B-176654, APR 11, 1973

B-176654: Apr 11, 1973

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REIMBURSEMENT FOR MEALS IN TRANSIT AS TRAVEL TIME WAS ONLY TWO HOURS WITH DEPARTURE AT APPROXIMATELY 8 O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING. ORDERS WERE ISSUED AT THE UNITED STATES NAVAL STATION. THE ORDERS WERE ENDORSED TO SHOW THE MEMBERS' ARRIVAL ON NOVEMBER 23. THE ORIGINAL ORDERS WERE MODIFIED TO STATE THAT ADEQUATE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE NOT AVAILABLE AND THAT A GOVERNMENT MESS WAS AVAILABLE DURING THE ENTIRE PERIOD OF ASSIGNMENT TO THE NAVAL DISTRICT WASHINGTON. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WAS NOT AVAILABLE TO THEM. IT WAS SAID THAT. WHEN A MEMBER IS DIRECTED BY COMPETENT ORDERS TO TRAVEL AWAY FROM HIS POST OF DUTY. IT IS THE OBLIGATION OF THE GOVERNMENT TO FURNISH THE NECESSARY TRANSPORTATION TO ACCOMPLISH THIS TRAVEL OR TO REIMBURSE HIM FOR THE NECESSARY EXPENSES INCURRED IN ITS PERFORMANCE.

B-176654, APR 11, 1973

ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF PAYMENT OF CLAIMS FOR PER DIEM AND TRAVEL ALLOWANCES, PERFORMED FOR PURPOSES AT THEIR OWN DISCIPLINARY ACTION. HELD, MEMBERS MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR THE ACTUAL COST OF PERSONALLY PROCURED QUARTERS UPON PRESENTATION OF ACCEPTABLE EVIDENCE OF SUCH EXPENSES. FOR TRAVEL, ENTITLEMENT UPHELD FOR GAS AND OIL COSTS. REIMBURSEMENT FOR MEALS IN TRANSIT AS TRAVEL TIME WAS ONLY TWO HOURS WITH DEPARTURE AT APPROXIMATELY 8 O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING.

TO J. M. WEIGLE:

WE REFER FURTHER TO YOUR LETTER DATED MAY 25, 1972, WITH ATTACHMENTS, FILE REFERENCE 7240/1, FORWARDED HERE BY ENDORSEMENT OF JULY 28, 1972, FROM THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE (CONTROL NO. 72-36), REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF PAYMENT OF CLAIMS FOR PER DIEM AND TRAVEL ALLOWANCES SUBMITTED BY ANTONIO R. MARISTELA, CS3, USN, AND EDWIN S. A. CUDANIN, TN, USN.

ON NOVEMBER 18, 1971, THE COMMANDANT, NAVAL DISTRICT WASHINGTON, D.C., DETERMINED THE NECESSITY OF REOPENING PRETRIAL INVESTIGATION IN ACCORD WITH RECOMMENDED TRIAL BY GENERAL COURT-MARTIAL FOR THREE MEMBERS INCLUDING PETTY OFFICER MARISTELA AND SEAMAN CUDANIN. CONSEQUENTLY, ORDERS WERE ISSUED AT THE UNITED STATES NAVAL STATION, ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND, ON NOVEMBER 23, 1971, WHICH CONFIRMED THE COMMANDING OFFICER'S PRIOR VERBAL ORDERS REQUIRING THEM TO DEPART FROM THAT STATION ON THAT DAY AND REPORT AS TRANSPORTATION DIRECTS TO THE COMMANDANT, NAVAL DISTRICT WASHINGTON, D.C., FOR TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY AT NO COST TO THE GOVERNMENT PENDING DISPOSITION OF THE CHARGE ALLEGED AGAINST EACH OF THEM.

THE ORDERS WERE ENDORSED TO SHOW THE MEMBERS' ARRIVAL ON NOVEMBER 23, 1971, AT HEADQUARTERS, NAVAL DISTRICT WASHINGTON, D.C.; PETTY OFFICER MARISTELA'S DEPARTURE FROM THERE TO THE UNITED STATES NAVAL STATION, ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND, ON MARCH 8, 1972; AND SEAMAN CUDANIN'S DEPARTURE ON MARCH 29, 1972.

BY UNDATED MEMORANDUM ENDORSEMENTS, THE ORIGINAL ORDERS WERE MODIFIED TO STATE THAT ADEQUATE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE NOT AVAILABLE AND THAT A GOVERNMENT MESS WAS AVAILABLE DURING THE ENTIRE PERIOD OF ASSIGNMENT TO THE NAVAL DISTRICT WASHINGTON, D.C. YOU SAY THAT PURSUANT TO THE ABOVE ORDERS, BOTH MEMBERS PROCURED PRIVATE QUARTERS WHILE IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

IN ADDITION TO PER DIEM, PETTY OFFICER MARISTELA AND SEAMAN CUDANIN CLAIM MILEAGE ALLOWANCES OF $0.05 PER MILE FOR ROUND TRIP TRAVEL BY PRIVATE AUTOMOBILE BETWEEN ANNAPOLIS AND WASHINGTON, D.C. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WAS NOT AVAILABLE TO THEM.

IN 44 COMP. GEN. 80 (1964), IT WAS SAID THAT, GENERALLY, WHEN A MEMBER IS DIRECTED BY COMPETENT ORDERS TO TRAVEL AWAY FROM HIS POST OF DUTY, IT IS THE OBLIGATION OF THE GOVERNMENT TO FURNISH THE NECESSARY TRANSPORTATION TO ACCOMPLISH THIS TRAVEL OR TO REIMBURSE HIM FOR THE NECESSARY EXPENSES INCURRED IN ITS PERFORMANCE.

CONSISTENT WITH THIS VIEW, PARAGRAPH M5650 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, CHANGE 237, EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 1, 1972, PROVIDES THAT WHEN A MEMBER IS ORDERED TO PERFORM TRAVEL FOR THE PURPOSE OF DISCIPLINARY ACTION AND A GOVERNMENT CONVEYANCE IS NOT AVAILABLE, AND THE MEMBER UTILIZES A PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE TO PERFORM THE ORDERED TRAVEL, HE WILL BE REIMBURSED ONLY FOR THE COST OF GAS AND OIL. THE MEMBER WHO PERSONALLY PROCURES MEALS DURING PERIODS OF ACTUAL TRAVEL WILL BE REIMBURSED FOR THE COST OF SUCH MEALS NOT TO EXCEED THE VALUE PRESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH M2052- 3, JTR, FOR MEAL TICKETS. PAYMENT OF A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION OR PER DIEM ALLOWANCES WHILE TRAVELING OR WHILE AT THE DISCIPLINARY ACTION POINT IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

WHILE THE TRAVEL IN QUESTION WAS PERFORMED BEFORE NOVEMBER 1972, THE RATIONALE OF PARAGRAPH M5650 IS EQUALLY FOR APPLICATION TO THE MATTER NOW BEFORE US.

THE ORDERS RECEIVED BY PETTY OFFICER MARISTELA AND BY SEAMAN CUDANIN WERE GIVEN IN CONNECTION WITH THE DISPOSITION OF CHARGES MADE AGAINST THEM. SINCE THEY WERE NOT SUPPLIED WITH GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WHILE PRESENT IN WASHINGTON, D.C., IN OBEDIENCE TO THEIR ORDERS, THE MEMBERS MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR THE ACTUAL COST OF PERSONALLY PROCURED QUARTERS UPON THE PRESENTATION OF ACCEPTABLE EVIDENCE OF SUCH EXPENSES. THIS REIMBURSEMENT MAY NOT EXCEED THE DAILY PER DIEM ALLOWANCE ($15.70) PAYABLE TO ENLISTED MEMBERS WHERE GOVERNMENT MESS IS AVAILABLE BUT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS ARE NOT AVAILABLE OR UTILIZED (PAR. M4205-5D(3), JTR, CH. 226, NOVEMBER 1, 1971).

SIMILARLY, WHILE THE MEMBERS MAY NOT BE PAID MILEAGE ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL INCIDENT TO THE ORDERS OF NOVEMBER 23, 1971, THEY MAY BE REIMBURSED THE COST OF GAS AND OIL USED FOR THEIR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE, SINCE THEY WERE NOT AFFORDED GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION.

NO ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR MEALS WHILE IN TRANSIT AS PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH M2052-3 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS SHOWN AS THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE MEMBERS' TRAVEL TIME BETWEEN THE NAVAL DISTRICT, WASHINGTON, D.C., AND THE UNITED STATES NAVAL STATION ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND, WAS LESS THAN TWO HOURS AND THEY DEPARTED EACH OF THESE LOCATIONS AT APPROXIMATELY 8 O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING.

ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS ARE RETURNED HEREWITH FOR APPROPRIATE ACTION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE VIEWS STATED ABOVE.