B-148278, MAR. 30, 1962

B-148278: Mar 30, 1962

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JOHNSON: YOUR RECLAIM VOUCHER FOR $8 REPRESENTING ADDITIONAL MILEAGE (100 MILES AT 8 CENTS PER MILE) FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AS A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION IS. USE OF TOLL ROADS WAS AUTHORIZED IN YOUR TRAVEL ORDERS. YOU WERE ALLOWED 1. YOU SAY THAT YOU ARE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE ADDITIONAL MILEAGE BECAUSE YOU TRAVELED A ROUTE MAPPED BY THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION AND THAT YOU CLAIMED MILEAGE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE HIGHWAY MILEAGE GUIDE PUBLISHED BY THAT ASSOCIATION. WHILE USE OF THE MILEAGE GUIDE OF THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION IS NOT NECESSARILY PROHIBITED. WE DO NOT CONSIDER THAT GUIDE IS APPROPRIATE IN THIS INSTANCE. NO MILEAGE IS SHOWN THEREIN COVERING WASHINGTON.

B-148278, MAR. 30, 1962

TO MR. KENNETH B. JOHNSON:

YOUR RECLAIM VOUCHER FOR $8 REPRESENTING ADDITIONAL MILEAGE (100 MILES AT 8 CENTS PER MILE) FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AS A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION IS, IN EFFECT, A REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT DATED DECEMBER 1, 1961, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU TRAVELED FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO HOT SPRINGS, SOUTH DAKOTA, VIA RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA, AND VIA THE PENNSYLVANIA, OHIO, INDIANA, AND ILLINOIS, TOLL HIGHWAYS OR TURNPIKES. USE OF TOLL ROADS WAS AUTHORIZED IN YOUR TRAVEL ORDERS. YOU CLAIMED MILEAGE ON BASIS OF A DISTANCE OF 1,720 MILES TO HOT SPRINGS. ADMINISTRATIVELY, YOU WERE ALLOWED 1,620 MILES BASED ON MILEAGE SHOWN IN THE RAND MCNALLY STANDARD HIGHWAY MILEAGE GUIDE. OUR SETTLEMENT OF DECEMBER 1, 1961, SUSTAINED THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION.

YOU SAY THAT YOU ARE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE ADDITIONAL MILEAGE BECAUSE YOU TRAVELED A ROUTE MAPPED BY THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION AND THAT YOU CLAIMED MILEAGE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE HIGHWAY MILEAGE GUIDE PUBLISHED BY THAT ASSOCIATION. YOU POINT OUT THAT THE MILEAGE TABLE OF THE ASSOCIATION DOES NOT SHOW THE DISTANCE BETWEEN RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA, AND HOT SPRINGS, SOUTH DAKOTA, AND YOUR CLAIM BETWEEN THOSE POINTS "TAKES ACCOUNTS OF DIFFERENCES IN ROUTES BETWEEN THE TWO LOCALITIES, AS SHOWN ON STATE AND AAA REGIONAL MAPS.'

THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT PAYMENT FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES SHALL BE BASED ON "DISTANCES BETWEEN POINTS TRAVELED * * * AS SHOWN IN STANDARD HIGHWAY MILEAGE GUIDES OR BY SPEEDOMETER READINGS.' THE REGULATIONS REQUIRE THAT ANY SUBSTANTIAL DEVIATIONS FROM DISTANCES SHOWN IN THE STANDARD HIGHWAY MILEAGE GUIDES BE EXPLAINED. YOU DID NOT FURNISH SPEEDOMETER READINGS; THEREFORE, PAYMENT MUST BE COMPUTED BY USE OF A STANDARD HIGHWAY MILEAGE GUIDE. WHILE USE OF THE MILEAGE GUIDE OF THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION IS NOT NECESSARILY PROHIBITED, WE DO NOT CONSIDER THAT GUIDE IS APPROPRIATE IN THIS INSTANCE. NO MILEAGE IS SHOWN THEREIN COVERING WASHINGTON, D.C., TO HOT SPRINGS, SOUTH DAKOTA. RAND MCNALLY DOES SHOW A MILEAGE BETWEEN THOSE POINTS. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, OUR VIEW IS THAT THE STANDARD MILEAGE GUIDE WHICH COVERS THE SPECIFIC POINTS BETWEEN WHICH TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED PROPERLY IS FOR USE IN DETERMINING THE AMOUNT DUE. ALSO, IT MAY BE SAID THAT ASIDE FROM THE ABOVE CONCLUSION, THERE IS A QUESTION CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF THE USE OF THE LONGER ROUTE VIA RAPID CITY RATHER THAN THE ROUTE VIA CHADRON, NEBRASKA. FURTHERMORE, WE NOTE, GENERALLY, THAT THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION MILEAGE TABLE SHOWS A DISTANCE FROM CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, TO RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA OF 1,007 MILES. THIS IS NEARLY 100 MILES IN EXCESS OF THE MILEAGE BETWEEN THOSE POINTS AS SHOWN ON THE RAND MCNALLY STANDARD HIGHWAY MILEAGE GUIDE. WE UNDERSTAND, MOREOVER, THAT THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION IN THE PREPARATION OF ITS MILEAGE TABLE CONSIDERS THE TIME FACTOR AS WELL AS THE DIRECT ROUTE FACTOR.

THEREFORE, UPON REVIEW, OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF DECEMBER 1, 1961, IS SUSTAINED.