B-162657, DEC. 20, 1967

B-162657: Dec 20, 1967

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

078740: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 26. PLACE OF BUSINESS AND PLACE WHERE MEALS WERE PROCURED AND FOR TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVEL IN CONDUCTING OFFICIAL BUSINESS AT YOUR STATION DURING THE PERIOD JUNE 21 TO AUGUST 5. YOU WERE DIRECTED TO PROCEED ON JUNE 19. RETURN BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE FOR WHICH YOU WERE PAID MILEAGE. WAS FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE AS A DOUBTFUL CLAIM BY THE ARMY FINANCE CENTER FOR THE REASON THAT IN AN ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT FURNISHED BY HEADQUARTERS COMMAND. IT WAS STATED THAT TRANSPORTATION WAS AVAILABLE DURING THE PERIOD OF THE 1966 ROTC SUMMER CAMP AT FORT RILEY AND THAT SEDANS. PICKUPS AND BUSES WERE REQUESTED AND FURNISHED THE ROTC SUMMER CAMP DURING THE PERIOD JUNE 21 TO AUGUST 5.

B-162657, DEC. 20, 1967

TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL TOM H. BRUNDRETT, 078740:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 26, 1967, REQUESTING REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT DATED SEPTEMBER 20, 1967, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE BETWEEN PLACE OF LODGING AND PLACE OF BUSINESS, AND PLACE OF BUSINESS AND PLACE WHERE MEALS WERE PROCURED AND FOR TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVEL IN CONDUCTING OFFICIAL BUSINESS AT YOUR STATION DURING THE PERIOD JUNE 21 TO AUGUST 5, 1966, AT FORT RILEY, KANSAS.

BY ORDERS DATED JUNE 2, 1966, HEADQUARTERS, FIFTH UNITED STATES ARMY, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, YOU WERE DIRECTED TO PROCEED ON JUNE 19, 1966, TO FORT RILEY, KANSAS, FOR TEMPORARY DUTY FOR A PERIOD OF APPROXIMATELY 45 DAYS WITH THE FIFTH UNITED STATES ARMY ROTC SUMMER CAMP. THE ORDERS PROVIDED THAT THE MODE OF TRAVEL WOULD BE DETERMINED BY THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER AND ALSO AUTHORIZED UTILIZATION OF PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE, PROVIDING SUCH TRAVEL WOULD NOT DELAY REPORTING DATE.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU TRAVELED FROM ST. CLOUD, MINNESOTA, TO FORT RILEY, KANSAS, AND RETURN BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE FOR WHICH YOU WERE PAID MILEAGE. YOUR CLAIM FOR MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED AT FORT RILEY, KANSAS, WAS FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE AS A DOUBTFUL CLAIM BY THE ARMY FINANCE CENTER FOR THE REASON THAT IN AN ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT FURNISHED BY HEADQUARTERS COMMAND, FORT RILEY, KANSAS, IT WAS STATED THAT TRANSPORTATION WAS AVAILABLE DURING THE PERIOD OF THE 1966 ROTC SUMMER CAMP AT FORT RILEY AND THAT SEDANS, CARRYALLS, PICKUPS AND BUSES WERE REQUESTED AND FURNISHED THE ROTC SUMMER CAMP DURING THE PERIOD JUNE 21 TO AUGUST 5, 1966. ALSO, IT WAS STATED THAT THERE WAS NO RECORD OF TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS FROM YOU AND NO RECORD OF YOUR SPECIFICALLY USING ANY TRANSPORTATION FROM THE TRANSPORTATION MOTOR POOL.

FURTHER, IT WAS STATED THAT WHILE A CERTIFICATE DATED JUNE 14, 1967, WAS ISSUED AT FORT RILEY, KANSAS, STATING THAT THE TRAVEL INVOLVED WAS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT, SPEEDOMETER READINGS AND/OR OTHER ACCEPTABLE EVIDENCE ESTABLISHING THE ACTUAL DISTANCE OF EACH TRIP INVOLVED WAS NOT FURNISHED IN SUPPORT OF THE CLAIM AS REQUIRED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH M4413-3 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND THEREFORE PAYMENT OF THE CLAIM WAS NOT RECOMMENDED. THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT OF SEPTEMBER 20, 1967, FOR THE REASONS STATED THEREIN.

IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU SAY THAT WE ARBITRARILY DETERMINED WHICH SET OF RECORDS TO BELIEVE. ALSO, YOU SAY THAT GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WAS NOT AVAILABLE AT FORT RILEY AND THAT FORT RILEY RECORDS ARE NOT ACCURATE INASMUCH AS THEY ONLY REFLECT DISPATCH FROM THE FORT RILEY MOTOR POOL TO THE ROTC SUMMER CAMP MOTOR POOL AND WILL NOT SHOW DISPATCH TO YOU. FURTHER, YOU SAY THAT UNDER SUMMER CAMP DIRECTIVES INDIVIDUALS WERE PROHIBITED FROM REQUESTING TRANSPORTATION DIRECTLY FROM THE FORT RILEY MOTOR POOL. IT SEEMS TO BE YOUR VIEW THAT THE FACT THAT YOUR ORDERS AUTHORIZED TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE FOR WHICH MILEAGE IS AUTHORIZED BY THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES A SUFFICIENT LEGAL BASIS TO ALLOW YOUR CLAIM.

SECTION 408 OF TITLE 37, U.S.C. PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER OF A UNIFORMED SERVICE MAY BE DIRECTED BY REGULATIONS OF THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY IN WHICH HE IS SERVING TO PROCURE TRANSPORTATION NECESSARY FOR CONDUCTING OFFICIAL BUSINESS OF THE UNITED STATES WITHIN THE LIMITS OF HIS STATION.

WITH REGARD TO YOUR CLAIM FOR MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE BETWEEN THE PLACE OF LODGING AND PLACE WHERE DUTY WAS PERFORMED AT FORT RILEY AND BETWEEN SUCH PLACE OF DUTY AND PLACE WHERE MEALS WERE OBTAINED, JOINT DETERMINATION 57-66, DATED AND EFFECTIVE JUNE 14, 1966, AND PARAGRAPH M4413, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, EFFECTIVE THE SAME DATE AND PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO SECTION 408, AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT TO A MEMBER OF A MONETARY ALLOWANCE AT THE RATE OF 10 CENTS PER MILE FOR SUCH TRAVEL. THE REGULATION PROVIDES THAT FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING THE APPLICABLE RATE, EACH TRIP FROM AND TO PLACE OF LODGING AND TO AND FROM PLACE WHERE MEALS ARE PROCURED WILL BE CONSIDERED SEPARATELY. FURTHER, IT PROVIDES THAT DISTANCES WILL BE BASED ON SPEEDOMETER READINGS OR OTHER ACCEPTABLE EVIDENCE FURNISHED BY THE MEMBER AS TO THE ACTUAL DISTANCES BETWEEN THE PLACES INVOLVED AND THAT SUCH DISTANCES, AT THE APPROPRIATE RATES, WILL BE SHOWN ON THE VOUCHER SEPARATE AND APART FROM THE DISTANCE FROM WHICH SUCH CONVEYANCE IS USED IN THE CONDUCT OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS AT THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PART K OF THE REGULATIONS.

BOTH JOINT DETERMINATION 57-66 AND PARAGRAPH M4413-3 REQUIRE SUBMISSION OF ACTUAL METER READINGS OR OTHER ACCEPTABLE EVIDENCE ESTABLISHING THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THE PLACES INVOLVED AND CONTEMPLATE A SHOWING OF THE SPECIFIC DATES THAT THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED. NO PROVISION IS MADE THEREIN FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES BASED ON AN ESTIMATE OF THE AVERAGE DISTANCE TRAVELED EACH DAY. ALSO, REIMBURSEMENT UNDER PARAGRAPH M4413-3 FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED ON SUNDAYS OR HOLIDAYS WOULD NOT BE AUTHORIZED IN THE ABSENCE OF A SHOWING OF THE NECESSITY FOR REPORTING TO PLACE OF DUTY ON SUCH DAYS.

FURTHERMORE, AT THE TIME YOUR ORDERS OF JUNE 2, 1966, WERE ISSUED, THE REGULATIONS MADE NO PROVISION FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL BETWEEN PLACE OF LODGING AND PLACE OF DUTY AT A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AND BETWEEN PLACE OF DUTY AT SUCH A STATION AND THE PLACE WHERE MEALS ARE PROCURED. IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT THE PROVISION IN YOUR ORDERS AUTHORIZING THE UTILIZATION OF A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE WAS INTENDED TO RELATE ONLY TO YOUR TRAVEL TO AND FROM THE SUMMER CAMP AT FORT RILEY AND THERE WAS NO INTENTION TO AUTHORIZE THE USE OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE FOR SUCH TRAVEL WHILE PERFORMING TEMPORARY DUTY AT FORT RILEY. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WAS AVAILABLE AT THE SUMMER CAMP AND PRESUMABLY MEMBERS WITHOUT PRIVATE VEHICLES AT THE CAMP USED SUCH TRANSPORTATION FOR NECESSARY TRAVEL.

PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM IS NOT ADMINISTRATIVELY RECOMMENDED AND FOR THE REASONS SET FORTH ABOVE, WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT THE RECORD DOES NOT PROVIDE A LEGAL BASIS TO ALLOW YOUR CLAIM FOR MILEAGE BETWEEN PLACE OF LODGING AND PLACE WHERE DUTY WAS PERFORMED AT FORT RILEY AND BETWEEN THAT PLACE AND THE PLACE WHERE MEALS WERE OBTAINED.

CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM FOR MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE IN CONDUCTING OFFICIAL BUSINESS AT FORT RILEY, PARAGRAPH M4500 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT WHEN DETERMINED BY THEM TO BE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT, OFFICIALS DESIGNATED BY THE SERVICES CONCERNED MAY AUTHORIZE IN ADVANCE, OR SUBSEQUENTLY APPROVE, REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES WHICH ARE NECESSARILY INCURRED BY MEMBERS IN CONDUCTING OFFICIAL BUSINESS WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THE PERMANENT AND TEMPORARY DUTY STATION. PARAGRAPH M4502 PROVIDES FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUCH TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE, BASED ON SPEEDOMETER READINGS OR OTHER EVIDENCE AS TO THE ACTUAL DISTANCE NECESSARILY TRAVELED.

THE LAW AND REGULATIONS AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT ON A MILEAGE BASIS TO MEMBERS FOR THE USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLES IN CONDUCTING OFFICIAL BUSINESS AT A DUTY STATION WHEN THE DISTANCES ARE PROPERLY ESTABLISHED AND THE USE OF SUCH VEHICLE IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AS BEING ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. SUCH APPROVAL MUST BE BASED ON THE FACTS IN EACH INDIVIDUAL CASE, INCLUDING THE AVAILABILITY OF ADEQUATE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION, AND GIVEN ONLY WHEN THE APPROVING AUTHORITY IS CONVINCED THAT THE USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE IS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT.

AS WE HAVE INDICATED, THE PROVISION IN THE ORDERS OF JUNE 2, 1966, AUTHORIZING USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE RELATED TO YOUR TRAVEL TO FORT RILEY AND WAS NOT INTENDED AS AN AUTHORIZATION FOR THE USE OF THE CONVEYANCE WITHIN FORT RILEY OR A BLANKET DETERMINATION THAT USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE WOULD BE MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT.

AS STATED ABOVE, HEADQUARTERS COMMAND, FORT RILEY, KANSAS, REPORTED THAT GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WAS REQUESTED AND FURNISHED TO THE ROTC SUMMER CAMP DURING THE PERIOD JUNE 21 TO AUGUST 5, 1966. SUBSEQUENTLY, THERE WAS FURNISHED A CERTIFICATE DATED JUNE 14, 1967, ISSUED BY THE SAME COMMAND STATING THAT TRAVEL PERFORMED BY YOU DURING YOUR PERIOD OF TEMPORARY DUTY AT FORT RILEY, KANSAS, WAS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT TO BE PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE THAN ANY OTHER METHOD OF TRAVEL, EXIGENCIES OF THE SERVICE HAVING PRECLUDED UTILIZATION OF NORMAL MODES OF TRANSPORTATION. HOWEVER, UPON RECEIPT OF THIS CERTIFICATE THE FINANCE CENTER RECOMMENDED AGAINST ALLOWANCE OF THE CLAIM.

THE CERTIFICATE OF JUNE 14, 1967, WAS ISSUED A YEAR AFTER THE PERIOD OF SERVICE INVOLVED AND THERE IS NO SHOWING AS TO THE FACTUAL BASIS ON WHICH IT WAS ISSUED. THAT IS TO SAY, THERE IS NO SHOWING WHETHER THE CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL WAS BASED UPON CONTEMPORANEOUS RECORDS RELATIVE TO AVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT VEHICLES TO ROTC SUMMER CAMP MEMBERS OR WHETHER IT WAS BASED ON MEMORY OR INFORMATION OBTAINED FROM OTHER SOURCES. COMP. GEN. 146. SINCE YOUR CLAIM IS NOT SUPPORTED BY SPEEDOMETER READINGS ESTABLISHING THE DISTANCES TRAVELED, THE DATES OF THE TRIPS INVOLVED, OR AN ITINERARY OF THE PLACES TO WHICH TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED, THE RECORD BEFORE US DOES NOT DISCLOSE ANY FACTUAL BASIS TO SUPPORT THE DETERMINATION THAT IT WAS ADVANTAGEOUS TO USE YOUR AUTOMOBILE. ON THE OTHER HAND, THE RECORD CONTAINS THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT THAT TRANSPORTATION WAS AVAILABLE AND THAT THERE IS NO RECORD THAT YOU REQUESTED TRANSPORTATION. ALSO, PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM IS NOT ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED.

IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES IT IS OUR OPINION THAT THE CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL, ISSUED LONG AFTER THE PERIOD OF DUTY INVOLVED, MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED ON THE RECORD BEFORE US AS SUFFICIENT TO ESTABLISH THAT THE USE OF THE PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE WAS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT AS REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH M4500 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

THEREFORE, ON THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT RECORD AND IN THE ABSENCE OF THE FACTUAL INFORMATION REQUIRED BY THE REGULATIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE TRAVEL STATED TO HAVE BEEN PERFORMED IN CONDUCTING OFFICIAL BUSINESS WE ARE WITHOUT LEGAL AUTHORITY TO ALLOW YOUR CLAIM FOR MILEAGE FOR SUCH TRAVEL PERFORMED AT FORT RILEY.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF SEPTEMBER 20, 1967, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM IS SUSTAINED.