A-27532, JUNE 21, 1929, 8 COMP. GEN. 657

A-27532: Jun 21, 1929

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NIGHT STORAGE AT TEMPORARY STATIONS EN ROUTE WHERE SUCH EXPENSES ARE PRIMARILY SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES TO BE BORNE BY THE EMPLOYEE AND NOT TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE DIRECTED TRAVEL. NIGHT STORAGE WAS DUE TO TRAVEL BETWEEN STATIONS AND WHAT PART WAS DUE TO USE OF THE AUTOMOBILE AT THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATIONS. A DISBURSING OFFICER IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO PAY ANY AMOUNT ON SUCH VOUCHER. 1929: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR REQUEST OF APRIL 20. REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF L. YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER APPEARS TO BE WHETHER CERTAIN ITEMS CHARGED FOR NIGHT STORAGE MAY BE PAID IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE WAS REQUIRED TO PERFORM TEMPORARY DUTY AT THE PLACES WHERE SUCH CHARGES WERE INCURRED.

A-27532, JUNE 21, 1929, 8 COMP. GEN. 657

TRAVELING EXPENSES - PRIVATE AUTOMOBILE - TEMPORARY DUTY STATIONS A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE IN A TRAVEL STATUS AND ENTITLED TO A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED FOR EXPENDITURES MADE FOR GASOLINE, OIL, AND NIGHT STORAGE AT TEMPORARY STATIONS EN ROUTE WHERE SUCH EXPENSES ARE PRIMARILY SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES TO BE BORNE BY THE EMPLOYEE AND NOT TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE DIRECTED TRAVEL. WHERE IT APPEARS THAT AN EMPLOYEE USED HIS PRIVATE AUTOMOBILE FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTY AT HIS TEMPORARY STATIONS AND IT CAN NOT BE DETERMINED WHAT PART OF THE ITEMS CLAIMED ON A TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHER FOR GASOLINE, OIL, AND NIGHT STORAGE WAS DUE TO TRAVEL BETWEEN STATIONS AND WHAT PART WAS DUE TO USE OF THE AUTOMOBILE AT THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATIONS, A DISBURSING OFFICER IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO PAY ANY AMOUNT ON SUCH VOUCHER.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO CAPTAIN VOLER V. VILES, UNITED STATES ARMY, JUNE 21, 1929:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR REQUEST OF APRIL 20, 1929, TRANSMITTED TO THIS OFFICE BY THE CHIEF OF FINANCE UNDER DATE OF JUNE 3, 1929, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF L. F. ASHWORTH, ARMAMENT AND AMMUNITION FOREMAN, HEADQUARTERS SIXTH CORPS AREA, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENDITURES FOR GASOLINE, OIL, AND NIGHT STORAGE INCURRED IN TRAVEL IN HIS OWN AUTOMOBILE UNDER ORDERS OF SEPTEMBER 25, 1928, DIRECTING HIM TO PROCEED ON OR ABOUT OCTOBER 1, 1928, TO VARIOUS PLACES IN MICHIGAN IN CONNECTION WITH THE ANNUAL INSPECTION AND REPAIR OF ORDNANCE EQUIPMENT OF THE MICHIGAN NATIONAL GUARD. YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER APPEARS TO BE WHETHER CERTAIN ITEMS CHARGED FOR NIGHT STORAGE MAY BE PAID IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE WAS REQUIRED TO PERFORM TEMPORARY DUTY AT THE PLACES WHERE SUCH CHARGES WERE INCURRED.

THE ORDER DIRECTING THE TRAVEL PROVIDED THAT THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS WOULD FURNISH THE NECESSARY TRANSPORTATION AND THAT WHILE EN ROUTE AND ON THE DUTY DIRECTED A FLAT PER DIEM OF $6 IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE WAS AUTHORIZED. IT THUS APPEARS THAT THE ORDER CONTEMPLATED TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER, AND IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS AUTHORIZED TO USE HIS OWN AUTOMOBILE PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH 12 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 1926, WHICH PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

* * * UNLESS OTHERWISE PROVIDED BY LAW, WHEN AN EMPLOYEE TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS IS AUTHORIZED TO USE HIS OWN CONVEYANCE HE WILL BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION ON THE BASIS OF ITS ACTUAL OPERATING EXPENSE (SUCH AS GASOLINE, OIL, GARAGE RENT, FEED AND STABLING OF HORSES, AND BRIDGE, FERRY, AND OTHER TOLLS), NOT IN EXCESS OF LOCALLY PREVAILING RATES, NOR OF THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION BY PUBLIC CONVEYANCE.

IN THE VOUCHER SUBMITTED BY MR. ASHWORTH REIMBURSEMENT WAS CLAIMED IN THE AMOUNT OF $60.90, BUT ATTACHED CORRESPONDENCE SHOWS THAT HE WAS ACCOMPANIED ON THE TRIP BY A CAPTAIN LONG, ORDNANCE INSPECTOR, AND CONSEQUENTLY HE NOW CLAIMS REIMBURSEMENT OF ONLY ONE-HALF OF THE EXPENSES INCURRED, OR $30.45. THE ATTACHED CORRESPONDENCE SHOWS, ALSO, THAT THE VOUCHER HAD BEEN APPROVED BY THE QUARTERMASTER GENERAL FOR PAYMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $17.33, REPRESENTING ONE-HALF THE AMOUNT EXPENDED FOR GASOLINE AND OIL AND FOR THE ONE NIGHT'S STORAGE WHICH APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN INCURRED DURING TRANSIT FROM ONE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION TO THE NEXT AND, THEREFORE, TO HAVE BEEN A TRUE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSE.

WHILE IT MIGHT BE THAT IN TRAVEL SUCH AS PERFORMED BY THE EMPLOYEE, REIMBURSEMENT OF NIGHT STORAGE CHARGES WOULD BE ALLOWABLE AS TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES DUE TO THE SELECTED METHOD OF TRAVEL WHERE THE EMPLOYEE ONLY STAYED OVERNIGHT AT A PLACE WHERE HE WAS REQUIRED TO PERFORM TEMPORARY DUTY AND IT APPEARED THAT HIS AUTOMOBILE WAS NOT USED IN CONNECTION WITH THE PERFORMANCE OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY AT SUCH PLACES, YET WHERE THE DELAY IS LONGER THAN THAT, OR IT APPEARS THAT THE AUTOMOBILE IS USED IN CONNECTION WITH THE TEMPORARY DUTY PERFORMED- - THAT IS, IN GOING FROM AND RETURNING TO HIS HOTEL, ETC.--- SUCH STORAGE CHARGES MAY NOT BE ALLOWED, FOR THE REASON THAT THEY ARE PRIMARILY OR PARTIALLY SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED AT THE EMPLOYEE'S TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AND AS SUCH MUST BE DEFRAYED BY THE EMPLOYEE HIMSELF THE SAME AS THOUGH HE HAD ARRIVED BY TRAIN AND HIRED THE AUTOMOBILE. SEE A-24257, SEPTEMBER 21, 1928. THAT THE EMPLOYEE HERE SO USED HIS AUTOMOBILE IS INDICATED BY THE VOUCHER AND SUPPORTING DATA. THE VOUCHER SHOWS THAT HE ARRIVED AT LANSING, MICH., AT 7 P.M., OCTOBER 10, 1928, AND LEFT AT 7 A.M. ON OCTOBER 15. A CHARGE, WITH A SUPPORTING RECEIPT, IS MADE FOR GAS AND OIL PURCHASED IN THE AMOUNT OF $4.47 ON OCTOBER 13--- THAT IS, DURING THE PERIOD HE WAS ENGAGED THERE ON TEMPORARY DUTY. THE VOUCHER FURTHER SHOWS THAT HE ARRIVED AT DETROIT AT 6 P.M., OCTOBER 23, AND LEFT AT 8 A.M. ON NOVEMBER 6, AND THAT DURING THE PERIOD OF TEMPORARY DUTY THERE A CHARGE WAS MADE FOR GASOLINE AND OIL IN THE AMOUNT OF $2.68 PURCHASED ON OCTOBER 29; GASOLINE AND OIL IN THE AMOUNT OF $2.08 PURCHASED ON NOVEMBER 5; AND STORAGE FOR THE FIRST WEEK IN THE AMOUNT OF $4.50 IS SHOWN TO HAVE BEEN PAID ON OCTOBER 29. STORAGE IS CHARGED, ALSO, FOR THE SECOND WEEK, TO NOVEMBER 6, IN A LIKE AMOUNT.

FROM THESE CIRCUMSTANCES IT MUST BE ASSUMED THAT THE EMPLOYEE USED HIS AUTOMOBILE THROUGHOUT THE TRIP FOR HIS PERSONAL CONVENIENCE DURING THE PERFORMANCE OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY AT THE DIFFERENT STATIONS AND, THEREFORE, THAT THE ITEMS CHARGED FOR NIGHT STORAGE MAY NOT BE ALLOWED AS TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCIDENT TO TRAVEL FROM ONE STATION TO ANOTHER. NOR MAY THE CHARGES FOR GASOLINE AND OIL INCURRED DURING HIS STAY AT TEMPORARY STATIONS BE ALLOWED. THE FACT THAT HE MADE SUCH PURCHASES INDICATES THE PROBABILITY THAT HE USED HIS CAR DURING THE PERFORMANCE OF TEMPORARY DUTY AT ALL STATIONS AND THROWS DOUBT ON THE CORRECTNESS OF THE OTHER ITEMS FOR GASOLINE AND OIL CHARGED, AS IT CAN NOT BE TOLD WHAT AMOUNTS WERE USED IN TRANSPORTATION AND WHAT AMOUNTS IN THE PERFORMANCE OF TEMPORARY DUTY.

THERE ARE, ALSO, OTHER DISCREPANCIES SHOWN BY THE VOUCHER AND SUPPORTING PAPERS. STORAGE AT LANSING IS CHARGED FOR SIX NIGHTS, ALTHOUGH, ACCORDING TO THE VOUCHER, THE EMPLOYEE WAS ONLY IN LANSING FIVE NIGHTS. STORAGE IS CHARGED AT YPSILANTI FOR TWO NIGHTS, ALTHOUGH THE VOUCHER SHOWS THAT HE WAS THERE ONLY ONE NIGHT. THE VOUCHER SHOWS THAT HE ARRIVED BACK AT CHICAGO AT 2 P.M., NOVEMBER 13, WHILE A CHARGE IS MADE FOR 10 GALLONS OF GASOLINE PURCHASED AT TOLTON, ILL., ON NOVEMBER 14, APPARENTLY AFTER COMPLETION OF THE TRAVEL.

ASIDE FROM THE FACT THAT THE TRAVEL BY AUTOMOBILE WAS NOT AUTHORIZED PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH 12 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, THE EMPLOYEE AT LEAST HAS FAILED TO EXERCISE THE PUNCTILIOUSNESS REQUIRED IN STATING AN ACCOUNT FOR REIMBURSEMENT FROM THE GOVERNMENT, ESPECIALLY FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES, AND, IN VIEW OF THE DISCREPANCIES WHICH MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE TO DETERMINE WHICH ITEMS ARE CORRECTLY STATED AND THE EXACT AMOUNT REIMBURSABLE, YOU ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO PAY ANY AMOUNT ON THE VOUCHER. THE VOUCHER WILL BE RETAINED HERE FOR RECORD.