B-133544, OCT. 11, 1957

B-133544: Oct 11, 1957

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IS CONTAINED IN THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949. IT PROVIDES FURTHER THAT IT IS EXPECTED THAT ORDINARILY THE AUTHORITY WILL BE ISSUED PRIOR TO THE INCURRENCE OF THE EXPENSES AND WILL SPECIFY THE TRAVEL TO BE PERFORMED AS DEFINITELY AS POSSIBLE UNLESS CIRCUMSTANCES IN A PARTICULAR CASE PREVENT SUCH ACTION. AS A GENERAL RULE WRITTEN ORDERS ARE REQUIRED BEFORE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCES ARE AUTHORIZED BY THE GOVERNMENT. WRITTEN ORDERS ARE ISSUED AND RECEIVED BY THE TRAVELER BEFORE TRAVEL IS PERFORMED. WRITTEN ORDERS CONFIRMING EARLIER VERBAL ORDERS HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED. PROVIDED CONFIRMATION FOLLOWS WITHOUT DELAY AND THE REASONS GIVEN FOR NOT ISSUING WRITTEN ORDERS ARE ACCEPTABLE. HIS DECISION WAS BASED ON SAVING MONEY FOR THE GOVERNMENT.

B-133544, OCT. 11, 1957

TO MR. JAMES M. NEELY:

YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 7, 1957, CONCERNS YOUR CLAIM UNDER TRAVEL ORDER NO. DC-79, FEBRUARY 4, 1957, FOR THE DIFFERENCE IN MILEAGE PAYMENT COMPUTED AT ?05 PER MILE AND MILEAGE PAYMENT COMPUTED AT ?08 PER MILE AS AUTHORIZED BY AMENDMENT NO. DC-95 DATED FEBRUARY 18, 1957, AND CONFIRMED BY AMENDMENT DC -117 DATED MARCH 12, 1957.

YOU REQUEST REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT OF JULY 29, 1957, AND INFORMATION CONCERNING THE VALIDITY OF VERBAL ORDERS. THE BASIC AUTHORITY FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS INCLUDING OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, IS CONTAINED IN THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C 835-842, THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND THE REGULATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY CONCERNED. SECTION 2.1 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PERTAINS TO THE AUTHORITY FOR TRAVEL AND PROVIDES THAT, EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED BY LAW, ALL TRAVEL SHALL BE EITHER AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY THE HEAD OF THE AGENCY OR BY AN OFFICIAL TO WHOM SUCH AUTHORITY HAS BEEN PROPERLY DELEGATED. IT PROVIDES FURTHER THAT IT IS EXPECTED THAT ORDINARILY THE AUTHORITY WILL BE ISSUED PRIOR TO THE INCURRENCE OF THE EXPENSES AND WILL SPECIFY THE TRAVEL TO BE PERFORMED AS DEFINITELY AS POSSIBLE UNLESS CIRCUMSTANCES IN A PARTICULAR CASE PREVENT SUCH ACTION.

AS A GENERAL RULE WRITTEN ORDERS ARE REQUIRED BEFORE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCES ARE AUTHORIZED BY THE GOVERNMENT. ORDINARILY, WRITTEN ORDERS ARE ISSUED AND RECEIVED BY THE TRAVELER BEFORE TRAVEL IS PERFORMED. HOWEVER, UNDER SOME CIRCUMSTANCES, WHERE WRITTEN ORDERS CANNOT BE ISSUED PRIOR TO TRAVEL, WRITTEN ORDERS CONFIRMING EARLIER VERBAL ORDERS HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED, PROVIDED CONFIRMATION FOLLOWS WITHOUT DELAY AND THE REASONS GIVEN FOR NOT ISSUING WRITTEN ORDERS ARE ACCEPTABLE.

IN SUPPORT OF YOUR CLAIM FOR THE DIFFERENCE IN MILEAGE YOU FURNISH THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:

"MY IMMEDIATE SUPERIOR, MR. THOMAS J. MAHER, CHIEF, DALLAS BRANCH, U.S. ARMY AUDIT AGENCY, ARRIVED AT HOT SPRINGS ON 14 FEBRUARY 1957, AND DECIDED TO RETURN TO DALLAS WITH ME ON 15 FEBRUARY 1957, IN LIEU OF RETURNING TO DALLAS THE SAME DATE BY AIR TRAVEL. HIS DECISION WAS BASED ON SAVING MONEY FOR THE GOVERNMENT. MR. MAHER IS AUTHORIZED TO ISSUE AND AMEND TRAVEL ORDERS IN HIS CAPACITY AS CHIEF OF THE BRANCH OFFICE, AND HE VERBALLY AMENDED MY ORDERS TO PERMIT MILEAGE PAYMENT OF ?08 PER MILE ON THE RETURN TRIP IN VIEW OF HIS ACCOMPANYING ME TO DALLAS. BY CHANGING THE ORDERS TO ?08 PER MILE AND CANCELING HIS RETURN AIRLINE TICKET, A SAVINGS TO THE GOVERNMENT OF ABOUT $14.00 RESULTED. THIS SAVINGS INCLUDED ONE QUARTER OF A DAY PER DIEM.'

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BY TRAVEL ORDER DC-79 YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE AT THE RATE OF ?05 PER MILE FROM DALLAS, TEXAS, TO HOT SPRINGS, ARKANSAS, AND RETURN TO DALLAS. THIS ORDER WAS AMENDED ON FEBRUARY 18, 1957 (AUTHORITY NO. DC-95), TO INCREASE THE MILEAGE RATE TO ?08 FOR THE RETURN TRAVEL FROM HOT SPRINGS TO DALLAS. THE REASON GIVEN FOR THE AMENDMENT WAS THAT MR. T. J. MAHER ACCOMPANIED YOU ON THE RETURN TRIP TO DALLAS. ON MARCH 12, 1957, THE ORDER WAS FURTHER AMENDED (AUTHORITY NO. DC-117) AS FOLLOWS:

"ORDER NUMBER DC-79, THIS OFFICE, DATED 4 FEBRUARY 1957, AS AMENDED BY DC -95, THIS OFFICE, DATED 18 FEBRUARY 1957, IS HEREBY FURTHER AMENDED AS FOLLOWS:

"ADD: VOCO, THIS OFFICE, 15 FEBRUARY 1957, IS HEREBY CONFIRMED AND MADE A MATTER OF RECORD.'

THE AMENDATORY ORDERS OF FEBRUARY 18, 1957, CONFIRMING THE INCREASED MILEAGE RATE WERE ISSUED WITHOUT UNDUE DELAY. ALSO, IT APPEARS THAT THE STATEMENT "VOCO, THIS OFFICE, 15 FEBRUARY 1957, IS HEREBY CONFIRMED AND MADE A MATTER OF RECORD" WAS INADVERTENTLY OMITTED FROM THE AMENDMENT. THEREFORE, IN VIEW OF THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES AS STATED ABOVE, OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IS BEING DIRECTED TODAY TO ALLOW YOUR CLAIM IN THE PROPER AMOUNT FOUND TO BE DUE.