B-129486, OCT. 29, 1956

B-129486: Oct 29, 1956

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HORNAK: REFERENCE IS MADE TO AN UNDATED. TO WHICH THERE WAS ATTACHED A TRAVEL VOUCHER DRAWN IN FAVOR OF ARTHUR P. ALTHOUGH WE ARE UNABLE TO DETERMINE WHO FORWARDED IT TO US. THE LETTER INDICATES THAT OUR DECISION IS DESIRED. THE QUESTION ABOUT WHICH THERE IS DOUBT IS WHETHER MR. HE COULD HAVE USED THE SUSQUEHANNA RIVER BRIDGE AT A TOTAL COST OF 40 CENTS. ARE EXEMPTED FROM THE PROVISIONS OF THAT ACT. WE ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO RENDER A DECISION TO YOU IN YOUR CAPACITY AS AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER. SINCE THE DECISIONS HEREINAFTER REFERRED TO ESTABLISH THE PRINCIPLES GOVERNING THE ISSUE IN QUESTION WE WILL ADVISE YOU IN THIS INSTANCE. UNDER PARAGRAPH 12A. (1) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IN EFFECT AT THE TIME THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED.

B-129486, OCT. 29, 1956

TO LIEUTENANT REGINA L. HORNAK:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO AN UNDATED, UNSIGNED COMMUNICATION RECEIVED HERE ON OCTOBER 10, 1956, TO WHICH THERE WAS ATTACHED A TRAVEL VOUCHER DRAWN IN FAVOR OF ARTHUR P. VLIET COVERING TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVEL FROM BELMAR, NEW JERSEY, TO DAHLGREN, VIRGINIA, AND RETURN, DURING THE PERIOD JULY 9 TO 12, 1956. ALTHOUGH WE ARE UNABLE TO DETERMINE WHO FORWARDED IT TO US, THE VOUCHER BEARS YOUR SIGNATURE AS AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, AND THE LETTER INDICATES THAT OUR DECISION IS DESIRED. THE QUESTION ABOUT WHICH THERE IS DOUBT IS WHETHER MR. VLIET MAY BE REIMBURSED THE AMOUNT OF $2.80 WHICH REPRESENTS TOLLS FOR THE USE OF THE CHESAPEAKE BAY BRIDGE BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WHEN, BY TAKING AN ALTERNATE ROUTE THROUGH BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, HE COULD HAVE USED THE SUSQUEHANNA RIVER BRIDGE AT A TOTAL COST OF 40 CENTS.

UNDER SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF DECEMBER 29, 1941, 55 STAT. 876, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 82E., DISBURSING FUNCTIONS UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, EXCEPT THOSE PERTAINING TO DEPARTMENTAL SALARIES AND EXPENSES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, ARE EXEMPTED FROM THE PROVISIONS OF THAT ACT. ACCORDINGLY, WE ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO RENDER A DECISION TO YOU IN YOUR CAPACITY AS AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER. HOWEVER, SINCE THE DECISIONS HEREINAFTER REFERRED TO ESTABLISH THE PRINCIPLES GOVERNING THE ISSUE IN QUESTION WE WILL ADVISE YOU IN THIS INSTANCE.

UNDER PARAGRAPH 12A. (1) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IN EFFECT AT THE TIME THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED, A TRAVELER MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR THE ACTUAL COST OF FERRY FARES, AND BRIDGE, ROAD AND TUNNEL TOLLS, IN ADDITION TO THE MILEAGE ALLOWANCE. PARAGRAPH 9 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT ALL TRAVEL MUST BE BY A USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE AND THAT TRAVEL BY OTHER ROUTES MAY BE ALLOWED WHEN THE OFFICIAL NECESSITY THEREFOR IS SATISFACTORILY ESTABLISHED.

IN MR. VLIET'S CASE, THE TRAVEL ORDERS AUTHORIZED THE USE OF TOLL ROADS. NO SPECIFIC ROUTE IS PRESCRIBED, AND THERE APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN NO ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT THE BALTIMORE ROUTE IS THE ONLY USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BETWEEN BELMAR AND DAHLGREN. IF, AS IS INDICATED, THE TRIP VIA THE CONGESTED BALTIMORE AREA REQUIRES ADDITIONAL TIME, IT APPEARS THAT THE USE OF THAT ROUTE MIGHT WELL HAVE RESULTED IN THE EMPLOYEE'S ARRIVING AT BELMAR ON HIS RETURN TRIP AT SOME TIME AFTER 6:00 P.M.--- ARRIVAL BY THE ROUTE USED BEING SHOWN ON THE VOUCHER AS 5:00 P.M.--- THUS REQUIRING THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM FOR AN ADDITIONAL QUARTER OF A DAY. SEE PARAGRAPH 51 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION SHOULD BE MADE AS TO WHETHER THE TRAVEL BY WAY OF THE CHESAPEAKE BAY BRIDGE IS A USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE OR RESULTED FROM OFFICIAL NECESSITY. SEE B-114214, APRIL 28, 1953, COPY ATTACHED. ALSO SEE 32 COMP. GEN. 438. IF A FAVORABLE DETERMINATION IS MADE, APPROVAL OF THE ROUTE USED SHOULD APPEAR ON THE VOUCHER. THEREAFTER, THE VOUCHER INCLUDING REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE BRIDGE TOLLS MAY BE PROCESSED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.