B-172097, MAY 26, 1971

B-172097: May 26, 1971

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

PARAGRAPH M-4413-4 OF THE JTR PROVIDES FOR PAYMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION FOR MEMBERS PERFORMING TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVEL WHEN SUITABLE FACILITIES FOR LODGING ARE NOT AVAILABLE WITHIN THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION OR SURROUNDING AREA. SINCE IT IS NOT CONTENDED THAT SUITABLE LODGINGS WERE NOT AVAILABLE IN THE BOSTON METROPOLITAN AREA AND THERE IS NO SUGGESTION OF UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES NECESSITATING THE TRAVEL. PAYMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED. SMYTHE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE LETTER OF YOUR PREDECESSOR DATED OCTOBER 6. IS ENTITLED TO A TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE AT THE RATE OF $0.05 PER MILE FOR ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL EACH DAY FOR 43 DAYS FROM PLACE OF LODGING TO TEMPORARY DUTY STATION DURING THE PERIOD FROM MARCH 10 THROUGH MAY 3.

B-172097, MAY 26, 1971

MILITARY PERSONNEL - TEMPORARY DUTY - TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE DISALLOWING CLAIM BY GRADY L. ROLAND FOR TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE FOR ROUND TRIP TRAVEL FOR 43 DAYS FROM PLACE OF LODGING TO TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AT BOSTON NAVY YARD, BOSTON, MASS. PARAGRAPH M-4413-4 OF THE JTR PROVIDES FOR PAYMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION FOR MEMBERS PERFORMING TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVEL WHEN SUITABLE FACILITIES FOR LODGING ARE NOT AVAILABLE WITHIN THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION OR SURROUNDING AREA. SINCE IT IS NOT CONTENDED THAT SUITABLE LODGINGS WERE NOT AVAILABLE IN THE BOSTON METROPOLITAN AREA AND THERE IS NO SUGGESTION OF UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES NECESSITATING THE TRAVEL, PAYMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

TO MR. H. B. SMYTHE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE LETTER OF YOUR PREDECESSOR DATED OCTOBER 6, 1970, TRANSMITTED TO OUR OFFICE WITH SUPPORTING PAPERS ON MARCH 4, 1971, BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE. THE LETTER REQUESTS A DECISION WHETHER GRADY L. ROLAND, SF1, USN, IS ENTITLED TO A TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE AT THE RATE OF $0.05 PER MILE FOR ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL EACH DAY FOR 43 DAYS FROM PLACE OF LODGING TO TEMPORARY DUTY STATION DURING THE PERIOD FROM MARCH 10 THROUGH MAY 3, 1970. THE REQUEST HAS BEEN ASSIGNED PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 71-12.

THE FILE SHOWS THAT PURSUANT TO ORDERS DATED OCTOBER 16, 1969, MR. ROLAND WAS DETACHED FROM A VESSEL AT SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, AND ASSIGNED ON EXTENDED TEMPORARY DUTY WHICH ULTIMATELY REQUIRED HIM TO REPORT TO THE BOSTON NAVY YARD, BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, FOR PRECOMMISSION DETAIL WITH THE USS DUPONT (DD 941) AND FOR DUTY ON BOARD THAT VESSEL WHEN COMMISSIONED. ENDORSEMENTS ON THE ORDERS SHOW THAT HE REPORTED AT THE BOSTON NAVY YARD FOR TEMPORARY DUTY ON JANUARY 26, 1970.

IT APPEARS THAT EFFECTIVE MARCH 10, 1970, ADEQUATE QUARTERS WERE NOT AVAILABLE TO THE MEMBER AT HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AND HE MOVED TO A PRIVATE RESIDENCE IN HALIFAX, MASSACHUSETTS, SAID TO BE APPROXIMATELY 38 MILES FROM THE NAVY YARD. ON MAY 4, 1970, BERTHING FACILITIES WERE AGAIN MADE AVAILABLE.

DURING THE PERIOD FROM MARCH 10 THROUGH MAY 3, 1970, THE MEMBER TRAVELED 76 MILES ROUND TRIP BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE FROM PLACE OF RESIDENCE IN HALIFAX TO PLACE OF TEMPORARY DUTY AT THE BOSTON NAVY YARD ON EACH OF 43 WORKING DAYS. HE CLAIMS TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE AT THE RATE OF $0.05 PER MILE FOR THE DISTANCE TRAVELED, A TOTAL OF 3268 MILES.

IN THE LETTER DATED OCTOBER 6, 1970, THERE IS CITED PARAGRAPH M4413, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, RELATING TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL BETWEEN PLACE OF LODGING AND PLACE OF TEMPORARY DUTY, AND IT IS STATED THAT SEVERAL MEMBERS OF THAT COMMAND ESTABLISHED PLACES OF TEMPORARY LODGING AT DISTANCES UP TO 50 MILES FROM THE BOSTON NAVAL SHIPYARD, WHILE ATTACHED THERETO WITH THE PRECOMMISSIONING DETAIL. A DECISION WAS THEREFORE REQUESTED WHETHER THE PAYMENT OF $0.05 PER MILE IS AUTHORIZED. IN AN ENDORSEMENT DATED JANUARY 20, 1971, YOU STATE THAT SOME LODGING FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE WITHIN THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AND SURROUNDING AREA, BUT ADEQUATE FACILITIES WERE EXTREMELY SCARCE AND EXPENSIVE. ALSO, YOU SAY THAT WHILE MANY PERSONNEL DID NOT COMMUTE FROM HALIFAX, MASSACHUSETTS, SEVERAL MEMBERS OF THAT COMMAND COMMUTED LIKE DISTANCES.

THE EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE, IN TRANSMITTING YOUR LETTER AND SUPPORTING PAPERS TO OUR OFFICE, COMMENTED THAT IT WOULD APPEAR THAT IN A CITY AS LARGE AS BOSTON, SUITABLE QUARTERS COULD HAVE BEEN PROCURED THEREIN. HE EXPRESSED THE OPINION THAT, ASSUMING SUITABLE LODGINGS WERE AVAILABLE IN BOSTON, THE MEMBER WOULD NOT BE ENTITLED TO ANY REIMBURSEMENT, SINCE HE WENT OUTSIDE THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION TO PROCURE LODGINGS WHICH WERE AVAILABLE INSIDE SUCH STATION AND THE TRAVEL WAS NOT PERFORMED ENTIRELY WITHIN THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AND ITS SURROUNDING AREA.

PARAGRAPH M4413-4, ITEM 2, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 408 OF TITLE 37, U.S.C. PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART THAT MEMBERS PERFORMING TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVEL VIA PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE WILL BE ENTITLED TO AN ALLOWANCE FOR THE DISTANCE THAT SUCH CONVEYANCE IS UTILIZED FOR TRIPS BETWEEN THE PLACES AND UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES SPECIFIED IN SUBPARAGRAPH 2 THEREOF, AT THE RATE OF $0.05 PER MILE WHEN SUITABLE FACILITIES FOR LODGING ARE NOT AVAILABLE WITHIN THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AND SURROUNDING AREA. SUBPARAGRAPH 2 PROVIDES THAT REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED FOR TRAVEL EXPENSE FOR NOT TO EXCEED ONE DAILY ROUND TRIP BETWEEN PLACE OF LODGING AND PLACE OF BUSINESS WITHIN THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AND SURROUNDING AREA.

DETERMINATION OF ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES OR PAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES UNDER 37 U.S.C. 408, FOR ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL FROM PLACE OF RESIDENCE TO EITHER A PERMANENT OR TEMPORARY DUTY STATION, BY PUBLIC CARRIER, TAXI OR PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE, IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THE REQUIRED DUTY, IS NOT BASED ON ANY FIXED RADIUS FOR THE AREA SURROUNDING A DUTY STATION, BEYOND WHICH ENTITLEMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED. RATHER, IT IS LIMITED BY THE TERM "WITHIN THE LIMITS OF HIS STATION" CONTAINED IN SECTION 408 TO THE AREA IN WHICH THE STATION IS LOCATED AND ITS ENVIRONS, WHICH IS ORDINARILY SERVED BY LOCAL CARRIERS. 35 COMP. GEN. 677 (1956); 41 ID. 588 (1962) AND 45 ID. 30 (1965).

WHILE YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 20, 1971, SUGGESTS APPROVAL OF PAYMENT ON THE BASIS OF LIMITED AND EXPENSIVE HOUSING FACILITIES IN THE BOSTON AREA, AND THE SUBSTANTIAL PERSONAL EXPENSE BORNE BY THE MEMBER IN COMMUTING TO THE BOSTON NAVAL SHIPYARD, IT IS NOT CONTENDED THAT SUITABLE LODGINGS WERE NOT AVAILABLE IN BOSTON OR ITS METROPOLITAN AREA, AS REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH M4413-4, ITEM 2. FURTHERMORE, THE MEMBER HAS FURNISHED NO EXPLANATION AS TO ANY UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH MADE IT NECESSARY FOR HIM TO TRAVEL FROM A LOCATION OUTSIDE THE METROPOLITAN AREA OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION SO AS TO INCUR THE EXCESSIVE EXPENDITURE OF PERSONAL FUNDS.

SINCE IT IS REPORTED THAT SOME LODGING FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE WITHIN BOSTON AND ITS VICINITY - AS IS REASONABLY TO BE EXPECTED IN SUCH A METROPOLITAN AREA - WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT IF A MEMBER ELECTS, FOR PERSONAL REASONS, TO OBTAIN QUARTERS AT A MORE DISTANT LOCATION, REIMBURSEMENT FOR DAILY ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL FROM SUCH A LOCATION TO THE PLACE OF TEMPORARY DUTY IS NOT AUTHORIZED. ACCORDINGLY, IN THE ABSENCE OF A SHOWING OF UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES REQUIRING THE CLAIMANT TO LOCATE IN AN AREA AS REMOTE AS HALIFAX, MASSACHUSETTS, PAYMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED AND THE VOUCHER, TOGETHER WITH SUPPORTING PAPERS, WILL BE RETAINED HERE.