A decision was requested as to whether the Joint Travel Regulations could be amended to authorize: (1) travel and transportation at Government expense for court-martialed service members who are required to take leaves of absence pending the completion of the appellate review of their cases; (2) travel expenses to bring court-martialed service members back in the event they are recalled for official purposes; and (3) the transportation of their dependents and household goods at Government expense. Federal regulations provide transportation for members of a uniformed service who are separated or released from active duty under conditions other than honorable by the least expensive means available. In addition, travel allowances may be authorized for a service member whenever he is away from his designated post under orders on official business. The Military Justice Amendments of 1981 gave military commanders the authority to compel court-martialed service members to take leaves of absence pending the completion of their appellate review. However, such individuals may be brought back for further judicial hearings or other purposes. Since such leave is now imposed involuntarily, GAO would have no objection to amending the Joint Travel Regulations to authorize the individuals in question to have the same travel entitlements as are authorized for persons who have been separated or discharged under other than honorable conditions. In addition, GAO would have no objection to amendment of the Joint Travel Regulations to authorize travel allowances to these persons in the event that they are recalled under orders for purposes of an official nature. GAO would also have no objection to an amendment of the regulations to authorize persons who are stationed in the United States and who are involuntarily placed on appellate leave to be allowed transportation of their dependents by the least expensive means available. However, since there is no statutory authority to provide for transportation of such members' household goods, the regulations may not be amended to authorize such transportation at Government expense.
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