B-158860, JUN. 13, 1966

B-158860: Jun 13, 1966

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BARAY: WE HAVE RECEIVED A LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 15. RISTESUND WHO WE UNDERSTAND IS REPRESENTING YOU IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF MILEAGE FOR THE PERIOD JULY 1962 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 1. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION UNDER DATE OF SEPTEMBER 15. FOR THE REASONS THAT YOUR TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED WITHOUT THE PRIOR APPROVAL OF THE BASE MOTOR POOL. WITHOUT A SHOWING THAT GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF YOUR DUTIES WAS NOT AVAILABLE. THE REQUEST IS NOW MADE THAT WE RECONSIDER THE MATTER. NEED NOT BE SUPPORTED BY A SHOWING THAT SUCH MODE OF TRAVEL WAS MORE ECONOMICAL TO THE UNITED STATES. FURTHER IT IS POINTED OUT THAT REIMBURSEMENT IS BELIEVED TO BE DUE YOU BECAUSE MR.

B-158860, JUN. 13, 1966

TO MRS. ANN L. BARAY:

WE HAVE RECEIVED A LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 15, 1966, FROM MR. CURTIS E. RISTESUND WHO WE UNDERSTAND IS REPRESENTING YOU IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF MILEAGE FOR THE PERIOD JULY 1962 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 1, 1964, INVOLVING THE USE OF YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FOR OFFICIAL BUSINESS AT YOUR PERMANENT DUTY STATION.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION UNDER DATE OF SEPTEMBER 15, 1965, FOR THE REASONS THAT YOUR TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED WITHOUT THE PRIOR APPROVAL OF THE BASE MOTOR POOL, AS REQUIRED, AND WITHOUT A SHOWING THAT GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF YOUR DUTIES WAS NOT AVAILABLE. THE REQUEST IS NOW MADE THAT WE RECONSIDER THE MATTER.

OUR RULING IN 26 COMP. GEN. 463 (B-62220, JANUARY 8, 1947) HAS BEEN CITED TO THE EFFECT THAT AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION OF ADVANTAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT WITH RESPECT TO TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON A MILEAGE BASIS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED PURSUANT TO THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, NEED NOT BE SUPPORTED BY A SHOWING THAT SUCH MODE OF TRAVEL WAS MORE ECONOMICAL TO THE UNITED STATES. FURTHER IT IS POINTED OUT THAT REIMBURSEMENT IS BELIEVED TO BE DUE YOU BECAUSE MR. FRANCIS G. LEAP, THE COMMISSARY OFFICER FOR WHOM YOU WORKED AUTHORIZED AND APPROVED THE TRAVEL VOUCHERS UPON WHICH YOU CLAIMED MILEAGE FOR THE PERIOD JULY 1962 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 1, 1964, IN THE AMOUNT OF $327.

THERE IS NO QUESTION BUT THAT AT THE TIME YOU PERFORMED THE TRAVEL FOR WHICH YOU MAKE CLAIM THAT REIMBURSEMENT ON A MILEAGE BASIS FOR THE USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES WAS PERMITTED UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES AND WHEN PROPERLY AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ESTABLISHED POLICIES OF THE INSTALLATION INVOLVED. AIR FORCE MANUAL 40-10J, CHAPTER 2, DATED SEPTEMBER 14, 1960, PARAGRAPH 3B, PROVIDED THAT NO TRAVEL ORDERS WOULD BE ISSUED FOR LOCAL TRAVEL WITHIN OR IN THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY OF AN EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL DUTY STATION. THIS IS IN ACCORD WITH OUR DECISION IN 24 COMP. GEN. 858. THE CURRENT JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FOR CIVILIAN PERSONNEL, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1965, CHAPTER 2, PART B, PARAGRAPH C 2050, SUBPARAGRAPH 3, ARE TO THE SAME EFFECT.

THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT FURNISHED IN YOUR CASE SHOWS THAT THE REGULATIONS APPLICABLE TO THE TYPE OF TRAVEL INVOLVED IN YOUR CLAIM PROVIDED THAT THE REQUIREMENTS FOR GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WITHIN AND AROUND HAMILTON AIR FORCE BASE WAS TO BE MADE KNOWN TO THE BASE MOTOR POOL DISPATCHER; THAT THE OPERATING OFFICIAL, APPARENTLY THIS WAS MR. LEAP, WAS TO PREPARE THE LOCAL TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION AND FORWARD SAME TO THE BASE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER WHO WAS REQUIRED TO MAKE DETERMINATIONS AS TO THE AVAILABILITY OR NONAVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION. ADDITION, IT WAS REQUIRED BY THOSE REGULATIONS THAT CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT SHOULD BE SUBMITTED FOR PAYMENT WITHIN ONE MONTH AFTER THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED.

WE NOTE THAT MR. LEAP EXECUTED THREE LOCAL TRAVEL AUTHORIZATIONS SHOWING THE DATES OF JUNE 30, 1963, JUNE 30, 1964, AND OCTOBER 21, 1964. NONE OF THESE AUTHORIZATIONS WAS SUPPORTED BY A DETERMINATION OF NONAVAILABILITY OF TRANSPORTATION BY THE MOTOR POOL OFFICER AS REQUIRED BY THE REGULATIONS REFERRED TO ABOVE. WE FIND NO OFFICIAL RECORD IN THE PAPERS FURNISHED US TO SUPPORT YOUR ALLEGATION THAT GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WAS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE TRAVEL INVOLVED. FURTHER, WE NOTE FROM THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT FURNISHED THAT MR. LEAP ADVISED THAT YOUR USE OF YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WAS VOLUNTARY ON YOUR PART; THAT YOU WERE ADVISED TO USE BASE TAXI SERVICE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF SUCH TRAVEL BUT INDICATED THAT YOU WOULD RATHER USE YOUR OWN CAR AS IT WAS MORE CONVENIENT. WE ALSO NOTE FROM THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT THAT OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS CONCLUDED FROM THE INFORMATION OF RECORD THAT YOUR USE OF YOUR OWN CAR FOR THE TRAVEL CLAIMED WAS VOLUNTARY. THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT ALSO POINTS OUT THAT IT WAS NOT UNTIL YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO THE TRAVEL SECTION OF THE BASE ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE OFFICE ON SEPTEMBER 6, 1964, THAT YOU WERE AWARE OF THE FACT THAT REIMBURSEMENT COULD HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED FOR SUCH TRAVEL PROVIDED THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE APPLICABLE LOCAL REGULATIONS WERE MET. YOUR CLAIM WAS NOT MADE UNTIL OCTOBER 26, 1964.

SINCE IT IS APPARENT FROM THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT RECEIVED CONCERNING THIS MATTER THAT YOU DID NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE APPLICABLE LOCAL REGULATIONS PLUS THE FACT THAT THERE ARE SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES BETWEEN YOUR CONTENTIONS AND THE STATEMENTS MADE BY THE RESPONSIBLE OFFICIALS, WE HAVE NO BASIS, UPON THE PRESENT RECORD, FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM. IT IS THE ESTABLISHED RULE OF GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTING OFFICERS TO REJECT OR TO DISALLOW CLAIMS CONCERNING WHICH THERE IS REASONABLE DOUBT.