B-119519, APRIL 18, 1955, 34 COMP. GEN. 531

B-119519: Apr 18, 1955

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PERSONNEL REIMBURSEMENT FOR TURNPIKE TOLLS PAID BY AN ARMY OFFICER WHO WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE MAY NOT BE MADE IN ADDITION TO PAYMENT OF MILEAGE AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 303 (A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949 "IN LIEU OF COST OF TRANSPORTATION.'. MAJOR WOLLENBERG WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED UNDER THE SAID ORDERS FROM HIS STATION AT FORT MONMOUTH. TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WAS AUTHORIZED AS BEING MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. THE VOUCHER PRESENTED IS STATED IN THE AMOUNT OF $1.90 FOR "TURNPIKE TOLLS ON NEW JERSEY TURNPIKE.'. IT IS PRESUMED THAT THE OFFICER HAS BEEN PAID A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE FOR THE TRAVEL IN QUESTION UNDER THAT AUTHORITY. THERE IS NO PROVISION IN THAT ACT OTHERWISE QUALIFYING OR LIMITING THE PURPOSE OF THAT ALLOWANCE.

B-119519, APRIL 18, 1955, 34 COMP. GEN. 531

TOLLS - HIGHWAY - MILITARY, NAVAL, ETC., PERSONNEL REIMBURSEMENT FOR TURNPIKE TOLLS PAID BY AN ARMY OFFICER WHO WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE MAY NOT BE MADE IN ADDITION TO PAYMENT OF MILEAGE AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 303 (A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949 "IN LIEU OF COST OF TRANSPORTATION.'

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL WEITZEL TO COLONEL CARL J. MELNICK, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, APRIL 18, 1955:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 2, 1954, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER MAJOR CHRISTOPHER H. WOLLENBERG PROPERLY MAY BE PAID AN AMOUNT REPRESENTING TOLLS PAID BY HIM FOR TRAVEL ON THE NEW JERSEY TURNPIKE UNDER ORDERS DATED OCTOBER 28, 1953, IN ADDITION TO THE MILEAGE HE PREVIOUSLY HAS RECEIVED INCIDENT TO THAT TRAVEL.

MAJOR WOLLENBERG WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED UNDER THE SAID ORDERS FROM HIS STATION AT FORT MONMOUTH, NEW JERSEY, TO ROCHELLE PARK, NEW JERSEY, THENCE TO CLIFTON, NEW JERSEY, THENCE TO NEW YORK, NEW YORK, ON TEMPORARY DUTY FOR APPROXIMATELY ONE DAY, AND UPON COMPLETION TO RETURN TO FORT MONMOUTH. TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WAS AUTHORIZED AS BEING MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT, AND THE ORDERS CONTAINED THE FURTHER PROVISION " TURNPIKE TOLLS AUTHORIZED.' THE VOUCHER PRESENTED IS STATED IN THE AMOUNT OF $1.90 FOR "TURNPIKE TOLLS ON NEW JERSEY TURNPIKE.' PARAGRAPH 4203B OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES FOR THE PAYMENT OF A MONETARY ALLOWANCE OF 7 CENTS PER MILE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION TO MILITARY PERSONNEL FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE UNDER ORDERS AUTHORIZING SUCH MODE OF TRAVEL AS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. IT IS PRESUMED THAT THE OFFICER HAS BEEN PAID A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE FOR THE TRAVEL IN QUESTION UNDER THAT AUTHORITY.

SECTION 303 (A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 813, PROVIDES FOR A MONETARY ALLOWANCE NOT IN EXCESS OF 7 CENTS PER MILE "IN LIEU OF COST OF TRANSPORTATION.' THERE IS NO PROVISION IN THAT ACT OTHERWISE QUALIFYING OR LIMITING THE PURPOSE OF THAT ALLOWANCE. ROAD AND BRIDGE TOLLS ARE CONSIDERED AS TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES WHICH ARE REIMBURSABLE TO PERSONS TRAVELING ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS. IT IS THE ESTABLISHED RULE, HOWEVER, THAT MILEAGE ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED BY STATUTE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION COSTS OR EXPENSES, UNLESS OTHERWISE QUALIFIED, ARE INTENDED AS A COMMUTATION FOR ALL TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES, INCLUDING SUCH ITEMS AS ROAD AND BRIDGE TOLLS, FERRY FARES AND THE LIKE, AND, CONSEQUENTLY, THAT ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR ANY SUCH ITEMS ARE NOT PROPERLY PAYABLE IN ADDITION TO THE MILEAGE ALLOWANCE. 11 COMP. GEN. 175; 15 ID. 819; 22 ID. 572. IN THAT CONNECTION, COMPARE THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 4 OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 166, AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION WITH THE FURTHER EXPRESS PROVISION THAT " IN ADDITION TO THE MILEAGE ALLOWANCES PROVIDED FOR IN THIS SECTION, THERE MAY BE ALLOWED REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE ACTUAL COST OF FERRY FARES, AND BRIDGE, ROAD, AND TUNNEL TOLLS.' HAD A LIKE AUTHORITY BEEN CONTEMPLATED IN THE CITED PROVISIONS OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, SIMILAR PROVISION UNDOUBTEDLY WOULD HAVE BEEN MADE IN THAT ACT. IN THE ABSENCE OF SUCH A PROVISION, REIMBURSEMENT FOR TOLL EXPENSES INCURRED ARE NOT CONSIDERED AS PROPER IN ADDITION TO PAYMENT TO THE TRAVELER OF THE MILEAGE AUTHORIZED "IN LIEU OF COST OF TRANSPORTATION.'

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT ON THE PRESENTED VOUCHER WHICH WILL BE RETAINED IN THIS OFFICE.