B-173464, AUG 13, 1971

B-173464: Aug 13, 1971

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

CIRCUITOUS AND MIXED TRAVEL WERE AUTHORIZED. PROVISIONS OF JTR DEALING WITH THESE ARE CONTROLLING. THE GOVERNMENT IS LIABLE ONLY FOR MOST DIRECT ROUTE OF TRAVEL. WHICH IN THIS CASE WAS: FROM QUINTO. SETTLEMENT ON THIS BASIS WAS CORRECT. ECUADOR TO THE PANAMA CANAL ZONE SHOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWED UNDER PARAGRAPH M7002-3-7 OF THE JTR. THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED DURING THE PERIOD JULY 31 TO AUGUST 20. YOU WERE TRANSFERRED FROM USAF FOREIGN MISSION SQUADRON AT QUITO. CONCURRENT TRAVEL OF YOUR WIFE AND FOUR CHILDREN WAS AUTHORIZED. ITEM 9 PROVIDED THAT: "INDIVIDUAL IS BEING RELIEVED FROM AN ACCREDITED POSITION. GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING WILL BE OBTAINED FROM THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER. CZ AND WILL CONTAIN THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT: 'REIMBURSEMENT WILL BE OBTAINED FROM THE COUNTRY FROM WHICH THE INDIVIDUAL IS BEING REASSIGNED BY THE FINANCE SVC BR.

B-173464, AUG 13, 1971

MILITARY PERSONNEL - CIRCUITOUS AND MIXED TRAVEL-REIMBURSEMENT DECISION AFFIRMING SETTLEMENT WHICH ALLOWED IN PART CLAIM OF MASTER SERGEANT PEDRO VASQUEZ FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL AND DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE FOR HIMSELF AND HIS DEPENDENTS, INCIDENT TO CHANGE OF STATIONS FROM QUINTO, ECUADOR TO ENT AIR FORCE BASE, COLO. WITH ADDITIONAL ALLOWANCE FOR TIPS. CIRCUITOUS AND MIXED TRAVEL WERE AUTHORIZED; THEREFORE, PROVISIONS OF JTR DEALING WITH THESE ARE CONTROLLING, NOT THOSE DEALING WITH RATE FAVORABLE POINT FOR COMMERCIAL AIR AS ALLEGED BY CLAIMANT. REGARDLESS OF THE CIRCUITOUS ROUTE TAKEN BY CLAIMANT, THE GOVERNMENT IS LIABLE ONLY FOR MOST DIRECT ROUTE OF TRAVEL, WHICH IN THIS CASE WAS: FROM QUINTO, ECUADOR TO THE PANAMA CANAL ZONE AS PERFORMED, THENCE TO CHARLESTON, S.C. BY MILITARY AIRLIFT COMMAND, AND THENCE TO ENT AIR FORCE BASE, COLO. BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE, PLUS PER DIEM, MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES AND DISLOCATION ALLOWANCES. SETTLEMENT ON THIS BASIS WAS CORRECT, EXCEPT THAT THE $60 CLAIM FOR TIPS INCIDENT TO TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL VESSEL FROM GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR TO THE PANAMA CANAL ZONE SHOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWED UNDER PARAGRAPH M7002-3-7 OF THE JTR.

TO MASTER SERGEANT PEDRO VASQUEZ:

WE AGAIN REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 18, 1971, REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENTS OF MAY 5, 1971, WHICH ALLOWED PORTIONS OF YOUR CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL BY YOU AND YOUR DEPENDENTS FROM QUITO, ECUADOR, TO ENT AIR FORCE BASE, COLORADO, AND FOR DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE. THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED DURING THE PERIOD JULY 31 TO AUGUST 20, 1970.

BY SPECIAL ORDER NO. AA-1035, DATED MAY 20, 1970, YOU WERE TRANSFERRED FROM USAF FOREIGN MISSION SQUADRON AT QUITO, ECUADOR, TO PETERSON FIELD AT ENT AIR FORCE BASE, COLORADO, AS A CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION AND DIRECTED TO PROCEED ON OR ABOUT AUGUST 5, 1970. CONCURRENT TRAVEL OF YOUR WIFE AND FOUR CHILDREN WAS AUTHORIZED.

YOUR ORDERS STATED THAT ITEM 9 ON THE REVERSE OF THE ORDERS APPLIES. ITEM 9 PROVIDED THAT:

"INDIVIDUAL IS BEING RELIEVED FROM AN ACCREDITED POSITION. GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING WILL BE OBTAINED FROM THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER, HOWARD AFB, CZ AND WILL CONTAIN THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT: 'REIMBURSEMENT WILL BE OBTAINED FROM THE COUNTRY FROM WHICH THE INDIVIDUAL IS BEING REASSIGNED BY THE FINANCE SVC BR, AFAFC.'"

WITH RESPECT TO THE MODE AND ROUTE OF TRAVEL, YOUR ORDERS DID NOT SPECIFY THAT ITEM 6 (CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL) APPLIED. HOWEVER, THE ORDERS STATED THAT YOU AND YOUR DEPENDENTS WERE AUTHORIZED SURFACE TRANSPORTATION FROM GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR, TO THE CANAL ZONE AND TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE FROM THE CANAL ZONE TO THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. SINCE IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THIS IS THE NORMAL ROUTE BUT WAS AUTHORIZED BECAUSE YOU INTENDED TO VISIT MCALLEN, TEXAS, ON LEAVE, CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL WAS IN FACT AUTHORIZED AND PERFORMED. ITEM 6 OF YOUR ORDERS PROVIDED THAT WHEN CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL IS AUTHORIZED REIMBURSEMENT WILL NOT EXCEED THE COST BY THE USUAL NORMAL ROUTE AND THAT THE NORMAL ROUTE FROM THE CANAL ZONE IS BY MAC AIRCRAFT TO CHARLESTON AIR FORCE BASE, SOUTH CAROLINA.

TRANSPORTATION FROM QUITO TO GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR, WAS PERFORMED BY GOVERNMENT AIR. TRAVEL FROM THE LATTER POINT TO PANAMA, CANAL ZONE, WAS BY COMMERCIAL VESSEL FOR WHICH YOU WERE FURNISHED A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST. YOU AND YOUR DEPENDENTS TRAVELED BY COMMERCIAL AIR FROM PANAMA TO MEXICO CITY, MEXICO, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, AND MCALLEN, TEXAS, AND THENCE BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE TO ENT AIR FORCE BASE, COLORADO. BY THE SETTLEMENTS OF MAY 5, 1971, YOU WERE ALLOWED $200.11 AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR YOUR TRAVEL AND $594.78, AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF TRAVEL FROM QUITO, ECUADOR, TO THE CANAL ZONE AS PERFORMED, THENCE BY MILITARY AIRLIFT COMMAND TO CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA, AND MILEAGE FROM THERE TO ENT AIR FORCE BASE, COLORADO, PLUS PER DIEM, MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES AND DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE. THE AMOUNT OF $60 CLAIMED AS TIPS ON BOAT WAS DISALLOWED IN THE ABSENCE OF AN ITEMIZATION.

IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU SAY NO ONE HAS EXPLAINED WHY REIMBURSEMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED FOR THE TRAVEL AS PERFORMED EXCEPT THAT THE NORMAL ROUTE IS MILITARY AIR FROM THE CANAL ZONE TO CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA. YOU SAY YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO A UNITED STATES MILITARY ASSISTANCE GROUP IN QUITO, ECUADOR, NOT TO THE CANAL ZONE. YOU CONTEND THAT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF AIR FORCE MANUAL 75-8(3) ATTACHMENT 1, YOU WERE AUTHORIZED COMMERCIAL AIR TRAVEL TO AND FROM ECUADOR, BUT WERE NOT FURNISHED A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST FROM THE CANAL ZONE.

YOU MENTION THAT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY TRAVELED FROM MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, IDAHO, TO QUITO, ECUADOR, BY COMMERCIAL AIR IN 1967, AND THAT SOME PERSONNEL IN YOUR GROUP WERE RETURNED TO NEW JERSEY BY COMMERCIAL VESSEL. YOU CONTEND YOU SHOULD BE REIMBURSED FOR TRAVEL AS PERFORMED FOR THE REASONS THAT YOU WERE BEING RELIEVED FROM AN ACCREDITED POSITION. YOU CITE PARAGRAPH M4150-1-4 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AS APPLICABLE TO YOUR TRAVEL AND, AS TO THE AMOUNT OF $60 CLAIMED AS TIPS, YOU SAY THIS WAS PAID TO STEWARDS AND ATTENDANTS ON BEHALF OF YOUR DEPENDENTS WHILE EN ROUTE FROM GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR, TO PANAMA, CANAL ZONE.

THE TRANSPORTATION OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES AND THEIR DEPENDENTS IS GOVERNED BY THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO 37 U.S.C. 404 AND 406. PARAGRAPH M4159 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT FOR TRANSOCEANIC TRAVEL WHEN GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT OR VESSEL IS AVAILABLE AND THE MEMBER PERFORMS TRAVEL BY ANOTHER MODE OF TRANSPORTATION AT PERSONAL EXPENSE, REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE AUTHORIZED NOT TO EXCEED THE COST OF TRAVEL BY THE AVAILABLE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION. THE FACT THAT YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM AN ACCREDITED POSITION WITH AN AIR FORCE FOREIGN MISSION RELATED TO ALLOCATION OF COST TO THE COUNTRY INVOLVED. DID NOT DETERMINE YOUR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ENTITLEMENT FOR YOURSELF AND DEPENDENTS.

PARAGRAPH M4154-3, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF 37 U.S.C. 404, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART, THAT FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING ALLOWANCES PAYABLE WHEN MIXED TRAVEL IS PERFORMED, EACH PORTION WILL BE CONSIDERED TO BE A SEPARATE JOURNEY, INCLUDING THE TRAVEL BETWEEN A STATION LOCATED OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES AND THE PORT OF EMBARKATION (OR DEBARKATION) OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES SERVING THAT STATION; TRAVEL BETWEEN A POINT OF EMBARKATION AND A POINT OF DEBARKATION; AND TRAVEL BETWEEN A STATION IN THE UNITED STATES AND A POINT OF EMBARKATION (OR DEBARKATION) IN THE UNITED STATES SERVING THAT STATION. THIS WAS DONE IN YOUR CASE.

PARAGRAPH M4150-1-4 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, CITED BY YOU, WHICH AUTHORIZES REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL COST OF TRANSPORTATION WHEN TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS ARE NOT ISSUED, DOES NOT AFFORD AUTHORITY FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL IN EXCESS OF TRAVEL BY THE USUAL ROUTE.

IT LONG HAS BEEN THE ESTABLISHED RULE THAT TRAVEL OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES AND THEIR DEPENDENTS, FOR REIMBURSEMENT PURPOSES, IS REQUIRED TO BE COMPUTED ON THE MOST DIRECT, USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BETWEEN THE POINTS INVOLVED AND ADDITIONAL EXPENSES MAY NOT BE AUTHORIZED FOR CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL. 7 COMP. GEN. 840 (1928), 9 COMP. GEN. 210 (1929), AND 47 COMP. GEN. 440 (1968).

PARAGRAPH 8-14 (CHAPTER 3) OF AIR FORCE MANUAL 75-8 SETTING FORTH THE POLICY OF THE AIR FORCE ON CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL, PROVIDES THAT THE NORMAL ROUTING OF PERSONNEL TO AND FROM OVERSEAS IS CONTAINED IN ATTACHMENT 1. THAT ATTACHMENT SHOWS THAT TRAVEL BY THE NORMAL MODE FOR ALL PASSENGERS TO AND FROM QUITO, ECUADOR, IS COMMERCIAL AIR VIA A RATE FAVORABLE POINT. THUS, TRANSPORTATION TO THE UNITED STATES BY COMMERCIAL AIR COULD HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED FOR DIRECT TRAVEL. YOU DID NOT, HOWEVER, PERFORM ALL OF THE TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL AIR AS CONTEMPLATED BY THAT REGULATION BUT WERE FURNISHED GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION TO THE CANAL ZONE. ACCORDINGLY, AS EXPLAINED ABOVE, THE MIXED TRAVEL PROVISIONS OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WERE APPLIED IN COMPUTING THE AMOUNT DUE AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRAVEL AS PERFORMED.

IN THIS REGARD IT MAY BE NOTED THAT USE OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVISIONS WAS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE. THE RATE FAVORABLE POINT FOR COMMERCIAL AIR FROM QUITO, ECUADOR, IS MIAMI, FLORIDA. HAD REIMBURSEMENT BEEN COMPUTED ON THAT BASIS YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO THE COST OF COMMERCIAL AIR TRANSPORTATION FOR YOURSELF AND DEPENDENTS FROM QUITO TO MIAMI ($698.50), PLUS MILEAGE FROM THAT POINT TO ENT AIR FORCE BASE ($473.28) AND DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE ($114.90) OR A TOTAL OF $1,286.68 LESS THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT FROM QUITO TO GUAYAQUIL TO PANAMA. THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION FROM QUITO TO GUAYAQUIL IS NOT SHOWN. HOWEVER, THE COST FROM THE LATTER POINT TO PANAMA ALONE WAS $1,032.50, LEAVING A BALANCE OF $254.18 INCLUDING DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE FOR TRAVEL TO ENT AIR FORCE BASE. ALSO, AN ADJUSTMENT WOULD BE REQUIRED IN PER DIEM AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES. THIS WOULD RESULT IN A SMALLER AMOUNT DUE THAN THE AMOUNT DETERMINED UNDER THE METHOD USED.

PARAGRAPH M7002-3-7 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT REIMBURSEMENT FOR TIPS TO STEWARDS AND OTHER ATTENDANTS PAID BY OR ON BEHALF OF DEPENDENTS WHO PERFORM AUTHORIZED TRAVEL ABOARD COMMERCIAL VESSELS IS AUTHORIZED NOT TO EXCEED A DAILY RATE OF $18 FOR FIVE DEPENDENTS. SINCE THE TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL VESSEL WAS PERFORMED ON FOUR DAYS YOU ARE ENTITLED TO ADDITIONAL REIMBURSEMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $60 FOR THE TIPS GIVEN TO THE STEWARDS AND ATTENDANTS ABOARD THE VESSEL. SETTLEMENT IN THAT AMOUNT WILL ISSUE IN DUE COURSE. OTHERWISE, THE SETTLEMENTS OF MAY 5, 1971, WERE CORRECT AND ARE SUSTAINED.