B-30715, DECEMBER 16, 1942, 22 COMP. GEN. 544

B-30715: Dec 16, 1942

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MILEAGE - TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE - EMPLOYEE USING HIS AUTOMOBILE TO TRANSPORT OTHER EMPLOYEES ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS WHILE NOT HIMSELF PERFORMING OFFICIAL BUSINESS AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE WHO USES A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF TRANSPORTING OTHER OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES ON AN OFFICIAL BUSINESS TRIP DURING WHICH HE IS NOT HIMSELF PERFORMING OFFICIAL BUSINESS MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS HAVING PERFORMED "NECESSARY TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AWAY FROM HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE MILEAGE FOR USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE STATUE OF FEBRUARY 14. 1942: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 21. IS SUBMITTED FOR YOUR DECISION AS TO THE LEGALITY OF PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT CLAIMED.

B-30715, DECEMBER 16, 1942, 22 COMP. GEN. 544

MILEAGE - TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE - EMPLOYEE USING HIS AUTOMOBILE TO TRANSPORT OTHER EMPLOYEES ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS WHILE NOT HIMSELF PERFORMING OFFICIAL BUSINESS AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE WHO USES A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF TRANSPORTING OTHER OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES ON AN OFFICIAL BUSINESS TRIP DURING WHICH HE IS NOT HIMSELF PERFORMING OFFICIAL BUSINESS MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS HAVING PERFORMED "NECESSARY TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AWAY FROM HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE MILEAGE FOR USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE STATUE OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, AS AMENDED, AND, THEREFORE, MAY NOT BE PAID ON A MILEAGE BASIS FOR SUCH TRAVEL.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THOMAS SMART, AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT AGENCY, DECEMBER 16, 1942:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 21, 1942, AS FOLLOWS:

THE ATTACHED VOUCHER FOR $2.65 SUBMITTED BY MR. EVERETT A. LORD REPRESENTING A RECLAIM OF A LIKE AMOUNT SUSPENDED FROM D.O. VOUCHER NO. 4- 99537, PAID NOVEMBER 2, 1942, G. E. ALLEN SYMBOL NO. 78-604, IS SUBMITTED FOR YOUR DECISION AS TO THE LEGALITY OF PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT CLAIMED.

THE PROPRIETY OF PAYMENT IS QUESTIONED, SINCE THE TRAVEL FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED WAS SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF TRANSPORTING OTHER GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES BETWEEN CACHE JUNCTION AND LOGAN, UTAH.

THE AMOUNT RECLAIMED, $2.65 WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DEDUCTED ON A PRIOR VOUCHER FOR THE STATED REASON "ABOVE AMOUNT SUSPENDED AS IT APPEARS NO OFFICIAL DUTY WAS PERFORMED ON THE ABOVE TRIPS.' THE RECLAIM VOUCHER IS ENDORSED AS FOLLOWS:

MILEAGE FROM LOGAN TO CACHE JUNCTION AND RETURN WAS INCURRED FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF FURNISHING TRANSPORTATION TO OFFICIAL A.A.A. TRAVELERS TO AND FROM THE STATE OFFICE. THUS IS MORE ECONOMICAL AND ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT THAN EXISTING COMMON CARRIER FACILITIES.

ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER IS A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 4, 1942, FROM THE CHAIRMAN, UTAH STATE AAA COMMITTEE, TO THE CHIEF, AUDIT UNIT, CONTROL ACCOUNTS AND AUDIT SECTION, AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT AGENCY, READING, SO FAR AS HERE MATERIAL, AS FOLLOWS:

SINCE THE AUDIT OF TRAVEL VOUCHERS WAS TRANSFERRED TO YOUR OFFICE THERE HAVE BEEN SUSPENSIONS MADE FROM TRAVEL ACCOUNTS FOR EMPLOYEES OF THIS OFFICE BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT THEY HAVE GONE TO CACHE JUNCTION, UTAH TO FURNISH TRANSPORTATION TO SOME OFFICIAL A.A.A. TRAVELER TO OUR OFFICE HERE IN LOGAN. THIS IS RURAL TRAVEL AND THERE IS ONLY ONE COMMON CARRIER DAILY FROM CACHE JUNCTION TO LOGAN. THAT CAR TRAVELS ABOUT NOON AND TAKES ABOUT ONE HOUR TO MAKE THE ONE-WAY TRIP, DEPENDING UPON THE BAGGAGE AND MAIL CARRIED, AS IT GOES TO SEVERAL SMALL TOWNS IN THE VALLEY BEFORE ARRIVING IN LOGAN.

IN ALL CASES THE TRAVEL ACCOUNT CLEARLY STATED THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE TRIP WAS TO FURNISH TRANSPORTATION FROM CACHE JUNCTION TO LOGAN. STILL, THE SUSPENSIONS STATE "IT APPEARS THAT NO OFFICIAL DUTY WAS PERFORMED.' FURTHER, THIS PRACTICE IS NOT CONSISTENT AS THERE HAVE BEEN MANY MORE INSTANCES WHERE THE CLAIMS WERE PAID WITHOUT QUESTION THAN THERE WERE THOSE THAT WERE SUSPENDED.

WE SHOULD LIKE TO CLEAR UP THIS SITUATION SO WE WILL KNOW DEFINITELY WHETHER OR NOT WE SHOULD CONTINUE TO EFFECT THIS SAVINGS TO THE GOVERNMENT OR WHETHER TRAVELERS WILL HAVE TO TRANSFER FROM THE TRAIN AND BUY AN ADDITIONAL TICKET ON THE BUS LINE FROM OGDEN TO LOGAN AND RETURN ON NORTH- BOUND TRIPS, OR FROM BOISE TO POCATELLO, IDAHO TO LOGAN AND THEN TO OGDEN ON SOUTH-BOUND TRIPS WHEN TRAVEL TO LOGAN IS NECESSARY.

IN THESE INSTANCES MENTIONED, AN AUTOMOBILE TRIP OF ABOUT 30 MILES ROUND TRIP BY A STATE OFFICE EMPLOYEE ELIMINATES THE NECESSITY FOR SUCH SCHEDULE CHANGES.

IT SEEMS THAT WHETHER OR NOT THIS CLAIM IS SUSPENDED DEPENDS UPON WHICH AUDIT CLERK HANDLES THE ACCOUNT. WHEN FINAL DETERMINATION IS MADE, ONE WAY OR THE OTHER, WE REQUEST THAT YOU PLEASE ADVISE ALL AUDITORS SO THIS SUSPENSION WILL NOT BE CONTINUALLY RECURRING.

MILEAGE FOR THE USE OF A PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE IS CONTROLLED BY THE PROVISIONS OF 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 4, 1940, 54 STAT. 167, 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. * * * ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

THE USE BY AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF TRANSPORTING OTHER OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS ON A TRIP DURING WHICH THE OWNER OR OPERATOR OF THE CAR IS NOT HIMSELF PERFORMING OFFICIAL BUSINESS, MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS "NECESSARY TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AWAY FROM HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THOSE QUOTED WORDS AS USED IN THE STATUTE, SUPRA. IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES THE OWNER OR OPERATOR OF THE CAR MAY NOT BE PAID MILEAGE UNDER THE QUOTED STATUTE FOR SUCH TRAVEL. THUS, THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE WAS CORRECT IN MAKING THE DEDUCTION ON THE VOUCHER ON ACCOUNT OF THE INVOLVED TRAVEL AND, ACCORDINGLY, CERTIFICATION OF THE RECLAIM VOUCHER IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

THE RIGHT TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE TWO OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES WHO WERE PERFORMING OFFICIAL TRAVEL IN THE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FROM LOGAN TO CACHE JUNCTION AND RETURN IS A DIFFERENT QUESTION AND IS NOT HERE DECIDED. IN THAT CONNECTION SEE, GENERALLY, PARAGRAPHS 11, 12, 12 (A), 80 (E), (H), 83 (E) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS; ALSO, 24 COMP. DEC. 189; 4 COMP. GEN. 836; 15 ID. 76.