B-179416, APR 9, 1974, 53 COMP GEN 760

B-179416: Apr 9, 1974

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TRAILER ALLOWANCES - MILITARY PERSONNEL - "CENTS A MILE" RATE - MILEAGE COMPUTATION WHERE MEMBER OF UNIFORMED SERVICES IS ENTITLED UNDER PROVISIONS OF 37 U.S.C. 409 TO MOVEMENT OF HOUSETRAILER BETWEEN A POINT IN ALASKA AND A POINT IN THE CONTIGUOUS STATES NOT CONNECTED BY HIGHWAY THE DISTANCE FOR PURPOSE OF THE "CENTS A MILE" PROVISION OF SECTION 709 MAY BE COMPUTED BY MEANS OTHER THAN HIGHWAY MILEAGE PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH M10007. WE ARE INFORMED BY THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY THAT THE MEMBER WHO RECEIVED PERMANENT CHANGE-OF-STATION ORDERS DIRECTING HIM TO PROCEED FROM ANCHORAGE. IS ENTITLED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH M10004-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (JTR) TO SHIP HIS HOUSETRAILER THROUGH THE USE OF GOVERNMENT PROCURED TRANSPORTATION.

B-179416, APR 9, 1974, 53 COMP GEN 760

TRAILER ALLOWANCES - MILITARY PERSONNEL - "CENTS A MILE" RATE - MILEAGE COMPUTATION WHERE MEMBER OF UNIFORMED SERVICES IS ENTITLED UNDER PROVISIONS OF 37 U.S.C. 409 TO MOVEMENT OF HOUSETRAILER BETWEEN A POINT IN ALASKA AND A POINT IN THE CONTIGUOUS STATES NOT CONNECTED BY HIGHWAY THE DISTANCE FOR PURPOSE OF THE "CENTS A MILE" PROVISION OF SECTION 709 MAY BE COMPUTED BY MEANS OTHER THAN HIGHWAY MILEAGE PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH M10007, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. COMMERCIAL SHIPMENT OF THE TRAILER MAY BE AUTHORIZED, PAYMENT BEING LIMITED TO 74 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE COMPUTED WITHOUT REFERENCE TO HIGHWAY MILEAGE.

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY, APRIL 9, 1974:

THIS REFERS FURTHER TO LETTER DATED JULY 23, 1973, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY (MANPOWER AND RESERVE AFFAIRS) FORWARDED HERE BY LETTER OF JULY 26, 1973, FROM THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE (CONTROL NO. 73-33) CONCERNING THE SHIPMENT OF THE HOUSETRAILER OF A MEMBER FROM ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, TO BETHEL, ALASKA, INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION.

WE ARE INFORMED BY THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY THAT THE MEMBER WHO RECEIVED PERMANENT CHANGE-OF-STATION ORDERS DIRECTING HIM TO PROCEED FROM ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, TO BETHEL, ALASKA, IS ENTITLED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH M10004-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (JTR) TO SHIP HIS HOUSETRAILER THROUGH THE USE OF GOVERNMENT PROCURED TRANSPORTATION. IT IS STATED THAT IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH M10004 3, JTR, THE AMOUNT OF THE TRAILER ALLOWANCE TO BE PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT IS LIMITED TO THE LOWEST OF THREE CEILINGS, AND THAT IN THIS CONNECTION IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED THAT A RATE OF $0.74 PER MILE IS APPLICABLE FOR THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE FROM ANCHORAGE TO BETHEL.

THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY STATES THAT PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH M4155-4, JTR, THE COMMANDING GENERAL, FINANCE CENTER, U.S. ARMY, INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, WAS REQUESTED TO PROVIDE AN OFFICIAL DISTANCE FROM ANCHORAGE TO BETHEL, AND THAT THE FINANCE CENTER REPLIED THAT SINCE NO HIGHWAY EXISTS BETWEEN THESE TWO POINTS, THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE WOULD BE ZERO (0) MILES. CONSEQUENTLY, IT IS INDICATED THAT ALTHOUGH THE SHIPMENT OF A HOUSETRAILER IS AUTHORIZED IN CONNECTION WITH THE PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION IN THIS CASE, BECAUSE AN OFFICIAL DISTANCE CANNOT BE DETERMINED, NO ALLOWANCE CAN BE PAID.

IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, OUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER COMMERCIAL SHIPPING MAY BE AUTHORIZED.

SECTION 409 OF TITLE 37, U.S. CODE, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED AND IN PLACE OF THE TRANSPORTATION OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OR PAYMENT OF A DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE, A MEMBER *** MAY TRANSPORT A HOUSETRAILER OR MOBILE DWELLING WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, WITHIN ALASKA, OR BETWEEN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, WITHIN ALASKA, OR BETWEEN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND ALASKA, FOR USE AS A RESIDENCE BY ONE OF THE FOLLOWING MEANS -

(1) TRANSPORT THE TRAILER OR DWELLING AND RECEIVE A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN PLACE OF TRANSPORTATION AT A RATE TO BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED BUT NOT MORE THAN 20 CENTS A MILE;

(2) DELIVER THE TRAILER OR DWELLING TO AN AGENT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR TRANSPORTATION BY THE UNITED STATES OR BY COMMERCIAL MEANS; OR

(3) TRANSPORT THE TRAILER OR DWELLING BY COMMERCIAL MEANS AND BE REIMBURSED BY THE UNITED STATES SUBJECT TO SUCH RATES AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED.

HOWEVER, THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION UNDER CLAUSE (2) OR THE REIMBURSEMENT UNDER CLAUSE (3) MAY NOT BE MORE THAN THE LESSER OF (A) THE CURRENT AVERAGE COST FOR THE COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION OF A HOUSETRAILER OR MOBILE DWELLING; (B) 74 CENTS A MILE; OR (C) THE COST OF TRANSPORTING THE BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF THE MEMBER OR HIS DEPENDENT PLUS THE DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED IN SECTION 407 OF THIS TITLE. ***

PARAGRAPH M10004-3, JTR, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

3. CEILINGS. UNDER THE STATUTE AUTHORIZING TRAILER ALLOWANCES, THE AMOUNT TO BE PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT IS LIMITED TO THE LOWEST OF THE FOLLOWING THREE CEILINGS:

(1) $0.74 PER MILE;

(2) THE CURRENT AVERAGE COST FOR THE COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION OF A HOUSETRAILER;

3. THE COMBINED COST OF TRANSPORTING THE MAXIMUM WEIGHT ALLOWANCE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS OVER A LIKE DISTANCE FOR A MEMBER OF A CORRESPONDING PAY GRADE PLUS THE APPROPRIATE DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE, IF APPLICABLE.

IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED THAT ITEM 1 CURRENTLY CONSTITUTES THE LOWEST OF THE THREE CEILINGS EXCEPT WHERE APPLICABLE DIRECTIVES, REGULATIONS, OR LOCAL LAWS REQUIRE MOVEMENT OF HOUSETRAILERS BY INDIRECT OR CIRCUITOUS ROUTES. WHEN TRAILER MOVEMENT IS REQUIRED TO BE MADE OVER AN INDIRECT OR CIRCUITOUS ROUTE, AS PROVIDED IN PAR. M10007-1, A COMPARISON OF ITEMS 1 AND 3 IS NECESSARY IN ORDER TO DETERMINE THE LOWER CEILING.

PARAGRAPH M10007, JTR, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

2. BETWEEN DUTY STATIONS WITHIN THE UNITED STATES AND BETWEEN DUTY STATIONS WITHIN ALASKA. THE MAXIMUM AUTHORIZED DISTANCE FOR TRAILER ALLOWANCES WITHIN THE UNITED STATES AND WITHIN ALASKA WILL BE THE HIGHWAY DISTANCE BETWEEN THE POINTS THE MEMBER OTHERWISE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AS PRESCRIBED IN CHAPTER 8 OR THE HIGHWAY DISTANCE BETWEEN THE POINTS THE HOUSE TRAILER IS ACTUALLY TRANSPORTED, WHICHEVER DISTANCE IS SHORTER. WHEN AN INDIRECT OR CIRCUITOUS ROUTE IS REQUIRED IN THE TRANSPORTATION OF A HOUSE TRAILER, THE AUTHORIZED DISTANCE WILL BE COMPUTED AS PROVIDED IN SUBPAR.

WITH RESPECT TO COMPUTATION OF OFFICIAL DISTANCES PARAGRAPH 5 OF THE OFFICIAL TABLE OF DISTANCES (ARMY REGULATIONS 55-60, AIR FORCE MANUAL 177- 135, NAVY PUBLICATION P-2471) PROVIDES THAT "THE DISTANCES IN MILES HAVE BEEN COMPUTED OVER THE SHORTEST, USUALLY TRAVELED HIGHWAY ROUTES AS SHOWN ON THE LATEST AVAILABLE HIGHWAY MAPS. ***"

THE ACT OF AUGUST 7, 1964, PUBLIC LAW 88-406, 78 STAT. 383, AMENDED SECTION 409 OF TITLE 37, U.S. CODE, TO AUTHORIZE THE MOVEMENT OF HOUSETRAILERS OR MOBILE DWELLINGS OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES BETWEEN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND ALASKA AND WITHIN ALASKA, AND ALSO PROVIDED FOR SHIPMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT IN ADDITION TO GOVERNMENT ARRANGED COMMERCIAL SHIPMENT.

THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE LAW REFERS TO THE INTENT OF CONGRESS TO PROVIDE AUTHORIZATION FOR SHIPMENT OF HOUSETRAILERS TO PLACES IN ALASKA WHICH ARE INACCESSIBLE BY HIGHWAY OR BY COMMERCIAL CARRIER. SEE PAGES 9178 AND 9179, HEARING OF SUBCOMMITTEE NO.2, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, ON H.R. 8954, 88TH CONGRESS, APRIL 14, 1964, WHICH BECAME PUBLIC LAW 88-406.

CLEARLY, UNDER THE LAW COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION MAY BE AUTHORIZED TO LOCATIONS NOT SERVED BY HIGHWAY, AND IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, OFFICIAL DISTANCE MUST BE COMPUTED BY OTHER THAN HIGHWAY MILEAGE.

CONSEQUENTLY, FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING PAYMENT FOR HOUSETRAILER OR MOBILE HOME TRANSPORTATION AT THE "CENTS A MILE" RATE PROVIDED IN 37 U.S.C. 409, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN TWO LOCATIONS NOT SERVED BY HIGHWAY MAY BE DETERMINED BY MEANS OTHER THAN HIGHWAY MILEAGE, SUCH AS THE COMMON CARRIER MILEAGE, AND THAT DISTANCE MAY BE REGARDED AS THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE.

IN THIS REGARD, WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED BY OUR TRANSPORTATION AND CLAIMS DIVISION THAT THE DISTANCE FROM ANCHORAGE TO BETHEL VIA FOSS ALASKA LINES (CONVERTED FROM NAUTICAL MILES) IS 1,636.45 MILES.

THEREFORE, COMMERCIAL SHIPPING MAY BE AUTHORIZED BASED ON THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE BETWEEN ANCHORAGE AND BETHEL, ALASKA, AS DETERMINED IN ACCORD WITH THE FOREGOING.