B-33611, JUNE 14, 1943, 22 COMP. GEN. 1105

B-33611: Jun 14, 1943

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THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL WAS REQUESTED FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION WITH REGARD TO THE PAYMENT OF A CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT. AS FOLLOWS: "CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENDITURES FROM PERSONAL FUNDS FOR TRANSPORTATION BY COMMON CARRIER WILL. THE ABOVE QUOTED REGULATION WAS INCORPORATED IN THE MARINE CORPS MANUAL PURSUANT TO 8 COMP. WHICH IS QUOTED IN PART IN THE ENCLOSURE. IS QUOTED AS FOLLOWS: "WHERE THE NAVY. PERMITS A MAN ON CHANGE OF STATION TO TRAVEL BY A ROUTE OF HIS OWN SELECTION WITH A PROVISION FOR REIMBURSEMENT * * * THE TRAVEL IS ACTUALLY PERFORMED BY COMMON CARRIER AND RECEIPTS ARE FURNISHED IN SUPPORT OF THE CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT. THE CLAIMS MAY BE PAID.' ( ITALICS SUPPLIED) THERE IS ALSO QUOTED THE FOLLOWING FROM 9 COMP.

B-33611, JUNE 14, 1943, 22 COMP. GEN. 1105

RECEIPTS FOR CASH FARES - TRAVEL BY MARINE CORPS ENLISTED MEN MARINE CORPS REGULATIONS NOW IN EFFECT, WHICH REQUIRE THAT CLAIMS OF ENLISTED MEN FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENDITURES FROM PERSONAL FUNDS FOR TRANSPORTATION BY COMMON CARRIER BE SUPPORTED IN ALL CASES BY INDIVIDUAL RECEIPTS, MAY BE AMENDED SO AS TO DISPENSE WITH THE NECESSITY FOR FURNISHING RECEIPTS FOR CASH FARES EXCEPT IN THOSE CASES WHERE, BY REASON OF PERSONAL CONVENIENCE, THE ENLISTED MAN ELECTS TO PERFORM THE TRAVEL IN A MANNER WHICH PRECLUDES THE USE OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS. COMP. GEN. 94: 9 ID. 271, AMPLIFIED.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, JUNE 14, 1943:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 2, 1943, FILE JAG: K: WJG: GB SO 3 27 78, REQUESTING DECISION ON A MATTER PRESENTED BY THE COMMANDANT, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS, IN HIS LETTER OF MARCH 25, 1943, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCES: (A) LT. COL. E. J. MUND, AQM, USMC, RET-D LTR TO

COMP. GEN. OF FEBRUARY 8, 1943.

(B) ASST. COMP. GEN. DEC. NO. B-32336 TO LT. COL.

E. J. MUND, AQM, USMC, RET-D OF MARCH 18, 1943,

COPY HEREWITH.

(C) ARTICLE 16-12 (2), MARINE CORPS MANUAL.

ENCLOSURE: 1. (B)

1. BY REFERENCE (A), THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL WAS REQUESTED FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION WITH REGARD TO THE PAYMENT OF A CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT, WITHOUT SUPPORTING RECEIPTS, SUBMITTED BY AN ENLISTED MARINE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY COMMON CARRIER AT PERSONAL EXPENSE FROM LOGAN, UTAH, TO CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS, UNDER ORDERS GRANTING A FURLOUGH ENROUTE AND AUTHORIZING TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION OR BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE SUBJECT TO REIMBURSEMENT.

2. BY REFERENCE (B), THE ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL QUOTES ARTICLE 16- 12 (2), MARINE CORPS MANUAL, AS FOLLOWS:

"CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENDITURES FROM PERSONAL FUNDS FOR TRANSPORTATION BY COMMON CARRIER WILL, IN ALL CASES, BE SUPPORTED BY INDIVIDUAL RECEIPTS * * *," AND CONCLUDES THAT "IN VIEW OF SUCH ADMINISTRATIVE REQUIREMENT, THIS OFFICE WOULD NOT BE JUSTIFIED IN AUTHORIZING PAYMENT CONTRARY TO THE PROVISIONS OF SUCH REGULATIONS.'

3. THE ABOVE QUOTED REGULATION WAS INCORPORATED IN THE MARINE CORPS MANUAL PURSUANT TO 8 COMP. GEN. 94, WHICH IS QUOTED IN PART IN THE ENCLOSURE, AND THE PERTINENT PORTION OF WHICH, FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS DISCUSSION, IS QUOTED AS FOLLOWS:

"WHERE THE NAVY, BY APPROPRIATE ORDERS, PERMITS A MAN ON CHANGE OF STATION TO TRAVEL BY A ROUTE OF HIS OWN SELECTION WITH A PROVISION FOR REIMBURSEMENT * * * THE TRAVEL IS ACTUALLY PERFORMED BY COMMON CARRIER AND RECEIPTS ARE FURNISHED IN SUPPORT OF THE CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT, THE CLAIMS MAY BE PAID.' ( ITALICS SUPPLIED) THERE IS ALSO QUOTED THE FOLLOWING FROM 9 COMP. GEN. 271:

"THE RULE REQUIRING RECEIPTS FOR RAILROAD FARE CLAIMED TO HAVE BEEN PAID IN CASH IS FOR APPLICATION IN THOSE CASES OF ENLISTED MEN CLAIMING REIMBURSEMENT FOR CASH FARES IN LIEU OF THE USE OF TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WHICH HAD BEEN FURNISHED TO THEM. * * *" COMMENT IN THE ENCLOSED DECISION IS THEN MADE AS FOLLOWS:

"IT APPEARS FROM THE LANGUAGE OF THE REGULATIONS, SUPRA, THAT IT HAS BEEN DEEMED ADMINISTRATIVELY DESIRABLE IN ALL CASES TO REQUIRE INDIVIDUAL RECEIPTS FROM ENLISTED MEN IN SUPPORT OF THEIR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT BY COMMON CARRIER, EVEN IN THOSE CASES WHERE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS ARE NOT FURNISHED TO THE ENLISTED MEN FOR TRAVEL BETWEEN DUTY STATIONS UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS * * *.' ( ITALICS SUPPLIED) IT APPEARS FROM THIS STATEMENT THAT A DISTINCTION WAS INTENDED TO BE MADE BY 9 COMP. GEN. 271 BETWEEN CASES IN WHICH GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WERE NOT FURNISHED AND THOSE IN WHICH TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS HAD BEEN FURNISHED AND NOT USED ALTHOUGH SUCH DISTINCTION WAS NOT CLEAR TO THIS OFFICE IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE RULING IN 8 COMP. GEN. 94, REQUIRING RECEIPTS, WAS BASED ON ORDERS "WITH A PROVISION FOR REIMBURSEMENT" AND THE FACT THAT THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO REASON FOR ISSUING TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS UNDER SUCH ORDERS. NEITHER WOULD THERE APPEAR TO BE ANY MORE REASON FOR REQUIRING RECEIPTS IN THOSE CASES WHERE TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS ARE ISSUED AND NOT USED, THAN IN THOSE CASES WHERE NO TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WERE ISSUED.

4. SINCE IT APPEARS THAT ARTICLE 16-12 (2), MARINE CORPS MANUAL, IS BASED UPON A MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE DECISIONS OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL REFERRED TO, IT IS PROPOSED TO RESCIND THE REGULATION IN QUESTION, AND IT IS REQUESTED THAT THE MATTER BE PRESENTED TO THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL FOR DECISION AS TO WHETHER, IN THE ABSENCE OF SUCH ADMINISTRATIVE REQUIREMENT, CLAIMS OF ENLISTED PERSONNEL FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY COMMON CARRIER AT PERSONAL EXPENSE MAY BE PAID WITHOUT SUPPORTING RECEIPTS.

IN THE DECISION OF AUGUST 29, 1928, 8 COMP. GEN. 94, THERE WERE CONSIDERED THE CLAIMS OF ENLISTED MEN FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF CASH FARES CLAIMED TO HAVE BEEN PAID IN CONNECTION WITH THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL TRAVEL. THE ENLISTED MEN THERE INVOLVED HAD BEEN FURNISHED GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS BUT BECAUSE OF THEIR PERSONAL DESIRE TO TRAVEL VIA A CIRCUITOUS ROUTE SUCH REQUESTS WERE NOT USED. IT WAS HELD THAT IN SUCH CASES THE ENLISTED MEN MUST FURNISH RECEIPTS FOR CASH FARES PAID IN SUPPORT OF CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THEIR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES. SUCH CONCLUSION WAS REQUIRED FOR THE REASON THAT THERE WAS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR THE COMMUTATION OF SUCH EXPENSES -- ENLISTED MEN BEING LEGALLY ENTITLED ONLY TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE AMOUNT ACTUALLY EXPENDED FOR SUCH TRANSPORTATION NOT TO EXCEED, OF COURSE, THE THROUGH FARE BY THE MOST DIRECT, USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE. WHERE AN ENLISTED MAN ELECTS NOT TO USE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WHICH HAVE BEEN FURNISHED HIM IT IS TO BE PRESUMED THAT SUCH ELECTION IS MADE BECAUSE OF HIS DESIRE TO TRAVEL, FOR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE, IN A MANNER AND POSSIBLY BY A MEANS OF CONVEYANCE THAT PRECLUDES THE USE OF THE REQUESTS. AS STATED IN DECISION OF JANUARY 7, 1930, 9 COMP. GEN. 271, THE REQUIREMENT THAT RECEIPTS BE FURNISHED FOR CASH FARES ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN PAID IS FOR APPLICATION ONLY IN THOSE CASES OF ENLISTED MEN WHO, HAVING BEEN FURNISHED GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS, ELECTED NOT TO USE THEM BUT TO PAY CASH FARES INSTEAD, IT BEING PRESUMED, AS HEREINBEFORE STATED, THAT SUCH ELECTION WAS FOR THEIR PERSONAL BENEFIT OR CONVENIENCE. ALSO, SUCH ELECTION GIVES RISE TO DOUBT AS TO WHAT EXPENDITURES, IF ANY, WERE ACTUALLY INCURRED IN PERFORMING THE TRAVEL. HENCE, IN SUCH A CASE THE REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF THE THROUGH FARE, WITHOUT A SHOWING THAT THE ENLISTED MAN ACTUALLY PAID CASH FARES EQUAL TO OR IN EXCESS OF THE THROUGH FARE, WOULD AMOUNT TO A COMMUTATION OF SUCH EXPENSES WHICH, AS HEREINBEFORE STATED, IS NOT AUTHORIZED BY LAW.

ARTICLE 16-12 (2), MARINE CORPS MANUAL, 1940, NOW IN EFFECT, REQUIRES THAT RECEIPTS FOR CASH FARES BE FURNISHED, IN ALL CASES, IN SUPPORT OF CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT. IN VIEW OF WHAT HAS BEEN SAID THIS OFFICE WILL NOT BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT IF SUCH REGULATION BE AMENDED SO AS TO DISPENSE WITH THE NECESSITY FOR FURNISHING SUCH RECEIPTS EXCEPT IN THOSE CASES WHERE, BY REASON OF PERSONAL CONVENIENCE, THE ENLISTED MAN ELECTS TO PERFORM THE TRAVEL IN A MANNER WHICH PRECLUDES THE USE OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS.