B-163715, MAY 2, 1968

B-163715: May 2, 1968

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LEIZZA: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF FEBRUARY 19 AND MARCH 6. YOU WERE RELEASED FROM ACTIVE DUTY IN THE UNITED STATES NAVY EFFECTIVE THAT DATE AND TRANSFERRED TO INACTIVE DUTY IN THE UNITED STATES NAVAL FLEET RESERVE. YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRAVEL INVOLVED WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT DATED FEBRUARY 1. FOR THE REASON THAT YOU PERFORMED THE TRAVEL BY AIRCRAFT OF FOREIGN REGISTRY AND AIRCRAFT REGISTERED UNDER THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES WAS AVAILABLE. THAT YOU WERE INFORMED YOU COULD TRAVEL AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE TO THE PLACE YOU CHOSE AND THEN GO TO THE NEAREST DISBURSING OFFICE TO CLAIM REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRAVEL. A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES AND HIS DEPENDENTS ARE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM LAST DUTY STATION TO HOME UPON RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY.

B-163715, MAY 2, 1968

TO MR. PETER M. LEIZZA:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF FEBRUARY 19 AND MARCH 6, 1968, REGARDING YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR PERSONAL TRAVEL AND THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR DEPENDENTS FROM BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, TO MAIDSTONE, KENT, ENGLAND, IN SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER 1967 INCIDENT TO YOUR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY IN THE UNITED STATES NAVY.

BY ORDERS DATED APRIL 24, 1967, YOU WERE RELEASED FROM ACTIVE DUTY IN THE UNITED STATES NAVY EFFECTIVE THAT DATE AND TRANSFERRED TO INACTIVE DUTY IN THE UNITED STATES NAVAL FLEET RESERVE.

YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRAVEL INVOLVED WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT DATED FEBRUARY 1, 1968, FOR THE REASON THAT YOU PERFORMED THE TRAVEL BY AIRCRAFT OF FOREIGN REGISTRY AND AIRCRAFT REGISTERED UNDER THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES WAS AVAILABLE.

AS A BASIS FOR ALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM, YOU SAY IN YOUR LETTERS THAT UPON YOUR RETIREMENT YOU HAD NOT DECIDED WHERE YOU WANTED TO SETTLE DOWN; AND, THAT YOU WERE INFORMED YOU COULD TRAVEL AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE TO THE PLACE YOU CHOSE AND THEN GO TO THE NEAREST DISBURSING OFFICE TO CLAIM REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRAVEL. YOU ALSO SAY THAT THE DISBURSING OFFICE AT THE BOSTON NAVAL STATION IN ADVISING YOU IN THIS MATTER DID NOT MENTION WHETHER YOU SHOULD USE AMERICAN OR FOREIGN REGISTRY AIRCRAFT OR VESSELS.

SECTIONS 404 AND 406 OF TITLE 37, U.S.C. PROVIDE THAT, UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES AND HIS DEPENDENTS ARE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM LAST DUTY STATION TO HOME UPON RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY. THE LAW PROVIDES FURTHER THAT A MEMBER WHO IS RELEASED FROM ACTIVE DUTY IN CERTAIN CASES MAY SELECT HIS HOME FOR THE PURPOSES OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES PAYABLE UNDER THESE SECTIONS OF THE LAW.

REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT TO THE ABOVE STATUTORY AUTHORITY ARE CONTAINED IN THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. PARAGRAPH M7000-7 OF THESE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ARE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UPON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION (WHICH INCLUDES THE CHANGE FROM LAST DUTY STATION TO THE SELECTED HOME), EXCEPT FOR ANY PORTION OF TRAVEL PERFORMED BY A FOREIGN VESSEL OR AIRPLANE IF AMERICAN REGISTERED VESSELS OR AIRPLANES ARE AVAILABLE BY THE USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE.

THE RESTRICTION AGAINST THE USE OF FOREIGN REGISTERED AIRCRAFT IS SPECIFICALLY SET OUT IN PARAGRAPH M2150 OF THE REGULATIONS. UNDER THAT PARAGRAPH, THE USE OF VESSELS OR AIRCRAFT REGISTERED UNDER THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES IS REQUIRED, UNLESS DETERMINED IMPRACTICAL OR NOT AVAILABLE, FOR ALL TRAVEL OR TRANSPORTATION OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES. PARAGRAPH M2150 SPECIFIES THAT WHERE THE AUTHORITY ISSUING TRAVEL ORDERS DETERMINES THAT THE USE OF VESSELS OR AIRCRAFT REGISTERED UNDER THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES WOULD SERIOUSLY INTERFERE WITH OR PREVENT THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS, HE MAY AUTHORIZE THE USE OF VESSELS OR AIRCRAFT OF FOREIGN REGISTRY. IT FURTHER PROVIDES THAT SUCH A DETERMINATION MAY NOT BE BASED MERELY ON A SHORT DELAY IN AWAITING TRANSPORTATION BY VESSELS OR AIRCRAFT OF UNITED STATES REGISTRY.

THE ABOVE REGULATORY PROVISIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO STATUTORY AUTHORITY, HAVE THE FORCE AND EFFECT OF LAW AND WE MAY MAKE NO EXCEPTIONS TO SUCH PROVISIONS IN THE SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS BY OUR OFFICE. REIMBURSEMENT OF ANY PART OF THE EXPENSES INCURRED FOR YOUR TRAVEL AND THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR DEPENDENTS BY BRITISH OVERSEAS AIRWAYS FROM BOSTON TO LONDON IS CLEARLY PROHIBITED BY PARAGRAPHS M7000 AND M2150 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IN THE ABSENCE OF AN OFFICIAL DETERMINATION THAT THE TRAVEL INVOLVED COULD NOT HAVE BEEN PERFORMED ON A SHIP OR AIRCRAFT REGISTERED UNDER THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 1, 1968, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES INCURRED FOR TRAVEL FROM BOSTON TO LONDON BY BRITISH OVERSEAS AIRWAYS WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED. HOWEVER, YOU ARE ENTITLED TO MILEAGE FOR THE LAND TRAVEL PERFORMED BY YOU AND YOUR DEPENDENTS FROM YOUR OLD ADDRESS TO BOSTON AIRPORT AND FROM THE LONDON AIRPORT TO YOUR HOME AT MAIDSTONE. A SETTLEMENT FOR THE AMOUNT FOUND DUE YOU AS MILEAGE WILL ISSUE IN DUE COURSE.

WHILE IT IS TO BE REGRETTED THAT YOU WERE NOT INFORMED BY THE NAVY THAT YOU WERE REQUIRED TO USE VESSELS OR AIRCRAFT OF UNITED STATES REGISTRY TOBE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE EXPENSES, THAT FACT AFFORDS NO LEGAL BASIS TO ALLOW YOU AN AMOUNT NOT AUTHORIZED BY THE LAW AND REGULATIONS.