A-30454, FEBRUARY 14, 1934, 13 COMP. GEN. 219

A-30454: Feb 14, 1934

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WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT HE WILL BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT NOT TO EXCEED WHAT IT WOULD COST TO TRAVEL AS DIRECTED. IS LIMITED TO THE EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR TRAVEL BY THE DIRECTED ROUTE WITHIN THE USUALLY REQUIRED TIME FOR SUCH TRAVEL WITHOUT REGARD TO ANY SPECULATIVE OR THEORETICAL DELAY EN ROUTE. 1934: THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION IN THE AUDIT OF THE DISBURSING ACCOUNT OF COL. FOR WHICH HE WOULD BE REIMBURSED NOT IN EXCESS OF WHAT HE WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO FOR TRAVEL AS DIRECTED. HE WAS GRANTED ADDITIONAL DELAY IN REPORTING TO THE NAVAL OPERATING BASE. WERE BASED ON REPORT OF THE MAJOR GENERAL COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS TO THE EFFECT THAT THE FIRST GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WAS THE U.S.S.

A-30454, FEBRUARY 14, 1934, 13 COMP. GEN. 219

TRAVELING EXPENSES - DELAYS EN ROUTE - MARINE CORPS OFFICER REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES OF OFFICERS OF THE MARINE CORPS UNDER ORDERS DIRECTING TRAVEL BY A PARTICULAR ROUTE AND AUTHORIZING THE OFFICER TO PERFORM TRAVEL OVER A ROUTE OF HIS OWN SELECTION, WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT HE WILL BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT NOT TO EXCEED WHAT IT WOULD COST TO TRAVEL AS DIRECTED, IS LIMITED TO THE EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR TRAVEL BY THE DIRECTED ROUTE WITHIN THE USUALLY REQUIRED TIME FOR SUCH TRAVEL WITHOUT REGARD TO ANY SPECULATIVE OR THEORETICAL DELAY EN ROUTE.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, FEBRUARY 14, 1934:

THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION IN THE AUDIT OF THE DISBURSING ACCOUNT OF COL. S. W. BOGAN (A.P.M.), UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS, PAYMENT TO CAPT. ALBERT B. SAGE, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS, OF $91 AS EXPENSES FOR CONSTRUCTIVE TRAVEL AT $7 PER DIEM, APRIL 16 TO 28, 1929, WHILE AWAITING TRANSPORTATION AT THE CANAL ZONE TO THE WEST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES UNDER ORDERS OF MARCH 2, 1929, DETACHING THAT OFFICER FROM DUTY AT BLUE FIELDS, NICARAGUA, AND DIRECTING HIM TO PROCEED TO THE WEST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES VIA THE FIRST AVAILABLE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION AND ON ARRIVAL ON THE WEST COAST TO PROCEED AND REPORT TO THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE NAVAL OPERATING BASE, SAN DIEGO, CALIF., FOR DUTY. THE ORDERS FURTHER AUTHORIZED CAPTAIN SAGE TO DELAY SUCH TRAVEL ONE MONTH AND TO PROCEED AT HIS OWN EXPENSE, FOR WHICH HE WOULD BE REIMBURSED NOT IN EXCESS OF WHAT HE WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO FOR TRAVEL AS DIRECTED. BY ORDERS OF MARCH 23, 1929, HE WAS GRANTED ADDITIONAL DELAY IN REPORTING TO THE NAVAL OPERATING BASE, SAN DIEGO, CALIF., OF ONE MONTH.

CAPTAIN SAGE TRAVELED AT HIS OWN EXPENSE BY COMMERCIAL STEAMER FROM BLUE FIELDS, NICARAGUA, TO NEW ORLEANS, LA., AND THENCE BY RAIL TO SAN DIEGO, CALIF. HE HAS BEEN REIMBURSED $151.69 AS CONSTRUCTIVE TRAVEL EXPENSES AS FOLLOWS: MESS BILL ON THE U.S.S. DENVER, APR. 14 AND 15, 1929 ------------ -- $3.00 MESS BILL ON THE U.S.A.T. CHATEAU THIERRY, APR. 29 TO MAY 9, 1929 - 16.50 EXPENSES AT $7 PER DIEM, APR. 16 TO 28, 1929 --------------------- - 91.00 MILEAGE FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO SAN DIEGO, CALIF. ------------------ - 41.19

THESE PAYMENTS, IT SEEMS, WERE BASED ON REPORT OF THE MAJOR GENERAL COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS TO THE EFFECT THAT THE FIRST GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WAS THE U.S.S. DENVER, WHICH SAILED FROM BLUE FIELDS, NICARAGUA, ON APRIL 14, ARRIVING AT THE CANAL ZONE APRIL 15, 1929; THAT THE FIRST GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT FROM THE CANAL ZONE TO THE WEST COAST ON OR AFTER APRIL 15, 1929, WAS THE U.S.A.T. CHATEAU THIERRY, WHICH SAILED FROM THE CANAL ZONE ON APRIL 29 AND ARRIVED AT SAN FRANCISCO, ON MAY 9, 1929.

THIS EVIDENCE IS NOT CONCLUSIVE THAT FOR ACTUAL TRAVEL, PURSUANT TO HIS ORDERS, BY GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT, CAPTAIN SAGE WOULD HAVE HAD TO DELAY AT THE CANAL ZONE FOR 13 DAYS. IN CASE OF ACTUAL TRAVEL, DETACHMENT OF AN OFFICER IS USUALLY MADE WITH A VIEW TO ACTUAL AVAILABLE TRANSPORTATION. THE ORDERS OF MARCH 2, 1929, WERE ISSUED BY THE AREA COMMANDER, AREA OF THE EAST GUARDIA NACIONAL, BLUE FIELDS, NICARAGUA, AND WERE BASED ON 1929, DIRECTING THE DETACHMENT OF CAPTAIN SAGE AT HIS PRESENT STATION AND DIRECTING THE DETACHMENT OF CAPTAIN SAGE AT HIS PRESENT STATION AND DIRECTING HIM TO PROCEED BY THE FIRST AVAILABLE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION TO THE WEST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES. HE WAS ACTUALLY DETACHED MARCH HEADQUARTERS AS "NEW YORK, N.Y., " AUTHORIZED TRAVEL UPON OFFICIAL BUSINESS "FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO SCARBOROUGH, N.Y.' THE EVIDENCE 2, 1929, TO PERMIT HIM TO TAKE PASSAGE ON A COMMERCIAL VESSEL FROM BLUE FIELDS TO NEW ORLEANS, SAILING ON THAT DATE. IT IS OBVIOUS THAT THE DETACHMENT MARCH 2, 1929, AT BLUE FIELDS FROM WHENCE NO COMMERCIAL VESSELS PLY TO THE CANAL ZONE AND FROM WHENCE NO GOVERNMENT VESSEL WAS DUE TO DEPART UNTIL APRIL 14, 1929, WAS TO ADVANCE THE PERSONAL INTERESTS OF THE OFFICER. HAD HIS SERVICES BEEN REQUIRED AT HIS NEW STATION, DOUBTLESS TRANSPORTATION BY SOME MEANS WOULD HAVE BEEN PROVIDED FROM BLUE FIELDS TO CORINTO, FROM WHICH THERE WERE FREQUENT SAILINGS OF GOVERNMENT VESSELS TO THE WEST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES. IN VIEW OF THE EVIDENT PURPOSE TO ADVANCE THE PERSONAL INTERESTS OF THE OFFICER IN CONNECTION WITH HIS LEAVE OF ABSENCE EN ROUTE TO HIS NEW STATION, AND HIS TRAVEL IN THE EASTERN PORTION OF THE UNITED STATES, THE FACT THAT THE U.S.S. DENVER WAS THE FIRST AVAILABLE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION FOR CAPTAIN SAGE FROM BLUE FIELDS TO THE CANAL ZONE WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED AS ESTABLISHING A RIGHT TO TRAVEL EXPENSES BY THAT ROUTE.

REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL EXPENSE OF OFFICERS OF THE NAVAL AND MILITARY SERVICES UNDER ORDERS DIRECTING TRAVEL AND AUTHORIZING THE OFFICER TO PERFORM TRAVEL OVER A ROUTE OF HIS OWN SELECTION, WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT HE WILL BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT NOT TO EXCEED WHAT IT WOULD COST TO TRAVEL AS DIRECTED, IS BASED ON THE EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE DIRECTED TRAVEL WITHIN THE USUALLY REQUIRED TIME FOR SUCH TRAVEL AND WITHOUT REGARD TO ANY DELAY EN ROUTE FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE OFFICER. IN THIS CASE IN VIEW OF THE EARLY DETACHMENT OF THE OFFICER, HIS GRANTED LEAVE OF ABSENCE AND TRAVEL IN THE EASTERN PORTION OF THE UNITED STATES, BOTH THE DURATION OF DELAY AND THE ACTUAL EXPENSE THE OFFICER WOULD HAVE INCURRED BY THE SELECTED ROUTE ARE TOO SPECULATIVE AND ARTIFICIAL FOR CONSIDERATION IN DETERMINING CONSTRUCTIVE TRAVEL EXPENSES.

CREDIT FOR PAYMENT OF $91 AS CONSTRUCTIVE TRAVEL EXPENSES, WHILE THEORETICALLY AWAITING TRANSPORT AT THE CANAL ZONE, WILL BE DISALLOWED.