B-145705, JUN. 6, 1961

B-145705: Jun 6, 1961

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IT IS REQUESTED THAT WE RENDER A DECISION AS TO THE PROPER METHOD FOR COMPUTING THE AMOUNT DUE THE EMPLOYEE IN VIEW OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES AS HEREINAFTER RELATED. HINKSON WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM YORKTOWN TO ROCK ISLAND. THE TRAVEL EXPENSE INCURRED BY USING THIS MODE OF TRANSPORTATION WAS LIMITED BY THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION TO THE COST INCLUDING PER DIEM BY THE USUAL PUBLIC MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION. YOU SAY THAT IN AUTHORIZING THE USE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S PRIVATE AUTOMOBILE FOR THIS TRAVEL IT WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY INTENDED THAT REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES WOULD BE LIMITED TO THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF AIR TRAVEL SINCE IT IS CUSTOMARY FOR EMPLOYEES AT THIS INSTALLATION TO UTILIZE AIR TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN THESE LOCATIONS BECAUSE OF ITS ECONOMY AND LACK OF ADEQUATE RAIL FACILITIES AND SCHEDULES.

B-145705, JUN. 6, 1961

TO LIEUTENANT (J.G.) JOHN B. DERDEYN, DISBURSING OFFICER, U.S. NAVAL WEAPONS STATION, YORKTOWN, VIRGINIA:

ON APRIL 24, 1961, THE COMPTROLLER OF THE NAVY BY SECOND INDORSEMENT, REFERENCE 1301:JD:JF OF 3 APR 1961, FORWARDED HERE YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 3, 1961, ENCLOSING A VOUCHER FOR $305.50, REPRESENTING REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES IN FAVOR OF ARTHUR N. HINKSON, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE NAVAL WEAPONS STATION AT YORKTOWN, VIRGINIA. IT IS REQUESTED THAT WE RENDER A DECISION AS TO THE PROPER METHOD FOR COMPUTING THE AMOUNT DUE THE EMPLOYEE IN VIEW OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES AS HEREINAFTER RELATED.

THE RECORD SHOWS MR. HINKSON WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM YORKTOWN TO ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS, BY TRAVEL ORDER DATED FEBRUARY 20, 1961, USING HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE. THE TRAVEL EXPENSE INCURRED BY USING THIS MODE OF TRANSPORTATION WAS LIMITED BY THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION TO THE COST INCLUDING PER DIEM BY THE USUAL PUBLIC MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION. MR. HINKSON CLAIMS REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE BASED UPON THE CONSTRUCTIVE COSTS OF RAIL TRANSPORTATION PLUSPER DIEM APPLICABLE TO THIS MODE OF TRANSPORTATION.

YOU SAY THAT IN AUTHORIZING THE USE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S PRIVATE AUTOMOBILE FOR THIS TRAVEL IT WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY INTENDED THAT REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES WOULD BE LIMITED TO THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF AIR TRAVEL SINCE IT IS CUSTOMARY FOR EMPLOYEES AT THIS INSTALLATION TO UTILIZE AIR TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN THESE LOCATIONS BECAUSE OF ITS ECONOMY AND LACK OF ADEQUATE RAIL FACILITIES AND SCHEDULES.

UNDER PARAGRAPH 3.1 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TRANSPORTATION IS DEFINED AS INCLUDING ALL NECESSARY OFFICIAL TRAVEL ON RAILROADS, AIRLINES, STEAMBOATS, BUSSES, STREETCARS, TAXICABS, AND OTHER USUAL MEANS OF CONVEYANCES. ALTHOUGH YOU SAY IT WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY INTENDED TO LIMIT THE MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT TO THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF AIR TRAVEL, NO INDICATION OF THAT INTENT APPEARS UPON THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION. IN THE ABSENCE OF INSTRUCTIONS OR REGULATIONS LIMITING SUCH TRAVEL COSTS TO THE LEAST EXPENSIVE MODE OF COMMON CARRIER COSTS, IT MAY BE PRESUMED THAT THE LIMITATION ON MILEAGE TO AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST BY USUAL PUBLIC MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION, INCLUDING PER DIEM WAS INTENDED TO MEAN THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF TRAVEL BY ANY ONE OF THE COMMON CARRIERS AUTHORIZED TO BE UTILIZED. CF. 29 COMP. GEN. 485. UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT IN THIS CASE SHOULD NOT BE LIMITED TO THE LESS EXPENSIVE COST OF AIR TRANSPORTATION (INCLUDING PER DIEM).

THE VOUCHER, WHICH TOGETHER WITH THE RELATED PAPERS, IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE PROCESSED FOR PAYMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.