B-38839, FEBRUARY 7, 1944, 23 COMP. GEN. 573

B-38839: Feb 7, 1944

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- FOR WHICH NO MILEAGE IS PAYABLE. PRIOR DECISIONS APPLYING DIFFERENT METHODS OF ADJUSTMENT NO LONGER WILL BE REGARDED AS CONTROLLING. IN THE EVENT THE DEDUCTION RESULTING FROM THE USE OF GOVERNMENT AIRPLANE WHICH IS REQUIRED TO BE MADE FROM THE MILEAGE PAYMENT OF AN ARMY OFFICER WHO. IS LESS THAN THE DEDUCTION REQUIRED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 12. PRIOR DECISIONS APPLYING DIFFERENT METHODS OF ADJUSTMENT NO LONGER WILL BE REGARDED AS CONTROLLING. IN WHICH YOU SUGGEST THERE IS AN APPARENT DIVERGENCE IN THE PRINCIPLES ANNOUNCED IN SEVERAL DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE RELATIVE TO THE DEDUCTION TO BE MADE FROM ACCOUNTS OF OFFICERS TRAVELING IN A MILEAGE STATUS WHERE ALL OR A PART OF THE TRAVEL IS ACCOMPLISHED BY MEANS OF GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT.

B-38839, FEBRUARY 7, 1944, 23 COMP. GEN. 573

MILEAGE - USE OF GOVERNMENT AIRPLANE BY ARMY OFFICER IN CONJUNCTION WITH OTHER MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION IN ADJUSTING MILEAGE PAYMENTS FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL OF ARMY OFFICERS WHO, FOR THEIR OWN PURPOSES, PROCEED TO THEIR ORDERED DESTINATIONS OVER INDIRECT ROUTES OR ROUTES NOT CONTEMPLATED BY THEIR ORDERS, TRAVELING PART WAY BY GOVERNMENT AIRPLANE--- ALTHOUGH THEIR ORDERS DID NOT DIRECT OR AUTHORIZE TRAVEL BY AIR--- AND PART WAY BY OTHER MEANS, THE TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT AIRPLANE SHOULD BE REGARDED AS OFFICIAL TRAVEL TOWARD THE ORDERED DESTINATION--- FOR WHICH NO MILEAGE IS PAYABLE--- TO THE EXTENT THAT IT REDUCES THE DISTANCE TO BE TRAVELED BY OTHER MEANS BELOW THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE OF THE ORDERED TRAVEL. PRIOR DECISIONS APPLYING DIFFERENT METHODS OF ADJUSTMENT NO LONGER WILL BE REGARDED AS CONTROLLING. IN THE EVENT THE DEDUCTION RESULTING FROM THE USE OF GOVERNMENT AIRPLANE WHICH IS REQUIRED TO BE MADE FROM THE MILEAGE PAYMENT OF AN ARMY OFFICER WHO, FOR HIS OWN PURPOSES, PROCEEDED TO HIS ORDERED DESTINATION OVER AN INDIRECT ROUTE, TRAVELING PART WAY BY GOVERNMENT AIRPLANE AND PART WAY BY OTHER MEANS, IS LESS THAN THE DEDUCTION REQUIRED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 12, 1906, FOR THE LAND-GRANT MILES OVER THE OFFICIAL RAIL ROUTE BETWEEN THE POINTS INVOLVED, THERE SHOULD BE DEDUCTED THE GREATER AMOUNT FOR THE LAND GRANT OVER THE OFFICIAL ROUTE INSTEAD OF THE LESSER AMOUNT FOR PARTIAL TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT AIRPLANE. PRIOR DECISIONS APPLYING DIFFERENT METHODS OF ADJUSTMENT NO LONGER WILL BE REGARDED AS CONTROLLING.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, FEBRUARY 7, 1944:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 7, 1943, IN WHICH YOU SUGGEST THERE IS AN APPARENT DIVERGENCE IN THE PRINCIPLES ANNOUNCED IN SEVERAL DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE RELATIVE TO THE DEDUCTION TO BE MADE FROM ACCOUNTS OF OFFICERS TRAVELING IN A MILEAGE STATUS WHERE ALL OR A PART OF THE TRAVEL IS ACCOMPLISHED BY MEANS OF GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT.

YOU STATE THAT IN DECISIONS OF AUGUST 14, 1940, B-11601, AND OCTOBER 31, 1940, B-12893, IT WAS HELD THAT NO REIMBURSEMENT SHOULD BE MADE FOR PORTIONS OF A JOURNEY PERFORMED IN GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT BY OFFICERS IN A MILEAGE STATUS, WHEREAS IN DECISIONS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 1940, B-12018, DECEMBER 2, 1940, B-12018, AND NOVEMBER 8, 1943, D-37677, IT WAS HELD THAT A DEDUCTION OF 3 CENTS PER MILE SHOULD BE MADE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT BY OFFICERS IN A MILEAGE STATUS, AND YOU REQUEST THAT THE DECISIONS ALLOWING NO REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT BE DISTINGUISHED FROM THOSE REQUIRING A DEDUCTION OF 3 CENTS PER MILE FOR TRAVEL SO PERFORMED.

IT LONG HAS BEEN HELD THAT AN OFFICER IS NOT ENTITLED TO MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT. 8 COMP. GEN. 225; A-33221, DATED SEPTEMBER 18, 1930. CF. 18 COMP. GEN. 450, 452. THE DECISIONS GENERALLY HAVE HELD THAT WHERE TRAVEL THUS PERFORMED IS IN THE GENERAL DIRECTION OF THE DESTINATION SPECIFIED IN THE TRAVEL ORDERS, THAT IS, WHERE SUCH TRAVEL INCLUDES A DISTANCE FOR WHICH THE OFFICER WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL BY OTHER MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION, THE DISTANCE SO TRAVELED IS TO BE DEDUCTED FROM THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE BETWEEN THE ORDERED POINTS OF TRAVEL IN COMPUTING THE AMOUNT OF MILEAGE OTHERWISE ALLOWABLE.

THE DIFFICULTY HERE INVOLVED HAS ARISEN IN ADJUSTING MILEAGE PAYMENTS IN CASES WHERE OFFICERS, FOR THEIR OWN PURPOSES, HAVES PROCEEDED TO THEIR ORDERED DESTINATIONS OVER INDIRECT ROUTES OR ROUTES NOT CONTEMPLATED BY THEIR ORDERS, TRAVELING PART WAY BY GOVERNMENT AIRPLANE AND PART WAY BY OTHER MEANS, ALTHOUGH THEIR ORDERS DID NOT DIRECT OR AUTHORIZE TRAVEL BY AIR. IN THE TWO CASES MENTIONED IN YOUR LETTER WHERE DEDUCTIONS OF 3 CENTS A MILE WERE MADE--- TWO OF THE THREE DECISIONS CITED BEING IN THE SAME CASE--- THE DISTANCES ACTUALLY TRAVELED BY GOVERNMENT AIRPLANE WERE IN EXCESS OF THE OFFICIAL DISTANCES FOR WHICH MILEAGE OTHERWISE WAS PAYABLE, ALTHOUGH THE OFFICERS, TO COMPLETE THEIR JOURNEYS, WERE UNDER THE NECESSITY OF TRAVELING COMPARABLY LONG DISTANCES BY OTHER MEANS AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE. UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, THE OFFICERS WERE NOT REGARDED AS PERFORMING OFFICIAL TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT FOR WHICH DEDUCTIONS FROM THE OFFICIAL MILEAGE DISTANCE, AT 8 CENTS A MILE, WOULD BE REQUIRED, BUT, AS THE TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT WAS RELATED TO THE OFFICIALLY ORDERED TRAVEL FOR WHICH MILEAGE OTHERWISE WAS PAYABLE, DEDUCTIONS OF 3 CENTS A MILE WERE DIRECTED AS FOR TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT WITHIN THE GENERAL PURVIEW OF THE ACT OF JUNE 12, 1906, 34 STAT. 247, WHICH PROVIDES:

* * * THAT WHEN TRANSPORTATION IS FURNISHED BY THE QUARTERMASTER'S DEPARTMENT, OR WHEN THE ESTABLISHED ROUTE OF TRAVEL IS OVER ANY OF THE (LAND-GRANT) RAILROADS ABOVE SPECIFIED, THERE SHALL BE DEDUCTED FROM THE OFFICER'S MILEAGE ACCOUNT BY THE PAYMASTER PAYING THE SAME THREE CENTS PER MILE FOR THE DISTANCE FOR WHICH TRANSPORTATION HAS BEEN OR SHOULD HAVE BEEN FURNISHED. * * *

IN OTHER CASES, THE WHOLE DISTANCE TRAVELED BY GOVERNMENT AIRPLANE, ALTHOUGH AN INDIRECT ROUTE MAY HAVE BEEN INVOLVED, HAS BEEN REGARDED AS OFFICIAL TRAVEL BY AIR TOWARD THE ORDERED DESTINATION AND SUCH DISTANCE HAS BEEN DEDUCTED FROM THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE OF THE ORDERED TRAVEL FOR WHICH MILEAGE WAS PAYABLE AT 8 CENTS A MILE.

WHERE THERE IS AN INTERMINGLING OF OFFICIAL AND PERSONAL TRAVEL BY INDIRECT ROUTES, COMPLICATED BY THE COMBINED USE OF GOVERNMENT AIRPLANES AND OTHER MEANS TO MAKE THE JOURNEY, THE VARYING CIRCUMSTANCES WOULD SEEM TO PRECLUDE ANY METHOD OF ADJUSTMENT ENTIRELY SATISFACTORILY IN ALL CASES. HOWEVER, THE PRIMARY QUESTION IN ALL SUCH CASES INSOFAR AS THE ADJUSTMENT OF MILEAGE PAYMENTS FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL IS CONCERNED, IS AS TO WHAT PART OF THE JOURNEY BY GOVERNMENT AIRPLANE PROPERLY SHOULD BE REGARDED AS OFFICIAL TRAVEL. CONSIDERING THE DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF THAT PROBLEM, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT, AS A GENERAL RULE, THE TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT AIRPLANE, IRRESPECTIVE OF DIRECTION OR CIRCUITY, REASONABLY IS TO BE REGARDED AS OFFICIAL TRAVEL TOWARD THE ORDERED DESTINATION TO THE EXTENT, AND ONLY TO THE EXTENT, THAT IT REDUCES THE DISTANCE WHICH THE OFFICER TRAVELS BY OTHER MEANS BELOW THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE OF THE ORDERED TRAVEL. THAT IS, FOR EXAMPLE, IF THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE OF ORDERED TRAVEL FOR MILEAGE PURPOSES IS 1,000 MILES AND BY TRAVELING PART WAY, CIRCUITOUSLY OR OTHERWISE, BY GOVERNMENT AIRPLANE, THE TRAVEL BY OTHER MEANS IS REDUCED TO 800 MILES, 200 MILES OF THE AIRPLANE TRAVEL IS TO BE REGARDED AS OFFICIAL TRAVEL BY AIR TOWARD THE ORDERED DESTINATION, FOR WHICH NO MILEAGE IS PAYABLE TO 800 MILES. SUCH METHOD OF ADJUSTMENT APPEARS FAIR BOTH TO THE GOVERNMENT AND TO THE TRAVELER, IN THAT IT ALLOWS MILEAGE FOR THE DISTANCE, BUT ONLY FOR THE DISTANCE--- NOT EXCEEDING THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE, OF COURSE -- WHICH THE OFFICER ACTUALLY TRAVELS BY OTHER MEANS IN COMPLYING WITH HIS ORDERS, BY REASON OF HAVING MADE PART OF HIS JOURNEY IN A GOVERNMENT AIRPLANE.

IN APPLYING SUCH RULE, IT MAY BE FOUND IN SOME CASES THAT THE DEDUCTION FROM THE MILEAGE PAYMENT FOR TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT AIRPLANE IS LESS THAN THE DEDUCTION REQUIRED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 12, 1906, SUPRA, FOR THE LAND GRANT MILES OVER THE OFFICIAL RAIL ROUTE BETWEEN THE POINTS INVOLVED. WHERE AN OFFICER'S TRAVEL ORDERS DO NOT REQUIRE OR AUTHORIZE TRAVEL BY AIR, HE CANNOT BY TRAVELING A PART OF THE DISTANCE BY GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT ACQUIRE A RIGHT TO MORE MILEAGE THAN IF HE HAD TRAVELED BY RAIL OR OTHER MEANS. IN SUCH CASES THERE SHOULD BE DEDUCTED THE GREATER AMOUNT FOR THE LAND GRANT OVER THE OFFICIAL ROUTE INSTEAD OF THE LESSER AMOUNT FOR THE PARTIAL TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT AIRPLANE.

TO THE EXTENT THAT THE PRIOR DECISIONS HAVE APPLIED DIFFERENT METHODS OF ADJUSTMENT THAN SET FORTH IN THE TWO PRECEDING PARAGRAPHS, THEY NO LONGER WILL BE REGARDED AS CONTROLLING IN CASES OF THE CHARACTER HERE INVOLVED.