B-175588, MAY 12, 1972

B-175588: May 12, 1972

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HELLE'S CLAIM WILL BE GIVEN FURTHER CONSIDERATION. HELLE: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS DATED JANUARY 31 AND MARCH 27. WHICH WAS PRIOR TO JULY 14. BECAUSE OF THE CONFLICTING STATEMENTS AS TO THE DATES YOUR WIFE ACTUALLY PERFORMED THE TRAVEL ON WHICH YOUR CLAIM IS BASED. OUR CLAIMS DIVISION DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM ON THE BASIS THAT PARAGRAPH M7003-4 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IS AUTHORIZED A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION IN KIND FOR TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS PERFORMED AT PERSONAL EXPENSE PRIOR TO ISSUANCE OF ORDERS. PROVIDED THE VOUCHER IS SUPPORTED BY A STATEMENT OF THE COMMANDING OFFICER. OF THE HEADQUARTERS ISSUING THE CHANGE-OF-STATION ORDERS THAT THE MEMBER WAS ADVISED PRIOR TO ISSUANCE OF CHANGE-OF-STATION ORDERS THAT SUCH ORDERS WOULD BE ISSUED.

B-175588, MAY 12, 1972

MILITARY PERSONNEL - MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION - REIMBURSEMENT CONCERNING THE PRIOR DISALLOWANCE OF A CLAIM OF GREGORY A. HELLE FOR MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION FOR HIS WIFE BASED ON HER TRAVEL FROM HOPEWELL, VA., TO BODE, IOWA, INCIDENT TO CLAIMANT'S RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY WITH THE ARMY. GAO HAS NO AUTHORITY TO ALLOW CLAIMS NOT SUPPORTED BY CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE. CHARLES V UNITED STATES, 19 CT. CL. 316 (1884). UPON RECEIPT OF ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE OR A STATEMENT OF THE COMMANDING OFFICER AND A SATISFACTORY EXPLANATION OF THE DISCREPANCIES CONTAINED IN THE SUBMITTED VOUCHERS, MR. HELLE'S CLAIM WILL BE GIVEN FURTHER CONSIDERATION.

TO MR. GREGORY A. HELLE:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS DATED JANUARY 31 AND MARCH 27, 1972, IN WHICH YOU REQUEST REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT OF JANUARY 28, 1972, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION BASED ON YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL FROM HOPEWELL, VIRGINIA, TO BODE, IOWA, INCIDENT TO YOUR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY IN THE UNITED STATES ARMY EFFECTIVE AUGUST 22, 1971. SENATOR HAROLD E. HUGHES HAS EXPRESSED INTEREST IN YOUR CASE.

ORDERS DATED JULY 14, 1971, AS AMENDED BY ORDERS DATED AUGUST 11, 1971, RELIEVED YOU FROM ACTIVE DUTY AT FORT LEE VIRGINIA, EFFECTIVE AUGUST 22, 1971.

YOU INDICATE THAT INCIDENT TO YOUR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY YOUR WIFE TRAVELED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FROM HOPEWELL, VIRGINIA, TO BODE, IOWA, FOR WHICH TRAVEL YOU SUBMITTED A CLAIM DATED SEPTEMBER 1, 1971, TO THE UNITED STATES ARMY FINANCE CENTER. IN THAT CLAIM YOU STATED THAT YOUR WIFE PERFORMED SUCH TRAVEL ON JUNE 21 AND 22, 1971, WHICH WAS PRIOR TO JULY 14, 1971, THE DATE OF ISSUANCE OF YOUR RELEASE ORDERS. THE ARMY FINANCE CENTER APPARENTLY DISALLOWED THAT CLAIM. SUBSEQUENTLY, YOU SUBMITTED A SECOND CLAIM SIMILAR TO THE FIRST, EXCEPT THAT ON THE SECOND CLAIM YOU STATED THAT YOUR WIFE PERFORMED THE TRAVEL DURING THE PERIOD OF AUGUST 21 TO 23, 1971, SUBSEQUENT TO THE DATE OF YOUR RELEASE ORDERS. BECAUSE OF THE CONFLICTING STATEMENTS AS TO THE DATES YOUR WIFE ACTUALLY PERFORMED THE TRAVEL ON WHICH YOUR CLAIM IS BASED, THE ARMY FINANCE CENTER FORWARDED YOUR CLAIMS, AS BEING DOUBTFUL, TO THIS OFFICE FOR SETTLEMENT.

BY SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE DATED JANUARY 28, 1972, OUR CLAIMS DIVISION DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM ON THE BASIS THAT PARAGRAPH M7003-4 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IS AUTHORIZED A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION IN KIND FOR TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS PERFORMED AT PERSONAL EXPENSE PRIOR TO ISSUANCE OF ORDERS, PROVIDED THE VOUCHER IS SUPPORTED BY A STATEMENT OF THE COMMANDING OFFICER, OR HIS DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE, OF THE HEADQUARTERS ISSUING THE CHANGE-OF-STATION ORDERS THAT THE MEMBER WAS ADVISED PRIOR TO ISSUANCE OF CHANGE-OF-STATION ORDERS THAT SUCH ORDERS WOULD BE ISSUED. THE RECORD IN YOUR CASE CONTAINS NO SUCH STATEMENT. YOU WERE FURTHER ADVISED THAT IN VIEW OF THE CONFLICTING STATEMENTS AS TO THE DATE ON WHICH YOUR WIFE ACTUALLY PERFORMED THE TRAVEL, AND IN THE ABSENCE OF SOME DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE CLEARLY ESTABLISHING THE DATE THAT THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM.

IN YOUR LETTERS OF JANUARY 31 AND MARCH 27, 1972, YOU INDICATE THAT THE DATES OF YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL SHOWN ON YOUR FIRST CLAIM (JUNE 21 AND 22, 1971) WERE ERRONEOUS AND THAT YOU MADE A TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR ON THE FIRST CLAIM. YOU SAY THAT THE DATES SHOWN ON THE SECOND CLAIM (AUGUST 21 TO 23, 1971) WERE CORRECT AND YOU ASK WHAT TYPE OF DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE IS REQUIRED TO ENABLE US TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM. YOU ALSO SUBMITTED THE NAME OF A NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICER WHO YOU SAY HAS KNOWLEDGE OF THE DATES OF YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL AND REQUESTED THAT WE CONTACT HIM FOR VERIFICATION.

IN ADDITION TO THE DIFFERENCE IN THE DATES OF YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL SHOWN ON THE TWO CLAIM VOUCHERS SUBMITTED, THE FIRST VOUCHER SHOWS SPEEDOMETER READINGS OF "62,583 TO 64,016" WHEREAS THE SECOND VOUCHER SHOWING TRAVEL ON AUGUST 21-23, 1971, REFLECTS SPEEDOMETER READINGS OF "64,583 TO 65,883."

IT HAS LONG BEEN HELD THAT THE BURDEN IS UPON CLAIMANTS TO FURNISH EVIDENCE CLEARLY AND SATISFACTORILY ESTABLISHING THEIR CLAIMS, AND IN THE ABSENCE OF SUCH EVIDENCE, THIS OFFICE HAS NO AUTHORITY TO CERTIFY CLAIMS FOR PAYMENT. SEE CHARLES V. UNITED STATES, 19 CT. CL. 316 (1884); LONGWILL V UNITED STATES, 17 CT. CL. 288 (1881); AND 31 COMP. GEN. 340 (1952). THEREFORE, WE MUST AGAIN ADVISE YOU THAT IN VIEW OF THE CONFLICTING STATEMENTS MADE ON YOUR CLAIMS WE MAY NOT ALLOW PAYMENT UNTIL YOU PROVIDE US WITH A SATISFACTORY EXPLANATION OF THE DISCREPANCIES IN THE TWO CLAIMS, SUPPORTED BY ANY DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE AVAILABLE AS TO THE DATES OF THE TRAVEL. SUCH EVIDENCE COULD BE IN THE FORM OF AN AFFIDAVIT FROM SOMEONE (SUCH AS THE NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICER YOU MENTIONED) HAVING KNOWLEDGE OF THE ACTUAL DATES ON WHICH YOUR WIFE PERFORMED THE TRAVEL FROM YOUR LAST DUTY STATION TO BODE, IOWA. UPON RECEIPT OF SUCH EVIDENCE AS YOU MAY CARE TO SUBMIT WE WILL GIVE FURTHER CONSIDERATION TO YOUR CLAIM.