B-157765, NOV 15, 1965

B-157765: Nov 15, 1965

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HOUSE OF REPRESENATIVES: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 15. YOU WERE ADVISED THAT SINCE MRS. IT APPEARS THAT NO AUTHORIZATION WAS ISSUED FOR HER TRANSPORTATION UNDER PARAGRAPH M7103 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND. YOU REQUEST THAT WE RECONSIDER THE CASE IN THE LIGHT OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S LETTER AND ADVISE YOU IF IT WOULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE IF THE AIR FORCE WERE TO STIPULATE THAT UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES THE AIR FORCE COMMANDER IN ENGLAND WOULD CONSIDER MRS. IT APPEARS TO BE YOUR VIEW THAT IF SUCH ACTION WERE TAKEN. AS A GENERAL PROPOSITION TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS AUTHORIZED ONLY WHEN A MEMBER IS ORDERED TO MAKE A CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION. 37 U.S.C. 406(A) AND 406(B).

B-157765, NOV 15, 1965

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

WRIGHT PATMAN, HOUSE OF REPRESENATIVES:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 15, 1965 AND ENCLOSURE, ACKNOWLEDGING OUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 13, 1965, B-157765, CONCERNING THE REQUEST OF THE WIFE OF TECHNICAL SERGEANT PAUL E. BARGER, AF 13216353, THAT THEIR HOUSEHOLD GOODS BE SHIPPED FROM ENGLAND TO THE UNITED STATES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

IN OUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 13, 1965, YOU WERE ADVISED THAT SINCE MRS. BARGER RETURNED TO THE UNITED STATES AT HER OWN EXPENSE FROM SERGEANT BARGER'S STATION WITH THE AIR FORCE IN ENGLAND IN JUNE 1965 WHEN SHE SEPARATED FROM HER HUSBAND, IT APPEARS THAT NO AUTHORIZATION WAS ISSUED FOR HER TRANSPORTATION UNDER PARAGRAPH M7103 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND, CONSEQUENTLY, THERE WOULD BE NO AUTHORITY AT THE PRESENT TIME UNDER PARAGRAPH M8303-1 OF THE REGULATIONS FOR THE SHIPMENT OF THESE HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO THE UNITED STATES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. WE EXPRESSED THE OPINION IN OUR LETTER THAT IF MRS. BARGER RETURNS TO ENGLAND FOR THE PURPOSE OF HAVING HER HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPPED TO THE UNITED STATES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, SHE WOULD BE REQUIRED TO TRAVEL OVER THERE AT PERSONAL EXPENSE AND UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 3301 OF AIR FORCE MANUAL 75- 4 MIGHT BE CONSIDERED AN UNAUTHORIZED DEPENDENT AT HER HUSBAND'S OVERSEAS STATION IN WHICH CASE HER HUSBAND WOULD BE FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR HER RETURN TRANSPORTATION. WE ALSO EXPRESSED THE OPINION THAT IF SHE RETURNS TO ENGLAND WITH NO INTENTION OF RESIDING THERE, BUT MERELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF HAVING THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPPED TO THE UNITED STATES, THERE WOULD BE NO PROPER BASIS UNDER THE REGULATIONS FOR AUTHORIZING HER RETURN AND THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO THE UNITED STATES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

IN THE ENCLOSURE TO YOUR LETTER THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE (COMPTROLLER) REFERS TO OUR DECISION TO THE EFFECT THAT HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS MAY NOT BE MOVED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE INDEPENDENTLY OF THE MOVEMENT OF THE DEPENDENTS AND SUGGESTS THAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THIS CASE INDICATE THE NEED FOR A FURTHER REFINEMENT OF THE RULE. YOU REQUEST THAT WE RECONSIDER THE CASE IN THE LIGHT OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S LETTER AND ADVISE YOU IF IT WOULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE IF THE AIR FORCE WERE TO STIPULATE THAT UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES THE AIR FORCE COMMANDER IN ENGLAND WOULD CONSIDER MRS. BARGER A "COMMAND SPONSORED DEPENDENT," AND WOULD AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF HER TRAVEL AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS EXPENSE IF SHE RETURNED TO ENGLAND. IT APPEARS TO BE YOUR VIEW THAT IF SUCH ACTION WERE TAKEN, THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS COULD BE MOVED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WITHOUT THE ISSUANCE OF ORDERS OR ANY FURTHER TRAVEL BY MRS. BARGER.

AS A GENERAL PROPOSITION TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS AUTHORIZED ONLY WHEN A MEMBER IS ORDERED TO MAKE A CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION. 37 U.S.C. 406(A) AND 406(B). SECTION 406(H) OF TITLE 37, U.S.C. AS ADDED BY PUBLIC LAW 88 431 (78 STAT. 439) PROVIDES FOR THE ADVANCE RETURN OF DEPENDENTS, BAGGAGE, AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM OVERSEAS AREAS TO THE UNITED STATES IN CERTAIN CASES WHEN IT IS DETERMINED TO BE IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE MEMBER AND HIS DEPENDENTS AND THE UNITED STATES AND ORDERS DIRECTING A CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION FOR THE MEMBER CONCERNED HAVE NOT BEEN ISSUED, OR WHEN THEY HAVE BEEN ISSUED BUT CANNOT BE USED AS AUTHORITY FOR THEIR TRANSPORTATION. THE ENTIRE EMPHASIS OF THIS EXCEPTION TO THE BASIC PROVISIONS OF THE LAW AND ITS LEGISLATIVE HISTORY IS UPON THE NEED FOR ADVANCE RETURN OF DEPENDENTS. NOTHING WHATEVER IS FOUND IN THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE LAW TO INDICATE ANY INTENTION THAT IT WAS TO BE VIEWED AS AUTHORITY FOR THE ADVANCE MOVEMENT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS OF A MEMBER WITHOUT DEPENDENTS OR THAT IT CONSTITUTES AUTHORITY FOR THE ADVANCE MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WHEN THE ADVANCE MOVEMENT OF THE MEMBER'S DEPENDENTS HAS NOT BEEN AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. THUS, IT IS OUR VIEW THAT UNDER THE STATUTE AND IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS THE MOVEMENT OF A MEMBER'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS IS CONTINGENT ON AN AUTHORIZATION FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS DEPENDENTS. SEE DECISION OF MARCH 22, 1965, B 156241, 44 COMP. GEN. , COPY ENCLOSED.

IN THAT VIEW OF THE LAW THERE IS NO BASIS FOR AUTHORIZING THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS INDEPENDENTLY OF THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE DEPENDENT. CONSEQUENTLY ANY MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE MUST ALSO INCLUDE AN AUTHORIZATION FOR TRANSPORTATION OF THE DEPENDENT. A STIPULATION BY THE AIR FORCE SUCH AS APPEARS CONTEMPLATED BY YOUR LETTER WOULD AFFORD NO AUTHORITY FOR THE INDEPENDENT MOVEMENT OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS.

AS WE SAID IN OUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 13, 1965, TO YOU, THE RECORD INDICATES THAT WHEN MRS. BARGER RETURNED TO THE UNITED STATES AT THE TIME SHE SEPARATED FROM HER HUSBAND, SHE HAD NO INTENTION OF RETURNING TO LIVE WITH HIM - AS EVIDENCED BY HER SUIT FOR A DIVORCE - AND, HENCE, IT WOULD SEEM THAT SHE HAD ABANDONED HER STATUS AN AUTHORIZED DEPENDENT AT HIS OVERSEAS STATION. HOWEVER, MRS. BARGER APPARENTLY WAS IN ENGLAND AS A COMMAND SPONSORED DEPENDENT AND IT IS A MATTER FOR DETERMINATION BY THE AIR FORCE WHETHER THEY WILL CONTINUE TO REGARD HER AS A "COMMAND SPONSORED DEPENDENT" DESPITE HER DEPARTURE FROM ENGLAND. THEREFORE, WHILE THE MATTER IS NOT FREE FROM DOUBT, IF THE AIR FORCE CONSIDERS THAT MRS. BARGER'S STATUS AS A COMMAND SPONSORED DEPENDENT REMAINS UNCHANGED, REGARDLESS OF WHERE SHE MAY BE PRESENTLY RESIDING, AND, ON THE BASIS THAT THE INTEREST OF THE UNITED STATES REQUIRES SUCH ACTION IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THIS CASE, ISSUES ORDERS DIRECTING HER RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES BECAUSE OF MARITAL DIFFICULTIES AND PROVIDING FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, THIS OFFICE WOULD NOT OBJECT TO PAYMENT OF THE COSTS OF TRANSPORTING THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS UNDER SUCH ORDERS TO THE EXTENT PROVIDED BY LAW AND REGULATIONS. SINCE, HOWEVER, MRS. BARGER MUST BE VIEWED AS HAVING PERFORMED ANY TRAVEL WHICH WOULD BE AUTHORIZED FOR HER UNDER THE ORDERS, PRIOR TO THE ORDERS AND AS IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT HER TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES WAS NOT BASED UPON FIRM ADVICE THAT SUCH ORDERS WOULD BE ISSUED, THE PRINCIPLES OF PARAGRAPHS M7000-8 AND M7003-4 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WOULD PRECLUDE ANY REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF HER TRAVEL.

IN THIS REGARD, IT MAY BE POINTED OUT THAT THE ENTITLEMENT TO TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, IN OTHERWISE PROPER CASES, IS THE RIGHT OF THE MEMBER RATHER THAN THE DEPENDENT AND GENERALLY IS FOR AUTHORIZATION UPON THE APPLICATION OF THE MEMBER RATHER THAN THE DEPENDENT. ANY EXCESS COSTS OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION OVER THE COSTS PROVIDED BY LAW AND REGULATION MUST BE BORNE BY THE MEMBER.