B-157022, JUL. 13, 1965

B-157022: Jul 13, 1965

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE OFFICER: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 26. COLONEL VAN BUSKIRK WAS RELIEVED FROM DUTY AT HEADQUARTERS. CONCURRENT TRAVEL FOR HIS DEPENDENTS WAS AUTHORIZED BY THESE ORDERS. THE UNEXECUTED PORTION OF SPECIAL ORDERS 30 RELATING TO COLONEL VAN BUSKIRK WAS REVOKED. HE APPLIED FOR PASSPORTS FOR HIS DEPENDENTS SINCE CONCURRENT TRAVEL FOR THEM WAS AUTHORIZED IN THE ORDERS. PROVIDES THAT THE TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS INCIDENT TO A MEMBER'S PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION IS AUTHORIZED UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED. PROVIDES THAT THE MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES FOR PASSPORT FEES INCURRED INCIDENT TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS DEPENDENTS.

B-157022, JUL. 13, 1965

TO MAJOR L. D. WORLEY, ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE OFFICER:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 26, 1965, AND ACCOMPANYING PAPERS, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE LEGALITY OF REIMBURSING LIEUTENANT COLONEL ROBERT C. VAN BUSKIRK FOR EXPENSES IN THE AMOUNT OF $5 INCURRED IN OBTAINING PASSPORTS FOR HIS DEPENDENTS UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED. YOUR REQUEST HAS BEEN ASSIGNED PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 65-21.

BY SPECIAL ORDERS 30 DATED FEBRUARY 10, 1965, COLONEL VAN BUSKIRK WAS RELIEVED FROM DUTY AT HEADQUARTERS, UNITED STATES STRIKE COMMAND, MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, FLORIDA 33608, AND ASSIGNED TO BOLLING AIR FORCE BASE, D.C. 20332, WITH PERMANENT DUTY STATION AT THE MILITARY ASSISTANCE ADVISORY GROUP, APO SF 96263; EFFECTIVE DATE OF CHANGE OF STRENGTH ACCOUNTABILITY, JULY 31, 1965. CONCURRENT TRAVEL FOR HIS DEPENDENTS WAS AUTHORIZED BY THESE ORDERS. BY SPECIAL ORDERS 70 DATED APRIL 5, 1965, THE UNEXECUTED PORTION OF SPECIAL ORDERS 30 RELATING TO COLONEL VAN BUSKIRK WAS REVOKED. IN LETTER OF APRIL 22, 1965, TO YOU, COLONEL VAN BUSKIRK SAYS THAT UPON RECEIPT OF HIS ORDERS DATED FEBRUARY 10, 1965, HE APPLIED FOR PASSPORTS FOR HIS DEPENDENTS SINCE CONCURRENT TRAVEL FOR THEM WAS AUTHORIZED IN THE ORDERS. HE MADE PAYMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $5 FOR THESE PASSPORTS.

SECTION 406 OF TITLE 37 U.S.C. PROVIDES THAT THE TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS INCIDENT TO A MEMBER'S PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION IS AUTHORIZED UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED. PARAGRAPH M7002-3 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO THAT AUTHORITY, PROVIDES THAT THE MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES FOR PASSPORT FEES INCURRED INCIDENT TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS DEPENDENTS. PARAGRAPH M3003-1B (2) OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING ENTITLEMENT TO ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION UNDER PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS WHICH ARE MODIFIED, CANCELED OR REVOKED PRIOR TO THEIR EFFECTIVE DATE, THE ORDERS WILL BE CONSIDERED AS EFFECTIVE WHEN RECEIVED FOR ANY TRAVEL PERFORMED THEREUNDER BY THE MEMBER OR HIS DEPENDENTS.

IT LONG HAS BEEN THE RULE THAT NO OFFICIAL TRAVEL IS REQUIRED UNDER CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS UNTIL SUCH TIME AS THE TRAVELER MUST DEPART FROM THE OLD STATION BY ORDINARY MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION (UNLESS OTHERWISE DIRECTED) TO REACH HIS DESTINATION ON THE DATE DESIGNATED BY THE TRAVEL ORDERS. THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF TRAVEL ORDERS ISSUED TO MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES ARE SUBJECT TO MODIFICATION OR REVOCATION AT ANY TIME PRIOR TO THE EXECUTION OF THE TRAVEL AS DIRECTED AND IT IS WELL SETTLED THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY PROVIDING FOR REIMBURSEMENT, ANY EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE MEMBER PREPARATORY TO COMPLYING WITH THE ORDERS MUST BE BORNE BY HIM IF THE ORDERS ARE RESCINDED OR CANCELED PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE THEREOF. SEE 19 COMP. GEN. 315; 33 COMP. GEN. 289.

WE REALIZE THAT IN SOME CIRCUMSTANCES WHEN TRAVEL ORDERS ARE CANCELED PRIOR TO THEIR EFFECTIVE DATE, MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES MAY SUFFER SOME FINANCIAL LOSS FOR CERTAIN EXPENSES INCURRED PREPARATORY TO COMPLYING WITH THE ORDERS. CONGRESS RECOGNIZED THAT A MEMBER SHOULD NOT BE DENIED REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL COMMENCED BEFORE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF HIS ORDERS WHEN IT ENACTED PUBLIC LAW 88-238, APPROVED DECEMBER 23, 1963, 77 STAT. 475, PROVIDING FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES FOR TRAVEL OF THE MEMBER AND HIS DEPENDENTS PERFORMED BEFORE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF ORDERS, WHEN SUCH ORDERS ARE RESCINDED OR CANCELED PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE THEREOF. THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH M3003-1B (2) OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, REFERRED TO ABOVE, ARE AUTHORIZED BY THIS ACT. THERE IS NOTHING IN THE ACT AND ITS LEGISLATIVE HISTORY, HOWEVER, WHICH WOULD AUTHORIZE THE REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN PREPARATION FOR THE TRAVEL WHEN THE ORDERS ARE CANCELED BEFORE THE COMMENCEMENT OF TRAVEL BY THE MEMBER AND HIS DEPENDENTS. ACCORDINGLY, SINCE COLONEL VAN BUSKIRK'S DEPENDENTS HAD NOT COMMENCED THEIR TRAVEL TO HIS NEW STATION WHEN HIS ORDERS OF FEBRUARY 10, 1965, WERE REVOKED, HIS CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN APPLYING FOR PASSPORTS FOR THEM MAY NOT BE ALLOWED.

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