B-152275, OCTOBER 11, 1963, 43 COMP. GEN. 378

B-152275: Oct 11, 1963

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AS PAYMENT OF 5 CENTS PER MILE FOR TRAVEL PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH 4203-3A IS FOR A MONETARY ALLOWANCE. THE SHOWING OF THE ACTUAL COST OF TRAVEL IS NOT A CONDITION PRECEDENT TO PAYMENT. REQUESTING OUR ADVANCE DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT ON THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF DAVID C. THE MEMBER WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED ON OR ABOUT FEBRUARY 27. IT APPEARS THAT YOU BELIEVE THE PAYMENT IS DOUBTFUL FOR THE REASON THAT THE MEMBER'S ORIGINAL ORDERS DID NOT AUTHORIZE THE USE OF A PRIVATE AUTOMOBILE AND THAT THE SUBSEQUENT CERTIFICATION OF THE USE OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION IS A RETROACTIVE DETERMINATION OR MODIFICATION OF THE ORIGINAL ORDERS. SINCE THE MEMBER WAS A PASSENGER WITH MR.

B-152275, OCTOBER 11, 1963, 43 COMP. GEN. 378

MILEAGE - MILITARY PERSONNEL- AS BEING IN LIEU OF EXPENSES - ACTUAL COST SHOWING A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHO IN PERFORMANCE OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES TRAVELS WITHIN HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AS A PASSENGER IN THE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE OF A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE RECEIVING MILEAGE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS MAY BE PAID A MONETARY ALLOWANCE OF 5 CENTS PER MILE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION UNDER PARAGRAPH 4203-3A OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, NOTWITHSTANDING RETROACTIVE APPROVAL OF THE TRAVEL AND THE ABSENCE OF A SHOWING OF PERSONAL EXPENSE, AS 37 U.S.C. 404 (A), AUTHORIZING TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR THE TRAVEL OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES, DOES NOT LIMIT THE USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES OR REQUIRE THAT THE AUTOMOBILE BE PERSONNALY OWNED BY THE TRAVELER, NOR REQUIRE THAT ORDERS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZE THE MEMBER TO USE SUCH MODE OF TRANSPORTATION FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL, AND AS PAYMENT OF 5 CENTS PER MILE FOR TRAVEL PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH 4203-3A IS FOR A MONETARY ALLOWANCE, THE SHOWING OF THE ACTUAL COST OF TRAVEL IS NOT A CONDITION PRECEDENT TO PAYMENT.

TO W. M. WILSON, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, OCTOBER 11, 1963:

BY LETTER DATED AUGUST 9, 1963, THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, TRANSMITTED HERE YOUR LETTER DATED JUNE 7, 1963, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING OUR ADVANCE DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT ON THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF DAVID C. HOWDEN, WO, W-1, USA, FOR $35.70, REPRESENTING MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE.

BY ORDERS DATED FEBRUARY 20, 1963, THE MEMBER WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED ON OR ABOUT FEBRUARY 27, 1963, FROM HIS DUTY STATION, OMAHA, NEBRASKA, TO KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, AND INSTALLATIONS WITHIN THE U.S. ARMY ENGINEER DISTRICT, KANSAS CITY, AND RETURN TO OMAHA, ON TEMPORARY DUTY FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONDUCTING A CRIME PREVENTION SURVEY.

THE ITINERARY FURNISHED WITH THE MEMBER'S CLAIM SHOWS THAT HE LEFT OMAHA, NEBRASKA, BY COMMERCIAL AIR ON FEBRUARY 27, 1963, AND ARRIVED AT KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, THE SAME DAY. HE LEFT THERE THE NEXT DAY AS A PASSENGER IN THE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE OF MR. NORMAN E. SMITH, A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE KANSAS CITY DISTRICT AND PERFORMED TRAVEL TO VARIOUS INSTALLATIONS WITHIN THE DISTRICT UNTIL MARCH 8, 1963, WHEN HE RETURNED FROM KANSAS CITY TO OMAHA BY COMMERCIAL AIR. THE PROPOSED PAYMENT COVERS A MONETARY ALLOWANCE OF 5 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE TRAVEL IN MR. SMITH'S CAR.

IT APPEARS THAT YOU BELIEVE THE PAYMENT IS DOUBTFUL FOR THE REASON THAT THE MEMBER'S ORIGINAL ORDERS DID NOT AUTHORIZE THE USE OF A PRIVATE AUTOMOBILE AND THAT THE SUBSEQUENT CERTIFICATION OF THE USE OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION IS A RETROACTIVE DETERMINATION OR MODIFICATION OF THE ORIGINAL ORDERS. ALSO, SINCE THE MEMBER WAS A PASSENGER WITH MR. SMITH WHO WAS PAID MILEAGE AT THE RATE OF 10 CENTS PER MILE, YOU QUESTION THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE TO THE MEMBER ON THE BASIS THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS IN EFFECT FURNISHED HIM TRANSPORTATION AND BECAUSE THERE IS NO SHOWING THAT HE PERFORMED SUCH TRAVEL AT PERSONAL EXPENSE.

THE PERTINENT STATUTE, 37 U.S.C. 404 (A), PROVIDES THAT UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES SHALL BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED UNDER ORDERS "WITHOUT REGARD TO THE COMPARATIVE COSTS OF THE VARIOUS MODES OF TRANSPORTATION.' SUBPARAGRAPH (D) OF THAT SECTION PROVIDES THAT THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED FOR EACH KIND OF TRAVEL MAY NOT BE MORE THAN ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:

(1) TRANSPORTATION IN KIND, REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR, OR A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN PLACE OF THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION AT A RATE THAT IS NOT MORE THAN 7 CENTS A MILE * * *; (2) TRANSPORTATION IN KIND, REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR, ON A MONETARY ALLOWANCE AS PROVIDED BY CLAUSE (1) OF THIS SECTION, PLUS A PER DIEM IN PLACE OF SUBSISTENCE OF NOT MORE THAN $12 A DAY; OR (3) A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE OF NOT MORE THAN 10 CENTS A MILE * * *.

PARAGRAPH 4203-3A OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SUBPARAGRAPH B THEREOF (PROVIDING A MONETARY ALLOWANCE AT A HIGHER RATE FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE UNDER ORDERS AUTHORIZING SUCH MODE OF TRAVEL AS "MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT") WHEN TRAVEL IS PERFORMED AT PERSONAL EXPENSE THE MEMBER WILL BE REIMBURSED A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION AT THE RATE OF 5 CENTS PER MILE.

THE STATUTE DOES NOT LIMIT THE USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES OR REQUIRE THAT THEY BE PERSONALLY OWNED BY THE TRAVELER. NOR DOES IT REQUIRE THAT THE ORDERS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZE THE MEMBER TO USE SUCH MODE OF TRANSPORTATION FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL. ALSO, THE AUTHORIZATION FOR PAYMENT OF 5 CENTS PER MILE FOR TRAVEL AS CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPH 4203-3A OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS FOR A MONETARY ALLOWANCE RATHER THAN ACTUAL REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION. THEREFORE, THE SHOWING OF THE ACTUAL COST OF TRAVEL IS NOT A CONDITION PRECEDENT TO SUCH PAYMENT, NOR IS PROVISION MADE FOR PAYMENT AT THE RATE OF LESS THAN 5 CENTS PER MILE IN CASES WHERE THE EXPENSE INCURRED WAS LESS THAN THE AMOUNT COMPUTED AT THAT RATE. CONSEQUENTLY, THE PAYMENT OF THE MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION IS AUTHORIZED FOR MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES TRAVELING TOGETHER, OR TRAVELING WITH CIVILIANS FOR THAT MATTER, IN ONE PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE IN CIRCUMSTANCES SUCH AS ARE HERE INVOLVED. SEE 33 COMP. GEN. 207, COPY HEREWITH.

IN THE PRESENT CASE, BY THE ORDERS OF FEBRUARY 20, 1963, THE OFFICER WAS DIRECTED TO TRAVEL FROM OMAHA, NEBRASKA, TO KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, AND TO ARMY ENGINEER INSTALLATIONS WITHIN THE KANSAS CITY DISTRICT AND RETURN UPON COMPLETION OF THE ASSIGNMENT. HE PERFORMED PART OF THE TRAVEL AS A PASSENGER IN A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE OWNED AND OPERATED BY A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE WHO WAS DIRECTED TO PERFORM THE SAME TRAVEL AND WHO WAS REIMBURSED FOR HIS TRAVEL IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. WHILE IT IS NOT DISCLOSED THAT THE MEMBER AND THE CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE SHARED THE EXPENSES OF THE TRAVEL, THAT FACT IS NOT MATERIAL INSOFAR AS MR. HOWDEN IS CONCERNED SINCE THE ALLOWANCE OF 5 CENTS PER MILE IS AUTHORIZED WITHOUT REGARD TO THE ACTUAL EXPENSE INCURRED.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER AND SUPPORTING PAPERS ARE RETURNED HEREWITH, PAYMENT THEREON BEING AUTHORIZED IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.