B-163201, JUL. 3, 1968

B-163201: Jul 3, 1968

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ADAMS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED DECEMBER 6. YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO STUDENT DETACHMENT. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS STATED THAT YOUR DUTY ASSIGNMENT WAS WITH THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY. THE AUTHORITY WAS SHOWN TO BE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY MESSAGE 71522. WERE AMENDED TO READ THAT YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO STUDENT DETACHMENT AT THAT HEADQUARTERS FOR PROCESSING AND MOVEMENT TO DUTY STATION. YOU WERE PAID PER DIEM FOR TRAVEL TO TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE. YOUR CLAIM FOR INCREASED MILEAGE WAS TRANSMITTED TO OUR CLAIMS DIVISION FOR SETTLEMENT BECAUSE OF THE RETROACTIVE MODIFICATION DATED APRIL 7. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BECAUSE AMENDATORY ORDERS WERE ISSUED LONG AFTER TRAVEL HAD BEEN PERFORMED AND THE ORIGINAL ORDERS DID NOT APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN ERRONEOUSLY WRITTEN OR INCOMPLETE.

B-163201, JUL. 3, 1968

TO DENNIS W. ADAMS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED DECEMBER 6, 1967, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF THE SETTLEMENT DATED OCTOBER 18, 1967, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL FROM TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA, TO THE AIR FORCE ACADEMY, COLORADO, VIA CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, PURSUANT TO ORDERS DATED MAY 24, 1966, AS AMENDED BY ORDERS DATED APRIL 7, 1967.

BY PARAGRAPH 6, SPECIAL ORDER NO. 144, HEADQUARTERS, 1ST BRIGADE 101ST AIRBORNE DIVISION, APO SF 96347, DATED MAY 24, 1966, YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO STUDENT DETACHMENT, HEADQUARTERS, FIFTH UNITED STATES ARMY, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS STATED THAT YOUR DUTY ASSIGNMENT WAS WITH THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY, COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO. THE AUTHORITY WAS SHOWN TO BE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY MESSAGE 71522.

BY PARAGRAPH 1, SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 72, HEADQUARTERS, FIFTH UNITED STATES ARMY, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, DATED APRIL 7, 1967, YOUR ORDERS OF MAY 24, 1966, WERE AMENDED TO READ THAT YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO STUDENT DETACHMENT AT THAT HEADQUARTERS FOR PROCESSING AND MOVEMENT TO DUTY STATION, HEADQUARTERS, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY, COLORADO.

THE ITINERARY CONTAINED IN THE TRAVEL VOUCHER SHOWS THAT YOU DEPARTED SAIGON, VIETNAM, ON MAY 27, 1966, BY GOVERNMENT AIR, ARRIVING AT TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA. FROM TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, YOU TRAVELED AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE, ARRIVING IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, ON JUNE 22, 1966, AT WHICH TIME YOU REPORTED AT HEADQUARTERS, 5TH U.S. ARMY. YOU DEPARTED THAT CITY ON JUNE 23 AND ARRIVED AT COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO, ON JUNE 26, 1966.

BY VOUCHER DATED JULY 14, 1966, YOU WERE PAID PER DIEM FOR TRAVEL TO TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, PLUS MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL DIRECTLY TO COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO, RATHER THAN TO COLORADO SPRINGS VIA CHICAGO, AS CLAIMED.

YOUR CLAIM FOR INCREASED MILEAGE WAS TRANSMITTED TO OUR CLAIMS DIVISION FOR SETTLEMENT BECAUSE OF THE RETROACTIVE MODIFICATION DATED APRIL 7, 1967, TO THE ORDERS DATED MAY 24, 1966. BY SETTLEMENT DATED OCTOBER 18, 1967, YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BECAUSE AMENDATORY ORDERS WERE ISSUED LONG AFTER TRAVEL HAD BEEN PERFORMED AND THE ORIGINAL ORDERS DID NOT APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN ERRONEOUSLY WRITTEN OR INCOMPLETE.

IN YOUR LETTER DATED DECEMBER 6, 1967, YOU STATED THAT CORRESPONDENCE DATED AUGUST 2, 1966, INITIATED BY THE CADET PERSONNEL OFFICE, USAF ACADEMY, SHOWS THAT YOUR REQUEST FOR CORRECTION OF ERROR WAS MADE SHORTLY AFTER PAYMENT OF TRAVEL VOUCHER. YOU STATED FURTHER THAT PRIOR TO DEPARTURE FROM SAIGON, YOU WERE TOLD THAT FOR A STUDENT SUCH AS YOU THE NORMAL OUT-PROCESSING WAS ACCOMPLISHED BY THE FIFTH U.S. ARMY STUDENT DETACHMENT IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, AND THAT WHEN YOU DID REPORT AT THAT LOCATION, YOU WERE EXPECTED.

THE FILE CONTAINS A LETTER DATED AUGUST 2, 1966, FROM THE CHIEF OF PERSONNEL, COC, USAF ACADEMY, COLORADO, REQUESTING THE ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE OFFICER, FORT SHERIDAN, ILLINOIS, TO VERIFY THE MESSAGE WHICH YOU STATED YOU HAD RECEIVED BUT NO LONGER HAD, AND WHICH YOU SAID DIRECTED YOU TO REPORT TO CHICAGO, ILLINOIS. REPLY FROM HEADQUARTERS, FIFTH UNITED STATES ARMY, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, DATED AUGUST 18, 1966, STATED THAT IT WAS NOT IN RECEIPT OF ANY MESSAGE DIRECTING THAT YOU REPORT TO THAT ACTIVITY IN CHICAGO. IT STATED FURTHER THAT THE REASON YOU WERE NOT PAID FOR TRAVEL TO CHICAGO WAS THAT SUCH TRAVEL WAS NOT REQUIRED BY THE ORDERS.

THIS OFFICE INFORMALLY REQUESTED THAT THE OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF FOR PERSONNEL, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, WASHINGTON, D.C., EXAMINE YOUR ARMY PERSONNEL RECORD FOR ANY EVIDENCE TO SUBSTANTIATE YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOU WERE INSTRUCTED TO REPORT TO THE U.S. ARMY STUDENT DETACHMENT, CHICAGO, AND TO FORWARD A COPY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY MESSAGE 71522 REFERRED TO IN THE ORDERS OF MAY 24, 1966. BY LETTER DATED APRIL 23, 1968, IN REPLY TO THAT REQUEST, WE WERE ADVISED THAT THE ARMY RECORDS DO NOT CONTAIN ANY EVIDENCE TO SUBSTANTIATE OR REFUTE YOUR CONTENTION, AND THAT DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY MESSAGE 71522 IS NO LONGER ON FILE.

IT IS THE GENERAL RULE OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS THAT TRAVEL ORDERS MAY NOT BE REVOKED OR MODIFIED RETROACTIVELY SO AS TO INCREASE OR DECREASE THE RIGHTS WHICH HAVE ACCRUED, OR BECOME FIXED UNDER THE LAW AND REGULATIONS WHEN THE ORDERED TRAVEL HAS ALREADY BEEN PERFORMED. EXCEPTIONS TO THAT RULE HAVE BEEN RECOGNIZED WHEN SUCH MODIFICATIONS ARE MADE WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME AFTER THE ISSUANCE OF THE BASIC ORDERS TO CORRECT AN ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR OR TO COMPLETE THE ORDERS TO SHOW THE ORIGINAL INTENT. SEE 23 COMP. GEN. 713; 24 ID. 439 AND 34 ID. 355.

FURTHERMORE, THIS OFFICE MAY NOT AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES WHICH ARE BASED SOLELY ON STATEMENTS SUBMITTED BY A CLAIMANT AND ARE NOT SUPPORTED OR CORROBORATED IN SOME MANNER BY GOVERNMENT RECORDS. WE MUST ACCEPT THE REPORT OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS AS TO THE LACK OF EVIDENCE IN THE RECORD TO SUBSTANTIATE YOUR CLAIM, IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE SUPPLIED BY YOU SUFFICIENT TO OVERCOME THE PRESUMPTION OF THE CORRECTNESS OF SUCH REPORT. 16 COMP. GEN. 325; 19 ID. 88 AND 38 ID. 527.

THE ORDERS ASSIGNING YOU TO U.S. STUDENT DETACHMENT, HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY, DID SO FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONTROL AND ADMINISTRATION PENDING YOUR REPORTING AT THE AIR FORCE ACADEMY AND DID NOT DIRECT ANY TRAVEL TO CHICAGO. FOR THAT REASON, THEY DID NOT REQUIRE THAT YOU REPORT AT THE HEADQUARTERS IN CHICAGO, PRIOR TO REPORTING FOR DUTY AT THE USAF ACADEMY. NOTHING IN THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THEY DID NOT REFLECT THE INTENT OF THE ISSUING OFFICER IN THIS RESPECT. IT WOULD THEREFORE SEEM THAT AT THE TIME SUCH ORDERS WERE ISSUED THEY WERE NOT ERRONEOUS OR INCOMPLETE SO AS TO REQUIRE AN AMENDMENT. CONSEQUENTLY, THE AMENDMENT DATED APRIL 7, 1967, WHICH STATED YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO STUDENT DETACHMENT, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, FOR PROCESSING AND FOR MOVEMENT TO DUTY STATION HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY, COLORADO, ISSUED MORE THAN 11 MONTHS AFTER THE TRAVEL HAD BEEN COMPLETED, MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED AS EFFECTIVELY REQUIRING THAT TRAVEL BE PERFORMED TO CHICAGO FOR SUCH PROCESSING. ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF OCTOBER 18, 1967, IS SUSTAINED.