B-156258, MAR. 25, 1965

B-156258: Mar 25, 1965

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

JOANN JOYCE RICHARDSON: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES INCURRED IN YOUR TRAVEL FROM SACRAMENTO. WHO WAS ON DUTY IN VIETNAM. WAS HELD TO BE IN A MISSING STATUS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE MISSING PERSONS ACT. WHICH STATUS WAS TERMINATED OCTOBER 26. HE WAS BURIED IN THE ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY ON NOVEMBER 9. YOU SUBMIT AN AFFIDAVIT IN WHICH YOU STATE THAT YOU ARE A RESIDENT OF SACRAMENTO. YOU STATE FURTHER THAT YOU ARE AWARE OF YOUR RIGHT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 7010 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO BE MOVED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO A PLACE YOU MAY DESIGNATE. THAT YOU EXPRESSLY AND VOLUNTARILY WAIVE ALL FUTURE RIGHTS AND BENEFITS THAT MIGHT ACCRUE TO YOU INCIDENT TO SUCH PROVISIONS AND YOU DO SO IN THE HOPE THAT IT WILL HAVE FAVORABLE EFFECT UPON YOUR REQUEST FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES CLAIMED.

B-156258, MAR. 25, 1965

TO MRS. JOANN JOYCE RICHARDSON:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES INCURRED IN YOUR TRAVEL FROM SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., AND RETURN, TO ATTEND THE FUNERAL OF YOUR HUSBAND, THE LATE EUGENE RICHARDSON, AIRMAN FIRST CLASS, AIR FORCE, WHO DIED ON OCTOBER 24, 1964.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOUR HUSBAND, WHO WAS ON DUTY IN VIETNAM, WAS HELD TO BE IN A MISSING STATUS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE MISSING PERSONS ACT, 50 U.S.C. APP. 1001-1015, COMMENCING OCTOBER 24, 1964, WHICH STATUS WAS TERMINATED OCTOBER 26, 1964, THE DATE OF RECEIPT OF EVIDENCE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE OF HIS DEATH. HE WAS BURIED IN THE ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY ON NOVEMBER 9, 1964.

WITH YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN YOUR TRAVEL TO THE ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY AND RETURN, YOU SUBMIT AN AFFIDAVIT IN WHICH YOU STATE THAT YOU ARE A RESIDENT OF SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA, AND YOU PLAN TO MAKE THAT CITY YOUR PERMANENT RESIDENCE. YOU STATE FURTHER THAT YOU ARE AWARE OF YOUR RIGHT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 7010 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO BE MOVED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO A PLACE YOU MAY DESIGNATE, BUT THAT YOU EXPRESSLY AND VOLUNTARILY WAIVE ALL FUTURE RIGHTS AND BENEFITS THAT MIGHT ACCRUE TO YOU INCIDENT TO SUCH PROVISIONS AND YOU DO SO IN THE HOPE THAT IT WILL HAVE FAVORABLE EFFECT UPON YOUR REQUEST FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES CLAIMED. THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, IN TRANSMITTING YOUR CLAIM, ACKNOWLEDGES THAT PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM IS NOT AUTHORIZED UNDER APPLICABLE REGULATIONS, BUT RECOMMENDS FAVORABLE CONSIDERATION AS A MERITORIOUS CLAIM UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 31 U.S.C. 236.

PARAGRAPH 7010 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROMULGATED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 37 U.S.C. 406 (F) AND 50 U.S.C. APP. 1012, AND WHICH WAS IN EFFECT ON THE DATE OF YOUR HUSBAND'S DEATH, PROVISED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF THE DEPENDENTS OF MEMBERS WHO DIE WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY TO ANY PLACE WHICH THE DEPENDENTS DESIGNATE. IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS CONTAINED IN CHAPTER 3, AIR FORCE MANUAL 75-4, PROVIDE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS, HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, ETC., UNDER THE MISSING PERSONS ACT. PARAGRAPH 1302 PROVIDES THAT AFTER A DEPENDENT HAS RECEIVED AN OFFICIAL STATUS REPORT, THE ORDER ISSUING AUTHORITY MAY AUTHORIZE TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS AT ANY TIME WITHIN A ONE YEAR PERIOD TO THE OFFICIAL RESIDENCE OF RECORD OF THE MEMBER OR THE RESIDENCE OF THE DEPENDENT OR NEXT OF KIN OR OTHER PERSONS ENTITLED TO RECEIVE CUSTODY OF THE MEMBER'S PERSONAL EFFECTS, BUT THAT APPLICATION FOR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION TO OTHER LOCATIONS MUST BE FORWARDED FOR EVALUATION BY THE APPROPRIATE MAJOR COMMAND CONCERNED. NO PROVISION IS MADE FOR THE TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS TO ATTEND THE FUNERAL OF THE DECEASED MEMBER AND RETURN TO THEIR RESIDENCE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

WASHINGTON, D.C., IS NOT THE PLACE DESIGNATED BY YOU FOR PURPOSES OF THE REGULATIONS AND UNDER THE LAW AND REGULATIONS, REIMBURSEMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED TO ATTEND A FUNERAL. THE WAIVER OF YOUR RIGHT TO TRANSPORTATION TO A DESIGNATED PLACE MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED AS CHANGING YOUR DESIGNATED PLACE FOR TRAVEL PURPOSES OR AS OTHERWISE PROVIDING AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE TRAVEL PERFORMED TO ATTEND YOUR HUSBAND'S FUNERAL. ACCORDINGLY, WE HAVE NO ALTERNATIVE OTHER THAN TO DISALLOW YOUR CLAIM.

THE MERITORIOUS CLAIMS ACT, 31 U.S.C. 236, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"WHEN THERE IS FILED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE A CLAIM OR DEMAND AGAINST THE UNITED STATES THAT MAY NOT LAWFULLY BE ADJUSTED BY THE USE OF AN APPROPRIATION THERETOFORE MADE, BUT WHICH CLAIM OR DEMAND IN THE JUDGMENT OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES CONTAINS SUCH ELEMENTS OF LEGAL LIABILITY OR EQUITY AS TO BE DESERVING OF THE CONSIDERATION OF THE CONGRESS, HE SHALL SUBMIT THE SAME TO THE CONGRESS BY A SPECIAL REPORT CONTAINING THE MATERIAL FACTS AND HIS RECOMMENDATION THEREON.'

AS INDICATED ABOVE THERE IS NO LEGAL LIABILITY ON THE PART OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM. SINCE YOU ARE IN THE SAME POSITION WITH RESPECT TO YOUR TRAVEL AS DEPENDENTS OF OTHER MEMBERS WHO PERFORMED LIKE TRAVEL AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE, TO ACCORD YOUR CLAIM FAVORABLE TREATMENT WOULD DISCRIMINATE AGAINST ALL SUCH OTHER DEPENDENTS. IN OUR VIEW ONE OF THE PURPOSES OF THE MERITORIOUS CLAIMS ACT IS TO REMOVE INEQUITIES, NOT TO CREATE THEM. ACCORDINGLY, WE MUST CONCLUDE THAT YOUR CLAIM DOES NOT CONTAIN THE ELEMENTS OF LEGAL LIABILITY OR EQUITY CONTEMPLATED BY THE STATUTE SO AS TO WARRANT REPORTING THE MATTER FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF THE CONGRESS. WE TRUST YOU WILL UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS FOR SUCH REASONS AND NOT FROM ANY LACK OF SYMPATHY IN YOUR CASE THAT WE MAY NOT REPORT YOUR CLAIM TO THE CONGRESS FOR ITS CONSIDERATION.