B-160546, MAY 5, 1967

B-160546: May 5, 1967

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E. SMITH: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 30. UNDER WHICH YOU WERE ATTACHED TO USARSO SUPPORT GROUP OPERATION HELPMATE (PROV) ON MAY 7. WERE AVAILABLE AND WOULD BE UTILIZED. YOU WERE PAID TRAVEL PER DIEM FOR THE DAY OF DEPARTURE AND THE DAY OF RETURN AT $18 PER DAY ($36). LESS 50 PERCENT OF THE PER DIEM RATE FOR EACH DAY ON THE BASIS THAT QUARTERS WERE AVAILABLE AND 14 PERCENT OF THE PER DIEM RATE FOR EACH OF SIX MEALS ON THE BASIS THAT MESS WAS AVAILABLE. YOU RETURNED THE VOUCHER AND THE CHECK IN THE AMOUNT OF $12.88 ALLEGING THAT THE PAYMENT WAS IN ERROR. JOHNSON STATED THAT TWO CREWS USING HELICOPTERS WERE ORDERED TO SAN SALVADOR. THE MEMBER STATED FURTHER THAT ALTHOUGH HE KNEW THAT GOVERNMENT FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE SINCE THERE WAS A MESS HALL TENT SET UP.

B-160546, MAY 5, 1967

TO MR. JOHN C. E. SMITH:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 30, 1966, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED SEPTEMBER 27, 1966, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL PER DIEM WHILE ON TEMPORARY DUTY DURING THE PERIOD FROM MAY 6 TO 17, 1965, AS SPECIALIST FIFTH CLASS, REGULAR ARMY.

PARAGRAPH 1, SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 64, HEADQUARTERS 193D INFANTRY BRIGADE, FORT KOBEE, CANAL ZONE, DATED MAY 20, 1965, CONFIRMED VERBAL ORDERS OF MAY 5, 1965, UNDER WHICH YOU WERE ATTACHED TO USARSO SUPPORT GROUP OPERATION HELPMATE (PROV) ON MAY 7, 1965, TO PARTICIPATE IN DISASTER RELIEF OPERATIONS IN EL SALVADOR. THE ORDERS STATED THAT GOVERNMENT MESS AND QUARTERS AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPHS M1150-4 AND 5, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, WERE AVAILABLE AND WOULD BE UTILIZED.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU DEPARTED BY GOVERNMENT AIR AT 1130, MAY 6, 1965, FROM HOWARD AIR FORCE BASE, CANAL ZONE, ARRIVING THAT DAY AT EL SALVADOR AND THAT YOU DEPARTED BY GOVERNMENT AIR AT 1830, MAY 17, 1965, RETURNING TO YOUR STATION AT 2145 THAT DAY. YOU WERE PAID TRAVEL PER DIEM FOR THE DAY OF DEPARTURE AND THE DAY OF RETURN AT $18 PER DAY ($36), LESS 50 PERCENT OF THE PER DIEM RATE FOR EACH DAY ON THE BASIS THAT QUARTERS WERE AVAILABLE AND 14 PERCENT OF THE PER DIEM RATE FOR EACH OF SIX MEALS ON THE BASIS THAT MESS WAS AVAILABLE, RESULTING IN A NET PAYMENT OF $2.88 FOR THE TWO TRAVEL DAYS, PLUS $1 PER DAY FOR 10 DAYS OF TEMPORARY DUTY, OR A TOTAL PAYMENT OF $12.88.

ON MARCH 16, 1966, YOU RETURNED THE VOUCHER AND THE CHECK IN THE AMOUNT OF $12.88 ALLEGING THAT THE PAYMENT WAS IN ERROR. THE CHECK HAS SINCE BEEN CANCELLED. YOU STATED THAT DURING THE PERIOD FROM MAY 6 TO 17, 1965, YOU DID NOT USE ANY GOVERNMENT FACILITIES OR LIVE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. YOU THEREFORE CLAIMED ENTITLEMENT TO PER DIEM OF $18 PER DAY FOR A TOTAL OF $198.

IN SUPPORT OF YOUR CLAIM YOU SUBMITTED A STATEMENT BY A SARGENT L. JOHNSON, SERGEANT FIRST CLASS, DATED MAY 25, 1966. MR. JOHNSON STATED THAT TWO CREWS USING HELICOPTERS WERE ORDERED TO SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR, TO PARTICIPATE IN DISASTER RELIEF OPERATIONS AND THAT AT THE END OF THE FIRST DAY, AN AIR FORCE OFFICER TRANSPORTED THE CREW MEMBERS TO A HOTEL IN THE CITY. THE MEMBER STATED FURTHER THAT ALTHOUGH HE KNEW THAT GOVERNMENT FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE SINCE THERE WAS A MESS HALL TENT SET UP, HE DID NOT KNOW TO WHOM THE MESS BELONGED OR WHO WAS SUPPOSED TO USE THE FACILITY AND HE STAYED WHERE HE WAS ORDERED BY THE OFFICER-IN-CHARGE.

YOUR CLAIM WAS TRANSMITTED TO OUR OFFICE AND BY SETTLEMENT DATED SEPTEMBER 27, 1966, IT WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASONS STATED. BY LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 30, 1966, YOU REQUESTED RECONSIDERATION OF THE SETTLEMENT, ON THE GROUND THAT ALTHOUGH OTHER MEMBERS DID BRING SUPPLIES AND QUARTERS FOR THEMSELVES, THERE WERE NO PROVISIONS FOR THE GROUP YOU WERE WITH. YOU URGE THAT YOU SHOULD BE PAID PER DIEM AS CLAIMED, SINCE YOU LIVED IN A HOTEL AND PAID FOR YOUR OWN ACCOMMODATIONS DURING THE PERIOD OF YOUR STAY AT THE TEMPORARY DUTY PLACE.

BY LETTER DATED DECEMBER 29, 1966, WE REQUESTED THE COMMANDING GENERAL, FINANCE CENTER, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, TO OBTAIN A STATEMENT FROM THE COMMANDING OFFICER AT THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION, AS TO WHETHER THE USE OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND MESS WAS IMPRACTICABLE DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED. IN A REPLY DATED MARCH 7, 1967, THE ADJUTANT AT THE U.S. MILITARY GROUP, IN CARE OF THE U.S. EMBASSY, EL SALVADOR, REPORTED THAT AT THE TIME YOU PERFORMED THE TEMPORARY DUTY, PERSONNEL ATTACHED TO THE OPERATION HELPMATE WERE QUARTERED IN TENTS AND WERE FED IN A FIELD MESS AND SUCH A STATEMENT CANNOT BE FURNISHED.

PARAGRAPHS M4254-1 AND 2, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF 37 U.S.C. 404, PROVIDE FOR PAYMENT OF THE APPLICABLE TRAVEL PER DIEM, LESS SPECIFIED DEDUCTIONS FOR AVAILABLE QUARTERS AND MESS. THE PER DIEM PAYMENT FOR YOUR TWO TRAVEL DAYS WAS COMPUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THOSE PARAGRAPHS. PARAGRAPH M4256-2 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT WHERE GOVERNMENT MESS AND QUARTERS ARE AVAILABLE TO MEMBERS FOR PERIODS OF TEMPORARY DUTY,PER DIEM ALLOWANCES WILL BE COMPUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH M4205-5, TABLE ITEM C (4) OR D, AS APPLICABLE. PARAGRAPH M4205, TABLE ITEM C (4), PROVIDES THAT WHEN GOVERNMENT MESS AND QUARTERS ARE AVAILABLE, PAYMENT TO ENLISTED MEN WILL BE AT A RATE OF $1 PER DAY. THE PER DIEM PAID FOR YOUR TEMPORARY DUTY WAS SO COMPUTED. PARAGRAPH M4451 JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, THAT AVAILABLE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND MESS WILL BE UTILIZED BY MEMBERS IN A TRAVEL STATUS TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PRACTICABLE, EXCEPT WHEN THE COMMANDING OFFICER (OR HIS DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE) AT THE TEMPORARY DUTY OR DELAY POINT FURNISHES A STATEMENT TO THE EFFECT THAT UTILIZATION OF EXISTING GOVERNMENT FACILITIES WAS IMPRACTICABLE.

SINCE IT IS REPORTED THAT PERSONNEL PERFORMING THE RELIEF OPERATIONS AT YOUR TEMPORARY DUTY LOCATION WERE QUARTERED IN TENTS AND WERE FED IN A FIELD MESS AND THAT A STATEMENT THAT THE UTILIZATION OF GOVERNMENT FACILITIES WAS IMPRACTICABLE CANNOT BE FURNISHED, THERE IS NO LEGAL AUTHORITY FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL PER DIEM. ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT DATED SEPTEMBER 27, 1966, IS SUSTAINED.

SINCE THE CHECK FOR $12.88 COVERING PAYMENT OF PER DIEM PROPERLY DUE YOU HAS BEEN CANCELLED, WE ARE INSTRUCTING OUR CLAIMS DIVISION TO ISSUE A SETTLEMENT IN YOUR FAVOR FOR THAT AMOUNT.