B-144014, OCT. 18, 1960

B-144014: Oct 18, 1960

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HE WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FOR WHICH HE WAS TO RECEIVE MILEAGE AT THE RATE OF $0.10 PER MILE. ONE OF THE ENCLOSURES RECEIVED WITH YOUR LETTER IS LETTER ORDER NR ADT 4191. IS DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO CAMP ROBERTS. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BOTH ASSIGNMENTS WERE COMPLETED BY THE CLAIMANT DURING THE PERIOD BETWEEN 6:30 A.M. THE CLAIMANT WAS RETAINED ON THE ROLLS IN A MILITARY LEAVE STATUS FROM 4:00 P.M. YOU ARE IN DOUBT WHETHER THE SUM ($45.80) CLAIMED FOR CIVILIAN TRAVEL IS PAYABLE. AS FOLLOWS: "EACH RESERVE OF THE ARMED FORCES OR MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL GUARD WHO IS AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. WITHOUT REGARD TO CLASSIFICATION OR TERMINOLOGY PECULIAR TO THE CIVIL SERVICE SYSTEM * * * IS ENTITLED TO LEAVE OF ABSENCE FROM HIS DUTIES.

B-144014, OCT. 18, 1960

TO MR. C. E. COURTNEY, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, THE RENEGOTIATION BOARD:

YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 16, 1960, TRANSMITS A TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHER FOR $45.80, STATED IN FAVOR OF MR. GEORGE M. WEBSTER, A MEMBER OF THE LOS ANGELES REGIONAL RENEGOTIATION BOARD, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, AND REQUESTS OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE VOUCHER PROPERLY MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. RBFLA 61-7-5, DATED JULY 27, 1960, DIRECTED THE CLAIMANT TO PROCEED FROM LOS ANGELES TO SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA, FOR TEMPORARY CIVILIAN DUTY WHICH, ACCORDING TO THE UNPAID VOUCHER, REQUIRED ONLY ONE WORKDAY (AUGUST 12) TO COMPLETE. HE WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FOR WHICH HE WAS TO RECEIVE MILEAGE AT THE RATE OF $0.10 PER MILE, NOT TO EXCEED THE COST OF TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER, PLUS A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE OF $12 PER DAY. THE AUTHORIZATION PROVIDED THAT THE TRAVEL WOULD BEGIN AUGUST 10 AND END ON AUGUST 28, 1960, AND INCLUDED AUTHORITY FOR CLAIMANT TO PROCEED ON AUGUST 13 TO PASO ROBLES, CALIFORNIA, FOR "MILITARY LEAVE CAMP ROBERTS" AND RETURN TO LOS ANGELES ON AUGUST 28, 1960.

IN ADDITION TO THE CIVILIAN ASSIGNMENT REFERRED TO ABOVE, ONE OF THE ENCLOSURES RECEIVED WITH YOUR LETTER IS LETTER ORDER NR ADT 4191, DATED JULY 25, 1960, ISSUED BY HEADQUARTERS, XV UNITED STATES ARMY CORPS, PRESIDIO OF SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, WHEREIN THE CLAIMANT, A LIEUTENANT COLONEL IN THE UNITED STATES ARMY RESERVE, IS DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO CAMP ROBERTS, CALIFORNIA, FOR ACTIVE DUTY TRAINING AUGUST 14-28, 1960. THE MILITARY ORDER, WHICH ISSUED TWO DAYS EARLIER THAN THE CIVILIAN ORDER, AUTHORIZED TRAVEL BY RAIL, BUS, OR AIR, CITING ARMY REGULATIONS NO. 55-21, AND PROVIDED THAT THE FINANCE OFFICER AT THE MILITARY STATION WOULD MAKE REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARMY REGULATIONS NO. 37-104, PRIOR TO CLAIMANT'S DEPARTURE FOR HOME STATION.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BOTH ASSIGNMENTS WERE COMPLETED BY THE CLAIMANT DURING THE PERIOD BETWEEN 6:30 A.M., AUGUST 11 AND 2:00 P.M., AUGUST 27, 1960. HOWEVER, THE CLAIMANT WAS RETAINED ON THE ROLLS IN A MILITARY LEAVE STATUS FROM 4:00 P.M., AUGUST 14 THROUGH AUGUST 28. THE REIMBURSEMENT VOUCHER--- BASED UPON SPEEDOMETER READINGS--- SHOWS THAT CLAIMANT TRAVELED A DISTANCE OF 796 MILES BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE, FOR WHICH HE REQUESTS REIMBURSEMENT FOR CIVILIAN TRAVEL FOR $36.80--- THE REPORTED COST FOR ROUND TRIP AIR TRAVEL FROM LOS ANGELES TO SAN JOSE, PLUS $9 PER DIEM FOR THREE-FOURTH'S DAY, REPRESENTING CONSTRUCTIVE TRAVEL TIME WHILE EN ROUTE.

YOU SAY THAT THE CLAIMANT HAS BEEN PAID $32.52 AS AN ALLOWANCE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED PURSUANT TO THE ORDER FOR RESERVE OFFICER TRAINING, BUT YOU ARE IN DOUBT WHETHER THE SUM ($45.80) CLAIMED FOR CIVILIAN TRAVEL IS PAYABLE, OR WHETHER THE AMOUNT PREVIOUSLY ALLOWED SHOULD BE DEDUCTED AND ONLY $13.28 ($45.80 LESS $32.52) CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

SECTION 29 (A) OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 10, 1956, 5 U.S.C. 30R (A) AS AMENDED BY SECTION 7 OF PUBLIC LAW 86-559, APPROVED JUNE 30, 1960, READS, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"EACH RESERVE OF THE ARMED FORCES OR MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL GUARD WHO IS AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, PERMANENT OR TEMPORARY INDEFINITE, WITHOUT REGARD TO CLASSIFICATION OR TERMINOLOGY PECULIAR TO THE CIVIL SERVICE SYSTEM * * * IS ENTITLED TO LEAVE OF ABSENCE FROM HIS DUTIES, WITHOUT LOSS OF PAY, TIME, OR EFFICIENCY RATING FOR EACH DAY, BUT NOT MORE THAN 15 DAYS IN ANY FISCAL YEAR, IN WHICH HE IS ON ACTIVE DUTY, OR IS ENGAGED IN FIELD OR COAST DEFENSE TRAINING UNDER SECTIONS 502-505 OF TITLE 32. * * *"

UNDER THE ABOVE-QUOTED STATUTORY PROVISIONS, WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY RULED THAT GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE-RESERVISTS ARE ENTITLED TO LEAVE OF ABSENCE FROM THEIR CIVILIAN JOBS WITHOUT LOSS OF PAY, TIME, OR EFFICIENCY RATING FOR EACH DAY, BUT NOT MORE THAN 15 DAYS IN ANY FISCAL YEAR IN WHICH THEY SERVE ON ACTIVE DUTY AS MEMBERS OF A RESERVE COMPONENT OF THE AIR FORCES, INCLUDING THE NATIONAL GUARD. FOR THE SAME 15 CALENDAR DAY PERIOD, EMPLOYEE-RESERVISTS ARE ENTITLED TO ACTIVE DUTY PAY AND ALLOWANCES TO WHICH THEY ARE OTHERWISE ENTITLED AS RESERVISTS ON ACTIVE DUTY. THUS, ON THE PRESENT RECORD, THERE APPEARS TO BE NO BASIS FOR QUESTIONING THE PAY AND ALLOWANCES RECEIVED BY THE CLAIMANT FOR THE PERIOD HE WAS ON ACTIVE MILITARY DUTY.

ACCORDING TO THE RAND MCNALLY ROAD ATLAS, SAN JOSE IS LOCATED APPROXIMATELY 365 MILES NORTH-NORTHWEST OF LOS ANGELES. CAMP ROBERTS, LOCATED AT OR NEAR SAN MIGUEL, CALIFORNIA--- EIGHT MILES NORTH OF PASO ROBLES--- ON A DIRECT HIGHWAY ROUTE BETWEEN SAN JOSE AND LOS ANGELES, IS APPROXIMATELY 216 MILES FROM LOS ANGELES. THUS, THE ROUND TRIP HIGHWAY DISTANCE BETWEEN SAN MIGUEL AND SAN JOSE IS APPROXIMATELY 298 MILES.

SECTION 1.2 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AS AMENDED, SPECIFICALLY PROVIDES THAT TRAVEL EXPENSES TO BE REIMBURSABLE SHALL BE CONFINED TO THOSE EXPENSES ESSENTIAL TO THE TRANSACTION OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS. AS A MATTER OF FACT THOSE REGULATIONS (SECTION 3.5B (1) (, CONTEMPLATE THAT THE MILEAGE RATES, WITHIN THE MAXIMA, SHALL BE FIXED ADMINISTRATIVELY SO AS TO MOST NEARLY COMPENSATE THE CIVILIAN TRAVELER FOR HIS NECESSARY EXPENSES.

IN THIS CASE THE QUESTION TO BE DETERMINED IS WHETHER THE GOVERNMENT IS OBLIGATED TO PAY TRAVEL EXPENSES (MILEAGE--- NOT EXCEEDING THE COST OF TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER) FOR TWO ROUND TRIPS BETWEEN LOS ANGELES AND SAN MIGUEL, WHEN THE CLAIMANT ACTUALLY MADE BUT ONE TRIP TO AND FROM SUCH POINTS IN FULFILLING BOTH ASSIGNMENTS, AND HAS ALREADY RECEIVED THE TRAVEL ALLOWANCE FOR APPROXIMATELY 432 MILES. WE HAVE FOUND NO PRECEDENT WHICH SUPPORTS DUAL PAYMENT OF EXPENSES FOR THE TRAVEL REFERRED TO HEREIN; NOR ARE WE AWARE OF ANY LAW OR REGULATION WHICH WOULD PERMIT OUR OFFICE TO AUTHORIZE DUAL PAYMENT OF MILEAGE (TRAVEL EXPENSES) AS CLAIMED. THEREFORE, ONLY $13.28 MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, WHICH ADDITIONAL AMOUNT WILL REIMBURSE THE CLAIMANT FOR THE ENTIRE DISTANCE TRAVELED UNDER BOTH ORDERS.