A-37626, AUGUST 8, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 60

A-37626: Aug 8, 1931

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IS ENTITLED. WHICH IS USUALLY THE DISTANCE BY RAIL. 1931: THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER AS FOLLOWS: HEREWITH IS A CLAIM IN THE SUM OF $2.10 IN FAVOR OF J. WHICH IS SUBMITTED FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT OR APPROVAL. MCCLINTOCK WAS SUBPOENAED BY THE COMMISSION TO APPEAR AS A WITNESS ON JACKSON. HE WAS REIMBURSED IN THE SUM OF $2.00 FOR TRAVEL AND ATTENDANCE FEE AND $7.10 FOR MILEAGE. AS WELL AS SUBSISTENCE FEES OVER THAT THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN NECESSARY HAD TRAVEL BEEN MADE BY TRAIN. SUBSISTENCE FEES DUE TO TRAVEL BY AUTOMOBILE IS $13.00. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT THE CLAIM IN THE SUM OF $2.10 FOR ADDITIONAL MILEAGE BE GRANTED. THIS VOUCHER IS SUBMITTED FOR THE REASON THAT IN MANY OF OUR RECENT HEARINGS.

A-37626, AUGUST 8, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 60

WITNESSES - MILEAGE - USE OF OWN AUTOMOBILE A WITNESS SUMMONED BEFORE THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION AND THUS ENTITLED TO THE SAME FEES AND MILEAGE AS A WITNESS BEFORE A UNITED STATES COURT, AS PROVIDED BY THE ACT OF APRIL 26, 1926, 44 STAT. 324, IS ENTITLED, IN ADDITION TO THE PRESCRIBED FEES, TO MILEAGE BY THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BETWEEN HIS PLACE OF RESIDENCE AND PLACE OF HEARING, WHICH IS USUALLY THE DISTANCE BY RAIL. WHERE, HOWEVER, A WITNESS BY USING HIS OWN AUTOMOBILE SO REDUCES THE TIME REQUIRED FOR THE ROUND TRIP AS TO EFFECT A DEFINITE SAVING IN THE MATTER OF FEES, HE MAY BE ALLOWED MILEAGE FOR THE DISTANCE ACTUALLY TRAVELED BY AUTOMOBILE PROVIDED THE EXCESS MILEAGE DOES NOT EXCEED THE SAVING IN FEES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE CHAIRMAN OF THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION, AUGUST 8, 1931:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER AS FOLLOWS:

HEREWITH IS A CLAIM IN THE SUM OF $2.10 IN FAVOR OF J. W. MCCLINTOCK, BELZONI, MISS., WHICH IS SUBMITTED FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT OR APPROVAL.

MR. MCCLINTOCK WAS SUBPOENAED BY THE COMMISSION TO APPEAR AS A WITNESS ON JACKSON, MISS., ON MARCH 25, 1931. HE ORIGINALLY SUBMITTED HIS CLAIM IN THE SUM OF $11.20, $2.00 AS A TRAVEL AND ATTENDANCE FEE ON MARCH 25, 1931, AND $9.20 FOR MILEAGE, OR 184 MILES AT 5 CENTS PER MILE. HE WAS REIMBURSED IN THE SUM OF $2.00 FOR TRAVEL AND ATTENDANCE FEE AND $7.10 FOR MILEAGE, OR 142 MILES AT 5 CENTS PER MILE, A DEDUCTION OF 42 MILES AT 5 CENTS PER MILE, OR $2.10 BEING SUSPENDED FROM HIS ACCOUNT ON ACCOUNT OF EXCESS MILEAGE.

IT NOW DEVELOPS THAT HE TRAVELED BY HIS AUTOMOBILE RATHER THAN BY TRAIN, AND NOW CLAIMS HIS AUTOMOBILE MILEAGE. HE STATES IN SUPPORT OF THE ADDITIONAL MILEAGE THAT BY TRAVELING BY AUTOMOBILE HE SAVED THE GOVERNMENT ATTENDANCE AND TRAVEL, AS WELL AS SUBSISTENCE FEES OVER THAT THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN NECESSARY HAD TRAVEL BEEN MADE BY TRAIN. THE ACTUAL SAVINGS IN TRAVEL, ATTENDANCE, AND SUBSISTENCE FEES DUE TO TRAVEL BY AUTOMOBILE IS $13.00; THEREFORE, IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT THE CLAIM IN THE SUM OF $2.10 FOR ADDITIONAL MILEAGE BE GRANTED.

THIS VOUCHER IS SUBMITTED FOR THE REASON THAT IN MANY OF OUR RECENT HEARINGS, WITNESSES ARE SUMMONED WHOSE PLACE OF RESIDENCE ARE SUFFICIENTLY NEAR PLACE OF HEARING TO ENABLE THE USE OF PRIVATE AUTOMOBILES. THROUGH THIS MEANS, THEY ARE ABLE TO TRAVEL TO PLACE OF HEARING, TESTIFY, AND RETURN THE SAME DAY. TRAIN SCHEDULES AT MANY OF THESE POINTS ARE SUCH THAT THE WITNESS WOULD BE REQUIRED TO LEAVE HOME THE DAY PREVIOUS TO DATE SET FOR THE HEARING AND IN MANY INSTANCES WOULD NOT REACH HOME UNTIL THE DAY FOLLOWING THE HEARING. TRAIN TRAVEL, THEREFORE, ACTUALLY INCREASES THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT THROUGH ADDITIONAL TRAVEL, ATTENDANCE, AND SUBSISTENCE FEES OVER THAT OF AUTOMOBILE TRAVEL.

A DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER IT IS PERMISSIBLE TO ALLOW ADDITIONAL MILEAGE OVER THAT OF THE OFFICIAL RAILWAY MILEAGE WHEN TRAVEL IS MADE BY AUTOMOBILE, IF SUCH TRAVEL BY AUTOMOBILE EFFECTS A SAVINGS IN TRAVEL, ATTENDANCE, AND SUBSISTENCE FEES.

SECTION 9 OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 26, 1914, 38 STAT. 723, PROVIDES THAT WITNESSES SUMMONED BEFORE THE COMMISSION SHALL BE PAID THE SAME FEES AND MILEAGE THAT ARE PAID WITNESSES IN UNITED STATES COURTS. THE FEES AND MILEAGE PAYABLE TO WITNESSES BEFORE THE COURTS OF THE UNITED STATES ARE PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF APRIL 26, 1926, 44 STAT. 324, AS FOLLOWS:

WITNESSES ATTENDING IN SUCH COURTS, OR BEFORE SUCH COMMISSIONERS, SHALL RECEIVE FOR EACH DAY'S ATTENDANCE AND FOR THE TIME NECESSARILY OCCUPIED IN GOING TO AND RETURNING FROM THE SAME, $2, AND 5 CENTS PER MILE FOR GOING FROM HIS OR HER PLACE OF RESIDENCE TO THE PLACE OF TRIAL OR HEARING AND 5 CENTS PER MILE FOR RETURNING: AND PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT WITNESSES (OTHER THAN WITNESSES WHO ARE SALARIED EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT AND DETAINED WITNESSES) IN THE UNITED STATES COURTS, INCLUDING THE DISTRICT COURT OF HAWAII, THE DISTRICT COURT OF PORTO RICO, AND THE SUPREME COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, WHO ATTEND COURT OR ATTEND BEFORE UNITED STATES COMMISSIONERS, AT POINTS SO FAR REMOVED FROM THEIR RESPECTIVE RESIDENCES AS TO PROHIBIT RETURN THERETO FROM DAY TO DAY, SHALL, WHEN THIS FACT IS CERTIFIED TO IN THE ORDER OF THE COURT OR THE COMMISSIONER FOR PAYMENT, BE ENTITLED, IN ADDITION TO THE COMPENSATION PROVIDED BY EXISTING LAW, AS MODIFIED BY THIS ACT, TO A PER DIEM OF $3 FOR EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE FOR EACH DAY OF ACTUAL ATTENDANCE AND FOR EACH DAY NECESSARILY OCCUPIED IN TRAVELING TO ATTEND COURT AND RETURN HOME.

IN HIS ORIGINAL VOUCHER MR. MCCLINTOCK CLAIMED AND WAS PAID AN ATTENDANCE FEE OF $2 IN ADDITION TO MILEAGE FOR 142 MILES. HE STATES IN SUPPORT OF HIS RECLAIM VOUCHER THAT IT WAS NECESSARY TO DETOUR BY WAY OF CANTON AS THE ROUTE BETWEEN FLORA AND JACKSON, MISS., WAS BEING PAVED; THAT IT WOULD HAVE REQUIRED THREE FULL DAYS TO HAVE MADE THE TRIP BY TRAIN WHILE HE ACCOMPLISHED IT IN ONE DAY BY AUTOMOBILE.

THE ORDINARY TRAIN TIME BETWEEN THE TWO CITIES VIA YAZOO IS APPROXIMATELY 2 HOURS AND 35 MINUTES. THE TRAIN SCHEDULES INDICATE THAT IT WOULD HAVE REQUIRED AT LEAST TWO CALENDAR DAYS OR POSSIBLY MORE TO HAVE MADE THE ROUND TRIP BY TRAIN. EVEN TWO CALENDAR DAYS WOULD HAVE NECESSITATED THE PAYMENT TO THE WITNESS OF ONE ADDITIONAL ATTENDANCE FEE OF $2 AND TWO PER DIEMS IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE OF $3 EACH OR A TOTAL OF $8 ADDITIONAL.

THE MILEAGE PAYABLE UNDER THE ABOVE-QUOTED STATUTE IS TO BE COMPUTED ON THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BETWEEN THE TWO POINTS, WHICH IS USUALLY THE DISTANCE BY RAIL WHERE RAIL TRANSPORTATION IS AVAILABLE. HOWEVER, WHERE A WITNESS USES HIS OWN AUTOMOBILE AND NECESSARILY TRAVELS A GREATER DISTANCE THAN THE RAIL DISTANCE BUT IN SO DOING EFFECTS A DEFINITE SAVING IN THE MATTER OF FEES EQUAL TO OR GREATER THAN THE EXCESS MILEAGE CLAIMED, PAYMENT OF MILEAGE ACTUALLY TRAVELED BY THE LONGER ROUTE IS AUTHORIZED.

THE SUPPLEMENTAL VOUCHER IN THE CASE OF MR. MCCLINTOCK WILL BE RETAINED IN THIS OFFICE FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING.