B-16867, JUNE 18, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 913

B-16867: Jun 18, 1941

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AN AFFIRMATIVE STATEMENT ON THE VOUCHER OVER HIS SIGNATURE RELATIVE TO THE MATTER WILL SUFFICE FOR AUDIT PURPOSES. 1941: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MAY 10. THE MILEAGE ACT WAS AMENDED TO PROVIDE FOR THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL PERFORMED IN PRIVATELY RATHER THAN PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILES. WAS PAID BY G. WHICH READS AS FOLLOWS: "MILEAGE IS NOT ALLOWABLE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED AUGUST 23. IN AN AUTOMOBILE REGISTERED IN THE NAME OF ANOTHER PERSON IN THE ABSENCE OF A STATEMENT AS TO WHETHER THE WHOLE OR A SUBSTANTIAL PART OF THE EXPENSES OF OPERATION WERE PAID BY THE CLAIMANT.'. IF SUCH A STATEMENT IS REQUIRED TO ENTITLE MR. IF SUCH STATEMENTS ARE REQUIRED. THE TRAVEL INVOLVED WAS PERFORMED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS.

B-16867, JUNE 18, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 913

MILEAGE - TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE - SHOWING OF ACTUAL EXPENSE A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE MAY NOT BE PAID MILEAGE, UNDER THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, AS AMENDED, FOR TRAVEL BY A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE NOT HIS PROPERTY WITHOUT A SHOWING THAT SUCH USE OF THE AUTOMOBILE INVOLVED SOME ACTUAL EXPENSE ON HIS PART, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT HE PAID THE WHOLE OR A SUBSTANTIAL PART OF THE COST OF OPERATION, BUT AN AFFIRMATIVE STATEMENT ON THE VOUCHER OVER HIS SIGNATURE RELATIVE TO THE MATTER WILL SUFFICE FOR AUDIT PURPOSES. TRAVEL IN EMPLOYEE'S OWN AUTOMOBILE, DISTINGUISHED, IN THAT IN SUCH CASE AN ACTUAL EXPENSE TO THE TRAVELER MAY BE ASSUMED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, JUNE 18, 1941:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MAY 10, 1941, AS FOLLOWS.$

ON APRIL 25, 1940, THE MILEAGE ACT WAS AMENDED TO PROVIDE FOR THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL PERFORMED IN PRIVATELY RATHER THAN PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILES.

PURSUANT TO THIS STATUTE, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE FARM SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, ARTHUR E. SCOTT, R., PERFORMED TRAVEL ON AUGUST 23, 1940, IN AN AUTOMOBILE REGISTERED IN THE NAME OF A PERSON OTHER THAN HIMSELF. THE VOUCHER COVERING THESE CHARGES, BUREAU VOUCHER NO. B 4086, D.O. VOUCHER NO. 11-68833, WAS PAID BY G. F. ALLEN IN SEPTEMBER 1940.

THE FARM SECURITY ADMINISTRATION HAS RECEIVED A POST AUDIT EXCEPTION AGAINST THE VOUCHER, WHICH READS AS FOLLOWS:

"MILEAGE IS NOT ALLOWABLE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED AUGUST 23, 1940, IN AN AUTOMOBILE REGISTERED IN THE NAME OF ANOTHER PERSON IN THE ABSENCE OF A STATEMENT AS TO WHETHER THE WHOLE OR A SUBSTANTIAL PART OF THE EXPENSES OF OPERATION WERE PAID BY THE CLAIMANT.'

IF SUCH A STATEMENT IS REQUIRED TO ENTITLE MR. SCOTT TO PAYMENT FOR MILEAGE IN LIEU OF ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION, IT SEEMS THAT A SIMILAR STATEMENT SHOULD BE REQUIRED OF ALL PERSONS CLAIMING PAYMENT FOR MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED IN A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE, REGARDLESS OF THE NAME IN WHICH SUCH PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE MIGHT BE REGISTERED. FURTHERMORE, IF SUCH STATEMENTS ARE REQUIRED, PRESCRIBED FORMS SHOULD SO INDICATE IN ORDER THAT PAYEES AND GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS MAY KNOW AND MEET ALL LEGAL REQUIREMENTS.

THE TRAVEL INVOLVED WAS PERFORMED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS, AND CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT WAS MADE ON STANDARD FORMS PRESCRIBED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, WHICH FORMS NEITHER PROVIDE FOR NOR REQUIRE A CERTIFICATION THAT THE WHOLE OR A SUBSTANTIAL PART OF THE EXPENSES OF OPERATION WERE PAID BY THE CLAIMANT. IT IS, THEREFORE, RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED THAT THIS EXCEPTION AND ALL SIMILAR EXCEPTIONS BE REMOVED.

THE ORIGINAL ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, 46 STAT. 1103, AUTHORIZES PAYMENT OF MILEAGE TO CIVILIAN OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES ENGAGED IN NECESSARY TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS WHILE AWAY FROM THEIR HEADQUARTERS OR POST ON DUTY "IN LIEU OF ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION.' THE AMENDMENTS OF MARCH 3, 1933, 47 STAT. 1516, AND APRIL 25, 1940, 54 STAT. 167, MADE NO CHANGE IN THE QUOTED LANGUAGE. WHEN TRANSPORTATION IS PROCURED FREE OF ANY EXPENSE, THE TRAVELER MAY NOT BE PAID MILEAGE FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE TRAVEL BECAUSE THE LAW AUTHORIZES THE MILEAGE NOT AS AN ALLOWANCE BUT AS A REIMBURSEMENT--- THAT IS, AS "IN LIEU OF ACTUAL EXPENSES"--- AND WHERE THERE ARE NO ACTUAL EXPENSES THERE CAN BE NO PAYMENT IN LIEU THEREOF.

WHEN MILEAGE IS CLAIMED BY AN EMPLOYEE FOR TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AWAY FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS OR POST OF DUTY BY MEANS OF AN AUTOMOBILE REGISTERED IN HIS OWN NAME, IT MAY BE ASSUMED THAT AN ACTUAL EXPENSE TO HIM IS INVOLVED AND NO PROOF WITH RESPECT THERETO IS REQUIRED AS A PREREQUISITE TO PAYMENT OF MILEAGE UNDER THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, AS AMENDED. BUT WHERE THE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE USED IN PERFORMING THE TRAVEL IS SHOWN TO BE NOT THE PROPERTY OF THE TRAVELER, HE MAY NOT BE PAID MILEAGE FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF SUCH TRAVEL WITHOUT A SHOWING THAT SUCH USE INVOLVED SOME ACTUAL EXPENSE ON HIS PART--- AS, FOR INSTANCE, THAT HE PAID THE WHOLE OR A SUBSTANTIAL PART OF THE COST OF OPERATION OF THE VEHICLE OVER THE DISTANCE FOR WHICH MILEAGE IS CLAIMED. SEE 20 COMP. GEN. 512.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT WHERE THE MILEAGE CLAIMED INVOLVES THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE NOT THE PROPERTY OF THE TRAVELER, A SHOWING IS REQUIRED AS TO WHETHER SUCH USE INVOLVED ANY EXPENSE TO THE CLAIMANT AND AN AFFIRMATIVE STATEMENT ON THE VOUCHER OVER HIS SIGNATURE RELATIVE TO THE MATTER WILL SUFFICE FOR AUDIT PURPOSES.

THE PRESENT RECORD FAILS TO ESTABLISH ANY PROPER BASIS FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF CREDIT IN THE DISBURSING OFFICER'S ACCOUNT FOR MILEAGE PAID TO MR. SCOTT FOR THE TRAVEL PERFORMED ON AUGUST 23, 1940.