B-21982, DECEMBER 18, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 588

B-21982: Dec 18, 1941

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IS SUBMITTED FOR ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE LEGAL AUTHORITY FOR ITS PAYMENT. 2. THE VOUCHER IS BASED ON THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 1 (J) TITLE II. TRAVELING AND HOTEL EXPENSE OF ENGINEERS AND OTHER EMPLOYEES OF THE CONTRACTOR AS IS ACTUALLY INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THIS WORK. IT IS AGREED THAT ALL ALLOWANCES OF COST UNDER THIS ITEM SHALL CONFORM TO AND NOT EXCEED THE ORDINARY ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED BY THE CONTRACTOR FOR ITS EMPLOYEES IN THE NORMAL CONDUCT OF ITS BUSINESS.' 3. WHILE THE EXPENSE FOR TRAVELING WAS APPARENTLY INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE WORK. IS AUTHORIZED IN THE ABOVE QUOTED PARAGRAPH OF THE CONTRACT. IT IS ALSO REQUESTED THAT RULING BE GIVEN WHETHER REIMBURSEMENT AT FIVE CENTS (5 CENTS) PER MILE WOULD BE PROPER UNDER THE TERMS OF THE CONTRACT WHICH DOES NOT STIPULATE ANY SPECIFIC AMOUNT TO BE REIMBURSED NOR ANY RATE TO BE USED AS A BASIS THEREFOR.

B-21982, DECEMBER 18, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 588

CONTRACTS - COST-PLUS - TRAVELING EXPENSES OF CONTRACTORS' EMPLOYEES - LOCAL TRAVEL A COST-PLUS-A-FIXED-FEE CONTRACTOR OPERATING A PLANT ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR THE EXPENSES PAID TO ITS EMPLOYEES FOR TRAVEL BETWEEN THE VARIOUS BUILDINGS FORMING A PART OF THE ENTIRE PLANT LOCATED ENTIRELY WITHIN THE CITY LIMITS OF THE EMPLOYEES' PERMANENT STATION, AND WHERE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH ITS ESTABLISHED PRACTICE, THE CONTRACTOR HAS ALLOWED THE EMPLOYEES 5 CENTS PER MILE IN LIEU OF ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED IN THEIR OWN AUTOMOBILES, THE CONTRACTOR MAY BE REIMBURSED ON THAT BASIS EVEN THOUGH THE CONTRACT MAKES NO PROVISION AS TO THE AMOUNT FOR REIMBURSEMENT OR THE RATE TO BE USED AS A BASIS THEREFOR. DECISION DISCUSSES THE TYPE OF EVIDENCE NECESSARY TO SUPPORT PAYMENTS IN CASES OF LOCAL TRAVEL UNDER THE INVOLVED FORM OF CONTRACT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO MAJ. W. GRITZ, UNITED STATES ARMY, DECEMBER 18, 1941:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED, BY REFERENCE FROM THE UNDER SECRETARY OF WAR, YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 3, 1941, AS FOLLOWS:

1. THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER STATED ON STANDARD FORM 1034, IN FAVOR OF THE UNITED STATES CARTRIDGE COMPANY, UNDER CONTRACT W ORD-491, OF DECEMBER 4, 1941, HAVING BEEN PRESENTED TO THE UNDERSIGNED DISBURSING OFFICER REQUESTING PAYMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $26.20, AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR AMOUNTS PAID TO MR. A. L. NEWBOULD AND SIX (6) OTHERS, IS SUBMITTED FOR ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE LEGAL AUTHORITY FOR ITS PAYMENT.

2. THE VOUCHER IS BASED ON THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 1 (J) TITLE II, ARTICLE II-A, OF THE CONTRACT QUOTED BELOW FOR READY REFERENCE:

"/J) SUCH PORTION OF THE TRANSPORTATION, TRAVELING AND HOTEL EXPENSE OF ENGINEERS AND OTHER EMPLOYEES OF THE CONTRACTOR AS IS ACTUALLY INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THIS WORK; AND, WHEN APPROVED IN ADVANCE IN WRITING BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IN SPECIFIC CASES, ALL COSTS AND EXPENSES REIMBURSED TO EMPLOYEES TRANSFERRED TO OR FROM THE PLANT ON ACCOUNT OF TRANSPORTATION AND LIVING EXPENSES OF THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES, LOSSES DUE TO SALE OF HOMES AT LESS THAN THE APPRAISAL VALUE AS FIXED BY THE CONTRACTOR IN HANDLING SIMILAR MATTERS CONCERNING ITS EMPLOYEES, UNEXPIRED LEASES, AND LIVING EXPENSES WHILE OBTAINING NEW RESIDENCES. IT IS AGREED THAT ALL ALLOWANCES OF COST UNDER THIS ITEM SHALL CONFORM TO AND NOT EXCEED THE ORDINARY ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED BY THE CONTRACTOR FOR ITS EMPLOYEES IN THE NORMAL CONDUCT OF ITS BUSINESS.'

3. WHILE THE EXPENSE FOR TRAVELING WAS APPARENTLY INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE WORK, AND IS AUTHORIZED IN THE ABOVE QUOTED PARAGRAPH OF THE CONTRACT, DOUBT EXISTS AS TO THE PROPRIETY FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL WITHIN THE CITY LIMITS OF THE EMPLOYEE'S PERMANENT STATION.

4. IT IS ALSO REQUESTED THAT RULING BE GIVEN WHETHER REIMBURSEMENT AT FIVE CENTS (5 CENTS) PER MILE WOULD BE PROPER UNDER THE TERMS OF THE CONTRACT WHICH DOES NOT STIPULATE ANY SPECIFIC AMOUNT TO BE REIMBURSED NOR ANY RATE TO BE USED AS A BASIS THEREFOR; ALSO, WHETHER THE APPROVAL OF THE TRAVEL AS GIVEN BY ST LIEUT. E. E. GIALDINI, ORDNANCE DEPT. (NOT SHOWN AS EITHER THE CONTRACTING OFFICER OR CONSTRUCTING QUARTERMASTER) IS SUFFICIENT IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS THAT SUCH TRAVEL EXPENSES ARE TO BE REIMBURSED WHEN APPROVED IN ADVANCE BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER.

THE CONTRACT PROVIDES FOR THE OPERATION OF A SMALL-ARMS AMMUNITION PLANT, TO BE PROVIDED UNDER COLLATERAL CONTRACTS AND UNDER CONTRACT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND THE WESTERN CARTRIDGE CO., EAST ALTON, ILL., AND SAID PLANT IS DESCRIBED AS COMPRISING "A PLANT LOCATED AT ONE OR MORE PLACES AT OR NEAR ST. LOUIS, MO., " INCLUDING PARTS MANUFACTURING AND LOADING BUILDINGS, POWDER STORAGE AREA SEPARATE FROM MANUFACTURING AND LOADING UNITS AND REMOVED FROM POPULOUS AREA, ADMINISTRATION BUILDINGS, TRAINING SCHOOL, MAGAZINES, SHOPS, ETC. IN VIEW THEREOF, IT IS APPARENT THAT THE TRIPS HERE INVOLVED, WHICH WERE MADE BY EMPLOYEES ENGAGED IN PLANT SUPERVISION, INSPECTION, AND PAY ROLL WORK, CONCERNED TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN VARIOUS BUILDINGS FORMING A PART OF THE ENTIRE PLANT AND, THEREFORE, DID NOT OPERATE TO PLACE SUCH EMPLOYEES IN A TRAVEL STATUS, AWAY FROM OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS, WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE APPLICABLE CONTRACT PROVISION REQUIRING PRIOR APPROVAL OF TRAVEL, OR WITHIN THE CONTEMPLATION OF THE STANDARD GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. RATHER, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT SUCH TRANSPORTATION AS HERE BECAME NECESSARY IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THE CONTRACT IS MORE COMPARABLE WITH TRAVEL PERFORMED BY GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES WITHIN THEIR OFFICIAL STATIONS, THE COST OF WHICH MAY BE REIMBURSED EVEN THOUGH SUCH TRAVEL MAY BE CONFINED WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF A PARTICULAR CITY. SEE 19 COMP. GEN. 836.

WITH YOUR LETTER THERE WAS TRANSMITTED A REPORT FROM THE COMMANDING OFFICER, ST. LOUIS ORDNANCE PLANT, WHO APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN DESIGNATED AS CONTRACTING OFFICER, PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE III-T OF THE CONTRACT. ALSO, THERE WERE FORWARDED CERTAIN PAPERS, INCLUDING COPIES OF LETTERS EVIDENCING THE APPOINTMENT OF FIRST LT. EDGAR E. GIALDINI AS CONTRACTING OFFICER'S REPRESENTATIVE FOR THE PURPOSE OF GRANTING PRIOR APPROVAL FOR TRAVEL OF CONTRACTOR'S EMPLOYEES, AND THE FACT THAT THE CONTRACTING COMPANY'S NORMAL POLICY IS TO ALLOW ITS EMPLOYEES WHO MAKE USE OF THEIR PERSONAL AUTOMOBILES AS A MEANS OF TRAVEL IN COMPANY BUSINESS 5 CENTS PER MILE FOR ACTUAL MILEAGE TRAVELED, AND NECESSARY BRIDGE TOLLS AND PARKING CHARGES. ALSO INCLUDED WITH SAID PAPERS IS AN ENDORSEMENT, DATED NOVEMBER 6, 1941, FROM THE CHIEF OF ORDNANCE, DIRECTING ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT THE ITEMS OF TRAVEL EXPENSE SHOWN ON THE VOUCHER ARE NOT SUPPORTED BY SPEEDOMETER READINGS HAVING REFERENCE TO DISTANCES TRAVELED, OR OTHER ESSENTIAL DATA USUALLY REQUIRED IN CONNECTION WITH CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSE OF THIS KIND; AND SUGGESTING THAT THIS OFFICE RENDER A DECISION SETTING FORTH THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS WHICH WOULD BE SATISFACTORY IN FUTURE CASES.

THE VARIOUS TRAVEL ORDERS, PREPARED BY THE CONTRACTOR AND APPROVED BY LIEUTENANT GIALDINI, STATE THAT THE TRAVEL IN QUESTION WAS NECESSARY FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE CONTRACT, AND THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S REPORT IS TO THE EFFECT THAT SAID TRAVEL, AS ACTUALLY PERFORMED, CONSISTED OF A SERIES OF SHORT LOCAL TRIPS, WITH REFERENCE TO WHICH IT WAS FOUND IMPRACTICABLE TO FURNISH SPEEDOMETER READINGS OR OTHER SIMILAR DATA IN EVIDENCE THEREOF. HOWEVER, IT IS STATED IN SAID REPORT THAT IN APPROVING THE VOUCHER IT HAD BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT THE TRAVEL IN THE AMOUNT SET FORTH THEREIN ACTUALLY HAD BEEN PERFORMED.

IT WOULD APPEAR FROM THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE PRESENT CASE THAT ANY DEFINITE RULE WITH RESPECT TO THE TYPE OF EVIDENCE NECESSARY IN ALL CASES OF TRAVEL UNDER THIS FORM OF CONTRACT MIGHT UNNECESSARILY RESTRICT GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING OFFICERS IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DUTIES UNDER SUCH CONTRACTS. HOWEVER, IT MAY BE STATED GENERALLY THAT TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHERS INVOLVING NUMEROUS LOCAL TRIPS SHOULD BE SUPPORTED BY NECESSARY AVAILABLE DATA PARTICULARLY SHOWING THE ACTUAL PERFORMANCE OF THE TRAVEL AND THAT SAME WAS NECESSARY IN CONNECTION WITH THE PERFORMANCE OF THE WORK, THE ACTUAL TRAVEL AND AMOUNT THEREOF TO BE VERIFIED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER OR HIS AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE. IN MAKING SUCH VERIFICATIONS THERE SHOULD BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION THE POSSIBILITY THAT IN APPLICABLE CASES AT LEAST PART OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ALLOWED A PARTICULAR EMPLOYEE MIGHT BE SUBJECT TO AN ADJUSTMENT ON ACCOUNT OF THE SAVING OF ANY NORMAL PERSONAL EXPENSE, WHERE SUCH ALLOWANCE INCLUDES TRAVEL FROM HIS RESIDENCE DIRECTLY TO HIS ASSIGNED TEMPORARY PLACE OF DUTY.

WITH RESPECT TO YOUR QUESTION REGARDING THE ALLOWANCE OF 5 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE OPERATION OF AN EMPLOYEE'S AUTOMOBILE, IN LIEU OF ACTUAL EXPENSE INCURRED IN TRAVEL REQUIRED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THE CONTRACT WORK, IT APPEARS THAT SAID ALLOWANCE WAS IN CONFORMANCE WITH THE COMPANY'S ESTABLISHED POLICY IN THE NORMAL CONDUCT OF ITS BUSINESS, AND THEREFORE, THE AMOUNTS PAID TO THE EMPLOYEES ON SUCH BASIS ARE CLEARLY FOR REIMBURSEMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT UNDER THE TERMS OF THE CONTRACT.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER AND SUPPORTING PAPERS ARE RETURNED, HEREWITH, AND YOU ARE ADVISED THAT PAYMENT THEREON IS AUTHORIZED, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.