B-83207, MAR 22, 1949

B-83207: Mar 22, 1949

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REQUEST REVIEW OF THE AUDIT ACTION OF THIS OFFICE IN TAKING EXCEPTION TO THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE TO OFFICERS TRAVELING TO SCHOOLS WHERE THE DURATION OF THE COURSE OF INSTRUCTION IS LESS THAN FIVE MONTHS. SPECIFIC REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE NOTICES OF EXCEPTION PERTAINING TO VOUCHERS NO. 22533 AND NO. 24571 OF THE JANUARY 1948. MAJOR JOHNSON WAS RELIEVED FROM ASSIGNMENT AND DUTY AT FORT MASON. SUCH ORDERS DO NOT PRESCRIBE PER DIEM AND CONTAIN THE ABBREVIATION "PCS" INDICATING THAT PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION WAS INVOLVED. CAPTAIN STONEHILL WAS RELIEVED FROM HIS OVERSEAS ASSIGNMENT AND DUTY AND ASSIGNED TO THE "27TH AF BASE UNIT. ORDERS DIRECTING A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION WILL INCLUDE THE WORDS 'PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION.

B-83207, MAR 22, 1949

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

CAPTAIN H. G. WYLIE, U.S. AIR FORCE:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED BY SECOND INDORSEMENT OF JANUARY 28, 1949, FROM THE DIRECTOR OF FINANCE, DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 14, 1948, IN WHICH YOU, APPARENTLY AS CUSTODIAN OF THE RETAINED ACCOUNTS OF CAPTAIN J. C. MEARS, FINANCE DEPARTMENT, REQUEST REVIEW OF THE AUDIT ACTION OF THIS OFFICE IN TAKING EXCEPTION TO THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE TO OFFICERS TRAVELING TO SCHOOLS WHERE THE DURATION OF THE COURSE OF INSTRUCTION IS LESS THAN FIVE MONTHS. SPECIFIC REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE NOTICES OF EXCEPTION PERTAINING TO VOUCHERS NO. 22533 AND NO. 24571 OF THE JANUARY 1948, ACCOUNT OF CAPTAIN MEARS, COVERING THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE AT EIGHT CENTS PER MILE TO MAJOR WILLIAM M. JOHNSON, MSC, AND CAPTAIN ROBERT B. STONEHILL, MC, RESPECTIVELY.

BY PARAGRAPH 10, SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 29, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, WASHINGTON, D.C., DATED OCTOBER 28, 1947, MAJOR JOHNSON WAS RELIEVED FROM ASSIGNMENT AND DUTY AT FORT MASON, CALIFORNIA, EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 30, 1947, AND ASSIGNED TO THE "27TH AF BASE UNIT SCH OF AVN MED, RANDOLPH FLD, TEX. DELAY EN ROUTE OF 45 DAYS AUTH AS LV." SUCH ORDERS DO NOT PRESCRIBE PER DIEM AND CONTAIN THE ABBREVIATION "PCS" INDICATING THAT PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION WAS INVOLVED. BY PARAGRAPH 22, SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 266, HEADQUARTERS, ERDING AIR DEPOT, ERDING, GERMANY, DATED DECEMBER 10, 1947, CAPTAIN STONEHILL WAS RELIEVED FROM HIS OVERSEAS ASSIGNMENT AND DUTY AND ASSIGNED TO THE "27TH AF BASE UNIT, RANDOLPH FLD, TEXAS, REPORTING TO THE CO THEREAT NOT LATER THAN 6 JAN. 48 FOR THE PURPOSE OF ATTENDING SCHOOL OF AVIATION MEDICINE." SUCH ORDERS ALSO DO NOT PRESCRIBE A PER DIEM AND CONTAIN THE ABBREVIATION "PCS."

PARAGRAPH 3B AND 9, ARMY REGULATIONS 35-4820, DATED FEBRUARY 5, 1947, IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF THE TRAVEL HERE INVOLVED, PROVIDE:

"B. PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION.-- ORDERS DIRECTING A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION WILL INCLUDE THE WORDS 'PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION,' OR THE ABBREVIATION 'PCS'.

"9. WHEN MILEAGE PAYABLE.-- REIMBURSEMENT WILL BE MADE ON A MILEAGE BASIS FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED IN CONNECTION WITH PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION EXCEPT

"B. WHEN TEMPORARY DUTY AT A PLACE OTHER THAN THE OLD OR NEW PERMANENT STATION IS DIRECTED IN A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDER, AND THE ORDERS PRESCRIBE PER DIEM, IN WHICH CASE PER DIEM WILL BE PAID FOR ALL TRAVEL AND TEMPORARY DUTY PERFORMED UNDER THE ORDER IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RULES PRESCRIBED FOR TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVEL IN PARAGRAPH 3C.

WAR DEPARTMENT CIRCULAR 187, DATED JULY 18, 1947, IN OUTLINING THE POLICY FOR ATTENDANCE OF OFFICERS AT SCHOOLS, PROVIDES, INSOFAR AS HERE MATERIAL, AS FOLLOWS:

"8. SHORT COURSE SCHOOLS (LESS THAN 5 MONTHS).-- E.

"B. PERSONNEL WILL BE DETAILED TO SUCH SCHOOLS ON A TEMPORARY DUTY BASIS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE NEEDS OF THE MAJOR FORCES ***

"16. ORDERS.-- A *** ASSIGNMENT TO A SCHOOL AS A STUDENT, OR ASSIGNMENT TO A SCHOOL OR INSTALLATION AS A TRAINING LIAISON OFFICER WILL, IF THE ASSIGNMENT IS TO BE OF 5 MONTHS' OR MORE DURATION, CONSTITUTE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION."

WHETHER AN ORDER CONTEMPLATED A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION AND WHETHER A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION IN FACT RESULTED, IS TO BE DETERMINED FROM ALL THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE CASE, AND FROM THE ORDERS UNDER WHICH THE ASSIGNMENT IS MADE. 26 COMP.GEN. 339. WHILE THE LANGUAGE OF ORDERS ASSIGNING MILITARY PERSONNEL TO DUTY IS NOT ALWAYS, IN ITSELF, DETERMINATIVE OF THE CHARACTER OF THE ASSIGNMENT AND THE NATURE OF THE DUTIES TO BE PERFORMED AND, THEREFORE, NOT NECESSARILY CONCLUSIVE AS TO WHETHER A PERMANENT OR TEMPORARY CHANGE OF STATION IS EFFECTED THEREBY, ORDERS WHICH BY THEIR LANGUAGE DIRECT A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION GENERALLY ARE CONSIDERED AS IN FACT EFFECTING A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, IN THE ABSENCE OF AN INDICATION OF ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR, OR AN INTENT TO CIRCUMVENT THE LAW AND REGULATIONS. 24 COMP.GEN. 667.

THE ORDERS IN THE CASE OF MAJOR JOHNSON DO NOT STATE THE PURPOSE OF HIS ASSIGNMENT, AND IN THE ABSENCE OF ADMINISTRATIVE INTENT TO THE CONTRARY, ARE TO BE CONSIDERED, AS AN ASSIGNMENT FOR THE PURPOSE OF PURSUING A COURSE OF INSTRUCTION.

THE ORDERS DIRECTING THE TRAVEL OF THE TWO OFFICERS RELIEVED EACH OTHER OF THEM FROM DUTY AT HIS PERMANENT STATION AND ASSIGNED HIM TO THE SCHOOL OF AVIATION MEDICINE AT RANDOLPH FIELD, TEXAS, FOR THE APPARENT PURPOSE OF ATTENDING A COURSE OF INSTRUCTION, THE COURSE IN QUESTION COVERING A PERIOD OF APPROXIMATELY 11 WEEKS. SUCH ASSIGNMENTS WOULD APPEAR TO BE TEMPORARY, UNDER THE POLICY ESTABLISHED BY SAID CIRCULAR NO. 187, AND HENCE THE SCHOOL DID NOT BECOME THE NEW PERMANENT DUTY STATION OF EITHER OF THE OFFICERS, NOTWITHSTANDING THAT A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION IS DIRECTED BY THE ORDERS. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE OFFICERS WERE DETACHED FROM THEIR OLD THE ORDERS ASSIGNING THEM TO SAID COURSE OF INSTRUCTION MAY BE REGARDED AS HAVING PLACED THEM IN A STATUS OF TRAVELING AND TEMPORARY DUTY PENDING ASSIGNMENT TO ANOTHER STATION FOR PERMANENT DUTY AND, HENCE, SUCH TRAVEL MAY BE CONSIDERED AS HAVING BEEN PERFORMED IN CONNECTION WITH A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. INASMUCH AS PER DIEM WAS NOT PRESCRIBED IN THE ORDERS, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 9B, ARMY REGULATIONS 35-4820, DATED FEBRUARY 5, 1947, THE OFFICERS WERE ENTITLED TO THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE AT EIGHT CENTS PER MILE FOR THE TRAVEL PERFORMED UNDER THEIR TRAVEL ORDERS.

ACCORDINGLY, THE INVOLVED PAYMENTS OF MILEAGE, IN THESE AND OTHER SIMILAR CASES WILL NOT BE FURTHER QUESTIONED BY THIS OFFICE, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.