B-88273, AUGUST 25, 1949, 29 COMP. GEN. 94

B-88273: Aug 25, 1949

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EVEN THOUGH THE DISTANCE INVOLVED WAS LESS THAN TO THE HOME OF RECORD. REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED THEREON. IT IS SHOWN BY THE PAPERS FORWARDED WITH THE VOUCHER THAT ON MARCH 2. CAPTAIN THIERRY WAS OFFICIALLY REPORTED DEAD AS THE RESULT OF AN AIRPLANE CRASH ON SANTA CRUZ ISLAND OFF THE COAST OF CALIFORNIA. THAT HE WAS ENGAGED IN TRAINING MANEUVERS. THAT HIS HOME OF RECORD WAS PARKERSBURG. WHEN NOTIFICATION OF DEATH WAS RECEIVED. SINCE THE TRAVEL TO A LOCATION OTHER THAN THE DECEDENT'S HOME OF RECORD WAS PERFORMED WITHOUT PRIOR APPROVAL. YOU QUESTION WHETHER REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED. THAT THE DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD AND PERSONAL EFFECTS OF ANY PERSON ON ACTIVE DUTY (WITHOUT REGARD TO RANK OR GRADE) WHO IS OFFICIALLY REPORTED AS INJURED.

B-88273, AUGUST 25, 1949, 29 COMP. GEN. 94

TRANSPORTATION - DEPENDENTS OF PERSONS REPORTED AS INJURED, DEAD, MISSING, ETC. - PLACE TO WHICH ENTITLED UNDER SECTION 12 OF THE MISSING PERSONS ACT, AUTHORIZING TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS OF PERSONS OFFICIALLY REPORTED AS INJURED, DEAD, MISSING AS RESULT OF MILITARY OR NAVAL OPERATIONS, TO THE OFFICIAL RESIDENCE OF RECORD, OR, UPON APPLICATION BY THE DEPENDENT, TO SUCH OTHER LOCATION AS MAY BE ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED, REIMBURSEMENT MAY NOT BE ALLOWED FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED TO A LOCATION OTHER THAN THE DECEDENT'S HOME OF RECORD IN THE ABSENCE OF AN APPLICATION FOR, AND PRIOR APPROVAL OF, SUCH TRAVEL, EVEN THOUGH THE DISTANCE INVOLVED WAS LESS THAN TO THE HOME OF RECORD. (SEE ALSO, 29 COMP. GEN. 168.)

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO CAPT. J. W. ELDRIDGE, U.S. MARINE CORPS, AUGUST 25, 1949:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED BY FIRST ENDORSEMENT DATED JULY 28, 1949, YOUR LETTER OF JULY 27, 1949, SUBMITTING VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MRS. DALE THIERRY, WIDOW OF CAPT. JESS THIERRY, JR., U.S.M.C., DECEASED, FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR HER TRAVEL FROM COSTA MESA, CALIF., TO ALICE, TEX., AND REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED THEREON.

IT IS SHOWN BY THE PAPERS FORWARDED WITH THE VOUCHER THAT ON MARCH 2, 1949, CAPTAIN THIERRY WAS OFFICIALLY REPORTED DEAD AS THE RESULT OF AN AIRPLANE CRASH ON SANTA CRUZ ISLAND OFF THE COAST OF CALIFORNIA; THAT HE WAS ENGAGED IN TRAINING MANEUVERS; THAT HIS HOME OF RECORD WAS PARKERSBURG, W.1VA.; THAT HIS WIFE HAS LOCATED AT COSTA MESA, CALIF., WHEN NOTIFICATION OF DEATH WAS RECEIVED, AND THAT SHE TRAVELED FROM THAT CITY TO ALICE, TEX., THE HOME OF HER PARENTS, MARCH 24 TO 27, 1949, AT PERSONAL EXPENSE. SINCE THE TRAVEL TO A LOCATION OTHER THAN THE DECEDENT'S HOME OF RECORD WAS PERFORMED WITHOUT PRIOR APPROVAL, YOU QUESTION WHETHER REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED, THE DISTANCE INVOLVED BEING LESS THAN TO THE HOME OF RECORD.

SECTION 12 OF THE MISSING PERSONS ACT OF MARCH 7, 1942, 56 STAT. 143, 146, PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, THAT THE DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD AND PERSONAL EFFECTS OF ANY PERSON ON ACTIVE DUTY (WITHOUT REGARD TO RANK OR GRADE) WHO IS OFFICIALLY REPORTED AS INJURED, DEAD, MISSING AS THE RESULT OF MILITARY OR NAVAL OPERATIONS, MAY BE MOVED TO THE OFFICIAL RESIDENCE OF RECORD FOR ANY SUCH PERSON, OR, UPON APPLICATION BY SUCH DEPENDENTS, TO SUCH OTHER LOCATIONS AS MAY BE DETERMINED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED OR BY SUCH PERSON AS HE MAY DESIGNATE, BY THE USE OF EITHER COMMERCIAL OR GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION. BUREAU OF NAVAL PERSONNEL CIRCULAR LETTER NO. 2-49, DATED JANUARY 5, 1949, PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO SAID ACT, PROVIDES (PARAGRAPH 3) THAT THE TRANSPORTATION AUTHORIZED IS FROM THE PLACE AT WHICH OFFICIAL NOTICE OF STATUS OF THE PERSON CONCERNED IS FIRST RECEIVED BY THE DEPENDENTS TO THE OFFICIAL RESIDENCE OF RECORD OF SUCH PERSON, OR TO SUCH OTHER PLACE AS MAY BE SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED IN ADVANCE BY (WITH RESPECT TO PERSONNEL IN THE MARINE CORPS) THE OFFICER IN CHARGE OF THE CASUALTY DIVISION, PERSONNEL DEPARTMENT, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS. PARAGRAPH 5 THEREOF PROVIDES THAT, WHEN TRAVEL IS DESIRED TO A DESTINATION OTHER THAN THE OFFICIAL RESIDENCE OF RECORD, AN APPLICATION SHOWING THE REASON WHY TRAVEL TO SUCH OTHER POINT IS DESIRED MUST BE SUBMITTED TO THE OFFICIAL DESIGNATED IN PARAGRAPH 3, AND APPROVAL OBTAINED PRIOR TO COMMENCING TRAVEL. THUS, NEITHER THE LAW NOR THE REGULATIONS CONTEMPLATE THAT APPLICATION AND APPROVAL THEREOF ARE REQUIRED ONLY IN CASES WHERE TRAVEL IS DESIRED TO A POINT MORE DISTANT THAN THE HOME OF RECORD.

IN DECISION OF JULY 14, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 45, IT WAS HELD THAT, IF TRAVEL TO A PLACE OTHER THAN THE OFFICIAL RESIDENCE OF THE PERSON OFFICIALLY REPORTED AS INJURED, DEAD, ETC., IS DESIRED BY A DEPENDENT, THE STATUTE REQUIRES THAT APPLICATION BE MADE THEREFOR AND THAT THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT, OR A PERSON DESIGNATED BY HIM, MAKE A DETERMINATION AS TO WHETHER TRANSPORTATION TO THE PLACE DESIGNATED BY THE DEPENDENT AT PUBLIC EXPENSE IS WARRANTED. IT FURTHER WAS HELD THEREIN THAT THE ONLY EXCEPTION TO THAT RULE IS WHERE THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THE ACT BUT WITHIN THE PERIOD RETROACTIVELY COVERED BY IT SINCE, IN SUCH CASES, AN APPLICATION COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT.

SINCE, IN THE PRESENT CASE THE TRAVEL OF THE DEPENDENT TO A POINT OTHER THAN THE HOME OF RECORD OF THE DECEDENT WAS NOT IN CONFORMITY WITH THE LAW AND REGULATIONS, PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER, WHICH WILL BE RETAINED IN THIS OFFICE, IS NOT AUTHORIZED.