B-73298, NOVEMBER 2, 1948, 28 COMP. GEN. 278

B-73298: Nov 2, 1948

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ARE APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL JUDGES. SO THAT A DISTRICT COURT JUDGE WHO TRAVELED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE OUTSIDE OF HIS OWN DISTRICT IS NOT ENTITLED TO AN AMOUNT IN EXCESS OF THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER IN THE ABSENCE OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT SUCH MODE OF TRANSPORTATION WAS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. WHERE REIMBURSEMENT UPON A MILEAGE BASIS AT A SPECIFIC RATE IS CLAIMED BY A FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT JUDGE FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE OUTSIDE OF HIS OWN DISTRICT. 1948: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 11. ALL TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED VIA PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE. THE LATTER CLAIM WAS IN THE SUM OF $576.80. THAT CLAIM WAS PAID IN ITS ENTIRETY ON UNNUMBERED BUREAU VOUCHER.

B-73298, NOVEMBER 2, 1948, 28 COMP. GEN. 278

MILEAGE - TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE - FEDERAL JUDGES THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, AS AMENDED, AUTHORIZING TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON A MILEAGE BASIS, ARE APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL JUDGES, SO THAT A DISTRICT COURT JUDGE WHO TRAVELED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE OUTSIDE OF HIS OWN DISTRICT IS NOT ENTITLED TO AN AMOUNT IN EXCESS OF THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER IN THE ABSENCE OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT SUCH MODE OF TRANSPORTATION WAS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT, EVEN THOUGH THE ACT OF APRIL 22, 1940, AUTHORIZES THE PAYMENT OF NECESSARY EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF CERTAIN FEDERAL JUSTICES AND JUDGES UPON THE WRITTEN CERTIFICATE OF THE JUSTICE OR JUDGE. WHERE REIMBURSEMENT UPON A MILEAGE BASIS AT A SPECIFIC RATE IS CLAIMED BY A FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT JUDGE FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE OUTSIDE OF HIS OWN DISTRICT, THE ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION OF ADVANTAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT REQUIRED BY THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, AS AMENDED, SHOULD BE MADE BY THE OFFICIAL WHO, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 28 U.S.C. 17 AND 19, AUTHORIZED THE DISTRICT JUDGE TO PERFORM SUCH TRAVEL.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO PEIRSON M. HALL, JUDGE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA, NOVEMBER 2, 1948:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 11, 1948, ACKNOWLEDGED JULY 9, RELATIVE TO THAT PART OF SETTLEMENT OF THIS OFFICE OF APRIL 23, 1948, WHICH DISALLOWED $128.22 OF YOUR CLAIM FOR $266.80, AND WITHHELD $128.23 OF THE SUM ALLOWED ($138.58) TO ADJUST AN OVERPAYMENT ON A PREVIOUS VOUCHER, FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BETWEEN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, AND PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, DURING THE PERIOD JUNE 18 TO AUGUST 17, 1947.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT ON JUNE 18, 1947, YOU, ACCOMPANIED BY YOUR FAMILY, DEPARTED FROM LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, YOUR OFFICIAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE AS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA, FOR PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, FOR THE PURPOSE OF HOLDING COURT IN THAT CITY DURING THE MONTH OF JULY, 1947. YOU ARRIVED IN PHILADELPHIA ON JUNE 30 AND REMAINED THERE UNTIL THE DATE OF COMPLETION OF YOUR ASSIGNMENT, NAMELY, JULY 31. THE FOLLOWING DAY YOU DEPARTED THEREFROM FOR LOS ANGELES, ARRIVING IN THAT CITY ON AUGUST 17, 1947. ALL TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED VIA PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE. SUBSEQUENT TO THE PERFORMANCE OF THE SAID TRAVEL, YOU SUBMITTED TWO CLAIMS--- ONE COVERING THE OUTGOING TRIP, JUNE 18, TO 30, 1947, AND THE OTHER COVERING THE PERIOD OF TEMPORARY DUTY AT PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, AND THE PERIOD OF RETURN TRAVEL. THE LATTER CLAIM WAS IN THE SUM OF $576.80, CONSISTING OF $410 FOR MAINTENANCE EXPENSES AT THE MAXIMUM STATUTORY RATE OF $10 PER DAY FOR THE PERIOD JULY 1 TO AUGUST 17, 1947 (CLAIM FOR TRAVEL TIME OF 17 DAYS, AUGUST 1 TO AUGUST 17, REDUCED TO 10 DAYS ON YOUR VOUCHER AS BEING NECESSARY TRAVEL TIME), AND $166.80 FOR MILEAGE FOR USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AT THE MAXIMUM RATE OF 5 CENTS PER MILE OVER A DISTANCE OF 3,336 MILES. THAT CLAIM WAS PAID IN ITS ENTIRETY ON UNNUMBERED BUREAU VOUCHER, ACCOUNTS OF JOSEPH C. REING, UNITED STATES MARSHAL, EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA (3RD CIRCUIT), PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, SYMBOL NO. 37-069. THE OTHER CLAIM, COVERING THE PERIOD JUNE 18 TO 30, 1947, BEING FOR $266.80, AND CONSISTING OF $100 FOR MAINTENANCE AT THE MAXIMUM STATUTORY RATE OF $10 PER DAY FOR 10 DAYS (CLAIM FOR TRAVEL TIME OF 13 DAYS REDUCED ON THE CLAIMS VOUCHER TO 10 DAYS AS NECESSARY TRAVEL TIME), AND $166.80 FOR MILEAGE FOR USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AT THE MAXIMUM RATE OF 5 CENTS PER MILE OVER A DISTANCE OF 3,336 MILES, WAS SUBMITTED TO THIS OFFICE FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT, BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES COURTS. IN THE ABOVE-REFERRED-TO SETTLEMENT, BY WAY OF JUSTIFICATION FOR THE ACTION TAKEN IN DISALLOWING PORTION OF YOUR CLAIM, IT WAS STATED AS FOLLOWS:

THE RECORDS ON FILE IN THIS OFFICE DO NOT SHOW THAT TRAVEL ON A MILEAGE BASIS HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED AS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. IN THE ABSENCE OF SUCH AUTHORIZATION THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO PAY AN AMOUNT IN EXCESS OF THE COST OF FIRST CLASS TRANSPORTATION BY COMMON CARRIER, NEITHER IS THERE AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF PER DIEM FOR TRAVEL TIME IN EXCESS OF THAT SCHEDULED BETWEEN THE POINTS OF TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER. THE RECORDS ON FILE IN THE OFFICE SHOW THE COST OF ONE-HALF OF THE ROUND TRIP FARE BETWEEN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA AND PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA TO BE $74.28, PULLMAN BERTH $24.30 AND THE TIME OF TRAVEL TO BE 4 DAYS FOR WHICH PER DIEM OF $40.00 IS ALLOWED. THERE IS THEREFORE NO AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF AN AMOUNT IN EXCESS OF THE TOTAL OF THE ABOVE AMOUNTS.

YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE ACTION TAKEN IN DISALLOWING THE SUM CLAIMED IN EXCESS OF THE COST OF CONSTRUCTIVE TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER, AND IN DEDUCTING FROM THE AMOUNT ALLOWED HEREIN THE OVERPAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER COVERING YOUR RETURN TRAVEL TO LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, IS NOT TO BE CONSIDERED AS PRECLUDING FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM THEREFORE, IF, AND WHEN AN ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL BE FURNISHED THIS OFFICE TO THE EFFECT THAT THE TRAVEL BY THE MODE OR CONVEYANCE ACTUALLY USED, NAMELY, PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE, WAS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT, SINCE SUCH DETERMINATION IS PRIMARILY AN ADMINISTRATIVE RESPONSIBILITY.

IN YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 11, 1948, YOU STATE, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

* * * YOUR ATTENTION IS CALLED TO MY LETTER ADDRESSED TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE, DATED OCTOBER 3, 1947, WHEREIN I OUTLINED THAT A DECISION WAS MADE BY THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE UNITED STATES, BY THE SENIOR CIRCUIT JUDGE OF THE SECOND CIRCUIT, AND BY THE SENIOR CIRCUIT JUDGE OF THE 9TH CIRCUIT THAT IT WAS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR ME TO BE ASSIGNED TO PHILADELPHIA FOR THE MONTH OF JULY, 1947. THEREIN I ALSO POINTED OUT THAT HAD IT BEEN NECESSARY FOR ME TO HAVE TRAVELED WITHOUT MY FAMILY, I WOULD NOT HAVE ACCEPTED THE ASSIGNMENT, AND THAT HAD I TRAVELED WITH MY FAMILY BY TRAIN I WOULD NOT HAVE ACCEPTED THE ASSIGNMENT. I CONCLUDED THEREFORE, THAT I WOULD ACCEPT THE ASSIGNMENT AND TRAVEL BY AUTOMOBILE. IF IT WAS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR ME TO HOLD COURT IN PHILADELPHIA FOR THE MONTH OF JULY, IT WAS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR ME TO TRAVEL BY AUTOMOBILE THAN NOT TO GO AT ALL.

WILL YOU PLEASE DIRECT MY ATTENTION TO ANY STATUTE OF THE UNITED STATES WHEREIN ANY OFFICER OF THE UNITED STATES OTHER THAN MYSELF AS A DISTRICT JUDGE HAD THE POWER OR AUTHORITY TO DETERMINE WHAT MEANS OF TRAVEL I SHOULD USE IN GOING FROM ONE POST OF DUTY TO ANOTHER, EITHER WITHIN OR WITHOUT THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA, AS BEING MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931 (5 U.S.C. 73A), AS AMENDED, WAS FURTHER AMENDED BY SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 807, TO READ AS FOLLOWS:

CIVILIAN OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES OR OTHERS RENDERING SERVICE TO THE GOVERNMENT SHALL, UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT, AND UNLESS OTHERWISE PROVIDED IN THE APPROPRIATION CONCERNED OR OTHER LAW, AND WHENEVER SUCH MODE OF TRANSPORTATION IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT, BE PAID IN LIEU OF ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION NOT TO EXCEED 2 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED MOTORCYCLES OR 5 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES OR AIRPLANES WHEN ENGAGED IN NECESSARY TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL TRIPS FROM THEIR DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY OR PLACES OF SERVICE, OR 2 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED MOTORCYCLES OR 4 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES WHEN USED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS WHOLLY WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THEIR OFFICIAL STATIONS OR PLACES OF SERVICE. IN ADDITION TO THE MILEAGE ALLOWANCES PROVIDED FOR IN THIS SECTION, THERE MAY BE ALLOWED REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE ACTUAL COST OF FERRY FARES AND BRIDGE, ROAD, AND TUNNEL TOLLS. ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

PARAGRAPH 12 (A) (1) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AS AMENDED BY BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-7, REVISED, DATED SEPTEMBER 5, 1946, AND RETROACTIVELY EFFECTIVE AS OF AUGUST 2, 1946, PROVIDES IN PART:

UNLESS OTHERWISE PROVIDED IN THE APPROPRIATION CONCERNED OR OTHER LAW, CIVILIAN OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES OR OTHERS RENDERING SERVICE TO THE GOVERNMENT, REGARDLESS OF SUBSISTENCE STATUS AND HOURS OF TRAVEL, SHALL BE PAID MILEAGE IN LIEU OF ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION FOR THE USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED MOTORCYCLES, AUTOMOBILES OR AIRPLANES ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS WHENEVER SUCH MODE OF TRANSPORTATION IS AUTHORIZED (OR SUBSEQUENTLY APPROVED) AS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. IN DETERMINING WHETHER SUCH TRANSPORTATION IS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT, CONSIDERATION WILL BE GIVEN TO THE ADVANTAGES RESULTING FROM THE MORE EXPEDITIOUS TRANSACTION OF THE PUBLIC BUSINESS AS WELL AS OTHER ADVANTAGES AND/OR DISADVANTAGES TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE PARTICULAR CASE. MILEAGE AT NOT TO EXCEED 2 CENT PER MILE FOR THE USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED MOTORCYCLES OR 5 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES AND AIRPLANES SHALL BE PAID FOR NECESSARY TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL TRIPS FROM DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY OR PLACES OF SERVICE. IN SUCH CASES THE MILEAGE RATES AS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED SHALL BE PAID FROM WHATEVER POINT INCLUDED WITHIN HIS HEADQUARTERS THE EMPLOYEE FOR OTHER PERSON RENDERING SERVICE TO THE GOVERNMENT BEGINS HIS JOURNEY. ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

UNDER THE AMENDED LAW AND REVISED REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT THERETO, IT IS REQUIRED THAT TRAVEL OF CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT BY PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE BE AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. THIS OFFICE CONSISTENTLY HAS HELD THAT THE SAID ACT IS APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL JUDGES AS WELL AS TO OTHER CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT. YOU DO NOT CONTEST THAT CONCLUSION, BUT YOU URGE THAT THE REQUIRED DETERMINATION OF ADVANTAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT IS TO BE MADE BY THE FEDERAL JUDGE PERFORMING THE TRAVEL. YOUR CONTENTION PRESUMABLY IS BASED UPON THE AUTHORITY CONFERRED ON CERTAIN FEDERAL JUSTICES AND JUDGES, INCLUDING JUDGES OF THE DISTRICT COURTS OF THE UNITED STATES, BY THE ACT OF APRIL 22, 1940 (RETROACTIVELY EFFECTIVE AS OF JULY 1, 1939), 54 STAT. 149 (28 U.S.C. 374), WHICH STATUTE PROVIDES, IN EFFECT, THAT "NECESSARY EXPENSES OF TRAVEL" AND REASONABLE EXPENSES NOT TO EXCEED $10 PER DAY ACTUALLY INCURRED FOR MAINTENANCES, CONSEQUENT UPON "ATTENDING COURT OR TRANSACTING OTHER OFFICIAL BUSINESS IN PURSUANCE OF LAW" AT ANY PLACE OTHER THAN OFFICIAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE, SHALL BE PAID BY THE MARSHAL OF THE DISTRICT IN WHICH SUCH COURT IS HELD OR OFFICIAL BUSINESS IS TRANSACTED "UPON THE WRITTEN CERTIFICATE OF THE JUSTICE OR JUDGE.'

THAT STATUTE DOES NOT RESTRICT THE RIGHT OF A FEDERAL JUDGE TO EXERCISE HIS DISCRETION AS TO THE MODE OF CONVEYANCE TO BE USED FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL, AND THIS OFFICE CONCEDES THAT SUCH PERSONS MAY TRAVEL BY ANY MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION THAT THEY DESIRE. WHILE IN THE CASE OF OTHER GOVERNMENT OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES, PAYMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES OF OPERATION OF A PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE IS THE MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE (BUT NOT EXCEEDING COST BY COMMON CARRIER) UNTIL AND UNLESS THERE BE AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION OF ADVANTAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT AND A DESIGNATION OF A SPECIFIC MILEAGE RATE, IT REASONABLY MAY BE CONCLUDED UNDER THE APPLICABLE LAW AND REGULATIONS--- IRRESPECTIVE OF WHAT HIS RIGHTS MAY BE WITHIN HIS OWN DISTRICT--- THAT WHERE A FEDERAL DISTRICT JUDGE TRAVELS OUTSIDE HIS OWN JUDICIAL DISTRICT VIA PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE AND CLAIMS REIMBURSEMENT UPON A MILEAGE BASIS--- SUPPORTED BY THE USUAL JUDGE'S CERTIFICATE COVERING THE SAID TRAVEL--- HE MAY BE ALLOWED SO MUCH OF THE SUM CLAIMED AS IS EQUAL TO BUT NOT IN EXCESS OF THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER. BUT IN THE ABSENCE OF A PROPER DETERMINATION OF ADVANTAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT, HE MAY NOT BE ALLOWED ANY SUM IN EXCESS OF SUCH CONSTRUCTIVE COST, AND IN NO EVENT MAY HE BE ALLOWED MORE THAN ACTUALLY CLAIMED.

GENERALLY, WHEN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS, THE PERSON AUTHORIZING THE TRAVEL ALSO DETERMINES WHETHER TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE WILL BE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT AND SETS THE SPECIFIC MILEAGE RATE TO BE ALLOWED. ALTHOUGH FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT JUDGES ARE NOT UNDER THE CONTROL OF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS TO THE SAME EXTENT AND IN THE SAME MANNER AS MOST GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL, THEY CANNOT, SO FAR AS I AM AWARE, PROCEED ON THEIR OWN INITIATIVE TO ANOTHER JUDICIAL DISTRICT TO HOLD COURT FOR A TEMPORARY PERIOD OF TIME. SUCH TRAVEL WOULD SEEM TO FALL SQUARELY WITHIN THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 13 AND 15 OF THE JUDICIAL CODE (28 U.S.C. 17, 19), WHICH PROVIDE, IN MATERIAL PART AS FOLLOWS:

17 (A). "WHENEVER ANY DISTRICT JUDGE BY REASON OF ANY DISABILITY OR NECESSARY ABSENCE FROM HIS DISTRICT OR THE ACCUMULATION OR URGENCY OR BUSINESS IS UNABLE TO PERFORM SPEEDILY THE WORK OF HIS DISTRICT, THE SENIOR CIRCUIT JUDGE OF THAT CIRCUIT, OR, IN HIS ABSENCE, THE CIRCUIT JUSTICE THEREOF, SHALL DESIGNATE AND ASSIGN ANY DISTRICT JUDGE OF ANY DISTRICT COURT WITHIN THE SAME JUDICIAL CIRCUIT TO ACT AS DISTRICT JUDGE IN SUCH DISTRICT AND TO DISCHARGE ALL THE JUDICIAL DUTIES OF A JUDGE THEREOF FOR SUCH TIME AS THE BUSINESS OF THE SAID DISTRICT COURT MAY REQUIRE. WHENEVER IT IS FOUND IMPRACTICABLE TO DESIGNATE AND ASSIGN ANOTHER DISTRICT JUDGE WITHIN THE SAME JUDICIAL CIRCUIT AS ABOVE PROVIDED AND A CERTIFICATE OF THE NEEDS OF ANY SUCH DISTRICT IS PRESENTED BY SAID SENIOR CIRCUIT JUDGE OR SAID CIRCUIT JUSTICE TO THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE UNITED STATES, HE, OR IN HIS ABSENCE, THE SENIOR ASSOCIATE JUSTICE, SHALL DESIGNATE AND ASSIGN A DISTRICT JUDGE OF AN ADJOINING JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IF PRACTICABLE, OR IF NOT PRACTICABLE, THEN OF ANY JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, TO PERFORM THE DUTIES OF DISTRICT JUDGE AND HOLD A DISTRICT COURT IN ANY SUCH DISTRICT AS ABOVE PROVIDED.

19. "IF ALL THE CIRCUIT JUDGES AND THE CIRCUIT JUSTICE ARE ABSENT FROM THE CIRCUIT, OR ARE UNABLE TO EXECUTE THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 17 (A) OF THIS TITLE, OR IF THE DISTRICT JUDGE SO DESIGNATED IS DISABLED OR NEGLECTS TO HOLD THE COURT AND TRANSACT THE BUSINESS FOR WHICH HE IS DESIGNATED, THE CLERK OF THE DISTRICT COURT SHALL CERTIFY THE FACT TO THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE UNITED STATES, WHO MAY THEREUPON DESIGNATE AND APPOINT IN THE MANNER AFORESAID THE JUDGE OF ANY DISTRICT WITHIN SUCH CIRCUIT OR WITHIN ANY OTHER CIRCUIT; AND SAID APPOINTMENT SHALL BE TRANSMITTED TO THE CLERK AND BE ACTED UPON BY HIM AS DIRECTED IN SECTION 17 (C) OF THIS TITLE.' (SEE, ALSO, 28 U.S.C. 292.) WHILE THOSE STATUTORY PROVISIONS CONTAIN NO DIRECT REFERENCE TO THE TRAVEL TO BE PERFORMED BY THE VISITING DISTRICT JUDGE, IT WOULD NOT SEEM THAT A LEGAL RIGHT WOULD ACCRUE IN FAVOR OF SAID DISTRICT JUDGE TO RECEIVE REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF HIS OWN DISTRICT IN THE ABSENCE OF HIS BEING ASSIGNED TO HOLD COURT OR TRANSACT OTHER OFFICIAL BUSINESS IN A DISTRICT OTHER THAN HIS OWN BY THE PERSONS SPECIFIED IN THE STATUTE, LAST ABOVE QUOTED. AS A COROLLARY THERETO, AND HAVING IN MIND THAT NO OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER HAS BEEN SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATED TO PERFORM THE DUTY, IT IS THE VIEW OF THIS OFFICE THAT WHERE REIMBURSEMENT UPON A MILEAGE BASIS AT A SPECIFIC RATE IS CLAIMED BY A FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT JUDGE FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE OUTSIDE HIS OWN DISTRICT, THE REQUIRED DETERMINATION OF ADVANTAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT RESTS WITH THE OFFICIAL WHO, UNDER THE PERTINENT PROVISIONS OF THE JUDICIAL CODE, ABOVE, HAS AUTHORITY TO AUTHORIZE AND ACTUALLY DOES AUTHORIZE THE DISTRICT JUDGE TO UNDERTAKE OFFICIAL TRAVEL TO ANOTHER JUDICIAL DISTRICT. NO SUCH DETERMINATION OF ADVANTAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT IS OF RECORD IN YOUR CASE.

ACCORDINGLY, ON THE PRESENT RECORD THE ACTION TAKEN IN THE SETTLEMENT OF APRIL 23, 1948, MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.