B-168255, DEC. 16, 1969

B-168255: Dec 16, 1969

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IS SUSTAINED. NOTWITHSTANDING CLAIMANT'S CONTENTION THAT SIGNING OFFICIAL REGISTER IS NOT REQUIRED BY JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (JTR). SINCE CLAIMED ALLOWANCES ARE AUTHORIZED FOR PURPOSE OF DEFRAYING EXCESS COST OF MEMBER ON PERMANENT DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES AND MEMBER WHO REMAINS IN A LEAVE STATUS WITHOUT SIGNING OFFICIAL REGISTER WHICH IS OFFICIAL NOTICE THAT HE HAS REPORTED FOR DUTY. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT YOU DID NOT REPORT TO YOUR DUTY STATION UNTIL AUGUST 22. YOU WERE REASSIGNED FROM A RESTRICTED OVERSEAS STATION TO THE UNITED STATES ARMY STANDARDIZATION GROUP. WHO APPARENTLY RESIDED IN THE UNITED STATES WHILE YOU WERE OVERSEAS. YOU EXPRESS THE OPINION THAT THE INTENT OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS THAT STATION ALLOWANCES SHOULD COMMENCE WHEN AN INDIVIDUAL PHYSICALLY ARRIVES AT THE GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION OF HIS PLACE OF DUTY.

B-168255, DEC. 16, 1969

STATION ALLOWANCES--TEMPORARY LODGINGS--REPORTING FOR DUTY REQUIREMENT SETTLEMENT DISALLOWING CLAIM FOR LODGING, HOUSING AND COST-OF-LIVING ALLOWANCES BY ARMY OFFICER WHO, INCIDENT TO PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TO OTTAWA, CANADA, ARRIVED AT OFFICIAL STATION ON AUG. 8, AND CONTINUED ON LEAVE UNTIL AUG. 22, WHEN HE SIGNED OFFICIAL REGISTER AND COMMENCED DUTIES, IS SUSTAINED, NOTWITHSTANDING CLAIMANT'S CONTENTION THAT SIGNING OFFICIAL REGISTER IS NOT REQUIRED BY JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (JTR), SINCE CLAIMED ALLOWANCES ARE AUTHORIZED FOR PURPOSE OF DEFRAYING EXCESS COST OF MEMBER ON PERMANENT DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES AND MEMBER WHO REMAINS IN A LEAVE STATUS WITHOUT SIGNING OFFICIAL REGISTER WHICH IS OFFICIAL NOTICE THAT HE HAS REPORTED FOR DUTY, HAS NOT, WITHIN CONTEMPLATION OF PAR. M4301-1 OF JTR, REPORTED FOR DUTY AND BECOME ENTITLED TO PERMANENT STATION EMOLUMENTS.

TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL JOHN R. MCDONALD:

YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 2, 1969, REQUESTS OUR REVIEW OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF SEPTEMBER 24, 1969, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR HOUSING AND COST-OF-LIVING ALLOWANCES FOR THE PERIOD AUGUST 10 TO 21, 1968, AND FOR TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCES FOR AUGUST 8 AND 9, 1968, INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TO OTTAWA, CANADA. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT YOU DID NOT REPORT TO YOUR DUTY STATION UNTIL AUGUST 22, 1968.

IT APPEARS THAT BY ORDERS DATED MAY 13, 1968, YOU WERE REASSIGNED FROM A RESTRICTED OVERSEAS STATION TO THE UNITED STATES ARMY STANDARDIZATION GROUP, OTTAWA, CANADA. THE ORDERS AUTHORIZED 30 DAYS OF LEAVE EN ROUTE AND SPECIFIED AN AVAILABILITY DATE AT YOUR NEW STATION OF AUGUST 24, 1968. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU AND YOUR DEPENDENTS, WHO APPARENTLY RESIDED IN THE UNITED STATES WHILE YOU WERE OVERSEAS, ARRIVED AT OTTAWA ON AUGUST 8 BUT YOU CONTINUED ON LEAVE UNTIL AUGUST 22, THE DATE YOU SAY YOU SIGNED IN ON THE OFFICIAL REGISTER AND COMMENCED YOUR DUTIES AT THAT STATION.

YOU EXPRESS THE OPINION THAT THE INTENT OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS THAT STATION ALLOWANCES SHOULD COMMENCE WHEN AN INDIVIDUAL PHYSICALLY ARRIVES AT THE GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION OF HIS PLACE OF DUTY. YOU HAVE ENCLOSED A CERTIFICATE SIGNED BY YOUR COMMANDING OFFICER, COLONEL J. D. PARK, ATTESTING TO THE FACT THAT YOU ARRIVED WITH YOUR DEPENDENTS IN OTTAWA ON AUGUST 8, 1968, OCCUPIED MOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS ON THE NIGHTS OF AUGUST 8 AND 9, 1968, AND MOVED INTO YOUR PERMANENT QUARTERS AUGUST 10, 1968. YOU ALSO INDICATE THAT YOU ARE UNABLE TO INTERPRET PARAGRAPHS M4300 -4 AND M4303-2C(3) OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO MEAN THAT ARRIVAL AND/OR REPORTING HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH PLACING ONE'S NAME IN A SIGN-IN REGISTER.

TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE AND HOUSING AND COST-OF-LIVING ALLOWANCES FOR MEMBERS ON DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES OR IN HAWAII OR ALASKA ARE PRESCRIBED PURSUANT TO 37 U.S.C. 405 AND ARE PERMANENT STATION ALLOWANCES. PARAGRAPH M4301-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT HOUSING AND COST-OF-LIVING ALLOWANCES ARE AUTHORIZED FOR THE PURPOSE OF DEFRAYING THE AVERAGE EXCESS COSTS EXPERIENCED BY MEMBERS ON PERMANENT DUTY AT PLACES OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES.

CONSEQUENTLY, A MEMBER WHO RECEIVES PERMANENT CHANGE-OF-STATION ORDERS TO AN OVERSEAS STATION IS NOT ENTITLED TO THESE ALLOWANCES AFTER HE AND HIS DEPENDENTS DEPART THE OLD STATION AND ARE IN A TRAVEL OR LEAVE STATUS (DELAY EN ROUTE) BEFORE ENTERING ON DUTY AT THE NEW STATION.

AS STATED IN THE SETTLEMENT OF SEPTEMBER 24, 1969, PARAGRAPH M4303-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES FOR PAYMENT OF TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES PRESCRIBED "UPON INITIAL ARRIVAL (REPORTING) AT A PERMANENT DUTY STATION OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES * * *."

ORDINARILY A MEMBER REPORTS FOR DUTY UPON ARRIVAL AT HIS NEW STATION, SO THAT THE DATE HE ENTERS ON DUTY AT SUCH STATION IS USUALLY THE SAME AS THE DATE OF ARRIVAL. HOWEVER, IF THE MEMBER DOES NOT REPORT FOR DUTY UPON ARRIVAL BUT CONTINUES IN A LEAVE STATUS, AS IN YOUR CASE, THE REGULATION OBVIOUSLY CONTEMPLATES THAT ENTITLEMENT TO THE TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE WILL NOT COMMENCE UNTIL HE REPORTS FOR DUTY AT HIS NEW STATION SINCE THE ALLOWANCE IS A PERMANENT STATION EMOLUMENT AND, PRIOR TO REPORTING, THE MEMBER IS NOT ON DUTY AT SUCH STATION.

CONSEQUENTLY, YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE FOR AUGUST 8 AND 9. AND, FOR THE SAME REASONS, YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO HOUSING AND COST-OF-LIVING ALLOWANCES FOR THE PERIOD FROM AUGUST 10 TO 21, 1968.

AS YOU INDICATE, THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS DO NOT MENTION "SIGNING IN" UPON ARRIVAL AT A MEMBER'S NEW PERMANENT DUTY STATION. THE INFORMATION ADMINISTRATIVELY SUBMITTED INDICATES, HOWEVER, THAT INCIDENT TO YOUR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION "SIGNING-IN" WAS A REQUIRED PART OF REPORTING TO YOUR NEW DUTY STATION AT UNITED STATES ARMY STANDARDIZATION GROUP - CANADA. SIGNING THE REGISTER, WHICH YOU REGARD AS A MERE FORMALITY, CONSTITUTES A FORMAL WRITTEN DECLARATION THAT THE PERSON SIGNING HIS NAME IS IN FACT THE PERSON NAMED IN THE SUBJECT ORDER. IT IS OFFICIAL NOTICE THAT HE HAS REPORTED FOR DUTY IN ACCORDANCE WITH ORDERS AND IS DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE OF THAT FACT. THERE IS NOTHING IN THE RECORD TO SUGGEST, AND YOU DO NOT CONTEND, THAT YOU REPORTED FOR DUTY PRIOR TO AUGUST 22, 1968, THE DATE YOU SIGNED-IN FOR DUTY.

YOU SAY THAT HAD YOU BEEN AWARE OF THE SIGNING-IN REQUIREMENT YOU WOULD HAVE IMMEDIATELY COMPLIED AND YOUR COMMANDING OFFICER WOULD HAVE GRANTED LEAVE UNTIL AUGUST 22, 1968. AS THIS WAS NOT ACTUALLY DONE, IT IS NOT NOW NECESSARY TO CONSIDER THE EFFECT OF REPORTING FOR DUTY EARLIER THAN REQUIRED WITH AN IMMEDIATE GRANT OF LEAVE FOR THE PURPOSE OF OBTAINING THESE ALLOWANCES.

UPON REVIEW WE MUST SUSTAIN THE CONCLUSION REACHED IN OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF SEPTEMBER 24, 1969, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM.