A-39102, NOVEMBER 12, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 175

A-39102: Nov 12, 1931

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FOR THE USE OF AN EMPLOYEE'S OWN AUTOMOBILE IS IN LIEU OF ALL EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION AND PRECLUDES ANY ALLOWANCE FOR FERRY FARES IN ADDITION TO MILEAGE. THE MILEAGE IS TO BE COMPUTED OVER THE DISTANCE ACTUALLY TRAVELED. EVEN THOUGH SUCH DISTANCE IS NOT RECORDED UPON THE SPEEDOMETER OF THE AUTOMOBILE. IT APPEARS THAT THIS EMPLOYEE WAS ON A LEAVE OF ABSENCE AT OCEAN CITY. WHICH WERE DISALLOWED ON PREAUDIT FOR THE REASON THAT MILEAGE FOR THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE IS EXCLUSIVE OF ALL COST OF TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN THE POINTS INVOLVED. IN SUPPORT OF HIS REQUEST FOR REVIEW THE CLAIMANT STATES: ATTACHED HERETO IS A PREAUDIT DIFFERENCE STATEMENT COVERING A TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHER FOR F.

A-39102, NOVEMBER 12, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 175

MILEAGE - USE OF PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE - FERRY FARES THE MILEAGE ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, 46 STAT. 1103, FOR THE USE OF AN EMPLOYEE'S OWN AUTOMOBILE IS IN LIEU OF ALL EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION AND PRECLUDES ANY ALLOWANCE FOR FERRY FARES IN ADDITION TO MILEAGE. THE MILEAGE IS TO BE COMPUTED OVER THE DISTANCE ACTUALLY TRAVELED, INCLUDING THE DISTANCE TRAVELED BY FERRIES, EVEN THOUGH SUCH DISTANCE IS NOT RECORDED UPON THE SPEEDOMETER OF THE AUTOMOBILE.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, NOVEMBER 12, 1931:

F. B. BOMBERGER, ASSISTANT CHIEF, DIVISION OF COOPERATIVE MARKETING, FEDERAL FARM BOARD, HAS REQUESTED REVIEW OF THE DISALLOWANCE BY THIS OFFICE, UPON PREAUDIT, OF $4.60 OF THE AMOUNT CLAIMED UPON VOUCHER N. 1321 AS REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED BY HIM SEPTEMBER 4 AND 5, 1931.

IT APPEARS THAT THIS EMPLOYEE WAS ON A LEAVE OF ABSENCE AT OCEAN CITY, MD., FROM AUGUST 21 TO SEPTEMBER 4, 1931. AT 1 P.M. SEPTEMBER 4, 1931, HE LEFT OCEAN CITY FOR SNOW HILL, MD., HIS FIRST POST OF DUTY, WHERE HE ARRIVED AT 1:40 P.M. HE LEFT THERE ON THE SAME DAY AT 2 P.M. GOING THENCE, IN TURN TO POCOMOKE, MD.; OLNEY, VA.; THROUGH CAPE CHARLES AND NORFOLK, VA., TO SUFFOLK, VA., WHERE HE ARRIVED AT 8:25 P.M., THE SAME DAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 1931, LEAVING SUFFOLK THE NEXT MORNING AT 8 O-CLOCK, AND ARRIVING IN WASHINGTON AT 2 P.M., SEPTEMBER 5, 1931. HE CLAIMED MILEAGE FOR THE USE OF HIS PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FROM OCEAN CITY TO CAPE CHARLES, VA., AND FROM NORFOLK TO WASHINGTON, D.C., A TOTAL OF 334 MILES AT SEVEN CENTS PER MILE OR $23.38. IN ADDITION TO THE MILEAGE, HE CLAIMED FERRY FEES FROM CAPE CHARLES TO NORFOLK, $4.30, AND FROM NORFOLK TO PORTSMOUTH, 30 CENTS, WHICH WERE DISALLOWED ON PREAUDIT FOR THE REASON THAT MILEAGE FOR THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE IS EXCLUSIVE OF ALL COST OF TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN THE POINTS INVOLVED.

IN SUPPORT OF HIS REQUEST FOR REVIEW THE CLAIMANT STATES:

ATTACHED HERETO IS A PREAUDIT DIFFERENCE STATEMENT COVERING A TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHER FOR F. B. BOMBERGER FOR THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 4 AND 5, 1931, WHICH HAS BEEN RETURNED WITH A DISALLOWANCE OF $4.60 ON THE BASIS THAT SUCH A CHARGE IS "NOT ALLOWABLE IN ADDITION TO MILEAGE WHICH IS HELD TO COVER ALL EXPENSES OF TRAVEL.'

IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THERE CAN BE NO QUESTION REGARDING THE JUSTIFICATION FOR THE DISALLOWANCE OF THE TWO AMOUNTS OF $4.30 AND $0.30 COVERING THE TRAVEL FROM CAPE CHARLES TO NORFOLK AND ANOTHER FERRY CHARGE FOR THE SAME FROM NORFOLK TO PORTSMOUTH. ASSUMING THAT THE TRAVEL BY PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FROM OCEAN CITY, MARYLAND, TO SUFFOLK, VIRGINIA, AND THENCE BACK TO HEADQUARTERS WAS DULY AUTHORIZED IN ADVANCE OF TRAVEL AND ALLOWED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IT IS ILLOGICAL TO DISALLOW TRAVEL EXPENSE COVERING AN INDISPENSABLE LINK IN THE CHAIN OF TRAVEL. THE ONLY ALTERNATIVE TO CROSSING THE FERRY FROM CAPE CHARLES TO NORFOLK WAS TO GO AROUND THE UPPER END OF CHESAPEAKE BAY BY WAY OF ELKTON, BALTIMORE, WASHINGTON, FREDERICKSBURG AND RICHMOND, WHICH WOULD HAVE ADDED 300 MILES TO THE TOTAL TRAVEL AND WOULD HAVE MULTIPLIED THE COST SEVERAL TIMES.

FURTHERMORE, BY TAKING SUCH A ROUTE I WOULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED FROM MAKING IMPORTANT CONTACTS AND HOLDING NECESSARY CONFERENCES AT SNOW HILL, POCOMOKE, AND OLNEY. WHERE A FERRY CHARGE COVERS TRANSPORTATION OVER THIRTY MILES OR MORE OF WATER AND IS THE SHORTEST ROUTE FOR TRAVEL, IT DOES NOT SEEM REASONABLE TO DISALLOW REIMBURSEMENT ON THE GROUND THAT IT IS ALREADY COVERED IN MILEAGE ALLOWANCE WHICH PRESUMABLY, IS FIXED AT THE LOWEST RATE POSSIBLE. IF TRAVEL IS AUTHORIZED FROM SNOW HILL TO NORFOLK, IT BECOMES INDISPENSABLE THAT A FERRY ALLOWANCE BE MADE FROM NORFOLK TO PORTSMOUTH, BECAUSE THERE IS NO WAY TO GET OUT OF THIS CITY OTHER THAN BY FERRY.

I SUBMIT THAT ON RECONSIDERATION ALLOWANCES SHOULD BE MADE FOR BOTH FERRY CHARGES.

THE ALTERNATIVE SUGGESTED BY THE CLAIMANT OF RETURNING TO WASHINGTON VIA ELKTON IS WITHOUT MERIT AS IT WAS NOT THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BETWEEN THE POINTS INVOLVED. THE MILEAGE ALLOWANCE FOR PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES, AS AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, 46 STAT. 1103, IS "IN LIEU OF ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION.' THE FERRY FARES WERE EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION AND, THEREFORE, MAY NOT BE PAID IN ADDITION TO MILEAGE. 19 COMP. DEC. 699; 5 COMP. GEN. 986.

IT IS NOTED, HOWEVER, THAT THE MILEAGE CLAIMED DID NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE DISTANCES ACTUALLY TRAVELED BY THE FERRY. WHEN USING A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE UPON A MILEAGE BASIS THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO MILEAGE FOR THE ENTIRE DISTANCE TRAVELED, IF ACCOMPANIED BY HIS AUTOMOBILE, WHETHER THE AUTOMOBILE TRAVELS UNDER ITS OWN POWER OR SOME OTHER MEANS. THE OFFICIAL TABLE OF DISTANCES, UNITED STATES ARMY, GIVES THE OFFICIAL DISTANCES BETWEEN CAPE CHARLES AND NORFOLK AS 37 MILES, AND BETWEEN NORFOLK AND PORTSMOUTH, 1 MILE. THE CLAIMANT IS ACCORDINGLY ENTITLED TO SO MUCH OF $4.60 AS REPRESENTS MILEAGE BETWEEN THE POINTS IN QUESTION, THAT IS, 38 MILES AT SEVEN CENTS PER MILE, OR $2.66.

THE ORIGINAL VOUCHER FROM WHICH THE $4.60 WAS DELETED HAS BEEN PAID IN THE AMOUNT CERTIFIED UPON PREAUDIT AND A RECLAIM VOUCHER HAS BEEN SUBMITTED WITH THIS REQUEST FOR REVIEW. THE RECLAIM VOUCHER WILL ACCORDINGLY BE CERTIFIED IN THE AMOUNT OF $2.66, IN THE ABSENCE OF OTHER OBJECTION. UPON REVIEW, THE DISALLOWANCE OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THAT AMOUNT AND $4.60 IS SUSTAINED.