B-160040, OCT. 3, 1966

B-160040: Oct 3, 1966

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PARAGRAPH 12 OF YOUR TRAVEL ORDER PROVIDES: "WHEN GOV-T QUARTERS AND MEALS ARE FURNISHED WHILE ATTENDING SCHOOL. ACTUAL EXPENSES ONLY ARE AUTHORIZED. GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND SUBSISTENCE (THE LATTER AT $2.50 PER DAY) WERE AVAILABLE AT THE COAST GUARD TRAINING CENTER. WERE NOT AVAILABLE FOR WIVES OF TRAINEES. IT IS TOWARD RECOVERY OF THESE EXPENSES THAT YOUR LETTER IS DIRECTED. UNDER YOUR TRAVEL ORDERS YOU WERE ENTITLED TO $10 PER DAY WHILE ACTUALLY TRAVELING. WHILE AT ANY ONE LOCATION YOU WERE ENTITLED TO COMMUTED SUBSISTENCE AS PROVIDED BY MEMORANDUM A-3. THAT MEMORANDUM PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS: "ANY CLAIM FOR THESE RATES MUST BE SUPPORTED BY A CERTIFICATE FROM THE COMMANDING OFFICER THAT MEALS AND/OR ROOM FOR THE PERIOD CLAIMED WERE NEITHER FURNISHED NOR AVAILABLE.'.

B-160040, OCT. 3, 1966

TO MR. CHARLES B. ELLIS:

YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 24, 1966, ASKS FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 19, 1966, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR CERTAIN TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCURRED BY YOU INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFER OF YOUR OFFICIAL STATION FROM NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, TO JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, WITH INTERIM TRAINING DUTY OF EIGHT WEEKS AT GROTON, CONNECTICUT.

WE UNDERSTAND THAT UPON RECEIPT OF YOUR TRAVEL ORDERS, YOU VACATED YOUR APARTMENT IN NORFOLK, STORED YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND EFFECTS AND TRAVELED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ACCOMPANIED BY MRS. ELLIS, TO GROTON, CONNECTICUT.

PARAGRAPH 12 OF YOUR TRAVEL ORDER PROVIDES:

"WHEN GOV-T QUARTERS AND MEALS ARE FURNISHED WHILE ATTENDING SCHOOL, ACTUAL EXPENSES ONLY ARE AUTHORIZED. RECEIPTS TO BE FURNISHED.'

GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND SUBSISTENCE (THE LATTER AT $2.50 PER DAY) WERE AVAILABLE AT THE COAST GUARD TRAINING CENTER, GROTON, CONNECTICUT, BUT WERE NOT AVAILABLE FOR WIVES OF TRAINEES. CONSEQUENTLY, YOU USED COMMERCIAL QUARTERS AND SUBSISTED YOU AND YOUR WIFE AT COMMERCIAL RESTAURANTS AT YOUR EXPENSE. IT IS TOWARD RECOVERY OF THESE EXPENSES THAT YOUR LETTER IS DIRECTED.

UNDER YOUR TRAVEL ORDERS YOU WERE ENTITLED TO $10 PER DAY WHILE ACTUALLY TRAVELING. PAYMENT HAS BEEN MADE TO YOU ON THAT BASIS. WHILE AT ANY ONE LOCATION YOU WERE ENTITLED TO COMMUTED SUBSISTENCE AS PROVIDED BY MEMORANDUM A-3, DATED OCTOBER 8, 1965, PROMULGATED BY THE ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE SERVICES ADMINISTRATION.

THAT MEMORANDUM PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"ANY CLAIM FOR THESE RATES MUST BE SUPPORTED BY A CERTIFICATE FROM THE COMMANDING OFFICER THAT MEALS AND/OR ROOM FOR THE PERIOD CLAIMED WERE NEITHER FURNISHED NOR AVAILABLE.' SINCE MEALS AND ROOM FOR THE PERIOD CLAIMED WERE AVAILABLE TO YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS FOR ALLOWING YOU COMMUTED SUBSISTENCE OR ADDITIONAL PER DIEM.

YOU URGE THAT THE TRAVEL OF YOUR WIFE TO GROTON WAS CONTEMPLATED BY YOUR TRAVEL ORDERS, RELYING ON THE LANGUAGE IN BOX 14 OF THE TRAVEL ORDER AS YOUR PRINCIPAL JUSTIFICATION FOR YOUR CONCLUSION. WE BELIEVE THAT THE LANGUAGE IN BOX 14, WHEN CONSIDERED IN CONJUNCTION WITH BOX 11, PURPORTS TO SHOW ONLY THE APPLICABLE MILEAGE RATES AUTHORIZED BY ATTACHMENT A, BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, TRANSMITTAL MEMORANDUM NO. 5, DATED JULY 30, 1965, WHICH REGULATION PERTAINS ONLY TO MILEAGE FOR USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES ON TRANSFERS OF STATION. THAT MEMORANDUM, ALSO, PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY ARE ALLOWABLE WHETHER THE TRAVEL BEGINS AT THE EMPLOYEE'S OLD OFFICIAL STATION OR SOME OTHER POINT, OR PARTIALLY AT BOTH, OR ENDS AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION OR SOME OTHER PLACE SELECTED BY THE EMPLOYEE OR PARTIALLY AT BOTH. THE COST OF THE GOVERNMENT, HOWEVER, WILL NOT EXCEED THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION BY A USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BETWEEN THE EMPLOYEE'S OLD AND NEW OFFICIAL STATIONS.'

WE ARE AWARE OF NO LAW OF GENERAL APPLICATION THAT WOULD PERMIT INCREASED COST TO THE GOVERNMENT BECAUSE AN EMPLOYEE IS ACCOMPANIED BY A MEMBER OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY WHILE ON TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVEL. THE ABOVE-QUOTED LANGUAGE NEGATES THE IDEA THAT THE COST OF TRANSPORTING A MEMBER OF THE EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY MAY EXCEED THAT OF TRANSPORTING SUCH MEMBER BY THE USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BETWEEN HIS OLD AND NEW OFFICIAL STATIONS, I.E., IN YOUR CASE BETWEEN NORFOLK AND JACKSONVILLE.

IT APPEARS, THEREFORE, THAT YOU WERE OVERPAID MILEAGE AT THE RATE OF 2 CENTS A MILE FOR THE TRAVEL BETWEEN NORFOLK AND GROTON AND RETURN SINCE THE RATE OF 6 CENTS PER MILE WOULD BE APPLICABLE FOR YOUR OFFICIAL TRAVEL TO GROTON AND RETURN. THIS IS REQUIRED BECAUSE YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL TO GROTON MUST BE CONSIDERED AS PERSONAL EXPENSE TRAVEL. THEREFORE, THE MILEAGE RATE APPLICABLE TO THAT PORTION OF THE TRAVEL IS FOR DETERMINATION ON THE SAME BASIS AS IF YOU HAD PERFORMED UNACCOMPANIED TRAVEL. HOWEVER, IT FURTHER APPEARS THAT HAD YOU BEEN QUARTERED AND SUBSISTED BY THE GOVERNMENT AT GROTON IT WOULD HAVE COST YOU A MINIMUM OF $2.50 A DAY (BREAKFAST $0.60, LUNCH $0.90, DINNER $1.00), WHICH WE MAY REASONABLY ASSUME IS LESS THAN THE ACTUAL COST OF YOUR SUBSISTENCE DURING THE PERIODS YOU WERE TEMPORARILY STATIONED AT GROTON,CONNECTICUT.

WE ARE INSTRUCTING OUR CLAIMS DIVISION TODAY TO MAKE THE PROPER ADJUSTMENTS AND YOU WILL BE ADVISED IN REGULAR COURSE OF OUR SETTLEMENT.