B-165337, DEC. 24, 1968

B-165337: Dec 24, 1968

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COMPTROLLER: WE ARE IN RECEIPT OF YOUR UNDATED LETTER. ORDINARILY THIS OFFICE WILL RENDER DECISIONS ONLY TO AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING AND DISBURSING OFFICERS OR TO HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS OR AGENCIES. WE WILL RENDER A DECISION IN THIS INSTANCE. WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL TO THE USS "FORRESTAL" OFF THE COAST OF FLORIDA FOR TEMPORARY DUTY. WHERE THEY WERE PICKED UP BY A MAIL PLANE AND FLOWN OUT TO SEA TO THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER. IN LANDING IT WAS NECESSARY TO STOP THE PLANE BY MEANS OF A HOOK UNDERNEATH THE AIRCRAFT BY CATCHING CABLES STRUNG ACROSS THE DECK. WAS AIR BORNE BY A DECK LAUNCH. WORK WAS COMPLETED BY 10 P.M. THE TWO EMPLOYEES ARE BASING THEIR CLAIMS FOR HAZARD PAY ON THE 25 PERCENT DIFFERENTIAL THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION AUTHORIZED FOR DUTY PRESCRIBED AS "FLYING" IN APPENDIX A OF FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL LETTER NO. 550-38.

B-165337, DEC. 24, 1968

TO MR. W. H. LEWIS, COMPTROLLER:

WE ARE IN RECEIPT OF YOUR UNDATED LETTER, REFERENCE NY6/12770/600), AND SUBSEQUENT INDORSEMENTS THERETO, REQUESTING A DECISION WHETHER HAZARD PAY DIFFERENTIAL MAY BE PAID TO TWO EMPLOYEES OF THE NORFOLK NAVAL SHIPYARD.

ORDINARILY THIS OFFICE WILL RENDER DECISIONS ONLY TO AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING AND DISBURSING OFFICERS OR TO HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS OR AGENCIES, 31 U.S.C. 74, 82D. HOWEVER, IN ORDER TO FACILITATE THE SETTLEMENT OF THIS MATTER, WE WILL RENDER A DECISION IN THIS INSTANCE.

BY TRAVEL ORDERS DATED JUNE 24, 1968, MR. ARTHUR L. DAVIS AND MR. RICHARD D. RONZITTI, MARINE ENGINEERS, WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL TO THE USS "FORRESTAL" OFF THE COAST OF FLORIDA FOR TEMPORARY DUTY. THEY LEFT NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, BY COMMERCIAL AIR FOR JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, WHERE THEY WERE PICKED UP BY A MAIL PLANE AND FLOWN OUT TO SEA TO THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER, USS "FORRESTAL" , MAKING AN ARRESTED LANDING THEREON AT 3:45 P.M. ON JUNE 24, 1968. IN LANDING IT WAS NECESSARY TO STOP THE PLANE BY MEANS OF A HOOK UNDERNEATH THE AIRCRAFT BY CATCHING CABLES STRUNG ACROSS THE DECK. ON JUNE 26, 1968, AT 1 P.M. THEY LEFT THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER BY PLANE. THE PLANE, IN LEAVING, WAS AIR BORNE BY A DECK LAUNCH. ON AUGUST 5, 1968, MR. RONZITTI LEFT THE NORFOLK NAVAL SHIPYARD BY HELICOPTER AT APPROXIMATELY 11:30 A.M., LANDING ABOARD THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS "WASP" AT 12 NOON AT SEA. WORK WAS COMPLETED BY 10 P.M. AND MR. RONZITTI DEPARTED THE USS "WASP" BY SHIP LAUNCH TO THE NORFOLK NAVAL STATION ARRIVING THERE THE SAME DAY.

THE TWO EMPLOYEES ARE BASING THEIR CLAIMS FOR HAZARD PAY ON THE 25 PERCENT DIFFERENTIAL THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION AUTHORIZED FOR DUTY PRESCRIBED AS "FLYING" IN APPENDIX A OF FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL LETTER NO. 550-38. PARAGRAPH (3) THEREOF AUTHORIZES HAZARD PAY TO EMPLOYEES PARTICIPATING IN FLIGHTS INVOLVING LAUNCH AND RECOVERY ABOARD AN AIRCRAFT CARRIER. THE TERM ,LAUNCH AND RECOVERY" IS NOT DEFINED IN THE COMMISSION'S REGULATIONS. HOWEVER, IT HAS BEEN INFORMALLY ASCERTAINED FROM A FORMER COMMANDING OFFICER OF AN AIRCRAFT CARRIER THAT THE TERM ,LAUNCH" AS USED IN CARRIER OPERATIONS MEANS EITHER A DECK LAUNCH OR A LAUNCH BY CATAPULT; ALSO, THAT THE TERM "RECOVERY" MEANS ANY LANDING ABOARD AN AIRCRAFT CARRIER. WE WERE FURTHER INFORMED THAT THE SAME TERMS ARE USED FOR TAKEOFFS AND LANDINGS OF HELICOPTERS.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, IT IS EVIDENT THAT THE FLIGHTS HERE INVOLVED COME WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE REGULATIONS AND THAT HAZARDOUS DUTY PAY IS AUTHORIZED. HOWEVER, SUCH REGULATIONS WOULD APPEAR TO RESTRICT THE HAZARDOUS DUTY PAY TO THE DAYS ON WHICH THE FLIGHTS WERE PERFORMED.