B-166239, APR. 15, 1969

B-166239: Apr 15, 1969

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SMITH: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 17. COMMANDER COLE WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED FROM ROCKVILLE. WASHINGTON) WHEN IT WAS DELIVERED TO THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY. BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE AND WAS REIMBURSED AT THE RATE OF 6 CENTS PER MILE FOR THIS TRAVEL. YOU POINT OUT THAT COMMANDER COLE IS ENTITLED UNDER PARAGRAPH M11002 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO SHIPMENT OF ONE MOTOR VEHICLE TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION UPON AN OFFICIAL CHANGE IN THE HOME YARD OR HOME PORT OF THE VESSEL TO WHICH ASSIGNED. THERE IS NO WATER ROUTE WITHIN THE UNITED STATES FOR SHIPMENT OF A VEHICLE BETWEEN THE EAST AND WEST COASTS. YOU ALSO SAY THAT SINCE THE MILEAGE ALLOWANCE PRESCRIBED IN THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS APPLICABLE TO THE TRAVEL OF THE MEMBER AND NOT TO THE SHIPMENT OF HIS AUTOMOBILE.

B-166239, APR. 15, 1969

TO MR. JOHN L. SMITH:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 17, 1969, REFERENCE AD571X12, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ENTITLEMENT OF LIEUTENANT COMMANDER GEORGE M. COLE, USESSA, TO A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF SHIPMENT OF HIS PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE FROM JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, TO SEATTLE, WASHINGTON.

BY TRAVEL ORDER 68-C3-138 DATED MARCH 5, 1968, COMMANDER COLE WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED FROM ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND, TO THE JACKSONVILLE SHIPBASE, JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, FOR TEMPORARY SHORE DUTY, AND THEN TO ASSUME THE DUTIES OF OPERATIONS OFFICER ON THE U.S.S. RAINIER (HOME PORT: SEATTLE, WASHINGTON) WHEN IT WAS DELIVERED TO THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY. HE TRAVELED FROM ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND, TO JACKSONVILLE,FLORIDA, BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE AND WAS REIMBURSED AT THE RATE OF 6 CENTS PER MILE FOR THIS TRAVEL.

COMMANDER COLE TRAVELED FROM JACKSONVILLE TO SEATTLE ON THE U.S.S. RAINIER BUT LATER RETURNED TO JACKSONVILLE AT PERSONAL EXPENSE WHILE ON AUTHORIZED LEAVE TO PICK UP HIS AUTOMOBILE AND DRIVE IT TO SEATTLE. CLAIMS REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS AUTOMOBILE FROM JACKSONVILLE TO SEATTLE AT THE RATE OF 6 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE DISTANCE INVOLVED IN LIEU OF SHIPPING CHARGES.

YOU POINT OUT THAT COMMANDER COLE IS ENTITLED UNDER PARAGRAPH M11002 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO SHIPMENT OF ONE MOTOR VEHICLE TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION UPON AN OFFICIAL CHANGE IN THE HOME YARD OR HOME PORT OF THE VESSEL TO WHICH ASSIGNED; AND "SHIPMENT" AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH M11000-2 OF THE REGULATIONS MEANS TRANSPORTATION BY VESSEL, INCLUDING PORT HANDLING CHARGES, TO, FROM, AND BETWEEN OVERSEAS PORTS, AND BETWEEN UNITED STATES PORTS WHEN INCIDENT TO CHANGES IN HOME YARDS AND HOME PORTS. HOWEVER, AS YOU SAY, THERE IS NO WATER ROUTE WITHIN THE UNITED STATES FOR SHIPMENT OF A VEHICLE BETWEEN THE EAST AND WEST COASTS.

YOU ALSO SAY THAT SINCE THE MILEAGE ALLOWANCE PRESCRIBED IN THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS APPLICABLE TO THE TRAVEL OF THE MEMBER AND NOT TO THE SHIPMENT OF HIS AUTOMOBILE, YOU ARE IN DOUBT AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY REIMBURSE THE OFFICER FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HIS VEHICLE ON A MILEAGE BASIS.

SECTION 404 OF TITLE 37, U.S.C. PROVIDES THAT UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, A MEMBER OF A UNIFORMED SERVICE IS ENTITLED TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED UNDER ORDERS. THE RULE IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT A MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES ONLY WHEN TRAVEL IS PERFORMED ON PUBLIC BUSINESS. 36 COMP. GEN. 257. IN CONFORMITY WITH THIS PRINCIPLE, PARAGRAPH M3050-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT MEMBERS ARE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES ONLY WHILE ACTUALLY IN A TRAVEL STATUS, AND THAT THEY SHALL BE DEEMED TO BE IN A TRAVEL STATUS WHILE PERFORMING TRAVEL AWAY FROM THEIR PERMANENT DUTY STATION, UPON PUBLIC BUSINESS, PURSUANT TO COMPETENT TRAVEL ORDERS.

COMMANDER COLE DID NOT TRAVEL ON PUBLIC BUSINESS UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS WHEN HE TRAVELED BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE FROM JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, TO SEATTLE, WASHINGTON. ON THE CONTRARY, HE WAS IN A LEAVE STATUS AND THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED FOR PERSONAL REASONS. THEREFORE, HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT ON A MILEAGE BASIS FOR SUCH TRAVEL.

SECTION 2634 OF TITLE 10, U.S.C. PROVIDES THAT WHEN A MEMBER OF AN ARMED FORCE IS ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, ONE MOTOR VEHICLE OWNED BY HIM AND FOR HIS PERSONAL USE MAY BE TRANSPORTED TO HIS NEW STATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, WITH ONE EXCEPTION NOT INVOLVED HERE, ON A VESSEL OWNED, LEASED, OR CHARTERED BY THE UNITED STATES; OR BY PRIVATELY OWNED AMERICAN SHIPPING SERVICES. SECTION 857A OF TITLE 33, U.S.C. PROVIDES THAT THE RULES OF LAW THAT APPLY TO THE ARMED FORCES UNDER CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF TITLE 10, INCLUDING SECTION 2634, APPLY ALSO TO THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY, A PART OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE SERVICES ADMINISTRATION.

PARAGRAPH M11000-2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES, IN ADDITION TO THE PROVISIONS POINTED OUT IN YOUR LETTER, THAT SHIPMENT OF A MOTOR VEHICLE BY VESSEL DOES NOT INCLUDE LAND TRANSPORTATION TO OR FROM THE PORTS INVOLVED WHEN INCIDENT TO CHANGES IN HOME YARDS AND HOME PORTS EXCEPT IN CERTAIN CASES NOT INVOLVED HERE. THUS, NEITHER THE PERTINENT STATUTE NOR THE REGULATIONS AUTHORIZING THE TRANSPORTATION OF PRIVATELY OWNED MOTOR VEHICLES BY VESSEL CONTAIN ANY PROVISION FOR REIMBURSING A MEMBER WHO DRIVES HIS VEHICLE TO HIS NEW STATION AS COMMANDER COLE DID EVEN THOUGH THE COST MAY HAVE BEEN LESS THAN SHIPMENT BY VESSEL. SEE 45 COMP. GEN. 39.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE HE MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS MOTOR VEHICLE, HIS CLAIM VOUCHER FORWARDED WITH YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 17, 1969, WILL BE RETAINED BY OUR OFFICE.