B-126939, MAY 4, 1956

B-126939: May 4, 1956

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FEDERAL CIVIL DEFENSE ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 7. THE FCDA STAFF AUTOMOBILE WAS IN USE AT THE TIME AND THE ONLY OTHER AVAILABLE AGENCY VEHICLE. - WAS TOO SLOW TO MAKE PLANE DEPARTURE. OTHER VEHICLES WERE NOT AVAILABLE. THE RECORD BEFORE US DOES NOT SHOW WHETHER THE TRAVELERS WERE AUTHORIZED TO USE A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON A MILEAGE BASIS. THE EVIDENCE DOES SHOW THAT THE USE OF THE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WAS AUTHORIZED "TO BE FOR THE BEST INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT.'. THE OFFICIAL BUSINESS FOR WHICH MILEAGE IS CLAIMED IN THIS CASE. WAS NOT PERFORMED BY HIM BUT BY OTHER STAFF MEMBERS USING MR. HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF MILEAGE FOR USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS.

B-126939, MAY 4, 1956

TO MRS. BEULAH D. MOORE, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, FEDERAL CIVIL DEFENSE ADMINISTRATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 7, 1956, REQUESTING ADVICE AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT THE SUBMITTED RECLAIM VOUCHER OF MR. ROBERT M. HALLBERG, JR., IN THE AMOUNT OF $21.25. THIS AMOUNT REPRESENTS MILEAGE FOR USE OF HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE DRIVEN BY OTHER FCDA STAFF MEMBERS.

ON APRIL 12, 1955, MR. HALLBERG VOLUNTEERED THE USE OF HIS AUTOMOBILE TO DELIVER FILM TO THE SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, TWA AIR EXPRESS, FOR USE AT AN IMPORTANT MEETING IN LOS ANGELES. THE FILM HAD BEEN REQUESTED BY LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE FROM THE COORDINATOR OF THE CALIFORNIA STATE REGIONAL OFFICE. MOREOVER, THE FCDA STAFF AUTOMOBILE WAS IN USE AT THE TIME AND THE ONLY OTHER AVAILABLE AGENCY VEHICLE--- A PICK- UP TRUCK--- WAS TOO SLOW TO MAKE PLANE DEPARTURE.

AGAIN ON APRIL 18, 1955, MR. HALLBERG CONSENTED TO LET OTHER FCDA STAFF MEMBERS USE HIS CAR FOR TRANSPORTING THEMSELVES BETWEEN THE ATOMIC TEST SITE AND LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS. OTHER VEHICLES WERE NOT AVAILABLE. ALSO, WE UNDERSTAND THE LOAN OF HIS CAR PRECLUDED THE INCONVENIENCE OF AWAITING PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION--- A MINIMUM WAIT OF THREE HOURS--- FOR THE STAFF MEMBERS INVOLVED, SOME OF WHOM HAD BUSINESS OF A PRESSING NATURE IN LAS VEGAS.

THE RECORD BEFORE US DOES NOT SHOW WHETHER THE TRAVELERS WERE AUTHORIZED TO USE A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON A MILEAGE BASIS. THE EVIDENCE DOES SHOW THAT THE USE OF THE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WAS AUTHORIZED "TO BE FOR THE BEST INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT.' ALSO, WE UNDERSTAND THAT NO CLAIM HAS BEEN PRESENTED BY THE OTHER STAFF MEMBERS FOR THIS TRANSPORTATION.

YOU SAY MR. HALLBERG "APPARENTLY PAID THE ACTUAL EXPENSES OF OPERATING" HIS AUTOMOBILE. THE OFFICIAL BUSINESS FOR WHICH MILEAGE IS CLAIMED IN THIS CASE, HOWEVER, WAS NOT PERFORMED BY HIM BUT BY OTHER STAFF MEMBERS USING MR. HALLBERG'S AUTOMOBILE. ACCORDINGLY, HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF MILEAGE FOR USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS.

PARAGRAPH 11 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PERMITS THE HIRE OF AUTOMOBILES WHEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. THE AUTOMOBILE HIRED FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE OFFICIAL TRAVEL MAY BE OWNED BY ANOTHER GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE. SEE PARAGRAPH 11 OF THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS, ABOVE. ALSO, PAYMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT MAY BE MADE EITHER TO THE HIRER-EMPLOYEE OR THE TRAVELER, DEPENDING UPON WHETHER THE TRAVELER HAS MADE PAYMENT OF THE RENTAL CHARGE TO THE HIRER. ALLOWANCE AT THE RATE OF 7 CENTS A MILE FOR USE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S AUTOMOBILE HAS BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. SINCE THE EMPLOYEE WAS NOT PERFORMING OFFICIAL BUSINESS ENTITLING HIM TO MILEAGE, WE ASSUME THE ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL IS BASED ON PARAGRAPH 11 OF THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS. MOREOVER, THE SUM CLAIMED FOR USE OF THE AUTOMOBILE IS NOT IN EXCESS OF THE MILEAGE ALLOWANCE THAT COULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO HIRER-EMPLOYEE HAD HE PERFORMED THE TRAVEL UPON A MILEAGE BASIS. ACCORDINGLY, WE WOULD NOT OBJECT TO CERTIFICATION OF THE VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE PROPER, PROVIDED THE CLAIMANT IN FACT PAID THE OPERATING EXPENSES, THE REQUIREMENTS OF PARAGRAPH 11C OF THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS ARE COMPLIED WITH, AND THAT APPROPRIATE STEPS ARE TAKEN ADMINISTRATIVELY TO PREVENT A DUPLICATE ..END :