B-116080, NOVEMBER 6, 1953, 33 COMP. GEN. 207

B-116080: Nov 6, 1953

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IN THE SUM OF $23.98 REPRESENTING ADDITIONAL MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AND REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT THEREON IS AUTHORIZED. SERGEANT FIRST CLASS STACK WERE DIRECTED TO PROCEED FROM GOVERNORS ISLAND. UPON COMPLETION OF WHICH THEY WERE TO RETURN TO PROPER STATION. TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WAS DIRECTED AS BEING MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. HIS TRAVEL FROM THAT POINT TO THE OTHER TEMPORARY STATIONS AND THENCE TO GOVERNORS ISLAND WAS PERFORMED IN THE OFFICER'S CAR MAY 5 TO 16. THE PRESENT VOUCHER IS FOR ADDITIONAL REIMBURSEMENT AT THE RATE OF 2 CENTS PER MILE. IN WHICH IT WAS HELD THAT UNDER THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14. AN ADMINISTRATIVE CERTIFICATE THAT THE TRAVEL BETWEEN SPECIFIED POINTS IN THE TRAVELER'S "PERSONALLY OWNED" AUTOMOBILE WILL BE MORE ECONOMICAL AND ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE UNITED STATES CANNOT BE ACCEPTED AS THE FINDING THAT TRAVEL FOR ONLY A PORTION OF THE JOURNEY AUTHORIZED LIKEWISE WILL BE MORE ECONOMICAL AND ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE UNITED STATES.

B-116080, NOVEMBER 6, 1953, 33 COMP. GEN. 207

MILEAGE - MILITARY, NAVAL, ETC., PERSONNEL - TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE - JOINT TRAVEL UNDER PARAGRAPH 4203-3B OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TWO MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHO, UNDER ORDER WHICH DIRECTED TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE AS BEING MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT, PERFORMED TRAVEL IN THE SAME PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE MAY BE REIMBURSED INDIVIDUALLY AT THE RATE OF SEVEN CENTS PER MILE FOR SUCH TRAVEL.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL WEITZEL TO CAPT. W. D. THOMPSON, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, NOVEMBER 6, 1953:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED FROM THE CHIEF OF FINANCE BY SECOND ENDORSEMENT DATED JULY 3, 1953, YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 3, 1953, TRANSMITTING A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF SERGEANT FIRST CLASS ROBERT W. STACK ( RA 32,771,436), IN THE SUM OF $23.98 REPRESENTING ADDITIONAL MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AND REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT THEREON IS AUTHORIZED.

BY HEADQUARTERS FIRST ARMY LETTER ORDER 768, DATED APRIL 21, 1953, LIEUTENANT COLONEL ETHRIDGE F. DOANE, AND SERGEANT FIRST CLASS STACK WERE DIRECTED TO PROCEED FROM GOVERNORS ISLAND, NEW YORK, NEW YORK, TO BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS; AUGUSTA, BATH AND BANGOR, MAINE, AND MONTPELIER, RUTLAND, WINDSOR AND BURLINGTON, VERMONT, ON TEMPORARY DUTY FOR THE PURPOSE OF INSPECTING MILITARY INSTALLATIONS, UPON COMPLETION OF WHICH THEY WERE TO RETURN TO PROPER STATION. TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WAS DIRECTED AS BEING MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. THE OFFICER PERFORMED ALL OF THE TRAVEL IN HIS OWN CAR (APPARENTLY MAKING AUGUSTA THE FIRST TEMPORARY STATION), AND HAS BEEN REIMBURSED AT THE RATE OF 7 CENTS PER MILE PLUS PER DIEM. THE ENLISTED MAN TRAVELED FROM GOVERNORS ISLAND, NEW YORK, NEW YORK, TO AUGUSTA, MAINE, MAY 3 AND 4, 1953, BY RAIL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, PRESUMABLY ON A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST FURNISHED BY FIRST ARMY. HIS TRAVEL FROM THAT POINT TO THE OTHER TEMPORARY STATIONS AND THENCE TO GOVERNORS ISLAND WAS PERFORMED IN THE OFFICER'S CAR MAY 5 TO 16, 1953, INCLUSIVE, AND HE HAS BEEN REIMBURSED THEREFOR AT THE RATE OF 5 CENTS PER MILE. THE PRESENT VOUCHER IS FOR ADDITIONAL REIMBURSEMENT AT THE RATE OF 2 CENTS PER MILE. YOU QUESTION WHETHER, UNDER JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PAYMENT MAY BE MADE AT THE RATE OF 7 CENTS PER MILE FOR TRAVEL DIRECTED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WHEN TWO MEMBERS TRAVEL IN THE SAME CAR. IN THIS CONNECTION YOU CITE DECISION OF JUNE 13, 1934, 13 COMP. GEN. 430, IN WHICH IT WAS HELD THAT UNDER THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, 46 STAT. 1103, AN ADMINISTRATIVE CERTIFICATE THAT THE TRAVEL BETWEEN SPECIFIED POINTS IN THE TRAVELER'S "PERSONALLY OWNED" AUTOMOBILE WILL BE MORE ECONOMICAL AND ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE UNITED STATES CANNOT BE ACCEPTED AS THE FINDING THAT TRAVEL FOR ONLY A PORTION OF THE JOURNEY AUTHORIZED LIKEWISE WILL BE MORE ECONOMICAL AND ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE UNITED STATES.

SECTION 303 (A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 813, PROVIDES THAT UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES SHALL BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS UPON CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION OR OTHERWISE OR WHEN AWAY FROM THEIR DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY "WITHOUT REGARD TO THE COMPARATIVE COSTS OF THE VARIOUS MODES OF TRANSPORTATION," AND THAT TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES WHICH SHALL BE AUTHORIZED SHALL BE LIMITED TO ONE OF THE FOLLOWING: (1) TRANSPORTATION IN KIND, REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR, OR A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION AT A RATE NOT IN EXCESS OF 7 CENTS PER MILE, (2) TRANSPORTATION IN KIND, REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR, OR A "MONETARY ALLOWANCE NOT IN EXCESS OF 7 CENTS PER MILE" PLUS A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE NOT TO EXCEED $9 PER DAY, OR (3) A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE NOT TO EXCEED 10 CENTS PER MILE. THUS, UNLIKE THE SAID ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949 DOES NOT LIMIT TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE TO THOSE CASES IN WHICH IT IS DETERMINED TO BE THE MOST ECONOMICAL AND ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE UNITED STATES, NOR DOES IT APPEAR FROM THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE ACT THAT SUCH WAS INTENDED. JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROMULGATED PURSUANT THERETO, IN SETTING FORTH A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION PROVIDE (PARAGRAPH 4203-3A) THAT ,EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SUBPARAGRAPH B," WHEN AUTHORIZED TRAVEL IS PERFORMED AT PERSONAL EXPENSE THE MEMBER WILL BE REIMBURSED A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION AT THE RATE OF 5 CENTS PER MILE. SUBPARAGRAPH B PROVIDES THAT FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE UNDER ORDERS AUTHORIZING SUCH MODE OF TRAVEL AS "MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT" THE MEMBER WILL BE REIMBURSED A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION AT THE RATE OF 7 CENTS PER MILE.

IN THE PRESENT CASE, THE ORDERS INDICATE THAT TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WAS DETERMINED TO BE MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. THE FACT THAT TRANSPORTATION SUBSEQUENTLY WAS FURNISHED BY RAIL TO THE FIRST TEMPORARY STATION DID NOT AFFECT SUCH DETERMINATION. THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT UNDER THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, OR JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS THAT THE AUTOMOBILE BE "PERSONALLY, OWNED BY THE TRAVELER. THE TERM "PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE" APPARENTLY IS USED TO DENOMINATE A MODE OF TRANSPORTATION OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT VEHICLE OR PUBLIC UTILITY. HENCE, THE FACT THAT TWO MEMBERS TRAVELED IN THE SAME PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A BAR TO PAYMENT OF THE PRESCRIBED MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER AND SUPPORTING PAPERS ARE RETURNED HEREWITH, PAYMENT THEREON BEING AUTHORIZED, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.