B-158218, FEB. 7, 1966, 45 COMP. GEN. 480

B-158218: Feb 7, 1966

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TRANSPORTATION - BAGGAGE - MILITARY PERSONNEL - UNACCOMPANIED PERSONAL EFFECTS THE COST OF SHIPPING THE PERSONAL EFFECTS OF NAVY MEMBERS TO AND FROM A VESSEL THAT IS AWAY FROM ITS HOME PORT AND HOME YARD. OR TO THE FACT THAT THE COST OF THE SHIPMENT WILL EXCEED THE COST OF SHIPMENT FROM THE OLD HOME YARD OR PORT TO THE NEW HOME YARD OR PORT. 1966: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED DECEMBER 8. A COPY OF THE PROPOSED REGULATIONS WAS ATTACHED. THE REQUEST WAS ASSIGNED CONTROL NO. 65-38 BY THE PER DIEM. IT IS STATED IN THE LETTER THAT MEMBERS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY ARE FREQUENTLY TRANSFERRED (PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION) TO OR FROM A VESSEL DURING A PERIOD WHEN IT IS AWAY FROM THE HOME PORT AND HOME YARD.

B-158218, FEB. 7, 1966, 45 COMP. GEN. 480

TRANSPORTATION - BAGGAGE - MILITARY PERSONNEL - UNACCOMPANIED PERSONAL EFFECTS THE COST OF SHIPPING THE PERSONAL EFFECTS OF NAVY MEMBERS TO AND FROM A VESSEL THAT IS AWAY FROM ITS HOME PORT AND HOME YARD, EFFECTS THAT NORMALLY WOULD ACCOMPANY A MEMBER TO HIS PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION BUT FOR THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE TRAVEL, MAY BE PAID WITHOUT REGARD TO THE PERMANENT CHANGE-OF-STATION ALLOWANCE FOR HOUSEHOLD GOODS, OR TO THE FACT THAT THE COST OF THE SHIPMENT WILL EXCEED THE COST OF SHIPMENT FROM THE OLD HOME YARD OR PORT TO THE NEW HOME YARD OR PORT, AND THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS MAY BE AMENDED TO PROVIDE, WITHIN AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCES, FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE PERSONAL EFFECTS INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFER OF A MEMBER TO AND FROM A PERMANENT DUTY STATION ABOARD SHIP, THE BROAD AUTHORITY IN 37 U.S.C. 406 FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION COVERING BOTH THE MOVEMENT OF EFFECTS FOR USE ASHORE BY DEPENDENTS AND THOSE PERSONALLY REQUIRED BY A MEMBER, AND THE DEFINITION OF ,PERMANENT STATION," PURSUANT TO SECTION 411 (D), RECOGNIZING A MEMBER HAS TWO DUTY STATIONS - ONE ABOARD SHIP AND THE OTHER THE BASE ASHORE FOR HIS DEPENDENTS.

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, FEBRUARY 7, 1966:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED DECEMBER 8, 1965, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, FORWARDED HERE BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE ON DECEMBER 13, 1965, REQUESTING A DECISION WHETHER THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS MAY BE AMENDED TO PROVIDE FOR SHIPMENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF PERSONAL EFFECTS OF MEMBERS TRANSFERRED TO OR FROM A VESSEL UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED BELOW. A COPY OF THE PROPOSED REGULATIONS WAS ATTACHED. THE REQUEST WAS ASSIGNED CONTROL NO. 65-38 BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE.

IT IS STATED IN THE LETTER THAT MEMBERS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY ARE FREQUENTLY TRANSFERRED (PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION) TO OR FROM A VESSEL DURING A PERIOD WHEN IT IS AWAY FROM THE HOME PORT AND HOME YARD; THAT IN MANY INSTANCES THE VESSEL IS OVERSEAS; THAT WHEN THE MODE OF TRAVEL TO THE LOCATION OF THE VESSEL IS COMMERCIAL OR MATS AIRCRAFT, AND PERHAPS INCLUDES A PORTION OF THE TRAVEL BY TACTICAL AIRCRAFT AND TRANSFER AT SEA FROM SHIP TO SHIP, THE AMOUNT OF PERSONAL EFFECTS WHICH MAY BE CARRIED AS ACCOMPANYING BAGGAGE IS DRASTICALLY REDUCED; THAT, CONSEQUENTLY, THE BALANCE OF THE PERSONAL EFFECTS MUST BE SHIPPED AS A PART OF THE MEMBER'S PERMANENT CHANGE-OF-STATION ALLOWANCE FOR HOUSEHOLD GOODS; THAT THIS PROCEDURE CREATES AN UNDESIRABLE SITUATION IN THAT ANY COST FOR THE SHIPMENT WHICH IS IN EXCESS OF THAT FROM THE OLD HOME YARD OR PORT TO THE NEW HOME YARD OR PORT MUST BE BORNE BY THE MEMBER; AND THAT ALTHOUGH JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (PARAGRAPH M8009) PERMITS A MEMBER TO REQUEST SHIPMENT TO AND FROM ANY POINT, THE MEMBER MUST BEAR THE EXCESS COST OF SUCH SHIPMENT WHICH IS GREATER THAN THAT ALLOWED FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW STATION (HOME PORT).

ALSO, IT IS POINTED OUT THAT CONSIDERING THE LIMITATION ON THE SHIPMENT OF PERSONAL EFFECTS INCIDENT TO TRAVEL BY AIR, THE ABSENCE OF A REGULATORY PROVISION TO COVER THE SITUATION DISCUSSED HEREIN CAUSES A FINANCIAL BURDEN TO THE MEMBER INCIDENT TO COMPLIANCE WITH HIS TRAVEL ORDERS WHICH SHOULD BE CONSIDERED TO BE AN OBLIGATION OF THE GOVERNMENT.

FURTHER IT IS REPORTED THAT NUMEROUS REQUESTS ARE BEING RECEIVED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY TO SHIP PERSONAL EFFECTS TO THE VESSEL TO WHICH THE MEMBER IS ORDERED TO REPORT OR FROM THE VESSEL FROM WHICH THE MEMBER IS ORDERED TO BE DETACHED. SUCH REQUESTS IT IS STATED ORIGINATE AS A RESULT OF SITUATIONS ENCOUNTERED AS MENTIONED ABOVE AND THE PREVAILING LIMITATIONS UNDER CURRENT REGULATIONS.

THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT IS INTENDED TO PROVIDE RELIEF IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES AND, AS WE UNDERSTAND IT, WOULD AUTHORIZE, WITHIN AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCES, THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE BAGGAGE AND PERSONAL EFFECTS WHICH NORMALLY WOULD ACCOMPANY THE MEMBER FOR HIS PERSONAL USE TO AND FROM HIS DUTY STATION ON BOARD A VESSEL WITHOUT REGARD TO THE DISTANCES BETWEEN THE OLD HOME YARD OR HOME PORT OF THE VESSEL OR THE PERMANENT DUTY STATION AND THE NEW HOME YARD OR HOME PORT OF THE VESSEL OR THE NEW PERMANENT DUTY STATION.

SECTION 411 (D) OF TITLE 37, U.S. CODE, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART THAT THE SECRETARY CONCERNED SHALL DEFINE THE WORDS "PERMANENT STATION," WHICH DEFINITION SHALL INCLUDE A SHORE STATION OR THE HOME YARD OR HOME PORT OF A VESSEL TO WHICH A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES MAY BE ORDERED, AND THAT AN AUTHORIZED CHANGE IN THE HOME YARD OR HOME PORT OF SUCH A VESSEL IS A CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION. PARAGRAPHS M1150-10A AND M3050 OF THE REGULATIONS AND DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE RECOGNIZE THAT A VESSEL IS THE PERMANENT STATION OF A MEMBER WHO IS ASSIGNED TO DUTY ON BOARD SUCH VESSEL AND THAT THE HOME YARD AND HOME PORT OF THE VESSEL ARE PERMANENT STATIONS FOR THE PURPOSE OF TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. COMP. GEN. 262. IN THIS REGARD PARAGRAPH 4054, NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS, STATES THAT FOR MEMBERS STATIONED ABOARD A SHIP, THE SHIP AND NOT THE HOME YARD OR HOME PORT IS THE PERMANENT DUTY STATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING THE MEMBER'S TRAVEL ALLOWANCES.

THUS IT HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED THAT A MEMBER ASSIGNED TO A VESSEL HAS TWO DUTY STATIONS; (1) HIS OWN ABOARD THE SHIP, CARRYING WITH IT A RIGHT TO MILEAGE AND OTHER TRAVEL ALLOWANCES FOR HIMSELF, MEASURED TO THE SHIP ITSELF AND (2) THE HOME YARD OR HOME PORT OF THE VESSEL FOR THE PURPOSE OF ESTABLISHING A BASE ASHORE FOR DEPENDENTS, CARRYING WITH IT TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR MOVEMENT OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. IN THE SITUATION OF A MEMBER WHO IS ASSIGNED TO DUTY ON BOARD A VESSEL, THE PRESENT REGULATIONS ARE PREDICATED ON THE NEED FOR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT THE HOME ESTABLISHED BY THE MEMBER FOR HIS DEPENDENTS. WE HAVE HELD GENERALLY UNDER EXISTING REGULATIONS THAT A RIGHT TO TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS (INCLUDING BAGGAGE) ACCRUES FOR MEMBERS ASSIGNED TO A VESSEL ONLY UPON A CHANGE IN HOME YARD OR HOME PORT OF THE VESSEL, AND REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE MOVEMENT OF SUCH EFFECTS IS AUTHORIZED FROM THE OLD HOME PORT OR HOME YARD TO THE NEW HOME PORT OR HOME YARD OR BETWEEN OTHER POINTS AT NO GREATER COST. 43 COMP. GEN. 639 AND COMPARE 45 COMP. GEN. 159.

HOWEVER, THE PROVISIONS OF 37 U.S.C. 406 AUTHORIZING THE TRANSPORTATION OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TO AND FROM SUCH PLACES PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, CLEARLY ARE BROAD ENOUGH TO COVER NOT ONLY THE MOVEMENT OF EFFECTS DESTINED FOR USE ASHORE BY THE MEMBER'S DEPENDENTS BUT ALSO THE MOVEMENT OF EFFECTS REQUIRED BY THE MEMBER FOR HIS PERSONAL USE ABOARD THE VESSEL TO WHICH ASSIGNED. NOTHING IN SUCH PROVISIONS, OR IN 37 U.S.C. 411 (D), WOULD APPEAR TO REQUIRE A CONCLUSION THAT THE SHIPMENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF THE PERSONAL EFFECTS REQUIRED FOR USE ON BOARD THE SHIP MAY NOT BE MADE TO THE NEW DUTY STATION REGARDLESS OF THE HOME PORT OR HOME YARD CONCERNED, IF THEIR SHIPMENT IS NOT OTHERWISE RESTRICTED. ACCORDINGLY, WE SEE NO REASON FOR OBJECTION TO THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.