B-43463, AUGUST 8, 1944, 24 COMP. GEN. 84

B-43463: Aug 8, 1944

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GEN. 630 THAT DOLLAR-A -YEAR PERSONNEL WERE NOT ENTITLED TO MILEAGE AS PERSONS SERVING WITHOUT COMPENSATION. 1944: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 22. AS FOLLOWS: THIS OFFICE IS CONFRONTED WITH QUESTIONS AS TO THE VALIDITY OF CERTAIN TRAVEL AUTHORIZATIONS AND THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING VOUCHERS RENDERED THEREUNDER. AS REFERRED TO IN THE FOREGOING STATUTORY QUOTATION IS CONTAINED IN SECTION 208 OF PUBLIC LAW 358. OUR QUESTIONS MAY BE SUMMARILY ANSWERED BY YOUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE JOINT EFFECT OF SECTION 208 OF PUBLIC LAW 358 AND SECTION 205 OF PUBLIC LAW 372 IS SUCH AS TO CONSTITUTE AN EXCEPTION TO THE DECISION CONTAINED IN 23 COMPTROLLER GENERAL 630. IT IS RECOGNIZED THAT THE INTERPRETATION OF THESE STATUTES IS FAIRLY OBVIOUS BUT IN VIEW OF THE RECENCY OF YOUR DECISION AS MENTIONED ABOVE IT HAS BEEN CONSIDERED A CONSERVATIVE AND LOGICAL PROCEDURE TO SOLICIT YOUR JUDGMENT.

B-43463, AUGUST 8, 1944, 24 COMP. GEN. 84

MILEAGE - TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE - DOLLAR-A-YEAR PERSONNEL INSOFAR AS CONCERNS PAYMENT OF MILEAGE TO DOLLAR-A-YEAR PERSONNEL FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF SECTION 208, INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT. 1945, SPECIFICALLY APPLICABLE TO PERSONS SERVING WITHOUT COMPENSATION, THE PROVISION OF SECTION 205, NATIONAL WAR AGENCY APPROPRIATION ACT, 1945, TO THE EFFECT THAT PERSONS SERVING AT $1 PER ANNUM SHALL BE CONSIDERED AS SERVING WITHOUT COMPENSATION FOR THE PURPOSES OF "* * * GENERAL PROVISIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1945" RELATING TO THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE TO UNCOMPENSATED PERSONNEL, CONSTITUTES AN EXCEPTION TO THE HOLDING IN 23 COMP. GEN. 630 THAT DOLLAR-A -YEAR PERSONNEL WERE NOT ENTITLED TO MILEAGE AS PERSONS SERVING WITHOUT COMPENSATION.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO WILLIAM L. HUNT, SMALLER WAR PLANTS CORPORATION, AUGUST 8, 1944:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 22, 1944, AS FOLLOWS:

THIS OFFICE IS CONFRONTED WITH QUESTIONS AS TO THE VALIDITY OF CERTAIN TRAVEL AUTHORIZATIONS AND THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING VOUCHERS RENDERED THEREUNDER. THESE QUESTIONS RELATE TO THE INTERPRETATION OF SECTION 205 OF PUBLIC LAW 372 BEING THE NATIONAL WAR AGENCIES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1945. THIS SECTION READS AS FOLLOWS:

"SEC. 205. FOR THE PURPOSES OF SECTION 303 OF THE FIRST SUPPLEMENTAL NATIONAL DEFENSE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1944, AND ANY SIMILAR GENERAL PROVISIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1945, PERSONS SERVING THE GOVERNMENT AT $1 PER ANNUM SHALL BE CONSIDERED AS SERVING WITHOUT COMPENSATION.' (ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

A PROVISION SIMILAR TO SECTION 303 OF THE FIRST SUPPLEMENTAL NATIONAL DEFENSE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1944, AS REFERRED TO IN THE FOREGOING STATUTORY QUOTATION IS CONTAINED IN SECTION 208 OF PUBLIC LAW 358, ENACTED JUNE 27, 1944.

OUR QUESTIONS MAY BE SUMMARILY ANSWERED BY YOUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE JOINT EFFECT OF SECTION 208 OF PUBLIC LAW 358 AND SECTION 205 OF PUBLIC LAW 372 IS SUCH AS TO CONSTITUTE AN EXCEPTION TO THE DECISION CONTAINED IN 23 COMPTROLLER GENERAL 630, AND WHETHER UNDER THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE STATUTE CITED, PAYMENT OF MILEAGE MAY BE MADE TO EMPLOYEES SERVING ON A $1 YEAR BASIS.

IT IS RECOGNIZED THAT THE INTERPRETATION OF THESE STATUTES IS FAIRLY OBVIOUS BUT IN VIEW OF THE RECENCY OF YOUR DECISION AS MENTIONED ABOVE IT HAS BEEN CONSIDERED A CONSERVATIVE AND LOGICAL PROCEDURE TO SOLICIT YOUR JUDGMENT.

NO VOUCHERS WERE SUBMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER (SEE 21 COMP. GEN. 1128) BUT IT IS UNDERSTOOD FROM THE STATEMENT MADE IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER THAT THERE ARE VOUCHERS NOW BEFORE YOU FOR CERTIFICATION INVOLVING THE QUESTION PRESENTED, AND, TO AVOID DELAY, THE QUESTION PRESENTED WILL BE CONSIDERED ON THAT BASIS IN THIS INSTANCE WITHOUT REQUIRING SAID VOUCHERS.

IN THE DECISION OF FEBRUARY 26, 1944, 23 COMP. GEN. 630, TO WHICH YOU REFER, THE RULE WAS STATED AS FOLLOWS (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS):

THE PROVISION IN SECTION 303 OF THE FIRST SUPPLEMENTAL NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, 1944, AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT AT NOT TO EXCEED FIVE CENTS PER MILE TO "PERSONNEL SERVING WITHOUT COMPENSATION FROM THE UNITED STATES" FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL PERFORMED BY THEM IN PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES AWAY FROM THEIR DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY, AND THREE CENTS PER MILE FOR SUCH TRAVEL WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THEIR OFFICIAL STATION, MAY NOT BE ENLARGED BY CONSTRUCTION TO PERMIT PAYMENT OF MILEAGE TO PERSONS WHO ARE PAID COMPENSATION AT THE RATE OF $1 A YEAR.

SECTION 208 OF THE " INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1945," APPROVED JUNE 27, 1944, 58 STAT. 386, PUBLIC LAW 358, PROVIDES:

APPROPRIATIONS OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1945 SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR REIMBURSEMENT AT NOT TO EXCEED 5 CENTS PER MILE TO PERSONNEL SERVING WITHOUT COMPENSATION FROM THE UNITED STATES FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THEIR OFFICIAL STATIONS.

UNDER THE PLAIN TERMS OF SECTION 205 OF THE " NATIONAL WAR AGENCIES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1945," APPROVED JUNE 28, 1944, 58 STAT. 546, QUOTED IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER, PERSONS SERVING THE GOVERNMENT AT $1 PER ANNUM ARE TO BE CONSIDERED AS SERVING WITHOUT COMPENSATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYMENT OF MILEAGE UNDER THE TERMS OF SECTION 303 OF THE " FIRST SUPPLEMENTAL NATIONAL DEFENSE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1944," APPROVED DECEMBER 23, 1943, 57 STAT. 642, PUBLIC LAW 216, AND SECTION 208 OF THE " INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1945," SUPRA. EVIDENTLY, SAID SECTION 205 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 28, 1944, WAS INTENDED TO OVERCOME THE RULE STATED IN THE DECISION OF FEBRUARY 26, 1944, SUPRA. ACCORDINGLY, THE QUESTION PRESENTED IN THE THIRD PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.