKET.

SECTION 404 OF TITLE 37, U.S.C. PROVIDES THAT, UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, A MEMBER OF A UNIFORMED SERVICE IS ENTITLED TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS WHEN AWAY FROM HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY. PARAGRAPH 3050-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO THAT AUTHORITY, PROVIDES THAT MEMBERS ARE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES ONLY WHILE ACTUALLY IN A TRAVEL STATUS, AND THAT MEMBERS SHALL BE DEEMED TO BE IN A TRAVEL STATUS WHILE PERFORMING TRAVEL AWAY FROM THEIR PERMANENT DUTY STATION, UPON PUBLIC BUSINESS, PURSUANT TO COMPETENT ORDERS, INCLUDING PERIODS OF NECESSARY TEMPORARY OR TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY. SECTION 408 OF TITLE 37, U.S.C. PROVIDES, IN ADDITION TO THAT AUTHORITY, THAT A MEMBER OF A UNIFORMED SERVICE MAY BE DIRECTED BY ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS TO PROCURE TRANSPORTATION NECESSARY FOR CONDUCTING OFFICIAL BUSINESS OF THE UNITED STATES WITHIN THE LIMITS OF HIS STATION. SECTION 408 ALSO PROVIDES THAT EXPENSES SO INCURRED BY THE MEMBER FOR TRAIN, BUS, STREETCAR, TAXICAB, FERRY, BRIDGE, AND SIMILAR FARES AND TOLLS, OR FOR THE USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLES AT A FIXED RATE A MILE, SHALL BE DEFRAYED BY THE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY UNDER WHICH HE IS SERVING, OR THE MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED FOR THE EXPENSE. PARAGRAPH 4406 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT EXPENSES OF OPERATION OF GOVERNMENT CONVEYANCES, SUCH AS COST OF GASOLINE, OIL, REPAIRS, NONPERSONAL SERVICES, GUARDS, AND STORAGE ARE REIMBURSABLE WHEN SUCH EXPENSES ARE NECESSARY AND GOVERNMENT FACILITIES ARE NOT AVAILABLE. SEE ALSO PARAGRAPH 808B (11) OF JOINT PROCEDURES FOR MANAGEMENT OF ADMINISTRATIVE USE OF MOTOR VEHICLES, AR 58-1.

THUS, IT APPEARS THAT THE STATUTE AND REGULATIONS DO NOT AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT TO A MEMBER OF AMOUNTS PROVIDED BY THE MEMBER TO DRIVERS OF MOTOR VEHICLES FOR MEALS AND LODGING UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES DISCLOSED. PARAGRAPH 5C OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS OF AUGUST 14, 1963, SEEMS TO CLEARLY CONTEMPLATE THAT SUCH EXPENSES ARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE MEMBER, AND WE FIND NOTHING IN THE ABOVE-CITED STATUTORY PROVISIONS AND THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT THERETO WHICH COULD BE CONSIDERED AS AUTHORITY FOR REIMBURSING THE MEMBER FOR THESE AMOUNTS FURNISHED THE DRIVERS OF MOTOR VEHICLES IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES. ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE CLAIM OF COLONEL MCCULLIN FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF AMOUNTS PROVIDED THE DRIVERS OF GOVERNMENT VEHICLES FOR THE PURCHASE OF MEALS MAY NOT BE ALLOWED.

THE PAPERS WHICH ACCOMPANIED YOUR REQUEST FOR DECISION WILL BE RETAINED HERE.