B-173922(1), NOV 16, 1971

B-173922(1): Nov 16, 1971

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WHERE HE WAS VISITING HIS FATHER. CLAIMANT'S ORDERS WERE CANCELLED AND HE WAS ISSUED NEW ORDERS TO RETURN TO HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION WHEN ABLE. PAYMENT FOR ROUND TRIP TRAVEL FROM PHILADELPHIA TO MISSOULA AND RETURN AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS NOT AUTHORIZED. AS PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE TRAVEL WAS OFFICIAL BUSINESS. CLAIMANT IS ENTITLED TO AN ALLOWANCE FOR OUTWARD TRAVEL TO A POINT ON A DIRECT ROUTE TO FIRST PLACE OF TEMPORARY DUTY EQUIVALENT TO A DISTANCE BETWEEN PHILADELPHIA AND MISSOULA. C. O'LOUGHLIN: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED AUGUST 6. YOU WERE DIRECTED TO TRAVEL FROM PHILADELPHIA. TO FIVE LOCATIONS IN CALIFORNIA FOR TEMPORARY DUTY UPON COMPLETION OF WHICH YOU WERE TO RETURN TO YOUR PERMANENT STATION.

B-173922(1), NOV 16, 1971

MILITARY PERSONNEL - TRAVEL EXPENSES - ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT DECISION CONCERNING PAYMENT TO CAPTAIN R. C. O'LOUGHLIN, S.C., U.S.N. OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN PERFORMANCE OF TRAVEL FROM HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION IN PHILADELPHIA, PA., UNDER ORDERS TO PROCEED TO CALIFORNIA FOR TEMPORARY DUTY AND RETURN WITH DELAY IN ROUTE FOR 3 DAYS LEAVE IN MISSOULA, MONTANA. WHILE IN ROUTE AND AT MISSOULA, WHERE HE WAS VISITING HIS FATHER, CLAIMANT BECAME ILL. ON REPORTING TO HIS COMMAND, CLAIMANT'S ORDERS WERE CANCELLED AND HE WAS ISSUED NEW ORDERS TO RETURN TO HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION WHEN ABLE. PAYMENT FOR ROUND TRIP TRAVEL FROM PHILADELPHIA TO MISSOULA AND RETURN AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS NOT AUTHORIZED. HOWEVER, AS PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE TRAVEL WAS OFFICIAL BUSINESS, CLAIMANT IS ENTITLED TO AN ALLOWANCE FOR OUTWARD TRAVEL TO A POINT ON A DIRECT ROUTE TO FIRST PLACE OF TEMPORARY DUTY EQUIVALENT TO A DISTANCE BETWEEN PHILADELPHIA AND MISSOULA.

TO CAPTAIN R. C. O'LOUGHLIN:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED AUGUST 6, 1971, REQUESTING REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION DATED JULY 15, 1971, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL PERFORMED BY YOU IN MAY 1970 FROM PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, TO MISSOULA, MONTANA, AND RETURN.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BY ORDER NO. ASO T-2632, DATED MAY 5, 1970, YOU WERE DIRECTED TO TRAVEL FROM PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, TO FIVE LOCATIONS IN CALIFORNIA FOR TEMPORARY DUTY UPON COMPLETION OF WHICH YOU WERE TO RETURN TO YOUR PERMANENT STATION, PHILADELPHIA. THE ORDER AUTHORIZED YOU TO PROCEED TO YOUR TEMPORARY DUTY DESTINATION ON OR ABOUT MAY 7, 1970, GRANTING YOU A 3-DAY DELAY EN ROUTE WITH SUCH DELAY SPECIFIED IN THE ORDER "TO COUNT AS LEAVE," AND AUTHORIZED THE USE OF A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST TO OBTAIN ROUND-TRIP AIR TRANSPORTATION.

IT APPEARS THAT YOU USED THE TRANSPORTATION REQUEST AND PAID FOR THE ADDITIONAL COST FOR TRANSPORTATION TO CALIFORNIA BY A CIRCUITOUS ROUTE THROUGH MISSOULA, MONTANA, TO VISIT YOUR FATHER, ARRIVING THERE ON MAY 8, 1970, AND REMAINING IN A LEAVE STATUS UNTIL MAY 10, 1970, WHEN, UPON YOUR BECOMING ILL, YOUR COMMANDING OFFICER WAS NOTIFIED OF YOUR CONDITION AND DIRECTED THAT YOU RETURN TO YOUR PERMANENT DUTY STATION WHEN ABLE TO TRAVEL. INCIDENT TO THIS CHANGE IN ASSIGNMENT IT APPEARS THAT AN UNUSED PORTION OF YOUR TICKET WAS EXCHANGED FOR YOUR RETURN TRANSPORTATION FROM MISSOULA, MONTANA, TO PHILADELPHIA, THE TOTAL ROUND TRIP COST TO THE GOVERNMENT BEING $140.90.

THE TRAVEL OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS GOVERNED BY SECTION 404 OF TITLE 37, U.S. CODE, WHICH AUTHORIZES THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES TO MEMBERS WHILE TRAVELING AWAY FROM THEIR DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY, UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED. IN LINE WITH SUCH STATUTORY AUTHORITY, PARAGRAPH M3050-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ARE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES WHEN IN A "TRAVEL STATUS" AND THAT THEY SHALL BE DEEMED TO BE IN A TRAVEL STATUS ONLY WHILE TRAVELING ON PUBLIC BUSINESS, PURSUANT TO COMPETENT TRAVEL ORDERS, INCLUDING NECESSARY DELAYS EN ROUTE INCIDENT TO THE MODES OF TRAVEL AND PERIODS OF NECESSARY TEMPORARY OR TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY.

IT HAS LONG BEEN HELD THAT THE TRAVEL ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED FOR MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ARE FOR THE PURPOSE OF REIMBURSING THEM FOR THE EXPENSES INCURRED IN COMPLIANCE WITH TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS IMPOSED UPON THEM BY THE NEEDS OF THE SERVICE OVER WHICH THEY HAVE NO CONTROL, NOT FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL PERFORMED FOR PERSONAL REASONS. SUCH ALLOWANCES ARE NOT PAYABLE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED SOLELY FOR LEAVE PURPOSES, THAT TRAVEL BEING CONSIDERED AS HAVING BEEN MADE FOR PERSONAL REASONS AND NOT HAVING BEEN PERFORMED ON PUBLIC BUSINESS. PERRIMOND V UNITED STATES, 19 CT. CL. 509; DAY V UNITED STATES, 123 CT. CL. 18; 30 COMP. GEN. 226 (1950); B- 156903, JUNE 22, 1965, AND 49 COMP. GEN. 663 (1970).

YOU STATE THAT YOU DEPARTED PHILADELPHIA ON MAY 7, PURSUANT TO YOUR ORDERS AND TRAVELED TO MISSOULA, MONTANA, BY CIRCUITOUS ROUTE TO VISIT YOUR FATHER BEFORE REPORTING TO YOUR FIRST TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT ON THE WEST COAST. THE THREE DAYS OF LEAVE WAS AUTHORIZED FOR SUCH PURPOSE. WHILE ON LEAVE IN MISSOULA YOU BECAME ILL AND WERE UNABLE TO COMPLETE THE REMAINDER OF YOUR ORDERED TRAVEL. AS A RESULT, YOUR TEMPORARY DUTY ORDERS WERE CANCELLED AND YOU RETURNED TO PHILADELPHIA. YOU FURTHER STATE THAT YOU HAD NOT SEEN YOUR FATHER FOR SOME TIME BECAUSE OF THE EXPENSES OF TRAVEL FROM PHILADELPHIA TO MISSOULA AND THAT YOUR TRAVEL TO MISSOULA WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN PERFORMED BUT FOR THE FACT THAT YOU HAD ORDERS TO PERFORM TEMPORARY DUTY ON THE WEST COAST.

SINCE THE RECORD INDICATES THAT, BEFORE YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO DEPART FROM PHILADELPHIA FOR YOUR TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT, YOU BECAME ILL AT MISSOULA WHILE IN A LEAVE STATUS, TO WHICH PLACE YOU HAD TRAVELED ON A CIRCUITOUS ROUTE FOR PERSONAL REASONS AND RETURNED TO PHILADELPHIA PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF YOUR LEAVE, ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL FROM PHILADELPHIA TO MISSOULA AND RETURN AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS NOT AUTHORIZED. PARAGRAPH M4212 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (LAST SENTENCE) PRECLUDES THE CREDITING OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCES WHILE IN A LEAVE STATUS.

OUR DECISION, B-156013, FEBRUARY 26, 1965, COPY ENCLOSED, INVOLVED A SITUATION SIMILAR TO YOURS. IN THAT DECISION WE HELD THAT WHERE THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE TRIP WAS FOR OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND DESPITE THE FACT THAT THERE WAS AN EARLY DEPARTURE AND CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL FOR LEAVE PURPOSES, PAYMENT OF ALL ALLOWANCES PROPERLY AUTHORIZED WOULD BE PERMITTED FOR NECESSARY TRAVEL PRIOR TO THE INCURRENCE OF THE DISABILITY.

AS IN THE ABOVE CASE, THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF YOUR TRAVEL TO MISSOULA WAS OFFICIAL BUSINESS EVEN THOUGH THE EARLY DEPARTURE WAS FOR LEAVE PURPOSES. THEREFORE, SINCE YOU BECAME ILL AT MISSOULA IT IS CONCLUDED THAT YOU ARE ENTITLED TO ALLOWANCES FOR THE OUTWARD TRAVEL TO A POINT ON A DIRECT ROUTE TO THE FIRST PLACE OF DIRECTED TEMPORARY DUTY EQUIVALENT TO THE DISTANCE BETWEEN PHILADELPHIA AND MISSOULA. THE NAVY REGIONAL FINANCE CENTER, WASHINGTON, D.C., IS BEING ADVISED BY LETTER OF TODAY, COPY ENCLOSED, TO ADJUST YOUR INDEBTEDNESS ON THAT BASIS.