B-168414, JAN. 19, 1970

B-168414: Jan 19, 1970

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EXPENSES FOR INTRA-BASE QUARTERS MOVE SETTLEMENT DISALLOWING AIR FORCE MEMBER'S CLAIM FOR EXPENSES INCIDENT TO INTRA-BASE QUARTERS MOVE IS SUSTAINED. A MEMBER'S MOVE FROM A TWO BEDROOM TO THREE BEDROOM APARTMENT MUST BE CONSIDERED A MOVE UNDER A PERMISSIVE ORDER FOR MEMBER'S CONVENIENCE AND FACT THAT RETROACTIVE MODIFICATION OF FORM TO DELETE REQUIREMENT THAT MOVE WAS AT NO EXPENSE TO GOVERNMENT DOES NOT AFFORD AUTHORITY FOR ALLOWANCE. AGAN: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED OCTOBER 13. YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO TWO BEDROOM QUARTERS AT RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE. THIS WAS APPROVED BUT YOU WERE ADVISED THAT YOU WOULD HAVE TO MOVE AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE. THE QUARTERS TO QUARTERS MOVE WAS ACCOMPLISHED DURING THE PERIOD APRIL 19 TO 21.

B-168414, JAN. 19, 1970

MILITARY--EXPENSES FOR INTRA-BASE QUARTERS MOVE SETTLEMENT DISALLOWING AIR FORCE MEMBER'S CLAIM FOR EXPENSES INCIDENT TO INTRA-BASE QUARTERS MOVE IS SUSTAINED. A MEMBER'S MOVE FROM A TWO BEDROOM TO THREE BEDROOM APARTMENT MUST BE CONSIDERED A MOVE UNDER A PERMISSIVE ORDER FOR MEMBER'S CONVENIENCE AND FACT THAT RETROACTIVE MODIFICATION OF FORM TO DELETE REQUIREMENT THAT MOVE WAS AT NO EXPENSE TO GOVERNMENT DOES NOT AFFORD AUTHORITY FOR ALLOWANCE.

TO TECHNICAL SERGEANT ROBERT L. AGAN:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED OCTOBER 13, 1969, REQUESTING REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT DATED JUNE 6, 1969, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO YOUR INTRA-BASE QUARTERS MOVE ON APRIL 19, 1968.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT ON OCTOBER 19, 1967, YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO TWO BEDROOM QUARTERS AT RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS. THEREAFTER, YOU SUBMITTED A REQUEST FOR PERMISSION TO MOVE INTO THREE-BEDROOM QUARTERS WHEN THEY BECAME AVAILABLE. THIS WAS APPROVED BUT YOU WERE ADVISED THAT YOU WOULD HAVE TO MOVE AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE. BY ATC FORM 116 DATED APRIL 19, 1968, HEADQUARTERS, RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, THE BASE COMMANDER CONFIRMED ASSIGNMENT ON THAT DATE OF THREE-BEDROOM GOVERNMENT QUARTERS. ITEM 17E OF ATC FORM 116 PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"MOVE AT NO EXPENSE TO THE GOVT, CONVENIENCE OF OCCUPANT." THE QUARTERS TO QUARTERS MOVE WAS ACCOMPLISHED DURING THE PERIOD APRIL 19 TO 21, 1968, AT YOUR PERSONAL EXPENSE.

ON MARCH 12, 1969, A STATEMENT WAS ISSUED BY THE BASE HOUSING OFFICER, RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, THAT IT HAD BEEN DETERMINED THAT YOUR REASSIGNMENT WAS IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT AND WAS AUTHORIZED IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH M8309-2, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AND PARAGRAPH 5212E (1) AIR FORCE MANUAL 75-4. ALSO, IN LETTER OF MARCH 25, 1969, THE HOUSING OFFICER ADVISED YOU THAT IT HAD BEEN DETERMINED THAT SOME INDIVIDUALS WHO MADE INTRA-BASE QUARTERS MOVES BETWEEN FEBRUARY 13 AND NOVEMBER 28, 1968, WERE ENTITLED TO A MOVE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS. FURTHER, HE STATED THAT SINCE YOU MADE A QUARTERS TO QUARTERS MOVE DURING THAT PERIOD, IT APPEARED THAT YOU MET THE CRITERIA FOR ENTITLEMENT TO A MOVE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

IN A LETTER DATED AUGUST 25, 1969, TO THIS OFFICE CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM, THE ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE OFFICER, RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS, REFERS TO THE ABOVE MENTIONED ITEM 17E OF THE ATC FORM WHICH STATES THAT THE QUARTERS TO QUARTERS MOVE WOULD BE AT NO EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT. THE LETTER IT IS STATED THAT THE STATEMENT IN ITEM 17E REPRESENTS AN ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR IN INTERPRETATION OF AIR FORCE REGULATION 30-6. FURTHER IT IS STATED THAT THE MOVE IN QUESTION HAS BEEN CORRECTLY DETERMINED TO HAVE BEEN IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE STATEMENTS OF THE HOUSING OFFICER ATTACHED TO THE ORIGINAL CLAIM. IN VIEW OF SUCH STATEMENT, YOU REQUEST THAT YOUR CLAIM BE RECONSIDERED.

PARAGRAPH M8309-2 (2) OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO THE PERTINENT STATUTE, 37 U.S.C. 406, PROVIDES THAT THE DRAYAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS IS AUTHORIZED INCIDENT TO THE REASSIGNMENT OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS. IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE ASSIGNMENT OF QUARTERS IN CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES IN EFFECT AT THE TIME INVOLVED, ARE CONTAINED IN AIR FORCE REGULATION 30-6 DATED APRIL 6, 1966. PARAGRAPH 8 PROVIDES GENERALLY THAT DIRECT MILITARY OPERATIONAL CONDITIONS MAY TAKE PRECEDENCE OVER ALL OTHER CONSIDERATIONS IN PRIORITY OF ASSIGNMENT TO FAMILY QUARTERS, BUT THAT ONCE ADEQUATE PUBLIC QUARTERS HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED AND REMAIN ADEQUATE, FURTHER MOVES FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE INDIVIDUAL WILL BE AT THE DISCRETION OF THE INSTALLATION COMMANDER AND AT NO EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT.

SIMILAR PROVISIONS GOVERNING REASSIGNMENT OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS ARE SET FORTH IN PARAGRAPH 5212E, AIR FORCE MANUAL 75-4 DATED MAY 10, 1963, WHICH PROVIDES THAT ALL MOVEMENTS WILL BE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE EXCEPT WHERE MOVEMENT IS AUTHORIZED FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE MEMBER AND PROVIDES FURTHER THAT IN CASES INVOLVING PERMISSIVE REASSIGNMENT OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS THE ORDERS SHOULD CONTAIN A STATEMENT SIMILAR TO "THIS IS A PERMISSIVE REASSIGNMENT OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE MEMBER AND AT NO EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT."

UNDER THE REGULATIONS, THE ORDERS REASSIGNING GOVERNMENT QUARTERS MUST BE ISSUED ON THE BASIS OF A MILITARY NEED AND NOT FOR THE PERSONAL CONVENIENCE OF THE MEMBER. SEE 43 COMP. GEN. 587 (1964) AND B-141427 DATED DECEMBER 31, 1959, COPIES HEREWITH.

SINCE YOU WERE RESIDING IN TWO-BEDROOM GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WHICH YOU APPARENTLY HAD VOLUNTARILY ACCEPTED AND LATER INITIATED A REQUEST FOR MOVEMENT INTO THREE-BEDROOM QUARTERS, IT IS CLEAR THAT THE MOVE WAS AUTHORIZED UNDER A PERMISSIVE ORDER FOR YOUR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE AND NOT BECAUSE OF ANY MILITARY NEED. IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE NO EXPENSE PROVISION IN ITEM 17E WAS PROPERLY INCLUDED IN ATC FORM 116 DATED APRIL 19, 1968, AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS.

MOREOVER, THE RETROACTIVE MODIFICATION OF ATC FORM 116 ATTEMPTED BY THE BASE HOUSING OFFICER'S STATEMENTS OF MARCH 12 AND MARCH 25, 1969, AND THE ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE OFFICER'S LETTER OF AUGUST 25, 1969, AFFORDS NO BASIS TO DELETE THE NO EXPENSE PROVISION IN THE FORM. IT HAS UNIFORMLY BEEN HELD THAT EXCEPT TO CORRECT OR TO COMPLETE THE ORDERS TO SHOW ORIGINAL INTENT, TRAVEL ORDERS MAY NOT BE REVOKED OR MODIFIED RETROACTIVELY SO AS TO INCREASE OR DECREASE THE RIGHTS WHICH HAVE ACCRUED AND BECOME FIXED UNDER THE APPLICABLE STATUTES, REGULATIONS AND ORDERS FOR TRAVEL ALREADY PERFORMED. KATZER V. UNITED STATES, 52 CT. CL. 32 AND 23 COMP. GEN. 713 (1944). THE SAME PRINCIPLE APPLIES TO OTHER TYPES OF ORDERS AND DIRECTIVES, INCLUDING ORDERS DIRECTING THE REASSIGNMENT OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS. IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES WE ARE WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO ALLOW YOUR CLAIM.

YOU ARE FURTHER ADVISED THAT EVEN IF THE INTRA-BASE MOVEMENT OF YOUR EFFECTS HAD BEEN AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, THERE WOULD BE NO AUTHORITY TO PAY YOU THE AMOUNT OF $45 CLAIMED FOR LABOR PERFORMED BY YOU AND YOUR WIFE INCIDENT TO SUCH MOVE. THE REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS HAVE NEVER PROVIDED FOR PAYMENT TO A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES FOR TIME AND LABOR EXPENDED BY HIMSELF OR MEMBERS OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY, THEIR EFFORTS IN THAT REGARD BEING VIEWED AS FOR THEIR OWN BENEFIT AND NOT REIMBURSABLE.