B-148168, NOV. 1, 1962

B-148168: Nov 1, 1962

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

WE HAVE REVIEWED THE SPECIFIC MATTERS TO WHICH YOU REFER. THIS REVIEW WAS CONDUCTED BY OUR DETROIT REGIONAL OFFICE. " WHICH WERE TYPED ON YOUR VOUCHERS WHERE THE AMOUNTS ALLOWED WERE LESS THAN MILEAGE CLAIMED BY YOU. WHICH IS IN ACCORD WITH PARAGRAPH 3.56 (1) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS: "MILEAGE WILL BE SHOWN BY SPEEDOMETER READINGS UPON ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE FROM EACH LOCATION DESIGNATED IN THE TRAVEL ORDERS. SUCH MILEAGE WILL BE USED AS A BASIS FOR REIMBURSEMENT UNLESS THERE IS A SUBSTANTIAL AND UNEXPLAINED DEVIATION FROM STANDARD MILEAGE GUIDES. THE RAND-MCNALLY STANDARD HIGHWAY MILEAGE GUIDE WILL BE USED FOR VERIFICATION WITHIN THE UNITED STATES. * * *" SPEEDOMETER READINGS ARE MERELY PRIMA FACIE EVIDENCE OF THE CORRECTNESS OF DISTANCE TRAVELED AND MILEAGE IS NOT REIMBURSABLE FOR ANY DISTANCE FOUND TO BE IN EXCESS OF THAT APPEARING IN THE STANDARD MILEAGE TABLE FOR THE TRAVEL INVOLVED UNLESS THERE IS A SPECIFIC SHOWING OF OFFICIAL NECESSITY FOR TRAVELING THE LONGER DISTANCE.

B-148168, NOV. 1, 1962

TO MR. JOSEPH J. ADAMO:

INCIDENT TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 5, 1962, AND ENCLOSURE, CONCERNING YOUR COMPLAINT OF IRREGULARITIES IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF CIVILIAN TRAVEL AT ORDNANCE TANK-AUTOMOTIVE COMMAND (OTAC), DETROIT, MICHIGAN, WE HAVE REVIEWED THE SPECIFIC MATTERS TO WHICH YOU REFER. THIS REVIEW WAS CONDUCTED BY OUR DETROIT REGIONAL OFFICE.

HOWEVER, BEFORE STATING THE RESULTS OF OUR REVIEW WE BELIEVE A DISCUSSION OF THE REMARKS ,ALLOWABLE MILEAGE IN THE ABSENCE OF EXPLAINED DEVIATION," WHICH WERE TYPED ON YOUR VOUCHERS WHERE THE AMOUNTS ALLOWED WERE LESS THAN MILEAGE CLAIMED BY YOU, WOULD BE HELPFUL TO YOU IN UNDERSTANDING THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIONS OF WHICH YOU COMPLAIN.

DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY CIVILIAN PERSONNEL REGULATIONS CPRT 3.7-6 (A) (1), WHICH IS IN ACCORD WITH PARAGRAPH 3.56 (1) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"MILEAGE WILL BE SHOWN BY SPEEDOMETER READINGS UPON ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE FROM EACH LOCATION DESIGNATED IN THE TRAVEL ORDERS. SUCH MILEAGE WILL BE USED AS A BASIS FOR REIMBURSEMENT UNLESS THERE IS A SUBSTANTIAL AND UNEXPLAINED DEVIATION FROM STANDARD MILEAGE GUIDES. THE RAND-MCNALLY STANDARD HIGHWAY MILEAGE GUIDE WILL BE USED FOR VERIFICATION WITHIN THE UNITED STATES. * * *"

SPEEDOMETER READINGS ARE MERELY PRIMA FACIE EVIDENCE OF THE CORRECTNESS OF DISTANCE TRAVELED AND MILEAGE IS NOT REIMBURSABLE FOR ANY DISTANCE FOUND TO BE IN EXCESS OF THAT APPEARING IN THE STANDARD MILEAGE TABLE FOR THE TRAVEL INVOLVED UNLESS THERE IS A SPECIFIC SHOWING OF OFFICIAL NECESSITY FOR TRAVELING THE LONGER DISTANCE. NEITHER THE GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS NOR THE CIVILIAN PERSONNEL REGULATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY DEFINE A "SUBSTANTIAL DEVIATION" FROM THE DISTANCES SHOWN IN THE STANDARD HIGHWAY MILEAGE GUIDES. HOWEVER, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY HAS INSTRUCTED ITS FIELD INSTALLATIONS THAT A SATISFACTORY EXPLANATION MUST BE MADE IN EVERY CASE WHEN THE DEVIATION (EXCESS MILEAGE) EXCEEDS 5 PERCENT OF THE DISTANCE SHOWN IN THE STANDARD HIGHWAY MILEAGE GUIDE. WE DO NOT CONSIDER THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY REQUIREMENT THAT A SATISFACTORY EXPLANATION BE PRESENTED IN SUCH CASES IS UNREASONABLE. YOUR CASE THE DEVIATION (EXCESS MILEAGE) EXCEEDED THE ALLOWABLE MILEAGE WITHOUT AN EXPLANATION OF THE OFFICIAL NECESSITY THEREFOR.

BASED ON OUR REVIEW OF THE ADMINISTRATION OF CIVILIAN TRAVEL POLICIES AT OTAC, WE FOUND THAT YOU WERE GENERALLY REIMBURSED IN ACCORDANCE WITH TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND INSTRUCTIONS IN EFFECT AT THE TIME THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED. THE SPECIFIC MATTERS CONTAINED IN YOUR COMPLAINT WILL BE COMMENTED ON IN THE ORDER PRESENTED.

COMPLAINTS "A" AND "B: "

"A. DURING THE PERIOD FROM JUNE, 1957 TO MARCH, 1959 (SEE TAB A) I TRAVELLED A NUMBER OF TIMES IN MY PRIVATE AUTOMOBILE FROM MY RESIDENCE TO THE AIRPORT AND WAS FULLY REIMBURSED FOR A TOTAL OF 84 MILES AT 10 CENTS PER MILE. THESE PRECEDENTED REIMBURSEMENTS WERE IN ACCORDANCE WITH GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS. VOUCHER NO. 14425 IS INCLUDED IN TAB A REFLECTING FULL REIMBURSEMENT.

"B. IN AUGUST, 1959, I WAS REIMBURSED FOR ONLY 71 TOTAL MILES AT 8 CENTS PER MILE. THIS WAS NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SAME REGULATIONS IN EFFECT AT THAT TIME. YOU WILL NOTE THAT WITHIN THE SAME COMMAND THERE EXISTED A DISCREPANCY IN THE AUTOMOBILE MILEAGE ALLOWANCE. (THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES' NEWS DIGEST CITES 10 CENTS PER MILE (SEE TAB B). VOUCHER 0821 IS INCLUDED IN TAB B SHOWING THIS DISCREPANCY.'

WE REVIEWED THE TWO VOUCHERS MENTIONED ABOVE, WHICH COVERED TRAVEL BY PRIVATE AUTOMOBILE FROM YOUR RESIDENCE TO WILLOW RUN AIRPORT AND RETURN. ON VOUCHER NO. 14425 FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED ON SEPTEMBER 16-18, 1958, REIMBURSEMENT WAS MADE FOR PARKING AT THE AIRPORT AND FOR MILEAGE AT THE RATE OF 10 CENTS A MILE. ON VOUCHER NO. 0821, FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED ON AUGUST 24-26, 1959, PARKING AT THE AIRPORT WAS DISALLOWED AND MILEAGE WAS PAID AT THE RATE OF 8 CENTS A MILE. THE PAYMENT OF THE PARKING FEE AND THE 10 CENT MILEAGE RATE ON VOUCHER NO. 14425 WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH OTAC REGULATION 55-1, DATED JULY 23, 1958. THE PAYMENT ON VOUCHER NO. 0821 WAS FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED APPROXIMATELY 11 MONTHS LATER, AUGUST 24-26, 1959, AT WHICH TIME NEW REGULATIONS WERE IN EFFECT. THE ACTION WITH RESPECT TO VOUCHER NO. 0821 WAS TAKEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH CIVILIAN PERSONNEL REGULATION CPRT 3.7-6.B. (7), AS AMENDED AUGUST 1, 1959, WHICH PROVIDED THAT WHERE THE DISTANCE FROM PLACE OF RESIDENCE TO THE TERMINAL IS SUCH THAT A TAXICAB WOULD NOT ORDINARILY BE USED, TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY-OWNED VEHICLE MAY BE AUTHORIZED WITH MILEAGE AT THE RATE OF 8 CENTS A MILE. SUCH CASE THE PARKING FEE MAY NOT BE ALLOWED.

FROM THE FOREGOING IT IS APPARENT THAT ALTHOUGH YOU WERE PAID AT A MILEAGE RATE OF 10 CENTS IN 1958, AND AT A RATE OF 8 CENTS IN 1959, THE RATES PAID WERE IN ACCORDANCE WITH DIFFERENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IN EFFECT AT THE TIME THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED.

IN ADDITION TO THE DIFFERENCE IN MILEAGE RATES PAID ON VOUCHERS NOS. 14425 AND 0821, YOU POINT OUT THAT YOU WERE ALLOWED 84 AND 71 MILES, RESPECTIVELY, EVEN THOUGH THE TRAVEL INVOLVED WAS BETWEEN THE SAME PLACES. OUR REVIEW DISCLOSED THAT REIMBURSEMENT ON THE BASIS OF 84 MILES ACTUALLY RESULTED IN AN OVERPAYMENT TO YOU. WE FOUND THAT THE VOUCHER EXAMINING CLERK AT THE DETROIT ARSENAL, WHERE THE VOUCHER WAS APPROVED, MAINTAINS A MILEAGE CARD WHICH SHOWS THE MILEAGE FROM DETROIT ARSENAL TO WILLOW RUN AS 42 MILES. IT APPEARS THAT THE MILEAGE CARDS WERE USED TO VERIFY THE MILEAGE CLAIMED BY YOU, EVEN THOUGH YOU LEFT FROM YOUR RESIDENCE. SINCE THE CLAIMED MILEAGE DID NOT EXCEED THE MILEAGE BETWEEN DETROIT ARSENAL AND WILLOW RUN AIRPORT, YOUR VOUCHER WAS APPROVED.

ALTHOUGH YOU CLAIMED THE SAME MILEAGE, 84 MILES, ON VOUCHER NO. 0821, THE VOUCHER WAS PROCESSED AT OTAC AND THE MILEAGE CLAIMED WAS REDUCED TO 71 MILES, COMPUTED AS FOLLOWS:

CHART

MILES

RESIDENCE TO DETROIT CITY HALL

(VIA MACK AVENUE) 8

DETROIT TO WILLOW RUN 26

34

RETURN TRIP 34

VARIANCE (5 PERCENT OF 68 MILES) 3

ALLOWED MILEAGE 71

THE ABOVE COMPUTATION WAS BASED ON THE USE OF RAND-MCNALLY STANDARD HIGHWAY GUIDE, VICINITY MAPS EXCLUDING THE USE OF EXPRESSWAYS, AND LOCAL POLICY OF ALLOWING A VARIANCE OF 5 PERCENT. THIS IS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THAT PART OF DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY CIVILIAN PERSONNEL REGULATIONS, CPRT 3.7-6 (A) (1), PREVIOUSLY QUOTED.

WE REVIEWED VOUCHERS OF OTHER TRAVELERS PERFORMING TRAVEL DURING APPROXIMATELY THE SAME PERIOD THAT YOU WERE TRAVELING TO WILLOW RUN AIRPORT, AND FOUND THAT SUCH VOUCHERS WERE COMPUTED CONSISTENT WITH THE ABOVE PROCEDURES.

COMPLAINTS "C" AND "D: "

"C. IN SEPTEMBER, 1959 I BEGAN TRAVELLING TO WILLYS MOTORS LOCATED IN TOLEDO, OHIO, AND SUBMITTED THE RECORDED ODOMETER MILEAGES (SEE TAB C.), BUT AGAIN I WAS REIMBURSED FOR MILEAGE INCONSISTENT WITH THE EXISTING REGULATIONS. NOTE (SEE TAB C.) THAT ONCE I WAS PAID FOR THE TOTAL MILES CLAIMED. WHEN THIS WAS BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF THE TRAVEL OFFICE THAT A PRECEDENT HAD BEEN ESTABLISHED, I WAS PENALIZED ON THE FOLLOWING TRIP AND ONLY ALLOWED 129.6 MILES IN LIEU OF 137 MILES. THE FOLLOWING VOUCHERS WHICH ARE SELF-EXPLANATORY ARE ALSO ENCLOSED IN TAB C:

"/1) VOUCHER 7804

"/2) VOUCHER 13440

"/3) VOUCHER 10174 (2 COPIES)

"/4) VOUCHER 4835-60

"/5) VOUCHER 4133-60

"D. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT WHEN I HAD PASSENGERS AND THE APPROXIMATE SAME ROUTE WAS TRAVERSED IN MY VEHICLE, THE TOTAL MILEAGE WAS NOT QUESTIONED. ONCE, A MARINE CORPS MAJOR TRAVELLED 10 MILES TO MY HOME AND BECAME A PASSENGER IN MY PRIVATE AUTO. IN THIS INSTANCE ONLY 134 MILES WERE ALLOWED IN LIEU OF THE USUAL 137 MILES ALLOWED IN THE PAST. THE FOLLOWING VOUCHERS WHICH ARE SELF-EXPLANATORY ARE ENCLOSED IN TAB D:

"/1) VOUCHER 2004 "/4) VOUCHER 3004

"/2) VOUCHER 16354 "/5) VOUCHER 4759

"/3) VOUCHER 14353 "/6) VOUCHER 7242

"NOTE THAT MANY OF THE VOUCHERS CONTAINED A STATEMENT,"ALLOWABLE MILEAGE IN THE ABSENCE OF EXPLAINED DEVIATION.' IN ACCORDANCE WITH CPRT3.7, PAGE 80 (TAB D.) I ASKED TO BE FURNISHED A LOGICAL EXPLANATION FOR THE REDUCED MILES BUT NEVER RECEIVED AN ACCEPTABLE ANSWER.'

OUR REVIEW DISCLOSED THAT ON SEVEN OF THE ABOVE VOUCHERS FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BETWEEN SEPTEMBER 2, 1959, AND SEPTEMBER 14, 1960, FROM YOUR RESIDENCE TO TOLEDO, OHIO, AND RETURN, YOU CLAIMED SPEEDOMETER MILEAGE OF BETWEEN 141.1 MILES AND 145 MILES. FOR THESE VOUCHERS OTAC COMPUTED THE MILEAGE PAID AS FOLLOWS:

MILES

RESIDENCE TO DETROIT CITY HALL 8

DETROIT TO TOLEDO, OHIO (RAND MCNALLY

KEY POINT CITIES) 57

65

RETURN TO DETROIT 65

VARIANCE (5 PERCENT OF 130 MILES) 7

ALLOWED MILEAGE 137

THE ABOVE COMPUTATION WAS MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH OTAC REGULATION NO. 55- 1, DATED JUNE 23, 1958, OTAC INSTRUCTION NO. 55-9, DATED JANUARY 15, 1960, AND LOCAL POLICY OF ALLOWING A VARIANCE OF 5 PERCENT OVER RAND-MCNALLY STANDARD HIGHWAY MILEAGE GUIDE. ONE OF THE VOUCHERS (NO. 7804) IN THIS GROUP WAS REIMBURSED FOR THE FULL MILEAGE CLAIMED OF 144.4, BUT WAS LATER ADJUSTED TO 137 MILES WHEN YOU CALLED IT TO THE ATTENTION OF OTAC.

OUR EXAMINATION OF VOUCHER NO. 7242 FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY YOU ON OCTOBER 18, 1960, FROM YOUR DETROIT RESIDENCE TO WILLYS MOTORS, INC., TOLEDO, OHIO, DISCLOSED THAT YOU CLAIMED 140.1 MILES FOR THE ROUND TRIP. YOU WERE ACCOMPANIED BY MAJOR WYATT FROM YOUR RESIDENCE WITH NO MILEAGE DEVIATION INCURRED. FOR THIS VOUCHER, OTAC COMPUTED THE MILEAGE PAID AS FOLLOWS:

CHART

MILES

DETROIT TO TOLEDO (KEY POINT CITIES) 57

RETURN TO DETROIT 57

VARIANCE (10 MILES EACH WAY) 20

134

THE COMPUTATION WAS MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH REVISED INSTRUCTION NO. 55-9, DATED OCTOBER 11, 1960, WHICH STATES THAT REIMBURSEMENT WILL BE COMPUTED AT 8 CENTS A MILE USING ACTUAL SPEEDOMETER READINGS LIMITED TO THE RAND- MCNALLY STANDARD HIGHWAY MILEAGE GUIDE PLUS A VARIANCE OF 10 MILES EACH WAY. COMPUTATION ON THE BASIS OF THIS DIRECTIVE HAD THE EFFECT OF REDUCING YOUR ALLOWED TRIP MILEAGE BY 3 MILES, AND THE REDUCTION HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FACT THAT MAJOR WYATT ACCOMPANIED YOU.

THE REMAINING THREE VOUCHERS OF THE 11 LISTED IN COMPLAINTS "C" AND "D" WERE FOR TRAVEL WITH OFFICIAL PASSENGERS WHICH YOU HAD PICKED UP AND DISCHARGED AT THEIR RESIDENCES. OUR REVIEW OF THESE THREE VOUCHERS DISCLOSED THAT THE FULL MILEAGE CLAIMED BY YOU WAS REIMBURSED WITH THE EXCEPTION OF .4 OF A MILE, 3 CENTS. SINCE YOU HAD PICKED UP AND DISCHARGED THE PASSENGERS AT THEIR RESIDENCES, YOU WERE ALLOWED, UNDER INSTRUCTIONS THEN IN EFFECT, MILEAGE OVER AND ABOVE WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWABLE FOR A TRIP NOT INVOLVING OFFICIAL PASSENGERS.

WE REVIEWED TRAVEL ORDERS AND INSTRUCTIONS CONCERNING "LOCAL TRAVEL," INCLUDING YOUR TRAVEL ORDER NO. 2301, DATED AUGUST 17, 1961, AUTHORIZING A ONE-DAY TRIP TO WILLYS MOTORS, INC., TOLEDO, OHIO. BASED ON INSTRUCTION NO. 55-12, DATED DECEMBER 15, 1960, THIS TRAVEL WAS CONSIDERED "LOCAL TRAVEL" APPARENTLY BECAUSE IT DID NOT EXCEED A RADIUS OF 150 MILES FROM THE CITY OF DETROIT. PARAGRAPH 6.C, INSTRUCTION NO. 55-12 PROVIDES:

"AUTHORIZATION FOR LOCAL TRAVEL BY TPA IS LIMITED TO A RADIUS OF 150 MILES FROM THE CITY OF DETROIT, MICHIGAN.'

WE FOUND SOME INCONSISTENCIES IN THE APPLICATION OF THE INSTRUCTIONS COVERING LOCAL TRAVEL, WHICH WERE CALLED TO THE ATTENTION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY. BECAUSE OF THE NEED FOR CLARIFICATION, THE ABOVE PARAGRAPH AND PARAGRAPHS 6.B AND 6.D OF INSTRUCTION NO. 55-12 WERE ADMINISTRATIVELY SUSPENDED ON JUNE 11, 1962, PENDING REVISION. OUR REVIEW DISCLOSED THAT TRAVEL ORDERS AND VOUCHERS FOR TPA WERE ISSUED AND REIMBURSED TO OTHER TRAVELERS ON A "LOCAL TRAVEL" BASIS FOR 1-DAY TRAVEL FOR TRIPS TO LIMA, OHIO, AND LANSING, MICHIGAN, AND THAT MILEAGE WAS COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF RAND-MCNALLY STANDARD HIGHWAY MILEAGE GUIDE THE SAME AS YOUR VOUCHERS WERE COMPUTED IN 1961. IT WAS NOTED WITH RESPECT TO MILEAGE RATES, THAT THE 8 CENT MILEAGE RATE PREVAILED FOR BOTH TDY AND "LOCAL TRAVEL" PRIOR TO AUGUST 23, 1961, AND THAT THE INCREASE TO 10 CENTS EFFECTIVE AUGUST 24, 1961, WAS NOT APPLICABLE TO "LOCAL TRAVEL" OR 1-DAY TRAVEL. IN SUMMARY, WE FIND NO BASIS FOR PAYMENT OF ANY AMOUNTS IN ADDITION TO THAT WHICH YOU HAVE ALREADY BEEN PAID FOR THE TRAVEL IN QUESTION. NOR DO WE FIND THAT THE APPLICATION OF THE REGULATIONS AND PROCEDURES IN YOUR CASE WERE UNREASONABLE OR OUT OF LINE WITH THE ACTIONS TAKEN IN OTHER CASES.