B-173758, OCT 8, 1971

B-173758: Oct 8, 1971

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ARIZONA BEFORE MILITARY DUTY AND HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION WAS CHANGED TO ALAMAGORDO. BECAUSE THESE EXPENSES WERE PARTIALLY PAID BY THE AIR FORCE UPON SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER IN WHICH YOU REQUEST AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES CLAIMED BY MR. COLMER WAS PLACED IN A MILITARY LEAVE STATUS IN SEPTEMBER 1964. HIS FOREST SERVICE OFFICIAL DUTY STATION WAS CHANGED TO TEMPE. IT IS FURTHER STATED THAT SHORTLY BEFORE HIS RELEASE FROM THE MILITARY SERVICE. IT WAS DETERMINED THAT MR. COLMER'S SERVICES WERE NOT NEEDED AT TEMPE BUT WERE NEEDED AT ALAMOGORDO. YOU SAY THAT TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION WAS ISSUED FEBRUARY 3.

B-173758, OCT 8, 1971

REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES - CHANGE OF STATION - MILITARY LEAVE STATUS DECISION CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES CLAIMED BY MR. GERALD K. COLMER, A FOREST SERVICE EMPLOYEE, INCIDENT TO A CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION FOLLOWING TERMINATION OF HIS MILITARY LEAVE STATUS. WHERE CLAIMANT SERVED AT SPRINGERVILLE, ARIZONA BEFORE MILITARY DUTY AND HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION WAS CHANGED TO ALAMAGORDO, NEW MEXICO, UPON HIS RETURN TO THE FOREST SERVICE, HE SHOULD BE REIMBURSED THE EXPENSES ACTUALLY INCURRED AS A RESULT OF THE CHANGE OF STATION FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE GOVERNMENT. BECAUSE THESE EXPENSES WERE PARTIALLY PAID BY THE AIR FORCE UPON SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE, CLAIMANT MAY ONLY BE PAID PER DIEM IN THE AMOUNT OF $55 AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COMMUTED RATE FROM SPRINGERVILLE TO ALAMOGORDO, LESS THE AMOUNT PAID BY THE AIR FORCE - $47.17.

TO FOREST SERVICE, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER IN WHICH YOU REQUEST AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES CLAIMED BY MR. GERALD K. COLMER, A FOREST SERVICE EMPLOYEE, INCIDENT TO A CHANGE OF OFFICIAL DUTY STATION.

YOU SAY THAT MR. COLMER WAS PLACED IN A MILITARY LEAVE STATUS IN SEPTEMBER 1964, WHILE AT HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION WITH THE FOREST SERVICE AT SPRINGERVILLE, ARIZONA, AND THAT IN NOVEMBER 1966 WHILE STILL IN MILITARY SERVICE, HIS FOREST SERVICE OFFICIAL DUTY STATION WAS CHANGED TO TEMPE, ARIZONA.

IT IS FURTHER STATED THAT SHORTLY BEFORE HIS RELEASE FROM THE MILITARY SERVICE, IT WAS DETERMINED THAT MR. COLMER'S SERVICES WERE NOT NEEDED AT TEMPE BUT WERE NEEDED AT ALAMOGORDO, NEW MEXICO, AND THAT MR. COLMER AGREED TO THIS CHANGE OF STATION.

YOU SAY THAT TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION WAS ISSUED FEBRUARY 3, 1970, TO MR. COLMER AUTHORIZING TRANSPORTATION FOR THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY, PER DIEM ALLOWANCES, AND TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS FROM HIS OLD STATION IN ARIZONA TO HIS NEW STATION IN NEW MEXICO. YOU ALSO SAY THAT ALTHOUGH NOT STATED IN THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION APPROVAL WAS GIVEN FOR THE EMPLOYEE TO PROCEED FROM TOPEKA, KANSAS, THE POINT WHERE HE WAS RELEASED FROM THE MILITARY TO ALAMOGORDO, SINCE THERE WAS NO NEED TO RETURN TO HIS OLD DUTY STATION IN ARIZONA. REIMBURSEMENT OF THE AUTHORIZED TRAVEL EXPENSES WAS CONTEMPLATED IN ACCORDANCE WITH 27 COMP. GEN. 184 (1947).

IT IS FURTHER INDICATED THAT ON FEBRUARY 4, 1970, MR. COLMER AND HIS DEPENDENTS PROCEEDED TO ALAMOGORDO VIA PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE AND THAT HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE SHIPPED BY THE AIR FORCE UNDER A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING.

YOU SAY THAT MR. COLMER WAS ENTITLED TO CERTAIN TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES PAYABLE BY THE AIR FORCE; HOWEVER, SINCE HE WAS TRAVELING TO A POINT OTHER THAN WHERE HE WAS INDUCTED INTO THE AIR FORCE, THESE ALLOWANCES WERE LIMITED TO AN AMOUNT REPRESENTED BY THE DISTANCE BETWEEN TOPEKA, KANSAS, POINT OF SEPARATION AND INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, POINT OF INDUCTION; ALSO, SINCE THE DISTANCE BETWEEN TOPEKA AND ALAMOGORDO WAS GREATER THAN BETWEEN TOPEKA AND INDIANAPOLIS, MR. COLMER WAS CHARGED FOR THE EXCESS COST FOR THE SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS BY THE AIR FORCE.

MR. COLMER IS NOW CLAIMING THE AMOUNTS HE WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO HAD HE TRAVELED FROM TEMPE, ARIZONA, TO ALAMOGORDO, NEW MEXICO. THE FOLLOWING ARE THE AMOUNTS CLAIMED BY MR. COLMER AND THE AMOUNTS YOU BELIEVE DUE WITH THE REASONS FOR SUCH LIMITATION:

"1. USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE TO TRANSPORT SELF AND FAMILY:

417 MILES 12[ $50.04

"THIS IS THE AMOUNT THAT MR. COLMER WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO HAD HE TRAVELLED FROM TEMPE, ARIZONA TO ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (HOWEVER, AS THE TRANSFER TO TEMPE WAS ONLY A PAPER TRANSACTION AND NEVER PHYSICALLY ACCOMPLISHED, HE WAS ENTITLED TO TRAVEL COSTS FROM SPRINGERVILLE, AZ., INSTEAD, A DISTANCE FROM ALAMOGORDO OF 290 MILES. AT 12[ PER MILE, THIS WOULD AMOUNT TO $34.80.) AS HE WAS PAID $65.52 BY THE AIR FORCE FOR THE TRIP FROM TOPEKA TO ALAMOGORDO, WHICH IS MORE THAN THE $34.80, WE BELIEVE HE IS NOT DUE ANY ADDITIONAL AMOUNT.

"2. TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS $449.29

"THIS IS THE AMOUNT HE WOULD HAVE RECEIVED AT THE COMMUTED RATE HAD HE MOVED HIS GOODS FROM TEMPE, ARIZONA TO ALAMOGORDO, NEW MEXICO. AS STATED IN PARAGRAPH '1' ABOVE, THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN COMPUTED FROM SPRINGERVILLE, THE COST OF WHICH WOULD BE $401.08. AS THE ACTUAL COST TO MR. COLMER WAS $47.17, THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE ALLOWABLE COST AND THE AMOUNT PAID BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, WE FEEL THE REIMBURSEMENT SHOULD BE LIMITED TO $47.17.

"3. PER DIEM $82.50

"HE IS LIMITING HIS CLAIM TO THE AMOUNT THAT HE WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO HAD HE TRAVELLED FROM TEMPE, ARIZONA TO ALAMOGORDO, NEW MEXICO. SHOULD BE FROM SPRINGERVILLE, AMOUNTING TO $55.00. NO PAYMENT OF PER DIEM WAS RECEIVED FROM THE AIR FORCE. HE IS ENTITLED TO $55.00."

AS YOU INDICATE IN YOUR LETTER, SINCE MR. COLMER WAS IN THE AIR FORCE AT THE TIME OF THE CHANGE OF DUTY STATION FROM SPRINGERVILLE TO TEMPE NO TRAVEL OR TRANSPORTATION WAS PERFORMED AND THEREFORE IN COMPUTING THE EXPENSES THE DISTANCE BETWEEN SPRINGERVILLE AND ALAMOGORDO SHOULD BE USED.

PAYMENT OR REIMBURSEMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE EXPENSES OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION OF A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE AND HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY AND THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS IS AUTHORIZED UNDER 5 U.S.C. 5724. THE PURPOSE OF THIS PROVISION IS TO RELIEVE A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE OF CERTAIN EXPENSES WHICH HE INCURS AS A RESULT OF THE CHANGE OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE GOVERNMENT. IT FOLLOWS THAT WHEN THESE EXPENSES ARE NOT INCURRED THE GOVERNMENT HAS NO OBLIGATION CONCERNING SUCH EXPENSES.

IN MR. COLMER'S CASE THE EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE CHANGE OF OFFICIAL DUTY STATION WITH WHICH WE ARE CONCERNED HERE WERE PARTIALLY PAID BY THE AIR FORCE THEREBY LIMITING THE EXPENSE HE INCURRED. SINCE HE RECEIVED MILEAGE FROM THE AIR FORCE IN EXCESS OF THAT WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN PAYABLE HAD HE ACTUALLY TRAVELED FROM SPRINGERVILLE TO ALAMOGORDO, REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE MILEAGE CLAIMED IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

SINCE HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE SHIPPED ON GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING BY THE AIR FORCE DIRECTLY TO ALAMOGORDO, HE MAY BE REIMBURSED THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COMMUTED RATE FROM SPRINGERVILLE TO ALAMOGORDO LESS THE AMOUNT PAID BY THE AIR FORCE, AS SUGGESTED IN YOUR LETTER.

INASMUCH AS PER DIEM WAS NOT PAID BY THE AIR FORCE, PAYMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $55 AS SUGGESTED IN YOUR LETTER IS AUTHORIZED.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER RETURNED HEREWITH, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT AND IF AMENDED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.