A-26155, FEBRUARY 27, 1929, 8 COMP. GEN. 469

A-26155: Feb 27, 1929

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AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT TO OFFICERS OF THE ARMY TRAVELING ON DUTY WITHOUT TROOPS BY AIR NOT EXCEEDING $4 PER DAY IS APPLICABLE ONLY TO TRAVEL IN GOVERNMENT-OWNED AIRPLANES. AN OFFICER OF THE ARMY TRAVELING IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES WHO IS DIRECTED BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR TO UTILIZE COMMERCIAL AIRPLANES IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THE PARTICULAR DUTY ASSIGNED IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES NOT EXCEEDING $7 PER DAY AND THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION BY COMMERCIAL AIRPLANE. AS FOLLOWS: IT IS CONTEMPLATED SENDING THE ASSISTANT MILITARY ATTACHE FOR AIR. IT IS NECESSARY THAT THE JOURNEY FROM CAIRO TO THE POINTS NAMED IN PALESTINE AND MESOPOTAMIA. IMPERIAL AIRWAYS IS A COMMERCIAL ORGANIZATION.

A-26155, FEBRUARY 27, 1929, 8 COMP. GEN. 469

TRAVELING EXPENSES - MILEAGE - ARMY OFFICER TRAVELING BY COMMERCIAL AIRPLANE THE ACT OF JULY 11, 1919, 41 STAT. 109, AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT TO OFFICERS OF THE ARMY TRAVELING ON DUTY WITHOUT TROOPS BY AIR NOT EXCEEDING $4 PER DAY IS APPLICABLE ONLY TO TRAVEL IN GOVERNMENT-OWNED AIRPLANES. AN OFFICER OF THE ARMY TRAVELING IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES WHO IS DIRECTED BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR TO UTILIZE COMMERCIAL AIRPLANES IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THE PARTICULAR DUTY ASSIGNED IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES NOT EXCEEDING $7 PER DAY AND THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION BY COMMERCIAL AIRPLANE, PAYABLE UNDER THE APPROPRIATION APPLICABLE TO HIS TRAVEL. AN OFFICER OF THE ARMY ORDERED TO TRAVEL FROM POINT TO POINT IN THE UNITED STATES AND ENTITLED TO MILEAGE UNDER SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, 42 STAT. 631, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 1, 1926, 44 STAT. 680, MAY NOT BE FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS FOR TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL AIRPLANE, THE OFFICER BEING ENTITLED TO 8 CENTS PER MILE, THE COST OF EXTRAORDINARY MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION BEING PAYABLE BY HIM.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, FEBRUARY 27, 1929:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 15, 1929, AS FOLLOWS:

IT IS CONTEMPLATED SENDING THE ASSISTANT MILITARY ATTACHE FOR AIR, AMERICAN EMBASSY, LONDON, ENGLAND, TO VARIOUS POINTS IN EGYPT, PALESTINE, AND MESOPOTAMIA, FOR THE PURPOSE OF STUDYING THE INSTALLATIONS AND OPERATIONS OF COMMERCIAL FLYING ACTIVITIES, AND OBSERVING THE ACTIVITIES OF THE ROYAL AIR FORCE NOW IN ACTIVE OPERATIONS AGAINST NATIVE TRIBES. THE PROPOSED JOURNEY WOULD BE FROM LONDON TO CAIRO, VIA TRAIN ACROSS FRANCE, AND BY BOAT ACROSS THE MEDITERRANEAN, AND FROM CAIRO TO BAGDAD AND BASRA, AND RETURN TO CAIRO BY AIR OVER IMPERIAL AIRWAYS.

IN ORDER THAT THIS MISSION MAY BE ACCOMPLISHED, IT IS NECESSARY THAT THE JOURNEY FROM CAIRO TO THE POINTS NAMED IN PALESTINE AND MESOPOTAMIA, AND RETURN BE BY AIR. IMPERIAL AIRWAYS IS A COMMERCIAL ORGANIZATION, AND IT WOULD BE NECESSARY TO PURCHASE TRANSPORTATION FOR THE TRAVEL OVER ITS LINES. THE QUESTION THEREFORE ARISES AS TO WHETHER OR NOT APPROPRIATIONS FROM WHICH RAILROAD AND STEAMSHIP FARES ARE USUALLY PAID,"MILEAGE OF THE ARMY," "ARMY TRANSPORTATION," AND "AIR CORPS, ARMY," ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF FARES OVER COMMERCIAL AIR LINES. UNDER THE ACT OF JULY 11, 1919 (41 STAT. 109) ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES, AT NOT TO EXCEED $8.00 PER DAY, MAY BE PAID TO OFFICERS WHEN TRAVELING BY AIR, BUT IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THIS ACT CONTEMPLATES REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUBSISTENCE AND INCIDENTAL EXPENSES, AND WAS NOT INTENDED TO INCLUDE THE COST OF THE FARE OVER A COMMERCIAL LINE.

THIS QUESTION DOES NOT APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN DISCUSSED OR DECIDED BY YOUR OFFICE FOR THE REASON THAT HERETOFORE TRAVEL BY AIR BY ARMY PERSONNEL HAS BEEN BY AIRCRAFT OWNED BY THE GOVERNMENT. IT IS THEREFORE REQUESTED THAT I BE ADVISED WHETHER OR NOT THE APPROPRIATIONS NAMED ABOVE ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF FARES OVER COMMERCIAL AIR LINES IN CASES WHERE TRAVEL BY AIR OVER SUCH LINES IS NECESSARY FOR THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF A MISSION.

THE DECISIONS OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS WHICH MADE NECESSARY THE ACT OF JULY 11, 1919, 41 STAT. 109, ARE QUOTED AND DISCUSSED IN 8 COMP. GEN. 225. AT THE TIME OF THE PASSAGE OF THIS ACT, EXCEPT FOR SEA TRAVEL, OFFICERS OF THE ARMY WERE ENTITLED ONLY TO MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL ON DUTY WITHOUT TROOPS (EXCEPT WITH RESPECT TO TRAVEL IN CONNECTION WITH CERTAIN SPECIFIED DUTIES NOT HERE MATERIAL); THE ACT IS SO DRAWN AS TO BE INCLUSIVE OF ALL EXPENSES INCURRED; AND IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT THE LIMIT OF $8 PER DAY IS INCLUSIVE OF COST OF TAXI FARE OR BOAT FARE FROM LANDING FIELD OR HARBOR TO CITY, AS WELL AS STREET-CAR FARE, ETC. THE STATUTE WAS OBVIOUSLY INTENDED TO BE APPLICABLE ONLY TO CASES WHERE OFFICERS WERE TRAVELING IN GOVERNMENT OWNED AIRPLANES AND HAS NO APPLICATION TO TRAVEL IN COMMERCIAL AIRPLANES, FOR AT THE TIME OF ITS ENACTMENT FEW, IF ANY, COMMERCIAL AIRPLANE LINES WERE IN OPERATION.

UNDER SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, 42 STAT. 631, AS AMENDED, 44 STAT. 680, IF AN OFFICER TRAVELING IN THE UNITED STATES AND ENTITLED UNDER THAT SECTION TO MILEAGE SHOULD TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL AIRPLANE, HE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT ONLY AT THE RATE OF 8 CENTS PER MILE AND THE AUTHORITY FOR FURNISHING TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS, ACT OF JUNE 12, 1906, 34 STAT. 246, IS NOT APPLICABLE TO EXTRAORDINARY MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION, 20 COMP. DEC. 485.

SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 1, 1926, 44 STAT. 680, PROVIDES:

* * * ACTUAL EXPENSES ONLY SHALL BE PAID FOR TRAVEL UNDER ORDERS INALASKA AND OUTSIDE THE LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES IN NORTH AMERICA. UNLESS OTHERWISE EXPRESSLY PROVIDED BY LAW, NO OFFICER OF THE SERVICES MENTIONED IN THE TITLE OF THIS ACT SHALL BE ALLOWED OR PAID ANY SUM IN EXCESS OF EXPENSES ACTUALLY INCURRED FOR SUBSISTENCE WHILE TRAVELING ON DUTY AWAY FROM HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY, NOR ANY SUM FOR SUCH EXPENSES ACTUALLY INCURRED IN EXCESS OF $7 PER DAY. THE HEADS OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS CONCERNED ARE AUTHORIZED TO PRESCRIBE PER DIEM RATES OF ALLOWANCES, NOT EXCEEDING $6, IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE TO OFFICERS TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND AWAY FROM THEIR DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY.

THE TRAVEL HERE IN QUESTION IS OUTSIDE THE LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES IN NORTH AMERICA. IF YOU SHALL DETERMINE THAT THE PROPER PERFORMANCE OF THE DUTIES ASSIGNED AN OFFICER OF THE ARMY REQUIRES HIS TRAVEL IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY BY COMMERCIAL AIRPLANE AND THAT FACT IS CERTIFIED ON THE VOUCHER, REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION MAY BE MADE UNDER THE APPROPRIATION APPLICABLE TO THE TRAVEL OF THE OFFICER IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES. YOUR QUESTION IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.