B-160960, MAY 9, 1967, 46 COMP. GEN. 792

B-160960: May 9, 1967

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1967: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF FEBRUARY 14. THE REQUEST WAS ASSIGNED PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 67-3 BY THE PER DIEM TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE. OF CONCERN ALSO IS THE FACT THAT THE REGULATIONS MAKE NO PROVISION FOR REIMBURSING THE MEMBER FOR SHIPBOARD TIPPING EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO SUCH TRAVEL BY DEPENDENTS. HE SAYS FURTHER THAT SUCH EXPENSES ARE LARGELY UNAVOIDABLE IN THAT THEY MUST BE PAID IF MILITARY PERSONNEL ARE TO COMPLY WITH ESTABLISHED CUSTOMS OBSERVED BY THE TRAVELING PUBLIC GENERALLY. IN THE SAME MANNER AS IS AUTHORIZED FOR EXPENSES OF LAND TRAVEL UNDER PARAGRAPH M7002-3 OF THE REGULATIONS. GEN. 712 WAS INTENDED TO APPLY TO TIPPING EXPENSES ABOARD COMMERCIAL VESSELS WHEN INCURRED BY DEPENDENTS.

B-160960, MAY 9, 1967, 46 COMP. GEN. 792

TRAVEL EXPENSES - TIPS - DEPENDENTS ABOARD COMMERCIAL VESSELS THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCES PRESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH M4253-4 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS FOR TRANSOCEANIC TRAVEL ABOARD COMMERCIAL VESSELS INADEQUATE TO REIMBURSE MEMBERS OF THE ARMED SERVICES FOR THE TIPPING EXPENSES INCURRED BY OR ON BEHALF OF DEPENDENTS TRAVELING ON COMMERCIAL VESSELS, THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED UNDER THE AUTHORITY IN 37 U.S.C. 406, TO PRESCRIBE REGULATIONS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSES OF DEPENDENTS ON THE BASIS OF THE SAME ELEMENTS OF COST AUTHORIZED FOR THE MEMBERS THEMSELVES AS REIMBURSABLE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES, MAY AMEND THE REGULATIONS TO PROVIDE FOR REIMBURSEMENT TO MEMBERS FOR THE TIPPING EXPENSES INCURRED BY OR FOR DEPENDENTS ABOARD COMMERCIAL VESSELS, THE PER DIEM PAID TO A MEMBER FOR HIS TRANSOCEANIC TRAVEL COVERING INCIDENTAL EXPENSES SUCH AS TIPPING.

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, MAY 9, 1967:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF FEBRUARY 14, 1967, FROM THE UNDER SECRETARY OF THE NAVY REQUESTING A DECISION WHETHER THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS MAY BE AMENDED TO PROVIDE REIMBURSEMENT FOR TIPPING EXPENSES INCURRED BY OR ON BEHALF OF DEPENDENTS TRAVELING ON COMMERCIAL VESSELS. THE REQUEST WAS ASSIGNED PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 67-3 BY THE PER DIEM TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE.

THE UNDER SECRETARY SAYS QUESTION HAS BEEN RAISED AS TO THE ADEQUACY OF PER DIEM ALLOWANCES PRESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH M4253-4 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS FOR TRANSOCEANIC TRAVEL ABOARD COMMERCIAL VESSELS, AND OF CONCERN ALSO IS THE FACT THAT THE REGULATIONS MAKE NO PROVISION FOR REIMBURSING THE MEMBER FOR SHIPBOARD TIPPING EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO SUCH TRAVEL BY DEPENDENTS. HE SAYS THAT INFORMATION AVAILABLE FROM VARIOUS TIPPING GUIDES INDICATES THAT DEPENDENTS TRAVELING ABOARD COMMERCIAL VESSELS INCUR CONSIDERABLE TIPPING EXPENSE NOT ENCOUNTERED IN OTHER TYPES OF TRAVEL AND WHICH APPEAR TO BE IN THE NATURE OF EXPENSES ASSOCIATED WITH AND PECULIAR TO THE MODE OF TRAVEL INVOLVED. HE SAYS FURTHER THAT SUCH EXPENSES ARE LARGELY UNAVOIDABLE IN THAT THEY MUST BE PAID IF MILITARY PERSONNEL ARE TO COMPLY WITH ESTABLISHED CUSTOMS OBSERVED BY THE TRAVELING PUBLIC GENERALLY.

IN ORDER TO PREVENT THE MEMBER FROM BEING OUT-OF-POCKET FOR SUMS EXPENDED AS TIPS ON BEHALF OF HIMSELF AND DEPENDENTS, THE UNDER SECRETARY SAYS IT HAS BEEN RECOMMENDED THAT THE PER DIEM PRESCRIBED FOR MEMBERS IN PARAGRAPH M4253-4 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS BE INCREASED, AND THAT THE REGULATIONS BE AMENDED TO PROVIDE REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUCH EXPENSES INCURRED ON BEHALF OF DEPENDENTS PURSUANT TO OUR DECISION OF APRIL 30, 1962, 41 COMP. GEN. 712, IN THE SAME MANNER AS IS AUTHORIZED FOR EXPENSES OF LAND TRAVEL UNDER PARAGRAPH M7002-3 OF THE REGULATIONS. THE UNDER SECRETARY SAYS, HOWEVER, THAT QUESTION ARISES WHETHER THE RULING IN 41 COMP. GEN. 712 WAS INTENDED TO APPLY TO TIPPING EXPENSES ABOARD COMMERCIAL VESSELS WHEN INCURRED BY DEPENDENTS.

THE PERTINENT STATUTE, 37 U.S.C. 406, PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHO IS ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION IS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION IN KIND FOR HIS DEPENDENTS, REIMBURSEMENT THEREFORE OR A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION, SUBJECT TO SUCH CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS, FOR SUCH GRADES AND RATINGS, AND TO AND FROM SUCH PLACES AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED.

IN THE DECISION OF APRIL 30, 1962, WE HELD THAT UNDER SUCH STATUTORY AUTHORITY (THEN CODIFIED IN 37 U.S.C. 253 (C) REPAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES IS PROVIDED ON A REIMBURSEMENT BASIS AND THAT IT IS WITHIN THE POWER AND DISCRETION OF THE SECRETARIES TO PRESCRIBE REGULATIONS AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT TO MEMBERS FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF THEIR DEPENDENTS ON THE BASIS OF THE SAME ELEMENTS OF COST AS ARE AUTHORIZED FOR THE MEMBERS THEMSELVES, AS REIMBURSABLE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES, IN PART I, CH. 4, OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. IN ACCORDANCE THEREWITH, PARAGRAPH M7002-3 OF THE REGULATIONS CURRENTLY AUTHORIZES REIMBURSEMENT FOR TIPPING EXPENSES INCURRED IN LAND TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS. IN THAT DECISION, HOWEVER, WE WERE NOT ASKED TO CONSIDER AND DID NOT AUTHORIZE TIPPING EXPENSES INCURRED BY OR ON BEHALF OF DEPENDENTS ABOARD COMMERCIAL VESSELS.

WITH RESPECT TO TRAVEL OF MEMBERS, 37 U.S.C. 404 (D) PROVIDES THAT THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED FOR EACH KIND OF TRAVEL MAY NOT BE MORE THAN ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:

(1) TRANSPORTATION IN KIND, REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR, OR A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN PLACE OF THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION AT A RATE THAT IS NOT MORE THAN 7 CENTS A MILE BASED ON DISTANCES ESTABLISHED, OVER THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE, UNDER MILEAGE TABLES PREPARED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY;

(2)TRANSPORTATION IN KIND, REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR, OR A MONETARY ALLOWANCE AS PROVIDED BY CLAUSE (1) OF THIS SUBSECTION, PLUS A PER DIEM IN PLACE OF SUBSISTENCE OF NOT MORE THAN $16 A DAY; OR

(3) A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE OF NOT MORE THAN 10 CENTS A MILE BASED ON DISTANCES ESTABLISHED UNDER CLAUSE (1) OF THIS SUBSECTION.

PURSUANT TO THAT STATUTORY AUTHORITY PARAGRAPHS M4159-4 AND M4253-4 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT MEMBERS FOR THEIR OWN TRANSOCEANIC TRAVEL ARE FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION IN KIND OR REIMBURSEMENT PLUS PER DIEM. UNDER PARAGRAPH M4253-4 OF THE REGULATIONS THE PER DIEM IS INCREASED IF MEALS ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THE COST OF PASSAGE.

THUS, PER DIEM IS PAID TO THE MEMBER ON TRANSOCEANIC TRAVEL TO COVER INCIDENTAL EXPENSES SUCH AS TIPS. HOWEVER, THERE IS NO INCREASE IN THE MEMBER'S PER DIEM TO COVER SUCH INCREASE INCIDENTAL EXPENSES IF HE IS ACCOMPANIED BY DEPENDENTS OR IF THE DEPENDENTS TRAVEL SEPARATELY. SECTION 406 OF TITLE 37, U.S. CODE, MAKES NO PROVISIONS FOR A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE FOR TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS AND SECTION 405 SPECIFICALLY PROVIDES THAT DEPENDENTS MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED IN DETERMINING THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE FOR A MEMBER IN A TRAVEL STATUS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES OR IN HAWAII OR ALASKA.

HOWEVER, 37 U.S.C. 406 CLEARLY AUTHORIZES REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES OF DEPENDENTS. IN THE DECISION OF APRIL 30, 1962, WE RECOGNIZED THAT UNDER THE BROAD AUTHORITY OF THE STATUTE IT IS WITHIN THE POWER AND DISCRETION OF THE SECRETARIES TO PRESCRIBE REGULATIONS AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT TO MEMBERS FOR VARIOUS TYPES OF EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS ON THE BASIS OF THE SAME ELEMENTS OF COST AS ARE AUTHORIZED FOR THE MEMBERS THEMSELVES.

SINCE IT APPEARS THAT TIPPING EXPENSES INCURRED BY OR ON BEHALF OF DEPENDENTS TRAVELING ON COMMERCIAL VESSELS ARE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES SIMILAR TO THOSE AUTHORIZED BY THE DECISION OF APRIL 30, 1962, AND FOR WHICH THE MEMBER RECEIVES REIMBURSEMENT IN THE FORM OF PER DIEM FOR HIS OWN EXPENSES, THE REGULATIONS MAY BE AMENDED TO AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUCH EXPENSES INCURRED BY DEPENDENTS IN THE SAME MANNER AS IS AUTHORIZED FOR LAND TRAVEL UNDER PARAGRAPH M7002-3 OF THE REGULATIONS. COMPARE 44 COMP. GEN. 339.