B-131315, MAY 16, 1957

B-131315: May 16, 1957

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REQUESTING ADVANCE DECISION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT AT THE RATE OF 7 CENTS PER MILE IS AUTHORIZED FOR THE ACTUAL MILEAGE INVOLVED IN TRAVEL PERFORMED BY PRIVATE KOERTING FROM FORT BELVOIR. PRIVATE KOERTING WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED WITHOUT DELAY FROM FORT BELVOIR. UPON COMPLETION OF THIS TEMPORARY DUTY HE WAS TO RETURN TO HIS PROPER STATION. THE STATED PURPOSE OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY DIRECTED WAS TO SUPERVISE SERVICE TEST ACTIVITIES IN CONNECTION WITH "USER TEST OF CE WINTERIZED CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT.'. THE CLAIMANT WAS GRANTED AUTHORITY TO MAKE CHANGES IN HIS ITINERARY AND TO PROCEED TO SUCH ADDITIONAL PLACES AS MAY BE NECESSARY FOR ACCOMPLISHING HIS MISSION. THE ORDERS PROVIDE THAT TRAVEL BY PRIVATE AUTOMOBILE "BY ALCAN HWY IS AUTH AS BEING MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVT.'THAT PROVISION WAS SUBSEQUENTLY MODIFIED BY AMENDMENT DATED JANUARY 14.

B-131315, MAY 16, 1957

TO FIRST LIEUTENANT R. J. DUPERE, FC:

BY SECOND INDORSEMENT OF MARCH 28, 1957, THE CHIEF OF FINANCE FORWARDED HERE YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 26, 1957, TRANSMITTING A TRAVEL VOUCHER AND SUPPORTING PAPERS IN THE CASE OF WAYNE R. KOERTING, PRIVATE FIRST CLASS, US 55 539 564, AND REQUESTING ADVANCE DECISION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT AT THE RATE OF 7 CENTS PER MILE IS AUTHORIZED FOR THE ACTUAL MILEAGE INVOLVED IN TRAVEL PERFORMED BY PRIVATE KOERTING FROM FORT BELVOIR, VIRGINIA, TO LADD AIR FORCE BASE, ALASKA, VIA THE ALCAN HIGHWAY.

UNDER TEMPORARY DUTY ORDERS DATED OCTOBER 19, 1956, PRIVATE KOERTING WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED WITHOUT DELAY FROM FORT BELVOIR, VIRGINIA, TO FAIRBANKS, ALASKA, ON OR ABOUT OCTOBER 20, 1956, FOR A PERIOD OF TEMPORARY DUTY OF APPROXIMATELY 345 DAYS. UPON COMPLETION OF THIS TEMPORARY DUTY HE WAS TO RETURN TO HIS PROPER STATION. THE STATED PURPOSE OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY DIRECTED WAS TO SUPERVISE SERVICE TEST ACTIVITIES IN CONNECTION WITH "USER TEST OF CE WINTERIZED CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT.' THE CLAIMANT WAS GRANTED AUTHORITY TO MAKE CHANGES IN HIS ITINERARY AND TO PROCEED TO SUCH ADDITIONAL PLACES AS MAY BE NECESSARY FOR ACCOMPLISHING HIS MISSION. THE ORDERS PROVIDE THAT TRAVEL BY PRIVATE AUTOMOBILE "BY ALCAN HWY IS AUTH AS BEING MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVT.'THAT PROVISION WAS SUBSEQUENTLY MODIFIED BY AMENDMENT DATED JANUARY 14, 1957, TO READ THAT TRAVEL BY PRIVATE AUTOMOBILE TO AND BY ALCAN HIGHWAY WAS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. ALSO, THE ENLISTED MAN WAS GRANTED PERMISSION TO TRANSPORT ONE PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE TO HIS DESTINATION ,PER MSG ARAEN-M 9178" DATED OCTOBER 12, 1956, FROM THE COMMANDING GENERAL, FORT RICHARDSON, ALASKA. THE CITED MESSAGE GRANTED PERMISSION TO TRANSPORT A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE "AT NO EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT.' CERTIFICATION BY THE CLAIMANT SHOWS THAT CERTAIN SCIENTIFIC TEST EQUIPMENT, WHICH WAS USED IN CONNECTION WITH HIS DUTY IN ALASKA, WAS TRANSPORTED IN HIS PRIVATE AUTOMOBILE AND WAS "USED IN DAILY SUPPORT OF TESTING.'

SECTION 303/A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 813, AS AMENDED, 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; AND THAT THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES WHICH SHALL BE AUTHORIZED SHALL BE LIMITED TO (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 $12 PER DAY, OR (3) FOR TRAVEL WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE OF NOT EXCEEDING 10 CENTS PER MILE BASED ON DISTANCES ESTABLISHED OR TO BE ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO EXISTING LAW.

THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT TO THE ABOVE SECTION 303, AND WITH REFERENCE TO TEMPORARY DUTY ALLOWANCES OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES, PROVIDE IN PARAGRAPH 4251-1 THAT TEMPORARY DUTY TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES WILL BE AS PRESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH 4202 AND 4203. PARAGRAPH 4203-3B/1) PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"IT IS THE POLICY OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES TO "AUTHORIZE" (AS DISTINGUISHED FROM "PERMIT") MEMBERS TO TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY-OWNED CONVEYANCE WHENEVER SUCH MODE OF TRANSPORTATION IS ACCEPTABLE TO THE MEMBER AND IS DETERMINED TO BE MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. THIS DETERMINATION SHOULD BE BASED ON THE FACTS IN EACH INDIVIDUAL CASE AND AUTHORIZATION SHOULD NOT BE GRANTED UNLESS THE ORDER-ISSUING AUTHORITY IS CONVINCED THAT SUCH MODE OF TRAVEL IS CLEARLY MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT THAN TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT CONVEYANCE OR PUBLIC CARRIER. THE ADVANTAGE GAINED BY THE GOVERNMENT MAY BE, FOR EXAMPLE, A MORE EFFICIENT, ECONOMICAL,OR EXPEDITIOUS ACCOMPLISHMENT OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS, SHORT TRIPS OVER ROUTES WHERE COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION IS NONEXISTENT OR WOULD BE SO TIME-CONSUMING AS TO UNDULY DELAY PUBLIC BUSINESS.'

PARAGRAPH 4203-3B (2) GOES ON TO PROVIDE THAT---

"FOR TRAVEL ACTUALLY PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY-OWNED CONVEYANCE UNDER ORDERS AUTHORIZING SUCH MODE OF TRANSPORTATION AS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT, THE MEMBER WILL BE PAID A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION AT THE RATE OF SEVEN CENTS PER MILE FOR THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE; PROVIDED, THAT PAYMENT FOR SUCH TRAVEL IN EXCESS OF FIVE CENTS PER MILE WILL NOT BE MADE, IRRESPECTIVE OF THE TERMS OF THE ORDERS, IN THE ABSENCE OF A SIGNED STATEMENT FROM THE MEMBER TO THE EFFECT THAT HE WAS IN FACT THE OWNER OR OPERATOR OF THE PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE UTILIZED AND THAT HE WAS PRIMARILY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE OPERATING EXPENSES THEREOF.'

THE LAST PARAGRAPH QUOTED AUTHORIZES PAYMENT OF MILEAGE AT THE RATE OF SEVEN CENTS PER MILE ONLY FOR THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE BETWEEN THE POINTS OF TRAVEL. PARAGRAPH 4155-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT "OFFICIAL DISTANCES WILL BE ESTABLISHED BY THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMPUTING PAYMENT OF MILEAGE OR MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION.' ACCORDING TO THE OFFICIAL TABLE OR DISTANCE PREPARED BY THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, OFFICIAL DISTANCES HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND POINTS IN ALASKA VIA SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, BUT NO OFFICIAL DISTANCE COMPUTED VIA THE ALCAN HIGHWAY HAS BEEN FOUND. UNDER THE STATUTORY PROVISIONS MENTIONED ABOVE, PAYMENT FOR TRAVEL ON A MILEAGE BASIS MAY BE MADE ONLY FOR THE "OFFICIAL DISTANCE" OVER THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE AND HENCE, ON THE PRESENT RECORD, NO AUTHORITY IS PERCEIVED FOR PAYMENT OF MILEAGE TO PRIVATE KOERTING IN EXCESS OF THAT COMPUTED ON THE ESTABLISHED "OFFICIAL DISTANCE" FROM FORT BELVOIR, VIRGINIA, TO LADD AIR FORCE BASE, ALASKA. ACCORDINGLY, THE QUESTION STATED IN THE FIFTH PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.