A-41006, MARCH 11, 1932, 11 COMP. GEN. 339

A-41006: Mar 11, 1932

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MILEAGE IS NOT PAYABLE THEREFOR FOR USE OF EMPLOYEE'S OWN AUTOMOBILE DURING ABSENCES FROM HEADQUARTERS OF 10 HOURS OR LESS BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 8 A.M. UNLESS THE NECESSITY FOR LEAVING AND RETURNING BEFORE AND AFTER SUCH HOURS IS SHOWN. IN SUPPORT OF THE REQUEST FOR REVIEW THERE HAS BEEN FURNISHED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT FROM THE AUDITOR OF THE PANAMA CANAL: THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE FOR THE USE OF PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILES ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS IS AUTHORIZED BY THE GOVERNOR'S CIRCULAR NO. 658 11. A COPY OF WHICH IS FORWARDED HEREWITH. YOU WILL NOTE THAT IN THE SECOND PARAGRAPH THIS AUTHORITY IS EXTENDED TO ALL EMPLOYEES HOLDING AUTHORITY CARDS FROM THE SUPPLY DEPARTMENT AUTHORIZING THEM TO USE OFFICIAL JITNEYS.

A-41006, MARCH 11, 1932, 11 COMP. GEN. 339

MILEAGE - HEADQUARTERS - USE OF PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, 46 STAT. 1103, PERMITS THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE FOR USE OF EMPLOYEE'S OWN AUTOMOBILE ONLY WHEN ENGAGED IN "NECESSARY TRAVEL" AWAY FROM DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY, AND MILEAGE IS NOT PAYABLE THEREFOR FOR USE OF EMPLOYEE'S OWN AUTOMOBILE DURING ABSENCES FROM HEADQUARTERS OF 10 HOURS OR LESS BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 8 A.M. AND 6 P.M., OR WHERE TRIPS BY AUTOMOBILE BEGIN SHORTLY BEFORE 8 A.M. AND/OR RETURN SHORTLY AFTER 6 P.M. UNLESS THE NECESSITY FOR LEAVING AND RETURNING BEFORE AND AFTER SUCH HOURS IS SHOWN.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, MARCH 11, 1932:

REVIEW HAS BEEN REQUESTED OF SETTLEMENT OF THIS OFFICE DISALLOWING CREDIT IN THE ACCOUNTS OF R. W. GLAW, PAYMASTER, PANAMA CANAL, FOR PAYMENTS MADE UPON VOUCHERS NOS. 453, 460, 472, 536, AND 597 TO EMPLOYEES OF THE PANAMA CANAL AS MILEAGE FOR USE OF THEIR PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES, THE PAYMENTS BEING DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT NO EVIDENCE OF PRIOR AUTHORITY FOR SUCH MODE OF TRAVEL ACCOMPANIED THE VOUCHER. IN SUPPORT OF THE REQUEST FOR REVIEW THERE HAS BEEN FURNISHED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT FROM THE AUDITOR OF THE PANAMA CANAL:

THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE FOR THE USE OF PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILES ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS IS AUTHORIZED BY THE GOVERNOR'S CIRCULAR NO. 658 11, DATED JUNE 24, 1931, A COPY OF WHICH IS FORWARDED HEREWITH. YOU WILL NOTE THAT IN THE SECOND PARAGRAPH THIS AUTHORITY IS EXTENDED TO ALL EMPLOYEES HOLDING AUTHORITY CARDS FROM THE SUPPLY DEPARTMENT AUTHORIZING THEM TO USE OFFICIAL JITNEYS. A BLANK AUTOMOBILE TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY CARD IS ALSO FORWARDED HEREWITH FOR YOUR INFORMATION. THIS AUTHORITY MAY ALSO BE EXTENDED TO OTHER EMPLOYEES WHO DO NOT HOLD AUTHORITY CARDS, PROVIDED THEY SUBMIT A WRITTEN REQUEST AND OBTAIN THE APPROVAL OF THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR DIVISION WHERE EMPLOYED.

THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE FOR THE USE OF THESE EMPLOYEES' OWN AUTOMOBILES WAS BY FAR THE MOST ECONOMICAL AND ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE PANAMA CANAL. OFFICIAL JITNEYS HAD BEEN SUPPLIED FOR THESE TRIPS, THE PANAMA CANAL WOULD HAVE HAD TO PAY FOR THE GAS AND OIL AND UPKEEP OF THE CARS, IN ADDITION TO THE WAGES OF THE CHAUFFEURS. IF COMMERCIAL JITNEYS HAD BEEN ENGAGED THE COST WOULD HAVE BEEN SEVERAL TIMES THE AMOUNTS PAID ON THESE VOUCHERS. PRACTICALLY ALL OF THE PLACES VISITED THERE WERE NO OTHER PRACTICABLE MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION THAN BY AUTOMOBILE.

CIRCULAR 658-11, ISSUED JUNE 24, 1931, BY THE GOVERNOR OF THE PANAMA CANAL, PROVIDES AS OLLOWS:

1. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1931, IN ACCORDANCE WITH AUTHORITY GRANTED BY ACT OF CONGRESS APPROVED FEBRUARY 14, 1931, AND PARAGRAPH 12-A OF STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AS AMENDED EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1931, REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED FOR THE USE OF PERSONAL AUTOMOBILES ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS IN THE CANAL ZONE AND THE CITIES OF PANAMA AND COLON, AT THE RATE OF FIVE CENTS FOR EACH MILE OR MAJOR FRACTION THEREOF TRAVELLED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS.

2.THIS AUTHORITY IS EXTENDED TO ALL EMPLOYEES NOW HOLDING AUTHORITY CARD FROM THE SUPPLY DEPARTMENT AUTHORIZING THE ORDERING OF OFFICIAL JITNEYS FOR OFFICIAL BUSINESS, AND WILL BE EXTENDED TO OTHER EMPLOYEES UPON WRITTEN REQUEST OF SUCH EMPLOYEES, APPROVED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR DIVISION WHERE EMPLOYED. SUCH WRITTEN REQUEST, BEARING THE APPROVAL OF THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR DIVISION, SHOULD BE FORWARDED TO THE AUDITOR FOR PERMANENT RECORD.

3. THE MILEAGE AUTHORIZED WILL BE PAID ON REGULAR REIMBURSEMENT VOUCHERS, WHICH MUST BE SWORN TO IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PRESENT REGULATIONS. SUCH VOUCHERS SHOULD BE RENDERED MONTHLY AND SHOULD SHOW THE DATE OF TRAVEL AND TIME OF TRAVEL, POINTS BETWEEN WHICH TRAVELED, AND THE MILEAGE, AND WILL RECEIVE THE APPROVAL OF THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR DIVISION PRIOR TO BEING FORWARDED TO THE AUDITOR FOR SETTLEMENT.

4. MILEAGE ALLOWANCE WILL NOT BE PAID FOR TRAVEL BETWEEN HOME AND REGULAR PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT, NOR WILL THE USE OF PRIVATE CARS BE AUTHORIZED WHEN OTHER ESTABLISHED MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION WOULD HAVE SERVED THE SAME PURPOSE AT A LESS EXPENSE.

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 MOTORCYCLE 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

VOUCHER NO. 453 FOR $1.50 IN FAVOR OF GEO. PATTERSON IS FOR 30 MILES AT 5 CENTS PER MILE FOR AUTOMOBILE TRANSPORTATION ON JULY 31, 1931. THE EMPLOYEE LEFT BALBOA, HIS HEADQUARTERS, AT 9:15 A.M., VISITED TWO OTHER PLACES, AND RETURNED TO BALBOA AT 12 O-CLOCK NOON OF THE SAME DAY.

VOUCHER 460, $8.50 IN FAVOR OF I. B. HARRELL, COVERS 170 MILES AT 5 CENTS PER MILE. THIS MILEAGE CONSISTED OF FIVE ROUND TRIPS, 34 MILES EACH, BETWEEN BALBOA AND GAMBOA PENITENTIARY. THE EMPLOYEE LEFT BALBOA EACH DAY AT VARIOUS TIMES BETWEEN 10 A.M. AND 11 A.M. AND RETURNED THE SAME DAYS BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 12:50 AND 1:05.

VOUCHER 472, $2,45 IN FAVOR OF R. Z. KIRKPATRICK, COVERS 49 MILES AT 5 CENTS PER MILE. ON JULY 25 THE EMPLOYEE TRAVELED 14 MILES AND WAS ABSENT FROM HIS OFFICE FROM 7 A.M. TO 9 A.M. JULY 28 HE TRAVELED 1 MILE AND WAS ABSENT FROM 8 A.M. TO 9 A.M. JULY 31 HE TRAVELED 34 MILES; WAS ABSENT FROM 7 A.M. TO 4:30 P.M.

VOUCHER 536, $2.70 IN FAVOR OF LAWRENCE JOHNSON, COVERED MILEAGE FOR THE USE OF AUTOMOBILE ON SEVEN DIFFERENT DAYS FOR TRIPS OF FROM 4 TO 8 MILES, THE TIME ABSENT FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS NOT BEING STATED.

VOUCHER 597, $3.45 IN FAVOR OF MRS. K. M. SMITH, COVERED MILEAGE AS FOLLOWS:

CHART

JULY 22, 22 MILES, ABSENT FROM HEADQUARTERS 1 P.M. TO 5 P.M.

DO. 23, 5 DO. DO. DO. DO. 9 A.M. TO 10:45 A.M.

DO. 24, 12 DO. DO. DO. DO. 1:45 P.M. TO 4:45 P.M.

DO. 29, 16 DO. DO. DO. DO. 1 P.M. TO 5 P.M.

DO. 30, 4 DO. DO. DO. DO. 9:30 A.M. TO 10:30 A.M.

DO. 31, 11 DO. DO. DO. DO. 1 P.M. TO 5P.M.

THE ABOVE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, PERMITS THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE FOR THE USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES ONLY WHEN ENGAGED IN "NECESSARY TRAVEL" AWAY FROM DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY. IT HAS BEEN REPEATEDLY HELD THAT ABSENCES FROM HEADQUARTERS OF 10 HOURS OR LESS BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 8 A.M. AND 6 P.M. DO NOT CONSTITUTE A TRAVEL STATUS. 5 COMP. GEN. 100, 128, 215. WHERE TRIPS FROM HEADQUARTERS ARE MADE BY AUTOMOBILE LEAVING SHORTLY BEFORE 8 A.M. AND/OR RETURNING SHORTLY AFTER 6 P.M., THE NECESSITY FOR LEAVING AND RETURNING BEFORE AND AFTER SUCH HOURS MUST BE SHOWN. 5 COMP. GEN. 449.

IN DECISION OF JANUARY 11, 1932, A-40136, 11 COMP. GEN. 271, IT WAS HELD:

THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, 46 STAT. 1103, PERMITS REIMBURSEMENT TO AN EMPLOYEE FOR THE USE OF HIS PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE UPON A MILEAGE BASIS ONLY WHEN "ENGAGED IN NECESSARY TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AWAY FROM HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY.' IT HAS BEEN HELD REPEATEDLY THAT TRAVEL FROM HOME OR HEADQUARTERS FOR A DISTANCE OF FOUR OR FIVE MILES OR LESS IS SUBSTANTIALLY DUTY AT HEADQUARTERS AND DOES NOT PLACE THE EMPLOYEE IN A TRAVEL STATUS. SEE DECISIONS TO YOU OF SEPTEMBER 8, 1931, AND OCTOBER 5, 1931, A-38422, AND THE CASES THEREIN CITED.

REIMBURSEMENT FOR USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FOR TRANSPORTATION WITHIN THE LIMITS OF EMPLOYEE'S HEADQUARTERS WOULD BE IN CONTRAVENTION OF THE ACT OF JULY 16, 1914, 38 STAT. 508, UNLESS CHARGEABLE UNDER AN APPROPRIATION WHICH IS SPECIFICALLY AVAILABLE FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF MOTOR-PROPELLED PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES. 10 COMP. GEN. 409; 11 ID. 67; ID. 91. EVEN WHEN CHARGEABLE UNDER AN APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES, REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AT EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS IS LIMITED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENDITURES, SUCH AS THE COST OF GASOLINE AND OIL ACTUALLY CONSUMED, AND IN SUCH CASES IT MUST BE ESTABLISHED BY COMPETENT EVIDENCE THAT NO PART OF SUCH EXPENDITURES WAS DUE TO THE USE OF THE AUTOMOBILE UPON PRIVATE OR PERSONAL BUSINESS OR PLEASURE. 2 COMP. GEN. 329. * * *

SEE ALSO 6 COMP. GEN. 212, AND A-40658, FEBRUARY 12, 1932, 11 COMP. GEN. 309.

IN NONE OF THE VOUCHERS ABOVE DESCRIBED WERE THE EMPLOYEES ABSENT FROM HEADQUARTERS FOR SUCH DISTANCES OR DURING SUCH HOURS AS CONSTITUTE A TRAVEL STATUS, AND NO SHOWING OF THE AMOUNT ACTUALLY EXPENDED FOR THE GASOLINE AND OIL FOR THE TRANSPORTATION IN QUESTION IS MADE. ACCORDINGLY, THE DISALLOWANCES WERE CORRECT AND UPON REVIEW MUST BE AND ARE SUSTAINED.