B-97930, NOVEMBER 21, 1950, 30 COMP. GEN. 202

B-97930: Nov 21, 1950

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SUCH TRAVEL IS TO BE REGARDED. NOTWITHSTANDING THAT THE AVAILABLE RAIL TRANSPORTATION WAS NOT DESIRABLE FOR TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS. 1950: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 11. YOU WERE DETACHED FROM DUTY AT GUATEMALA CITY. YOU WERE PAID THE SUM OF $60.78. IN SUPPORT OF YOUR CLAIM YOU HAVE FURNISHED STATEMENTS BY OFFICIALS OF THE AMERICAN EMBASSIES IN GUATEMALA AND MEXICO. STATING IN SUBSTANCE THAT TRAVEL BY RAIL BETWEEN GUATEMALA CITY AND MEXICO CITY IS NOT RECOMMENDED. YOU STATE THAT TRAVEL BY TRAIN BETWEEN THE POINTS INVOLVED THROUGH THE JUNGLES WITH INFERIOR ACCOMMODATIONS IS UNSUITABLE. THAT RAIL TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN SUCH PLACES IS NOT DESIRABLE FOR TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS.

B-97930, NOVEMBER 21, 1950, 30 COMP. GEN. 202

TRANSPORTATION - DEPENDENTS - TRAVEL AT PERSONAL EXPENSE - REIMBURSEMENT BASIS WHERE THE DEPENDENTS OF A NAVY OFFICER PERFORMED TRAVEL TO HIS NEW STATION BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT AT PERSONAL EXPENSE RATHER THAN BY AVAILABLE RAIL TRANSPORTATION, SUCH TRAVEL IS TO BE REGARDED, UNDER THE ACT OF APRIL 27, 1946, AND NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT THERETO, AS LAND TRAVEL FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE MADE ON A MILEAGE BASIS ONLY, NOTWITHSTANDING THAT THE AVAILABLE RAIL TRANSPORTATION WAS NOT DESIRABLE FOR TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO COMDR. ROBERT H. CALDWELL, NOVEMBER 21, 1950:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 11, 1950, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT DATED MAY 25, 1950, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR $65.22, REPRESENTING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COST OF COMMERCIAL AIR TRAVEL AND THE AMOUNT PAID TO YOU ON A MILEAGE BASIS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR DEPENDENTS (WIFE AND DAUGHTERS, AGES 9 AND 2) FROM GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA, TO MEXICO CITY, MEXICO, INCIDENT TO CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS OF NOVEMBER 29, 1948.

BY ORDERS FROM THE CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL, DATED NOVEMBER 29, 1948, AND ENDORSEMENTS THEREON, YOU WERE DETACHED FROM DUTY AT GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA, AND ASSIGNED TO DUTY AT MEXICO CITY, MEXICO, WHERE YOU REPORTED ON JANUARY 5, 1949. IT APPEARS THAT YOUR DEPENDENTS TRAVELED FROM GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA, TO MEXICO CITY, MEXICO, ON MARCH 17, 1949, VIA COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT AT PERSONAL EXPENSE OF $126. ON VOUCHER NO. 153676, JUNE 1949 ACCOUNTS OF J. A. SMITH, SYMBOL 50 047, YOU WERE PAID THE SUM OF $60.78, REPRESENTING REIMBURSEMENT ON A MILEAGE BASIS FOR TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS BETWEEN THE POINTS INVOLVED. YOU NOW CLAIM THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE AMOUNT PAID TO YOU ON SAID VOUCHER AND THE COST OF YOUR DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT.

IN SUPPORT OF YOUR CLAIM YOU HAVE FURNISHED STATEMENTS BY OFFICIALS OF THE AMERICAN EMBASSIES IN GUATEMALA AND MEXICO, RESPECTIVELY, STATING IN SUBSTANCE THAT TRAVEL BY RAIL BETWEEN GUATEMALA CITY AND MEXICO CITY IS NOT RECOMMENDED, PARTICULARLY FOR MINORS AND FEMALE DEPENDENTS, DUE TO THE DANGER, INCONVENIENCE, ABSENCE OF SANITARY AND SUITABLE PASSENGER AND SLEEPING CARS, THE LENGTH OF THE TRIP, AND IRREGULAR SCHEDULE OF TRAINS. YOU STATE THAT TRAVEL BY TRAIN BETWEEN THE POINTS INVOLVED THROUGH THE JUNGLES WITH INFERIOR ACCOMMODATIONS IS UNSUITABLE, EXCEPT FOR THE HARDIEST OF NATIVES, AND ON SUCH BASIS YOU URGE THAT YOUR CLAIM SHOULD BE ALLOWED. WHILE IT MAY BE, AS CONTENDED BY YOU, THAT RAIL TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN SUCH PLACES IS NOT DESIRABLE FOR TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS, IT IS SHOWN BY THE RECORD AND THE OFFICIAL RAILWAY GUIDE THAT RAIL TRANSPORTATION IS AVAILABLE AND COULD HAVE BEEN USED BY YOUR DEPENDENTS FOR THEIR TRAVEL.

THE TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS OF NAVAL PERSONNEL IS GOVERNED BY LAW AND BY REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT THERETO BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY. SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF APRIL 27, 1946, 60 STAT. 126, 127, PROVIDES THAT IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION FOR DEPENDENTS OF PERSONNEL OF THE NAVY UNDER ANY PROVISION OF LAW, PAYMENT AT THE RATE OF 4 CENTS PER MILE FOR DEPENDENTS 12 YEARS OF AGE AND OVER, AND 2 CENTS PER MILE FOR DEPENDENTS UNDER 12 YEARS OF AGE TO INCLUDE DEPENDENTS 5 YEARS OF AGE AND OVER, MAY BE MADE FOR LAND TRAVEL WHEN SUCH TRAVEL SHALL HAVE BEEN COMPLETED, PROVIDED THAT NO PAYMENT WILL BE MADE FOR DEPENDENTS LESS THAN 5 YEARS OF AGE. SECTION 4 OF THE SAID ACT, 60 STAT. 127, PROVIDES THAT THE SECRETARY OF WAR AND THE SECRETARY OF THE/1NAVY, RESPECTIVELY, ARE AUTHORIZED TO PRESCRIBE REGULATIONS FOR CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF SAID ACT. PARAGRAPH 8152-1A, U.S. NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS, PROVIDES THAT "IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION FOR DEPENDENTS OF PERSONNEL AUTHORIZED UNDER ANY PROVISIONS OF LAW, PAYMENT AT THE RATE OF $0.04 PER MILE FOR DEPENDENTS 12 YEARS OF AGE AND OVER, AND $0.02 PER MILE FOR DEPENDENTS UNDER 12 YEARS OF AGE TO INCLUDE DEPENDENTS 5 YEARS OF AGE AND OVER, WILL BE MADE FOR LAND TRAVEL (DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN) PERFORMED AT PERSONAL EXPENSE, WHEN SUCH TRAVEL SHALL HAVE BEEN COMPLETED.' ALSO, PARAGRAPH 8102, U.S. NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS, PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, THAT "AIR TRANSPORTATION FOR OVERSEAS TRAVEL WILL NOT BE FURNISHED EXCEPT WHEN AIR TRANSPORTATION IS THE ONLY MEANS AVAILABLE.'

SINCE RAIL TRANSPORTATION WAS AVAILABLE, TRAVEL FROM GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA, TO MEXICO CITY, MEXICO, PROPERLY IS TO BE REGARDED AS LAND TRAVEL AND YOU WERE ENTITLED, UNDER THE LAW AND REGULATIONS, TO REIMBURSEMENT ON A MILEAGE BASIS ONLY WITHOUT REGARD TO THE ACTUAL AMOUNT EXPENDED FOR TRAVEL. SUCH REIMBURSEMENT HAS BEEN MADE TO YOU.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF MAY 25, 1950, IS SUSTAINED. THE ORDERS SUBMITTED BY YOU ARE RETURNED.