B-171700, APR 30, 1971, 50 COMP GEN 764

B-171700: Apr 30, 1971

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TRAVEL EXPENSES - MILITARY PERSONNEL - LEAVES OF ABSENCE - REENLISTMENT LEAVE SINCE UNDER 10 U.S.C. 703(B) MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ARE ONLY AUTHORIZED TRANSPORTATION AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES TO AND FROM THE PLACE OF LEAVE SELECTED FOR THE 30 DAYS' SPECIAL LEAVE PROVIDED FOR THE VOLUNTARY EXTENSION OF A TOUR OF DUTY IN A HOSTILE AREA. REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL TO AND FROM THE PLACE OF LEAVE IN ADDITION TO THE ACTUAL ROUND- TRIP TRANSPORTATION COSTS IS RESTRICTED TO TAXICAB OR OTHER PUBLIC CARRIER FARES FOR TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM CARRIER TERMINALS UTILIZED IN PERFORMING THE AUTHORIZED TRAVEL. AS WELL AS THOSE TIPS THAT ARE WITHIN THE LIMITATIONS OF PARAGRAPH M4402-4 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

B-171700, APR 30, 1971, 50 COMP GEN 764

TRAVEL EXPENSES - MILITARY PERSONNEL - LEAVES OF ABSENCE - REENLISTMENT LEAVE SINCE UNDER 10 U.S.C. 703(B) MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ARE ONLY AUTHORIZED TRANSPORTATION AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES TO AND FROM THE PLACE OF LEAVE SELECTED FOR THE 30 DAYS' SPECIAL LEAVE PROVIDED FOR THE VOLUNTARY EXTENSION OF A TOUR OF DUTY IN A HOSTILE AREA, REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL TO AND FROM THE PLACE OF LEAVE IN ADDITION TO THE ACTUAL ROUND- TRIP TRANSPORTATION COSTS IS RESTRICTED TO TAXICAB OR OTHER PUBLIC CARRIER FARES FOR TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM CARRIER TERMINALS UTILIZED IN PERFORMING THE AUTHORIZED TRAVEL, AS SUCH FARES CONSTITUTE A PART OF THE ACTUAL TRANSPORTATION COSTS, AS WELL AS THOSE TIPS THAT ARE WITHIN THE LIMITATIONS OF PARAGRAPH M4402-4 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AND THE MEMBERS MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED FOR MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES THAT ARE NOT RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION COSTS, SUCH AS THE COST OF CHECKING AND TRANSFERRING BAGGAGE, OR PASSPORT AND VISA FEES.

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE, APRIL 30, 1971:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JANUARY 11, 1971, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE (MANPOWER AND RESERVE AFFAIRS) REQUESTING A DECISION WHETHER A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHO IS AUTHORIZED A SPECIAL 30-DAY PERIOD OF LEAVE UNDER PUBLIC LAW 89-735 AS EXTENDED BY PUBLIC LAW 91-302, AND IS FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION FROM A HOSTILE FIRE PAY AREA TO A LEAVE PLACE OF HIS CHOICE AND RETURN, MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR CERTAIN MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES INCLUDING PASSPORT AND VISA FEES ON THE BASIS DESCRIBED. THE REQUEST WAS ASSIGNED CONTROL NO. 70-57 BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE.

THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY SAYS THAT QUESTION HAS ARISEN WHETHER MEMBERS MAY BE REIMBURSED PURSUANT TO THE CITED STATUTES AND IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS, FOR CERTAIN MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH TRAVEL WHICH ARE NORMALLY REIMBURSABLE WHEN INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH OFFICIAL TRAVEL IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, VOLUME 1, CHAPTER 4, PART I. SUCH EXPENSES INCLUDE TAXICAB, BUS, STREET CAR, SUBWAY, OR OTHER PUBLIC CARRIER FARES FOR TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM CARRIER TERMINALS; ALLOWABLE TIPS, AND THE COST OF CHECKING AND TRANSFER OF BAGGAGE.

IN ADDITION, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY SAYS THAT SINCE, UNDER THE STATUTE, MEMBERS MAY SELECT A LEAVE PLACE WHICH WILL REQUIRE TIME TO OBTAIN A PASSPORT OR VISA, THE QUESTION ARISES AS TO WHETHER THE EXPENSES INCURRED FOR OBTAINING SUCH DOCUMENTS MAY BE CONSIDERED AS A PART OF THE AUTHORIZED TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES.

PUBLIC LAW 89-735, APPROVED NOVEMBER 2, 1966, ADDED SECTION 703(B) TO TITLE 10, UNITED STATES CODE. THAT SECTION AS EXTENDED BY PUBLIC LAW 91- 302, APPROVED JULY 2, 1970, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

(B) UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, AND NOTWITHSTANDING SUBSECTION (A), A MEMBER WHO IS ON ACTIVE DUTY IN AN AREA DESCRIBED IN SECTION 310(A)(2) OF TITLE 37 AND WHO, BY REENLISTMENT, EXTENSION OF ENLISTMENT, OR OTHER VOLUNTARY ACTION, EXTENDS HIS REQUIRED TOUR OF DUTY IN THAT AREA FOR AT LEAST SIX MONTHS, MAY BE -

(1) AUTHORIZED NOT MORE THAN THIRTY DAYS OF LEAVE, EXCLUSIVE OF TRAVEL TIME, AT AN AUTHORIZED PLACE SELECTED BY THE MEMBER; AND

(2) TRANSPORTED AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES TO AND FROM THAT PLACE.

*** THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBSECTION SHALL BE EFFECTIVE ONLY IN THE CASE OF MEMBERS WHO EXTEND THEIR REQUIRED TOURS OF DUTY ON OR BEFORE JUNE 30, 1972.

THE LANGUAGE CONTAINED IN SECTION 703(B) OF TITLE 10, U.S.C. CLEARLY PROVIDES THAT MEMBERS ENTITLED TO LEAVE "AT AN AUTHORIZED PLACED SELECTED BY THE MEMBER" MAY BE "TRANSPORTED AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES TO AND FROM THAT PLACE." THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF PUBLIC LAW 89-735 SHOWS THAT THE PURPOSE OF THAT PROVISION WAS TO PROVIDE FOR ONLY NECESSARY TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM A SELECTED LOCATION AT NO EXPENSE TO THE MEMBER, OR, AS STATED IN THE HEARINGS, THAT THE MEMBER WOULD GET "FREE TRANSPORTATION." 47 COMP. GEN. 405 (1968). THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY ALSO SHOWS THAT THE SELECTED LOCATION "IN MOST CASES COULD BE EXPECTED TO BE IN THE UNITED STATES," THUS INDICATING THAT IN SOME CASES IT WAS EXPECTED THAT TRAVEL WOULD BE TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES. SEE SENATE REPORT NO. 1691, 89TH CONGRESS, 2D SESSION, ON H.R. 15748, WHICH WAS ENACTED AS PUBLIC LAW 89-735.

PARAGRAPH M5501 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO SECTION 703(B) PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER WHO IS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION UNDER THIS AUTHORITY OF LAW WILL BE FURNISHED GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION OR GOVERNMENT-PROCURED TRANSPORTATION TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PRACTICABLE. FURTHER PROVIDES THAT WHEN GOVERNMENT OR GOVERNMENT-PROCURED TRANSPORTATION IS NOT UTILIZED AND THE MEMBER PROCURES TRANSPORTATION AT PERSONAL EXPENSE, HE WILL BE REIMBURSED:

1. FOR TRANSOCEANIC TRAVEL, IN ACCORDANCE WITH PAR. M4159-4;

2. FOR LAND TRAVEL BY SURFACE MEANS, AT THE COST ACTUALLY PAID BY THE MEMBER;

3. FOR OVERLAND AIR TRAVEL, ON THE SAME BASIS AS FOR TRANSOCEANIC AIR TRAVEL UNDER ITEM 1.

PAYMENT OF MILEAGE, MONETARY ALLOWANCES IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION, OR PER DIEM ALLOWANCES IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

WHERE, AS HERE, A STATUTE PROVIDES FOR FURNISHING TRANSPORTATION ONLY, IT LONG HAS BEEN THE VIEW THAT REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL AT PERSONAL EXPENSE MAY NOT EXCEED THE COST OF NECESSARY TRANSPORTATION. 23 COMP. GEN. 875 (1944). A SIMILAR CONSTRUCTION WAS PLACED ON THE PHRASE "TRANSPORTED AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES" CONTAINED IN 10 U.S.C. 1040, PROVIDING FOR TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS OF MEMBERS STATIONED OVERSEAS TO AND FROM MEDICAL FACILITIES, 47 COMP. GEN. 743 (1968).

BY WAY OF CONTRAST, 37 U.S.C. 404 AUTHORIZES BOTH "TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES" TO MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES PERFORMING TRAVEL UNDER ORDERS AND SUBPARAGRAPH "D" THEREOF SPECIFICALLY SETS FORTH THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR EACH KIND OF TRAVEL. IT IS ON THE BASIS OF SUCH STATUTORY PROVISIONS THAT THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, VOLUME 1, CHAPTER 4, PART I, AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT OF MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES OF TRAVEL INCLUDING PASSPORT OR VISA FEES. LIKEWISE, SINCE 10 U.S.C. 1040, ALSO PROVIDES FOR "ROUND-TRIP TRANSPORTATION AND TRAVEL EXPENSES" FOR NECESSARY ATTENDANTS ACCOMPANYING DEPENDENTS TRAVELING TO AND FROM MEDICAL FACILITIES, IN THE 1968 DECISION WE FURTHER HELD THAT SUCH ATTENDANTS WOULD BE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES.

SINCE THE STATUTE HERE INVOLVED PROVIDES THAT THE MEMBERS MAY BE "TRANSPORTED AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES TO AND FROM THAT PLACE" WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE AUTHORIZED FOR THE COST OF TAXICAB OR OTHER PUBLIC CARRIER FARES FOR TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM CARRIER TERMINALS UTILIZED IN PERFORMING THE AUTHORIZED TRAVEL AS SUCH FARES WOULD CONSTITUTE A PART OF THE ACTUAL TRANSPORTATION COSTS. ALSO, SINCE TIPS ORDINARILY ARE REGARDED AS PART OF THE COST INCURRED WHEN TAXICABS OR AIRPORT LIMOUSINES ARE USED TO AND FROM CARRIER TERMINALS WE WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUCH TIPS AS A TRANSPORTATION COST WITHIN THE LIMITATIONS OF PARAGRAPH M4402-4 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

SINCE, HOWEVER, THE STATUTE DOES NOT PROVIDE FOR THE PAYMENT OF EXPENSES OTHER THAN THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF MISCELLANEOUS TRAVEL EXPENSES SUCH AS THE COST OF CHECKING AND TRANSFER OF BAGGAGE. AND, WHILE THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE ACT SHOWS THAT IT WAS EXPECTED THAT IN SOME CASES TRAVEL WOULD BE TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES, NO PROVISION WAS MADE FOR PAYMENT OF COSTS OTHER THAN FOR TRANSPORTATION AND, THERFORE, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF PASSPORT AND VISA FEES. THE QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.