B-97134, FEB 13, 1951

B-97134: Feb 13, 1951

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REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT ON THREE VOUCHERS SUBMITTED THEREWITH. THE ABOVE-NAMED PERSONNEL WERE PLACED ON TEMPORARY DUTY AND WERE DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO FORT BENNING GEORGIA. TRAVEL BACK TO CAMP STONEMAN APPARENTLY WAS CONTEMPLATED SINCE ADVANCE PAYMENT OF 3 CENTS PER MILE TO SERGEANT BARNETT WAS AUTHORIZED THEREIN FOR TRAVEL FROM CAMP STONEMAN TO FORT BENNING. THE ORDERS CONTAIN THE ABBREVIATION "TDN" INDICATING THAT THE DIRECTED TRAVEL WAS NECESSARY IN THE MILITARY SERVICE. INVOLVING WHAT IS STATED TO BE A SIMILAR PAYMENT. IN WHICH IT IS STATED THAT "REIMBURSEMENT OF PER DIEM MAY NOT BE ALLOWED AS COMPETING AT PISTOL MATCHES DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE IN THE INTEREST OF PUBLIC BUSINESS.".

B-97134, FEB 13, 1951

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

LIEUTENANT COLONEL F. S. STRATTON, F.D:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED BY SECOND INDORSEMENT FROM THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, DATED JULY 27, 1950, YOUR LETTER OF JULY 6, 1950, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT ON THREE VOUCHERS SUBMITTED THEREWITH, STATED IN FAVOR OF MAJOR CLARENCE J. SMITH, INFANTRY; CAPTAIN FRANK D. GRAHAM, INFANTRY; AND MASTER SERGEANT CHARLEY R. BARNETT, RESPECTIVELY. THE FIRST OF SUCH VOUCHERS COVERS PER DIEM FOR TRAVEL TIME FROM CAMP STONEMAN, CALIFORNIA, TO FORT BENNING, GEORGIA, AND RETURN, AND 3 CENTS PER MILE FOR TRAVEL AT PERSONAL EXPENSE FROM CAMP STONEMAN TO FORT BENNING, TRANSPORTATION HAVING BEEN FURNISHED ON GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST FOR TRAVEL BACK TO CAMP STONEMAN. THE SECOND OF SUCH VOUCHERS COVERS PER DIEM AND 3 CENTS PER MILE FOR TRAVEL FROM FORT BENNING TO CAMP STONEMAN, THE OFFICER HAVING BEEN PAID PER DIEM AND 3 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE TRAVEL TO FORT BENNING. THE VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MASTER SERGEANT BARNETT COVERS ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FOR TRAVEL FROM CAMP STONEMAN TO FORT BENNING, AND RETURN.

BY PARAGRAPH 2, LETTER ORDER NO. 25, FEBRUARY 14, 1950, HEADQUARTERS, CAMP STONEMAN, CALIFORNIA, THE ABOVE-NAMED PERSONNEL WERE PLACED ON TEMPORARY DUTY AND WERE DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO FORT BENNING GEORGIA, FOR TWO WEEKS TRAINING TO SELECT TEAM MEMBERS FOR NATIONAL MIDWINTER PISTOL MATCHES TO BE HELD AT TAMPA, FLORIDA, IN MARCH, 1950, PER DIEM BEING AUTHORIZED WHILE IN A TRAVEL STATUS ONLY. WHILE SUCH ORDERS DID NOT EXPRESSLY SO STATE, TRAVEL BACK TO CAMP STONEMAN APPARENTLY WAS CONTEMPLATED SINCE ADVANCE PAYMENT OF 3 CENTS PER MILE TO SERGEANT BARNETT WAS AUTHORIZED THEREIN FOR TRAVEL FROM CAMP STONEMAN TO FORT BENNING, AND RETURN. THE ORDERS CONTAIN THE ABBREVIATION "TDN" INDICATING THAT THE DIRECTED TRAVEL WAS NECESSARY IN THE MILITARY SERVICE.

YOU INDICATE THAT YOUR DOUBT AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF PAYING SUCH VOUCHERS AROSE BECAUSE OF A NOTICE OF EXCEPTION ISSUED BY THE AUDIT DIVISION OF THIS OFFICE, INVOLVING WHAT IS STATED TO BE A SIMILAR PAYMENT, IN WHICH IT IS STATED THAT "REIMBURSEMENT OF PER DIEM MAY NOT BE ALLOWED AS COMPETING AT PISTOL MATCHES DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE IN THE INTEREST OF PUBLIC BUSINESS."

THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1927, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF MAY 28, 1928, 32 U.S.C. 181A, 181B, CONTAINS AUTHORITY FOR THE HOLDING OF NATIONAL RIFLE AND PISTOL MATCHES UNDER THE SPONSORSHIP OF THE NATIONAL BOARD FOR THE PROMOTION OF RIFLE PRACTICE, OPEN TO BOTH CIVILIAN AND MILITARY PERSONNEL, AND AUTHORIZES THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION OF THE SUM NECESSARY FOR THAT PURPOSE, AS A PART OF THE TOTAL SUM APPROPRIATED FOR NATIONAL DEFENSE. THE NATIONAL MILITARY ESTABLISHMENT APPROPRIATION ACT, 1950, 63 STAT. 987, 1002, UNDER THE HEADING "NATIONAL BOARD FOR PROMOTION OF RIFLE PRACTICE, ARMY, PROMOTION OF RIFLE PRACTICE" APPROPRIATES FUNDS FOR THE "CONDUCT OF THE NATIONAL MATCHES, *** INCLUDING INCIDENTAL TRAVEL OF RIFLE TEAMS AND INDIVIDUALS ATTENDING REGIONAL, NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIONS." SUCH PROVISIONS OF LAW EVIDENCE A LEGISLATIVE RECOGNITION OF THE INTEREST OF THE MILITARY ESTABLISHMENT IN THE HOLDING OF, AND THE PARTICIPATION OF MILITARY PERSONNEL AND CIVILIANS IN RIFLE AND PISTOL MATCHES. THE ARMY IS DIRECTLY CONCERNED IN THE PROFICIENT USE OF SMALL ARMS BY ARMY PERSONNEL AND IN PROPER ACTIVITIES WHICH WILL INCREASE SUCH PROFICIENCY. THE PARTICIPATION OF ARMY PERSONNEL IN REGIONAL AND NATIONAL MATCHES UNDOUBTEDLY DOES TEND TO PROMOTE SUCH USE OF SMALL ARMS BY ARMY PERSONNEL, AND WHERE, AS HERE, TRAVEL IS DIRECTED TO A MILITARY INSTALLATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF SELECTING TEAM MEMBERS TO ATTEND A RIFLE OR PISTOL MATCH, AND SUCH TRAVEL IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED TO BE NECESSARY IN THE MILITARY SERVICE, THERE APPEARS TO BE NO SUBSTANTIAL BASIS TO DISAGREE WITH SUCH DETERMINATION. IT IS UNDERSTOOD, HOWEVER, THAT THE FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR THE PROMOTION OF RIFLE PRACTICE UNDER THE SPONSORSHIP OF THE NATIONAL BOARD IN THE SAID 1950 APPROPRIATION ACT WERE NOT SUFFICIENT TO PERMIT THE HOLDING OF THE NATIONAL MATCHES REFERRED TO THEREIN DURING THE FISCAL YEAR COVERED THEREBY AND, FURTHER, THAT EVEN IN PRIOR YEARS WHEN SUCH MATCHES WERE HELD THE FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR THAT PURPOSE WERE NOT USED TO PAY THE EXPENSES OF PRELIMINARY TRAVEL OF MILITARY PERSONNEL TO ARMY INSTALLATIONS FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING WHICH PERSONS WERE BEST QUALIFIED TO REPRESENT THE ARMY IN SUCH MATCHES. IN VIEW THEREOF AND OF THE LANGUAGE OF THE APPROPRIATION ACT IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT THE FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR THE PROMOTION OF RIFLE PRACTICE MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE EXPENSES OF PRELIMINARY TRAVEL OF THE PERSONNEL HERE INVOLVED FOR THE PURPOSE OF SELECTING TEAM MEMBERS TO ATTEND CERTAIN PISTOL MATCHES.

WITH RESPECT TO YOUR QUESTION WHETHER THE VOUCHERS HERE INVOLVED ARE PAYABLE FROM THE APPROPRIATION "SPECIAL FIELD EXERCISES" (PRESUMABLY THE 1950 APPROPRIATION UNDER THE HEADING "GENERAL STAFF CORPS, FIELD EXERCISES," 63 STAT. 988, WHICH IS AVAILABLE FOR "SPECIAL FIELD EXERCISES") YOU STATE THAT WHILE PAYMENT OF SUCH TRAVEL EXPENSES OUT OF THE SAID APPROPRIATION WAS NOT SPECIFICALLY SPELLED OUT IN THE 1950 APPROPRIATION ACT "IT IS INCLUDED IN 1951 ESTIMATES". WHILE IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE ESTIMATES FOR THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE SPECIAL FIELD EXERCISES FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1951, INCLUDED AN ITEM OF $25,000 TO COVER A "PROGRAM OF COMPETITIVE RIFLE AND PISTOL TRAINING AND MATCH PARTICIPATION FOR ARMY AREA PERSONNEL," IT APPEARS THAT THE AMOUNT ACTUALLY APPROPRIATED BY THE CONGRESS FOR SPECIAL FIELD EXERCISES FOR SUCH FISCAL YEAR WAS LESS THAN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF SUCH ESTIMATES AND IT IS NOT CLEAR THAT THE SAID ITEM WAS INCLUDED IN THE AMOUNT SO APPROPRIATED. MOREOVER, SINCE THERE IS NOTHING IN THE LANGUAGE OF THE 1951 APPROPRIATION FOR SPECIAL FIELD EXERCISES RESPECTING COMPETITIVE RIFLE OR PISTOL TRAINING OR MATCHES, THERE IS GRAVE DOUBT THAT SUCH APPROPRIATION PROPERLY COULD BE CONSIDERED AS AVAILABLE FOR SUCH TRAINING OR MATCHES. IN ANY EVENT, IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT NEITHER THE 1951 APPROPRIATION ESTIMATES NOR THE 1951 APPROPRIATION LANGUAGE PROPERLY MAY BE USED AS A BASIS FOR DETERMINING QUESTIONS OF AVAILABILITY OF THE 1950 APPROPRIATION AND IT HAS NOT BEEN SUGGESTED THAT SUCH COMPETITIVE ACTIVITY WAS REGARDED AS A PART OF THE ARMY PROGRAM OF SPECIAL FIELD EXERCISES DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1950 OR PRIOR YEARS. IN THAT CONNECTION, AND AS EVIDENCE CONCERNING THE TYPES OF ACTIVITIES WHICH HAVE BEEN REGARDED AS COMING WITHIN THE CATEGORY OF SPECIAL FIELD EXERCISES, IT HAS BEEN NOTED THAT IN THE BUDGET OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1951 (PAGES 619 AND 620) IT IS STATED THAT "FIELD EXERCISES ARE THE MEANS BY WHICH INDIVIDUAL UNITS ARE WELDED INTO A COORDINATED MILITARY TEAM BY THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF LESSONS TAUGHT IN SERVICE SCHOOLS, ON FIRING RANGES AND OBSTACLE COURSES, AND IN INDIVIDUAL AND UNIT TRAINING." IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT SMALL ARMS MATCHES ARE EITHER DESIGNED FOR, OR ACCOMPLISH, THE WELDING OF INDIVIDUAL UNITS INTO COORDINATE MILITARY TEAMS. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND IN THE ABSENCE OF LANGUAGE IN THE APPROPRIATION "SPECIAL FIELD EXERCISES, ARMY, 1950," JUSTIFYING A DIFFERENT CONCLUSION, IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT THE SAID APPROPRIATION IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE ABOVE-MENTIONED VOUCHERS. HOWEVER, FROM WHAT HAS BEEN SAID ABOVE, IT APPEARS THAT THE TRAVEL HERE INVOLVED PROPERLY MAY BE REGARDED AS BEING "IN CONNECTION WITH THE MILITARY ACTIVITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY" AND ON THAT BASIS REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES THEREOF MAY BE PAID OUT OF THE APPROPRIATION FOR "TRAVEL OF THE ARMY."

PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHERS UNDER THE LATTER APPROPRIATION IS AUTHORIZED ACCORDINGLY, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT. THE VOUCHERS ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.