B-34786, OCTOBER 23, 1943, 23 COMP. GEN. 303

B-34786: Oct 23, 1943

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THE DEPENDENT WIFE OF A NAVY ENLISTED MAN WAS PRECLUDED FROM TRAVELING TO HIS NEW PERMANENT STATION PRIOR TO RECEIPT OF AN ORDER INVOLVING ANOTHER PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. WHICH LATTER ORDER WAS ISSUED MORE THAN SIXTY DAYS AFTER THE FIRST ORDER. PAYMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES OF THE DEPENDENT IS LIMITED. 1943: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MAY 26. AS FOLLOWS: THERE IS TRANSMITTED HEREWITH TRAVEL EXPENSE CLAIM OF GEORGE E. WHICH TRAVEL WAS COMPLETED ON MARCH 19. IT APPEARS FROM THE ENCLOSURE THAT TRAVEL OF ISAAC'S DEPENDENT WIFE FROM SAN DIEGO TO NORFOLK WAS NOT POSSIBLE OF PERFORMANCE BY HER AT THE TIME OR WITHIN SIXTY DAYS AFTER THE HOME PORT OF THE U.S.S. MOFFETT WAS CHANGED FROM SAN DIEGO TO NORFOLK ON SEPTEMBER 25.

B-34786, OCTOBER 23, 1943, 23 COMP. GEN. 303

TRANSPORTATION - DEPENDENTS - NAVY ENLISTED MAN - SICKNESS PRECLUDING TRAVEL TO NEW STATION UNTIL AFTER ANOTHER CHANGE OF STATION WHERE, DUE TO SICKNESS, THE DEPENDENT WIFE OF A NAVY ENLISTED MAN WAS PRECLUDED FROM TRAVELING TO HIS NEW PERMANENT STATION PRIOR TO RECEIPT OF AN ORDER INVOLVING ANOTHER PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, WHICH LATTER ORDER WAS ISSUED MORE THAN SIXTY DAYS AFTER THE FIRST ORDER, PAYMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES OF THE DEPENDENT IS LIMITED, UNDER SECTION 12 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942 AND NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS, TO THE COMMERCIAL COST OF TRANSPORTATION FROM THE LAST PERMANENT STATION TO THE ULTIMATE NEW STATION.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, OCTOBER 23, 1943:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MAY 26, 1943, AS FOLLOWS:

THERE IS TRANSMITTED HEREWITH TRAVEL EXPENSE CLAIM OF GEORGE E. ISAAC, CHIEF COMMISSARY STEWARD, U.S. NAVY, COVERING TRANSPORTATION OF HIS DEPENDENT WIFE FROM SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, TO NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE, WHICH TRAVEL WAS COMPLETED ON MARCH 19, 1943, TOGETHER WITH LETTER OF CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL, DATED MAY 21, 1943.

IT APPEARS FROM THE ENCLOSURE THAT TRAVEL OF ISAAC'S DEPENDENT WIFE FROM SAN DIEGO TO NORFOLK WAS NOT POSSIBLE OF PERFORMANCE BY HER AT THE TIME OR WITHIN SIXTY DAYS AFTER THE HOME PORT OF THE U.S.S. MOFFETT WAS CHANGED FROM SAN DIEGO TO NORFOLK ON SEPTEMBER 25, 1940, DUE TO HER PHYSICAL CONDITION AS STATED IN THE ENCLOSED FIRST ENDORSEMENT OF MAY 11, 1943, FROM THE MEDICAL OFFICER IN COMMAND, U. S. NAVAL HOSPITAL, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA.

ARTICLE 2505-13 (B), U.S. NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS, PROVIDED, RELATIVE TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS INVOLVING SUBSEQUENT CHANGE OF STATION PRIOR TO TRAVEL, AS FOLLOWS:

"/B) WHEN THE TIME BETWEEN THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE FIRST ORDER AND THE ISSUE OF THE SECOND ORDER IS MORE THAN 60 DAYS AND THE DEPENDENTS HAVE NOT TRAVELED ON THE FIRST ORDER, TRANSPORTATION IS AUTHORIZED ONLY ON THE BASIS OF TRAVEL FROM THE FIRST NEW STATION TO THE FINAL NEW STATION.' THIS PROVISION IN NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS IS BASED ON THE RULING OF THE ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY OF DECEMBER 4, 1920 (27 COMP. DEC. 510), AS STATED IN THE ENCLOSURE.

IN CONNECTION WITH THE FOREGOING, YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED ON THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT EXCEPTIONS MAY BE MADE TO THE GENERAL RULE, AS STATED ABOVE, WHERE MEDICAL EVIDENCE IS SUBMITTED SHOWING THE INABILITY OF THE DEPENDENTS TO PERFORM TRAVEL DURING THE SPECIFIED TIME IN CASES WHERE SUBSEQUENT CHANGES OF STATIONS ARE MADE PRIOR TO PERFORMANCE OF TRAVEL BY THE DEPENDENTS ON THE FIRST CHANGE OF STATION.

YOUR FURTHER DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE ENCLOSED CLAIM OF ISAAC'S MAY BE PAID BY THE NAVY DEPARTMENT.

THE DECISION OF DECEMBER 4, 1920, 27 COMP. DEC. 510, WHEREIN A LIMIT OF 60 DAYS WAS FIXED WITHIN WHICH THE TRANSPORTATION IN KIND COULD BE FURNISHED DEPENDENTS OF OFFICERS WAS REVIEWED IN DECISION OF OCTOBER 4, 1927, TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, 7 COMP. GEN. 255, AND IT WAS STATED IN THAT DECISION, QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS:

TRANSPORTATION OF THE SPECIFIED DEPENDENTS OF AN OFFICER OF THE ARMY UNDER THE ACTS OF MAY 18, 1920, 41 STAT. 604, AND JUNE 10, 1922, 42 STAT. 631, IS AUTHORIZED NOT EXCEEDING THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION FROM THE OFFICER'S OLD TO HIS NEW STATION UNDER THE ORDERS DIRECTING THE PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION WHICH GIVE HIM THE RIGHT TO TRANSPORTATION OF HIS DEPENDENTS; AND THE BASIS FOR THE ISSUANCE OF TRANSPORTATION, OR PAYMENT OF COMMERCIAL COSTS, MAY NOT BE EXTENDED TO INCLUDE PRIOR "OLD" STATIONS OF THE OFFICER.

SECTION 12 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942, 56 STAT. 359, 364, PROVIDES:

WHEN ANY OFFICER, WARRANT OFFICER, OR ENLISTED MAN ABOVE THE FOURTH GRADE, HAVING DEPENDENTS AS DEFINED IN SECTION 4 HEREOF, IS ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, THE UNITED STATES SHALL FURNISH TRANSPORTATION IN KIND FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE ARMY, THE NAVY, THE MARINE CORPS, THE COAST GUARD, THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY, AND THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE TO HIS NEW STATION FOR SUCH DEPENDENTS: PROVIDED, THAT FOR PERSONS IN THE NAVAL SERVICE THE TERM "PERMANENT STATION" AS USED IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE INTERPRETED TO MEAN A SHORE STATION OR THE HOME YARD OR HOME PORT OF THE VESSEL TO WHICH THE PERSON CONCERNED MAY BE ORDERED; AND A DULY AUTHORIZED CHANGE IN HOME YARD OR HOME PORT OF SUCH VESSEL SHALL BE DEEMED A CHANGE OF STATION. PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT IF THE COST OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION EXCEEDS THAT FOR TRANSPORTATION FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW STATION, THE EXCESS COST SHALL BE PAID TO THE UNITED STATES BY THE OFFICER, WARRANT OFFICER OR ENLISTED MAN CONCERNED: * * * AND PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION IN KIND AUTHORIZED BY THIS SECTION FOR DEPENDENTS, THE PRESIDENT MAY AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT IN MONEY OF AMOUNTS EQUAL TO SUCH COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION COSTS FOR THE WHOLE OR SUCH PART OF THE TRAVEL FOR WHICH TRANSPORTATION IN KIND IS NOT FURNISHED WHEN SUCH TRAVEL SHALL HAVE BEEN COMPLETED.

IT IS SIGNIFICANT THAT THE TRANSPORTATION AUTHORIZED TO BE FURNISHED IN KIND BY THE ABOVE ACT IS "TO HIS NEW STATION," WITH THE SAME RESTRICTIONS AS IN THE ACT OF MAY 18, 1920, 41 STAT. 604, THAT IF THE COST OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION EXCEEDS THAT FOR TRANSPORTATION "FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW TATION" THE EXCESS SHALL BE PAID TO THE UNITED STATES BY THE OFFICER, WARRANT OFFICER, OR ENLISTED MAN CONCERNED. FURTHERMORE, AS IN THE 1922 ACT, 42 STAT. 631, THE COMMERCIAL COST OF TRANSPORTATION WHICH MAY BE PAID IS IN LIEU OF THE TRANSPORTATION AUTHORIZED BY SUCH SECTION TO BE FURNISHED IN KIND. INASMUCH AS THE TRANSPORTATION AUTHORIZED TO BE FURNISHED IS LIMITED BY THE LAW TO THAT FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW STATION, AND FOR THE REASONS STATED IN THE PRIOR CITED DECISIONS, THERE IS PERCEIVED NO PROPER BASIS FOR EXCEPTIONS TO THE GENERAL RULE, WHICH HAS BEEN FOLLOWED FOR MORE THAN 20 YEARS, WHERE DUE TO SICKNESS, THE DEPENDENTS ARE PRECLUDED FROM TRAVELING TO THE LAST NEW STATION PRIOR TO RECEIPT OF A SUBSEQUENT ORDER INVOLVING ANOTHER PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION.

IT APPEARS THE CLAIMANT IN THE PRESENT CASE WAS ATTACHED TO THE U.S.S. MOFFETT WHEN THE HOME PORT OF THAT VESSEL WAS CHANGED FROM SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, TO NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, ON SEPTEMBER 25, 1940; THAT ON FEBRUARY 13, 1941, HE WAS TRANSFERRED FROM THE U.S.S. MOFFETT TO NAVAL MOBILE BASE HOSPITAL NO. ONE, HOME PORT NEW YORK, AND THAT BY ORDERS OF AUGUST 1, 1942, HE WAS TRANSFERRED TO THE U.S.S. WEEHAWKEN WITH HOME PORT AT NORFOLK, VIRGINIA. HIS DEPENDENT WIFE WAS LOCATED AT SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF EACH OF THESE TRANSFERS, AND COMPLETED TRAVEL TO NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, ON MARCH 19, 1943, MORE THAN 2 YEARS AFTER CHANGE OF HOME PORT OF THE U.S.S. MOFFETT FROM SAN DIEGO, TO NORFOLK. IT IS STATED SHE WAS PHYSICALLY UNABLE TO PERFORM THE TRAVEL AT THE TIME OF CHANGE OF HOME PORT OF THE U.S.S. MOFFETT, OR WITHIN 60 DAYS THEREAFTER, AND THERE IS SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF THIS STATEMENT FIRST ENDORSEMENT OF THE MEDICAL OFFICER IN COMMAND, U.S. NAVAL HOSPITAL, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA; GIVING A MEDICAL HISTORY OF CLAIMANT'S WIFE DURING THE PERIOD OCTOBER 12, 1940, TO JANUARY 20, 1943. ALTHOUGH CLAIMANT STATES HE WAS ADVISED BY MEDICAL OFFICERS THAT HIS WIFE WAS NOT PHYSICALLY ABLE TO PERFORM THE TRAVEL AT THE TIME OF HIS CHANGE OF STATION, THE STATEMENT OF THE MEDICAL OFFICER SUBMITTED FAILS TO GIVE ANY SPECIFIC INFORMATION IN THIS RESPECT, THAT IS, WHETHER IN THE OPINION OF THE ATTENDING PHYSICIAN SHE WAS UNABLE TO PERFORM THE TRAVEL AT THAT TIME, OR WITHIN THE FOLLOWING 60 DAYS, OR WHETHER AT ANY SUBSEQUENT TIME SHE WAS PHYSICALLY ABLE TO PERFORM THE TRAVEL. HOWEVER, IRRESPECTIVE OF THE INCOMPLETE INFORMATION IN THIS RESPECT, THERE IS IS NOT, UNDER EXISTING LAW AND REGULATIONS, ANY AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES OF ISAAC'S DEPENDENT WIFE FROM SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, TO NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES SHOWN.

UNDER THE RULE UNIFORMLY RECOGNIZED IN THE DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE LIMITING THE TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS FROM THE LAST PERMANENT STATION TO THE ULTIMATE NEW STATION, PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED NOT TO EXCEED THE COMMERCIAL COST OF TRANSPORTATION FROM NEW YORK, NEW YORK, TO NORFOLK, VIRGINIA. THE VOUCHER SHOULD BE ADJUSTED ACCORDINGLY.