B-23919, APRIL 15, 1942, 21 COMP. GEN. 927

B-23919: Apr 15, 1942

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PAYMENT OF THE EXPENSES OF AN ATTENDANT TO ACCOMPANY A NAVY ENLISTED MAN TO HIS HOME AFTER HIS DISCHARGE ON ACCOUNT OF PHYSICAL DISABILITY IS UNAUTHORIZED. IT WAS HELD IN THE REFERENCE THAT AN ENLISTED MAN ORDERED ON SICK LEAVE FOR A PERIOD OF RECUPERATION IS IN A DUTY STATUS. IS GRANTED THE LEAVE FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT. IS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION IN KIND TO AND FROM HIS HOME. ALSO FOR AN ATTENDANT TO ACCOMPANY HIM IF HE IS PHYSICALLY UNABLE TO TRAVEL ALONE. 2. FREQUENTLY OCCASIONS ARISE WHERE MEN DISCHARGED ON ACCOUNT OF PHYSICAL DISABILITY ARE UNABLE TO TRAVEL ALONE AND REQUIRE AN ATTENDANT. THERE IS. SINCE IT IS A GOVERNMENT OBLIGATION TO GET A MAN HOME. IT IS. REQUESTED THAT THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL BE REQUESTED TO DECIDE WHETHER A MAN DISCHARGED BY MEDICAL SURVEY MAY BE FURNISHED AN ATTENDANT TO ACCOMPANY HIM TO HIS HOME IN THE EVENT HE IS PHYSICALLY UNABLE TO TRAVEL ALONE.

B-23919, APRIL 15, 1942, 21 COMP. GEN. 927

ATTENDANT FOR NAVY ENLISTED MAN AFTER DISCHARGE FOR PHYSICAL DISABILITY IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY PROVISION THEREFOR, PAYMENT OF THE EXPENSES OF AN ATTENDANT TO ACCOMPANY A NAVY ENLISTED MAN TO HIS HOME AFTER HIS DISCHARGE ON ACCOUNT OF PHYSICAL DISABILITY IS UNAUTHORIZED.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, APRIL 15, 1942:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 14, 1942, TOGETHER WITH A LETTER FROM THE CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF NAVIGATION, DATED FEBRUARY 11, 1942, AS FOLLOWS: SUBJECT: TRANSPORTATION OF ATTENDANTS FOR SICK OR DISABLED PERSONNEL

DISCHARGED BY MEDICAL SURVEY. REFERENCE: DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL DATED NOVEMBER 9,

1921, APPEAL NO. 37527, IN CASE OF ELLIS F. DEWITT, F1C, USN.

1. IT WAS HELD IN THE REFERENCE THAT AN ENLISTED MAN ORDERED ON SICK LEAVE FOR A PERIOD OF RECUPERATION IS IN A DUTY STATUS, ENTITLED TO THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE FOR SUCH PERIOD, IS GRANTED THE LEAVE FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT, IS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION IN KIND TO AND FROM HIS HOME, AND ALSO FOR AN ATTENDANT TO ACCOMPANY HIM IF HE IS PHYSICALLY UNABLE TO TRAVEL ALONE.

2. FREQUENTLY OCCASIONS ARISE WHERE MEN DISCHARGED ON ACCOUNT OF PHYSICAL DISABILITY ARE UNABLE TO TRAVEL ALONE AND REQUIRE AN ATTENDANT. AS TO THE MEN THEMSELVES THE CURRENT APPROPRIATION ACT PROVIDES FOR TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE TO THEIR HOMES IF RESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES, OR IN LIEU THEREOF TO A TRAVEL ALLOWANCE OF FIVE CENTS PER MILE TO THE PLACE OF ACCEPTANCE FOR ENLISTMENT, IF DISCHARGED UNDER HONORABLE CONDITIONS, UNDER PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 22, 1922 (42 STAT. 1021). THERE IS, HOWEVER, NO PROVISION FOR AN ATTENDANT IN CONNECTION WITH THE PAYMENT OF EITHER ALLOWANCE.

3. SINCE IT IS A GOVERNMENT OBLIGATION TO GET A MAN HOME, WHETHER BY REASON OF MEDICAL SURVEY DISCHARGE, OR ON LEAVE FOR THE PURPOSE OF RECUPERATION, IT APPEARS THAT THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE SIMILAR IN BOTH CASES. IT IS, THEREFORE, REQUESTED THAT THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL BE REQUESTED TO DECIDE WHETHER A MAN DISCHARGED BY MEDICAL SURVEY MAY BE FURNISHED AN ATTENDANT TO ACCOMPANY HIM TO HIS HOME IN THE EVENT HE IS PHYSICALLY UNABLE TO TRAVEL ALONE.

AS TO THE MAN HIMSELF, THERE IS NO QUESTION AS TO THE AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT TO HIM EITHER OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCE AT 5 CENTS PER MILE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 22, 1922, 42 STAT. 1021, OR THE FURNISHING OF TRANSPORTATION TO HIS HOME, IF A RESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, WITH SUBSISTENCE AND TRANSFERS EN ROUTE, OR CASH IN LIEU THEREOF, UNDER THE PROVISIONS APPEARING IN THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACTS FOR THE NAVAL SERVICE--- FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1943, PUBLIC NO. 441, APPROVED FEBRUARY 7, 1942, 56 STAT. 63.

AN ENLISTED MAN UPON DISCHARGE IS EFFECTIVELY SEPARATED FROM THE NAVAL SERVICE AND NORMALLY THE CUSTODY AND CONTROL BY NAVAL AUTHORITIES THEN AND THERE CEASES. HIS DISCHARGE ABSOLUTELY TERMINATES ANY CONTRACTUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE GOVERNMENT. UNITED STATES V. SMITH 67 F./2D) 412, AFFIRMED 292 U.S. 337, 78 L.ED. 1295. IN THE ABSENCE OF A SPECIFIC PROVISION THEREFOR, THE OBLIGATION OF THE GOVERNMENT TO FURNISH TRANSPORTATION OR PAY TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS LIMITED TO THAT FIXED IN THE STATUTES REFERRED TO, AND PAYMENT OF THE EXPENSES OF AN ATTENDANT TO ACCOMPANY A DISCHARGED PERSON IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

WHETHER THE DECISION OF NOVEMBER 9, 1921, OF THE FORMER COMPTROLLER GENERAL, 3 MS. COMP. GEN. 412, WOULD BE FOLLOWED IN A CASE ARISING UNDER SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES NEED NOT NOW BE DECIDED.