B-121595, DEC 15, 1954

B-121595: Dec 15, 1954

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WERE ISSUED ORDERS IN MAY 1954 TO PROCEED TO CAMP CARSON. IT IS SHOWN THAT BOTH INDIVIDUALS TRAVELED TO AND FROM CAMP CARSON IN MAJOR SMITHERMAN'S AUTOMOBILE. WAS PURCHASED ON CREDIT BY MAJOR SMITHERMAN WHO IS THE HOLDER OF A SINCLAIR REFINING COMPANY CREDIT CARD. IT WAS HELD (QUOTING FROM SYLLABUS): "WHERE A NAVY DEPARTMENT CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE. THE CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF MILEAGE FOR THE USE OF THE AUTOMOBILE UPON CERTIFICATION THAT HE PAID THE OPERATING EXPENSES THEREOF. REGARDLESS OF WHETHER PAYMENT OF MILEAGE ALLOWANCE TO THE OFFICER WAS PROPER. YOU INDICATE THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF GOVERNING REGULATIONS IT IS DIFFICULT TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE CITED DECISION IS FOR APPLICATION.

B-121595, DEC 15, 1954

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

MAJOR P.R. KENNEDY, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY:

BY SECOND INDORSEMENT DATED SEPTEMBER 27, 1954, THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, FILE FINKK 248.7 GINSLSKI, JOSEPH F. (20 AUG 51), FORWARDED HERE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 20, 1954, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER MR. GINALSKI MAY BE PAID $71.62 ($71.22) CLAIMED ON THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER COVERING ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL PERFORMED BETWEEN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, AND CAMP CARSON, COLORADO, WHILE A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY.

MR. GINALSKI AND MAJOR JOHN L. SMITHERMAN, BOTH OFFICIALLY STATIONED AT CHICAGO, WERE ISSUED ORDERS IN MAY 1954 TO PROCEED TO CAMP CARSON, COLORADO, FOR TEMPORARY DUTY OF APPROXIMATELY 22 DAYS' DURATION BEGINNING ON OR ABOUT MAY 31, 1954, AND UPON COMPLETION THEREOF TO RETURN TO THEIR PERMANENT STATION. MR. GINALSKI'S ORDERS PROVIDED FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AT FIVE CENTS PER MILE NOT TO EXCEED THE COST OF TRAVEL BY USUAL COMMON CARRIER. MAJOR SMITHERMAN'S ORDERS ENTITLED HIM TO A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 4203-3A OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND SECTION 303(A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 813. IT IS SHOWN THAT BOTH INDIVIDUALS TRAVELED TO AND FROM CAMP CARSON IN MAJOR SMITHERMAN'S AUTOMOBILE; THAT ALL GASOLINE, OIL, GREASE, ETC., WAS PURCHASED ON CREDIT BY MAJOR SMITHERMAN WHO IS THE HOLDER OF A SINCLAIR REFINING COMPANY CREDIT CARD, AND THAT HE HAS RECEIVED THE SUM OF $71.62 FROM MR. GINALSKI AS THE COST FOR AUTOMOBILE OPERATING EXPENSES INCURRED EN ROUTE.

IN DECISION OF APRIL 1, 1942 (B-24773), 21 COMP. GEN. 899, IT WAS HELD (QUOTING FROM SYLLABUS):

"WHERE A NAVY DEPARTMENT CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE, AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL ON A MILEAGE FOR USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE BASIS, TRAVELED IN A NAVY OFFICER'S AUTOMOBILE ACCOMPANIED BY THE OFFICER WHO HAS BEEN PAID MILEAGE ALLOWANCE UNDER SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, THE CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF MILEAGE FOR THE USE OF THE AUTOMOBILE UPON CERTIFICATION THAT HE PAID THE OPERATING EXPENSES THEREOF, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER PAYMENT OF MILEAGE ALLOWANCE TO THE OFFICER WAS PROPER. COMP. GEN. 512, INVOLVING TRAVEL BY TWO OR MORE CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES IN THE SAME AUTOMOBILE, DISTINGUISHED."

HOWEVER, YOU INDICATE THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF GOVERNING REGULATIONS IT IS DIFFICULT TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE CITED DECISION IS FOR APPLICATION, HENCE, YOU ARE IN DOUBT AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF MAKING PAYMENT OF THE CLAIM.

WHILE PARAGRAPH 12A(2) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS RESTRICTS THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE TO ONLY ONE OF TWO OR MORE CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES TRAVELING TOGETHER ON THE SAME TRIP AND IN THE SAME VEHICLE, AND PARAGRAPH 89 THEREOF PROHIBITS PAYMENTS TO OTHER GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES FOR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES, EXCEPT IN CASES OF NECESSITY SATISFACTORILY EXPLAINED, NEITHER PARAGRAPH IS HERE APPLICABLE SINCE ONLY ONE OF THE JOINT TRAVELERS IS A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE. IN VIEW OF THE CERTIFICATION ON FILE SHOWING THAT MR. GINALSKI HAS PAID MAJOR SMITHERMAN FOR EXPENSES OF OPERATING THE AUTOMOBILE, THIS OFFICE IS NOT REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO PAYMENT OF THE SUM ($71.22), WHICH AMOUNT IS LESS THAN THE COST OF THE MILEAGE AUTHORIZED BY THE TRAVEL ORDERS.

ACTION MAY BE TAKEN ACCORDINGLY, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.

THE VOUCHER AND RELATED PAPERS ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.