A-44307, SEPTEMBER 9, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 339

A-44307: Sep 9, 1932

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VEHICLES - PASSENGER-CARRYING - TRANSPORTATION WHEN NOT IN A TRAVEL STATUS AN EMPLOYEE IS NOT REQUIRED NOR ORDINARILY SHOULD HE BE PERMITTED TO USE HIS OWN AUTOMOBILE WHERE COMMON CARRIERS ARE AVAILABLE. OF THE SAME DAY) IS CHARGEABLE TO AN APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF MOTOR PROPELLED PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES. AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR DECISION A-43306 OF JULY 21 TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY IN WHICH YOU STATE: "IT WOULD BE INCONSISTENT TO HOLD THAT ABSENCES BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 8 A.M. IN VERY MANY CASES WHICH HAVE ALREADY ARISEN AND WHICH WILL CONTINUE TO ARISE FIELD EMPLOYEES OF THIS DEPARTMENT CALLED UPON TO MAKE TRIPS INDISPENSABLE TO THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR OFFICIAL DUTIES.

A-44307, SEPTEMBER 9, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 339

VEHICLES - PASSENGER-CARRYING - TRANSPORTATION WHEN NOT IN A TRAVEL STATUS AN EMPLOYEE IS NOT REQUIRED NOR ORDINARILY SHOULD HE BE PERMITTED TO USE HIS OWN AUTOMOBILE WHERE COMMON CARRIERS ARE AVAILABLE. IF THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION TO BE PERFORMED BY AN EMPLOYEE UNDER CONDITIONS WHICH DO NOT CONSTITUTE A TRAVEL STATUS (CONFINED BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 8 A.M. AND 6 P.M. OF THE SAME DAY) IS CHARGEABLE TO AN APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF MOTOR PROPELLED PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES, SUCH VEHICLES MAY BE HIRED FOR OFFICIAL TRANSPORTATION AFTER COMPLIANCE WITH SECTION 3709, REVISED STATUTES, OR AN EMPLOYEE MAY USE HIS PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AND BE REIMBURSED FOR THE COST OF GASOLINE AND OIL ACTUALLY CONSUMED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, SEPTEMBER 9, 1932:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 24, 1932, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR DECISION A-43306 OF JULY 21 TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY IN WHICH YOU STATE: "IT WOULD BE INCONSISTENT TO HOLD THAT ABSENCES BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 8 A.M. AND 6 P.M. CONSTITUTE A TRAVEL STATUS FOR MILEAGE PURPOSES BUT NOT FOR SUBSISTENCE PURPOSES.'

IN VERY MANY CASES WHICH HAVE ALREADY ARISEN AND WHICH WILL CONTINUE TO ARISE FIELD EMPLOYEES OF THIS DEPARTMENT CALLED UPON TO MAKE TRIPS INDISPENSABLE TO THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR OFFICIAL DUTIES, FOR WHICH COMMON CARRIER TRANSPORTATION IS NOT AVAILABLE, ARE UNWILLING TO USE THEIR PERSONALLY-OWNED CARS WHEN THE TRAVEL WILL BE MADE WITHIN THE 8 A.M. TO 6 P.M. PERIOD, IN VIEW OF THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF OBTAINING MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT. QUESTION ARISES WHETHER IN SUCH CASES THEY MAY HIRE AUTOMOBILES FROM PRIVATE CONCERNS FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF SUCH TRAVEL, PAYING CASH WHERE DEMANDED AND CLAIMING REIMBURSEMENT IN AN EXPENSE ACCOUNT, OR PRESENTING THE LIVERYMAN'S BILL FOR PAYMENT BY A DISBURSING AGENT OF THE DEPARTMENT, WHERE THIS IS POSSIBLE.

SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF JULY 16, 1914, 38 STAT. 508, PROVIDES:

NO APPROPRIATION MADE IN THIS OR ANY OTHER ACT SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF ANY MOTOR-PROPELLED OR HORSE-DRAWN PASSENGER CARRYING VEHICLE FOR THE SERVICE OF ANY OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS OR OTHER GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHMENTS, OR ANY BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE, UNLESS SPECIFIC AUTHORITY IS GIVEN THEREFOR, AND AFTER THE CLOSE OF THE FISCAL YEAR NINETEEN HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN THERE SHALL NOT BE EXPENDED OUT OF ANY APPROPRIATION MADE BY CONGRESS ANY SUM FOR PURCHASE, MAINTENANCE, REPAIR, OR OPERATION OF MOTOR-PROPELLED OR HORSE-DRAWN PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES FOR ANY BRANCH OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES UNLESS THE SAME IS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY LAW, AND IN THE ESTIMATES FOR THE FISCAL YEAR NINETEEN HUNDRED AND SIXTEEN AND SUBSEQUENT FISCAL YEARS THERE SHALL BE SUBMITTED IN DETAIL ESTIMATES FOR SUCH NECESSARY APPROPRIATIONS AS ARE INTENDED TO BE USED FOR PURCHASE, MAINTENANCE, REPAIR, OR OPERATION OF ALL MOTOR-PROPELLED OR HORSE-DRAWN PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES, SPECIFYING THE SUMS REQUIRED, THE PUBLIC PURPOSES FOR WHICH SAID VEHICLES ARE INTENDED, AND THE OFFICIALS OR EMPLOYEES BY WHOM THE SAME ARE TO BE USED.

IT IS NOT CLEAR WHETHER THE TRANSPORTATION IS BETWEEN TWO POINTS ORDINARILY REACHED BY COMMON CARRIER. AN EMPLOYEE IS NOT REQUIRED NOR ORDINARILY SHOULD HE BE PERMITTED TO USE HIS OWN AUTOMOBILE WHERE COMMON CARRIER IS AVAILABLE. IF THE TRANSPORTATION TO BE PERFORMED BY HIRED AUTOMOBILES IS CHARGEABLE TO AN APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF MOTOR-PROPELLED PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES, THE HIRE OF SUCH VEHICLES FOR OFFICIAL TRANSPORTATION MAY BE PROPER AFTER COMPLIANCE WITH SECTION 3709, REVISED STATUTES, IN CASES WHERE SUCH FORM OF TRANSPORTATION IS NECESSARY TO THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL DUTIES AND IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO ENGAGE FOR THE SERVICE EMPLOYEES WHO WILL USE THEIR PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES THEREFOR. YOU ARE, OF COURSE, AWARE THAT THE FACT EMPLOYEES ARE NOT ENTITLED TO MILEAGE UNDER THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, 46 STAT. 1103, BECAUSE NOT IN A TRAVEL STATUS, DOES NOT NECESSARILY BAR REIMBURSEMENT TO THEM FOR THE ACTUAL COST OF THE GASOLINE AND OIL CONSUMED IN THEIR PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES ON OFFICIAL TRANSPORTATION IF THE APPROPRIATION INVOLVED IS AVAILABLE FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF MOTOR PROPELLED PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES AND THAT FORM OF TRANSPORTATION IS IN THE INTEREST OF THE UNITED STATES AS DISTINGUISHED FROM TRANSPORTATION BY COMMON CARRIER.