A-4472, OCTOBER 3, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 347

A-4472: Oct 3, 1924

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - NAVAL OFFICER CHANGING STATION WHERE THE ORDERS REQUIRING A NAVAL OFFICER TO TRAVEL BY AIRPLANE ON CHANGE OF STATION ARE MODIFIED AT THE OFFICER'S OWN REQUEST AND FOR HIS OWN CONVENIENCE SO AS TO PERMIT TRAVEL OTHERWISE THAN BY AIRPLANE. THE OFFICER MAY NOT COMMUTE THE EXPENSES OF TRAVEL BY AIR THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN INCURRED TO APPLY TOWARD EXPENSES OF TRAVEL BY THE METHOD OF HIS CHOOSING. 1924: THERE IS BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR DECISION THE QUESTION WHETHER LIEUT. IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT AS CLAIMED FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES AMOUNTING TO $47 FOR TRAVEL FROM NAVAL AIR STATION. YOU WILL REGARD YOURSELF DETACHED FROM DUTY AT THE NAVAL AIR STATION. FROM SUCH OTHER DUTY AS MAY HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED YOU.

A-4472, OCTOBER 3, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 347

TRAVELING EXPENSES - NAVAL OFFICER CHANGING STATION WHERE THE ORDERS REQUIRING A NAVAL OFFICER TO TRAVEL BY AIRPLANE ON CHANGE OF STATION ARE MODIFIED AT THE OFFICER'S OWN REQUEST AND FOR HIS OWN CONVENIENCE SO AS TO PERMIT TRAVEL OTHERWISE THAN BY AIRPLANE, THE OFFICER MAY NOT COMMUTE THE EXPENSES OF TRAVEL BY AIR THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN INCURRED TO APPLY TOWARD EXPENSES OF TRAVEL BY THE METHOD OF HIS CHOOSING.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, OCTOBER 3, 1924:

THERE IS BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR DECISION THE QUESTION WHETHER LIEUT. COMMANDER CHARLES P. MASON, U.S. NAVY, IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT AS CLAIMED FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES AMOUNTING TO $47 FOR TRAVEL FROM NAVAL AIR STATION, ANACOSTIA, D.C., TO PENSACOLA, FLA., UNDER ORDERS ISSUED BY THE BUREAU OF NAVIGATION APRIL 23, 1924, AND APRIL 24, 1924, RESPECTIVELY, AS FOLLOWS:

1. WHEN DIRECTED BY THE COMMANDANT, NAVY YARD, WASHINGTON, D.C., YOU WILL REGARD YOURSELF DETACHED FROM DUTY AT THE NAVAL AIR STATION, ANACOSTIA, D.C., AND FROM SUCH OTHER DUTY AS MAY HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED YOU; WILL PROCEED VIA AIR TO PENSACOLA, FLA., AND REPORT TO THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE U.S.S. LANGLEY FOR DUTY INVOLVING FLYING AS THE RELIEF OF LIEUTENANT COMMANDER VIRGIL C. GRIFFIN, U.S.N., AS HEAD OF THE AVIATION DEPARTMENT OF THAT VESSEL.

2. THESE ORDERS CONSTITUTE YOUR ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY IN A PART OF THE AERONAUTIC ORGANIZATION OF THE NAVY AND YOUR EXISTING DETAIL TO DUTY INVOLVING FLYING CONTINUES IN EFFECT.

SUBJECT: AUTHORIZED PROCEED VIA COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION.

REFERENCE: (A) BUREAU'S ORDERS OF 23 APRIL, 1924.

1. SHOULD YOU DESIRE TO PROCEED TO PENSACOLA, FLA., VIA COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION IN CARRYING OUT THE ABOVE-MENTIONED ORDERS YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO DO SO WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT YOU WILL BE ENTITLED TO NO MILEAGE IN EXCESS OF THAT ALLOWED BY REFERENCE (A).

2. IN CASE YOU DO NOT DESIRE TO BEAR THIS EXPENSE YOU WILL REGARD THIS AUTHORIZATION AS REVOKED AND RETURN THIS LETTER TO THE BUREAU OF NAVIGATION FOR CANCELLATION.

THE INDORSEMENTS ON THE SAID ORDERS SHOW THAT CLAIMANT WAS DETACHED FROM THE NAVAL AIR STATION, ANACOSTIA, D.C., APRIL 26, 1924, AND REPORTED ON BOARD THE U.S.S. LANGLEY, PENSACOLA, FLA., MAY 2, 1924.

SECTION 20 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, 42 STAT. 632, PROVIDES IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

THAT ALL OFFICERS, WARRANT OFFICERS, AND ENLISTED MEN OF ALL BRANCHES OF THE ARMY, NAVY, MARINE CORPS, AND COAST GUARD, WHEN DETAILED TO DUTY INVOLVING FLYING, SHALL RECEIVE THE SAME INCREASE OF THEIR PAY AND THE SAME ALLOWANCE FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES AS ARE NOW AUTHORIZED FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF LIKE DUTIES IN THE ARMY. * * *

THE ACT OF JULY 11, 1919, 41 STAT. 109, PROVIDES, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

* * * THAT HEREAFTER ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES ONLY, NOT TO EXCEED $8 PER DAY, SHALL BE PAID TO OFFICERS OF THE ARMY AND CONTRACT SURGEONS WHEN TRAVELING BY AIR ON DUTY WITHOUT TROOPS, UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS: * * *

COMMISSIONED OFFICERS OF THE NAVY BECOME ENTITLED ON AND AFTER JULY 1, 1922, TO ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES ONLY, NOT TO EXCEED $8 PER DAY WHEN TRAVELING BY AIR ON DUTY WITHOUT TROOPS, UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS. 2 COMP. GEN. 185.

IT APPEARS THAT CLAIMANT PROCEEDED FROM ANACOSTIA, D.C., TO PENSACOLA, FLA., BY AUTOMOBILE, AND CLAIMS REIMBURSEMENT FOR NECESSARY EXPENSES ACTUALLY INCURRED BY HIM WHILE PERFORMING THE TRAVEL DURING THE PERIOD APRIL 26 TO 30, 1924, AMOUNTING TO $47.

HAD THE TRAVEL BEEN PERFORMED AS DIRECTED BY HIS ORDERS OF APRIL 23, 1924, ONLY ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES, NOT EXCEEDING $8 PER DAY, WOULD HAVE BEEN PAYABLE TO HIM UNDER THE LAW.

WHERE AN OFFICER IS ORDERED TO TRAVEL IN THE UNITED STATES HE IS ENTITLED TO MILEAGE IF THE TRAVEL BE NOT ORDERED BY AIRPLANE AND IT IS NOT REPEATED TRAVEL UNDER ORDERS AUTHORIZING ACTUAL EXPENSES. IF THE OFFICER IS ORDERED TO TRAVEL BY AIRPLANE HE IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES NOT EXCEEDING $8 PER DAY. AN OFFICER MAY NOT SUBSTITUTE PRIVATE TRANSPORTATION FOR AVAILABLE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION AND CHANGE ONE BASIS OR REIMBURSEMENT FOR ANOTHER; THE METHOD OF TRAVEL HAVING BEEN SPECIFIED BY HIS ORDERS, THE STATUTE DETERMINES THE BASIS OF REIMBURSEMENT.

CLAIMANT DID NOT TRAVEL BY AIR AND HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT AS THOUGH SO TRAVELING. THE MODIFICATION OF HIS ORDERS FOR HIS CONVENIENCE TO PERMIT TRAVEL OTHERWISE THAN BY AIR WITH A PROVISO THAT HE WOULD BE "ENTITLED TO NO MILEAGE IN EXCESS OF THAT ALLOWED" BY HIS ORIGINAL ORDERS DOES NOT AUTHORIZE MILEAGE. THE ORIGINAL ORDER FIXED HIS RIGHTS AS TO METHOD OF REIMBURSEMENT, AND HE MAY NOT COMMUTE EXPENSES WHICH MIGHT HAVE ACCRUED UNDER THOSE ORDERS TO APPLY ON TRAVEL BY ANOTHER METHOD FOR WHICH IN PROPER CASES THE LAW PROVIDES MILEAGE.