B-131522, JUN. 3, 1957

B-131522: Jun 3, 1957

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SUCH MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION WAS DETERMINED TO BE MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. SAYS THE DETERMINATION OF ADVANTAGE WAS BASED ON THE EXPECTATION THAT YOU WOULD FURNISH TRANSPORTATION FROM NORFOLK TO KEY WEST AND RETURN TO MR. YOU HAVE FURNISHED NO STATEMENT FROM CAPTAIN BREWTON SHOWING ANY DIFFERENT BASIS FOR SUCH DETERMINATION. WERE ON ANNUAL LEAVE AND ABSENT FROM OFFICIAL DUTY OCTOBER 29. JOHNSON IS SHOWN TO HAVE OBTAINED AUTHORITY AND RETURNED TO NORFOLK BY COMMERCIAL AIR ON OCTOBER 26. THE SUM OF $59.40 WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DEDUCTED FROM YOUR TRAVEL EXPENSE CLAIM FOR $133. $33 WAS FOR 2 3/4 DAYS PER DIEM. JOHNSON WAS NOT FORCED TO USE OTHER MEANS OF RETURN TRANSPORTATION. THAT THERE WAS AMPLE ROOM FOR HIM IN YOUR BUICK SEDAN AUTOMOBILE.

B-131522, JUN. 3, 1957

TO MR. WILLIAM L. TRUEX:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 29, 1957, REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED MARCH 21, 1957, WHICH ALLOWED YOU $725.60 IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR CLAIM FOR $785, COVERING EXPENSES FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED, PURSUANT TO ORDERS DATED AUGUST 28 AND SEPTEMBER 24, 1956, DURING THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 10 THROUGH OCTOBER 31, 1956, WHILE A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, U.S. NAVAL BASE, NORFOLK, VIRGINIA.

THE ABOVE-MENTIONED TRAVEL ORDERS DIRECTED YOU TO PROCEED FROM YOUR OFFICIAL STATION AT NORFOLK TO THE U.S. NAVAL AIR STATION, KEY WEST, FLORIDA, FOR TEMPORARY DUTY AND RETURN. THE ORDERS STIPULATED A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE OF $12 PER DAY, AND PROVIDED FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL TO AND FROM KEY WEST BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE AT THE RATE OF $0.08 PER MILE. SUCH MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION WAS DETERMINED TO BE MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. THE DISBURSING OFFICER, NAVAL SUPPLY CENTER NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, SAYS THE DETERMINATION OF ADVANTAGE WAS BASED ON THE EXPECTATION THAT YOU WOULD FURNISH TRANSPORTATION FROM NORFOLK TO KEY WEST AND RETURN TO MR. CHARLES R. JOHNSON, ANOTHER EMPLOYEE OF THE U.S. NAVAL BASE AT NORFOLK. YOU HAVE FURNISHED NO STATEMENT FROM CAPTAIN BREWTON SHOWING ANY DIFFERENT BASIS FOR SUCH DETERMINATION.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT PRIOR TO COMPLETING THE TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT YOUR DEPENDENTS (WIFE, AND 4 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER), ARRIVED IN KEY WEST AND ACCOMPANIED YOU BADK TO NORFOK IN YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE. AS A RESULT THEREOF, AND SINCE YOU, UPON REQUEST, WERE ON ANNUAL LEAVE AND ABSENT FROM OFFICIAL DUTY OCTOBER 29, 30, AND 31, 1956, AND DID NOT RETURN TO YOUR OFFICIAL STATION UNTIL 8:30 P.M. OCTOBER 31, MR. JOHNSON IS SHOWN TO HAVE OBTAINED AUTHORITY AND RETURNED TO NORFOLK BY COMMERCIAL AIR ON OCTOBER 26, 1956. CONSEQUENTLY, THE SUM OF $59.40 WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DEDUCTED FROM YOUR TRAVEL EXPENSE CLAIM FOR $133, ON WHICH $100 REPRESENTED MILEAGE, AND $33 WAS FOR 2 3/4 DAYS PER DIEM.

IN YOUR LETTER YOU SAY THAT MR. JOHNSON WAS NOT FORCED TO USE OTHER MEANS OF RETURN TRANSPORTATION; THAT THERE WAS AMPLE ROOM FOR HIM IN YOUR BUICK SEDAN AUTOMOBILE; THAT BEFORE COMPLETING THE TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT YOU MADE ARRANGEMENTS WITH ANOTHER NORFOLK EMPLOYEE THEN AT KEY WEST TO HAUL SOME OF YOUR LUGGAGE BACK TO NORFOLK SO AS NOT TO DISCOMMODE YOUR PASSENGER, BUT THAT PRIOR TO THE DATE OF YOUR SCHEDULED DEPARTURE TO RETURN HE MADE APPLICATION FOR AND WAS GRANTED AUTHORITY TO RETURN TO NORFOLK BY PLANE. YOU EXPRESS THE VIEW THAT THE ORIGINAL TRAVEL ORDERS WERE AMENDED AND THAT YOU SHOULD BE ALLOWED EXPENSES FOR RETURN TRAVEL AS CLAIMED.

SECTION 4 OF TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 166, AS AMENDED, AND SECTION 3.5B (1) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROVIDE FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON A MILEAGE BASIS AT NOT TO EXCEED $0.10 PER MILE, WHEN SUCH MODE OF TRANSPORTATION IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT (EXCEPT THAT NO DETERMINATION OF ADVANTAGE IS REQUIRED WHETHER PAYMENT ON A MILEAGE BASIS IS LIMITED TO THE COST OF TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER, INCLUDING PER DIEM IN EACH CASE).

ORDINARILY AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE IS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT QUESTIONED BY OUR OFFICE. INASMUCH AS PERTINENT TRAVEL ORDERS EXPRESSLY PROVIDED THAT BOTH YOU AND MR. JOHNSON WOULD PERFORM ROUND TRIP TRANSPORTATION IN YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE AND IN VIEW OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER'S STATEMENT, ABOVE, WE MUST VIEW THE DETERMINATION OF ADVANTAGE AS BEING PREDICATED UPON MR. JOHNSON ACCOMPANYING YOU. HOWEVER, SINCE THE ORDERS DIRECTING YOUR RETURN TO NORFOLK WERE NOT OBSERVED, OUR OFFICE IS WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO ALLOW YOU IN EXCESS OF THE GOVERNMENT COST FOR SIMILAR TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER, COMPUTED AS FOLLOWS:

CHART

COST - OCTOBER 26, 1956

ONE WAY FIRST-CLASS AIR FARE (NATIONAL

AIR LINES) KEY WEST, FLA., TO NORFOLK, VA. $64.60

PER DIEM EQUALS LEAVE KEY WEST 10:35 A.M.,

ARRIVE NORFOLK 7:10 P.M., SAME DAY

1/4 DAY AT $12; 1/2 DAY AT $9 7.50 2

TAXICAB FARES EQUALS AT $2 EACH PLUS 10 PERCENT TIPS

4.40

$76.50

LESS PREVIOUS PAYMENT 73.60

BALANCE DUE $ 2.90

ACCORDINGLY, A REVISED SETTLEMENT FOR $2.90, THE BALANCE FOUND DUE, WILL ISSUE IN YOUR FAVOR AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE.