A-82965, MAY 12, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 1000

A-82965: May 12, 1937

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THE ITEMS WERE INCLUDED IN THE OFFICER'S CURRENT EXPENSE VOUCHERS BUT WERE ELIMINATED THEREFROM BECAUSE OF DOUBT WHETHER THE EXPLANATIONS OFFERED BY THE OFFICER AS TO THE NECESSITY FOR THE TRAVEL PRIOR TO 6 P.M. FOR FRACTIONAL PARTS OF DAYS WERE SUFFICIENT TO SUPPORT A TRAVEL STATUS. REFERENCE IS MADE TO PARAGRAPH 12. TIME WILL BE COMPUTED AS FOLLOWS: (3) FOR ABSENCES FROM STATION (ROUND TRIPS) WHOLLY BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 8 A.M. NEITHER REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR SUBSISTENCE NOR PAYMENT OF PER DIEM ALLOWANCES IN LIEU THEREOF IS AUTHORIZED. IF ALLOWANCES ARE CLAIMED BECAUSE OF DEPARTURE BEFORE OR ARRIVAL AFTER THE HOURS PRESCRIBED IN THIS PARAGRAPH. EVIDENCE OF THE NECESSITY FOR SUCH TIME OF DEPARTURE OR ARRIVAL WILL BE REQUIRED.

A-82965, MAY 12, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 1000

MILEAGE AND PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE - ARMY OFFICER TRAVELING BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE BETWEEN ST. PAUL AND MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. TRAVEL BETWEEN THE TWIN CITIES, ST. PAUL AND MINNEAPOLIS, MINN., DOES NOT ESTABLISH A TRAVEL STATUS ENTITLING AN ARMY OFFICER ON DUTY IN CONNECTION WITH THE NATIONAL GUARD TO MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE UNDER THE ACT OF MAY 29, 1928, 45 STAT. 975, OR PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FOR FRACTIONAL PARTS OF THE DAYS INVOLVED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO CAPT. S. C. PAGE, UNITED STATES ARMY, MAY 12, 1937:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED BY REFERENCE FROM THE CHIEF OF FINANCE YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 15, 1936, TRANSMITTING A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF CAPT. ARTHUR C. BOLL, SIGNAL CORPS, UNITED STATES ARMY, FOR $5.19, REPRESENTING A MONEY ALLOWANCE OF 3 CENTS PER MILE UNDER THE ACT OF MAY 29, 1928, 45 STAT. 975, AND PER DIEM FOR FRACTIONAL PARTS OF DAYS INCIDENT TO TRAVEL IN CONNECTION WITH THE NATIONAL GUARD FROM ST. PAUL TO MINNEAPOLIS, MINN., DURING OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 1936, UNDER ORDERS OF HEADQUARTERS SEVENTH CORPS AREA, DATED AUGUST 18, 1936.

THE ITEMS WERE INCLUDED IN THE OFFICER'S CURRENT EXPENSE VOUCHERS BUT WERE ELIMINATED THEREFROM BECAUSE OF DOUBT WHETHER THE EXPLANATIONS OFFERED BY THE OFFICER AS TO THE NECESSITY FOR THE TRAVEL PRIOR TO 6 P.M. FOR FRACTIONAL PARTS OF DAYS WERE SUFFICIENT TO SUPPORT A TRAVEL STATUS, AND IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, REFERENCE IS MADE TO PARAGRAPH 12, ARMY REGULATIONS 35-1340, WHICH INCORPORATES CONCLUSIONS FROM DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE, AS FOLLOWS:

ALLOWANCES FOR SUBSISTENCE AND LODGING.--- A. IN COMPUTING THE ALLOWANCES FOR SUBSISTENCE AND LODGING OF MILITARY PERSONNEL EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PRESCRIBED IN AR 35-4520, TIME WILL BE COMPUTED AS FOLLOWS:

(3) FOR ABSENCES FROM STATION (ROUND TRIPS) WHOLLY BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 8 A.M. AND 6 P.M. OF THE SAME DAY, OR WHOLLY BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 7 P.M. AND MIDNIGHT OF THE SAME DAY, NEITHER REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR SUBSISTENCE NOR PAYMENT OF PER DIEM ALLOWANCES IN LIEU THEREOF IS AUTHORIZED. (SEE 6 COMP. GEN. 639; 12 COMP. GEN. 96, 423; AND MS COMP. GEN. A-43833, AUGUST 19, 1932.) IF ALLOWANCES ARE CLAIMED BECAUSE OF DEPARTURE BEFORE OR ARRIVAL AFTER THE HOURS PRESCRIBED IN THIS PARAGRAPH, EVIDENCE OF THE NECESSITY FOR SUCH TIME OF DEPARTURE OR ARRIVAL WILL BE REQUIRED. SEE 5 COMP. GEN. 449.

UNDER THE ORDERS OF AUGUST 18, 1936, CAPT. ARTHUR C. BOLL, SIGNAL CORPS, WITH STATION AT ST. PAUL, MINN., WAS DIRECTED TO MAKE VISITS OF INSTRUCTIONS TO UNITS OF THE NATIONAL GUARD AT THE STATIONS INDICATED WITHIN THE STATE OF MINNESOTA DURING THE PERIOD ENDING DECEMBER 31, 1936, AS THEREIN ENUMERATED (INCLUDING 12 TRIPS TO MINNEAPOLIS), AND UPON COMPLETION TO RETURN TO HIS STATION AT ST. PAUL. IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE A PER DIEM OF $5 WAS AUTHORIZED AS WAS TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE.

IT APPEARS FROM THE VOUCHER THAT THE OFFICER, ON OCTOBER 19, 1936, LEFT ST. PAUL AT 5:10 P.M., ARRIVED AT MINNEAPOLIS 5:30 P.M.; LEFT MINNEAPOLIS AT 10:15 P.M., AND ARRIVED AT ST. PAUL 10:35 P.M. ON OCTOBER 28, 1936, HE LEFT ST. PAUL AT 7:10 P.M., ARRIVED AT MINNEAPOLIS AT 7:30 P.M.; LEFT MINNEAPOLIS AT 10:20 P.M., AND ARRIVED AT ST. PAUL 10:40 P.M. THE SAME DAY. ON NOVEMBER 2, 1936, HE LEFT ST. PAUL AT 1:15 P.M., ARRIVED AT MINNEAPOLIS 1:30 P.M.; LEFT MINNEAPOLIS AT 10:50 P.M., AND ARRIVED AT ST. PAUL 11:10 P.M. THE SAME DAY; AND ON NOVEMBER 9, 1936, HE LEFT ST. PAUL AT 7:10 P.M., ARRIVED AT MINNEAPOLIS 7:30 P.M.; LEFT MINNEAPOLIS AT 11:35 P.M., AND ARRIVED ST. PAUL 11:55 P.M. THE SAME DAY.

IN ADDITION TO A MONEY ALLOWANCE OF 3 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FOR EACH OF THE FOUR TRIPS, THE VOUCHER INCLUDES A FRACTIONAL PER DIEM OF $1.25 INCIDENT TO THE TRIP OCTOBER 19, AND A FRACTIONAL PER DIEM OF $2.50 FOR THE JOURNEY NOVEMBER 2, 1936.

THE OFFICER'S OFFICIAL STATION WAS ST. PAUL, MINN., AND HIS VISITS TO MINNEAPOLIS ARE CLAIMED TO HAVE REQUIRED TRAVEL OF EXACTLY 6 MILES EACH WAY CONSUMING 20 MINUTES' TIME. THE DISTANCES ARE STATED TO HAVE BEEN BASED UPON SPEEDOMETER READINGS.

IT IS THE UNDERSTANDING OF THIS OFFICE THAT THERE IS NO APPRECIABLE DISTANCE, IF ANY, EXCEPT POSSIBLY ACROSS THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER, WHICH FORMS PART OF THE COMMON BOUNDARY, BETWEEN THE TWIN CITIES, AND THAT TRAVEL ENTIRELY WITHIN ONE OR THE OTHER CITY PROPER MAY IN A PARTICULAR INSTANCE INVOLVE MORE DISTANCE THAN TRAVEL FROM A PARTICULAR POINT OR POINTS WITHIN ONE CITY TO A PARTICULAR POINT OR POINTS WITHIN THE OTHER. FOR PRACTICAL PURPOSES THERE IS NO TRAVEL FROM ST. PAUL TO MINNEAPOLIS EXCEPT FOR THE WIDTH OF THE RIVER BETWEEEN THE TWO CITIES AND SUCH TRAVEL AS IS INVOLVED IN THIS CASE IN THE CITY OF MINNEAPOLIS IS THE EQUIVALENT OF TRAVEL BY STREET CAR. THE PROVISION FOR 3 CENTS PER MILE DOES NOT APPLY TO SUCH TRAVEL.

IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES STATIONED IN ONE OF THESE TWIN CITIES MAY NOT BE ALLOWED SUBSISTENCE OR PER DIEM IN LIEU THEREOF WHILE ON DUTY IN THE OTHER. A-22615, APRIL 17, 1929; A-26619, APRIL 27, 1929. THE HOLDING IS BASED ON THE RULE THAT PAYMENT FOR SUBSISTENCE OR PER DIEM IN LIEU THEREOF IS INTENDED TO REIMBURSE THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE FOR ADDITIONAL EXPENSES NECESSARILY INCIDENT TO TRAVEL AWAY FROM HIS HOME OR HEADQUARTERS AND THAT FOR PRACTICAL PURPOSES TRAVEL BETWEEN THE CITIES DOES NOT CONSTITUTE TRAVEL AWAY FROM STATION.

THE RULE IS NOT LIMITED TO THAT PARTICULAR LOCALITY. IN A RECENT DECISION OF THIS OFFICE DATED JUNE 19, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 1117, IT WAS HELD THAT EMPLOYEES WITH HEADQUARTERS DESIGNATED AT SAN FRANCISCO MAY NOT BE PAID A PER DIEM AS IN A TRAVEL STATUS WHILE IN PERFORMANCE OF DUTY AT CITIES ON SAN FRANCISCO BAY TO WHICH THEY MAY BE ASSIGNED IN THE ORDINARY PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DUTIES, AND THE LONG-STANDING RULE WAS RESTATED, PAGE 1119, AS FOLLOWS:

THE FACT THAT A PERSON IS ON DUTY 5 MILES FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS AND BECAUSE OF THE SPECIAL NATURE OF HIS ORDINARY DUTIES, WORKS AT HOURS OTHER THAN THE USUAL WORKING HOURS IN WHICH BUSINESS IS TRANSACTED, DOES NOT ESTABLISH A TRAVEL STATUS NOR A RIGHT TO PER DIEM. A-24528, SEPTEMBER 11, 1928. THESE CASES FALL WITHIN THE NUMEROUS RULINGS OF THIS OFFICE, DISALLOWING REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES BETWEEN SUCH POINTS AS MANHATTAN-BROOKLYN, MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL, NEW YORK JAMAICA, ST. LOUIS-EAST ST. LOUIS, LOS ANGELES-SAN PEDRO, OMAHA COUNCIL BLUFFS, CHICAGO-UNION STOCK YARDS, SAN FRANCISCO-BERKELEY OAKLAND, ETC. SEE 5 COMP. GEN. 400 AND DECISIONS OF SEPTEMBER 29, 1933, A-51170; SEPTEMBER 26, 1934, A-57313; AND FEBRUARY 6, 1936, A 68711.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS PRESENTED, IT MUST BE HELD THAT PAYMENT TO STEAMBOAT INSPECTORS, WITH HEADQUARTERS DESIGNATED AT SAN FRANCISCO, OF PER DIEM FOR SUCH PERIODS AS THESE MEN PERFORM OFFICIAL DUTY IN BERKELEY, ALAMEDA, OR OAKLAND, IS NOT A PROPER CHARGE AGAINST THE UNITED STATES.

YOU ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO PAY THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETAINED IN THE FILES OF THIS OFFICE.