B-126601, APR. 19, 1956

B-126601: Apr 19, 1956

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WHICH YOU STATE WERE SERVED BY COMMON CARRIER. HE HAS FURNISHED A CERTIFICATE THAT THE USE OF TAXIS WAS NECESSARY. SINCE NO OTHER TYPE OF TRANSPORTATION WAS OBTAINABLE AT THE TIME THE TAXIS WERE USED. WORK WAS PERFORMED ON SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS. GOVERNMENT VEHICLES WERE USED WHEN AVAILABLE. ON ALL OCCASIONS WHEN TAXIS WERE USED FROM TWO TO FIVE PERSONS WERE ACCOMMODATED TOGETHER WITH SURVEY EQUIPMENT. ONE OF THE TRIPS HAD BEEN DELAYED TWICE PREVIOUSLY BECAUSE GOVERNMENT VEHICLES WERE NOT AVAILABLE AND THE THIRD TIME BECAUSE THE LIGHT AIRCRAFT WAS OUT OF COMMISSION. CAPTAIN HINES FURTHER CERTIFIES THAT AT NO TIME WAS A TAXI USED WHEN A MORE ECONOMICAL FORM OF TRANSPORTATION COULD BE UTILIZED NOR WAS A TAXI EVER USED TO PERFORM AN UNESSENTIAL TRIP.

B-126601, APR. 19, 1956

TO CAPTAIN L. H. KOEHL, DISBURSING OFFICER, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY:

YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 22, 1955, REQUESTS A DECISION AS TO PROPRIETY OF PAYMENT OF A VOUCHER COVERING ADDITIONAL EXPENSES FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED IN TURKEY BY CAPTAIN SIDNEY J. HINES, USAF, AO 2033597.

LETTER ORDER 286, HEADQUARTERS 6900TH SECURITY WING (USAFSS), APO 757 NEW YORK, DIRECTED CAPTAIN HINES TO PROCEED ON OR ABOUT AUGUST 18, 1955, FROM FRANKFURT, GERMANY, TO ROME, ITALY; ATHENS, GREECE; AND ISTANBUL AND ANKARA, TURKEY, ON TEMPORARY DUTY FOR THE PURPOSE OF ASSISTING IN SURVEY, COORDINATING REAL ESTATE, INSTALLATION ENGINEERING AND CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITIES. THE ORDERS INCLUDED AUTHORIZATION TO UTILIZE MOTOR TRANSPORTATION FOR HIRE.

IT APPEARS THAT CAPTAIN HINES TRAVELED BY TAXI BETWEEN CERTAIN CITIES WITHIN TURKEY, WHICH YOU STATE WERE SERVED BY COMMON CARRIER. HE HAS FURNISHED A CERTIFICATE THAT THE USE OF TAXIS WAS NECESSARY, SINCE NO OTHER TYPE OF TRANSPORTATION WAS OBTAINABLE AT THE TIME THE TAXIS WERE USED. THE CERTIFICATE STATES THAT THE TIME AUTHORIZED FOR THE TEMPORARY DUTY DID NOT PERMIT ANY DELAY IN WAITING FOR TRANSPORTATION; WORK WAS PERFORMED ON SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS; GOVERNMENT VEHICLES WERE USED WHEN AVAILABLE, BUT BREAKDOWNS OCCASIONALLY OCCURRED RENDERING THEM INOPERABLE; ON ALL OCCASIONS WHEN TAXIS WERE USED FROM TWO TO FIVE PERSONS WERE ACCOMMODATED TOGETHER WITH SURVEY EQUIPMENT; ONE OF THE TRIPS HAD BEEN DELAYED TWICE PREVIOUSLY BECAUSE GOVERNMENT VEHICLES WERE NOT AVAILABLE AND THE THIRD TIME BECAUSE THE LIGHT AIRCRAFT WAS OUT OF COMMISSION, AND THE PROJECT REQUIRED IMMEDIATE ACTION AND COULD NOT BE FURTHER DELAYED. CAPTAIN HINES FURTHER CERTIFIES THAT AT NO TIME WAS A TAXI USED WHEN A MORE ECONOMICAL FORM OF TRANSPORTATION COULD BE UTILIZED NOR WAS A TAXI EVER USED TO PERFORM AN UNESSENTIAL TRIP.

SECTION 303 (A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 253, 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 AS THEREIN PROVIDED WITHOUT REGARD TO THE COMPARATIVE COSTS OF THE VARIOUS MODES OF TRANSPORTATION. IN DECISION OF MAY 20, 1954, 33 COMP. GEN. 563, WE HELD THAT WHILE THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT TO THAT STATUTE---

"* * * DO NOT EXPRESSLY PROVIDE FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSE OF HIRE OF SPECIAL CONVEYANCES, IT IS CLEAR THAT GENERALLY A MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WHEN REQUIRED TO TRAVEL UNDER CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS OR AWAY FROM HIS STATION ON TEMPORARY DUTY. USUALLY THAT TRANSPORTATION IS PROVIDED BY COMMON CARRIER; HOWEVER, WHERE TRAVEL TO A LOCATION NOT SERVED BY COMMON CARRIER IS REQUIRED AND THE HIRE OF A SPECIAL CONVEYANCE IS AUTHORIZED BY PROPER ORDERS, THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO OBJECTION TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR REASONABLE AND PROPER CHARGES FOR THE USE OF SUCH CONVEYANCES. * * *"

WHILE YOUR LETTER STATES THAT THE CITIES HERE CONCERNED WERE SERVED BY COMMON CARRIER, THE OFFICER CERTIFIES THAT, IN THE INSTANCES HE TRAVELED BY TAXI, TRANSPORTATION BY COMMON CARRIER COULD NOT BE UTILIZED BECAUSE HIS SCHEDULE WOULD NOT PERMIT THE DELAY WHICH TRAVEL BY THAT MEANS REQUIRED. SINCE, IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, TRAVEL BY TAXIS WAS AUTHORIZED IN THE TRAVEL ORDERS AND APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN ESSENTIAL TO CARRY OUT SUCH ORDERS, REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL BY THAT MEANS IS AUTHORIZED. ACCORDINGLY, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, PAYMENT MAY BE MADE ON THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER.