B-165467, OCT. 30, 1968

B-165467: Oct 30, 1968

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

WERE DISCHARGED BY REASON OF PHYSICAL DISABILITY ON MARCH 10. DAWLEY THAT YOU WERE FURNISHED COMMERCIAL AIR TRANSPORTATION FROM NORFOLK. THAT ADVICE WAS BASED ON A NAVAL SPEED LETTER DATED MAY 6. JMF (P) OF 3 MAY 1960 RAFAEL CASTRO-CALDERON 996 65 40 WAS PROVIDED GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION AS FOLLOWS: COMMERCIAL AIR FROM NORVA TO CHARLESTON SC MATS FLIGHT FROM CHARLESTON TO RAMEY AFB PUERTO RICO" MR. DAWLEY WAS ALSO ADVISED THAT THE MAXIMUM ENTITLEMENT IN YOUR CASE WOULD BE FROM RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE TO CAROLINA. HE WAS FURNISHED WITH CLAIM FORMS FOR COMPLETION BY YOU IF YOU DESIRED TO SUBMIT A CLAIM FOR THIS TRANSPORTATION. WHEN YOU WROTE TO THE NAVY CONCERNING THE STATUS OF A CLAIM WHICH YOU SAY WAS SUBMITTED IN APRIL 1960 FOR .

B-165467, OCT. 30, 1968

TO MR. RAFAEL CASTRO CALDERON:

ON OCTOBER 14, 1968, WE RECEIVED FROM THE U.S. NAVY FINANCE CENTER, WASHINGTON, D.C., YOUR LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 10, 1968, WITH ENCLOSURES, REGARDING YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF PERSONAL TRAVEL FROM NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, TO CAROLINA, PUERTO RICO, DURING THE PERIOD JUNE 10 TO 18, 1960, INCIDENT TO YOUR RELEASE FROM THE SERVICE.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU ENLISTED IN THE UNITED STATES NAVY SEPTEMBER 10, 1956, AND WERE DISCHARGED BY REASON OF PHYSICAL DISABILITY ON MARCH 10, 1960. IT APPEARS THAT ON APRIL 25, 1960, MR. E. A. DAWLEY, JR., 721 E. BRAMBLETON AVENUE, NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, WROTE THE NAVY ABOUT YOUR TRAVEL ALLOWANCE. IN REPLY THE BUREAU OF NAVAL PERSONNEL, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, WASHINGTON, C., ADVISED MR. DAWLEY THAT YOU WERE FURNISHED COMMERCIAL AIR TRANSPORTATION FROM NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, TO CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA, AND TRANSPORTATION FROM CHARLESTON TO RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE, PUERTO RICO, BY MILITARY AIR TRANSPORT SERVICE FLIGHT.

THAT ADVICE WAS BASED ON A NAVAL SPEED LETTER DATED MAY 6, 1960, FROM THE COMMANDING OFFICER, U.S. NAVY RECEIVING STATION, NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, TO THE CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL, AS FOLLOWS: "REF YOUR SPDLTR PERS-E314-GCI; JMF (P) OF 3 MAY 1960 RAFAEL CASTRO-CALDERON 996 65 40 WAS PROVIDED GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION AS FOLLOWS: COMMERCIAL AIR FROM NORVA TO CHARLESTON SC MATS FLIGHT FROM CHARLESTON TO RAMEY AFB PUERTO RICO"

MR. DAWLEY WAS ALSO ADVISED THAT THE MAXIMUM ENTITLEMENT IN YOUR CASE WOULD BE FROM RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE TO CAROLINA, PUERTO RICO, YOUR HOME OF RECORD, AND HE WAS FURNISHED WITH CLAIM FORMS FOR COMPLETION BY YOU IF YOU DESIRED TO SUBMIT A CLAIM FOR THIS TRANSPORTATION.

THE RECORD DOES NOT REFLECT ANY FURTHER ACTION IN YOUR CASE UNTIL OCTOBER 20, 1966, WHEN YOU WROTE TO THE NAVY CONCERNING THE STATUS OF A CLAIM WHICH YOU SAY WAS SUBMITTED IN APRIL 1960 FOR ,TRAVEL PAY.' IN SUBSEQUENT CORRESPONDENCE YOU ADVISED THAT AFTER YOUR DISCHARGE YOU REMAINED IN NORFOLK AND FINALLY RETURNED TO PUERTO RICO, UTILIZING A DAYTIME FLIGHT ON EASTERN AIRLINES AT A COST OF $116; THAT THE TICKET STUB IS NOT AVAILABLE; AND THAT YOU COULD NOT FURNISH EVIDENCE OF AN UNUSED GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST OR TICKET INASMUCH AS NONE WAS EVER GIVEN TO YOU.

IN AN AFFIDAVIT DATED FEBRUARY 16, 1968, YOU REQUESTED REIMBURSEMENT FOR YOUR TRAVEL COSTS TO THE PLACE OF YOUR REENLISTMENT (SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO). ON MARCH 13, 1968, YOU SUBMITTED AN EXECUTED VOUCHER SHOWING THAT ON JUNE 10, 1960, YOU TRAVELED FROM NORFOLK TO NEW YORK, NEW YORK, BY COMMERCIAL BUS AND THAT ON JUNE 18, 1960, YOU TRAVELED FROM NEW YORK TO PUERTO RICO BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT.

YOUR CLAIM AND SUPPORTING PAPERS WERE FORWARDED TO OUR CLAIMS DIVISION ON MAY 13, 1968. IN THE SETTLEMENT OF THAT CLAIM, OUR CLAIMS DIVISION ALLOWED YOU THE SUM OF $6.12 REPRESENTING MILEAGE AT THE RATE OF $0.06 PER MILE FOR THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE OF 102 MILES BETWEEN RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE AND CAROLINA, PUERTO RICO, YOUR HOME OF RECORD, AND DISALLOWED THAT PORTION OF YOUR CLAIM TO COVER REIMBURSEMENT OF THE TRAVEL COSTS FROM NORFOLK TO PUERTO RICO. THE DISALLOWANCE ACTION WAS BASED ON THE RECORDS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY SHOWING THAT AT THE TIME OF YOUR SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE YOU WERE FURNISHED COMMERCIAL AIR TRANSPORTATION FROM NORFOLK TO CHARLESTON AND MATS TRANSPORTATION FROM CHARLESTON TO RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE.

IN YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 10, 1968, YOU SAY THAT THE RECORDS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY WHICH SUPPORTED THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM ARE INACCURATE AND FALSE AND YOU ASK WHY YOU WERE NOT SHOWN EVIDENCE OF THE "ORDERS FOR THE ISSUANCE OF SUCH TRAVEL PAY OR DATE TRAVEL WAS DONE.' YOU URGE THAT YOU SHOULD BE REIMBURSED FOR THE FULL COST OF THE TRAVEL AND YOU RETURNED THE SETTLEMENT CHECK OF MAY 27, 1968, WITH A COPY OF THE SETTLEMENT VOUCHER.

THE LAW IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF THE INVOLVED TRAVEL, SECTION 303A OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 253, PROVIDED THAT UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES SHALL BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS UPON CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION INCLUDING, UPON SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE, FROM LAST STATION TO HOME OR TO THE PLACE FROM WHICH ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY, REGARDLESS OF THE FACT THAT SUCH MEMBER MAY NOT BE A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES AT THE TIME HIS TRAVEL IS PERFORMED OR IS TO BE PERFORMED.

PARAGRAPH M4157-1B (CHANGE 83, DATED AUGUST 1, 1959) OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, WHICH IMPLEMENTED THE ABOVE LAW, PROVIDED THAT A MEMBER WHO IS SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE AND IS ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCES TO HOME OF RECORD OR PLACE FROM WHICH HE WAS ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY WHICH IS LOCATED OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES, WILL BE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCES AS PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH M4159 OF THE REGULATIONS. PARAGRAPH M4159-4 (CHANGE 67, DATED MARCH 1, 1958) OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDED THAT WHEN TRAVEL IS FROM THE UNITED STATES TO A POINT OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED FOR THE TRANSOCEANIC TRAVEL ONLY WHEN TRANSPORTATION VIA GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT OR VESSEL IS NOT AVAILABLE. ALSO, PARAGRAPH M4159-5 (CHANGE 67, DATED MARCH 1, 1958) OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDED THAT UPON SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE A MEMBER WHO IS ENTITLED TO TRAVEL TO A POINT OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES MAY BE PAID MILEAGE TO A PORT OF EMBARKATION IN THE UNITED STATES AND FROM THE FOREIGN AERIAL OR WATER PORT OF DEBARKATION NEAREST TO THE PLACE TO WHICH THE MEMBER ELECTS TO RECEIVE TRAVEL ALLOWANCES TO DESTINATION, WITHOUT REGARD TO ACTUAL PERFORMANCE OF TRAVEL.

IN THIS CONNECTION, THE OFFICE OF THE COMPTROLLER, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, WASHINGTON, D.C., REPORTS THAT AT THE TIME OF YOUR DISCHARGE YOU CERTIFIED ON YOUR ORDERS THAT YOU HAD SELECTED ,PUERTO RICO" AS YOUR HOME; AND, AS STATED ABOVE, THE COMMANDING OFFICER, U.S. NAVAL RECEIVING STATION, NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, REPORTED THAT YOU WERE FURNISHED COMMERCIAL AIR TRANSPORTATION FROM NORFOLK TO CHARLESTON AND MILITARY AIR TRANSPORTATION SERVICE FLIGHT FROM CHARLESTON TO RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE. THE BASIS OF THAT INFORMATION AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE GOVERNING LAW AND REGULATIONS, OUR CLAIMS DIVISION ALLOWED TO YOU THE SUM OF $6.12 AS MILEAGE FROM RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE TO CAROLINA, AND DISALLOWED THAT PORTION OF YOUR CLAIM COVERING REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL COSTS FROM NORFOLK TO RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE.

OUR OFFICE MUST NECESSARILY RELY ON THE WRITTEN RECORD IN THE SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS, SINCE, GENERALLY, WE HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED OTHER THAN THOSE FURNISHED BY THE CLAIMANTS AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE. THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE NAVY FURNISHED YOU WITH COMMERCIAL AIR TRANSPORTATION TO CHARLESTON AND GOVERNMENT AIR TRANSPORTATION FROM THAT PLACE TO RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE IS A QUESTION OF FACT.

WHEN THERE IS A DISAGREEMENT BETWEEN THE FACTS AS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED AND THOSE STATED BY A CLAIMANT THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS, IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE SUBMITTED BY THE CLAIMANT LEGALLY SUFFICIENT TO OVERCOME THE PRESUMPTION OF THEIR CORRECTNESS, MUST ACCEPT THE FACTS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED AS CONTROLLING THE DISPOSITION OF THE CLAIM. SEE 16 COMP. GEN. 325, 329; 19 ID. 88, 90; 31 ID. 288; 37 ID. 568, 570; 38 ID. 527, 530; AND 46 ID. 740, 744. THE PRESENT RECORD DOES NOT AFFORD A SUFFICIENT BASIS TO CONCLUDE, CONTRARY TO THE INFORMATION FURNISHED IN THE ABOVE-MENTIONED SPEED LETTER OF MAY 6, 1960, FROM THE COMMANDING OFFICER, U.S. NAVY RECEIVING STATION, NORFOLK, THAT SHORTLY AFTER YOUR DISCHARGE FROM THE NAVY, YOU TRAVELED FROM NORFOLK TO PUERTO RICO AT PERSONAL RATHER THAN GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF MAY 22, 1968, IS SUSTAINED. CHECK NO. 1,751,605, DATED MAY 27, 1968, FOR $6.12, D.O. SYMBOL 5101, WHICH ISSUED ON THAT SETTLEMENT, TOGETHER WITH THE COPY OF THE SETTLEMENT VOUCHER, IS RETURNED.