B-11069, JULY 10, 1940, 20 COMP. GEN. 15

B-11069: Jul 10, 1940

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1940: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 27. AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE ACT OF APRIL 25. EMPLOYEES ENGAGED IN THE INSPECTION OF PROPERTY MAY BE PAID AN ALLOWANCE NOT TO EXCEED 3 CENTS PER MILE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED IN THEIR PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILES WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THEIR OFFICIAL POSTS OF DUTY WHEN SUCH TRAVEL IS PERFORMED IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH INSPECTION. BRIDGE AND TUNNEL TOLLS AND EMPLOYEES ENGAGED IN THE INSPECTION OF PROPERTY TO RECEIVE AN ALLOWANCE NOT TO EXCEED 3 CENTS PER MILE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THEIR OFFICIAL POSTS OF DUTY WHEN SUCH TRAVEL IS PERFORMED IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH INSPECTIONS AND YOUR ADVICE IN REGARD TO THE MATTER IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED.

B-11069, JULY 10, 1940, 20 COMP. GEN. 15

MILEAGE - HEADQUARTERS - AUTOMOBILE OWNERSHIP REQUIREMENT THE ACT OF APRIL 25, 1940, 54 STAT. 167, CHANGING THE STATUTORY REQUIREMENT OF PERSONAL OWNERSHIP OF AUTOMOBILES USED BY GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES IN OFFICIAL TRAVEL "AWAY FROM DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY" ON A MILEAGE BASIS BY PROVIDING MERELY FOR PRIVATE OWNERSHIP OF VEHICLES SO USED, DOES NOT ALTER THE PERSONAL OWNERSHIP REQUIREMENT WITH RESPECT TO THE ALLOWANCE PROVIDED IN THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION APPROPRIATION (1941) OF NOT TO EXCEED 3 CENTS PER MILE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY EMPLOYEES ON INSPECTION DUTY IN "THEIR PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILES WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THEIR OFFICIAL POSTS OF DUTY.'

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE ADMINISTRATOR, FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION, JULY 10, 1940:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 27, 1940, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE ACT OF APRIL 25, 1940, PUBLIC, NO. 485, 54 STAT. (167), AMENDING THE STATUTE OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, 56 (46) STAT. 1103, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 9 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933, 47 STAT. 1516; U.S.C., SECTION 73A, RELATING TO TRAVEL EXPENSES, BY STRIKING OUT THE WORDS ,HIS OWN" WHEREVER THE WORDS APPEAR THEREIN AND INSERTING IN LIEU THEREOF THE WORDS "PRIVATELY OWNED.' ALSO, TO THE " INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1941," PUBLIC, NO. 459, 76TH CONGRESS, CHAPTER 107--- 3RD SESSION, H.R. 7922, APPROVED APRIL 18, 1940, MAKING APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES OF THE FEDERAL LOAN AGENCY, FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION, FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1941, MAKES PROVISION FOR THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES AS FOLLOWS:

* * * "TRAVEL EXPENSES, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND THE ACT OF JUNE 3, 1926, AS AMENDED (5 U.S.C. 821- 833), BUT THERE MAY BE ALLOWED IN ADDITION TO MILEAGE AT A RATE NOT TO EXCEED 4 CENTS PER MILE FOR TRAVEL BY MOTOR VEHICLE REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE ACTUAL COST OF FERRY FARES AND BRIDGE AND TUNNEL TOLLS, AND EMPLOYEES ENGAGED IN THE INSPECTION OF PROPERTY MAY BE PAID AN ALLOWANCE NOT TO EXCEED 3 CENTS PER MILE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED IN THEIR PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILES WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THEIR OFFICIAL POSTS OF DUTY WHEN SUCH TRAVEL IS PERFORMED IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH INSPECTION; * * *.

IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF THAT PORTION OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT HEREIN CITED THE QUESTION ARISES AS TO WHETHER THE ACT OF APRIL 25, 1940, PUBLIC, NO. 485, SUPRA, CAN BE CONSTRUED AS REMOVING ANY RESTRICTIONS AS TO PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE, THUS PERMITTING ALL EMPLOYEES OF THE ADMINISTRATION TO USE A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FOR TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS WHEN DULY AUTHORIZED AND RECEIVE REIMBURSEMENT FOR MILEAGE AT A RATE NOT TO EXCEED 4 CENTS PER MILE PLUS THE ACTUAL COST OF FERRY FARES, AND BRIDGE AND TUNNEL TOLLS AND EMPLOYEES ENGAGED IN THE INSPECTION OF PROPERTY TO RECEIVE AN ALLOWANCE NOT TO EXCEED 3 CENTS PER MILE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THEIR OFFICIAL POSTS OF DUTY WHEN SUCH TRAVEL IS PERFORMED IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH INSPECTIONS AND YOUR ADVICE IN REGARD TO THE MATTER IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO ISSUE APPROPRIATE INSTRUCTIONS TO THE FIELD OFFICES CONCERNING THE SUBJECT ON OR BEFORE JULY 1, 1940, OR AS SOON THEREAFTER AS PRACTICABLE, AN EARLY REPLY WILL BE APPRECIATED. FURTHER, SINCE THE GENERAL TRAVEL AUTHORIZATIONS FOR THE EMPLOYEES IN THE FIELD OFFICES WHOSE DUTIES REQUIRE TRAVEL BY AUTOMOBILE HAVE BEEN ISSUED AND SUCH ORDERS PROVIDE FOR REIMBURSEMENT ONLY WHEN PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE IS USED, IN THE EVENT IT IS DETERMINED THAT EMPLOYEES OF THIS ADMINISTRATION ARE PERMITTED TO USE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE PURSUANT TO THE ACT OF APRIL 25, 1940, AND STILL RECEIVE THE ALLOWANCES PROVIDED FOR IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT, IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO AMEND THE GENERAL TRAVEL AUTHORIZATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR BEGINNING JULY 1, 1940, AND ENDING JUNE 30, 1941. THEREFORE, YOUR ADVICE IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THESE ORDERS MAY BE AMENDED BY A BLANKET AUTHORITY OR WHETHER IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO ISSUE SUPERSEDING ORDERS TO EACH EMPLOYEE.

THE ACT OF APRIL 25, 1940, PUBLIC, NO. 485, 54 STAT. 167, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THAT THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931 (46 STAT. 1103), AS AMENDED BY SECTION 9 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933 (47 STAT. 1516; U.S.C., TITLE 5, SEC. 73A), ENTITLED " AN ACT TO PERMIT PAYMENTS FOR THE OPERATION OF MOTORCYCLES AND AUTOMOBILES USED FOR NECESSARY TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS, ON A MILEAGE BASIS IN LIEU OF ACTUAL OPERATING EXPENSES," IS FURTHER AMENDED BY STRIKING OUT THE WORDS ,HIS OWN" WHEREVER THEY APPEAR THEREIN AND INSERTING IN LIEU THEREOF THE WORDS "A PRIVATELY ED.'

IN DECISION OF JUNE 7, 1940, B-10493, 19 COMP. GEN. 984, IN WHICH WAS CONSIDERED THE EFFECT OF THE ABOVE-QUOTED STATUTE, IT WAS HELD AS FOLLOWS:

SAID AMENDATORY STATUTE HAS THE EFFECT OF AMENDING, ALSO, SECTION 12 (A) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS BASED ON THE ORIGINAL STATUTE SO AS TO REQUIRE THE SUBSTITUTION OF THE WORDS "A PRIVATELY OWNED" FOR THE WORDS "HIS PERSONALLY OWNED," APPEARING IN THE CITED SECTION OF THE REGULATIONS. WHETHER OWNERSHIP OF A PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE IN WHICH OFFICIAL TRAVEL IS PERFORMED BE IN THE TRAVELER OR SOME OTHER PERSON IS NO LONGER MATERIAL. YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT AN EXPRESS AMENDMENT TO THE REGULATION TO INCLUDE THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT, SUPRA, IS NOT REQUIRED BEFORE MILEAGE IS ALLOWABLE FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL PERFORMED IN ANY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE BY EMPLOYEES OF THE NAMED AGENCIES.

WHAT WAS STATED IN THE ABOVE-QUOTED DECISION HAS REFERENCE OR APPLICATION ONLY TO MILEAGE AUTHORIZED IN THE ORGANIC ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, 46 STAT. 1103, AND AS COVERED BY THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, THAT IS, MILEAGE AUTHORIZED WHILE THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IS "ENGAGED IN NECESSARY TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AWAY FROM HIS DESIGNATED POST OF Y.' HENCE, WHILE SAID DECISION IS APPLICABLE TO THE MILEAGE AT A RATE NOT TO EXCEED 4 CENTS PER MILE, PROVIDED FOR IN THE FIRST PART OF THE APPROPRIATION PROVISION QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER, IT IS TO BE NOTED THAT THE ALLOWANCE OF "NOT TO EXCEED 3 CENTS PER MILE," AUTHORIZED IN THE SAID QUOTED PROVISION, RELATES ONLY TO TRAVEL PERFORMED BY OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES "WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THEIR OFFICIAL POSTS OF DUTY.' SUCH ALLOWANCE IS NOT DEPENDENT UPON A SO-CALLED "TRAVEL STATUS," THAT IS, A TRAVEL STATUS DERIVED FROM TRAVEL "AWAY FROM * * * DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY," SUCH AS IS REQUIRED TO BE ESTABLISHED BEFORE MILEAGE MAY BE PAID UNDER THE 1931 STATUTE AND THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. THAT BEING SO, THERE IS PERCEIVED NO TRUE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE ALLOWANCE OF "NOT TO EXCEED 3 CENTS PER MILE" AS AUTHORIZED BY THE QUOTED APPROPRIATION ACT, AND THE MILEAGE AS AUTHORIZED BY THE 1931 STATUTE AND THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS ISSUED THEREUNDER. HENCE, THE ACT OF APRIL 25, 1940, AMENDING ONLY THE "ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931 (46 STAT. 1103), AS AMENDED BY SECTION 9 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933 (47 STAT. 1516; U.S.C., TITLE 5, SEC. 73A)," WHICH SUBSTITUTED THE WORDS,"A PRIVATELY OWNED" (AUTOMOBILE), FOR THE WORDS,"HIS OWN" (AUTOMOBILE) MAY NOT BE CONSTRUED AS HAVING ANY EFFECT UPON THE WORDS,"THEIR PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILES," IN RESPECT OF THE ALLOWANCE OF "NOT TO EXCEED 3 CENTS PER MILE" AUTHORIZED IN THE 1941 APPROPRIATION ACT FOR YOUR ADMINISTRATION. ACCORDINGLY, OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES MAY BE PAID THE LATTER ALLOWANCE FOR AUTHORIZED TRAVEL ONLY WHEN SUCH TRAVEL IS PERFORMED IN THEIR PERSONALLY- OWNED AUTOMOBILES. COMPARE 11 COMP. GEN. 118.