A-7615, MAY 5, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 920

A-7615: May 5, 1925

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THE TRANSPORTATION WHICH MAY BE FURNISHED AN OFFICER OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE IN A MILEAGE STATUS AND CHARGED AGAINST HIS MILEAGE ACCOUNT AT 3 CENTS PER MILE IS LIMITED TO TRANSPORTATION OVER ESTABLISHED LINES OF COMMON CARRIERS OR BY GOVERNMENT-OWNED CONVEYANCES. WHEN SUCH SPECIAL MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION ARE USED IT MEANS IT MUST BE AT THE EXPENSE OF THE OFFICER. 1925: THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION A REQUEST MADE ON BEHALF OF SURGEON JOHN MCMULLEN. SURGEON MCMULLEN WAS ALLOWED THE SUM OF $25.20 AS MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED DURING THE PERIOD FROM JULY 29 TO AUGUST 2. INCLUDING IN THE ITINERARY THERE SCHEDULED THE TRIPS FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS NOW CLAIMED. REIMBURSEMENT WAS MADE COVERING THE ENTIRE ITINERARY AT THE RATE OF 8 CENTS PER MILE.

A-7615, MAY 5, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 920

MILEAGE WHEN TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED - PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE UNDER THE ACTS OF JUNE 12, 1906, 34 STAT. 246, AND JUNE 10, 1922, 42 STAT. 631, THE TRANSPORTATION WHICH MAY BE FURNISHED AN OFFICER OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE IN A MILEAGE STATUS AND CHARGED AGAINST HIS MILEAGE ACCOUNT AT 3 CENTS PER MILE IS LIMITED TO TRANSPORTATION OVER ESTABLISHED LINES OF COMMON CARRIERS OR BY GOVERNMENT-OWNED CONVEYANCES, AND DOES NOT INCLUDE SPECIAL MEANS OF CONVEYANCE, SUCH AS HIRED AUTOMOBILES OR BUSES. WHEN SUCH SPECIAL MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION ARE USED IT MEANS IT MUST BE AT THE EXPENSE OF THE OFFICER, HIS ENTIRE REIMBURSEMENT BEING LIMITED TO MILEAGE AT 8 CENTS PER MILE.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, MAY 5, 1925:

THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION A REQUEST MADE ON BEHALF OF SURGEON JOHN MCMULLEN, PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, FOR REVIEW OF THE ACTION TAKEN IN DENYING HIS CLAIM TO THE SUMS OF $2.25, COVERING A CHARGE FOR TRANSPORTATION BY AUTOMOBILE BUS JULY 30, 1923, FROM SASSAFRAS, KY., TO HINDMAN, KY., AND $5 FOR AUTOMOBILE ESPECIALLY HIRED AUGUST 1, 1923, FOR TRAVEL FROM HINDMAN TO CARR'S FORK CHURCH, AND THENCE TO SASSAFRAS.

BY A SETTLEMENT DATED SEPTEMBER 4, 1924, SURGEON MCMULLEN WAS ALLOWED THE SUM OF $25.20 AS MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED DURING THE PERIOD FROM JULY 29 TO AUGUST 2, 1923, INCLUDING IN THE ITINERARY THERE SCHEDULED THE TRIPS FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS NOW CLAIMED. REIMBURSEMENT WAS MADE COVERING THE ENTIRE ITINERARY AT THE RATE OF 8 CENTS PER MILE, DEDUCTION BEING MADE THEREFROM OF 3 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE ENTIRE MILEAGE TRAVELED AS REPRESENTING TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE WHOLE ITINERARY. FOR THE TRAVEL TO PLACES OTHER THAN THOSE INVOLVED IN THE PRESENT CLAIM, GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION SCRIP WAS USED, BUT FOR THE TRIP FROM SASSAFRAS TO HINDMAN AND RETURN TO SASSAFRAS, VIA CARR'S FORK CHURCH, ORDINARY MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION NOT BEING AVAILABLE THE BUS AND AUTOMOBILE WERE USED BY CLAIMANT AND, UPON THE ASSUMPTION THAT HE WOULD BE REIMBURSED FOR THE EXPENSE OF SUCH USE, 3 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE DISTANCE TRAVELED BY SUCH CONVEYANCES WAS INCLUDED IN THE DEDUCTION FOR THE TOTAL MILEAGE TRAVELED.

THE APPROPRIATION TO WHICH THESE TRAVELING EXPENSES ARE CHARGED IS PROVIDED IN THE ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT DATED JANUARY 3, 1923, 42 STAT. 1102, UNDER THE SUBTITLE AND WORDING AS FOLLOWS:

PREVENTION OF EPIDEMICS: TO ENABLE THE PRESIDENT, IN CASE ONLY OF THREATENED OR ACTUAL EPIDEMIC OF CHOLERA, TYPHUS FEVER, YELLOW FEVER, SMALLPOX, BUBONIC PLAGUE, CHINESE PLAGUE OR BLACK DEATH, TRACHOMA, INFLUENZA, ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER, OR INFANTILE PARALYSIS, TO AID STATE AND LOCAL BOARDS OR OTHERWISE, IN HIS DISCRETION, IN PREVENTING AND SUPPRESSING THE SPREAD OF THE SAME, AND IN SUCH EMERGENCY IN THE EXECUTION OF ANY QUARANTINE LAWS WHICH MAY BE THEN IN FORCE, $335,042.78.

SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, 42 STAT. 631, AUTHORIZES PAYMENT TO OFFICERS IN THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE FOR TRAVEL ON THE PUBLIC BUSINESS IN THE LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES THE SUM OF 8 CENTS PER MILE, COMPUTED BY THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE, AND EXISTING LAWS PROVIDING FOR THE ISSUE OF TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS TO OFFICERS OF THE ARMY TRAVELING UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS, AND FOR DEDUCTION TO BE MADE FROM MILEAGE ACCOUNTS WHEN TRANSPORTATION IS FURNISHED BY THE UNITED STATES, ARE APPLICABLE TO THIS SERVICE.

REGARDING THE TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT, FOR WHICH IS TO BE DEDUCTED 3 CENTS PER MILE, IT WAS SAID IN 2 COMP. GEN. 203:

* * * EXISTING LAWS PROVIDING FOR THE ISSUE OF TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS TO OFFICERS OF THE ARMY TRAVELING UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS, AND FOR DEDUCTION TO BE MADE FROM THEIR MILEAGE ACCOUNTS WHEN TRANSPORTATION IS FURNISHED BY THE UNITED STATES, MADE APPLICABLE BY SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, TO ALL THE SERVICES MENTIONED IN THE TITLE OF THAT ACT, ARE FOUND IN THE ACT OF JUNE 12, 1906, 34 STAT. 246.

* * * THE ABOVE ACT DIRECTS THAT WHEN TRANSPORTATION IS FURNISHED BY THE QUARTERMASTER'S DEPARTMENT THE DEDUCTION OF 3 CENTS PER MILE IS TO BE MADE FROM THE OFFICER'S MILEAGE ACCOUNT. THIS PROVISION HAS BEEN CONSTRUED TO INCLUDE TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED BY GOVERNMENT CONVEYANCES, WITH CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS, AS WELL AS BY TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS, AND IT HAS BEEN THE PRACTICE OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT IN SETTLING THE MILEAGE ACCOUNTS OF OFFICERS FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY CERTAIN GOVERNMENT CONVEYANCES TO DEDUCT THEREFROM THE 3 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION SO FURNISHED AS REQUIRED BY SAID PROVISION. SEE 1 COMP. GEN. 555; ID. 629.

THE TRANSPORTATION CONTEMPLATED TO BE FURNISHED AS A CHARGE AGAINST AN OFFICER'S MILEAGE ACCOUNT IS NOT TRANSPORTATION BY SPECIAL MEANS OF CONVEYANCE. SEE 20 COMP. DEC. 485, IN WHICH IT WAS HELD, QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS:

UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 12, 1906 (34 STAT. 246), THE TRANSPORTATION WHICH MAY BE FURNISHED AN OFFICER OF THE ARMY IN A MILEAGE STATUS AND CHARGED AGAINST HIS MILEAGE ACCOUNT IS LIMITED TO TRANSPORTATION OVER ESTABLISHED LINES OF COMMON CARRIERS BY LAND OR WATER, AND THE HIRE BY THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS OF THE ARMY FOR THE USE OF SUCH OFFICERS FOR EXTRAORDINARY MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION, SUCH AS AUTOMOBILES, CARRIAGES, ETC., IS NOT AUTHORIZED BY LAW AND IS NOT A PROPER CHARGE AGAINST ANY APPROPRIATION FOR THE SUPPORT OF THE ARMY.

ON THE SETTLEMENT AS MADE, DOCTOR MCMULLEN HAS ONLY BEEN PAID 5 CENTS PER MILE FOR 34 MILES FOR THE TRAVEL FROM SASSAFRAS TO HINDMAN AND RETURN, AS HE WAS ENTITLED TO 8 CENTS PER MILE UNDER THE ACT AUTHORIZING TRAVELING EXPENSES TO SUCH OFFICERS, THERE IS DUE HIM A BALANCE OF 3 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE 34 MILES SO TRAVELED.

ACCORDINGLY, UPON REVIEW THERE IS ALLOWED THE SUM OF $1.02 ADDITIONAL MILEAGE, AND DISALLOWANCE OF THE CLAIM OF $7.25 FOR AUTOMOBILE HIRE IS SUSTAINED FOR THE REASONS STATED.