A-64205, SEPTEMBER 14, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 209

A-64205: Sep 14, 1935

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WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION - EMPLOYMENT OF OWNER-OPERATED EQUIPMENT THERE IS NO OBJECTION REQUIRED TO THE USE OF FUNDS APPROPRIATED BY THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935. TO PERSONS EMPLOYED WHO OPERATE THEIR OWN EQUIPMENT IN CONNECTION WITH PROJECTS TO WHICH SAID EXECUTIVE ORDER IS APPLICABLE. A NUMBER OF PERSONS NOW ON THE RELIEF ROLLS ARE THE OWNERS AND OPERATORS OF TRUCKS. IT IS THE DESIRE OF THIS ADMINISTRATION TO EMPLOY BOTH THE SERVICES OF THE OPERATOR AND HIS EQUIPMENT UPON PROJECTS FINANCED WITH MONEYS APPROPRIATED BY THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935. HAVE. A COPY OF WHICH IS ENCLOSED. THE EFFECT OF WHICH IS TO EXEMPT PERSONS WHO OWN AND OPERATE THEIR OWN EQUIPMENT IN CONNECTION WITH A PROJECT FROM THE MONTHLY EARNINGS SCHEDULE SET FORTH IN EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 7046.

A-64205, SEPTEMBER 14, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 209

WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION - EMPLOYMENT OF OWNER-OPERATED EQUIPMENT THERE IS NO OBJECTION REQUIRED TO THE USE OF FUNDS APPROPRIATED BY THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935, 49 STAT. 115, IN MAKING PAYMENTS, OTHERWISE THAN ON THE BASIS OF THE ,SECURITY WAGE" AS PROVIDED IN EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 7046, DATED MAY 20, 1935, TO PERSONS EMPLOYED WHO OPERATE THEIR OWN EQUIPMENT IN CONNECTION WITH PROJECTS TO WHICH SAID EXECUTIVE ORDER IS APPLICABLE. EMPLOYEES OF THE WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION OR PROJECT EMPLOYEES TAKEN FROM THE PUBLIC RELIEF ROLLS AND PAID THE "SECURITY WAGE" SET FORTH IN EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 7046, DATED MAY 20, 1935, MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED FOR THE USE OF THEIR PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILES FOR TRANSPORTATION WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THEIR OFFICIAL STATION EXCEPT UPON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE ADMINISTRATOR, WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION, SEPTEMBER 14, 1935:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JULY 15, 1935, AS FOLLOWS:

I SHOULD LIKE TO INVITE YOUR CONSIDERATION OF THE FOLLOWING TWO QUESTIONS RELATING TO THE EMPLOYMENT BY WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION OF OWNER- OPERATED TEAMS, TRUCKS, AND OTHER EQUIPMENT AND OF OWNER OPERATED PASSENGER VEHICLES IN CONNECTION WITH PROJECTS PROSECUTED BY THIS ADMINISTRATION:

1. A NUMBER OF PERSONS NOW ON THE RELIEF ROLLS ARE THE OWNERS AND OPERATORS OF TRUCKS, TEAMS, AND OTHER EQUIPMENT. IT IS THE DESIRE OF THIS ADMINISTRATION TO EMPLOY BOTH THE SERVICES OF THE OPERATOR AND HIS EQUIPMENT UPON PROJECTS FINANCED WITH MONEYS APPROPRIATED BY THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935. IT DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE FEASIBLE TO BREAK DOWN THE PAYMENTS TO BE MADE TO SUCH PERSONS BETWEEN A PAYMENT FOR PERSONAL SERVICES (BASED UPON THE MONTHLY EARNINGS SCHEDULE PROVIDED IN EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 7046) AND A PAYMENT FOR THE USE OF THE EQUIPMENT. HAVE, THEREFORE, ISSUED AN ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER, A COPY OF WHICH IS ENCLOSED, THE EFFECT OF WHICH IS TO EXEMPT PERSONS WHO OWN AND OPERATE THEIR OWN EQUIPMENT IN CONNECTION WITH A PROJECT FROM THE MONTHLY EARNINGS SCHEDULE SET FORTH IN EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 7046, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE RATE OF PAYMENT FOR SUCH OWNER-OPERATED EQUIPMENT SHALL BE DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH LOCAL CONDITIONS AND LOCAL RATES FOR SIMILAR SERVICES, INCLUDING BOTH THE USE OF THE EQUIPMENT AND THE SERVICES OF THE OWNER.

I SHOULD APPRECIATE BEING ADVISED WHETHER THE FOREGOING PROCEDURE IS SATISFACTORY WITH YOU, OR OF ANY SUGGESTIONS WHICH YOU MAY HAVE TO MAKE IN CONNECTION THEREWITH.

2. WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION WILL EMPLOY A LARGE NUMBER OF PERSONS WHO, IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DUTIES, WILL HAVE OCCASION TO TRAVEL WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THEIR OFFICIAL STATIONS IN PERSONALLY-OWNED AUTOMOBILES. SUCH PERSONS WILL INCLUDE GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE EMPLOYEES AS WELL AS PROJECT EMPLOYEES TAKEN FROM THE PUBLIC RELIEF ROLLS AND PAID ON THE BASIS OF THE MONTHLY EARNINGS SCHEDULE SET FORTH IN EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 7046. THE DUTIES OF THESE PERSONS WILL INCLUDE SUPERVISING PROJECTS, ACTING AS SURVEYORS, TIMEKEEPERS, AND PERFORMING OTHER SIMILAR DUTIES COVERING MORE THAN ONE PROJECT.

THE QUESTION WHICH I WISH TO PRESENT FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION IS THE METHOD FOR COMPENSATING SUCH EMPLOYEES FOR THE USE AND COST OF OPERATION OF SUCH PASSENGER AUTOMOBILES. I AM OF THE OPINION THAT THE BEST AND MOST ECONOMICAL METHOD OF COMPENSATING SUCH EMPLOYEES FOR THE USE OF THEIR AUTOMOBILES IS BY PAYING THEM A FIXED ALLOWANCE PER MILE FOR THE OPERATION OF SUCH AUTOMOBILES IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR OFFICIAL DUTIES, SUCH ALLOWANCE TO BE PAID TO THEM UPON REIMBURSEMENT VOUCHERS SUBMITTED PERIODICALLY. ANY OTHER METHOD, INVOLVING THE INCLUSION OF THE ESTIMATED VALUE OF THE USE OF SUCH AUTOMOBILE IN THE SALARY OF THE EMPLOYEE OR THE HIRING OF PASSENGER VEHICLES WITH DRIVERS TO TRANSPORT SUCH EMPLOYEES FROM PLACE TO PLACE, WOULD APPEAR TO INVOLVE BOTH DIFFICULTIES OF ADMINISTRATION AND ADDITIONAL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT.

ACCORDINGLY, I HAVE PREPARED AND ENCLOSE HEREWITH AN ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER WHICH PROVIDES FOR A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE IN THESE CASES AND SPECIFIES THE METHOD BY WHICH SUCH MILEAGE ALLOWANCE MAY BE OBTAINED BY THE EMPLOYEE.

I SHOULD APPRECIATE BEING ADVISED WHETHER THE PROCEDURE CONTEMPLATED IN THIS ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER WILL BE SATISFACTORY TO YOU AND RECEIVING ANY SUGGESTIONS WHICH YOU MAY CARE TO MAKE IN CONNECTION THEREWITH.

REFERRING TO YOUR FIRST QUESTION, THIS OFFICE IS NOT REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO THE USE OF THE FUNDS INVOLVED FOR OTHERWISE PROPER PAYMENTS PURSUANT TO ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 4, DATED JUNE 29, 1935, AS FOLLOWS: RATES OF PAYMENT FOR OWNER-OPERATED TEAMS, TRUCKS, AND OTHER EQUIPMENT

BY VIRTUE OF AND PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN ME BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 7034 OF MAY 6, 1935 AND EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 7046 OF MAY 20, 1935, I HEREBY ISSUE THE FOLLOWING ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER:

RATES OF PAYMENT TO BE MADE TO PERSONS WHO OWN AND OPERATE TEAMS, TRUCKS, AND OTHER EQUIPMENT, AND WHO ARE EMPLOYED TO OPERATE THE SAME ON ANY PROJECT OR PORTION OF A PROJECT WITH RESPECT TO WHICH THE MONTHLY EARNINGS SCHEDULE SET FORTH IN PART I OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 7046 OF MAY 20, 1935 IS APPLICABLE, SHALL BE DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT OR FEDERAL AGENCY, STATE, TERRITORY, POSSESSION, SUBDIVISION OR AGENCY THEREOF, MUNICIPALITY, OR OTHER PUBLIC BODY HAVING GENERAL SUPERVISION OF THE PROJECT OR PORTION OF THE PROJECT, IN ACCORDANCE WITH LOCAL CONDITIONS AND LOCAL RATES FOR SIMILAR SERVICES INCLUDING BOTH THE USE OF THE EQUIPMENT AND THE SERVICES OF THE OWNER IN OPERATING THE SAME.

SEE DECISION OF FEBRUARY 1, 1934, A-53409.

AS TO YOUR SECOND QUESTION, SECTION 3 OF THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935, APPROVED APRIL 8, 1935, 49 STAT. 117, PROVIDES, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

IN CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS JOINT RESOLUTION THE PRESIDENT MAY (A) AUTHORIZE EXPENDITURES FOR * * * PURCHASE, OPERATION, AND MAINTENANCE OF MOTOR-PROPELLED PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES; * * *.

IN DECISION OF DECEMBER 22, 1933, 13 COMP. GEN. 178, TO THE ADMINISTRATOR, FEDERAL EMERGENCY ADMINISTRATION OF PUBLIC WORKS, IT IS STATED:

* * * REIMBURSEMENT TO AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE UPON A MILEAGE BASIS FOR THE USE OF HIS PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE IS LIMITED BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, 46 STAT. 1103, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 9, ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933, 47 STAT. 1516, TO THE USE OF THE AUTOMOBILE IN NECESSARY TRAVEL "AWAY FROM HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY" OR OFFICIAL STATION. THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO REIMBURSE AN EMPLOYEE FOR THE USE OF HIS PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WITHIN THE LIMITS OF HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY OR OFFICIAL STATION EXCEPT WHEN THE APPROPRIATION INVOLVED SPECIFICALLY PROVIDES FOR THE OPERATION OR MAINTENANCE OF PASSENGER CARRYING VEHICLES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACT OF JULY 16, 1914, 38 STAT. 508, AND IN SUCH CASES THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE REIMBURSED ONLY UPON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS FOR GASOLINE AND OIL ACTUALLY CONSUMED IN THE USE OF HIS AUTOMOBILE FOR OFFICIAL TRANSPORTATION WITHIN THE LIMITS OF HIS OFFICIAL STATION. SEE 10 COMP. GEN. 409; 11 ID. 67; ID. 91. * * *.

SEE ALSO 12 COMP. GEN. 97; ID. 339; AND 13 ID. 82, THE LAST CITED DECISION HOLDING AS FOLLOWS, QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS:

SUPERVISORY OFFICERS OF THE EMERGENCY CONSERVATION CORPS MAY BE AUTHORIZED TO USE THEIR PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILES FOR OFFICIAL TRANSPORTATION OUTSIDE OF THE LIMITS OF THEIR OFFICIAL STATION UPON A MILEAGE BASIS UPON THE ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION IN ADVANCE THAT SUCH USE WOULD BE MORE ECONOMICAL AND ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE UNITED STATES. REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE USE OF THEIR PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILES FOR TRANSPORTATION WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THEIR OFFICIAL STATION MAY NOT BE MADE EXCEPT UPON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS.

NOTHING APPEARS IN JOINT RESOLUTION OF APRIL 8, 1935, WHICH COULD BE CONSTRUED AS EXEMPTING ADMINISTRATIVE EMPLOYEES OF THE WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION OR PROJECT EMPLOYEES TAKEN FROM THE PUBLIC RELIEF ROLLS AND PAID THE "SECURITY WAGE" SET FORTH IN THE EXECUTIVE ORDER, FROM THE APPLICATION OF THE ABOVE STATED RULE REGARDING REIMBURSEMENT FOR USE OF AN EMPLOYEE'S OWN AUTOMOBILE. REFERRING TO YOUR SECOND QUESTION, THEREFORE, I HAVE TO INFORM YOU THAT THE PROPOSED ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER IS NOT AUTHORIZED UNDER EXISTING LAW.