B-174073, NOV 23, 1971

B-174073: Nov 23, 1971

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AS PORT OF EMBARKATION AND THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WAS NOT AVAILABLE FROM CHARLESTON TO PUERTO RICO AND BECAUSE THERE IS NO INDICATION THAT CLAIMANT EVER REQUESTED GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION FOR THE REQUIRED TRAVEL. REIMBURSEMENT IS LIMITED UNDER PARAGRAPH M159 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO THE COST OF SUCH TRAVEL TO THE GOVERNMENT - $36.70. THUS NO ADDITIONAL AMOUNT IS DUE AND THE CLAIMS DIVISION SETTLEMENT IS SUSTAINED. YOU WERE RELEASED FROM ACTIVE DUTY EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 10. YOUR HOME OF RECORD WAS SHOWN TO BE SANTURCE. YOU WERE ADMINISTRATIVELY PAID $7.32 FOR THE TRAVEL PERFORMED. THAT A SETTLEMENT WAS BEING ISSUED IN YOUR FAVOR FOR AN ADDITIONAL $29.38.

B-174073, NOV 23, 1971

MILITARY PERSONNEL - TRAVEL TO HOME OF RECORD - COMMERCIAL TRANSOCEANIC TRAVEL SUSTAINING CLAIMS DIVISION SETTLEMENT FOR A TOTAL OF $36.70 AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR CLAIMANT'S TRAVEL TO HOME OF RECORD, SANTURCE, PUERTO RICO, INCIDENT TO RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY IN THE ARMY. WHERE CLAIMANT'S ORDERS DESIGNATED CHARLESTON, S.C. AS PORT OF EMBARKATION AND THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WAS NOT AVAILABLE FROM CHARLESTON TO PUERTO RICO AND BECAUSE THERE IS NO INDICATION THAT CLAIMANT EVER REQUESTED GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION FOR THE REQUIRED TRAVEL, REIMBURSEMENT IS LIMITED UNDER PARAGRAPH M159 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO THE COST OF SUCH TRAVEL TO THE GOVERNMENT - $36.70. THUS NO ADDITIONAL AMOUNT IS DUE AND THE CLAIMS DIVISION SETTLEMENT IS SUSTAINED.

TO MR. ROBERT S. IGOE:

WE AGAIN REFER TO YOUR RECENT LETTER IN WHICH YOU REQUEST RECONSIDERATION OF THE SETTLEMENT BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION DATED MAY 13, 1971, WHICH ALLOWED YOU $29.38, IN ADDITION TO THE $7.32 PREVIOUSLY ALLOWED YOU, FOR A TOTAL OF $36.70, AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR YOUR TRAVEL TO YOUR HOME OF RECORD IN SANTURCE, PUERTO RICO, INCIDENT TO YOUR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY AS FIRST LIEUTENANT, UNITED STATES ARMY.

BY PARAGRAPH 260, SPECIAL ORDER NO. 31, UNITED STATES ARMY PERSONNEL CENTER, FORT JACKSON, SOUTH CAROLINA, DATED FEBRUARY 6, 1970, AS AMENDED FEBRUARY 9, 1970, YOU WERE RELEASED FROM ACTIVE DUTY EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 10, 1970. YOUR HOME OF RECORD WAS SHOWN TO BE SANTURCE, PUERTO RICO. THE ORDERS SHOW FURTHER THE PORT OF EMBARKATION TO BE CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA.

YOUR CLAIM FOR TRAVEL TO YOUR HOME COVERS TRAVEL PERFORMED FEBRUARY 10- 11, 1970, BY COMMERCIAL AIR FROM COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA, TO SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO, AND BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE FROM SAN JUAN TO SANTURCE, PUERTO RICO. IN SUPPORT OF YOUR CLAIM YOU FURNISHED AN INVOICE FROM PENN STATE TRAVEL, INC., SHOWING $128 AS FARE FOR AN AIRLINE TICKET FROM COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA, TO SAN JUAN.

YOU WERE ADMINISTRATIVELY PAID $7.32 FOR THE TRAVEL PERFORMED, AS EVIDENCED ON THE FINAL SEPARATION MILITARY PAY VOUCHER. IN REPLY TO A REQUEST FROM THE HONORABLE RICHARD S. SCHWEIKER, UNITED STATES SENATE, FOR A REPORT IN THE MATTER, WE ADVISED HIM BY LETTER DATED MAY 17, 1971, THAT A SETTLEMENT WAS BEING ISSUED IN YOUR FAVOR FOR AN ADDITIONAL $29.38. YOU WERE ADVISED IN THE SETTLEMENT THIS AMOUNT REPRESENTED, PRINCIPALLY, REIMBURSEMENT FOR COST OF TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL AIR FROM COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA, TO SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO, NOT TO EXCEED COST TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT (MILITARY AIRLIFT COMMAND) AIRCRAFT FROM CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA, PORT OF EMBARKATION FROM THE UNITED STATES, TO RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE, PUERTO RICO, PORT OF DEBARKATION IN PUERTO RICO.

IN A LETTER DATED JULY 6, 1971, TO THE FINANCE CENTER, U.S. ARMY, YOU SAY THAT THE CHECK YOU RECEIVED WILL NOT BE CASHED SINCE YOU DO NOT CONSIDER THE SETTLEMENT TO BE PROPER. YOU SAY FURTHER THAT YOU WERE ADVISED AT THE SEPARATION CENTER, FORT JACKSON, THAT TRAVEL FROM CHARLESTON WAS UNAVAILABLE BUT THAT IT IS DIFFICULT FOR YOU TO PROVIDE DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE OF THAT FACT. YOU SUGGEST THAT YOUR CLAIM SHOULD BE ACCEPTED AS PRESENTED.

YOUR ENTITLEMENT TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCES IS GOVERNED BY THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. PARAGRAPH M4157-1B, OF THOSE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER WHO IS ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCES TO HOME OF RECORD OR PLACE FROM WHICH HE WAS ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY, WHICH PLACE IS LOCATED OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES, WILL BE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCES AS PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH M4159 OF THE REGULATIONS.

PARAGRAPH M4159 OF THE REGULATIONS, PROVIDES GENERALLY THAT WHEN A MEMBER TRAVELS TO, FROM, OR BETWEEN POINTS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES UNDER PERMANENT CHANGE-OF-STATION ORDERS, INCLUDING ORDERS DIRECTING RELIEF FROM ACTIVE DUTY, WHICH ORDERS DO NOT DIRECT TRAVEL BY A SPECIFIC MODE OF TRANSPORTATION, HE WILL BE ENTITLED TO MILEAGE FOR THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE FROM HIS OLD STATION TO THE APPROPRIATE AERIAL PORT OF EMBARKATION SERVING THAT STATION, TRANSPORTATION BY GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT, IF AVAILABLE, FOR THE TRANSOCEANIC TRAVEL OR REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUCH TRANSPORTATION PROCURED AT PERSONAL EXPENSE, AND MILEAGE BETWEEN THE AERIAL PORT OF DEBARKATION AND THE AUTHORIZED DESTINATION TO WHICH TRAVEL IS TO BE PERFORMED.

THAT PARAGRAPH PROVIDES FURTHER THAT WHEN TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION IS AUTHORIZED AS DISTINGUISHED FROM DIRECTED, AND THE MEMBER PERFORMS TRANSOCEANIC TRAVEL BY ANOTHER MODE OF TRANSPORTATION AT PERSONAL EXPENSE, HE IS ENTITLED TO THE COST INCURRED, NOT TO EXCEED THE APPLICABLE TARIFF CHARGE WHICH THE SPONSORING SERVICE WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO PAY FOR THE AVAILABLE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION. WHEN GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION IS NOT AVAILABLE, GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS SHOULD BE USED. IF THEY ARE NOT AVAILABLE, ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT SHOULD NOT EXCEED THE LEAST COSTLY COMMERCIAL AIR ACCOMMODATIONS AVAILABLE.

YOUR ORDERS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATED CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA, AS THE PORT OF EMBARKATION AND THE ARMY'S REPORT ON YOUR CLAIM DOES NOT INDICATE THAT GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WAS NOT AVAILABLE FROM CHARLESTON TO PUERTO RICO. NEITHER IS THERE ANY INDICATION IN THE ARMY REPORT THAT YOU REQUESTED GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION FOR THE REQUIRED TRAVEL. IN THIS REGARD WHEN THE ARMY REFERRED YOUR CLAIM TO THIS OFFICE IT RECOMMENDED AGAINST PAYMENT.

SINCE THE ORDERS SHOW THAT CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA, WAS THE PORT OF EMBARKATION FOR YOUR TRAVEL TO PUERTO RICO AND THERE IS NO OFFICIAL EVIDENCE THAT GOVERNMENT OR GOVERNMENT-PROCURED TRANSPORTATION WAS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE TRAVEL FROM THAT PORT, REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE AIR TRAVEL PERFORMED IS LIMITED BY THE REGULATIONS TO THE COST OF SUCH TRAVEL TO THE GOVERNMENT. INASMUCH AS PAYMENT HAS BEEN MADE ON THAT BASIS, NO ADDITIONAL AMOUNT IS DUE YOU FOR YOUR TRAVEL. SEE B-170406, SEPTEMBER 8, 1970, COPY ENCLOSED. ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT DATED MAY 13, 1970, WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.

THE CHECK WHICH YOU RECEIVED IN PAYMENT OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION SETTLEMENT MAY BE CASHED WITHOUT PREJUDICE TO ANY FURTHER RIGHTS YOU MAY HAVE IN THE CASE.