B-168021, DEC. 2, 1969

B-168021: Dec 2, 1969

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BUS AND TAXI FARES INCURRED BECAUSE OF UNFORESEEN DELAY CAUSED BY SNOWSTORM WHILE EN ROUTE TO NEW YORK CITY INCIDENT TO PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION OVERSEAS IS SUSTAINED. SINCE PERTINENT JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS ESTABLISH MILEAGE FOR MEMBER'S TRAVEL AND MONETARY ALLOWANCE FOR DEPENDENT'S TRAVEL WHICH IS AUTHORIZED IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FOR WHICH GOVERNMENT OTHERWISE WOULD BE OBLIGATED AND NO PROVISION IS MADE FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF ADDITIONAL EXPENSES. RA: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 12. YOU WERE REASSIGNED TO AN OVERSEAS STATION AND DIRECTED TO PROCEED ON OR ABOUT JANUARY 10. YOUR TEMPORARY ADDRESS WAS SHOWN TO BE IN BRIGHTON. CONCURRENT TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS FOR OVERSEAS TRAVEL WAS AUTHORIZED.

B-168021, DEC. 2, 1969

SUBSISTENCE--PER DIEM--DELAYS--ACTS OF GOD, ETC. DISALLOWANCE OF CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES FOR MOTEL FACILITIES, MEALS, PHONE BILLS, BUS AND TAXI FARES INCURRED BECAUSE OF UNFORESEEN DELAY CAUSED BY SNOWSTORM WHILE EN ROUTE TO NEW YORK CITY INCIDENT TO PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION OVERSEAS IS SUSTAINED, SINCE PERTINENT JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS ESTABLISH MILEAGE FOR MEMBER'S TRAVEL AND MONETARY ALLOWANCE FOR DEPENDENT'S TRAVEL WHICH IS AUTHORIZED IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FOR WHICH GOVERNMENT OTHERWISE WOULD BE OBLIGATED AND NO PROVISION IS MADE FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF ADDITIONAL EXPENSES, EVEN THOUGH UNFORESEEN OCCURRENCES CAUSE DELAY WITH INCREASED EXPENSE WHILE TRAVELING UNDER ORDERS.

TO STAFF SERGEANT RICHARD FITTS, JR. RA:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 12, 1969, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF SETTLEMENT DATED AUGUST 27, 1969, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF CERTAIN EXPENSES INCURRED WHILE EN ROUTE WITH YOUR DEPENDENTS TO NEW YORK, NEW YORK, PORT OF EMBARKATION TO YOUR OVERSEAS STATION INCIDENT TO ORDERS DATED DECEMBER 27, 1968.

BY SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 358, HEADQUARTERS, U.S. ARMY TRAINING CENTER, INF. AND FORT LEWIS, FORT LEWIS, WASHINGTON, DATED DECEMBER 27, 1968, YOU WERE REASSIGNED TO AN OVERSEAS STATION AND DIRECTED TO PROCEED ON OR ABOUT JANUARY 10, 1969. THE ORDERS AUTHORIZED 21 DAYS' DELAY TO BE COUNTED AS LEAVE, AND YOUR TEMPORARY ADDRESS WAS SHOWN TO BE IN BRIGHTON, ALABAMA. BY LETTER DATED JANUARY 2, 1969, CONCURRENT TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS FOR OVERSEAS TRAVEL WAS AUTHORIZED, AND THEY WERE TO PROCEED TO THE PLACE DESIGNATED IN A LATER PORT CALL FOR AIR TRAVEL TO NAPLES, ITALY.

THE VOUCHERS EVIDENCING PAYMENT FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED SHOW THAT FOR THE TRAVEL IN THE UNITED STATES YOU WERE PAID MILEAGE FOR YOUR TRAVEL AND A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION FOR DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL, BASED ON THE OFFICIAL HIGHWAY DISTANCE FROM FORT LEWIS, WASHINGTON, TO NEW YORK, NEW YORK.

IN A LETTER ACCOMPANYING YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF ADDITIONAL EXPENSES, YOU STATED THAT YOU RECEIVED YOUR PORT CALL ON FEBRUARY 7, 1969, WHILE ON LEAVE AT BRIGHTON, ALABAMA. THE PORT CALL REQUIRED YOU TO REPORT WITH YOUR DEPENDENTS TO NEW YORK CITY FOR DEPARTURE FROM KENNEDY AIRPORT ON FEBRUARY 10, 1969, FOR YOUR OVERSEAS DESTINATION. YOU STATED FURTHER THAT YOU AND YOUR DEPENDENTS DEPARTED BRIGHTON BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON FEBRUARY 8, BUT THAT ON FEBRUARY 9 AS YOU WERE REACHING YOUR DESTINATION, A SNOWSTORM CAUSED YOUR DELAY UNTIL FEBRUARY 12, 1969. YOU THEREFORE CLAIMED REIMBURSEMENT OF ADDITIONAL EXPENSES INCURRED, TOTALING $119.99 FOR MOTEL FACILITIES AND MEALS, AND $23.50 FOR PHONE BILLS, BUS AND TAXI FARES, BECAUSE OF THE UNFORESEEN DELAY.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY THE SETTLEMENT DATED AUGUST 27, 1969, FOR THE REASONS STATED. IN YOUR LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 12, 1969, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM, YOU STATE THAT BECAUSE OF THE EXTREME WEATHER CONDITIONS WHILE TRAVELING, YOU INCURRED EXPENSES IN MEETING THE GOVERNMENT'S DEADLINE WHICH WERE MORE THAN THE AVERAGE COSTS WHICH A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE COVERS.

SECTIONS 404 (A) AND 406 (A) OF TITLE 37, U.S. CODE, PROVIDE AUTHORITY FOR THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED TO PRESCRIBE REGULATIONS FOR ENTITLEMENT OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES TO TRANSPORTATION IN KIND, REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR, OR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES WHILE TRAVELING WITH THEIR DEPENDENTS UNDER PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS. SECTION 411 (B) OF THAT TITLE PROVIDES THAT IN ESTABLISHING RATES AND KINDS OF ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED, THE SECRETARIES SHALL CONSIDER THE AVERAGE COST OF FIRST-CLASS TRANSPORTATION, INCLUDING SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS, WHEN PRESCRIBING A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN PLACE OF TRANSPORTATION, AND WHEN PRESCRIBING MILEAGE RATES, THEY SHALL INCLUDE IN ADDITION, LODGING AND OTHER NECESSARY INCIDENTAL EXPENSES RELATING THERETO.

PARAGRAPH M4150, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY CITED ABOVE, PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER TRAVELING ON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION UNDER VARIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES MAY BE AUTHORIZED EITHER (1) MILEAGE AT THE RATE OF SIX CENTS PER MILE; (2) TRANSPORTATION IN KIND OR TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS PLUS PER DIEM; OR (3) TRANSPORTATION IN KIND OR TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS PLUS MEAL TICKETS. PARAGRAPH M4151 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT MILEAGE IS AN ALLOWANCE TO COVER THE AVERAGE COST OF FIRST CLASS TRANSPORTATION INCLUDING SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS, COST OF SUBSISTENCE, LODGING AND OTHER INCIDENTAL EXPENSES DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE TRAVEL AND THAT IT IS PAYABLE FOR THE MEMBER'S TRAVEL WITHIN THE UNITED STATES WHEN HE IS AUTHORIZED TO AND DOES PERFORM SUCH TRAVEL AT PERSONAL EXPENSE, REGARDLESS OF THE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION UTILIZED.

PARAGRAPH M7000 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART THAT UPON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, MEMBERS ARE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. THERE IS NO STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES (SUCH AS FOR QUARTERS AND MEALS) INCURRED BY DEPENDENTS INCIDENT TO THE PERFORMANCE OF TRAVEL AUTHORIZED UNDER CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS. PARAGRAPH M7003 PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS IS AUTHORIZED MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION FOR TRAVEL (EXCLUSIVE OF TRANSOCEANIC TRAVEL) PERFORMED BY DEPENDENTS AT PERSONAL EXPENSE. NO ITEMS OF EXPENSE ARE REIMBURSABLE WHEN DEPENDENTS TRAVEL ON A MONETARY ALLOWANCE BASIS, THAT ALLOWANCE BEING AUTHORIZED IN LIEU OF ALL TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FOR WHICH THE GOVERNMENT OTHERWISE WOULD BE OBLIGATED.

THE REGULATIONS CITED ESTABLISH MILEAGE FOR MEMBERS' TRAVEL AND MONETARY ALLOWANCE FOR DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL, AS THE MAXIMUM AUTHORIZED REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED AT PERSONAL EXPENSE IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED IN YOUR CASE. NO PROVISION IS MADE FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF ADDITIONAL EXPENSES THAT MAY BE INCURRED BY A MEMBER, WITH OR WITHOUT DEPENDENTS, EVEN THOUGH DUE TO UNFORESEEN OCCURRENCES THAT MAY CAUSE DELAY WITH INCREASED EXPENSE WHILE TRAVELING UNDER ORDERS.

WHILE IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT YOU INCURRED EXPENSES NOT NORMALLY ANTICIPATED WHILE TRAVELING WITH DEPENDENTS UNDER PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS, SUCH EXPENSES ARE NOT LEGALLY REIMBURSABLE BY THE GOVERNMENT. ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 27, 1969, MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.