B-143098, JUN. 27, 1960

B-143098: Jun 27, 1960

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WAS RETURNING FROM HOME LEAVE. PAYMENT OF $16.50 WAS ALLOWED BASED ON THE CONSTRUCTIVE PER DIEM ALLOWABLE FOR TRAVEL BY AIR. THE VIEW OF OUR OFFICE IS THAT A TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION ALLOWING THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE. SINCE THE TIME SPENT IN SUCH TRAVEL WAS REASONABLE UNDER YOUR REGULATIONS. WE NOTE THAT 75 CENTS WAS DEDUCTED FROM MR. SINCE IT APPEARS THAT DISALLOWANCE OF THAT AMOUNT WAS CORRECT THE VOUCHER. WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH. SINCE YOU HAVE NOT SUBMITTED A VOUCHER FROM MR. WOODBURY AND SINCE IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT YOU HAVE SUCH A VOUCHER BEFORE YOU WE ARE UNABLE TO RENDER AN AUTHORITATIVE DECISION AT YOUR REQUEST. SINCE ALLOWABLE MILEAGE PLUS PER DIEM WAS GREATER THAN SUCH COST.

B-143098, JUN. 27, 1960

TO MISS GENEVIEVE B. CROW, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, FEDERAL AVIATION AGENCY:

ON JUNE 1, 1960, YOU REQUESTED WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE RECLAIM VOUCHER OF ROBERT D. THOMAS, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE FEDERAL AVIATION AGENCY IN ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, FOR PER DIEM INCIDENT TO HIS RETURN TO ANCHORAGE FROM HOME LEAVE AT BROOKFIELD, MISSOURI.

YOU SAY THAT MR. THOMAS TRAVELED BY COMMON CARRIER TO BROOKFIELD IN NOVEMBER 1959, FOR HOME LEAVE UNDER SECTION 7 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, 60 STAT. 808, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 31, 1954, 68 STAT. 1008, 5 U.S.C. 73B-3, AND THAT HE RETURNED TO ANCHORAGE BETWEEN DECEMBER 31, 1959, AND JANUARY 6, 1960, IN THE PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE OF GEORGE WOODBURY, ANOTHER EMPLOYEE OF THE FEDERAL AVIATION AGENCY IN ANCHORAGE, WHO, ALSO, WAS RETURNING FROM HOME LEAVE.

IN HIS ORIGINAL VOUCHER FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF HIS EXPENSES ON HOME LEAVE MR. THOMAS CLAIMED $72.75 PER DIEM FOR 6 3/4 DAYS SPENT IN TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE, AT THE APPLICABLE RATES. PAYMENT OF $16.50 WAS ALLOWED BASED ON THE CONSTRUCTIVE PER DIEM ALLOWABLE FOR TRAVEL BY AIR.

THE VIEW OF OUR OFFICE IS THAT A TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION ALLOWING THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE, NOT TO EXCEED THE COST BY COMMON CARRIER, DOES NOT LIMIT THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM TO THAT ALLOWABLE BY COMMON CARRIER, BUT PLACES A LIMITATION UPON THE TOTAL COST OF TRAVEL- - MILEAGE PLUS PER DIEM AND OTHER ALLOWABLE EXPENSES BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE AS COMPARED TO FARES PLUS PER DIEM AND OTHER ALLOWABLE EXPENSES BY COMMON CARRIER. THEREFORE, PER DIEM MAY BE ALLOWED FOR ALL TIME REASONABLY SPENT IN TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE--- THE DEFINITION OF REASONABLE UNDER YOUR REGULATIONS BEING THAT THE EMPLOYEE MUST TRAVEL 300 MILES PER DAY--- SO LONG AS THE TOTAL COST OF THE TRAVEL DOES NOT EXCEED THE TOTAL CONSTRUCTIVE COST BY COMMON CARRIER. SINCE THE TOTAL COST BY COMMON CARRIER FOR HIS TRAVEL FAR EXCEEDS THE AMOUNT OF PER DIEM CLAIMED BY MR. THOMAS FOR HIS RETURN TRAVEL, AND SINCE THE TIME SPENT IN SUCH TRAVEL WAS REASONABLE UNDER YOUR REGULATIONS, HE MAY BE ALLOWED OTHERWISE PROPER PER DIEM FOR THE TRAVEL TIME.

WE NOTE THAT 75 CENTS WAS DEDUCTED FROM MR. THOMAS' ORIGINAL VOUCHER FOR IMPROPER COMPUTATION OF PER DIEM ON HIS TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES. SINCE IT APPEARS THAT DISALLOWANCE OF THAT AMOUNT WAS CORRECT THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT NOT IN EXCESS OF $56.25, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.

YOU ALSO ASK WHETHER MR. WOODBURY MAY BE PAID ADDITIONAL PER DIEM BASED ON THE 300 MILE PER DAY LIMITATION PLACED BY YOUR AGENCY ON TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE. SINCE YOU HAVE NOT SUBMITTED A VOUCHER FROM MR. WOODBURY AND SINCE IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT YOU HAVE SUCH A VOUCHER BEFORE YOU WE ARE UNABLE TO RENDER AN AUTHORITATIVE DECISION AT YOUR REQUEST. ACT OF DECEMBER 29, 1941, 55 STAT. 876, 31 U.S.C. 82D. YOU MAY BE INFORMED, HOWEVER, THAT AN EMPLOYEE DOES NOT ACQUIRE ANY ADDITIONAL RIGHT TO REIMBURSEMENT UNDER TRAVEL ORDERS LIMITING RECOVERY TO COMMON CARRIER COST FOR HIS TRAVEL BY REASON OF THE FACT THAT HE TRANSPORTS ANOTHER EMPLOYEE IN HIS PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE, AND RETROACTIVE AMENDMENT OF THE ORDER TO ENLARGE UPON HIS RIGHTS IN THAT RESPECT WOULD NOT BE PROPER. COMP. GEN. 572. YOU SAY THAT MR. WOODBURY HAS BEEN REIMBURSED THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF HIS TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER, PER DIEM INCLUDED, SINCE ALLOWABLE MILEAGE PLUS PER DIEM WAS GREATER THAN SUCH COST. THEREFORE, HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO ADDITIONAL REIMBURSEMENT UNDER HIS TRAVEL ORDERS BY REASON OF THE FACT THAT MR. THOMAS TRAVELED WITH HIM UPON HIS RETURN TO ANCHORAGE.