B-130599, MAR. 6, 1957

B-130599: Mar 6, 1957

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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 4. REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE SECRETARIES OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO AMEND THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO PERMIT THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE AT A RATE COMMENSURATE WITH THE COSTS OF SUBSISTENCE AND OTHER NECESSARY EXPENSES INCIDENT THERETO. IN CASES WHERE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION OR TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS ARE FURNISHED. AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES TO MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IS CONTAINED IN SECTION 303 (A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949. IT IS THERE PROVIDED THAT: "* * * THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES WHICH SHALL BE AUTHORIZED FOR EACH TYPE OF TRAVEL SHALL BE LIMITED TO ONE OF THE FOLLOWING: (1) TRANSPORTATION IN KIND.

B-130599, MAR. 6, 1957

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 4, 1957, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY (MANPOWER AND RESERVE FORCES), REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE SECRETARIES OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO AMEND THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO PERMIT THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE AT A RATE COMMENSURATE WITH THE COSTS OF SUBSISTENCE AND OTHER NECESSARY EXPENSES INCIDENT THERETO, IN CASES WHERE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION OR TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS ARE FURNISHED.

AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES TO MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IS CONTAINED IN SECTION 303 (A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 253, AND IT IS THERE PROVIDED THAT:

"* * * THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES WHICH SHALL BE AUTHORIZED FOR EACH TYPE OF TRAVEL SHALL BE LIMITED TO ONE OF THE FOLLOWING: (1) TRANSPORTATION IN KIND, REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR, OR A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF COST OF TRANSPORTATION AT A RATE NOT IN EXCESS OF 7 CENTS PER MILE BASED ON DISTANCES ESTABLISHED OR TO BE ESTABLISHED OVER THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTES, IN ACCORDANCE WITH MILEAGE TABLES PREPARED BY THE CHIEF OF FINANCE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY, (2) TRANSPORTATION IN KIND, REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR, OR A MONETARY ALLOWANCE AS PROVIDED IN (1) OF THIS SENTENCE, PLUS A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE NOT TO EXCEED $9 PER DAY, OR (3) A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE OF NOT EXCEEDING 10 CENTS PER MILE BASED ON DISTANCES ESTABLISHED OR TO BE ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO EXISTING LAW * * *.'

THE PROVISIONS OF LAW IN EFFECT PRIOR TO ENACTMENT OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT PROVIDED FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE OR COMMUTED PER DIEM BASIS FOR PERIODS OF ACTUAL TRAVEL, UNLESS THE TRAVELER WAS ENTITLED TO MILEAGE. AS STATED BY THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY, THE ACT OF JUNE 12, 1906, 34 STAT. 246, PROVIDED THAT OFFICERS TRAVELING IN A MILEAGE STATUS COULD BE FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS FOR THE ENTIRE JOURNEY BY LAND AND THAT THE TRANSPORTATION SO FURNISHED WAS TO BE CHARGED AGAINST THE OFFICER'S MILEAGE ACCOUNT AT THE RATE OF THREE CENTS PER MILE. THUS, IN EFFECT, OFFICERS TRAVELING IN A MILEAGE STATUS, WHO WERE FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH TRAVEL, WERE REIMBURSED FOR THE EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE AND OTHER NECESSARY EXPENSES ON A MILEAGE BASIS. THAT ACT WAS REPEALED BY SECTION 531 (C) (3) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT AND NO COMPARABLE PROVISION WAS INCLUDED IN THE LATTER ACT. THE EFFECT OF THE PROVISION IN SECTION 303 (A) OF THAT ACT REQUIRING THAT TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES WHICH SHALL BE AUTHORIZED FOR EACH TYPE OF TRAVEL ,SHALL BE LIMITED TO ONE OF" THE THREE METHODS THERE LISTED, IS TO AUTHORIZE THREE MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE METHODS--- EXCEPT THAT (1) IS INCLUDED IN (2/ -- OF REIMBURSING MEMBERS FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF TRAVEL DIRECTED IN COMPETENT ORDERS. SINCE THE FURNISHING OF TRANSPORTATION IN KIND IS AUTHORIZED ONLY IN METHODS (1) AND (2), IT SEEMS REASONABLE TO CONCLUDE THAT PAYMENT OF MILEAGE UNDER METHOD (3) WAS INTENDED ONLY IN CASES WHERE A MEMBER TRAVELS AT PERSONAL EXPENSE AS APPARENTLY IS CONTEMPLATED UNDER PARAGRAPH 4150 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. HENCE, WE FIND NO SUFFICIENT BASIS TO WARRANT A CONCLUSION THAT COMMUTATION OF EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE ON A MILEAGE BASIS DURING PERIODS OF ACTUAL TRAVEL IS AUTHORIZED WHEN TRANSPORTATION IS FURNISHED IN KIND.