B-28820, OCTOBER 1, 1942, 22 COMP. GEN. 296

B-28820: Oct 1, 1942

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AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE ACT OF DECEMBER 29. - "* * * CERTIFYING OFFICERS * * * SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO APPLY FOR AND OBTAIN A DECISION BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL ON ANY QUESTION OF LAW INVOLVED IN A PAYMENT ON ANY VOUCHERS PRESENTED TO THEM FOR CERTIFICATION.'. THERE IS TRANSMITTED FOR ADVANCE DECISION AS TO LEGALITY OF PAYMENT TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MRS. COPY OF WHICH IS ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER. THE WORK WAS OF A CONFIDENTIAL NATURE DIRECTLY CONNECTED WITH THE WAR EFFORT OF THE DEPARTMENT. IT WAS EXTREMELY NECESSARY THAT IT BE CONDUCTED WITH ALL POSSIBLE SPEED. STRICT RECORD WAS KEPT OF THE MILEAGE DRIVEN WITHIN THE STATES OF MARYLAND AND VIRGINIA. ADEQUATE AUTHORITY FOR INCURRING THE EXPENSE IS FURNISHED IN THE LETTER OF AUTHORIZATION.

B-28820, OCTOBER 1, 1942, 22 COMP. GEN. 296

USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AT OFFICIAL STATION ON ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS IN VIEW OF THE PROHIBITION IN SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF JULY 16, 1914, AGAINST THE USE OF APPROPRIATED MONEYS FOR THE PURCHASE, MAINTENANCE, REPAIR, OR OPERATION OF MOTOR-PROPELLED PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES UNLESS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY LAW, AN EMPLOYEE MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS OR OTHERWISE FOR USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL PERFORMED WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION, IN THE ABSENCE OF A PROVISION IN THE APPROPRIATION SOUGHT TO BE CHARGED AUTHORIZING, GENERALLY, THE OPERATION, ETC., OF MOTOR-PROPELLED PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES. 22 COMP. GEN. 62, AMPLIFIED; 15 COMP. GEN. 819, DISTINGUISHED. AN APPROPRIATION PROVIDING FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF THREE DESIGNATED PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS OVERCOMING THE PROHIBITION IN SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF JULY 16, 1914, AGAINST THE USE OF APPROPRIATED MONEYS FOR THE PURCHASE, MAINTENANCE, REPAIR, OR OPERATION OF MOTOR-PROPELLED PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES UNLESS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY LAW, TO THE EXTENT OF AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT FROM SUCH APPROPRIATION OF AN EMPLOYEE'S ACTUAL EXPENSES OF OPERATING A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO RAYMOND J. WEIR, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, OCTOBER 1, 1942:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 9, 1942, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE ACT OF DECEMBER 29, 1941, PUBLIC LAW NO. 389, 77TH CONGRESS. IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 3 OF THIS ACT WHICH PROVIDES THAT---

"* * * CERTIFYING OFFICERS * * * SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO APPLY FOR AND OBTAIN A DECISION BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL ON ANY QUESTION OF LAW INVOLVED IN A PAYMENT ON ANY VOUCHERS PRESENTED TO THEM FOR CERTIFICATION.' THERE IS TRANSMITTED FOR ADVANCE DECISION AS TO LEGALITY OF PAYMENT TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MRS. PHYLLIS H. HAWKINS.

MRS. HAWKINS' LETTER OF AUTHORITY, COPY OF WHICH IS ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER, PROVIDES FOR USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AS FOLLOWS:

"/A) 5 CENTS PER MILE FOR TRAVEL WITHIN 50 MILE RADIUS OUTSIDE THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF OFFICIAL STATION.

"/B) ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR GASOLINE AND OIL FOR TRAVEL WHOLLY WITHIN THE AREA DEFINED BY OFFICIAL STATION.'

AS INDICATED IN THE SUPPORTING STATEMENT OF MR. CHALMERS T. FORSTER, CHIEF, DIVISION OF INVESTIGATIONS, THE WORK WAS OF A CONFIDENTIAL NATURE DIRECTLY CONNECTED WITH THE WAR EFFORT OF THE DEPARTMENT, AND IT WAS EXTREMELY NECESSARY THAT IT BE CONDUCTED WITH ALL POSSIBLE SPEED. THE TRAVELER WORKED NOT ONLY DURING OFFICE HOURS, BUT IN THE EVENINGS, ON SUNDAYS, AND ON SATURDAY AFTERNOONS, MAKING STOPS WITHIN THE DISTRICT, IN MARYLAND AND IN VIRGINIA, IN HER INVESTIGATION OF THE EMPLOYEES AFFECTED, ACCUMULATING DURING THE PERIOD OF THE TRAVEL A TOTAL OF 441 MILES.

IN ORDER TO CONFORM TO THE RESTRICTIONS OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, 46 STAT. 1103, WHICH RESTRICTS REIMBURSEMENT FOR USE OF PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE UPON A MILEAGE BASIS TO TRAVEL OUTSIDE THE LIMITS OF DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY, STRICT RECORD WAS KEPT OF THE MILEAGE DRIVEN WITHIN THE STATES OF MARYLAND AND VIRGINIA, AND CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT HAS BEEN PREPARED ON THE BASIS OF THAT RECORD, AS REPORTED ON MILEAGE REPORT FORM 1012-E.

THE OFFICIAL NECESSITY FOR THE USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE IN THE CONDUCT OF THE WORK HAS BEEN AMPLY SET FORTH, AND ADEQUATE AUTHORITY FOR INCURRING THE EXPENSE IS FURNISHED IN THE LETTER OF AUTHORIZATION.

SINCE THE CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT INDICATES THAT THE TRAVEL WAS WITHIN THE CITY LIMITS OF WASHINGTON OR ADJACENT COMMUNITIES AND SOME TRIPS INVOLVED BOTH A MILEAGE CLAIM AND ACTUAL EXPENSES, THE VOUCHER IS SUBMITTED FOR DETERMINATION AS TO THE LEGALITY OF PAYMENT.

THE VOUCHER SUBMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER REPRESENTS THAT THE MILEAGE CLAIMED BY THE EMPLOYEE INVOLVES ONLY THE TRAVEL PERFORMED BY HER OUTSIDE OF THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF WASHINGTON, D.C., THE EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS, AND THAT THE AMOUNT CLAIMED FOR REIMBURSEMENT ON AN ESTIMATED ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS FOR GAS AND OIL INVOLVES OFFICIAL TRAVEL PERFORMED WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF WASHINGTON, D.C. IN THAT CONNECTION THE EMPLOYEE STATED ON THE VOUCHER AS FOLLOWS:

MILEAGE, OUTSIDE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AT 5 CENTS PER MI.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA TRAVEL, FIGURED ON REIMBURSABLE BASIS--- 15 MILES, PREDETERMINED ON BASIS OF OPA RULINGS, PER GALLON, OR 13 1/2 GALLONS AT 21.2 CENTS PER GALLON.

I HEREBY CERTIFY THAT TRAVEL INDICATED WAS PERFORMED IN CONNECTION WITH CONFIDENTIAL INVESTIGATIONS, WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AS WELL AS OUTSIDE, AS CLAIMED; THAT THE INFORMATION IS CORRECT; AND THAT NO PART OF THE TRAVEL FOR WHICH COMPENSATION IS CLAIMED WAS PERFORMED BETWEEN RESIDENCE AND PLACE OF BUSINESS.

THE VOUCHER IS ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADMINISTRATIVE EXPLANATORY STATEMENT AS FOLLOWS:

HEREWITH IS THE REIMBURSEMENT ACCOUNT OF MRS. PHYLLIS H. HAWKINS FOR THE PERIOD JULY 8 TO 31, 1942, COVERING EXPENSES INCURRED BY HER UNDER A LETTER OF AUTHORIZATION, NO. 34-/O), DATED JULY 2, 1942. THIS ACCOUNT CLAIMS REIMBURSEMENT ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS FOR THE USE OF HER PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF HER HEADQUARTERS, THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND OUTSIDE HER HEADQUARTERS IN VISITING SUCH POINTS AS BELTSVILLE, LANHAM, AND SUITLAND, MARYLAND, VARIOUS POINTS IN ARLINGTON COUNTY AND ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA, ETC., AT THE RATE OF FIVE CENTS A MILE.

FOR CONSIDERATION IN CONNECTION WITH THIS ACCOUNT, I SHOULD LIKE TO EXPLAIN THAT THIS OFFICE HAS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF INVESTIGATING AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE THE BACKGROUND OF A LARGE NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES WHO ARE ENGAGED ON VITAL WAR WORK OF A CONFIDENTIAL NATURE. BECAUSE OF THE URGENCY FOR THE COMPLETION OF THIS WORK, AND ALSO BECAUSE OF THE SHORTAGE OF INVESTIGATORS BY REASON OF THEIR LOSS TO THE ARMED SERVICES AND TO AGENCIES OF HIGHER PRIORITY THAN THIS DEPARTMENT, IT IS DEEMED ADVISABLE TO USE AUTOMOBILE TRANSPORTATION IN LOCATING AND INTERVIEWING EMPLOYEES AND EXAMINING RECORDS AT OUTLYING POINTS. IN LOCATING AND INTERVIEWING EMPLOYEES AND EXAMINING RECORDS AT NEARBY POINTS, WE ARE USING STREETCAR TRANSPORTATION.

IT WAS OUR PURPOSE, IN REQUESTING THE LETTER OF AUTHORIZATION FOR MRS. HAWKINS, TO MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR HER TO BE REIMBURSED ON AN ACTUAL COST BASIS FOR MILEAGE INCURRED WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, USING AS A BASIS OF 15 MILES PER GALLON OF GASOLINE ( OPA FORMULA), AND AT THE RATE OF FIVE CENTS A MILE FOR MILEAGE INCURRED IN VISITING POINTS DEFINITELY OUTSIDE THE LIMITS OF HER HEADQUARTERS. MUCH OF THIS WORK MUST BE DONE AFTER REGULAR WORKING HOURS AND ON SUNDAYS, WHICH NATURALLY MAKES IT MORE DIFFICULT TO LOCATE THE PERSONS WHO ARE TO BE INTERVIEWED, AND CONSEQUENTLY THE INVESTIGATION WILL ENTAIL MORE MILEAGE THAN WOULD ORDINARILY BE REQUIRED.

THE SECRETARY PERSONALLY HAS AUTHORIZED THE USE OF MRS. HAWKINS' AUTOMOBILE FOR THIS WORK, AND THE APPROPRIATE RATIONING BOARD, ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS SUBMITTED, HAS ISSUED SUPPLEMENTAL GASOLINE RATIONING COUPONS FOR USE IN THIS WORK.

MY PRIMARY CONCERN IN THIS MATTER, OF COURSE, IS TO GET THIS WORK DONE AS PROMPTLY AND EFFECTIVELY AS POSSIBLE, BUT I AM RELUCTANT TO HAVE MRS. HAWKINS INCUR TOO MUCH EXPENSE BEFORE WE KNOW DEFINITELY THE ATTITUDE OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE TOWARD ALLOWING REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES INCURRED UNDER THESE CONDITIONS. THEREFORE, I SHALL APPRECIATE IT IF THIS ACCOUNT MAY BE PASSED ALONG FOR CONSIDERATION SO THAT WE MAY KNOW WHETHER WE CAN PROCEED TO DO THE WORK IN THIS MANNER WITH THE KNOWLEDGE THAT OUR EMPLOYEES WILL BE REIMBURSED FOR THE EXPENSES WHICH THEY INCUR.

TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. 34-/O) DATED JULY 1, 1942, ISSUED TO MRS. HAWKINS, READS, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

5. TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FOR WHICH THERE WILL BE ALLOWED:

(A) 5 CENTS PER MILE IN LIEU OF ALL OTHER TRANSPORTATION COSTS IF SUCH ALLOWANCE IS MORE ECONOMICAL AND ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. SINCE ECONOMY AND ADVANTAGE HAVE NOT BEEN PREDETERMINED, A SHOWING OF SUCH ECONOMY AND ADVANTAGE MUST ACCOMPANY VOUCHERS COVERING SUCH TRAVEL. (SEE * * * ON PAGE 2)

(D) ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR GASOLINE AND OIL WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF YOUR OFFICIAL STATION. (SEE ** ON PAGE 2)

* THIS AUTHORITY APPLIES ONLY TO TRAVEL WITHIN 50 MILE RADIUS OUTSIDE THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF YOUR OFFICIAL STATION.

** THIS AUTHORITY APPLIES ONLY TO TRAVEL WHOLLY WITHIN THE AREA DEFINED AS YOUR OFFICIAL STATION.

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 THE ACT OF APRIL 25, 1940, 54 STAT. 167, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

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. * * *

THE ABOVE-QUOTED ADMINISTRATIVE EXPLANATORY STATEMENT SUBMITTED WITH THE VOUCHER WILL BE ACCEPTED BY THIS OFFICE AS ESTABLISHING THAT IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED, AS REQUIRED BY LAW AND BY THE TERMS OF PARAGRAPH 5 (A) OF THE TRAVEL ORDER, THAT PAYMENT ON A MILEAGE BASIS FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED OUTSIDE OF THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF WASHINGTON, D.C., IS MORE ECONOMICAL AND ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE UNITED STATES THAN TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER, AND IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, THE AMOUNT CLAIMED FOR MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL OUTSIDE THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS PAYABLE. WHETHER THE AMOUNT CLAIMED FOR ESTIMATED ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR TRAVEL WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF WASHINGTON, D.C., IS PAYABLE REQUIRES THE CONSIDERATION OF OTHER APPLICABLE STATUTES.

SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF JULY 16, 1914, 38 STAT. 508, PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

* * * THERE SHALL NOT BE EXPENDED OUT OF ANY APPROPRIATION MADE BY CONGRESS ANY SUM FOR THE PURCHASE, MAINTENANCE, REPAIR, OR OPERATION OF MOTOR-PROPELLED OR HORSE-DRAWN PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES FOR ANY BRANCH OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES UNLESS THE SAME IS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY LAW * * *.

WITH REFERENCE TO THAT STATUTE IT WAS STATED IN THE DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 24, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 212, 213, AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF JULY 16, 1914, 38 STAT. 508, CONTAINS THE GENERAL PROHIBITION AGAINST THE USE OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR PURCHASE, MAINTENANCE, REPAIR, OR OPERATION OF MOTOR-PROPELLED OR HORSE-DRAWN PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES UNLESS THE SAME IS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY LAW. DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE HAVE DISTINGUISHED BETWEEN THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE FOR OFFICIAL BUSINESS AT THE OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS OR DUTY STATION OF AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE AND THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL AWAY FROM THE OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS OR DUTY STATION OF AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE. THE FORMER IS WITHIN THE PROHIBITION OF THE 1914 STATUTE AS BEING TANTAMOUNT TO THE MAINTENANCE OR OPERATION OF A PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLE, BUT THE LATTER IS NOT WITHIN THE PROHIBITION, FOR THE REASON THAT THE TRAVEL IS CONSIDERED AS IN LIEU OF TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER OR OTHER PUBLIC CONVEYANCE AUTHORIZED BY LAW, REIMBURSEMENT FOR AUTHORIZED ITEMS OF OPERATING EXPENSES BEING LIMITED TO NOT IN EXCESS OF WHAT IT WOULD HAVE COST THE GOVERNMENT HAD THE TRAVEL BEEN PERFORMED BY COMMON CARRIER OR OTHER PUBLIC CONVEYANCE. 4 COMP. GEN. 836; 5 ID. 183.

ALSO, IN DECISION OF JANUARY 11, 1942, TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, 11 COMP. GEN. 271, 273, IT WAS STATED:

REIMBURSEMENT FOR USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FOR TRANSPORTATION WITHIN THE LIMITS OF EMPLOYEE'S HEADQUARTERS WOULD BE IN CONTRAVENTION OF THE ACT OF JULY 16, 1914, 38 STAT. 508, UNLESS CHARGEABLE UNDER AN APPROPRIATION WHICH IS SPECIFICALLY AVAILABLE FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF MOTOR-PROPELLED PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES. 10 COMP. GEN. 409; 11 ID. 67; ID. 91. EVEN WHEN CHARGEABLE UNDER AN APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES, REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AT EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS IS LIMITED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENDITURES, SUCH AS THE COST OF GASOLINE AND OIL ACTUALLY CONSUMED, AND IN SUCH CASES IT MUST BE ESTABLISHED BY COMPETENT EVIDENCE THAT NO PART OF SUCH EXPENDITURES WAS DUE TO THE USE OF THE AUTOMOBILE UPON PRIVATE OR PERSONAL BUSINESS OR PLEASURE. 2 COMP. GEN. 329. THE APPROPRIATION PROPOSED TO BE CHARGED IN THE PRESENT CASE," BUREAU OF ANIMAL INDUSTRY, 1932," ACT OF FEBRUARY 23, 1931, 46 STAT. 1251, CONTAINS NO PROVISION FOR THE OPERATION OR MAINTENANCE OF MOTOR-PROPELLED PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES. ACCORDINGLY, THE REFUSAL TO CERTIFY THE VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT UPON PREAUDIT WAS CORRECT. * * *

SEE, ALSO, 13 COMP. GEN. 82; ID. 178. THE GENERAL STATEMENT IN THE DECISION OF JULY 28, 1942, 22 COMP. GEN. 62, 66, THAT "WHEN PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES ARE USED WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF A HEADQUARTERS CITY, IN THE ABSENCE OF EXPRESS STATUTORY AUTHORITY PROVIDING OTHERWISE, REIMBURSEMENT MUST BE CONFINED TO THE ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS, THAT IS, REIMBURSEMENT FOR GASOLINE AND OIL ACTUALLY CONSUMED NOT IN EXCESS OF THE COST BY PUBLIC CONVEYANCE, IF AVAILABLE," IS, OF COURSE, SUBJECT TO THE CONDITION STATED IN THE OTHER DECISIONS ABOVE CITED THAT THE APPROPRIATION SOUGHT TO BE CHARGED WITH THE REIMBURSEMENT ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS, IS SPECIFICALLY AVAILABLE FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF MOTOR- PROPELLED PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES. 13 COMP. GEN. 178.

THE APPROPRIATION," MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE," ACT OF JULY 22, 1942, 56 STAT. 665, PUBLIC LAW 674, UNDER WHICH THE PROPOSED PAYMENT IS SOUGHT TO BE CHARGED, PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS: * * * FOR THE MAINTENANCE, REPAIR, AND OPERATION OF ONE MOTORCYCLE AND NOT TO EXCEED THREE MOTOR-PROPELLED PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES (INCLUDING ONE FOR THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, ONE FOR GENERAL UTILITY NEEDS OF THE ENTIRE DEPARTMENT, AND ONE FOR THE FOREST SERVICE) AND PURCHASE OF ONE MOTOR-PROPELLED PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLE AT NOT TO EXCEED $1,500, INCLUDING THE EXCHANGE VALUE OF ONE SUCH VEHICLE, FOR OFFICIAL PURPOSES ONLY; FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL EXPENSES, INCLUDING EXAMINATION OF ESTIMATES FOR APPROPRIATIONS IN THE FIELD FOR ANY BUREAU, OFFICE, OR SERVICE OF THE DEPARTMENT; AND FOR OTHER MISCELLANEOUS SUPPLIES AND EXPENSES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR AND NECESSARY FOR THE PRACTICAL AND EFFICIENT WORK OF THE DEPARTMENT, WHICH ARE AUTHORIZED BY SUCH OFFICER AS THE SECRETARY MAY DESIGNATE $98,341, TOGETHER WITH SUCH AMOUNTS FROM OTHER APPROPRIATIONS OR AUTHORIZATIONS AS ARE PROVIDED IN THE SCHEDULES IN THE BUDGET FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1943 FOR SUCH EXPENSES, WHICH SEVERAL AMOUNTS OR PORTIONS THEREOF, AS MAY BE DETERMINED BY THE SECRETARY, NOT EXCEEDING A TOTAL OF $131,605, SHALL BE TRANSFERRED TO AND MADE A PART OF THIS APPROPRIATION: * * *

THERE IS FOR NOTING THAT SAID APPROPRIATION IS AVAILABLE FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF ONLY THE THREE MOTOR-PROPELLED PASSENGER CARRYING VEHICLES THEREIN DESIGNATED. HENCE, SAID STATUTE MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS A GENERAL AUTHORIZATION FOR MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF MOTOR -PROPELLED PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES AT THE HEADQUARTERS OF EMPLOYEES. SEE 15 COMP. GEN. 222, WHEREIN A LIMITATION--- APPEARING IN AN APPROPRIATION ACT--- UPON THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF MOTOR PROPELLED PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES WAS APPLIED IN CONNECTION WITH THE PAYMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR USE OF PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILES AT OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS. COMPARE THE DECISION OF JULY 10, 1940, 20 COMP. GEN. 15, WHEREIN WAS CONSIDERED THE PROVISION IN AN APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION AUTHORIZING AN ALLOWANCE OF "NOT TO EXCEED 3 CENTS PER MILE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED IN THEIR PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILES WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THEIR OFFICIAL POSTS OF DUTY WHEN SUCH WORK IS PERFORMED IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH INSPECTION.' THE ONLY SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR REIMBURSING EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR COST OF OFFICIAL TRAVEL AT THEIR OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS APPEARS IN THE ACT OF AUGUST 10, 1912, 37 STAT. 300 (5 U.S.C. 541), AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT OF STREETCAR FARES.

WHILE, UNDER AN APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES, REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED UPON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS--- INCLUDING AN ESTIMATED AMOUNT BASED ON CERTAIN FACTORS--- FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED IN A PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE WHILE AWAY FROM THE OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS OF AN EMPLOYEE, WHEN THE CONDITIONS PRESCRIBED BY LAW TO AUTHORIZE MILEAGE HAD NOT BEEN MET (15 COMP. GEN. 819), YOU ARE ADVISED THAT UNDER THE LONG STANDING RULE STATED IN THE DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE, SUPRA, REIMBURSEMENT MAY NOT BE MADE TO MRS. HAWKINS, ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS OR OTHERWISE FOR USE OF A PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL PERFORMED WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF WASHINGTON, D.C., HER OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER SHOULD NOT BE CERTIFIED BY YOU IN ITS PRESENT FORM.