B-161125, JUNE 15, 1967, 46 COMP. GEN. 862

B-161125: Jun 15, 1967

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AUTHORIZED THE EXTENSION OF THE 1-YEAR TIME LIMITATION FOR THE TRAVEL OF A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES AND HIS DEPENDENTS TO A HOME OF SELECTION UPON TERMINATION OF ACTIVE DUTY FOR THE PERIOD THE MEMBER IS CONFINED IN OR IS UNDERGOING TREATMENT AT A GOVERNMENT OR CIVILIAN HOSPITAL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE MAY BE AMENDED AS OF OCTOBER 15. TO FURTHER EXTEND THE TRAVEL TIME LIMITATION TO A HOME OF SELECTION ON THE BASIS THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE ACT RECOGNIZES THE NEED FOR A REASONABLE EXTENSION OF TIME TO SELECT A HOME WHEN MEMBERS ARE UNDERGOING SCHOOLING OR TRAINING AND. THERE IS NO NEED TO BE MORE RESTRICTIVE CONCERNING THE EXTENSION OF TRAVEL TIME WHEN MEMBERS ARE HOSPITALIZED OR UNDERGOING TREATMENT.

B-161125, JUNE 15, 1967, 46 COMP. GEN. 862

TRAVEL EXPENSES - MILITARY PERSONNEL - RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY - TIME LIMITATION ON TRAVEL THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH IN IMPLEMENTING PUBLIC LAW 89 680, AMENDING 37 U.S.C. 404 (C), AUTHORIZED THE EXTENSION OF THE 1-YEAR TIME LIMITATION FOR THE TRAVEL OF A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES AND HIS DEPENDENTS TO A HOME OF SELECTION UPON TERMINATION OF ACTIVE DUTY FOR THE PERIOD THE MEMBER IS CONFINED IN OR IS UNDERGOING TREATMENT AT A GOVERNMENT OR CIVILIAN HOSPITAL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE MAY BE AMENDED AS OF OCTOBER 15, 1966, UPON APPROVAL OF THE SECRETARY CONCERNED, TO FURTHER EXTEND THE TRAVEL TIME LIMITATION TO A HOME OF SELECTION ON THE BASIS THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE ACT RECOGNIZES THE NEED FOR A REASONABLE EXTENSION OF TIME TO SELECT A HOME WHEN MEMBERS ARE UNDERGOING SCHOOLING OR TRAINING AND, NO ADDITIONAL COSTS BEING INVOLVED, THERE IS NO NEED TO BE MORE RESTRICTIVE CONCERNING THE EXTENSION OF TRAVEL TIME WHEN MEMBERS ARE HOSPITALIZED OR UNDERGOING TREATMENT. STORAGE - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - MILITARY PERSONNEL - TIME LIMITATION - EXTENSION THE ADDITIONAL TIME AUTHORIZED PURSUANT TO PUBLIC LAW 89-680, FOR THE NONTEMPORARY STORAGE OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WHEN A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHO HAS BEEN RELEASED FROM ACTIVE DUTY IS HOSPITALIZED OR UNDERGOES MEDICAL TREATMENT DURING THE 1- YEAR PERIOD PROVIDED FOR TRAVEL TO A HOME OF SELECTION MAY NOT BE FURTHER EXTENDED, THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE ACT EVIDENCING THAT AN EXTENSION OF THE 1-YEAR TIME LIMITATION FOR STORAGE IS LIMITED TO THE PERIOD OF HOSPITALIZATION OR TREATMENT. THEREFORE, PARAGRAPH M8260-4B OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS MAY NOT BE AMENDED TO FURTHER EXTEND THE STORAGE PERIOD. HOWEVER, STORAGE IN EXCESS OF THE EXTENDED PERIOD TO COVER HOSPITALIZATION OR TREATMENT WITHIN THE 1-YEAR LIMITATION PERIOD WILL NOT BE QUESTIONED FOR A PERIOD OF 60 DAYS. TRANSPORTATION HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - MILITARY PERSONNEL - RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY - TIME LIMITATION ON SHIPMENT ALTHOUGH A NONTEMPORARY STORAGE PERIOD MAY NOT BE EXTENDED BEYOND A PERIOD OF HOSPITALIZATION OR MEDICAL TREATMENT OCCURRING DURING THE 1 YEAR PERIOD AUTHORIZED FOR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION TO A HOME OF SELECTION WHEN THE ACTIVE DUTY SERVICE OF A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IS TERMINATED, THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF PUBLIC LAW 89-680, PROVIDING FOR TIME EXTENSION, EVIDENCING NO INTENT THAT THE PERIOD FOR PERFORMING TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION TO A HOME OF SELECTION WOULD BE COEXTENSIVE WITH THE PERIOD OF AUTHORIZED STORAGE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, NO ADDITIONAL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT BEING INVOLVED, THE PERIOD FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS MAY BE FURTHER EXTENDED, UPON APPROVAL OF THE APPROPRIATE SECRETARY, AND PARAGRAPH M8260-4B OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AMENDED ACCORDINGLY.

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, JUNE 15, 1967:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED MARCH 6, 1967, FROM THE UNDER SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, REQUESTING A DECISION WHETHER THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS MAY BE AMENDED TO PROVIDE THAT THE SECRETARY OF THE SERVICE CONCERNED, OR HIS DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE, MAY APPROVE A FURTHER EXTENSION OF THE TIME LIMIT NOW SET FORTH IN CHANGE 170 TO THESE REGULATIONS FOR TRAVEL TO A HOME OF SELECTION BY A MEMBER AND HIS DEPENDENTS AND FURTHER EXTEND THE TIME LIMIT FOR STORAGE AND SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IF, DURING THE 1-YEAR PERIOD SUBSEQUENT TO DATE OF TERMINATION OF ACTIVE SERVICE, THE MEMBER IS CONFINED IN OR UNDERGOING TREATMENT AT A GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL OR CIVILIAN HOSPITAL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. THE REQUEST WAS ASSIGNED PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 67 11 BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE.

IN THE LETTER DATED MARCH 6, 1967, IT IS STATED THAT IN PROMULGATING THE APPROPRIATE CHANGES TO THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO IMPLEMENT THE ACT OF OCTOBER 15, 1966, PUBLIC LAW 89-680, 80 STAT. 957, IT WAS CONSIDERED TO BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE INTENT OF THE LAW TO INCLUDE PROVISIONS FOR EXTENDING THE TIME LIMITATIONS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED IN SUCH REGULATIONS WHEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE SERVICE CONCERNED OR HIS DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE. IT IS SAID THAT SUCH REGULATIONS THEREFORE PROVIDE THAT THE SECRETARY OF THE SERVICE CONCERNED OR HIS DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE MAY EXTEND BEYOND 1 YEAR THE PERIOD WITHIN WHICH A MEMBER WHO WAS HOSPITALIZED OR UNDERGOING TREATMENT AT A HOSPITAL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE ON DATE OF TERMINATION OF ACTIVE DUTY MUST PERFORM TRAVEL TO A SELECTED HOME AFTER DISCHARGE FROM THE HOSPITAL OR TERMINATION OF TREATMENT (JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PARAGRAPH M4158-2B (1) ).

THE UNDER SECRETARY STATES THAT PROVISION IS ALSO MADE FOR EXTENDING THE TIME LIMIT FOR COMPLETION OF TRAVEL, WHEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE SERVICE CONCERNED OR HIS DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE, WHEN A MEMBER IS UNDERGOING EDUCATION OR TRAINING ON THE DATE OF TERMINATION OF ACTIVE SERVICE, OR WHEN A MEMBER COMMENCES EDUCATION OR TRAINING DURING THE 1-YEAR PERIOD SUBSEQUENT TO THE DATE OF TERMINATION OF ACTIVE SERVICE (JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PARAGRAPH M4158-2C); AND THAT SIMILAR PROVISIONS ARE MADE FOR EXTENDING THE TIME LIMIT FOR TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS AND TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES (JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PARAGRAPHS M7010 2B (1) AND C, AND M8260-4A AND 5). HE SAYS IT APPEARS THAT THE LAW CONFERS ON THE SECRETARIES AMPLE AUTHORITY TO APPROVE EXTENSIONS OF THE TIME LIMITS AS THUS STATED IN THE REGULATIONS.

THE UNDER SECRETARY EXPRESSES THE OPINION, HOWEVER, THAT THE LAW IS NOT EQUALLY CLEAR WITH REGARD TO MEMBERS WHO ARE CONFINED IN OR UNDERGO TREATMENT AT A GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL (OR A CIVILIAN HOSPITAL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE) FOR ANY PERIOD OF TIME DURING THE 1-YEAR PERIOD SUBSEQUENT TO THE DATE OF TERMINATION OF ACTIVE SERVICE. IN THE INTEREST OF PROMULGATING TIMELY REGULATIONS AND IN THE ABSENCE OF A RULING ON THE MATTER BY OUR OFFICE, THE UNDER SECRETARY SAYS THAT IT WAS CONSIDERED ADVISABLE TO INCLUDE NO PROVISION FOR EXTENSION IN THESE CASES OTHER THAN THAT THE 1- YEAR PERIOD SHOULD BE EXTENDED BY A PERIOD EQUAL TO THE PERIOD OF THE MEMBER'S HOSPITALIZATION OR TREATMENT (JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PARAGRAPHS M4158-2B (2), M7010-2B (2) AND M8260-4B).

THE UNDER SECRETARY STATES THAT IT MAY BE THAT THE MEMBER IS, UNDER THESE REGULATIONS, GRANTED LESS THAN THE FULL ENTITLEMENT INTENDED TO BE CONFERRED BY THE STATUTE, AND HE REQUESTS THAT WE RENDER A DECISION WHETHER OUR OFFICE WOULD BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO AMENDMENTS TO THE REGULATIONS TO ADD TO PARAGRAPHS M4158-2B (2), M7010-2B (2) AND M8260 4B, A PROVISION AS FOLLOWS: "FURTHER EXTENSION OF THIS TIME LIMIT MAY BE APPROVED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE SERVICE CONCERNED OR HIS DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE.' IN THE EVENT WE PERCEIVE NO OBJECTION TO THE ADDITION OF THESE AMENDMENTS, HE ASKS WHETHER SUCH ADDITIONAL ENTITLEMENT MAY BE MADE EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 15, 1966, THUS ACHIEVING UNIFORMITY WITH THE PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED ENTITLEMENTS UNDER THE LAW.

OUR DECISION OF JULY 17, 1964, 44 COMP. GEN. 15, TO YOU, CONCERNED A PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO AUTHORIZE ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION BEYOND THE 1-YEAR TIME LIMITIN CERTAIN CASES TO MEMBERS WHO ON DATE OF TERMINATION OF ACTIVE DUTY ARE ELIGIBLE TO TRAVEL TO HOME OF SELECTION BUT WHO BECOME HOSPITALIZED WITHIN THE 1-YEAR SELECTION PERIOD AUTHORIZED BY THE REGULATIONS AND PRIOR TO COMPLETING TRAVEL TO THE SELECTED HOME. WE SAID IN THAT DECISION THAT IN VIEW OF THE LONGSTANDING ADMINISTRATIVE VIEW THAT 1 YEAR IS A REASONABLE TIME FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF TRAVEL TO A HOME OF SELECTION UNLESS SUCH TRAVEL IS PREVENTED BY THE FACT THAT ON THE DATE OF RELEASE OR RETIREMENT THE MEMBER IS CONFINED IN A HOSPITAL OR UNDERGOING TREATMENT, AND IN VIEW OF THE APPARENT LEGISLATIVE RECOGNITION THAT AN EXTENSION IS PROPER ONLY UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE WERE OF THE OPINION THAT, IN THE ABSENCE OF LEGISLATION AUTHORIZING THE PROMULGATION OF THE REGULATIONS ON THE BASIS PROPOSED, THE MATTER WAS TOO DOUBTFUL FOR US TO APPROVE THE PROPOSED REGULATIONS.

PUBLIC LAW 89-680 AMENDED SECTION 404 (C) OF TITLE 37, U.S. CODE, BY ADDING A PROVISION THAT A MEMBER ENUMERATED IN THAT SUBSECTION "MAY, NOT LATER THAN ONE YEAR FROM DATE HE IS SO RETIRED * * * OR RELEASED, EXCEPT AS PRESCRIBED IN REGULATIONS BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, SELECT HIS HOME FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED BY SUBSECTION (A) OF THIS SECTION.'

SECTION 406 (B) RELATING TO NONTEMPORARY STORAGE OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS PROVIDED, PRIOR TO ENACTMENT OF PUBLIC LAW 89-680 THAT SUCH STORAGE MAY NOT BE AUTHORIZED FOR A PERIOD LONGER THAN 1-YEAR FROM THE DATE THE MEMBER IS SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE, EXCEPT AS PRESCRIBED IN REGULATIONS BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED FOR A MEMBER WHO, ON DATE OF SEPARATION, IS CONFINED IN A HOSPITAL, OR IS IN ITS VICINITY, UNDERGOING MEDICAL TREATMENT. PUBLIC LAW 89-680 AMENDED THE SUBSECTION IN PERTINENT PART TO INCLUDE IN THE 1-YEAR EXCEPTION, UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, A MEMBER OTHERWISE ENTITLED WHO DURING THE 1 YEAR FOLLOWING RELEASE OR SEPARATION IS CONFINED IN A HOSPITAL, OR IS IN ITS VICINITY UNDERGOING MEDICAL TREATMENT. ALSO, A PROVISION WAS ADDED THAT EXCEPT IN THE CASE OF MEMBERS WHO ARE HOSPITALIZED OR WHO ARE UNDERGOING MEDICAL TREATMENT IN ITS VICINITY AT DATE OF RELEASE OR SEPARATION, OR WITHIN 1 YEAR FOLLOWING SUCH DATE, THE COST OF STORAGE THAT EXCEEDS 1 YEAR SHALL BE PAID BY THE MEMBER.

SUBSECTION 406 (G) RELATING TO TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO THE HOME OF SELECTION CONTAINED NO STATUTORY RESTRICTION, PRIOR TO THE ENACTMENT OF PUBLIC LAW 89-680, ON THE PERIOD DURING WHICH SUCH TRANSPORTATION COULD BE ACCOMPLISHED. PUBLIC LAW 89-680 AMENDED THE SUBSECTION TO SPECIFICALLY LIMIT ENTITLEMENT TO 1 YEAR AFTER THE MEMBER'S RELEASE OR SEPARATION ,EXCEPT AS PRESCRIBED IN REGULATIONS BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED.'

SENATE REPT. NO. 1692, IN EXPLAINING THE PURPOSE OF H.R. 266 WHICH BECAME PUBLIC LAW 89-680, STATES THAT UPON RETIREMENT MEMBERS ARE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR DEPENDENTS AND TO SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO HOMES SELECTED BY THEM BUT UNDER OUR DECISIONS SUCH TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION GENERALLY MUST BE PERFORMED WITHIN 1 YEAR. IT WAS EXPLAINED THAT MANY MEMBERS SO RETIRING NEED ADDITIONAL EDUCATION OR TRAINING IN ORDER TO UNDERTAKE A CIVILIAN CAREER AND THAT THE OBJECT OF THE BILL WAS TO AUTHORIZE THE SECRETARIES OF THE SERVICES CONCERNED TO MAKE REASONABLE EXTENSIONS OF THE 1-YEAR PERIOD FOR THOSE PERSONS WHO UNDERGO SCHOOLING OR TRAINING BEFORE SELECTING THEIR RETIREMENT HOME.

COMPLIMENTARY TO THIS PROVISION, IT STATES, IS A PROVISION PERMITTING AN EXTENSION OF THE 1-YEAR PERIOD IN WHICH THE BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS MAY BE STORED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSES. THE REPORT STATES THAT UNDER CURRENT LAW THE 1-YEAR PERIOD IN WHICH THE BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF A MEMBER OF A UNIFORMED SERVICE RETIRING MAY BE STORED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS EXTENDED WHEN HE IS HOSPITALIZED OR UNDERGOING MEDICAL TREATMENT AT THE TIME OF HIS DISCHARGE, AND THAT H.R. 266 WOULD EXCLUDE FROM THE 1-YEAR PERIOD ANY TIME WITHIN THAT YEAR THAT A MEMBER IS HOSPITALIZED OR UNDERGOING OUTPATIENT MEDICAL TREATMENT. THE SENATE REPORT ALSO STATES THAT THE ONLY ADDITIONAL COST THAT SHOULD RESULT FROM THE ENACTMENT OF H.R. 266 IS THAT ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE TIME DURING WHICH A RETIRING PERSON IS HOSPITALIZED OR UNDERGOING OUTPATIENT TREATMENT WITHIN THE 1 YEAR FOLLOWING HIS RETIREMENT.

IN THE HEARING BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES, UNITED STATES SENATE, ON H.R. 266, CHAIRMAN RUSSELL SAID THAT THE EXISTING PROVISION OF LAW UNDER WHICH THE MEMBER WOULD BE REQUIRED TO PAY THE COST OF STORING THE BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FOR LONGER THAN 1 YEAR WOULD BE CONTINUED BUT ANY PERIOD IN WHICH THE MEMBER WAS HOSPITALIZED OR UNDERGOING MEDICAL TREATMENT WITHIN THIS YEAR WOULD BE EXCLUDED.

THUS, THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF PUBLIC LAW 89-680 SHOWS THAT IT WAS INTENDED TO AUTHORIZE ADDITIONAL STORAGE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IN THE CASE OF A MEMBER OTHERWISE QUALIFIED WHO IS HOSPITALIZED OR UNDERGOES TREATMENT DURING THE 1-YEAR PERIOD FROM THE DATE HE IS RELEASED FROM ACTIVE DUTY ONLY TO THE EXTENT OF 1 YEAR PLUS AN ADDITIONAL PERIOD EQUAL TO THE PERIOD OF HOSPITALIZATION OR TREATMENT DURING THE 1 YEAR FOLLOWING THE DATE OF RELEASE. IN VIEW OF SUCH EXPRESSION OF LEGISLATIVE INTENT WITH RESPECT TO THE PERIOD THAT STORAGE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WOULD BE EXTENDED BY A PERIOD OF HOSPITALIZATION OR TREATMENT, WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT AN AMENDMENT OF PARAGRAPH M8260-4B AS PROPOSED TO AUTHORIZE ADDITIONAL STORAGE IS NOT AUTHORIZED UNDER 37 U.S.C. 406 (D).

IN THE CASE OF SUCH A MEMBER WHO UNDERGOES HOSPITALIZATION OR MEDICAL TREATMENT WITHIN 1 YEAR FOLLOWING RETIREMENT OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY, THE LAW DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY SPECIFIC PROVISIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE PERIOD THAT TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION TO THE HOME OF SELECTION MIGHT BE EXTENDED BEYOND 1 YEAR. NO INDICATION, HOWEVER, HAS BEEN FOUND IN THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF PUBLIC LAW 89-680 OF A LEGISLATIVE INTENT THAT IN SUCH CASES THE PERIOD FOR PERFORMING TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION TO THE HOME OF SELECTION WOULD BE COEXTENSIVE WITH THE PERIOD OF AUTHORIZED STORAGE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. AND SINCE NO ADDITIONAL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT IS INVOLVED, WE PERCEIVE OF NO REASON WHY THE CONGRESS MIGHT HAVE INTENDED TO BE MORE RESTRICTIVE WITH RESPECT TO EXTENDING THE PERIOD FOR PERFORMING AUTHORIZED TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION TO THE HOME OF SELECTION IN THE CASE OF A MEMBER WHO IS HOSPITALIZED WITHIN 1 YEAR AFTER RETIREMENT THAN IN THE CASE OF A MEMBER WHO UNDERGOES EDUCATION OR TRAINING IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES.

IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY INDICATION TO THE CONTRARY, IT IS ASSUMED THAT IT WAS THE LEGISLATIVE INTENT THAT SUCH EXTENSIONS WOULD BE AUTHORIZED BY REGULATIONS ISSUED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED UNDER SECTIONS 404 (C) AND 406 (G) AS AMENDED BY PUBLIC LAW 89-680. THEREFORE, WE WOULD NOT OBJECT TO AMENDING PARAGRAPHS M4158-2B (2) AND M7010-2B (2) OF THE REGULATIONS AS PROPOSED AND TO AMENDING PARAGRAPH M8260-4B TO SIMILARLY PROVIDE FOR AN EXTENSION OF TIME, BUT ONLY WITH RESPECT TO THE AUTHORIZED PERIOD FOR SHIPMENT OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, SINCE AN EXTENSION OF THE PERIOD OF STORAGE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE BEYOND THE PERIOD INDICATED ABOVE WOULD NOT, IN OUR OPINION, BE AUTHORIZED.

IN VIEW OF THE DOUBT THAT IS STATED TO HAVE EXISTED AT THE TIME THE FIRST REGULATIONS WERE ISSUED TO IMPLEMENT PUBLIC LAW 89-680, THE AMENDMENTS TO THE REGULATIONS MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS DECISION MAY BE MADE EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 15, 1966, AS REQUESTED BY THE UNDER SECRETARY. SEE DECISION OF APRIL 26, 1967, 46 COMP. GEN. 764.

IT IS NOTED THAT PARAGRAPH M8260-4B OF THE CURRENT REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER ENTITLED TO SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO A HOME OF SELECTION WHO IS CONFINED IN, OR UNDERGOES TREATMENT, AT A HOSPITAL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE DURING THE 1-YEAR PERIOD FOLLOWING RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY, WILL BE ENTITLED TO SHIPMENT AND STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS UNTIL 1 YEAR AFTER TERMINATION OF ACTIVE DUTY, PLUS A PERIOD EQUAL TO THE PERIOD OF HOSPITALIZATION OR TREATMENT. IT IS OUR VIEW, AS INDICATED ABOVE, THAT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 89-680, A PERIOD OF HOSPITALIZATION OR TREATMENT OCCURRING WITHIN 1 YEAR AFTER THE MEMBER'S RELEASE MAY OPERATE TO EXTEND THE 1-YEAR PERIOD OF STORAGE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE ONLY FOR A PERIOD EQUAL TO THE PERIOD OF HOSPITALIZATION OR TREATMENT OCCURRING WITHIN THAT YEAR. HENCE, TO THE EXTENT THAT THE CURRENT REGULATION MAY BE VIEWED AS CONSTITUTING AUTHORITY FOR STORAGE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IN EXCESS OF SUCH PERIOD, IT GOES BEYOND THE LAW AND APPROPRIATE ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN TO TERMINATE PAYMENT FOR ANY SUCH EXCESS STORAGE. OUR OFFICE, HOWEVER, WILL NOT QUESTION PAYMENTS FOR STORAGE THAT ARE OTHERWISE PROPER UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THAT REGULATION IF THE PERIOD OF EXCESS STORAGE DOES NOT EXTEND BEYOND A PERIOD OF MORE THAN 60 DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF THIS DECISION.