B-174328, SEP 28, 1972

B-174328: Sep 28, 1972

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

THE COST OF ANY UNAUTHORIZED TRAVEL IS BORNE BY THE MEMBER EVEN IF IT WOULD RESULT IN LESS EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT. THE MEMBER'S DECISION TO CHANGE THE LOCATION AT WHICH HE WAS TO TAKE THE SPECIAL LEAVE WAS NOT VALID AS THERE WAS NO ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL OF THAT CHANGE. SASSONE: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER RECEIVED HERE MARCH 27. YOU WERE AUTHORIZED 30 DAYS' SPECIAL LEAVE IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 703(B) OF TITLE 10. TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WAS AUTHORIZED FROM YOUR STATION TO LEAVE POINT AND RETURN. YOU WERE TO REPORT TO THE NEAREST MAC PASSENGER SERVICE COUNTER FOR THE PURPOSE OF ARRANGING APPROPRIATE FLIGHT RESERVATIONS FOR THE RETURN TRIP. YOU WERE FURNISHED GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION TO TORREJON AIRBASE (MADRID) SPAIN.

B-174328, SEP 28, 1972

MILITARY PERSONNEL - SPECIAL LEAVE - TRANSPORTATION COSTS - UNAUTHORIZED TRAVEL DECISION AFFIRMING THE DENIAL OF THE CLAIM OF MAJOR ANTONIO M.R.G. SASSONE, USAF, FOR THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION FROM MADRID, SPAIN, TO LONDON, ENGLAND, INCIDENT TO SPECIAL LEAVE AUTHORIZED TO BE TAKEN AT JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, DURING THE PERIOD DECEMBER 2, 1970, TO JANUARY 12, 1971, AND FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED AFTER THIS TRIP, BUT PRIOR TO RETURN TO MADRID, AND ALSO AFFIRMING THE CHARGE MADE TO MAJOR SASSONE FOR THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OF A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST UTILIZED BY HIM. SECTION 703(B) OF 10 U.S.C. PROVIDES FOR LEAVE AT AN AUTHORIZED PLACE SELECTED BY THE MEMBER AND FOR TRANSPORTATION AT THE EXPENSE OF THE GOVERNMENT TO AND FROM THAT PLACE; THE COST OF ANY UNAUTHORIZED TRAVEL IS BORNE BY THE MEMBER EVEN IF IT WOULD RESULT IN LESS EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT. THE MEMBER'S DECISION TO CHANGE THE LOCATION AT WHICH HE WAS TO TAKE THE SPECIAL LEAVE WAS NOT VALID AS THERE WAS NO ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL OF THAT CHANGE, OR ANY AMENDMENT TO THE TRAVEL ORDERS.

TO MAJOR ANTONIO M.R.G. SASSONE:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER RECEIVED HERE MARCH 27, 1972, IN EFFECT REQUESTING REVIEW OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION SETTLEMENT DATED DECEMBER 15, 1971, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION FROM MADRID, SPAIN, TO LONDON, ENGLAND, INCIDENT TO SPECIAL LEAVE TAKEN BY YOU DURING THE PERIOD DECEMBER 2, 1970, TO JANUARY 12, 1971, DENIED REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED AFTER YOU LEFT MADRID FOR LONDON AND BEFORE YOU RETURNED TO MADRID, AND ALSO CHARGED YOU WITH THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OF A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST WHICH YOU UTILIZED.

BY SPECIAL ORDER TA-2098, DATED NOVEMBER 16, 1970, YOU WERE AUTHORIZED 30 DAYS' SPECIAL LEAVE IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 703(B) OF TITLE 10, U.S.C. EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 2, 1970, WITH JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA AS YOUR SELECTED LEAVE POINT. TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WAS AUTHORIZED FROM YOUR STATION TO LEAVE POINT AND RETURN. THOSE ORDERS FURTHER PROVIDED THAT UPON ARRIVAL AT YOUR AERIAL PORT OF DEBARKATION (JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA), YOU WERE TO REPORT TO THE NEAREST MAC PASSENGER SERVICE COUNTER FOR THE PURPOSE OF ARRANGING APPROPRIATE FLIGHT RESERVATIONS FOR THE RETURN TRIP.

YOU LEFT YOUR AERIAL PORT OF EMBARKATION, KORAT RTAFB, THAILAND, ON DECEMBER 2, 1970, AND YOU WERE FURNISHED GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION TO TORREJON AIRBASE (MADRID) SPAIN, WHICH WE UNDERSTAND WAS ON THE NORMAL TRAVEL ROUTE FROM THAILAND TO YOUR AUTHORIZED LEAVE POINT IN SOUTH AFRICA. YOU WERE ISSUED A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST FOR YOUR TRAVEL FROM MADRID, SPAIN, TO JOHANNESBURG, AND RETURN TO MADRID.

HOWEVER, IT APPEARS THAT AFTER YOUR ARRIVAL AT TORREJON AIRBASE, SPAIN, YOU CHOSE NOT TO TRAVEL TO YOUR PREVIOUSLY APPROVED LEAVE POINT, BUT RATHER, DECIDED TO PROCEED TO LONDON, ENGLAND TO USE YOUR LEAVE. YOU USED THE TRANSPORTATION REQUEST TO SECURE PART OF YOUR AIR TRANSPORTATION FROM MADRID TO LONDON, AND FROM THERE TO NAPLES AND ROME, ITALY AND RETURN TO MADRID.

YOU SAY THAT AFTER YOU CHANGED YOUR ITINERARY AND ARRIVED IN LONDON, ENGLAND, YOU WENT TO THE AMERICAN EMBASSY FOR ASSISTANCE IN HAVING YOUR LEAVE ORDERS AND TRANSPORTATION REQUEST CHANGED TO SHOW LONDON, ENGLAND, AS YOUR SELECTED LEAVE POINT AND WERE ADVISED THAT NOTHING COULD BE DONE.

YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR $67.90, THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION FROM MADRID TO LONDON WAS DENIED. ADDITIONALLY, YOU CLAIMED REIMBURSEMENT FOR TAXI FARES OF $102; HOWEVER, PAYMENT FOR SUCH COSTS INCURRED IN LONDON, ENGLAND, AND NAPLES, ITALY ($57), WAS DENIED AND REIMBURSEMENT LIMITED TO $45. AND, SINCE YOU UTILIZED A GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST ISSUED FOR TRAVEL BETWEEN MADRID AND JOHANNESBURG TO PAY FOR OTHER TRAVEL COSTING $205.20, A CHARGE WAS ENTERED IN YOUR PAY ACCOUNT FOR $160.20 ($205.20- $45).

YOU SAY THAT 10 U.S.C. 703(B) PROVIDES THAT YOU ARE AUTHORIZED NOT MORE THAN 30 DAYS LEAVE EXCLUSIVE OF TRAVEL TIME, AT AN AUTHORIZED PLACE SELECTED BY YOURSELF AND THAT YOU ARE ENTITLED TO BE TRANSPORTED TO AND FROM THAT PLACE AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES. YOU SAY FURTHER THAT THERE ARE NO PROVISIONS THAT STATE THAT YOU CANNOT CHANGE YOUR SELECTED PLACE WHILE TRAVELING ENROUTE AS LONG AS YOU HAVE NOT COMPLETED TRAVEL THERETO. YOU CONTEND THAT SINCE YOU ELECTED TO CHANGE YOUR LEAVE POINT PRIOR TO THE EXECUTION OF TRAVEL FROM MADRID TO JOHANNESBURG, YOU SHOULD NOT BE PENALIZED MONETARILY, BECAUSE THERE WAS NO ADDITIONAL EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT IN EITHER TRAVEL TIME OR TRANSPORTATION COSTS RESULTING FROM YOUR TRAVEL TO LONDON, ENGLAND.

SECTION 703(B) OF TITLE 10, U.S.C. AS ADDED BY PUBLIC LAW 89-735, APPROVED NOVEMBER 2, 1966, 80 STAT. 1163, AND EXTENDED BY PUBLIC LAW 91 302, APPROVED JULY 2, 1970, 84 STAT. 368, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART:

"(B) UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, AND NOTWITHSTANDING SUBSECTION (A), A MEMBER WHO IS ON ACTIVE DUTY IN AN AREA DESCRIBED IN SECTION 310(A)(2) OF TITLE 37 AND WHO, BY REENLISTMENT, EXTENSION OF ENLISTMENT, OR OTHER VOLUNTARY ACTION, EXTENDS HIS REQUIRED TOUR OF DUTY IN THAT AREA FOR AT LEAST SIX MONTHS MAY BE -

"(1) AUTHORIZED NOT MORE THAN THIRTY DAYS OF LEAVE, EXCLUSIVE OF TRAVEL TIME, AT AN AUTHORIZED PLACE SELECTED BY THE MEMBER; AND

"(2) TRANSPORTED AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES TO AND FROM THAT PLACE."

IN CONNECTION WITH THE ABOVE, CHAPTER 5, PART J OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, ENTITLED "MEMBERS AUTHORIZED SPECIAL 30-DAY LEAVE FOR VOLUNTARY TOUR EXTENSIONS," PROVIDES IN PARAGRAPH M5502 THAT

"THE ISSUANCE OF TRANSPORTATION, AS CONTEMPLATED BY THIS PART, WILL BE SUPPORTED BY ORDERS ISSUED BY THE MEMBER'S COMMANDING OFFICER STATING THAT THE MEMBER HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED LEAVE IN ACCORDANCE WITH 10 U.S.C. 703(B), INDICATING THE LEAVE POINT SELECTED BY THE MEMBER, AND AUTHORIZING TRANSPORTATION AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES TO AND FROM THE LEAVE POINT SO INDICATED."

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU HAD RECEIVED COMPETENT ORDERS FOR TRAVEL TO A LEAVE POINT (JOHANNESBURG) SELECTED BY YOU, WHICH LEAVE POINT WAS APPROVED BY THE APPROPRIATE ORDER ISSUING AUTHORITY PRIOR TO YOUR TRAVEL AND SO STATED IN YOUR ORDERS. YOU WERE GIVEN A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST FOR TRAVEL TO THAT LEAVE POINT BASED UPON THOSE ORDERS. THE TRAVEL WHICH YOU ACTUALLY PERFORMED AFTER LEAVING MADRID, SPAIN, WAS TO A DESTINATION OTHER THAN THE RECOGNIZED AND APPROVED LEAVE POINT AND NO SUPPLEMENTAL OR MODIFYING ORDERS WERE ISSUED TO YOU AUTHORIZING YOU TO PROCEED TO THE NEW LEAVE DESTINATION SELECTED BY YOU.

THE STATUTE EXPRESSLY PROVIDES FOR LEAVE AT AN AUTHORIZED PLACE SELECTED BY THE MEMBER, AND FOR TRANSPORTATION AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES TO AND FROM THAT PLACE. UNDER THE STATUTE A MEMBER WHO HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED LEAVE AT AN AUTHORIZED LOCATION WHICH HE HAS SELECTED HAS NO RIGHT TO CHANGE THE LEAVE POINT WITHOUT ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORIZATION. AND, IF HE PROCEEDS TO AN UNAUTHORIZED PLACE WHICH HE MIGHT SELECT, TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM THAT PLACE AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

THEREFORE, SINCE YOUR TRAVEL FROM MADRID TO LONDON, NAPLES AND RETURN TO MADRID WAS NOT TO AND FROM AN AUTHORIZED PLACE OF LEAVE, SUCH TRANSPORTATION COSTS WERE NOT AUTHORIZED AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES, BUT MUST BE BORNE BY YOU.

THE FACT THAT GOVERNMENT PAYMENT FOR YOUR TRAVEL AS PERFORMED WOULD RESULT IN LESS EXPENSE THAN IF YOU HAD PROCEEDED TO JOHANNESBURG, YOUR AUTHORIZED LEAVE POINT, PROVIDES NO LEGAL BASIS UPON WHICH SUCH PAYMENT MAY BE MADE.

ACCORDINGLY, THE ACTION OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IS SUSTAINED.