B-164506, SEPT. 11, 1968

B-164506: Sep 11, 1968

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

STURGEON: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 23. YOU WERE DIRECTED TO PROCEED ON OR ABOUT OCTOBER 24. YOU WERE AUTHORIZED BY THESE ORDERS TO RETURN TO FORT STEWART BY AIR COMMON CARRIER AND TOURIST CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS WERE TO BE UTILIZED IF THEY MET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE MISSION. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT DATED MAY 8. FOR THE REASON THAT SINCE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WERE AVAILABLE FOR YOUR RETURN TRANSPORTATION BY COMMERCIAL AIR TO FORT STEWART. THE MAXIMUM REIMBURSEMENT AUTHORIZED UNDER APPLICABLE REGULATIONS IS 5 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE OF SUCH TRAVEL. YOU SAY IN EFFECT THAT YOU DO NOT BELIEVE YOU SHOULD SUFFER MONETARY LOSS BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE REGULATIONS.

B-164506, SEPT. 11, 1968

TO MAJOR JAMES M. STURGEON:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 23, 1968, AND ENCLOSURE, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE MILEAGE ALLOWANCE AND THE AMOUNT YOU PAID FOR COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION FROM WICHITA, KANSAS, TO HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD, GEORGIA.

BY ORDER AASFW-PB-O L0972 DATED OCTOBER 24, 1967, YOU WERE DIRECTED TO PROCEED ON OR ABOUT OCTOBER 24, 1967, FROM FORT STEWART, GEORGIA, TO WICHITA, KANSAS, AND RETURN, TO FERRY A T-41 B TO THE CESSNA PLANT FOR MODIFICATION. YOU WERE AUTHORIZED BY THESE ORDERS TO RETURN TO FORT STEWART BY AIR COMMON CARRIER AND TOURIST CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS WERE TO BE UTILIZED IF THEY MET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE MISSION.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT DATED MAY 8, 1968, FOR THE REASON THAT SINCE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WERE AVAILABLE FOR YOUR RETURN TRANSPORTATION BY COMMERCIAL AIR TO FORT STEWART, THE MAXIMUM REIMBURSEMENT AUTHORIZED UNDER APPLICABLE REGULATIONS IS 5 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE OF SUCH TRAVEL. IN YOUR LETTER OF MAY 23, 1968, YOU SAY IN EFFECT THAT YOU DO NOT BELIEVE YOU SHOULD SUFFER MONETARY LOSS BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE REGULATIONS.

THE TRAVEL OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS GOVERNED BY THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO 37 U.S.C. 404. PARAGRAPH M4203-3 (A) OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SUBPARAGRAPHS 2 AND B, WHEN AUTHORIZED TRAVEL IS PERFORMED AT PERSONAL EXPENSE, THE MEMBER WILL BE REIMBURSED A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION AT THE RATE OF 5 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE. SUBPARAGRAPH 2 PROVIDES THAT WHEN TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS ARE NOT AVAILABLE TO THE TRAVELER AT THE TIME AND PLACE REQUIRED OR WHEN AVAILABLE BUT THE TRAVELER PROCURES TRANSPORTATION AT HIS OWN EXPENSE ON COMMON CARRIERS IN AMOUNTS OF $15 (PLUS TAX) OR LESS (INCLUDING SLEEPING CAR ACCOMMODATIONS OR PARLOR CAR SEATS), HE MAY ELECT TO RECEIVE REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE ACTUAL COST OF TRANSPORTATION TO THE TRAVELER FOR THE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION AUTHORIZED AND ACTUALLY USED, BASED UPON HIS CERTIFICATION AS TO THE COST INVOLVED. SUBPARAGRAPH B PROVIDES FOR A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION IN CASES OF TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE.

IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED THAT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WERE AVAILABLE FOR YOUR TRAVEL BY AIR COMMON CARRIER AND WOULD HAVE BEEN FURNISHED IF YOU HAD REQUESTED, A FACT THAT YOU DO NOT QUESTION. IN VIEW THEREOF, AND SINCE IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED THE REGULATIONS AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL ONLY ON THE BASIS OF A MONETARY ALLOWANCE FOR TRANSPORTATION AT THE RATE OF 5 CENTS PER MILE, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO ALLOW YOU ANY ADDITIONAL AMOUNT FOR YOUR RETURN TRAVEL TO HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF MAY 8, 1968, DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.

WHILE IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT YOU WERE NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE REGULATIONS AND COULD HAVE AVOIDED THE MONETARY LOSS YOU SUFFERED IN BUYING A COMMERCIAL AIR TICKET IF YOU HAD BEEN FAMILIAR WITH THEM, THAT FACT AFFORDS NO LEGAL BASIS TO ALLOW YOU AN AMOUNT NOT OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED BY THE LAW AND REGULATIONS.