A-45925, FEBRUARY 14, 1933, 12 COMP. GEN. 528

A-45925: Feb 14, 1933

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AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE FOR THE USE OF AN EMPLOYEE'S OWN AUTOMOBILE ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS REQUIRES THAT SUCH USE MUST HAVE BEEN PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED. THIS BEING A STATUTORY REQUIREMENT THE ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL AFTER THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED. CERTIFICATION UPON PREAUDIT AS TO THE MILEAGE WAS REFUSED BY THIS OFFICE OCTOBER 13. UPON THE PREVIOUS VOUCHER UPON WHICH $6.25 PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE WAS FOUND DUE THE OFFICER. CERTIFICATION UPON THE PRESENT VOUCHER WAS REFUSED DECEMBER 12. THE ONLY REASON FOR THE RESUBMISSION IS THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT BY THE CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF NAVIGATION IN HIS INDORSEMENT OF JANUARY 6. 1933: IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THIS OFFICER WAS TRAVELING TO HIS FIRST DUTY STATION AFTER BEING COMMISSIONED.

A-45925, FEBRUARY 14, 1933, 12 COMP. GEN. 528

MILEAGE - USE OF OWN AUTOMOBILE THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, 46 STAT. 1103, AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE FOR THE USE OF AN EMPLOYEE'S OWN AUTOMOBILE ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS REQUIRES THAT SUCH USE MUST HAVE BEEN PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED. THIS BEING A STATUTORY REQUIREMENT THE ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL AFTER THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED, WHEN NOT PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED, DOES NOT ENTITLE THE TRAVELER TO REIMBURSEMENT ON A MILEAGE BASIS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, FEBRUARY 14, 1933:

THERE HAS BEEN RESUBMITTED FOR PREAUDIT VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF LIEUT. (JUNIOR GRADE) PAUL E. LEAHY, M.C., UNITED STATES NAVY, FOR $41.33 AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE USE OF HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE PERFORMING TRAVEL BETWEEN CHICAGO, ILL., AND PORTSMOUTH, VA., UPON A MILEAGE BASIS REDUCED TO THE STATED COST FOR THE SAME TRAVEL BY RAIL. CERTIFICATION UPON PREAUDIT AS TO THE MILEAGE WAS REFUSED BY THIS OFFICE OCTOBER 13, 1932, UPON THE PREVIOUS VOUCHER UPON WHICH $6.25 PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE WAS FOUND DUE THE OFFICER. CERTIFICATION UPON THE PRESENT VOUCHER WAS REFUSED DECEMBER 12, 1932, FOR THE REASON THAT THE OFFICER HAD NOT BEEN PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL BY HIS PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE. THE ONLY REASON FOR THE RESUBMISSION IS THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT BY THE CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF NAVIGATION IN HIS INDORSEMENT OF JANUARY 6, 1933:

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THIS OFFICER WAS TRAVELING TO HIS FIRST DUTY STATION AFTER BEING COMMISSIONED, AND WAS NOT AWARE THAT HE SHOULD FIRST OBTAIN PERMISSION TO TRAVEL VIA HIS OWN AUTO, THIS BUREAU ADHERES TO ITS OPINION AS EXPRESSED IN ITS SECOND INDORSEMENT OF 22 OCTOBER, 1932, THAT THIS OFFICER SHOULD NOT BE DEPRIVED OF REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL VIA HIS OWN AUTO ON A MILEAGE BASIS.

THE CLAIM APPEARS TO BE SUBMITTED UNDER THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, 46 STAT. 1103, WHICH 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.

THE TRAVEL ORDERS ISSUED TO LIEUTENANT LEAHY JULY 29, 1932, WERE AS FOLLOWS:

1. AFTER YOU HAVE RECEIVED YOUR COMMISSION AND EXECUTED YOUR OATH OF OFFICE AS AN ASSISTANT SURGEON IN THE U.S. NAVY WITH THE RANK OF LIEUTENANT JUNIOR GRADE, YOU WILL PROCEED TO PORTSMOUTH, VA., AND REPORT TO THE MEDICAL OFFICER IN COMMAND OF NORFOLK NAVAL HOSPITAL FOR DUTY.

2. REPORT ALSO BY LETTER TO THE COMMANDANT, FIFTH NAVAL DISTRICT, FOR THIS DUTY.

3. THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY HAS DETERMINED THAT THIS EMPLOYMENT ON SHORE DUTY IS REQUIRED BY THE PUBLIC INTERESTS.

4. A PER DIEM OF $5.00 IN LIEU OF ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR SUBSISTENCE DURING TRAVEL WILL BE ALLOWED.

BY LETTER OF THE CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF NAVIGATION, DATED SEPTEMBER 12, 1932, TO THE OFFICER IT WAS ATTEMPTED TO AUTHORIZE THE ALLOWANCE OF MILEAGE RETROACTIVELY.

THE COMMUTATION OF EXPENSES OF TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE IS NOT AUTHORIZED EXCEPT PURSUANT TO A STATUTE. THE STATUTE IN THIS CASE, THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, SUPRA, REQUIRES THAT THE USE OF THE AUTOMOBILE MUST HAVE BEEN "PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED," AND THAT IT MUST BE MORE ECONOMICAL AND ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. THE TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WAS NOT PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED IN THE PRESENT CASE AND SUCH PREVIOUS AUTHORIZATION CAN NOT BE CURED BY A SUBSEQUENT APPROVAL. TRAVEL BY AUTOMOBILE UNDER THIS STATUTE IS NOT FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE TRAVELER, IT IS ONLY AFTER A DETERMINATION THAT TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WILL BE MORE ECONOMICAL AND ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT THAT THE DEPARTMENT MAY DIRECT OR AUTHORIZE THE USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE PRIOR TO THE TRAVEL. THE STATUTE IS NOT IN ANY MANNER APPLICABLE TO TRAVEL VOLUNTARILY PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE. REIMBURSEMENT TO LIEUTENANT LEAHY UPON A MILEAGE BASIS IS NOT AUTHORIZED, AND THE VOUCHER MAY NOT BE PAID.