B-51897, JUNE 7, 1946, 25 COMP. GEN. 839

B-51897: Jun 7, 1946

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THE TRAVEL OF A NAVY OFFICER'S DEPENDENTS AWAY FROM HIS LAST PERMANENT STATION WHICH IS COMMENCED SUBSEQUENT TO THE RECEIPT OF ORDERS DETACHING THE OFFICER FROM HIS OLD STATION WITHOUT ASSIGNING A NEW PERMANENT STATION MAY BE CONSIDERED AS INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION INITIATED BY THE DETACHING ORDERS. REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH TRAVEL IS COMPLETED BEFORE OR AFTER THE NEW PERMANENT STATION ACTUALLY IS ASSIGNED. 1946: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 21. THE ACTS REFERRED TO ABOVE WERE AMENDED. IN MONEY OF AMOUNTS EQUAL TO SUCH COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION COSTS FOR THE WHOLE OR PART OF TRAVEL FOR WHICH TRANSPORTATION IN KIND WAS NOT FURNISHED. WHEN SUCH TRAVEL SHALL HAVE BEEN COMPLETED.

B-51897, JUNE 7, 1946, 25 COMP. GEN. 839

TRANSPORTATION - DEPENDENTS - DETACHMENT FROM PERMANENT STATION WITHOUT IMMEDIATE REASSIGNMENT OF ANOTHER PERMANENT STATION FOR PURPOSES OF PAYMENT OF THE COMMERCIAL COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942, THE TRAVEL OF A NAVY OFFICER'S DEPENDENTS AWAY FROM HIS LAST PERMANENT STATION WHICH IS COMMENCED SUBSEQUENT TO THE RECEIPT OF ORDERS DETACHING THE OFFICER FROM HIS OLD STATION WITHOUT ASSIGNING A NEW PERMANENT STATION MAY BE CONSIDERED AS INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION INITIATED BY THE DETACHING ORDERS, IF AND WHEN COMPLETED BY THE ASSIGNMENT OF A NEW PERMANENT STATION, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH TRAVEL IS COMPLETED BEFORE OR AFTER THE NEW PERMANENT STATION ACTUALLY IS ASSIGNED.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, JUNE 7, 1946:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 21, 1945, FILE JAG:II: WJG:ZL20-4/P7, TRANSMITTING A LETTER FROM THE CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS DATED AUGUST 14, 1945, AND REQUESTING A DECISION IN CONNECTION WITH TWO MATTERS THEREIN PRESENTED. THE FIRST QUESTION RELATES TO THE SUPPORTING EVIDENCE TO BE REQUIRED IN THE PAYMENT OF CLAIMS FOR TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS UNDER THE ACTS OF MARCH 7, 1942, 56 STAT. 143, 146; OCTOBER 14, 1942, 56 STAT. 786; AND NOVEMBER 28, 1943, 57 STAT. 593.

UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 12, 1946, PUBLIC LAW 298, 60 STAT. 5, THE ACTS REFERRED TO ABOVE WERE AMENDED, RETROACTIVE TO THEIR RESPECTIVE EFFECTIVE DATES, SO AS TO PERMIT PAYMENT OF CLAIMS THEREUNDER, WHEN AUTHORIZED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, IN MONEY OF AMOUNTS EQUAL TO SUCH COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION COSTS FOR THE WHOLE OR PART OF TRAVEL FOR WHICH TRANSPORTATION IN KIND WAS NOT FURNISHED, WHEN SUCH TRAVEL SHALL HAVE BEEN COMPLETED. SINCE PAYMENT ON A COMMERCIAL COST BASIS NOW HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED (SEE LETTER FROM THE BUREAU OF NAVAL PERSONNEL DATED APRIL 4, 1946, PERS--- 8110--- CSM:CFR, APPROVED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY), AN ANSWER TO YOUR FIRST QUESTION NOW APPEARS UNNECESSARY.

THE SECOND QUESTION ON WHICH DECISION IS REQUESTED IS SET FORTH IN YOUR LETTER AS FOLLOWS:

THE FURTHER QUESTION HAS ARISEN IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS WHERE TRAVEL IS PERFORMED BY DEPENDENTS SUBSEQUENT TO RECEIPT OF ORDERS DETACHING THE OFFICER OR ENLISTED MAN FROM HIS LAST PERMANENT STATION, BUT PRIOR TO RECEIPT OF ORDERS DESIGNATING A NEW PERMANENT STATION. IN THE CASE OF MACHINIST GRIFFIN MENTIONED IN THE ENCLOSURE, THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE ( AUDIT DIVISION) TOOK EXCEPTION TO PAYMENT OF COMMERCIAL COST OF TRANSPORTATION FOR HIS DEPENDENT WIFE FROM HIS LAST PERMANENT STATION TO HIS NEW PERMANENT STATION ON THE GROUND THAT REIMBURSEMENT FOR COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS WAS NOT AUTHORIZED FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED IN ANTICIPATION OF ORDERS (CITING 8 COMP. GEN, 334). THIS DECISION, HOWEVER, APPEARS APPLICABLE ONLY TO A CASE WHERE THE DEPENDENTS PERFORMED THE TRAVEL BEFORE ANY ORDERS WERE RECEIVED AND NOT TO A CASE, SUCH AS THAT OF MACHINIST GRIFFIN, WHERE THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED BY HIS DEPENDENT WIFE AFTER RECEIPT OF ORDERS DETACHING THE OFFICER FROM HIS LAST PERMANENT STATION. THE LATTER CASE WOULD APPEAR TO BE GOVERNED BY THE RULE PRESCRIBED IN 7 COMP. GEN. 664, WHICH AUTHORIZES PAYMENT OF COMMERCIAL COST OF TRANSPORTATION FROM THE PLACE FROM WHICH THE OFFICER'S DEPENDENTS TRAVEL "ON OR IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING HIS DETACHMENT FROM HIS OLD PERMANENT STATION TO HIS NEW PERMANENT STATION WHEN THE TRAVEL SHALL HAVE BEEN COMPLETED.'

YOU WILL OBSERVE FROM THE ENCLOSURE THAT THE RULE ANNOUNCED IN 7 COMP. GEN. 664 HAS BEEN CONSISTENTLY FOLLOWED BY THE NAVY DEPARTMENT. HOWEVER, IT APPEARS THAT THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE ( CLAIMS DIVISION) HAS BEEN DISALLOWING CLAIMS OF THIS NATURE, EVEN THOUGH THE DEPENDENTS ARRIVE AT THE NEW PERMANENT STATION AFTER RECEIPT OF ORDERS ASSIGNING THE OFFICER OR ENLISTED MAN THERETO, AS SHOWN BY GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF SETTLEMENT ON THE CLAIM OF ANN BANNON ELLISON, CLAIM NO. 1,215,468.

IN VIEW OF THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE ( CLAIMS DIVISION) IN THE SPECIFIC CLAIM CITED IN THE ENCLOSURE, THE NAVY DEPARTMENT REQUESTS YOUR DECISION AS TO THE PROPER PROCEDURE TO BE FOLLOWED IN SUCH CASES, PARTICULARLY AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE NAVY DEPARTMENT'S ACTION IN FOLLOWING THE RULE PRESCRIBED IN DECISION OF APRIL 17, 1928 (7 COMP. GEN. 664, 666) IS CORRECT AND SHOULD, THEREFORE, BE APPLIED IN THE FUTURE.

IN THE DECISION OF APRIL 17, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 664, REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER, IT WAS STATED:

* * * CONSISTENTLY WITH THE QUOTED LAWS, IT CAN BE HELD THAT WHERE AN OFFICER IS DETACHED FROM HIS OLD PERMANENT STATION AND ASSIGNED TEMPORARY DUTY AND IS THEREAFTER ASSIGNED A PERMANENT STATION, IF NO TRANSPORTATION IN KIND HAS BEEN FURNISHED FOR THE USE OF HIS DEPENDENTS HE MAY, WITHIN THE PRECISE TERMS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, BE PAID THE COMMERCIAL COST OF TRANSPORTATION FROM THE PLACE FROM WHICH HIS DEPENDENTS TRAVELED ON OR IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING HIS DETACHMENT FROM HIS OLD PERMANENT STATION TO HIS NEW PERMANENT STATION WHEN THE TRAVEL SHALL HAVE BEEN COMPLETED. IT WILL BE OBSERVED THIS INTERPRETATION OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, (1) DOES NOT AUTHORIZE ANY PAYMENT IF ANY TRANSPORTATION IN KIND HAS BEEN FURNISHED; (2) DOES NOT AUTHORIZE ANY PAYMENT UNTIL A NEW PERMANENT STATION HAS BEEN ASSIGNED; (3) AUTHORIZES PAYMENT ONLY FROM THE POINT FROM WHICH THE DEPENDENTS TRAVELED ON THE OFFICER'S DETACHMENT FROM THE OLD PERMANENT STATION; AND (4) AUTHORIZES NO FORM OF PAYMENT NOR THE ISSUANCE OF ANY TRANSPORTATION IN KIND TO OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE OFFICER'S ASSIGNMENT TO A TEMPORARY-DUTY STATION. WHILE THIS DECISION WAS BASED ON THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF MAY 18, 1920, 41 STAT. 604, AND SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, 42 STAT. 631, NEITHER OF WHICH IS CURRENTLY APPLICABLE, THE PROVISIONS OF THOSE ACTS WERE SUBSTANTIALLY REENACTED IN THE FIFTH PARAGRAPH OF SECTION 12 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942, 56 STAT. 364, 365, WHICH PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

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: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT TRANSPORTATION SUPPLIED THE DEPENDENTS OF SUCH OFFICER, WARRANT OFFICER, OR ENLISTED MAN, TO OR FROM STATIONS BEYOND THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES, SHALL NOT BE OTHER THAN BY GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT, IF SUCH TRANSPORTATION IS AVAILABLE AS MAY BE DETERMINED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT 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.

BEFORE PAYMENT OF COMMERCIAL COST OF TRANSPORTATION IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS MAY BE AUTHORIZED, SUCH DEPENDENTS MUST ACTUALLY PERFORM TRAVEL, AND THE TRAVEL MUST BE INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FOR THE OFFICER OR ENLISTED MAN INVOLVED. ORDERS DETACHING AN OFFICER FROM HIS LAST PERMANENT STATION WITHOUT ASSIGNING A NEW PERMANENT STATION DO NOT OF THEMSELVES, CONSTITUTE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. HOWEVER, THE OFFICER IS THEN WITHOUT A PERMANENT STATION AND TRAVEL OF HIS DEPENDENTS AWAY FROM THE LAST PERMANENT STATION SUBSEQUENT TO THE RECEIPT OF SUCH ORDERS REASONABLY MAY BE CONSIDERED AS INCIDENT TO THE PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION INITIATED BY THE DETACHING ORDERS, IF AND WHEN COMPLETED BY THE ASSIGNMENT OF A NEW PERMANENT STATION. 7 COMP. GEN. 664, SUPRA; 21 ID. 958, AND B-9838, JULY 2, 1940. WHILE IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT THE TRAVEL OF THE DEPENDENTS BE COMMENCED SUBSEQUENT TO RECEIPT OF THE ORDERS DETACHING THE OFFICER FROM HIS OLD STATION IN ORDER FOR IT TO BE CONSIDERED AS TRAVEL INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, IT IS IMMATERIAL WHETHER SUCH TRAVEL IS COMPLETED BEFORE OR AFTER THE NEW PERMANENT STATION IS ACTUALLY ASSIGNED. THIS IS THE RULE THAT HAS BEEN FOLLOWED GENERALLY FOR MANY YEARS AND IT HAS NOT BEEN MODIFIED.

PAYMENTS MADE OF THE COMMERCIAL COST OF TRANSPORTATION FOR TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING WILL BE PASSED TO CREDIT IN THE DISBURSING OFFICERS' ACCOUNTS.