B-139143, AUGUST 19, 1959, 39 COMP. GEN. 116

B-139143: Aug 19, 1959

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WHO IS IN A TRAVEL STATUS. HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ACROSS THE ENGLISH CHANNEL BY AIR FERRY OR SURFACE VESSEL WHERE THE AUTOMOBILE IS DRIVEN DIRECTLY ON AND OFF THE AIRCRAFT OR VESSEL WITHOUT THE PREPARATION. PACKING OR DRAINAGE OF GASOLINE INVOLVED IN FREIGHT SHIPMENTS OF AUTOS AND WHEN THE PURPOSE OF THE SERVICE IS TO CONNECT THE HIGHWAY SYSTEM OF ENGLAND WITH THAT OF FRANCE IS PROPERLY REGARDED AS A FERRY SERVICE AND THE CHARGES ARE REIMBURSABLE UNDER SECTION 3.5B (1) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH PERMITS REIMBURSEMENT OF FERRY FARES IN ADDITION TO THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE. 34 COMP. YOUR TRAVEL WAS PURSUANT TO ORDERS DATED JUNE 4. YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF AIR FERRY SERVICE CHARGES IS EXCLUSIVE OF YOUR CLAIM FOR AUTO MILEAGE FOR WHICH YOU ALREADY HAVE BEEN PAID.

B-139143, AUGUST 19, 1959, 39 COMP. GEN. 116

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - TRAVEL EXPENSES - FERRY FARES - AUTOMOBILES FERRIED ACROSS ENGLISH CHANNEL THE TRANSPORTATION OF AN EMPLOYEE, WHO IS IN A TRAVEL STATUS, AND HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ACROSS THE ENGLISH CHANNEL BY AIR FERRY OR SURFACE VESSEL WHERE THE AUTOMOBILE IS DRIVEN DIRECTLY ON AND OFF THE AIRCRAFT OR VESSEL WITHOUT THE PREPARATION, PACKING OR DRAINAGE OF GASOLINE INVOLVED IN FREIGHT SHIPMENTS OF AUTOS AND WHEN THE PURPOSE OF THE SERVICE IS TO CONNECT THE HIGHWAY SYSTEM OF ENGLAND WITH THAT OF FRANCE IS PROPERLY REGARDED AS A FERRY SERVICE AND THE CHARGES ARE REIMBURSABLE UNDER SECTION 3.5B (1) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH PERMITS REIMBURSEMENT OF FERRY FARES IN ADDITION TO THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE. 34 COMP. GEN. 530; B-112971, APRIL 18, 1955, MODIFIED.

TO SIDNEY SOBELMAN, AUGUST 19, 1959:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 9, 1959, REQUESTS REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF MARCH 2, 1959, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF $47.60 REPRESENTING COSTS OF AIR FERRY SERVICE FROM LYDD, ENGLAND TO LE TOUQUET FIELD, FRANCE ON JULY 2, 1958, AND RETURN ON AUGUST 23, 1958, FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR AUTO WHILE ON OFFICIAL TRAVEL AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY.

YOUR TRAVEL WAS PURSUANT TO ORDERS DATED JUNE 4, 1958, WHICH PROVIDED FOR A DETERMINATION OF AN APPROPRIATE MODE OF TRAVEL BY THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER WHO APPARENTLY APPROVED TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTO AT THE RATE OF 8 CENTS PER MILE. YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF AIR FERRY SERVICE CHARGES IS EXCLUSIVE OF YOUR CLAIM FOR AUTO MILEAGE FOR WHICH YOU ALREADY HAVE BEEN PAID.

YOUR LETTER STATES SEVERAL BASES UPON WHICH YOU BELIEVE CHARGES FOR AIR FERRY SERVICE BETWEEN LYDD, ENGLAND, AND LE TOURQUET FIELD, FRANCE, PROPERLY MAY BE CONSIDERED A FERRY FARE WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE TERM AS USED IN SECTION 3.5B (1) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, ISSUED PURSUANT TO THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED (5 U.S.C. 837). THE PROBLEM OF FARES CHARGED BY VESSELS PLYING BETWEEN ENGLISH AND FRENCH CHANNEL PORTS PREVIOUSLY HAS BEEN CONSIDERED BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL. SEE 34 COMP. GEN. 530 AND B-112971, APRIL 18, 1955. IN BOTH INSTANCES SUCH FARES WERE CONSIDERED TO BE OUTSIDE THE MEANING OF "FERRY FARES" AS USED IN THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949, AND THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. IN BOTH OF THOSE INSTANCES THE CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT WERE MADE BY MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES UNDER PARAGRAPH 4400-12 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH IN 34 COMP. GEN. 530, AND B-112791, APRIL 18, 1955, WERE CONSTRUED TO CONTAIN NO AUTHORITY FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF FERRY TOLLS. INASMUCH AS THE CAREER (COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949 (37 U.S.C. 253) WAS FOUND NOT TO AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT OF FERRY FARES, BRIDGE, ROAD, AND TUNNEL TOLLS TO MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHO WERE AUTHORIZED MILEAGE, A CONCLUSION WHETHER OR NOT THE CHANNEL FERRIES ARE FERRIES WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949, AND THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WILL NOT AFFECT THE HOLDING OF THE DECISION WITH RESPECT TO MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES.

WE HAVE OBTAINED INFORMATION FROM OFFICIALS OF OUR OFFICE IN EUROPE, INCLUDING BROCHURES, WHICH CLEARLY INDICATE, INTER ALIA, THAT THE AIR FERRIES WHICH TRANSPORT PASSENGERS AND AUTOS BETWEEN ENGLAND AND FRANCE ARE SPECIALLY DESIGNED CRAFT USED FOR SHORT REGULAR RUNS. AUTOS ARE DRIVEN DIRECTLY ABOARD THE AIRCRAFT PRIOR TO TAKE-OFF AND ARE DRIVEN OFF UPON LANDING, WITHOUT THE PREPARATION, PACKING OR GASOLINE DRAINAGE, ETC., THAT IS USUAL IN AIR FREIGHT SHIPMENTS. THE DISTANCE INVOLVED IS COMPARATIVELY SHORT AND THE PURPOSE OF THE SERVICE IS TO CONNECT THE HIGHWAY SYSTEM OF ENGLAND WITH THAT OF FRANCE. IN VIEW OF SUCH INFORMATION THE CHARGES FOR AIR FERRY SERVICE BETWEEN LYDD, ENGLAND AND LE TOUQUET FIELD, FRANCE MAY BE CONSIDERED "FERRY FARES" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949. WE ALSO HAVE OBTAINED SIMILAR INFORMATION REGARDING THE CARRYING OF AUTOMOBILES ACROSS THE ENGLISH CHANNEL BY SURFACE VESSELS.

THE STATEMENTS IN 34 COMP. GEN. 530 AND B-112971, APRIL 18, 1955, THAT CHANNEL FERRY FARES WERE NOT ALLOWABLE "FERRY FARES" UNDER THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949 AND THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS SHOULD BE DISREGARDED.

THEREFORE, YOUR CLAIM IS TODAY BEING REFERRED TO OUR CLAIMS DIVISION FOR ALLOWANCE OF THE PROPER AMOUNT DUE.