oversight

The Air Force's Decision Not to Permit Overseas Travel of a Dependent Wife

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1977-10-07.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                         DCCUMENT   ESUME
03977 -   B2854109]        k.'...

rThe Air Force's Decision Not to Permit Overseas Travel of a
Dependent Wifel HRL-78-5; B-146861. October 7, 1977. 2 pp.

Report to Rep. John . Mosc; by Gregory J. Ahart, Director,
Human Resources Div.
Issue Area: Personnel Management and Compensation: Compensation
     (305).
Contact: Human Resource" Div.
Budget Function: General Government: Central Personnel
    Management (805) .
Organizatlcn Concerned: Department of the Air crce.
congressional Relevance: Rep. John E. Moss.

         The Air Frce decided not tc permit Mrs. Gladys Carroll
to accompany her husband to Camp New Amsterdam in the
Netherlands, because she has multiple sclerosis and the
necessary medical treatment capability s not aviioble at the
facility. Findings/Conclusions: Data on dependents with
multiple sclerosis who have accompanied service meabers to Camp
New Amsterdam in the past 5 years are either unavailable or
difficult and time ccnsumitq to develop. Computerzed medical
records for the CamF New Amsterdam clinic cou3d not be used n
obtain tis data because the clinic provides oi.ly outpatient
care, and computerized outpatient records are no-  aintained by
specific diagnosis. Information would be incomplete since
compuLrized assignrent records for enlisted personnel are
destroyed upon separation from the Air Force. he Information
for the past 5 years was not developed. (SW)
                    RESTRICTED. -/        to be releaced    c"t!de the geha
                    AceQountlng Of       c                      ?Ics
                                                                ciflC aP-.o.
                    by the Office of     gresslonal Re                     Lo.
                         UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTINlG OFMCE
                                 WASHINGTON, D.C.    2051
                                       N'g7                 OCT   7 197)
HUMAN REUOUIRCc
    DIVISION
        B-146861

        The Honorable John E. Moss
        United States House of Representatives

        Dear Mr. Moss:

            Your August 1, 1977, le.ter requested that we look into
                                                                      the
       circumstances surrounding the Air Force's decision not
                                                               to permit
       Mrs. Gladys Carroll to accompany her husband to Camp
                                                             New Amsterdam
       in the Netherlands because she has multiple sclerosis
                                                              and the
       necessary medical treatment caphbility is not available
                                                                at the
       facility.

             The medical facility at Camp New Amsterdam is a clinic with
       three physicians and support staff. Air Force officials
                                                                 told us
       that the clinic cannot povide necessary treatment for
                                                               multiple
       sclerosis and that the nearest facility which can is
                                                             a local
       university ospital abou. 12 miles away. Medical care
                                                               at other
       military facilities can be obtained by using medical
                                                             air evacuation
       planes which are scheduled to stop at (amp New Amsterdam
                                                                 each
       Thursday, if requested. According to .n Air Force official,
                                                                      stops
       on other days can be arranged if 48 hotrs notice is provided.

            Therefore, as a practical matter, any care required
                                                                for
       Mrr. Carroll cn an emergency basis would have to be provided
                                                                    at the
       local university hospital uder the Civilian Health
                                                           and Medical
       Program of the Uniformed Services.

            There is only one dependent with multiple sclerosis
                                                                  currently
       at Camp New Amsterdam    The dependent, whose illness i 'table,
      has received treatment at tne clinic for related anxiety
                                                                  and
      depression. According to medical officials at Camp New
                                                                Amsterdam
      and the Air Force Surgeon General's office, the Air Force
                                                                   was not
      awdre            dependent hd multiple sclerosis until after arrival
      at Camj        d          According to Air Force regulations, this
      informalt                 been shown o the medical clearance form
      that must b              eor dependents before they accompany service
      members overaeab




                                                                   HRD-78-5
                                                                   (990516)
B-146861

      With regard to your request for data on dependents with multiple
sclerosis who have accompanied service members to Camp New Amsterdam
 in the past 5 years, we found that much of this iormation is either
unavailable or very difficult and time consuming to develop. Computerized
medical records for the Camp New Amsterdam clinic could not be used to
obtain this data because the clinic provides only outpatient care and
computerized outpatient records are not maintained by specific diagnosis.
Obtaining this infonation would require:

     --Identifying by a computer search the approximate 4,000
       individuals that have been assigned to Camp New
       Amsterdam during the past 5 years.

     -- Determining where those individuals are   :rently
        assigned, and visiting those locations, which could
        be spread all over the world, to manually examine
        their personnel records to see if dependents accompanied
        them to Camp New Amsterdam.

     --Manually examining the medical records of accompanying
       dependents to establish whether they had multiple
       sclerosis while at Camp New Amsterdam.

Even if the above were done, the results would probably be incomplete
because computerized assignment records for enlisted personnel are
destroyed upon separation from the Air Force. According to Air Force
officials, a manual search of enlisted personnel records to determine
past assignments would require months of effort. About 90 percent of
the persons assigned to Camp New Amsterdam are enlisted personnel.

     Based on the foregoing, it was agreed with your staff that we
would not attempt. to deveiop the requested data over the past 5 years.

     We regret that much of the information you asked for was not
available. However, we hope the information we did obtain will be
useful in resolving Mrs. Carroll's situation.

                                Sincerely yours,




                               .Gregor J.     rt
                                Direct r