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sures, requesting an advance decision as to whether payment is authorized on the submitted voucher in favor of Lieutenant Commander Don C. McVey, USN, for reimbursement of customs brokers' fees and handling charges paid by him to effect entry of his automobile into Spain, in the circumstances shown. The submission of your request for decision was assigned PDTATAC Control No. 59-44.

By orders dated June 10, 1957, and endorsements thereon, Commander [then lieutenant] McVey was detached from duty at Washington, D.C., directed to proceed to Madrid, Spain, and report to the U.S. Naval Attache, American Embassy, for duty. He reported for duty at Madrid on January 22, 1958. It appears that incident to such permanent change of station orders the officer's automobile was shipped by the Government to Spain, and that on February 28, 1958, he paid a customs brokers' fee (apparently including handling charges) of $24.49 to effect entry of his automobile into Spain. The submitted claim is for reimbursement of the expenses so incurred by him.

You report that under the provisions of Procedural Agreement No. 5 of the September 26, 1953, agreements between the United States and Spain, the Joint U.S. Military Group, Spain, concluded an agreement whereby designated agents at specific ports of entry in Spain would process through customs, free of taxes, dues and fees, personal effects—including privately owned vehicles of the United States personnel of the Department of Defense engaged in the Spanish Base Construction Program. You also state that personnel assigned to duty with the Office of the Naval Attache, Madrid, Spain, have not been considered under the provisions of the Procedural Agreement and have been required to bear the expense of customs brokers' fees and port handling charges in effecting entry of their private vehicles into Spain. You request a decision as to the entitlement of military personnel assigned to the Office of the Naval Attache to reimbursement of amounts paid by them for the processing at ports of entry of their privately owned vehicles.

The Chief, Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, has expressed the view that since customs brokerage charges are not considered a part of the cost of transportation of automobiles, there is no authority of law for such charges to be paid from appropriated funds of the Navy.

10 U.S.C. 6157, 70A Stat. 387, provides that: Notwithstanding section 73c of title 5, when any member of the naval service is ordered to make a permanent change of station, one motor vehicle owned by him for his personal use may be transported to his new station on a Government

owned vessel.

The act of May 28, 1956, 70 Stat. 187, 46 U.S.C. 1241, amended section 901 of the Merchant Marine Act, 1936, as amended, by adding at the end thereof a new subsection reading as follows:

(c) That notwithstanding any other provision of law, privately owned American shipping services may be utilized for the transportation of motor vehicles owned by Government personnel whenever transportation of such vehicles at Government expense is otherwise authorized by law.

Implementing regulations relating to the transportation of privately owned motor vehicles for Navy personnel are contained in paragraphs 58300 to 58312, Volume V, Bureau of Supplies and Accounts Manual. Paragraph 58300 of that regulation provides that transportation of one privately owned motor vehicle of military personnel of the Navy ordered to make a permanent change of station to, from, or between overseas areas, may be authorized to the new station on Government-owned vessels or on privately owned United States flag commercial vessels, free of loading and ocean transportation charges. Paragraph 58305 of the same regulations provides that the expenses involved in delivering a motor vehicle to and removing it from a port will be paid by the owner, except that naval activities may issue a sufficient quantity of gasoline without charge to permit the removal of the automobile to the nearest service station.

While the applicable provisions of the statutes and regulations provide for the transoceanic shipment of automobiles owned by Navy members ordered to duty overseas, when shipment is authorized, on Government-owned vessels or on commercial American vessels, there is no express provision in the statutes or regulations for reimbursing owners for expenses incurred by them in connection with such transportation of their automobiles at personal expense. The statutes and regulations appear to contemplate that the authorized shipments of automobiles to overseas areas for Navy members will be arranged for and effected by the appropriate transportation officer at no expense to the member for ocean transportation. Thus, it has been held that if a member upon his assignment to duty overseas has his automobile shipped to his new station at personal expense, he would not be entitled to reimbursement from appropriated funds for the expenses so incurred by him. Decision of December 30, 1958, B-138106.

Even if reimbursement of costs of transportation were proper, it would seem that a customs broker's fee charged by a customs broker in Spain to effect entry into that country of an automobile owned by a member of the uniformed services may not properly be considered as a part of the ocean transportation cost involved. The act of May 28, 1956, authorizes only the use of "American shipping services” and it would appear that the only shipping service required, after the vessel involved arrived at its destination in Spain, was the use of its unloading facilities. Clearly, customs brokerage charges for services rendered by a customs broker after that time have nothing to do with such shipping services.

Accordingly, payment of the submitted voucher is not authorized and it will be retained here.

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[B-142477] Civilian Personnel – Deceased - Transportation - Remains-Alaska and Hawaii

After the admission of Alaska and Hawaii into the Union, employees officially stationed in those States were only entitled, under the act of July 8, 1940, 5 U.S.C. 103a, which authorizes the transportation of remains at Government expense under certain circumstances, to the benefits which are provided for employees in the United States (who die while in a travel status] rather than to the benefits provided for employees stationed in a Territory or possession of the United States or in a foreign country; the status of Alaska and Hawaii on the date of the death of the employee being determinative of the benefits payable by the Government.

To the Administrator, Veterans Administration, April 20, 1960:

On April 1, 1960, your Associate Deputy Administrator, requested our decision upon two questions concerning the effect of the admission of Alaska and Hawaii into the Union upon the application of the provisions of the act of July 8, 1940, 54 Stat. 743, as amended, 5 U.S.C. 103a, in cases of death of civilian employees of the Government. The two questions are as follows:

(1) Are Government employees performing official duties in the States of Alaska and Hawaii entitled to the transportation benefits provided by Public No. 729, 76th Congress, as amended (5 U.S.C. 103a)?

(2) If reply to the general question is in the negative, are Government employees who were assigned to duty in Alaska and Hawaii before statehood was granted entitled to such transportation benefits?

The act of July 8, 1940, is in pertinent part as follows (quoting from 5 U.S.C. 103a):

In case any civilian officer or employee of the United States dies (1) while in a travel status away from his official station in the United States or (2) while performing official duties in a Territory or possession of the United States or in a foreign country or in transit thereto or therefrom, the head of the department, independent establishment, agency, or federally owned or controlled corporation, hereinafter called department, in the service of which such officer or employee was engaged, is authorized, under regulations to be prescribed by the President and except as otherwise provided by law, to pay from the appropriation available for the activity in which he was engaged

(a) In case of the death of the officer or employee in such travel status in the United States, or in the case of the death of the officer or employee while performing official duties in a Territory or possession of the United States or in a foreign country or in transit thereto or therefrom, the expenses of preparing and transporting the remains of such officer or employee to his home or official station or such other place as the head of the department concerned shall determine to be the appropriate place of interment.

(b) In case of the death of the officer or employee while performing official duties in a Territory or possession of the United States or in a foreign country or in transit thereto or therefrom, the transportation expenses of his dependents, including expenses incurred in packing, crating, drayage, and transportation of household effects and other personal property to his former home or such other place as the head of the department shall determine.

Under the above-quoted statute the remains of a deceased employee who dies while officially stationed in the United States may be prepared and transported at Government expense only when the employee was in a travel status away from his official station at the time of his death. On the other hand, an employee stationed in a Territory or possession of the United States or in a foreign country or in transit thereto or therefrom is not required to have been in a travel status at the time of his death in order to qualify for the benefits of that actit being sufficient that death occurred “while performing official duties.” Further, in the case of death of an employee stationed in the United States, no right exists under the statute for transportation of his dependents or household effects.

In principle, the situation here involved is similar to that considered in our decision of October 1, 1958, 38 Comp. Gen. 261, concerning the effect of the admission of Alaska into the Union upon the 45-day leave accumulation benefit theretofore enjoyed by employees officially stationed within her borders. We held in that decision that employees stationed in Alaska on the date of her admission as a State automatically became subject to the 30-day annual leave limitation applicable to employees officially stationed within the several States.

Similarly, for the purposes of the act of July 8, 1940, Alaska and Hawaii upon their admission into the Union as States lost their status as Territories. Hence, the provisions of that act applicable to employees officially stationed within the United States automatically became applicable to employees officially stationed within Alaska or Hawaii on or after the date of their admission as States. In that connection both section 8(d) of the Alaska Statehood Act, Public Law 85–508, July 7, 1958, 72 Stat. 344, and section 15 of the Hawaii Statehood Act, Public Law 86–3, March 18, 1959, 73 Stat. 11, provide in effect that the “laws of the United States shall have the same force and effect within” Alaska or Hawaii, as the case may be, "as elsewhere within the United States." In our decision of December 18, 1958, 38 Comp. Gen. 447, we construed that provision merely as a requirement that the laws of the United States be given the same validity and force in Alaska as in other States. The same construction would be applicable in the case of Hawaii. Hence, after the admission of Alaska and Hawaii into the Union, the act of July 8, 1940, continued in force and effect in both jurisdictions. However, employees stationed in Alaska and Hawaii thereafter became entitled to the benefits provided by such act for employees stationed within the United States in lieu of the benefits authorized by the act for employees stationed in Territories and possessions, etc., to which they theretofore had been entitled. The first question is answered accordingly.

Concerning the second question presented, our view is that the fact an employee was assigned to Alaska or Hawaii before statehood was granted is not controlling. Since death is the contingency establishing immediate entitlement to the benefits provided under the act of July 8, 1940, the status of Alaska or Hawaii—whichever of the two may have been the official station of the employee—as of the date of death of the employee would determine the benefits payable by the Government under that act. Therefore, as to such an employee the answer to the first question is applicable in the event of his death while stationed in Alaska or Hawaii after their admission as States.

[B-141855] Military Personnel—Quarters Allowance-Civilian College Attendance-Travel, Etc., Status—Prohibition A period between permanent duty assignments when members of the uniformed services, without dependents, are permitted to attend civilian colleges to complete studies to qualify for baccalaureate degrees must be regarded as either a period of temporary duty or a period of leave of absence within the meaning of section 102 of the Deficiency Appropriation Act, 1950, 37 U.S.C. 320, which prohibits the receipt of quarters allowance by members without dependents for any period in a travel or leave status between permanent duty stations; and, therefore, such members are probihited from receiving quarters allowance while attending civilian colleges between permanent duty assignments. To the Secretary of Defense, April 21, 1960:

Reference is made to letter of January 27, 1960, from the Assistant Secretary of Defense, requesting decision as to whether, in view of the provisions of section 102 of the Deficiency Appropriation Act, 1950, a member of the Armed Forces, without dependents, is entitled to basic allowance for quarters during the period he is detached from his permanent duty station, assigned to a personnel center for further assignment, and is further assigned to temporary duty, with no per diem authorized, at a university for the purpose of completing college studies to qualify for a baccalaureate degree prior to reporting to the personnel center.

It is stated in Committee Action No. 259, Military Pay and Allowance Committee, Department of Defense, which accompanied your submission, that certain military personnel are authorized, under the provisions of service regulations, to complete college studies in subject areas of functional importance to the military profession and are permitted to satisfy the traditional residence requirement for the baccalaureate degree at accredited civilian colleges and universities while en route to a new permanent station under permissive travel orders not entitling them to payment of per diem. An actual case cited involves an officer who will attend a university for approximately six months after leaving his former permanent duty station, en route to an ultimate overseas command. It is contended that, since officers who perform normal temporary duty en route receive per diem at a rate which includes an allowance for quarters, if not furnished in kind, an inequity results if members in residence at civilian colleges are denied the basic allowance for quarters under the provisions of section 102 of the Deficiency Appropriation Act, 1950, 64 Stat. 288, 37 U.S.C. 320, which provides as follows:

No appropriation shall be available for payment to any member of the unitormed services without dependents (as defined in section 231 (g) and 252 of this

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