B-174661, MAR 2, 1972, 51 COMP GEN 548

B-174661: Mar 2, 1972

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WHICH WAS AUTHORIZED UNDER ORDERS PROVIDING FOR SUBSEQUENT TEMPORARY DUTY TO ATTEND SCHOOL IN RHODE ISLAND. IS DIRECTED TO RETURN TO HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION UPON COMPLETION OF HIS LEAVE IS ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCES EQUIVALENT TO THE ROUND-TRIP DISTANCE BETWEEN HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION AND LEAVE POINT. EVEN THOUGH ORDINARILY SUCH ALLOWANCES ARE NOT PAYABLE FOR LEAVE TRAVEL PERFORMED FOR PERSONAL REASONS AND NOT PUBLIC BUSINESS. TRAVEL HE WOULD NOT HAVE UNDERTAKEN HAD HE HAD BEEN ORDERED TO PERFORM THE TEMPORARY DUTY. 1972: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JUNE 28. WHICH DELAY WAS REPORTEDLY TO BE TAKEN AS LEAVE. ALSO AUTHORIZED WERE ADVANCE MILEAGE AT THE RATE OF $0.05 PER MILE AND A MAXIMUM OF 24 HOURS TRAVEL TIME.

B-174661, MAR 2, 1972, 51 COMP GEN 548

TRAVEL EXPENSES - MILITARY PERSONNEL - LEAVES OF ABSENCE - TEMPORARY DUTY TERMINATION A NAVY ENLISTED MEMBER STATIONED IN CALIFORNIA WHO WHILE ON LEAVE IN BALTIMORE, WHICH WAS AUTHORIZED UNDER ORDERS PROVIDING FOR SUBSEQUENT TEMPORARY DUTY TO ATTEND SCHOOL IN RHODE ISLAND, IS DIRECTED TO RETURN TO HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION UPON COMPLETION OF HIS LEAVE IS ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCES EQUIVALENT TO THE ROUND-TRIP DISTANCE BETWEEN HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION AND LEAVE POINT, NOT TO EXCEED THE ROUND-TRIP DISTANCE BETWEEN HIS PERMANENT AND TEMPORARY DUTY STATIONS, EVEN THOUGH ORDINARILY SUCH ALLOWANCES ARE NOT PAYABLE FOR LEAVE TRAVEL PERFORMED FOR PERSONAL REASONS AND NOT PUBLIC BUSINESS, SINCE THE MEMBER PERFORMED THE CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL TO HIS LEAVE POINT UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS, TRAVEL HE WOULD NOT HAVE UNDERTAKEN HAD HE HAD BEEN ORDERED TO PERFORM THE TEMPORARY DUTY. B-166236, MAY 21, 1969, MODIFIED.

TO E. L. BURGESS, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, MARCH 2, 1972:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JUNE 28, 1971, FILE REFERENCE V/MC 4650, FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE BY 6TH INDORSEMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE, IN WHICH YOU REQUEST AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE ENTITLEMENT OF BU3 WILLIAM M. SWINK, B23 45 46, USN, TO REINBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL PERFORMED IN THE DESCRIBED CIRCUMSTANCES. YOUR REQUEST FOR DECISION HAS BEEN ASSIGNED CONTROL NO. 71 -53 BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE.

TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY ORDERS, FILE NO./DESIGNATOR 1326, DATED APRIL 16, 1971, DIRECTED MR. SWINK TO PROCEED AND REPORT NO LATER THAN APRIL 26, 1971, TO DAVISVILLE, RHODE ISLAND, FOR APPROXIMATELY 8 WEEKS' TEMPORARY DUTY IN CONNECTION WITH BU "C" SCHOOL. THOSE ORDERS AUTHORIZED 10 DAYS' DELAY IN REPORTING PRIOR TO THE SCHOOL'S CONVENING DATE, WHICH DELAY WAS REPORTEDLY TO BE TAKEN AS LEAVE. ALSO AUTHORIZED WERE ADVANCE MILEAGE AT THE RATE OF $0.05 PER MILE AND A MAXIMUM OF 24 HOURS TRAVEL TIME.

YOU INDICATE THAT MR. SWINK DEPARTED FROM HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION, PORT HUENEME, CALIFORNIA, ON APRIL 16, 1971, AND TRAVELED TO HIS LEAVE POINT, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND. ON APRIL 22, 1971, WHILE ON LEAVE IN BALTIMORE, HE RECEIVED A TELEGRAM FROM HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION ADVISING HIM THAT HIS ORDERS HAD BEEN CANCELLED AND DIRECTING HIM TO RETURN TO HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION UPON COMPLETION OF HIS LEAVE. THIS HE APPARENTLY DID.

MR. SWINK'S TRAVEL ADVANCE IN THE AMOUNT OF $150.35 REMAINS OUTSTANDING. YOU QUESTION MR. SWINK'S ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES AND, SPECIFICALLY YOU ASK WHETHER CHAPTER 6, PARK M OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS APPLICABLE IN THIS CASE.

SECTION 404 OF TITLE 37, U.S.C. AUTHORIZES THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES TO MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHILE TRAVELING UNDER ORDERS AWAY FROM THEIR POSTS OF DUTY, UNDER REGULATIONS AND CONDITIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED. PURSUANT TO 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 ONLY WHILE ACTUALLY 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 PERFORMED FOR PERSONAL REASONS AND NOT 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).

IN THIS CASE MR. SWINK DEPARTED FROM PORT HUENEME PURSUANT TO COMPETENT ORDERS AND TRAVELED TO BALTIMORE BY A CIRCUITOUS ROUTE WHERE HE USED HIS LEAVE, AUTHORIZED IN ADVANCE FOR SUCH PURPOSE, PRIOR TO THE DATE HE WAS TO REPORT TO HIS TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT AT DAVISVILLE.

PART M, CHAPTER 6 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO WHICH YOU REFER, APPLIES TO MEMBERS WHO DEPART FROM THEIR DUTY STATIONS ON LEAVE AND, DOES NOT APPLY TO MEMBERS WHO DEPART PURSUANT TO COMPETENT ORDERS FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF TEMPORARY DUTY WITH TRAVEL TIME AND LEAVE AUTHORIZED IN CONJUNCTION THEREWITH. ACCORDINGLY, PART M HAS NO APPLICATION IN THIS CASE.

IN OUR DECISION B-166236, MAY 21, 1969, TO WHICH REFERENCE IS MADE IN ENCLOSURES RECEIVED WITH YOUR LETTER, WE DENIED A CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES IN A SITUATION SIMILAR TO MR. SWINK'S.IN THAT DECISION WE HELD THAT SINCE THE MEMBER INVOLVED DEPARTED FROM HIS DUTY STATION PRIOR TO THE TIME IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NECESSARY TO DEPART TO COMPLY WITH HIS ORDERS AND SUCH EARLY DEPARTURE WAS BECAUSE HE WAS GRANTED LEAVE, HIS TRAVEL WAS PREFORMED FOR PERSONAL REASONS AND WAS NOT REIMBURSABLE WHEN HIS TRAVEL ORDERS WERE CANCELLED.

IN OUR DECISION, B-173922, NOVEMBER 16, 1971, COPY ENCLOSED (CITING B 156013, FEBRUARY 26, 1965, INVOLVING A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE), WE HELD THAT WHEN THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE TRIP WAS FOR OFFICIAL BUSINESS, DESPITE THE FACT THAT THERE WAS AN EARLY DEPARTURE AND CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL FOR LEAVE PURPOSES, PAYMENT OF ALLOWANCES PROPERLY AUTHORIZED WOULD BE PERMITTED FOR NECESSARY TRAVEL. IN THE DECISION OF NOVEMBER 16, 1971, THE MEMBER INVOLVED TRAVELED TO HIS LEAVE POINT WHERE, WHILE IN A LEAVE STATUS, HE BECAME ILL AND RETURNED TO HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION FOR HIS CONVENIENCE WITHOUT GOING ON TO HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION.

IN THAT CASE WE CONCLUDED THAT THE MEMBER WAS ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED FOR THE OUTWARD TRAVEL TO A POINT ON A DIRECT ROUTE TO THE FIRST PLACE OF TEMPORARY DUTY EQUIVALENT TO THE DISTANCE BETWEEN HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION AND HIS LEAVE POINT. ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WAS NOT AUTHORIZED SINCE PARAGRAPH M4212 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDES THAT WHEN A MEMBER RETURNS TO HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION FOR PERSONAL REASONS DURING A PERIOD OF TEMPORARY DUTY, NO TRAVEL ALLOWANCES ARE CREDITABLE TO HIM WHILE HE IS IN A LEAVE STATUS.

IN THE INSTANT CASE THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE TRIP APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN FOR OFFICIAL BUSINESS DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE EARLY DEPARTURE AND CIRCUITOUS ROUTE WAS FOR LEAVE PURPOSES, WHICH LEAVE WAS FOR A REASONABLY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME, AUTHORIZED IN ADVANCE AND AT A PLACE IN THE GENERAL DIRECTION OF THE PLACE WHERE THE TEMPORARY DUTY WAS TO BE PERFORMED. THESE FACTS SUPPORT THE STATEMENT BY THE MEMBER TO THE EFFECT THAT DUE TO THE HIGH COST OF TRAVELING FROM CALIFORNIA TO MARYLAND HE WOULD NOT HAVE TAKEN LEAVE AND PERFORMED THIS TRAVEL HAD HE NOT BEEN ORDERED TO PERFORM THE TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY AT DAVISVILLE, RHODE ISLAND.

THE RECORD ALSO SHOWS THAT MR. SWINK RETURNED TO HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION WITHOUT GOING ON TO HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AS A RESULT OF AN ORDER TO RETURN, NOT FOR HIS PERSONAL CONVENIENCE. IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES PARAGRAPH M4212 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS HAS NO APPLICATION.

WE CONCLUDE, THEREFORE, THAT MR. SWINK IS ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCES FOR ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL BETWEEN PORT HUENEME AND A POINT ON A DIRECT ROUTE TO DAVISVILLE EQUIVALENT TO THE ROUND-TRIP DISTANCE BETWEEN PORT HUENEME AND BALTIMORE, NOT TO EXCEED THE ROUND-TRIP DISTANCE BETWEEN PORT HUENEME AND DAVISVILLE. THIS RULE IS CONSISTENT WITH THAT APPLIED IN OUR DECISION B-171804, MARCH 2, 1971, COPY ENCLOSED, INVOLVING A CIVILAN EMPLOYEE TRAVELING IN SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES. PER DIEM IS, OF COURSE, NOT CREDITABLE FOR ANY DAY IN WHICH THE MEMBER WAS IN A LEAVE STATUS. SEE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PARAGRAPH M4201-3.

TO THE EXTENT THAT THIS DECISION CONFLICTS WITH B-166236, MAY 21, 1969, AND OTHER SIMILAR DECISIONS, THEY WILL NO LONGER BE FOLLOWED.

MR. SWINK'S VOUCHER WITH SUPPORTING PAPERS IS RETURNED, PAYMENT THEREON BEING AUTHORIZED ON THE BASIS INDICATED ABOVE.