B-166113, FEB. 26, 1969

B-166113: Feb 26, 1969

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WHICH HELD IN SUBSTANCE THAT YOU WERE INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES FOR COST OF THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR CHILDREN TO YOUR OVERSEAS DUTY STATION. SINCE THE FACTS INVOLVED ARE SET FORTH IN THE SETTLEMENT OF JULY 25. THEY WILL NOT BE REPEATED HERE EXCEPT AS PERTINENT TO OUR COMMENTS. AT THE TIME OF YOUR ASSIGNMENT OVERSEAS IN JUNE OF 1966 YOU WERE LIVING IN MARYLAND. YOUR THREE CHILDREN WHO WERE LEGALLY IN THE CUSTODY OF YOUR EX- WIFE WERE LIVING WITH THEIR MOTHER IN FLORIDA. YOU LEGALLY GAINED CUSTODY AND CONTROL OF THE CHILDREN AND THEY WERE TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO YOUR OVERSEAS STATION. SUBSEQUENTLY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE DETERMINED THAT YOU WERE INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR CHILDREN SINCE THEY WERE NOT MEMBERS OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD IN JUNE 1966 AND THEREFORE DID NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENT OF DEPENDENTS AUTHORIZED GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

B-166113, FEB. 26, 1969

TO MR. CLARENCE R. MINER:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 6, 1968, FORWARDED HERE ON DECEMBER 11, 1968, REFERENCE QEL-232, BY MAJOR HUGH S. AUSTIN, USAF, CHIEF, EXAMINATION DIVISION 2, DIRECTORATE OF QUALITY EXAMINATION, WHEREIN YOU REQUEST RECONSIDERATION OF OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF JULY 25, 1968, WHICH HELD IN SUBSTANCE THAT YOU WERE INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES FOR COST OF THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR CHILDREN TO YOUR OVERSEAS DUTY STATION.

SINCE THE FACTS INVOLVED ARE SET FORTH IN THE SETTLEMENT OF JULY 25, 1968, THEY WILL NOT BE REPEATED HERE EXCEPT AS PERTINENT TO OUR COMMENTS. AT THE TIME OF YOUR ASSIGNMENT OVERSEAS IN JUNE OF 1966 YOU WERE LIVING IN MARYLAND. YOUR THREE CHILDREN WHO WERE LEGALLY IN THE CUSTODY OF YOUR EX- WIFE WERE LIVING WITH THEIR MOTHER IN FLORIDA. AFTER BEING OVERSEAS FOR A LITTLE OVER A YEAR, YOU LEGALLY GAINED CUSTODY AND CONTROL OF THE CHILDREN AND THEY WERE TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO YOUR OVERSEAS STATION. SUBSEQUENTLY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE DETERMINED THAT YOU WERE INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR CHILDREN SINCE THEY WERE NOT MEMBERS OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD IN JUNE 1966 AND THEREFORE DID NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENT OF DEPENDENTS AUTHORIZED GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

PARAGRAPH C1100 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES:

"MEMBERS OF AN EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY AS DEFINED IN SEC. 1.2D, BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56.'

SECTION 1.2D OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966, READS IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"-IMMEDIATE FAMILY- MEANS * * * MEMBERS OF THE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD AT THE TIME HE REPORTS FOR DUTY AT HIS NEW PERMANENT DUTY STATION OR PERFORMS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED HOME LEAVE OR SEPARATION TRAVEL.'

THE COURTS IN CONSTRUING THE WORD "HOUSEHOLD" HAVE REFERRED TO A DICTIONARY DEFINITION OF SUCH WORD, NAMELY,"THOSE WHO DWELL TOGETHER UNDER THE SAME ROOF AND COMPOSE A FAMILY; A DOMESTIC ESTABLISHMENT.' JOHNSON V STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE CO., 252 F.2D 158, 161; NEIDHOEFER V AUTOMOBILE INSURACE CO., OF HARTFORD, CONN., 182 F.2D 269, 272; RATHBUN V AETNA CASUALTY AND SURETY CO., 128 A.2D 327, 329, AND GENERAL LEASING CORP. V ANDERSON, 416 P.2D 302, 306. IN THE CASE OF HARTFORD ACCIDENT AND INDEMNITY CO., V CASUALTY UNDERWRITERS, 130 F.SUPP. 56, 58, IT WAS HELD THAT A MAN'S SON WHO LIVED WITH HIS MOTHER, THE PARENTS BEING SEPARATED AND LIVING IN DIFFERENT STATES, WAS NOT A MEMBER OF HIS FATHER'S HOUSEHOLD ALTHOUGH THE SON MADE TEMPORARY VISITS WITH THE FATHER.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FOREGOING OUR VIEW IS THAT YOUR CHILDREN WERE NOT MEMBERS OF YOUR ,HOUSEHOLD" AT THE TIME YOU WERE TRANSFERRED OVERSEAS. THEREFORE NO AUTHORITY EXISTS FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO PAY THEIR TRANSPORTATION REGARDLESS OF THE RETROACTIVE AMENDMENT TO YOUR ORDERS PURPORTING TO AUTHORIZE THE SAME.

AS YOU WERE ADVISED IN OUR SETTLEMENT OF JULY 25, 1967, WE ARE WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO WAIVE THE REGULATORY PROVISIONS AND YOU ARE LIABLE FOR REFUND OF THE AMOUNTS EXPENDED BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION AND TRAVEL EXPENSES OF YOUR CHILDREN.

CONCERNING YOUR REQUEST THAT COLLECTION ACTION BE SUSPENDED PENDING YOUR FURTHER ACTION, YOU MAY BE ADVISED THAT SINCE THE MATTER HAS NOT BEEN FORWARDED TO OUR OFFICE AS AN UNCOLLECTIBLE DEBT SUCH REQUEST WOULD BE FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE.