B-158579, APR. 5, 1966

B-158579: Apr 5, 1966

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

USAF: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 28. YOU WERE TRANSFERRED FROM APO 132 (BITBURG AIR BASE. SIX DAYS' TRAVEL TIME WAS ALLOWED BY THE ORDERS IF TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AND THE LAND MILEAGE WAS INDICATED. REGISTRY WAS NOT AVAILABLE FOR NECESSARY WATER TRAVEL. YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST INCURRED IN SHIPPING YOUR AUTOMOBILE WAS DISALLOWED BY THE SETTLEMENT OF JANUARY 21. YOU WERE ADVISED THAT. YOU SAY THAT ALTHOUGH CONCURRENT TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS WAS AUTHORIZED AND HOUSING AT WHEELUS AIR BASE HAD BEEN CONFIRMED AS AVAILABLE FOR YOU AND YOUR DEPENDENTS. YOU FOUND UPON YOUR ARRIVAL THAT NO HOUSING WAS AVAILABLE. FOR 22 DAYS YOU LIVED IN BACHELOR OFFICER'S QUARTERS WHERE COOKING FACILITIES WERE NOT AVAILABLE.

B-158579, APR. 5, 1966

TO MASTER SERGEANT WILLIAM EZO, USAF:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 28, 1966, CONCERNING SETTLEMENT OF JANUARY 21, 1966, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF MOVING YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE BY COMMERCIAL VESSEL FROM NAPLES, ITALY, TO TRIPOLI, LIBYA, ON DECEMBER 14, 1964.

BY SPECIAL ORDER NO. AB-138, DATED OCTOBER 8, 1964, AS AMENDED BY SPECIAL ORDER NO. AB-146, DATED OCTOBER 14, 1964, AND SPECIAL ORDER NO. AB-191, DATED FEBRUARY 9, 1965, YOU WERE TRANSFERRED FROM APO 132 (BITBURG AIR BASE, GERMANY) TO APO 231 (WHEELUS AIR BASE, LIBYA), AS A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. THE ORDERS AS AMENDED AUTHORIZED TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE, GOVERNMENT VEHICLE AND/OR COMMERCIAL RAIL WITHIN THE OVERSEAS AREA. SIX DAYS' TRAVEL TIME WAS ALLOWED BY THE ORDERS IF TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AND THE LAND MILEAGE WAS INDICATED. THE ORDERS ALSO AUTHORIZED CONCURRENT TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS AND STATED THAT SURFACE CARRIER OF U.S. REGISTRY WAS NOT AVAILABLE FOR NECESSARY WATER TRAVEL.

IT APPEARS THAT YOU AND YOUR DEPENDENTS TRAVELED FROM BITBURG AIR BASE TO NAPLES IN YOUR AUTOMOBILE, AND THAT YOU SHIPPED IT AT PERSONAL EXPENSE FROM NAPLES TO TRIPOLI ABOARD THE TIRRENIA LINES VESSEL "CITY OF TUNIS.' YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST INCURRED IN SHIPPING YOUR AUTOMOBILE WAS DISALLOWED BY THE SETTLEMENT OF JANUARY 21, 1966, FOR THE REASON STATED THEREIN. IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU SAY THAT WHEN YOU INQUIRED AT BITBURG AIR BASE AS TO THE MEANS OF TRAVEL FOR YOURSELF, YOUR DEPENDENTS AND YOUR CAR, YOU WERE ADVISED THAT, UNDER YOUR ORDERS AS AMENDED, UPON COMPLETION OF TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT WOULD BE AUTHORIZED FOR ALL TRAVEL EXPENSES. THEREFORE, YOU BELIEVE YOU SHOULD BE REIMBURSED FOR THE COST INCURRED IN SHIPPING YOUR AUTOMOBILE. ALSO, YOU SAY THAT ALTHOUGH CONCURRENT TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS WAS AUTHORIZED AND HOUSING AT WHEELUS AIR BASE HAD BEEN CONFIRMED AS AVAILABLE FOR YOU AND YOUR DEPENDENTS, YOU FOUND UPON YOUR ARRIVAL THAT NO HOUSING WAS AVAILABLE. CONSEQUENTLY, FOR 22 DAYS YOU LIVED IN BACHELOR OFFICER'S QUARTERS WHERE COOKING FACILITIES WERE NOT AVAILABLE, AND ALL MEALS NECESSARILY WERE PURCHASED IN A RESTAURANT. YOU SAY THE BASE FINANCE OFFICE INFORMED YOU PER DIEM WAS NOT AUTHORIZED FOR SUCH EXPENSES.

THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR TRANSOCEANIC SHIPMENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLES OF MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES AT THE TIME OF YOUR SHIPMENT IS CONTAINED IN 10 U.S.C. 2634, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 14, 1964, PUBLIC LAW 88-431, 78 STAT. 439, AND PROVIDES IN MATERIAL PART AS FOLLOWS:

"SEC. 2634. MOTOR VEHICLES: FOR MEMBERS ON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION

"WHEN A MEMBER OF AN ARMED FORCE IS ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, ONE MOTOR VEHICLE OWNED BY HIM AND FOR HIS PERSONAL USE MAY BE TRANSPORTED TO HIS NEW STATION AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES---

"/1) ON A VESSEL OWNED, LEASED, OR CHARTERED BY THE UNITED STATES; OR

"/2) BY PRIVATELY OWNED AMERICAN SHIPPING SERVICES; UNLESS A MOTOR VEHICLE OWNED BY HIM WAS TRANSPORTED IN ADVANCE OF THAT PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION UNDER SECTION 406 (H) OF TITLE 37.'

THE STATUTE IS NOT SELF-EXECUTING, BUT REQUIRES THAT IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS BE ISSUED BY THE SECRETARIES OF THE SERVICES CONCERNED. WHILE THE STATUTE AND REGULATIONS PROVIDE FOR TRANSOCEANIC SHIPMENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLES ON COMMERCIAL AMERICAN VESSELS, THEY CONTEMPLATE THAT ARRANGEMENTS FOR SUCH SHIPMENT WILL BE MADE BY THE APPROPRIATE SHIPPING OFFICER. IN THIS RESPECT, AIR FORCE MANUAL 75 -4, WHICH IN CHAPTER 8 PRESCRIBES THE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR OVERSEAS SHIPMENT OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES, SPECIFICALLY PROVIDES (PARAGRAPH 5804D) THAT REIMBURSEMENT FOR SHIPMENT OF A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE AT PERSONAL EXPENSE IS NOT AUTHORIZED. A SIMILAR PROVISION IS CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPH M11002-1 (CHANGE 142, NOVEMBER 1, 1964) OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. THUS, WHILE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES OF MEMBERS OF THE ARMED SERVICES MAY BE SHIPPED ABOARD AMERICAN VESSELS BY THE GOVERNMENT, THIS CONTEMPLATES SUCH ACTION BY A SHIPPING OFFICER, AND REIMBURSEMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED WHEN THE MEMBER SHIPS HIS AUTOMOBILE HIMSELF AT PERSONAL EXPENSE. SINCE YOU SHIPPED YOUR AUTOMOBILE AT PERSONAL EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

WITH RESPECT TO ANY ERRONEOUS ADVICE THAT MAY HAVE BEEN FURNISHED YOU BY AIR FORCE PERSONNEL AT BITBURG AIR BASE IN THE MATTER, IT IS WELL SETTLED THAT, IN THE ABSENCE OF A STATUTE SO PROVIDING, THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ACTS OR OMISSIONS OF DUTY ON THE PART OF ITS OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES. ROBERTSON V. SICHEL, 127U.S. 507, 515. SINCE THERE IS NO BASIS FOR PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM, THE SETTLEMENT OF JANUARY 21, 1966, IS SUSTAINED.

WITH RESPECT TO THE EXPENSES YOU INCURRED AT WHEELUS AIR BASE UPON YOUR ARRIVAL, PARAGRAPH M4303 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES FOR A TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE UPON ARRIVAL OF A MEMBER AND HIS DEPENDENTS AT A PERMANENT OVERSEAS STATION, TO REIMBURSE THE MEMBER FOR THE MORE THAN NORMAL EXPENSES INCURRED AT HOTELS OR HOTEL-LIKE ACCOMMODATIONS AND PUBLIC RESTAURANTS BEFORE ENTERING QUARTERS OR MAKING OTHER PERMANENT ARRANGEMENTS. QUARTERS OPERATED BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR BACHELOR OFFICERS ARE NOT THE HOTEL OR HOTEL-LIKE ACCOMMODATIONS TO WHICH THE REGULATIONS HAVE REFERENCE AND PAYMENT OF THE TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE IS NOT AUTHORIZED WHEN SUCH QUARTERS ARE OCCUPIED.