B-84777, APR 19, 1949

B-84777: Apr 19, 1949

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

COLONEL WILES WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED FROM PORTLAND. UPON COMPLETION OF WHICH HE WAS TO RETURN TO HIS STATION. "EXCEPT WHERE OTHER MEANS OF AUTHORIZED TRAVEL ARE EQUALLY OR MORE EXPEDITIOUS. " AND IT IS STATED THAT TRAVEL BY AIR WAS NECESSARY FOR THE SUCCESSFUL ACCOMPLISHMENT OF AN URGENT MISSION DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE EMERGENCY. IS TO THE SAME EFFECT. TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED IN EACH CASE BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT. THERE IS NOTHING TO SHOW THAT COLONEL WALSH WAS GRANTED LEAVE. HE STATES THAT THE ADDITIONAL FARE FOR TRAVEL VIA SAN FRANCISCO WAS PAID BY HIM. IT IS STATED. THAT TRAVEL BY AIR WAS DIRECTED NOT FOR THE PURPOSE OF REDUCING TRAVEL TIME TO PERMIT DELAY EN ROUTE BUT FOR THE REASON THAT THE NATURE OF THE OFFICERS' ASSIGNMENT AND DUTY AT PORTLAND REQUIRED THAT THEIR ABSENCE THEREFROM BE KEPT TO A MINIMUM.

B-84777, APR 19, 1949

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

LIEUTENANT COLONEL K. L. BRAZIER, FD:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED BY INDORSEMENT FROM THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, DATED MARCH 18, 1949, YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 19, 1948, REQUESTING DECISION ON A QUESTION ARISING IN CONNECTION WITH TWO VOUCHERS SUBMITTED THEREWITH, STATED IN FAVOR OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL ISAIAH A. WILES MC, AND LIEUTENANT COLONEL ROBERT L. WALSH, DC, RESPECTIVELY, COVERING PER DIEM AND REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED WHILE TRAVELING FROM PORTLAND, OREGON, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., AND RETURN.

BY PARAGRAPH 6, SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 130, OFFICE OF THE SURGEON GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, DATED JULY 23, 1948, COLONEL WILES WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED FROM PORTLAND, OREGON, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., ON OR ABOUT AUGUST 23, 1948, FOR TEMPORARY DUTY OF APPROXIMATELY EIGHT DAYS, UPON COMPLETION OF WHICH HE WAS TO RETURN TO HIS STATION. SAID ORDERS DIRECTED TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL OR MILITARY AIRCRAFT, "EXCEPT WHERE OTHER MEANS OF AUTHORIZED TRAVEL ARE EQUALLY OR MORE EXPEDITIOUS," AND IT IS STATED THAT TRAVEL BY AIR WAS NECESSARY FOR THE SUCCESSFUL ACCOMPLISHMENT OF AN URGENT MISSION DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE EMERGENCY. PARAGRAPH 1, SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 136, SAME OFFICE, DATED AUGUST 6, 1948, IS TO THE SAME EFFECT, EXCEPT THAT IT APPLIES TO COLONEL WALSH. TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED IN EACH CASE BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT, TICKETS BEING SECURED ON GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS. APPEARS THAT COLONEL WILES AVAILED HIMSELF OF LEAVE AT CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, FOR APPROXIMATELY FIVE DAYS AFTER HIS ARRIVAL AT THE LATTER PLACE, 8 DAYS' LEAVE HAVING BEEN AUTHORIZED BY PARAGRAPH 4, SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 162, DATED AUGUST 10, 1948, HEADQUARTERS SIXTH ARMY, PRESIDIO OF SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, EFFECTIVE ON OR ABOUT AUGUST 15, 1948; AND THAT COLONEL WALSH DELAYED AT SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, FOR OVER 32 HOURS, AT DENVER, COLORADO, FOR OVER 36 HOURS, AT CHICAGO FOR 32 HOURS, WHILE EN ROUTE TO WASHINGTON, AND FOR OVER 44 HOURS AT CHICAGO DURING HIS RETURN TRIP TO PORTLAND. THERE IS NOTHING TO SHOW THAT COLONEL WALSH WAS GRANTED LEAVE, BUT HE STATES THAT THE ADDITIONAL FARE FOR TRAVEL VIA SAN FRANCISCO WAS PAID BY HIM. IN SECOND INDORSEMENT OF JANUARY 6, 1949, FROM THE SURGEON GENERAL'S OFFICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, IT IS STATED, IN SUBSTANCE, THAT TRAVEL BY AIR WAS DIRECTED NOT FOR THE PURPOSE OF REDUCING TRAVEL TIME TO PERMIT DELAY EN ROUTE BUT FOR THE REASON THAT THE NATURE OF THE OFFICERS' ASSIGNMENT AND DUTY AT PORTLAND REQUIRED THAT THEIR ABSENCE THEREFROM BE KEPT TO A MINIMUM.

YOU INDICATE THAT YOUR DOUBT AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF PAYMENT ON SAID VOUCHERS ARISES FROM THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER THE OFFICERS FORFEITED THEIR RIGHT TO TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL AIRPLANE BY REASON OF THEIR DELAYS EN ROUTE, AND HENCE WHETHER THE EXCESS COST OF SUCH TRAVEL OVER WHAT IT WOULD HAVE COST THE GOVERNMENT IF TRAVEL HAD BEEN BY AUTHORIZED SURFACE CARRIERS, SHOULD BE OFFSET AGAINST THE AMOUNT OTHERWISE DUE AS PER DIEM AND REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES OF TRAVEL. IN THIS CONNECTION YOU INVITE ATTENTION TO THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPHS 3B(2)(A)2 AND 3B(2)(C)4, ARMY REGULATIONS 55-120, CHANGE 16, MARCH 13, 1946, AS FOLLOWS:

"*** TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT WILL NOT BE DIRECTED IN THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF A MISSION OR CHANGE IN STATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF REDUCING TRAVEL TIME TO PERMIT DELAY EN ROUTE.

"ORDERS ISSUED 'DIRECTING' TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT WILL, IN EACH CASE, INCLUDE THE PHASE 'TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT IS DIRECTED, EXCEPT WHERE OTHER MEANS OF AUTHORIZED TRAVEL ARE EQUALLY OR MORE EXPEDITIONS

THE THIRD PARAGRAPH OF SECTION 12 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942, 56 STAT. 364, AUTHORIZES TRAVEL OF MILITARY PERSONNEL BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT AT PUBLIC EXPENSE "WHEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY, "WITHOUT REGARD TO COMPARATIVE COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION BY AIRCRAFT WITH OTHER MODES OF TRANSPORTATION. IT HAS BEEN HELD UNDER A SIMILAR PROVISION OF LAW THAT ANY CLEAR AUTHORIZATION INCOMPETENT ORDERS FOR USE OF COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT IS SUFFICIENT TO AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF THE COSTS THEREOF. SEE 22 COMP.GEN. 813, AND DECISIONS CITED THEREIN. THE FOREGOING ORDERS APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN ISSUED IN CONFORMITY WITH THE QUOTED REGULATIONS. IT IS STATED BY THE AUTHORITY ISSUING THE ORDERS THAT TRAVEL BY AIR WAS NOT DIRECTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF REDUCING TRAVEL TIME TO PERMIT DELAY EN ROUTE, BUT FOR THE PURPOSE OF KEEPING THE OFFICERS' ABSENCE FROM THEIR STATION IN PORTLAND TO A MINIMUM, AND THE PHRASE RELATIVE TO OTHER MEANS OF AUTHORIZED TRAVEL, AS REQUIRED BY SUCH REGULATIONS, WAS INCLUDED IN SAID ORDERS. TRAVEL ACTUALLY WAS DIRECTED BY AIR SINCE THERE IS NOTHING IN THE RECORD WHICH SHOWS THAT ANY OTHER MEANS OF TRAVEL WAS EQUALLY OR MORE EXPEDITIOUS. THUS IT APPEARS THAT TRAVEL BY AIR WAS AUTHORIZED BY COMPETENT ORDERS IN THE MANNER CONTEMPLATED BY THE REGULATIONS, AND THE OFFICERS HERE INVOLVED NEED NOT BE REQUIRED TO REFUND SUCH EXCESS COSTS, IF ANY, AS MAY HAVE RESULTED FROM THEIR DELAYS EN ROUTE WHILE TRAVELING FROM PORTLAND TO WASHINGTON, AND RETURN, IN COMPLIANCE WITH SAID ORDERS.

ACCORDINGLY, PAYMENT OF THE VOUCHERS, RETURNED HEREWITH, IS AUTHORIZED, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.