A-64914, OCTOBER 25, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 338

A-64914: Oct 25, 1935

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - USE OF EMPLOYEE'S OWN AUTOMOBILE - GASOLINE FURNISHED FROM GOVERNMENT SUPPLIES THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF MILEAGE FOR THE USE OF AN EMPLOYEE'S PERSONALLY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS WHEN THE GASOLINE USED IS FURNISHED FROM GOVERNMENT SUPPLIES NOTWITHSTANDING DEDUCTION IS MADE OF THE COST OF THE GASOLINE SO FURNISHED. THE ACCOUNT IS STATED ON NORTH CAROLINA STATE VOUCHER FORM FOR 623 MILES AT 5 CENTS PER MILE. PAYMENT IN NET AMOUNT OF $25.75 ON SAID VOUCHER WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR PAYING MILEAGE WHEN GASOLINE USED IS FURNISHED FROM GOVERNMENT SUPPLIES. AS FOLLOWS: THE EMPLOYEE IN QUESTION WAS AUTHORIZED TO USE HIS PERSONALLY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AT THE RATE OF 5 CENTS PER MILE.

A-64914, OCTOBER 25, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 338

TRAVELING EXPENSES - USE OF EMPLOYEE'S OWN AUTOMOBILE - GASOLINE FURNISHED FROM GOVERNMENT SUPPLIES THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF MILEAGE FOR THE USE OF AN EMPLOYEE'S PERSONALLY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS WHEN THE GASOLINE USED IS FURNISHED FROM GOVERNMENT SUPPLIES NOTWITHSTANDING DEDUCTION IS MADE OF THE COST OF THE GASOLINE SO FURNISHED.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, OCTOBER 25, 1935:

MAJ. E. C. MORTON, FINANCE OFFICER, UNITED STATES ARMY, REQUESTED AUGUST 14, 1935, REVIEW OF THE ACTION OF THIS OFFICE AUGUST 7, 1935, IN DISALLOWING CREDIT IN THE ACCOUNTS OF MAJ. W. O. RAWLS, F.D., IN THE SUM OF $25.75 FOR ALLEGED AUTOMOBILE MILEAGE PAID TO F. P. SHORE, E.C.W. CAMP P-58, STANTONSBURG, N.C., ON VOUCHER NO. 12955.

THE ACCOUNT IS STATED ON NORTH CAROLINA STATE VOUCHER FORM FOR 623 MILES AT 5 CENTS PER MILE, LESS $5.40 FOR 36 GALLONS OF GASOLINE AT 15 CENTS PER GALLON FURNISHED FROM CAMP SUPPLIES, AND PAYMENT IN NET AMOUNT OF $25.75 ON SAID VOUCHER WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR PAYING MILEAGE WHEN GASOLINE USED IS FURNISHED FROM GOVERNMENT SUPPLIES.

IN REQUESTING REVIEW, MAJOR MORTON SUBMITS A STATEMENT BY THE DIRECTOR, EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK, WITHOUT DATE, AS FOLLOWS:

THE EMPLOYEE IN QUESTION WAS AUTHORIZED TO USE HIS PERSONALLY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AT THE RATE OF 5 CENTS PER MILE. LETTERS OF AUTHORIZATION WERE NOT ISSUED BY THIS OFFICE SINCE AT THE TIME THIS EXPENSE WAS INCURRED, THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA WAS OPERATING UNDER THE REGULATIONS APPROVED BY THE PRESIDENT MAY 20, 1933, WHICH AUTHORIZED EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK EXPENDITURES IN ACCORDANCE WITH STATE LAWS, RULES, AND REGULATIONS. LETTERS OF AUTHORIZATION ARE NOT NECESSARY UNDER STATE PROCEDURE.

ATTENTION IS DIRECTED TO THE FACT THAT THIS EMPLOYEE WAS REQUIRED TO PAY FOR THE 36 GALLONS OF GASOLINE FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT FROM THE CAMP SUPPLY. BY CONSULTING THE INSIDE OF THE ACCOUNT IT WILL BE NOTED THAT A DEDUCTION OF $5.40 WAS MADE TO PAY FOR THIS GASOLINE. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES IT APPEARS IMMATERIAL AS TO WHAT DATES THE GASOLINE WAS SECURED AND THIS INFORMATION CANNOT NOW BE SUPPLIED AS THIS EMPLOYEE DID NOT KEEP A DIARY. IT MIGHT BE STATED THAT AS SOON AS SUPERVISORY OFFICE IN RALEIGH DISCOVERED THAT EMPLOYEES WERE PURCHASING GASOLINE FROM THE GOVERNMENT TANK THAT THE PRACTICE WAS STOPPED.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE CIRCUMSTANCES IT APPEARS THAT THIS VOUCHER SHOULD BE PASSED SINCE THIS EMPLOYEE PAID FOR THE GASOLINE WHICH HE SECURED.

IN A DECISION OF THIS OFFICE, A-58547, DATED APRIL 8, 1935, IT WAS HELD:

THE STATEMENT IN THE QUOTED LETTER THAT PRIOR TO THE DECISION OF NOVEMBER 19, 1934, THERE WAS NOT AVAILABLE TO DISBURSING AGENTS ANY RULE TO FOLLOW IN CASES SUCH AS INVOLVED IN THIS MATTER, IS NOT APPARENT. UNDER PARAGRAPH 12 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AS AMENDED, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1931, AND IN EFFECT AT THE TIME TRAVEL IN THESE TWO CASES WAS PERFORMED, THERE IS SPECIFICALLY SET FORTH THE BASES ON WHICH TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCES MAY BE AUTHORIZED; THAT IS TO SAY, FIRST, ON THE ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS, AS DISTINGUISHED FROM MILEAGE BASIS AND UNDER SUCH METHOD THE EMPLOYEE IS AUTHORIZED TO BE REIMBURSED FOR THE ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED BY HIM IN THE OPERATION OF HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL TRAVEL. THE OTHER IS THE MILEAGE BASIS AND AS TO SUCH METHOD WHEN THE PROPER ORDERS HAVE BEEN ISSUED IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAW, THE REGULATIONS AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF THE RATE OF MILEAGE PROVIDED FOR IN TRAVEL ORDERS. THERE APPEARS TO BE NO QUESTION UNDER THE REGULATIONS THAT THE TWO METHODS ARE SEPARATE AND DISTINCT AND THAT THEY CANNOT BE AUTHORIZED OR SANCTIONED SIMULTANEOUSLY IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THE SAME TRAVEL, WHICH IS WHAT IS CONTENDED IN THE PRESENT MATTER.

IN THE TWO CASES INVOLVED IN YOUR LETTER, THAT IS TO SAY, THAT OF PERCY HODGES, JR., CAMP SUPERINTENDENT IN EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK, AND THAT OF AUSTIN F. LADD, INVOLVED IN THE DECISION OF NOVEMBER 19, 1934, IT APPEARS THAT WHILE THE ORDERS AUTHORIZED TRAVEL BY THE EMPLOYEES' PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES ON THE MILEAGE BASIS, THE TRAVEL WAS NOT SO PERFORMED IN THAT THERE WAS FURNISHED THESE EMPLOYEES GASOLINE AND OIL FROM STOCK OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR THEIR AUTOMOBILE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THE TRAVEL. IT MUST BE READILY APPARENT THAT WHEN TRAVEL IS AUTHORIZED ON A MILEAGE BASIS, THE EMPLOYEE SHALL BEAR ALL EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE TRAVEL TO BE PERFORMED. BY ALLOWING THE EMPLOYEE TO OBTAIN GASOLINE AND OIL FROM GOVERNMENT STOCK AT THE COST PRICE OF SUCH PRODUCTS TO THE GOVERNMENT, AN ELEMENT OF GAIN INURES TO THE EMPLOYEE. BUT BE THAT AS IT MAY, THE BASIS FOR DISALLOWANCE OF THE ITEMS INVOLVED IN DECISION OF NOVEMBER 19, 1934, AND IN CONNECTION WITH THE CASE OF PERCY HODGES, JR., IS THAT AS THE TRAVEL IN SUCH CASES WAS AUTHORIZED ON A MILEAGE BASIS THERE WAS NO AUTHORITY TO FURNISH GASOLINE AND OIL FROM GOVERNMENT STOCK, AND SUCH ACTION HAVING BEEN TAKEN THE EMPLOYEE IS NOT TRAVELING ON A MILEAGE BASIS BUT ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS AND HE IS ONLY ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUCH ACTUAL EXPENSES AS HE MAY SHOW HAVE BEEN INCURRED.

THE ACTION IN DISALLOWING CREDIT IN THE INSTANT CASE WAS CORRECT AND UPON REVIEW MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SUM OF $25.75 SHOULD BE DEPOSITED WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY.