B-157364, SEPT. 1, 1965

B-157364: Sep 1, 1965

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BROWN: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JULY 23. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT DURING THIS PERIOD YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO THE OFFICE OF THE STAFF JUDGE ADVOCATE. ALTHOUGH THE ACTUAL TRAVEL PERFORMED IS NOT SHOWN. THE CLAIM IS BASED ON AN ESTIMATED DISTANCE OF 5. THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER FOR FORT CAMPBELL REPORTED THAT HIS OFFICE HAS NO AUTHORITY TO APPROVE YOUR CLAIM SINCE BLANKET APPROVAL WAS NOT GIVEN YOU TO USE YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE ON A REIMBURSABLE BASIS IN THE PERFORMANCE OF YOUR DUTY. BY REGULATIONS OF THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY IN WHICH HE IS SERVING. SHALL BE DEFRAYED BY THE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY UNDER WHICH HE IS SERVING. OR THE MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED FOR THE EXPENSE.

B-157364, SEPT. 1, 1965

TO MR. DONALD W. BROWN:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JULY 23, 1965, TO OUR OFFICE FROM YOUR ATTORNEY, MR. MORRIS JANKO, REQUESTING REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT DATED JUNE 30, 1965, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES OF TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE DURING THE PERIOD MARCH 1 TO AUGUST 7, 1964, INCIDENT TO YOUR SERVICE IN THE UNITED STATES ARMY.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT DURING THIS PERIOD YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO THE OFFICE OF THE STAFF JUDGE ADVOCATE, FORT CAMPBELL, KENTUCKY, AS POST CLAIMS INVESTIGATOR AND THAT YOUR DUTY INVOLVED TRAVEL BOTH WITHIN THE LIMITS OF YOUR DUTY STATION AND IN THE AREA SURROUNDING FORT CAMPBELL, ALTHOUGH THE ACTUAL TRAVEL PERFORMED IS NOT SHOWN. THE CLAIM IS BASED ON AN ESTIMATED DISTANCE OF 5,000 MILES. THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER FOR FORT CAMPBELL REPORTED THAT HIS OFFICE HAS NO AUTHORITY TO APPROVE YOUR CLAIM SINCE BLANKET APPROVAL WAS NOT GIVEN YOU TO USE YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE ON A REIMBURSABLE BASIS IN THE PERFORMANCE OF YOUR DUTY.

SECTION 408 OF TITLE 37, U.S.C.PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER OF A UNIFORMED SERVICE MAY BE DIRECTED, BY REGULATIONS OF THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY IN WHICH HE IS SERVING, TO PROCURE TRANSPORTATION NECESSARY FOR CONDUCTING OFFICIAL BUSINESS OF THE UNITED STATES WITHIN THE LIMITS OF HIS STATION, AND EXPENSES SO INCURRED BY THE MEMBER 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 M1150 10 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT THE LIMITS OF A MEMBER'S PERMANENT DUTY STATION WILL BE THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE CITY OR TOWN IN WHICH THE MEMBER IS STATIONED, BUT IF NOT STATIONED IN AN INCORPORATED CITY OR TOWN, THE OFFICIAL STATION IS THE RESERVATION, STATION, OR ESTABLISHED AREA, OR, IN THE CASE OF LARGE RESERVATIONS, THE ESTABLISHED SUBDIVISION THEREOF HAVING DEFINITE BOUNDARIES WITHIN WHICH THE DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY IS LOCATED. PARAGRAPH M4500 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT WHEN DETERMINED BY THEM TO BE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT, OFFICIALS DESIGNATED BY THE SERVICES CONCERNED MAY AUTHORIZE IN ADVANCE, OR SUBSEQUENTLY APPROVE, REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES, AS DESCRIBED IN THAT PART OF THE REGULATIONS, WHICH ARE NECESSARILY INCURRED BY MEMBERS IN CONDUCTING OFFICIAL BUSINESS WITHIN THE LIMITS OF PERMANENT DUTY STATIONS, AND IN THE METROPOLITAN AREA SURROUNDING THOSE STATIONS WHICH ARE ORDINARILY SERVED BY LOCAL COMMON CARRIERS OF THE CITIES OR TOWNS IN WHICH SUCH STATIONS ARE LOCATED, OR IN COMPARABLE SURROUNDING AREAS IF THE POSTS OF DUTY ARE NOT LOCATED WITHIN RECOGNIZED METROPOLITAN AREAS. PARAGRAPH M4502 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT WHEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED UNDER THE CONDITION OF THAT PART OF THE REGULATIONS, MEMBERS WHO TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE ARE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT AT A RATE OF 10 CENTS A MILE FOR USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE, BASED ON SPEEDOMETER READINGS OR OTHER EVIDENCE FURNISHED BY THE MEMBER INVOLVED AS TO THE ACTUAL DISTANCE NECESSARILY TRAVELED IN CONDUCTING OFFICIAL BUSINESS.

THESE REGULATIONS PROVIDE FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES TO A MEMBER FOR USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE, WHEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED, IN CONDUCTING OFFICIAL BUSINESS WITHIN THE LIMITS OF HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION AND THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY THEREOF. HOWEVER, HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUCH EXPENSES UNLESS USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE WAS AUTHORIZED IN ADVANCE OR SUBSEQUENTLY APPROVED BY PROPER AUTHORITY EVEN THOUGH GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION MAY NOT HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE TO HIM. SINCE THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE WAS NOT AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY PROPER AUTHORITY IN YOUR CASE, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO ALLOW YOUR CLAIM FOR THE EXPENSES OF TRAVEL BY THAT MODE WITHIN THE LIMITS OF YOUR PERMANENT DUTY STATION AND THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY THEREOF. ALSO, AS INDICATED ABOVE, THE REGULATIONS PROVIDE FOR REIMBURSEMENT ON THE BASIS OF SPEEDOMETER READINGS OR OTHER EVIDENCE OF THE ACTUAL DISTANCE, BUT DO NOT PROVIDE FOR REIMBURSEMENT ON THE BASIS OF TOTAL ESTIMATED DISTANCE AS IN YOUR CASE.

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 M3050-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS 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. PARAGRAPH 4203-3B (2) OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES FOR REIMBURSEMENT ON A MILEAGE BASIS, AT 5 CENTS PER MILE AND IN SOME CASES 7 CENTS PER MILE, FRO TRAVEL ACTUALLY PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE UNDER ORDERS AUTHORIZING SUCH MODE OF TRANSPORTATION AS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. SINCE IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT TEMPORARY DUTY ORDERS WERE ISSUED FOR THE TRAVEL PERFORMED BY YOU AWAY FROM FORT CAMPBELL AND THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY THEREOF AND NOT COVERED BY PARAGRAPHS 4500 AND 4502 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO ALLOW THAT PART OF YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE EXPENSES OF TRAVEL AWAY FROM YOUR PERMANENT DUTY STATION.

ACCORDINGLY, THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.

WITH REGARD TO THE INQUIRY IN MR. JANKO'S LETTER OF JULY 7, 1965, WHETHER LIEUTENANT COLONEL GEORGE R. ROBINSON WAS CONTACTED REGARDING YOUR CLAIM, OUR RECORDS CONTAIN IN ADDITION TO THE COPIES OF STATEMENTS OF APRIL 6, 1964, AND JULY 6, 1964, BY COLONEL ROBINSON, WHICH WERE ENCLOSED IN MR. JANKO'S LETTER, A LETTER DATED AUGUST 24, 1964, TO THE COMMANDING GENERAL, 101ST AIRBORN DIVISION AND FORT CAMPBELL, FROM COLONEL ROBINSON. IN THIS LETTER COLONEL ROBINSON DISCUSSED YOUR USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE WHILE YOU WERE POST CLAIMS INVESTIGATOR AT FORT CAMPBELL AND RECOMMENDED THAT YOU BE AUTHORIZED TO EFFECT A CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR 5,000 MILES OF TRAVEL DURING THE PERIOD MARCH 1, 1964, TO AUGUST 7, 1964. IN HIS LETTER IT IS INDICATED THAT PRIOR TO MARCH 1, 1964, YOU UTILIZED GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION, BUT ON THAT DATE YOU STARTED UTILIZING YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE AS YOU CONSIDERED IT MORE ADVANTAGEOUS IN MEETING THE REQUIREMENTS OF YOUR ASSIGNMENT, GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION NOT ALWAYS BEING AVAILABLE. HOWEVER, THE POST TRANSPORTATION OFFICER FOR FORT CAMPBELL DID NOT APPROVE YOUR CLAIM AS REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH 4500 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, CITED ABOVE, WHICH PROVIDES THAT OFFICIALS DESIGNATED BY THE SERVICES CONCERNED MAY AUTHORIZE IN ADVANCE, OR SUBSEQUENTLY APPROVE, REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FOR THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE. THAT OFFICER STATED THAT HIS OFFICE HAS NO AUTHORITY TO APPROVE YOUR CLAIM SINCE NO BLANKET APPROVAL WAS EVER GIVEN TO YOU TO USE YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE ON A REIMBURSEMENT BASIS. HE FURTHER STATED THAT YOU USED A GOVERNMENT VEHICLE UNTIL OTHER PRIORITY COMMITMENTS PRECLUDED THE DISPATCH OF ONE FOR 1 OR 2 DAYS, BUT THERE IS NO RECORD THAT YOU SUBSEQUENTLY REQUESTED AND WERE REFUSED SUCH TRANSPORTATION.