A-94184, MAY 31, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 1035

A-94184: May 31, 1938

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MILEAGE - TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE - DUAL HEADQUARTERS WHERE EMPLOYEE'S DUAL HEADQUARTERS ARE SEPARATED BY A SUBSTANTIAL DISTANCE. THE MILEAGE CLAIMED BETWEEN THE DUAL HEADQUARTERS IS ENTIRELY OUTSIDE OF THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE RESPECTIVE STATIONS. THE TRAVEL BETWEEN THE TWO STATIONS WAS AWAY FROM HIS DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14. REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON A MILEAGE BASIS FOR USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WHEN PROPERLY AUTHORIZED IN ADVANCE. PRIOR DECISIONS HOLDING IN EFFECT THAT MILEAGE FOR USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE MAY NOT BE ALLOWED BETWEEN DUAL HEADQUARTERS SEPARATED BY A SUBSTANTIAL DISTANCE WILL NOT HEREAFTER BE FOLLOWED.

A-94184, MAY 31, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 1035

MILEAGE - TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE - DUAL HEADQUARTERS WHERE EMPLOYEE'S DUAL HEADQUARTERS ARE SEPARATED BY A SUBSTANTIAL DISTANCE, AND THE MILEAGE CLAIMED BETWEEN THE DUAL HEADQUARTERS IS ENTIRELY OUTSIDE OF THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE RESPECTIVE STATIONS, THE TRAVEL BETWEEN THE TWO STATIONS WAS AWAY FROM HIS DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, 46 STAT. 1103, AND REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON A MILEAGE BASIS FOR USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WHEN PROPERLY AUTHORIZED IN ADVANCE. PRIOR DECISIONS HOLDING IN EFFECT THAT MILEAGE FOR USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE MAY NOT BE ALLOWED BETWEEN DUAL HEADQUARTERS SEPARATED BY A SUBSTANTIAL DISTANCE WILL NOT HEREAFTER BE FOLLOWED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF LABOR, MAY 31, 1938:

YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 11, 1938, IS IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

THERE IS TRANSMITTED HEREWITH, FOR RECONSIDERATION OF THE ACTION OF THE AUDIT DIVISION OF YOUR OFFICE, VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF PATROL INSPECTOR PHILIP G. HAZEN, IN THE AMOUNT OF $27.00, COVERING PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE AT THE RATE OF $2.00 WHILE ON DUTY AS RELIEF OFFICER AT LOUISVILLE LANDING, NEW YORK. ATTACHED THERETO ARE PREAUDIT DIFFERENCE STATEMENTS, MEMORANDUM ADDRESSED TO THE AUDIT DIVISION UNDER DATE OF DECEMBER 28, 1937, AND ALL OTHER PAPERS RELATING TO THIS CLAIM. PREAUDIT DIFFERENCE STATEMENT OF DECEMBER 21, 1937, REQUIRES THAT THERE BE RECOVERED FROM PATROL INSPECTOR HAZEN THE AMOUNT OF $15.60 COVERING PAYMENT MADE TO HIM FOR EXPENSES CLAIMED IN HIS VOUCHER FOR THE MONTH OF JUNE 1937. OF THIS SUM $6.00 REPRESENTS PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FOR A TOTAL OF THREE DAYS AT THE RATE OF $2.00, AND $9.60 COVERS MILEAGE FOR THE USE OF HIS PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE BETWEEN MASSENA AND LOUISVILLE LANDING, NEW YORK, AN AGGREGATE OF 240 MILES AT 4 CENTS PER MILE. THE PREAUDIT DIFFERENCE STATEMENT OF DECEMBER 21, 1937, BEARS THE FOLLOWING NOTATION:

"INASMUCH AS IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE MILEAGE CLAIMED DURING THE MONTH OF JUNE 1937, WAS FOR THE PURPOSE OF CARRYING ON OFFICIAL DUTIES AT LOUISVILLE LANDING, IT IS CONSIDERED THAT A TRAVEL STATUS DID NOT EXIST AND, THEREFORE, THE MILEAGE IS NOT ALLOWABLE. 5 COMP. GEN. 317.'

THE PREAUDIT DIFFERENCE STATEMENT OF JANUARY 5, 1938, STATES:

"HOWEVER, MILEAGE CLAIMED BETWEEN MASSENA AND LOUISVILLE LANDING WOULD APPEAR TO BE ONLY SUCH AS ANY EMPLOYEE MIGHT INCUR BETWEEN HIS HOME AND PLACE OF DUTY. THE HOURS OF ARRIVAL AT AND DEPARTURE FROM EACH POINT INDICATE THAT THE EMPLOYEE'S PRINCIPAL DUTIES WERE AT LOUISVILLE LANDING AND THAT RETURN TO MASSENA WAS FOR THE PURPOSE OF SECURING LODGING AND SUBSISTENCE. SUCH TRAVEL HAS BEEN HELD AS NOT CONSTITUTING A TRAVEL STATUS ENTITLING AN EMPLOYEE TO MILEAGE UNDER THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, 46 STAT. 1103.

"ACTION TAKEN ON PREAUDIT DIFFERENCE STATEMENT DATED DECEMBER 21, 1937, IN WHICH COLLECTION IN THE AMOUNT OF $42.60 WAS REQUESTED TO BE MADE FROM THE EMPLOYEE, IS CONSIDERED CORRECT AND IS ADHERED TO. SEE 11 COMP. GEN. 417.'

PATROL INSPECTOR HAZEN'S OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS IS MASSENA, NEW YORK, BUT IT FREQUENTLY IS NECESSARY TO ASSIGN HIM TO RELIEF DUTY AT LOUISVILLE LANDING AS ACTING IMMIGRANT INSPECTOR. THE NUMBER OF HOURS OF DUTY PERFORMED BY HIM AT THE LATTER PLACE VARIES FROM DAY TO DAY, BUT SINCE HIS OFFICIAL STATION IS MASSENA, NEW YORK, IT IS NECESSARY FOR HIM TO RETURN TO MASSENA EACH DAY AFTER PERFORMING DUTY AT LOUISVILLE LANDING. THIS OFFICER USES HIS PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE IN MAKING THE ROUND TRIPS BETWEEN MASSENA AND LOUISVILLE LANDING UPON THE DETERMINATION THAT SUCH MODE OF TRAVEL WAS MORE ECONOMICAL AND ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT THAN TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER.

SINCE PATROL INSPECTOR HAZEN IS REQUIRED TO PERFORM DUTY BOTH AT LOUISVILLE LANDING AND MASSENA, IT IS BELIEVED HIS CASE IS SIMILAR TO THAT OF EDWARD F. KIMBALL, WHICH WAS CONSIDERED IN YOUR DECISION OF NOVEMBER 25, 1932, NO. A-44843, TO THE EFFECT THAT THE CLAIMANT HAD DUAL HEADQUARTERS. IT BEING ASSUMED THAT PATROL INSPECTOR HAZEN HAS DUEL HEADQUARTERS, THE DEPARTMENT CONCEDES THAT THE PREAUDIT ACTION IN DISALLOWING HIS VOUCHER COVERING PER DIEM FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST WAS PROPER. HOWEVER, IT IS FELT THAT MR. HAZEN IS ENTITLED TO THE AMOUNT OF $9.60 PAID IN CONNECTION WITH HIS JUNE VOUCHER FOR MILEAGE, IN VIEW OF YOUR DECISION ABOVE CITED. MOREOVER, IN YOUR DECISION OF OCTOBER 25, 1932, NO. A-44782 (12C.G. 423), IT IS HELD THAT "TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES IN TRAVEL AWAY FROM POST OF DUTY ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS MAY LEGITIMATELY OCCUR WHEN NO TRAVEL STATUS FOR SUBSISTENCE PURPOSES EXISTS * * *.'

IN THE SCHEDULE OF MILEAGE SUBMITTED BY THE EMPLOYEE, HE CLAIMS 6 MILES EACH WAY BETWEEN MASSENA AND LOUISVILLE LANDING AND CERTIFIES THAT NO PART THEREOF REPRESENTS MILEAGE WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF HIS LAST OFFICIAL STATION. THE DUAL HEADQUARTERS BEING THUS SEPARATED BY A SUBSTANTIAL DISTANCE IT FOLLOWS THAT TRAVEL BETWEEN THE TWO STATIONS WAS AWAY FROM HIS DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, 46 STAT. 1103, AND HAVING BEEN PERFORMED OUTSIDE OF THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE RESPECTIVE STATIONS ENTITLED THE TRAVELER TO REIMBURSEMENT ON A MILEAGE BASIS FOR THE USE OF HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WHEN PROPERLY AUTHORIZED IN ADVANCE AS IN THIS CASE. A-44843, NOVEMBER 25, 1932; A-83735, FEBRUARY 15, 1937; AND 16 COMP. GEN. 577.

PRIOR DECISIONS HOLDING IN EFFECT THAT MILEAGE FOR THE USE OF A PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE MAY NOT BE ALLOWED BETWEEN DUAL HEADQUARTERS SEPARATED BY A SUBSTANTIAL DISTANCE WILL NOT HEREAFTER BE FOLLOWED.