B-209771-OM, FEB 25, 1983

B-209771-OM: Feb 25, 1983

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL: WE ARE FORWARDING THE CLAIM OF MAJOR J. HE WAS ORDERED TO PERFORM A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM GERMANY TO FT. BRAGG WAS TO BE MAY 12. THE TEMPORARY DUTY WAS DIRECTED TO BE PERFORMED STARTING NOVEMBER 12. MAJOR MARTIN WAS NOTIFIED BY ORDER NO. 57-21 DATED MARCH 23. THAT HE WAS RELIEVED FROM ASSIGNMENT AT FT. WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT THE ARMY INTENDED FOR THE CLAIMANT TO PERFORM A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION WITH TEMPORARY DUTY ENROUTE. ALTHOUGH THE ORDERS WERE WRITTEN IN A CONFUSING MANNER. CERTAIN QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN RAISED BY THE ARMY. 1. IS MAJOR MARTIN ENTITLED TO MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL FROM MCGUIRE AFB. IF THE ANSWER TO 2 ABOVE IS NO.

B-209771-OM, FEB 25, 1983

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL:

WE ARE FORWARDING THE CLAIM OF MAJOR J. THOMAS MARTIN, SSN: XXX-XX-XXXX FOR TRAVEL ALLOWANCES INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM GERMANY TO FORT LEAVENWORTH, KANSAS. HE WAS ORDERED TO PERFORM A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM GERMANY TO FT. BRAGG, NORTH CAROLINA, WITH SEPARATE TEMPORARY DUTY ORDERS FROM FORT BRAGG TO FT. HUACHUCA, ARIZONA. THE REPORTING DATE TO FT. BRAGG WAS TO BE MAY 12, 1981. HOWEVER, THE TEMPORARY DUTY WAS DIRECTED TO BE PERFORMED STARTING NOVEMBER 12, 1980. WHILE ON TEMPORARY DUTY AT FT. HUACHUCA, MAJOR MARTIN WAS NOTIFIED BY ORDER NO. 57-21 DATED MARCH 23, 1981, THAT HE WAS RELIEVED FROM ASSIGNMENT AT FT. BRAGG AND DIRECTED TO FT. LEAVENWORTH.

WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT THE ARMY INTENDED FOR THE CLAIMANT TO PERFORM A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION WITH TEMPORARY DUTY ENROUTE, ALTHOUGH THE ORDERS WERE WRITTEN IN A CONFUSING MANNER. HOWEVER, SINCE MAJOR MARTIN NEVER SIGNED IN AT FT. BRAGG, CERTAIN QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN RAISED BY THE ARMY.

1. CAN A SERVICE MEMBER BE DIRECTED TO PERFORM TEMPORARY DUTY FROM A STATION BEFORE HE HAS SIGNED INTO THAT DUTY STATION TO COMPLETE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION?

2. IS MAJOR MARTIN ENTITLED TO MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL FROM MCGUIRE AFB, TO FORT BRAGG, TO FORT HUACHUCA, TO FORT BRAGG, TO FT. LEAVENWORTH, AS INDICATED BY PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION AND TEMPORARY DUTY ORDERS?

3. IF THE ANSWER TO 2 ABOVE IS NO, HOW IS THE TIME SPENT AT FT. BRAGG (14 - 28 OCTOBER '80 AND 25 APRIL '81) TO BE ACCOUNTED FOR (DUTY, LEAVE, ETC.)?

4. IF THE REPORTING DATE ON THE PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDER (12 MAY '81) AND REPORTING DATE ON THE TEMPORARY DUTY ORDER (12 NOVEMBER '80) ARE CORRECT, IS THE TEMPORARY DUTY PERFORMED TO BE CONSIDERED AN ENROUTE TEMPORARY DUTY?

5. IF THE ANSWER TO 4 ABOVE IS YES, IS THE ENTITLEMENT TO TRAVEL BASED ON MILEAGE FROM MCGUIRE AFB TO FT. HUACHUCA (TEMPORARY DUTY POINT AND POINT WHERE DIVERSION ORDER WAS RECEIVED) TO FT. LEAVENWORTH?

6. DOES MAJOR MARTIN'S PER DIEM ALLOWANCE BEGIN WITH THE DATE HE REPORTED TO FT. HUACHUCA (9 NOVEMBER), THE WILL PROCEED DATE ON TEMPORARY DUTY ORDER (12 NOVEMBER '80), OR THE DATE THE COURSE STARTED WHICH HE WAS TO ATTEND (24 NOVEMBER '80), OR ANOTHER DATE?

IN VIEW OF THESE QUESTIONS, WE ARE SUBMITTING THE MATTER FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION AND SPECIFIC SETTLEMENT INSTRUCTIONS.

INDORSEMENT

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, AFMD - CLAIMS GROUP (ROOM 5858)

RETURNED. UPON REVIEW OF THIS MATTER, WE CONCLUDE THAT MAJOR MARTIN IS ENTITLED TO A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE BASED UPON THE OFFICIAL MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL DIRECTLY FROM MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE, NEW JERSEY, TO FORT HUACHUCA, AND THEN DIRECTLY FROM FORT HUACHUCA TO FORT LEAVENWORTH. HE IS ALSO ENTITLED TO MILEAGE FOR HIS DEPENDENT'S TRAVEL FROM MCGUIRE TO FORT BRAGG, AND THEN TO FORT LEAVENWORTH. WE ALSO FIND THAT MAJOR MARTIN IS NOT ENTITLED TO PER DIEM ALLOWANCE FOR THE PERIOD OF HIS DUTY AT FORT HUACHUCA. CHARGING OF LEAVE FOR THE TIME HE SPENT AT FORT BRAGG IN EXCESS OF AUTHORIZED TRAVELTIME APPEARS APPROPRIATE, BUT THAT IS A MATTER PRIMARILY FOR ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION BY THE ARMY.

FACTS

ORDERS ISSUED BY THE ARMY PERSONNEL CENTER, NURNBERG, GERMANY, DATED AUGUST 8, 1980, AS AMENDED AUGUST 27, 1980, DIRECTED MAJOR MARTIN TO PERFORM A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM NURNBERG, GERMANY, TO FORT BRAGG, NORTH CAROLINA. THE ORDERS DIRECTED HIM TO REPORT AT FORT BRAGG ON MAY 12, 1981, AND CONCURRENT TRAVEL OF HIS DEPENDENT WAS AUTHORIZED.

BY A SEPARATE TRAVEL ORDER ALSO DATED AUGUST 8, 1980, MAJOR MARTIN WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED ON OR ABOUT NOVEMBER 12, 1980, TO ATTEND A COURSE AT FORT HUACHUCA, ARIZONA, FROM NOVEMBER 24, 1980, TO APRIL 27, 1981. THOSE ORDERS WERE DESIGNATED AS "TEMPORARY DUTY ENROUTE", BUT ALSO INDICATED THE ITINERARY AS FROM FORT BRAGG TO FORT HUACHUCA.

IT APPEARS THAT WHAT WAS INTENDED BY THESE ORDERS WAS THAT MAJOR MARTIN WAS TO BE ASSIGNED TO FORT HUACHUCA FOR TRAINING FOR A PERIOD IN EXCESS OF 20 WEEKS AND THEN TRANSFERRED TO A NEW PERMANENT DUTY STATION, FORT BRAGG. THE STATEMENT IN THE TRAINING DUTY ORDERS THAT MAJOR MARTIN'S ITINERARY WAS TO BE FROM FORT BRAGG TO FORT HUACHUCA APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN IN ERROR SINCE UNDER HIS PERMANENT CHANGE-OF STATION ORDERS HE WAS NOT TO REPORT TO FORT BRAGG UNTIL MAY 1981 AND HE WAS NOT DIRECTED TO PERFORM ANY DUTY THERE PRIOR TO THAT TIME.

MAJOR MARTIN WAS FURNISHED AIR TRANSPORTATION FROM GERMANY TO MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE, NEW JERSEY, WHERE HE ARRIVED ON OCTOBER 5, 1980. HE TRAVELED BY PRIVATE AUTOMOBILE FROM MCGUIRE TO FORT BRAGG AND SETTLED HIS DEPENDENT THERE. HOWEVER, THE ORDERS DIRECTING A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TO FORT BRAGG SPECIFIED THAT MAJOR MARTIN WAS TO REPORT THERE ON MAY 12, 1981, NOR HAS HE BEEN ASSIGNED ANY TEMPORARY DUTY AT FORT BRAGG. THEREFORE, HE WAS NOT ALLOWED TO SIGN IN THERE AFTER HE ARRIVED ON OCTOBER 14.

MAJOR MARTIN LEFT FORT BRAGG ON OCTOBER 28, LEAVING HIS DEPENDENT BEHIND AND TRAVELING TO FORT HUACHUCA BY AUTOMOBILE. WHILE ON TEMPORARY DUTY THERE, HE RECEIVED ORDERS DATED MARCH 23, 1981, CHANGING HIS PERMANENT DUTY ASSIGNMENT FROM FORT BRAGG TO FORT LEAVENWORTH, KANSAS. HE RETURNED TO FORT BRAGG, JOINED HIS DEPENDENT, AND THEN THEY TRAVELED TO FORT LEAVENWORTH.

DISCUSSION

MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ARE ENTITLED UNDER 37 U.S.C. 404(A) (1976) TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL UNDER ORDERS UPON A CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION OR WHEN AWAY FROM THEIR PERMANENT DUTY STATION. THE AVAILABLE ALLOWANCES INCLUDE A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE BASED UPON THE DISTANCE "OVER THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE." 37 U.S.C. 404(D) (SUPP. IV, 1980). BY THE THEN CURRENT IMPLEMENTING REGULATION, "MILEAGE IS PAYABLE FOR THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE BETWEEN PERMANENT DUTY STATIONS, INCLUDING TRAVEL DIRECTED VIA TEMPORARY DUTY POINTS EN ROUTE ***." JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (1 JTR) PARA. 4151.

AS INDICATED ABOVE, MAJOR MARTIN TRAVELED TO FORT BRAGG IN OCTOBER 1980 EVEN THOUGH HE HAD NO TEMPORARY DUTY THERE AND WAS NOT SCHEDULED TO REPORT THERE ON HIS PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION UNTIL MAY 1981. HE WAS NOT ALLOWED TO SIGN IN AND JOIN HIS UNIT AT FORT BRAGG. HE DID, HOWEVER, LEAVE HIS DEPENDENT IN THE FORT BRAGG AREA.

REGARDLESS OF WHAT HIS ORDERS STATED, BECAUSE HIS TRAINING DUTY AT FORT HUACHUCA WAS FOR MORE THAN 20 WEEKS, FOR TRAVEL ALLOWANCES THAT IS TREATED AS HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION. SEE 1 JTR APPENDIX J (DEFINITION OF "PERMANENT STATION"); 24 COMP.GEN. 667 (1945), 34 COMP.GEN. 260 (1954) AND MATTER OF TUCK, B-204262, APRIL 12, 1982.

WHILE THE ORDERS DIRECTING HIM TO FORT HUACHUCA DID NOT SPECIFY ENTITLEMENT TO MOVE HIS DEPENDENT INCIDENT TO THAT DUTY, SINCE THE PERIOD OF THAT DUTY WAS IN EXCESS OF 20 WEEKS, IT APPEARS THAT HE WAS ENTITLED TO MOVE HIS DEPENDENT UNDER THOSE ORDERS, PRIOR TO HIS REPORTING TO HIS NEW PERMANENT STATION, FORT BRAGG, IN MAY 1981. 1 JTR PARA. M7000. WHILE MAJOR MARTIN'S TRAVEL ORDERS ERRONEOUSLY INDICATED THAT HE WAS TO DEPART FOR FORT HUACHUCA FROM FORT BRAGG, EVEN WHERE CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED OR HAS RESULTED FROM ERRONEOUS OFFICIAL INSTRUCTIONS, THE MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO NO MORE THAN WHAT HE WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO HAD HE TAKEN THE DIRECT ROUTE. 54 COMP.GEN. 850. THEREFORE, HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO THE ADDITIONAL MILEAGE ALLOWANCE FOR HIS TRAVEL IN OCTOBER FROM MCGUIRE TO FORT BRAGG. HOWEVER, HE IS ENTITLED TO THE MILEAGE ALLOWANCE FOR HIS DEPENDENT'S TRAVEL FROM MCGUIRE TO FORT BRAGG. 1 JTR PARA. M7003.

WHILE HE WAS AT FORT HUACHUCA, MAJOR MARTIN'S ASSIGNED PERMANENT DUTY STATION WAS CHANGED FROM FORT BRAGG TO FORT LEAVENWORTH. RATHER THAN TRAVELING DIRECTLY TO FORT LEAVENWORTH, HE RETURNED TO FORT BRAGG, AND HE AND HIS DEPENDENT THEN TRAVELED TO FORT LEAVENWORTH. HOWEVER, MAJOR MARTIN MAY ONLY BE PAID THE MILEAGE ALLOWANCE FOR HIS TRAVEL BASED UPON THE OFFICIAL MILEAGE DIRECTLY FROM FORT HUACHUCA, WHERE HE RECEIVED THE CHANGE OF PERMANENT DUTY STATION ORDERS, TO FORT LEAVENWORTH, HIS NEW PERMANENT DUTY STATION. 1 JTR PARA. M4151. HE IS ALSO ENTITLED TO THE ALLOWANCE FOR HIS DEPENDENT'S TRAVEL DIRECTLY FROM FORT BRAGG TO FORT LEAVENWORTH.

AS TO WHETHER THE TIME (OCTOBER 14-28, 1980, AND APRIL 25, 1981) MAJOR MARTIN SPENT AT FORT BRAGG SHOULD BE CONSIDERED DUTY, LEAVE, OR SOMETHING ELSE, SINCE IT APPEARS MAJOR MARTIN TRAVELED THERE FOR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE, NOT TO PERFORM DUTY, THE TIME HE SPENT THERE IN EXCESS OF HIS AUTHORIZED TRAVELTIME WOULD ORDINARILY BE CHARGED TO LEAVE. HOWEVER, THE CHARGING OF LEAVE AND THE AMOUNT TO BE CHARGED IS PRIMARILY A MATTER FOR ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION BY THE ARMY UNDER THE LEAVE REGULATIONS. SEE ARMY REGULATIONS 630-5, CHAPTER 7.

AS TO THE QUESTION OF WHEN MAJOR MARTIN'S PER DIEM ALLOWANCE BEGAN FOR TEMPORARY DUTY AT FORT HUACHUCA, SINCE HIS DUTY THERE WAS TO ATTEND A COURSE OF INSTRUCTION FOR MORE THAN 20 WEEKS, THAT WAS HIS PERMANENT STATION. PER DIEM IS NOT PAYABLE FOR DUTY AT THE MEMBER'S PERMANENT STATION. 1 JTR PARA. M3050, AND 49 COMP.GEN. 269 (1969). THUS, MAJOR MARTIN WAS NOT ENTITLED TO PER DIEM WHILE AT FORT HUACHUCA.