B-133625, SEP. 16, 1957

B-133625: Sep 16, 1957

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THE QUESTION CONCERNS THE PROPER TRAVEL COSTS ALLOWABLE WHEN THE EMPLOYEE USES A DIFFERENT MODE OF TRAVEL THAN INDICATED IN HIS TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION AND ALSO USES INDIRECT TRAVEL TO ARRIVE AT THE LOCATION WHERE THE LEAVE IS TO BE TAKEN. THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF EMPLOYEES FOR HOME LEAVE PURPOSES IS CODIFIED IN 5 U.S.C. 73B AS FOLLOWS: "* * * THAT EXPENSES OF ROUND TRIP TRAVEL OF EMPLOYEE AND TRANSPORTATION OF IMMEDIATE FAMILY BUT EXCLUDING HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. SHALL BE ALLOWED IN THE CASE OF PERSONS WHO HAVE SATISFACTORILY COMPLETED AN AGREED PERIOD OF SERVICE OVERSEAS AND ARE RETURNING TO THEIR ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING LEAVE PRIOR TO SERVING ANOTHER TOUR OF DUTY AT THE SAME OR SOME OTHER OVERSEAS POST.

B-133625, SEP. 16, 1957

TO MAJOR GENERAL WILLIAM E. POTTER:

YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 26, 1957, REQUESTS OUR DECISION CONCERNING THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FOR HOME LEAVE TO AN EMPLOYEE OF THE PANAMA CANAL COMPANY. THE QUESTION CONCERNS THE PROPER TRAVEL COSTS ALLOWABLE WHEN THE EMPLOYEE USES A DIFFERENT MODE OF TRAVEL THAN INDICATED IN HIS TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION AND ALSO USES INDIRECT TRAVEL TO ARRIVE AT THE LOCATION WHERE THE LEAVE IS TO BE TAKEN.

THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF EMPLOYEES FOR HOME LEAVE PURPOSES IS CODIFIED IN 5 U.S.C. 73B AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * THAT EXPENSES OF ROUND TRIP TRAVEL OF EMPLOYEE AND TRANSPORTATION OF IMMEDIATE FAMILY BUT EXCLUDING HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, FROM THEIR POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO THE PLACES OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT TIME OF APPOINTMENT OR TRANSFER TO SUCH OVERSEAS POSTS OF DUTY, SHALL BE ALLOWED IN THE CASE OF PERSONS WHO HAVE SATISFACTORILY COMPLETED AN AGREED PERIOD OF SERVICE OVERSEAS AND ARE RETURNING TO THEIR ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING LEAVE PRIOR TO SERVING ANOTHER TOUR OF DUTY AT THE SAME OR SOME OTHER OVERSEAS POST, UNDER A NEW WRITTEN AGREEMENT ENTERED INTO BEFORE DEPARTING FROM THE OVERSEAS POST: *

THE REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING THAT AUTHORITY ARE CONTAINED IN SECTION 27 (B) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, AS ADDED BY BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR A- 4, MAY 2, 1955, AND PROVIDE IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"TRAVEL ALLOWANCE. AN ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEE SHALL BE ALLOWED TRAVEL EXPENSES, INCLUDING PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE, FOR HIMSELF AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FOR HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY FROM HIS POST OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO THE PLACE OF HIS ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF HIS APPOINTMENT OR TRANSFER TO A POST OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES (HEREINAFTER REFERRED TO IN THIS SECTION AS "PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE"), AND FROM SUCH PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE TO THE SAME OR ANOTHER POST OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. SUCH EXPENSES SHALL BE SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. * * *"

THE PERTINENT PROVISIONS OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, SECTION 3.3, PROVIDE AS FOLLOWS:

"INDIRECT-ROUTE OR INTERRUPTED TRAVEL.--- IN CASE A PERSON FOR HIS OWN CONVENIENCE TRAVELS BY AN INDIRECT ROUTE OR INTERRUPTS TRAVEL BY DIRECT ROUTE, THE EXTRA EXPENSE WILL BE BORNE BY HIMSELF. REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES SHALL BE BASED ONLY ON SUCH CHARGES AS WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY A USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE. * * *"

THE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS GOVERNING HOME LEAVE TRAVEL OF EMPLOYEES OF THE PANAMA CANAL COMPANY AND CANAL ZONE GOVERNMENT ARE CONTAINED IN CHAPTER T1 OF THE PANAMA CANAL PERSONNEL MANUAL AND READ IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 2.2. ROUTE AND MODE OF TRAVEL.

"GENERALLY, TRAVEL AUTHORIZED UNDER THESE REGULATIONS WILL BE BY A USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE FOR THE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION SELECTED BY THE TRAVELER, SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING SPECIAL CONDITIONS:

"B. TRAVEL WITHIN THE UNITED STATES, A TERRITORY OR A POSSESSION. TRAVEL WITHIN THE UNITED STATES, A TERRITORY, OR A POSSESSION MAY BE AUTHORIZED BY COMMON CARRIER OR BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE OR MOTORCYCLE. * * *"

SECTION 2.3 INDIRECT TRAVEL.

"WHEN A TRAVELER ELECTS FOR HIS OWN CONVENIENCE TO TRAVEL BY AN INDIRECT ROUTE, OR TO A PLACE OR PLACES OTHER THAN THE PLACE TO WHICH HE IS AUTHORIZED, OR TO MAKE UNAUTHORIZED STOPOVERS, ANY EXCESS COST INVOLVED WILL BE PAID BY THE TRAVELER TO THE CARRIER AT THE TIME ACCOMMODATION TICKETS ARE PROCURED. IN NO CASE SHALL THE COST TO THE COMPANY/GOVERNMENT EXCEED THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF TRAVEL TO THE AUTHORIZED DESTINATION, OR ACTUAL DESTINATION OR DESTINATIONS IF A LESSER COST IS INVOLVED.'

THE ABOVE-QUOTED REGULATIONS LIMIT THE ALLOWABLE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES TO NOT EXCEED THOSE ALLOWED OVER A USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE. HOWEVER, THE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION TO BE USED IS NOT SPECIFIED EXCEPT FOR THE ABOVE-QUOTED GENERAL STATEMENT IN SECTION 2.2 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS. THEREFORE, IT APPEARS THAT WHEN A SPECIFIC MODE OF TRANSPORTATION IS AUTHORIZED IN AN EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION THAT MODE OF TRANSPORTATION SHOULD BE USED TO DETERMINE THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF ALLOWABLE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OVER THE USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE.

IN THE PRESENT CASE THE EMPLOYEE WAS ISSUED TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION CERTIFICATE NO. 57-530 DATED APRIL 27, 1957, AUTHORIZING HOME LEAVE TRAVEL FOR HIMSELF, WIFE AND SIX CHILDREN FROM THE CANAL ZONE TO MITCHELL, SOUTH DAKOTA, AND RETURN. THE CERTIFICATE STIPULATED THAT REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL WOULD NOT EXCEED THE COST OF ROUND-TRIP AIR TOURIST TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN BALBOA, CANAL ZONE, AND MIAMI, FLORIDA, AND ROUND- TRIP BY COMMON CARRIER BETWEEN MIAMI AND MITCHELL, SOUTH DAKOTA. FOR PERSONAL REASONS, THE EMPLOYEE ELECTED TO TRAVEL WITH HIS FAMILY TO MITCHELL, SOUTH DAKOTA, VIA THE WEST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES. HE USED A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST FOR AIR TOURIST TRANSPORTATION FROM BALBOA, CANAL ZONE, TO LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, AND RETURN, AND HE AND HIS FAMILY TRAVELED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE BETWEEN LOS ANGELES AND MITCHELL. HE HAS SUBMITTED A TRAVEL VOUCHER CLAIMING MILEAGE AND PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FOR THE TRAVEL PERFORMED IN THE UNITED STATES.

OUR VIEW IS THAT THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR THE INDIRECT TRAVEL IN THE AMOUNT EXPENDED, INCLUDING MILEAGE FOR USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE IF ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED, NOT TO EXCEED THE COST OF CONSTRUCTIVE TRAVEL BY THE MODES OF TRAVEL INDICATED IN HIS TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION. SEE B-132331, AUGUST 15, 1957, 37 COMP. GEN. 113.