A-65388, OCTOBER 4, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 270

A-65388: Oct 4, 1935

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IS A SPECULATIVE EXPENSE WITHIN THE MEANING OF PARAGRAPH 12 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. FOR WHICH THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED. THE QUESTION IS PRESENTED IN CONNECTION WITH THE RESUBMISSION BY YOU OF A PREAUDIT VOUCHER. THE TOTAL FLYING TIME CONSUMED ON THE TRIP IS SHOWN AS 18 HOURS AND 30 MINUTES. IS A RECEIPTED BILL DATED DECEMBER 28. IT APPEARS THAT THIS INSPECTION WAS MADE PURSUANT TO SECTION 27 OF THE AIR COMMERCE REGULATIONS. THE AMOUNT CLAIMED ON THE VOUCHER ON ACCOUNT OF THIS INSPECTION IS $6.93. IT IS URGED BY THE EMPLOYEE THAT. THE EXPENSE OF AIRPLANE INSPECTION IS A FIXED-OPERATING EXPENSE AND NOT A SPECULATIVE EXPENSE FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS PROHIBITED BY TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

A-65388, OCTOBER 4, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 270

TRAVELING EXPENSES - USE OF OWN AIRPLANE A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS BY PERSONALLY OWNED AIRPLANE ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS, MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED FOR ALL OR ANY PART OF THE COST OF PERIODIC AIRPLANE INSPECTIONS REQUIRED BY DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE REGULATIONS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE DIRECTOR, FEDERAL ALCOHOL CONTROL ADMINISTRATION, OCTOBER 4, 1935:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 30, 1935, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER, IN CASES WHERE A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE USES HIS PERSONALLY OWNED AIRPLANE WHILE TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS, THE COST OF A PERIODIC INSPECTION REQUIRED BY SECTION 27 OF THE AIR COMMERCE REGULATIONS, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, IS A SPECULATIVE EXPENSE WITHIN THE MEANING OF PARAGRAPH 12 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, OR AN ACTUAL EXPENSE, SUCH AS THE COST OF GASOLINE AND OIL, FOR WHICH THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED.

THE QUESTION IS PRESENTED IN CONNECTION WITH THE RESUBMISSION BY YOU OF A PREAUDIT VOUCHER, PREVIOUSLY RETURNED BY THIS OFFICE TO THE FEDERAL ALCOHOL CONTROL ADMINISTRATION, WITHOUT CERTIFICATION FOR PAYMENT, IN THE CASE OF JOE DE GANAHL, PRINCIPAL CODE SUPERVISOR OF THE FEDERAL ALCOHOL CONTROL ADMINISTRATION. IT APPEARS THAT JOE DE GANAHL, PURSUANT TO ORDER DATED DECEMBER 14, 1934, TRAVELED IN HIS PERSONALLY OWNED AIRPLANE FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO JACKSONVILLE, FLA., AND ADJACENT POINTS, AND RETURN. HE LEFT WASHINGTON, D.C., DECEMBER 16, 1934, AND ARRIVED IN WASHINGTON, D.C., ON HIS RETURN TRIP, 6:15 P.M., DECEMBER 22, 1934. THE TOTAL FLYING TIME CONSUMED ON THE TRIP IS SHOWN AS 18 HOURS AND 30 MINUTES.

ATTACHED TO HIS VOUCHER FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL AND OTHER EXPENSES, INCLUDING PER DIEM, IS A RECEIPTED BILL DATED DECEMBER 28, 1934, SHOWING THE PAYMENT BY HIM OF A CHARGE FOR 5 HOURS' LABOR AT $1.50 PER HOUR AMOUNTING TO $7.50, COVERING AN INSPECTION MADE AT THE COLLEGE PARK AIRPORT, COLLEGE PARK, MD., FOR 20 HOURS OF FLYING. IT APPEARS THAT THIS INSPECTION WAS MADE PURSUANT TO SECTION 27 OF THE AIR COMMERCE REGULATIONS, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, WHICH REQUIRES AT LEAST ONE INSPECTION FOR EACH 25 HOURS OF FLYING TIME. THE AMOUNT CLAIMED ON THE VOUCHER ON ACCOUNT OF THIS INSPECTION IS $6.93, THIS BEING THE PROPORTIONATE AMOUNT FOR THE 18 HOURS AND 30 MINUTES OF FLYING TIME CONSUMED WHILE ON GOVERNMENT BUSINESS, OF THE CHARGE OF $7.50 MADE FOR THE INSPECTION FOR 20 HOURS OF FLYING.

IT IS URGED BY THE EMPLOYEE THAT, AS THE AIR COMMERCE REGULATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE REQUIRE THAT ALL PLANES LICENSED BY THAT DEPARTMENT BE INSPECTED ONCE IN EVERY 25 OPERATING HOURS, THE EXPENSE OF AIRPLANE INSPECTION IS A FIXED-OPERATING EXPENSE AND NOT A SPECULATIVE EXPENSE FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS PROHIBITED BY TRAVEL REGULATIONS; AND, FURTHER, THAT IF HE HAD NOT PERFORMED THIS OFFICIAL TRAVEL BY PLANE, THIS INSPECTION EXPENSE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN INCURRED.

THE FACT THAT THE TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS OF THE GOVERNMENT NECESSITATED THE INSPECTION REQUIRED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE REGULATIONS IS NOT THE DETERMINING FACTOR IN THE CASE. AS STATED IN MY DECISION OF JULY 7, 1931, A-37249, TO WHICH YOU REFER, PARAGRAPH 12 OF THE GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATION SETS FORTH THE ITEMS WHICH MAY BE CONSIDERED AND THE EXTENT TO WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED WHEN THE TRAVEL IS BY OWN CONVEYANCE. THE REGULATIONS SPECIFY THE ITEMS OF COST FOR WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WILL BE REIMBURSED ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS. AS THE COST OF AIRPLANE INSPECTION IS NOT INCLUDED, IT MUST BE HELD THAT REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUCH COST IS NOT AUTHORIZED. ACTION ON THE VOUCHER IN QUESTION WILL BE ACCORDINGLY.