B-164759, OCT. 2, 1968

B-164759: Oct 2, 1968

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HEYMAN: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE MOVEMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS INCIDENT TO SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 250. YOU WERE TRANSFERRED FROM AN OVERSEAS STATION TO 194TH ADMINISTRATION DETACHMENT. YOU WERE REASSIGNED AS COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE 4TH BATTALION. THE ORDERS STATED THAT NO TRAVEL WAS INVOLVED AND THAT THE TRANSFER WOULD BE AT NO EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT. THE MESSAGE STATED THAT NO TRAVEL WAS INVOLVED AND THAT THE TRANSFER WOULD BE AT NO EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT. WERE AMENDED TO PROVIDE THAT AN ADDITIONAL FISCAL YEAR MOVE WAS AUTHORIZED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY. WHICH WAS STATED IN THE ORDERS OF DECEMBER 2. WAS ACTUALLY LOCATED AT CAMP ROBERTS.

B-164759, OCT. 2, 1968

TO CAPTAIN FRANK P. HEYMAN:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE MOVEMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS INCIDENT TO SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 250, HEADQUARTERS, U.S. ARMY COMBAT DEVELOPMENTS COMMAND, EXPERIMENTATION COMMAND, FORT ORD, CALIFORNIA, DATED DECEMBER 2, 1965, AND DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY MESSAGE 22969, DATED JANUARY 27, 1966.

BY ORDERS DATED JUNE 17, 1965, YOU WERE TRANSFERRED FROM AN OVERSEAS STATION TO 194TH ADMINISTRATION DETACHMENT, FORT ORD, CALIFORNIA, REPORTING ON AUGUST 18, 1965. BY SPECIAL ORDER NO. 250, DATED DECEMBER 2, 1965, YOU WERE REASSIGNED AS COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE 4TH BATTALION, 73D ARMOR, TO REPORT DECEMBER 11, 1965. THE ORDERS STATED THAT NO TRAVEL WAS INVOLVED AND THAT THE TRANSFER WOULD BE AT NO EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT. UNIT ORDER NO. 57, 4TH BATTALION, 73D ARMOR, FORT ORD, DATED DECEMBER 13, 1965, STATES THAT YOU ASSUMED COMMAND OF THAT UNIT THAT DAY.

DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY MESSAGE 22969, DATED JANUARY 27, 1966, REASSIGNED YOU TO USATC, FORT ORD, CALIFORNIA, WITH 194TH ARMORED BATTALION, TO REPORT FEBRUARY 1, 1966. THE MESSAGE STATED THAT NO TRAVEL WAS INVOLVED AND THAT THE TRANSFER WOULD BE AT NO EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT. DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY ORDERS DATED APRIL 20, 1967, THE PROVISIONS IN SPECIAL ORDERS 250 AND DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY MESSAGE 22969, WERE AMENDED TO PROVIDE THAT AN ADDITIONAL FISCAL YEAR MOVE WAS AUTHORIZED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY.

IN YOUR CLAIM DATED MARCH 21, 1966, YOU STATED THAT THE 4TH BATTALION,73D ARMOR, WHICH WAS STATED IN THE ORDERS OF DECEMBER 2, 1965, TO BE LOCATED AT FORT ORD, CALIFORNIA, WAS ACTUALLY LOCATED AT CAMP ROBERTS, CALIFORNIA, A DISTANCE OF 106 MILES AWAY. YOU RELATED THAT YOU EXPECTED TO REMAIN AT YOUR NEW LOCATION AND THEREFORE RELOCATED YOUR FAMILY AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE TO PASO ROBLES, CALIFORNIA, ON JANUARY 20, 1966. YOU STATED FURTHER THAT INCIDENT TO DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY MESSAGE DATED JANUARY 27, 1966, REASSIGNING YOU TO FORD ORD, YOU AGAIN MOVED YOUR FAMILY AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT PERSONAL EXPENSE. YOU THEREFORE CLAIMED ENTITLEMENT TO ALLOWANCES FOR A ROUND TRIP MOVEMENT FOR YOURSELF, DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, TOGETHER WITH DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE FOR THE MOVES TO AND FROM CAMP ROBERTS.

YOUR CLAIM WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DENIED APRIL 8, 1966, BY THE FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING OFFICER AT FORD ORD, FOR THE REASON THAT THE ORDERS INDICATED A REASSIGNMENT IN WHICH NO PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TRAVEL OR EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT WAS INVOLVED.

IN AN INDORSEMENT DATED JULY 26, 1966, YOUR COMMANDING OFFICER AT FORT ORD EXPLAINED THAT THE PERMANENT STATION OF THE 4TH BATTALION, 73D ARMOR, WAS AT FORT ORD, WITH DUTY STATION (LOCATION) AT CAMP ROBERTS WHICH HE DESCRIBED AS A SUB-POST OF FORT ORD, LOCATED APPROXIMATELY 100 MILES SOUTH OF FORT ORD. HE STATED THAT THE POLICY FOR ASSIGNMENT TO UNITS LOCATED AT CAMP ROBERTS WAS TO TRANSFER MEMBERS WITH DEPENDENTS ONLY WHEN ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY TO THE MISSION OR PRIOR TO THEIR ESTABLISHMENT OF A HOUSEHOLD AT FORT ORD. THE COMMANDER STATED FURTHER THAT WHEN YOU WERE SELECTED FOR A COMMAND ASSIGNMENT WITH THE 4TH BRIGADE, YOU WERE UNACCOMPANIED BY YOUR DEPENDENTS.

SUBSEQUENTLY, BUT PRIOR TO THE ACTUAL ASSIGNMENT AT CAMP ROBERTS, IT IS REPORTED THAT YOU LOCATED YOUR FAMILY IN THE VICINITY OF FORT ORD AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AND, UPON REASSIGNMENT, YOU ELECTED TO RELOCATE YOUR FAMILY IN THE VICINITY OF CAMP ROBERTS. THE COMMANDER STATED FURTHER THAT THE COMMAND PROVIDED THE NECESSARY SUPPORT TO ASSIST YOU IN THE MOVEMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO CAMP ROBERTS AT NO PERSONAL EXPENSE. LATER, UPON YOUR REASSIGNMENT TO FORT ORD BY DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY MESSAGE, IT IS REPORTED THAT THE COMMAND OFFERED TO ASSIST YOU IN YOUR RETURN TO FORT ORD, BUT YOU DECLINED THE OFFER AND MOVED AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE.

IN A 3D INDORSEMENT DATED MARCH 28, 1967, BY THE FINANCE CENTER, U.S. ARMY, INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, IT IS INDICATED THAT THE CHIEF OF FINANCE HAD FURNISHED A REPORT TO THE EFFECT THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY AND HEADQUARTERS FORT ORD BOTH ERRED IN ISSUING ORDERS REASSIGNING YOU TO AND FROM FORT ORD AND CAMP ROBERTS, CALIFORNIA, WITH THE PROVISION THAT THE CHANGE OF STATION ASSIGNMENTS WERE TO BE AT "NO EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT" AND THAT THERE WAS "NO TRAVEL INVOLVED.' THE REPORT FURTHER INDICATED THAT ACTION HAD BEEN INITIATED TO AMEND THE ORDERS CONTAINED IN DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY MESSAGE 22969, AND THE COMMANDING GENERAL AT FORT ORD HAD BEEN REQUESTED TO ARRANGE FOR THE AMENDMENT OF YOUR ORDERS OF DECEMBER 2, 1965, TO DELETE THE RESTRICTIVE PHRASES PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED AND TO CITE THE PROPER APPROPRIATION TO BE CHARGED FOR THE TRAVEL.

IN AN INFORMAL CONFERENCE WITH A REPRESENTATIVE OF THIS OFFICE ON SEPTEMBER 24, 1968, YOU SAID THAT IN JUNE 1967, WHILE IN VIETNAM, YOU PRESENTED VOUCHERS TO A DISBURSING OFFICER AND WERE PAID TRAVEL ALLOWANCE FOR YOUR TRAVEL FROM FORT ORD TO CAMP ROBERTS AND RETURN. ALSO, YOU STATED THAT YOU WERE PAID FOR THE TRAVEL OF YOUR WIFE FROM MARINA, CALIFORNIA, TO PASO ROBLES, CALIFORNIA, AND RETURN TO MARINA, AS WELL AS A DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE FOR EACH MOVE. SUBSTANTIATING DOCUMENTS INCLUDED ONLY THE ORDERS OF DECEMBER 2, 1965, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY MESSAGE 22969 AND ORDERS OF APRIL 20, 1967, CITED ABOVE.

ON DECEMBER 8, 1967, YOU FILED A SUPPLEMENTAL CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES INVOLVED IN THE MOVEMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM FORT ORD TO CAMP ROBERTS, AND RETURN. YOU INDICATED THAT EXCEPT FOR THE SHIPMENT OF 3,200 POUNDS BY A CARRIER ON JANUARY 31, 1966, FROM PASO ROBLES TO MARINA, CALIFORNIA, FOR A TOTAL COST OF $160, YOU MOVED ALL YOUR EFFECTS FROM MARINA TO PASO ROBLES AND RETURN BY CAR AND TRAILER, MAKING 8 TRIPS TO PASO ROBLES AND 7 IN RETURN TO MARINA. YOU THEREFORE CLAIMED REIMBURSEMENT ON A CONSTRUCTIVE BASIS OF WHAT IT WOULD HAVE COST THE GOVERNMENT FOR ROUND TRIP SHIPMENT OF THE MAXIMUM WEIGHT ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED FOR A CAPTAIN OF THE ARMY BETWEEN THE TWO DUTY POINTS.

LEGAL RIGHTS AND LIABILITIES IN REGARD TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCES VEST AS AND WHEN TRAVEL IS PERFORMED UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS. SUCH ORDERS MAY NOT BE REVOKED OR MODIFIED SO AS TO INCREASE OR DECREASE THE RIGHTS WHICH HAVE BECOME FIXED UNDER APPLICABLE STATUTES AND REGULATIONS, UNLESS ERROR IS APPARENT ON THE FACE OF THE ORDERS OR ALL THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES CLEARLY DEMONSTRATE THAT SOME PROVISION PREVIOUSLY DETERMINED AND DEFINITELY INTENDED WAS OMITTED THROUGH ERROR OR INADVERTENCE IN PREPARING THE ORDERS. 23 COMP. GEN. 713; 24 ID. 439 AND 44 ID. 405-408.

AS FAR AS THE RECORD SHOWS, THE ORDERS THAT REASSIGNED YOU TO AND FROM DUTY AT CAMP ROBERTS WERE WRITTEN AS INTENDED AND THEREFORE ANY RETROACTIVE AMENDMENT OF YOUR ORDERS BASED ON THE DETERMINATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY TO DELETE THE PROVISIONS "NO EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT" AND "NO TRAVEL INVOLVED," APPARENTLY WOULD BE WITHOUT EFFECT TO INCREASE YOUR ENTITLEMENT. AND, AS FAR AS THE RECORD HERE SHOWS, SUCH AMENDMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN ISSUED. IT SEEMS CLEAR FROM YOUR ORDERS THAT THE REASSIGNMENTS OF DUTY WERE NOT ADMINISTRATIVELY INTENDED TO INVOLVE PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TRAVEL OR TRANSPORTATION AND THERE IS SOME DOUBT AS TO WHETHER REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED FOR ANY TRAVEL OR TRANSPORTATION INCIDENT TO THESE DUTY ASSIGNMENTS. HOWEVER, EVEN IF PROPER ORDERS HAD BEEN ISSUED DIRECTING A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION INCIDENT TO YOUR ASSIGNMENT TO CAMP ROBERTS AND REASSIGNMENT TO FORT ORD, THERE WOULD BE NO AUTHORITY TO REIMBURSE YOU FOR THE MOVEMENTS OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ON THE BASIS CLAIMED.

IT LONG HAS BEEN THE RULE THAT THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO REIMBURSE A MEMBER FOR SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT PERSONAL EXPENSE ON THE BASIS OF A COMMUTATION OF WHAT IT WOULD HAVE COST THE GOVERNMENT HAD IT SHIPPED THE MAXIMUM WEIGHT ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED FOR THAT MEMBER BETWEEN THE POINTS INVOLVED. SEE DECISION OF OCTOBER 13, 1959, B 140822, COPY ENCLOSED.

PARAGRAPH M8500 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT TO THE PERTINENT STATUTE, 37 U.S.C. 406, PROVIDES THAT WHEN A MEMBER SHIPS HIS EFFECTS AT PERSONAL EXPENSE, HE IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE ACTUAL COST OF SUCH SHIPMENT, NOT TO EXCEED THE COST WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY THE GOVERNMENT HAD THE SHIPMENT OF THESE EFFECTS BEEN MADE BY A SHIPPING OR TRANSPORTATION OFFICER. PARAGRAPH 11-7A (4), ARMY REGULATIONS 55-71, REQUIRES THAT CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF COST OF SHIPPING HOUSEHOLD GOODS BE SUPPORTED BY ORIGINAL COPIES OF ALL BILLS FOR TRANSPORTATION OR ACCESSORIAL SERVICES FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED, SHOWING THE BILLS MARKED AS PAID AND THE WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPPED.

THERE IS NO SHOWING OF THE ACTUAL WEIGHT MOVED AND THE COST YOU INCURRED IN THE MOVEMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS BY CAR AND TRAILER. FURTHERMORE, THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT SHOWS THAT THE COMMAND AT FORT ORD PROVIDED THE NECESSARY SUPPORT TO ASSIST YOU IN THE MOVEMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO CAMP ROBERTS AT NO PERSONAL EXPENSE TO YOU AND THAT IT WOULD HAVE ASSISTED YOU IN YOUR RETURN TO FORT ORD, BUT YOU DECLINED THE ASSISTANCE.

ACCORDINGLY, ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS DISCLOSED, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES YOU INCURRED IN THE MOVEMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT PERSONAL EXPENSE, INCIDENT TO THE ORDERS INVOLVED.