B-24773, APRIL 1, 1942, 21 COMP. GEN. 899

B-24773: Apr 1, 1942

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THE CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF MILEAGE FOR THE USE OF THE AUTOMOBILE UPON CERTIFICATION THAT HE PAID THE OPERATING EXPENSES THEREOF. REGARDLESS OF WHETHER PAYMENT OF MILEAGE ALLOWANCE TO THE OFFICER WAS PROPER. 1942: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 21. WAS ORDERED TO PROCEED TO VARIOUS POINTS IN THE STATES OF VIRGINIA. AS IT WAS MORE ECONOMICAL AND MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT AND IN VIEW OF THE NECESSITY OF HAVING WITH HIM CERTAIN EQUIPMENT. LURIE WAS AUTHORIZED TO PERFORM THE TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AND WAS ALLOWED EXPENSES ON A MILEAGE BASIS AT THE RATE OF 3 1/2 CENTS PER MILE FOR TRANSPORTATION. LURIE SUBMITTED A TRAVEL EXPENSE CLAIM ON WHICH IT WAS SHOWN THAT IN PERFORMING THE ORDERED DUTY.

B-24773, APRIL 1, 1942, 21 COMP. GEN. 899

MILEAGE - TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE - JOINT WHERE A NAVY DEPARTMENT CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE, AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL ON A MILEAGE FOR USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE BASIS, TRAVELED IN A NAVY OFFICER'S AUTOMOBILE ACCOMPANIED BY THE OFFICER WHO HAS BEEN PAID MILEAGE ALLOWANCE UNDER SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, THE CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF MILEAGE FOR THE USE OF THE AUTOMOBILE UPON CERTIFICATION THAT HE PAID THE OPERATING EXPENSES THEREOF, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER PAYMENT OF MILEAGE ALLOWANCE TO THE OFFICER WAS PROPER. COMP. GEN. 512, INVOLVING TRAVEL BY TWO OR MORE CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES IN THE SAME AUTOMOBILE, DISTINGUISHED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, APRIL 1, 1942:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 21, 1942, LL/L20-3/420312) S, MFL:KG, AS FOLLOWS:

UNDER ORDERS OF DECEMBER 29, 1941, MR. WILLIAM B. LURIE, A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT ON PERMANENT DUTY AT WASHINGTON, D.C., WAS ORDERED TO PROCEED TO VARIOUS POINTS IN THE STATES OF VIRGINIA, NORTH AND SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA FOR TEMPORARY DUTY IN CONNECTION WITH OBTAINING MAGNETIC COMPASS DATA. AS IT WAS MORE ECONOMICAL AND MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT AND IN VIEW OF THE NECESSITY OF HAVING WITH HIM CERTAIN EQUIPMENT, INCLUDING COMPASS TESTING APPARATUS, MR. LURIE WAS AUTHORIZED TO PERFORM THE TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AND WAS ALLOWED EXPENSES ON A MILEAGE BASIS AT THE RATE OF 3 1/2 CENTS PER MILE FOR TRANSPORTATION.

UPON COMPLETION OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY AND ON RETURN TO WASHINGTON, MR. LURIE SUBMITTED A TRAVEL EXPENSE CLAIM ON WHICH IT WAS SHOWN THAT IN PERFORMING THE ORDERED DUTY, MR. LURIE USED AN AUTOMOBILE REGISTERED IN THE NAME OF LIEUTENANT (J.G.) W. G. WHITE, U.S.N. MR. LURIE CERTIFIED THAT HE ACTUALLY PAID THE OPERATING EXPENSES OF THE MOTOR VEHICLE USED, AND THAT HE HAD NOT RECOVERED ANY PART OF SUCH EXPENSES IN ANY MANNER WHATSOEVER. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF THE STATEMENT THAT IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THE ORDERED DUTY HE TRAVELED IN COMPANY WITH LIEUTENANT (J.G.) W. G. WHITE, U.S.N., THE CLAIM WAS PAID FOR PER DIEM ONLY ON VOUCHER NO. 203623 FEBRUARY 1941, ACCOUNTS OF STEPHEN J. BRUNE, CAPTAIN ( S.C.) U.S.N., AND THE SUM OF $100.87, COVERING 2,882 MILES AT 3 1/2 CENTS PER MILE, WAS WITHHELD.

UPON INVESTIGATION, IT WAS FOUND THAT LIEUTENANT WHITE, UNDER TEMPORARY DUTY ORDERS OF DECEMBER 30, 1941, WAS ORDERED TO PROCEED TO THE SAME POINTS AS NAMED IN MR. LURIE'S ORDERS. THE TRAVEL WAS COMPLETED AND MILEAGE CLAIM, WITH THE STATEMENT THAT NO GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WAS FURNISHED, WAS PRESENTED AND PAID UNDER VOUCHER NO. 174573, JANUARY 20, 1942, ACCOUNTS OF STEPHEN J. BRUNE, CAPTAIN, ( S.C.) U.S.N.

A SUPPLEMENTAL CLAIM, IN THE SUM OF $100.87, REPRESENTING THE AMOUNT WITHHELD, AS ABOVE STATED, AND ELIMINATED FROM THE ORIGINAL CLAIM, HAS NOW BEEN SUBMITTED BY MR. LURIE AND YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES REPORTED, PAYMENT OF SUCH SUPPLEMENTAL CLAIM SHOULD BE MADE. FOR THIS PURPOSE THERE IS ENCLOSED AN EXTRACT FROM THE CLAIM OF MR. LURIE SHOWING THE EXPENSES INCURRED.

THE SUBMITTED EXTRACT FROM MR. LURIE'S CLAIM ( STANDARD FORM 1012C REVISED) CONTAINS A CERTIFICATE, AS FOLLOWS:

I FURTHER CERTIFY THAT I ACTUALLY INCURRED OR PAID (EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE EXPLAINED) THE ACTUAL OPERATING EXPENSES OF THE MOTOR VEHICLE INDICATED, FOR WHICH COMMUTATION IS CLAIMED ON A MILEAGE BASIS, AND THAT I HAVE NOT RECOVERED ANY PART OF SUCH EXPENSES IN ANY MANNER WHATSOEVER, EXCEPT AS SHOWN ABOVE.

IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THE ABOVE MILEAGE I TRAVELED IN COMPANY WITH LT. (J.G.) W. G. WHITE, BUREAU OF SHIPS, WHO HAS NOT PAID, OR WILL NOT PAY, THE AMOUNT OF THE DEDUCTION SHOWN ABOVE, OR WILL NOT CLAIM REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR.

THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, 46 STAT. 1103, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 9 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933, 47 STAT. 1516, AND AS FURTHER AMENDED BY THE ACT OF APRIL 25, 1940, 54 STAT. 167, PROVIDES:

THAT A CIVILIAN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE ENGAGED IN NECESSARY TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AWAY FROM HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY MAY BE PAID, IN LIEU OF ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION, UNDER REGULATIONS TO BE PRESCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT, NOT TO EXCEED 2 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED MOTORCYCLE OR 5 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FOR SUCH TRANSPORTATION, WHENEVER SUCH MODE OF TRAVEL HAS BEEN PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED AND PAYMENT ON SUCH MILEAGE BASIS IS MORE ECONOMICAL AND ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE UNITED STATES. * * *

SEE, ALSO, PARAGRAPH 12 (A) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AS AMENDED. 19 COMP. GEN. 984.

IN DECISION OF MARCH 8, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 512, WHEREIN WAS CONSIDERED THE ABOVE-QUOTED STATUTE AND THE CITED REGULATIONS WITH REFERENCE TO TRAVEL BY TWO OR MORE CIVILIANS IN A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE, IT WAS HELD (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS):

WHERE TWO OR MORE CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES PERFORM AN OFFICIAL TRIP IN A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE, ONLY ONE OF THEM MAY BE REIMBURSED ON A MILEAGE BASIS. 8 COMP. GEN. 134, INVOLVING A MONEY ALLOWANCE TO NAVY ENLISTED MEN, DISTINGUISHED.

THAT RULE, HOWEVER, IS NOT APPLICABLE IN THIS CASE BECAUSE HERE THE OTHER TRAVELER WAS NOT A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE BUT AN OFFICER OF THE NAVY WHOSE MILEAGE ALLOWANCE IS FOR CONSIDERATION UNDER ANOTHER STATUTE, TO WIT, SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, 42 STAT. 681, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 1, 1926, 44 STAT. 680. THE PROPRIETY OF THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE TO THE NAVAL OFFICER UNDER THE STATED FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES WILL BE FOR CONSIDERATION IN THE AUDIT OF THE ACCOUNTS OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER INVOLVED.

IN DECISION OF JUNE 18, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 913, IT WAS HELD (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS):

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.

AS MR. LURIE HAS CERTIFIED ON THE VOUCHER THAT HE PAID THE ACTUAL OPERATING EXPENSES OF THE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE IN WHICH THE OFFICIAL TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED, HE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF MILEAGE AT THE RATE OF 3 1/2 CENTS PER MILE--- WHICH RATE, IT IS UNDERSTOOD, WAS THE RATE AUTHORIZED IN HIS TRAVEL ORDER--- REGARDLESS OF THE FACT THAT HE TRAVELED IN COMPANY WITH A NAVAL OFFICER AND REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE MILEAGE PAYMENT TO THE NAVAL OFFICER WAS PROPER.