A-38845, OCTOBER 6, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 126

A-38845: Oct 6, 1931

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TRAVEL ORDERS SHOULD STATE UPON WHAT BASIS SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES ARE TO BE REIMBURSED. IS MERELY THAT REQUIRED DAILY OF THE INHABITANTS OF THAT PLACE WHERE HE IS TEMPORARILY STATIONED. SUCH TRANSPORTATION IS INCIDENT TO SUBSISTENCE AND MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED UPON A MILEAGE BASIS. IF THE EMPLOYEE IS ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS SO FAR AS SUBSISTENCE IS CONCERNED HE MAY BE REIMBURSED THE ACTUAL COST OF THE GASOLINE SO CONSUMED WITHIN THE LIMITS OF HIS AUTHORIZED SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE. AS FOLLOWS: THERE HAVE BEEN CERTIFIED AND APPROVED. IN CONNECTION THEREWITH ATTENTION IS INVITED TO YOUR DECISION OF AUGUST 29. IN WHICH YOU STATE THAT SPEEDOMETER READINGS WILL BE ACCEPTED. IS 49 MILES. THE MILEAGE CLAIMED IN EACH OF THE INCLOSED VOUCHERS IS IN EXCESS OF THE MILEAGE FOR A ROUND TRIP BETWEEN WASHINGTON AND CURTIS BAY.

A-38845, OCTOBER 6, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 126

TRAVELING EXPENSES - MILEAGE FOR USE OF OWN AUTOMOBILE THE USE OF AN EMPLOYEE'S OWN AUTOMOBILE ON A MILEAGE BASIS FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL SHOULD BE AUTHORIZED IN ADVANCE AT A DEFINITE RATE PER MILE AND AFTER AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT SUCH USE WOULD BE MORE ECONOMICAL AND ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE UNITED STATES. THE FIXING OF A MILEAGE RATE AFTER THE TRAVEL HAS BEEN PERFORMED AT SUCH AMOUNT AS WOULD EQUAL OR NOT EXCEED THE COST OF TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER DOES NOT COMPLY WITH THE INTENT OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, 46 STAT. 1103. TRAVEL ORDERS SHOULD STATE UPON WHAT BASIS SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES ARE TO BE REIMBURSED, WHETHER ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSES BASIS OR A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE AND THE MAXIMUM RATE PER DAY. MILEAGE FOR THE USE OF AN EMPLOYEE'S OWN AUTOMOBILE FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL MAY BE COMPUTED FROM AND TO THE EMPLOYEE'S RESIDENCE IF THE TRAVEL ACTUALLY BEGAN AND ENDED AT THAT POINT. WHERE THE USE OF AN EMPLOYEE'S AUTOMOBILE, WHILE AWAY FROM HIS PERMANENT STATION, IN GOING TO AND FROM HIS WORK, IS MERELY THAT REQUIRED DAILY OF THE INHABITANTS OF THAT PLACE WHERE HE IS TEMPORARILY STATIONED, SUCH TRANSPORTATION IS INCIDENT TO SUBSISTENCE AND MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED UPON A MILEAGE BASIS, BUT IF THE EMPLOYEE IS ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS SO FAR AS SUBSISTENCE IS CONCERNED HE MAY BE REIMBURSED THE ACTUAL COST OF THE GASOLINE SO CONSUMED WITHIN THE LIMITS OF HIS AUTHORIZED SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO W. H. WEBB, PAY AND ALLOWANCE OFFICER, UNITED STATES COAST GUARD, OCTOBER 6, 1931.

RECEIPT AS ACKNOWLEDGED OF YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 21, 1931, AS FOLLOWS:

THERE HAVE BEEN CERTIFIED AND APPROVED, AND PRESENTED TO ME FOR PAYMENT THREE VOUCHERS IN FAVOR OF H. H. GROGAN, TECHNICAL AIDE, U.S. COAST GUARD HEADQUARTERS, WASHINGTON, D.C., IN THE AMOUNTS OF $12.35, $9.35, AND $7.85, RESPECTIVELY.

IN CONNECTION THEREWITH ATTENTION IS INVITED TO YOUR DECISION OF AUGUST 29, 1931, A-38080, IN WHICH YOU STATE THAT SPEEDOMETER READINGS WILL BE ACCEPTED, BUT SHOULD BE CHECKED AGAINST SOME RECOGNIZED AUTHORITY SUCH AS THE PUBLICATIONS OF THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION. THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE AS FURNISHED BY THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN WASHINGTON, D.C., AND CURTIS BAY, MARYLAND, IS 49 MILES. THE MILEAGE CLAIMED IN EACH OF THE INCLOSED VOUCHERS IS IN EXCESS OF THE MILEAGE FOR A ROUND TRIP BETWEEN WASHINGTON AND CURTIS BAY, MARYLAND, BASED ON THE MILEAGE GIVEN IN THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION PUBLICATIONS. THE QUESTION, THEREFORE, ARISES AS TO WHETHER OR NOT MR. GROGAN IS ENTITLED TO COMPUTE HIS MILEAGE DISTANCE FROM HIS HOME OR WHETHER HE IS ENTITLED TO MILEAGE ONLY FOR THE DISTANCE BETWEEN WASHINGTON, D.C., AND CURTIS BAY, MARYLAND, AND RETURN, AS ESTABLISHED BY THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION.

IN DEPARTMENT LETTER OF JULY 1, 1931 (CG-023-531), COPY ATTACHED TO EACH VOUCHER, A RATE NOT TO EXCEED $0.07 PER MILE WAS AUTHORIZED. IN EACH OF THE INCLOSED VOUCHERS A DIFFERENT RATE PER MILE IS CLAIMED. IS IT NECESSARY FOR THE DEPARTMENT TO FIX THE RATE PER MILE PRIOR TO THE DATE EACH PERIOD OF TRAVEL IS PERFORMED? IN THE VOUCHER APPROVED FOR $12.35 A DISTANCE OF 125 MILES IS CLAIMED. PART OF THIS MILEAGE WAS INCURRED BETWEEN CURTIS BAY, MARYLAND, AND BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, ON THE NIGHT OF JULY 14, 1931, AND PART OF SAID MILEAGE ON THE MORNING OF JULY 15, 1931, THERE BEING NO SUITABLE HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS IN CURTIS BAY, MARYLAND. THIS MILEAGE AUTHORIZED UNDER PARAGRAPH 12 (A) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS?

PLEASE RETURN THE VOUCHERS TO ME WITH YOUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT I AM AUTHORIZED TO SETTLE SAME AS APPROVED.

THE VOUCHER FOR THE JULY 14 AND 15 TRIP CLAIMS PAYMENT FOR 125 MILES AT 3 CENTS PER MILES; THE VOUCHER FOR THE JULY 30 TRIP FOR 110 MILES, AT 7 CENTS PER MILE; AND THE VOUCHER FOR THE AUGUST 18 TRIP FOR 104 MILES, AT 5 CENTS PER MILE. THE LAST VOUCHER IS THE ONLY ONE IN WHICH SPEEDOMETER READINGS ARE MENTIONED AND THEREIN IT IS STATED THAT THE SPEEDOMETER SHOWED A READING OF 104.7 MILES. NO EXPLANATION IS GIVEN OF THE ADDITIONAL MILEAGE CLAIMED UPON THE OTHER TWO VOUCHERS OTHER THAN SUGGESTED IN YOUR MEMORANDUM FOR THE JULY 14 AND 15 TRIP. THE CLAIMANT'S ADDRESS IS GIVEN AS 806 VAN BUREN STREET, WASHINGTON, D.C., AND THE TRAVEL WAS APPARENTLY PERFORMED FROM AND TO HIS RESIDENCE IN EACH INSTANCE AS IT BEGAN AND ENDED BEFORE AND AFTER ORDINARY OFFICE HOUSE. THE TRAVEL ORDERS ISSUED TO THIS EMPLOYEE JULY 1, 1931, WERE AS FOLLOWS:

FROM: COMMANDANT.

TO: TECHNICAL AIDE H. H. GROGAN, COAST GUARD HEADQUARTERS, WASHINGTON,

D.C.

SUBJECT: TRAVEL.

1. WHEN SO DIRECTED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT OF CONSTRUCTION AND REPAIR, U.S. COAST GUARD, PROCEED TO THE COAST GUARD DEPOT, CURTIS BAY, MARYLAND, AND RETURN, IN CONNECTION WITH CONSTRUCTION OR REPAIRS TO COAST GUARD VESSELS. THE PUBLIC INTEREST REQUIRE THIS TRAVEL.

(SIGNED) F. C. BILLARD

TRAVEL NECESSARY TO THE EXECUTION OF THIS ORDER IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED. ACTUAL NECESSARY TRAVELING EXPENSES ARE ALLOWED.

TRAVEL BY OWN AUTOMOBILE AT A RATE TO EXCEED 7 CENTS PER MILE IS AUTHORIZED. REIMBURSEMENT WILL BE MADE AT SUCH RATE PER MILE AS MAY BE DETERMINED BY HEADQUARTERS WHEN VOUCHER IS RECEIVED. FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF COMPUTING THE INCREASED SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE OR SUBSISTENCE SAVINGS THROUGH INCREASED OR REDUCED TRAVEL TIME ON ACCOUNT OF TRAVEL PERFORMED BY AUTOMOBILE OR OTHER USUAL MODE OF TRANSPORTATION, A PER DIEM RATE OF $6.00 IS AUTHORIZED. THE TRAVELER WILL SHOW IN THE VOUCH THE DISTANCE (SEE ARTICLE 105 (E), TRAVEL REGULATIONS) AND TRAVEL TIME BY USE OF OWN CONVEYANCE. A TRAVELER ON A MILEAGE BASIS PURCHASING GASOLINE MUST NOT USE THE GASOLINE EXEMPTION CERTIFICATES.

THE TRAVEL AUTHORITY CONTAINED HEREIN IS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1932 AND EXPIRES JUNE 30, 1932.

THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, 46 STAT. 1103, PROVIDES:

THAT A CIVILIAN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE ENGAGED IN NECESSARY TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AWAY FROM HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY MAY BE PAID, IN LIEU OF ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION, UNDER REGULATIONS TO BE PRESCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT, NOT TO EXCEED 3 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE USE OF HIS OWN MOTOR CYCLE OR 7 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE USE OF HIS OWN AUTOMOBILE FOR SUCH TRANSPORTATION, WHENEVER SUCH MODE OF TRAVEL HAS BEEN PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED AND PAYMENT ON SUCH MILEAGE BASIS IS MORE ECONOMICAL AND ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE UNITED STATES. THIS ACT SHALL TAKE EFFECT JULY 1, 1931, AND ALL LAWS OR PARTS OF LAWS ARE HEREBY MODIFIED OR REPEALED TO THE EXTENT SAME MAY BE IN CONFLICT HEREWITH.

THIS ACT CONTEMPLATES THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES SHALL DETERMINE AND STATE IN ADVANCE WHETHER THE AUTHORIZED TRAVEL BY AUTOMOBILE WILL BE MORE ECONOMICAL AND ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE UNITED STATES AND WILL PRESCRIBE IN ADVANCE THE MILEAGE RATE TO BE ALLOWED. THE TRAVEL ORDER SHOULD STATE, ALSO, UPON WHAT BASIS SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES ARE TO BE REIMBURSED, WHETHER ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS OR A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE AND THE MAXIMUM RATE PER DAY IN EITHER CASE SHOULD BE STATED. AN ADMINISTRATIVE CERTIFICATE INCORPORATED IN THE TRAVEL ORDERS THAT THE USE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S OWN AUTOMOBILE HAS BEEN DETERMINED TO BE MORE ECONOMICAL AND ADVANTAGEOUS FOR THE TRAVEL SO AUTHORIZED WILL ORDINARILY NOT BE QUESTIONED BY THIS OFFICE. (11 COMP. GEN. 91. SEE, ALSO, 10 ID. 409, 11 ID. 67.) THE FIXING OF A MILEAGE RATE AFTER THE TRAVEL HAS BEEN PERFORMED AT SUCH AN AMOUNT AS WOULD EQUAL OR NOT EXCEED WHAT IT WOULD HAVE COST TO PERFORM THE TRAVEL BY RAIL DOES NOT COMPLY WITH THE INTENT OF THE STATUTE.

AS IT HAS BEEN CUSTOMARY TO ALLOW AN EMPLOYEE THE COST OF TAXI FARE OR STREET-CAR FARE, INCLUDING TRANSFER OF BAGGAGE, FROM HIS RESIDENCE TO THE RAILROAD STATION AT THE BEGINNING AND END OF A TRAVEL STATUS, MILEAGE FOR THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE MAY LIKEWISE BEGIN AND END AT THE EMPLOYEE'S RESIDENCE. (2 COMP. GEN. 427.) GROGAN'S VOUCHER FOR THE AUGUST 18 TRIP SHOWS THE ROUND TRIP FROM HIS RESIDENCE TO CURTIS BAY, MARYLAND, COVERS ONLY 104.7 MILES. NO MILEAGE IN EXCESS OF THAT AMOUNT COULD, THREFORE, BE ALLOWED FOR THE PREVIOUS TWO TRIPS IN THE ABSENCE OF AN EXPLANATION OF THE NECESSITY FOR THE ADDITIONAL MILEAGE. EXPLANATION IS FOUND OF THE ADDITIONAL MILEAGE FOR THE JULY 30 TRIP, BUT WITH RESPECT TO THE TRIP ON JULY 14 AND 15, YOU STATE THAT THE ADDITIONAL MILEAGE WAS NECESSARY IN ORDER TO RETURN TO BALTIMORE FROM CURTIS BAY FOR LODGING PURPOSES, NO LODGING BEING AVAILABLE AT CURTIS BAY. WITH RESPECT TO SUCH TRANSPORTATION, IT WAS HELD IN 3 COMP. GEN. 284:

WHERE THE EXPENSE INCURRED BY AN EMPLOYEE WHILE AWAY FROM HIS PERMANENT STATION, IN GOING TO AND FROM HIS WORK, IS MERELY THAT REQUIRED DAILY OF THE INHABITANTS OF THE PLACE WHERE HE IS TEMPORARILY STATIONED, SUCH TRAVEL IS INCIDENT TO SUBSISTENCE AND IS INCLUDED IN THE ALLOWANCE THEREFOR, BUT WHERE THE NATURE AN LOCATION OF HIS WORK IS SUCH THAT MEALS AND LODGING CAN NOT BE SECURED THERE, THE DAILY TRAVEL BETWEEN THE NEAREST PLACE AT WHICH LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS CAN BE SECURED AND THE WORK IS NECESSARY TRANSPORTATION NOT INCIDENTAL TO SUBSISTENCE.

SEE ALSO PARAGRAPH 60 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

WHILE CURTIS BAY IS SOME DISTANCE FROM THE CENTER OF BALTIMORE, IT NEVERTHELESS APPEARS TO BE WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THAT CITY AND IT WOULD APPEAR PROBABLE THAT PERSONS REGULARLY EMPLOYED AT CURTIS BAY WOULD GO BACK AND FORTH FROM THEIR RESIDENCES IN BALTIMORE EACH DAY. SUCH BEING THE CASE THE ADDITIONAL MILEAGE NECESSARY IN ORDER TO SECURE HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS IN BALTIMORE WOULD CONSTITUTE A SUBSISTENCE ITEM AND COULD NOT, THEREFORE, BE COMPENSATED FOR UPON A MILEAGE BASIS.

THE THREE VOUCHERS ARE RETURNED AND PAYMENT UPON THE VOUCHER FOR THE AUGUST 18, 1931, TRIP MAY BE MADE IN THE AMOUNT CLAIMED. PAYMENT FOR THE JULY 30, 1931, TRIP IS AUTHORIZED IN THE AMOUNT CLAIMED EXCEPT THAT THE MILEAGE MUST BE REDUCED NOT TO EXCEED 104.7 MILES.

IN VIEW OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE EMPLOYEE SHOULD BE GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO RESTATE HIS VOUCHER FOR THE JULY 14 AND 15 TRIP REDUCING THE MILEAGE CLAIMED TO 104.7 MILES AND INCLUDING AND COST OF GASOLINE NECESSARY FOR THE TRIP FROM CURTIS BAY TO THE HOTEL IN BALTIMORE, AND RETURN, AND, ALSO, NIGHT STORAGE OF THE AUTOMOBILE IN BALTIMORE, AS ITEMS OF SUBSISTENCE AS HE APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS SO FAR AS SUBSISTENCE IS CONCERNED. THE COST OF THE GASOLINE MAY BE ESTIMATED UPON THE AVERAGE NUMBER OF MILES WHICH THE EMPLOYEE'S AUTOMOBILE USUALLY TRAVELS TO A GALLON OF GASOLINE. IF AND WHEN SO RESTATED THE VOUCHER SHOULD BE TRANSMITTED HERE BEFORE PAYMENT.