B-131072, APR. 25, 1957

B-131072: Apr 25, 1957

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IN CONNECTION WITH WHICH YOU WERE CHARGED THREE DAYS ANNUAL LEAVE FOR EXCESS TRAVEL TIME. THE ORDERS UNDER WHICH THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED. YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL VIA COMMON CARRIER. TRAVEL IS ALSO AUTHORIZED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AT AN ALLOWANCE NOT EXCEEDING 8 CENTS PER MILE. REIMBURSEMENT IS LIMITED TO COST OF TRAVEL VIA COMMON CARRIER WHENEVER IT IS MORE ECONOMICAL TO THE GOVERNMENT EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE ACCOMPANIED BY ONE OR MORE MEMBERS OF YOUR FAMILY FOR WHOM TRANSPORTATION EXPENSE IS AUTHORIZED.'. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT IT WAS NECESSARY THAT YOUR WIFE PERFORM THE TRAVEL BY AIR TRANSPORTATION. IF PERFORMED BY AIR TRANSPORTATION WOULD HAVE BEEN $167.92. IT IS APPARENT FROM THE LANGUAGE OF YOUR TRAVEL ORDER THAT THIS IS THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT WHICH COULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWED FOR TRAVEL COSTS. 29 COMP.

B-131072, APR. 25, 1957

TO MR. BERNARD MARCUS:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTERS OF DECEMBER 31, 1956, AND FEBRUARY 20, 1957, CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO A CHANGE OF YOUR OFFICIAL STATION FROM BUFFALO, NEW YORK, TO NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, IN CONNECTION WITH WHICH YOU WERE CHARGED THREE DAYS ANNUAL LEAVE FOR EXCESS TRAVEL TIME. WE SHALL CONSIDER YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 20, AS A REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION ACTION OF FEBRUARY 13, 1957.

THE ORDERS UNDER WHICH THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED, PROVIDE IN PARAGRAPH A, AS FOLLOWS:

"A. YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL VIA COMMON CARRIER. TRAVEL IS ALSO AUTHORIZED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AT AN ALLOWANCE NOT EXCEEDING 8 CENTS PER MILE, SUCH METHOD OF TRANSPORTATION HAVING BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED TO BE MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. REIMBURSEMENT IS LIMITED TO COST OF TRAVEL VIA COMMON CARRIER WHENEVER IT IS MORE ECONOMICAL TO THE GOVERNMENT EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE ACCOMPANIED BY ONE OR MORE MEMBERS OF YOUR FAMILY FOR WHOM TRANSPORTATION EXPENSE IS AUTHORIZED.'

THE LAST SENTENCE OF THE QUOTED ORDER LIMITS YOUR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TOTAL TRAVEL EXPENSE INVOLVED INCLUDING THAT OF YOUR WIFE TO THE COST OF TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT IT WAS NECESSARY THAT YOUR WIFE PERFORM THE TRAVEL BY AIR TRANSPORTATION. YOU CLAIMED REIMBURSEMENT FOR HER TRANSPORTATION TO THE AIRPORT IN BUFFALO, HER PLANE FARE AND THE COST OF HER TRANSPORTATION IN NEW ORLEANS. ON THE DATE OF HER DEPARTURE, OCTOBER 9, 1956, YOU ALSO DEPARTED BUFFALO AT 11 A.M. BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AND ARRIVED AT NEW ORLEANS AT 11 A.M. ON OCTOBER 13, 1956. YOU CLAIMED A TOTAL REIMBURSEMENT OF $238. THE COST OF THE TRAVEL OF YOU AND YOUR WIFE, IF PERFORMED BY AIR TRANSPORTATION WOULD HAVE BEEN $167.92, WHICH AMOUNT THE RECORD SHOWS YOU HAD BEEN PAID. IT IS APPARENT FROM THE LANGUAGE OF YOUR TRAVEL ORDER THAT THIS IS THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT WHICH COULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWED FOR TRAVEL COSTS. 29 COMP. GEN. 485.

IN ADDITION, HOWEVER, YOU WERE CHARGED THREE DAYS ANNUAL LEAVE COVERING A PART OF THE TIME CONSUMED IN TRAVELING FROM BUFFALO TO NEW ORLEANS BY AUTOMOBILE AND, IN PROTESTING THAT ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION, YOU REQUEST THAT WE CONSIDER A PROPOSAL UNDER WHICH YOU WOULD BEAR THE COST OF YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL BY AIR. THE ANNUAL LEAVE CHARGED IS RESTORED TO YOUR CREDIT AND YOU ARE REIMBURSED FOR THE AUTOMOBILE TRAVEL. SINCE THE COST OF THE AUTOMOBILE TRAVEL ALONE IS LESS THAN THE COST OF TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT TO WHICH YOU WERE ENTITLED, THE SOLE QUESTION RAISED BY YOUR PROPOSAL IS WHETHER WE MAY DIRECT THAT THE ANNUAL LEAVE BE RESTORED TO YOUR CREDIT. CONCERNING THAT QUESTION, WE REFER YOU TO OUR DECISION, 29 COMP. GEN. 205, FIRST PARAGRAPH, PAGE 207, WHEREIN IT WAS RULED AS FOLLOWS:

"ACCORDINGLY, REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE LAND TRAVEL HERE IN QUESTION WOULD APPEAR TO BE PROPER IN AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE AUTHORIZED MILEAGE AND PER DIEM FOR TRAVEL TIME (INCLUDING THE LAY-OVER AT SAN FRANCISCO) BY AUTOMOBILE, NOT IN EXCESS OF THE TOTAL CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER OF THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS DEPENDENT, INCLUDING PER DIEM FOR RAIL TRAVEL TIME OF THE EMPLOYEE--- IT BEING UNDERSTOOD THAT (IF NOT ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED) PROPER ADMINISTRATIVE CONSIDERATION WILL BE GIVEN TO THE MATTER OF CHARGING ANY EXCESS TRAVEL TIME TO THE EMPLOYEE'S LEAVE, ATTENTION IN THAT CONNECTION BEING INVITED TO THE PENULTIMATE PARAGRAPH OF 26 COMP. GEN. 463, 466. ALSO, SEE 18 COMP. GEN. 755.'

THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY HAS CONSIDERED THE FACTS IN YOUR CASE AND HAS DETERMINED THAT YOU SHOULD BE CHARGED THREE DAYS ANNUAL LEAVE FOR EXCESS TRAVEL TIME. IT IS NOT WITHIN THE PROVINCE OF OUR OFFICE TO DISTURB SUCH DETERMINATION.

ACCORDINGLY, THE CONCLUSION REACHED BY THE CLAIMS DIVISION IN ITS LETTER OF FEBRUARY 13, 1957, TO YOU, IS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.

SINCE THE PAPERS TRANSMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 31, 1956, ARE A PART OF THE OFFICIAL RECORDS UPON WHICH THIS DECISION IS BASED, THEY MUST BE RETAINED IN THE FILES OF OUR OFFICE. SEE 4 CFR 3.