B-85146, JUNE 14, 1949, 28 COMP. GEN. 708

B-85146: Jun 14, 1949

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1949: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 29. THE VOUCHER IS STATED IN THE AMOUNT OF $32.30 FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OF 646 MILES AT FIVE CENTS PER MILE REPRESENTING EXCESS MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL BY THE EMPLOYEE BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE IN RETURNING FROM LOS ANGELES. WAS DETAILED TO THE 21ST REGION OF THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD. THE USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AT A MILEAGE RATE WAS AUTHORIZED. IT IS PRESUMED THAT THERE IS IN EXISTENCE A PROPER TRAVEL ORDER COVERING THE ENTIRE PERIOD OF TEMPORARY DUTY AND AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AT THE RATE OF FIVE CENTS A MILE. IT IS STATED ON THE VOUCHER THAT THE "MILEAGE SHOWN ON THE ORIGINAL VOUCHER IS THE EXACT SPEEDOMETER READINGS.

B-85146, JUNE 14, 1949, 28 COMP. GEN. 708

MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLES - TRAVEL BY LONGER ROUTE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 12 (A) (1) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AS REVISED, AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE, MILEAGE IN EXCESS OF THAT SHOWN ON MILEAGE TABLES AS THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THE AUTHORIZED POINTS OF TRAVEL MAY BE PAID COMPUTED OVER THE ROUTE NECESSARILY USED UPON THE BASIS THAT THE NATURE AND CONDITION OF THE HIGHWAYS, THE WEATHER, OR OTHER UNUSUAL CONDITIONS PRECLUDED THE USE AT THE TIME OF THE TRAVEL OF THE OTHERWISE ADEQUATE SHORTER AND DIRECT ROUTE. 26 COMP. GEN. 453, AMPLIFIED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO JAMES L. GORDON, NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, JUNE 14, 1949:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 29, 1949, TRANSMITTING A RECLAIM TRAVEL VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF JOHN W. KELLY, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, AND REQUESTING A DECISION WITH RESPECT TO THE PROPRIETY OF YOUR CERTIFYING THE VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT.

THE VOUCHER IS STATED IN THE AMOUNT OF $32.30 FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OF 646 MILES AT FIVE CENTS PER MILE REPRESENTING EXCESS MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL BY THE EMPLOYEE BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE IN RETURNING FROM LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, TO CINCINNATI, OHIO, BY WAY OF TUCSON, ARIZONA, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, AND NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, RATHER THAN BY THE MOST DIRECT AND SHORTER ROUTE AS SHOWN BY THE RAND-MCNALLY STANDARD HIGHWAY MILEAGE GUIDE.

IT APPEARS FROM YOUR LETTER THAT IN SEPTEMBER 1948 MR. KELLY, A FIELD EXAMINER IN THE CINCINNATI REGIONAL OFFICE, WAS DETAILED TO THE 21ST REGION OF THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, WITH HEADQUARTERS IN LOS ANGELES, TO ASSIST IN THE INVESTIGATION OF CASES IN THAT REGION. BECAUSE MUCH OF HIS WORK WOULD BE OUTSIDE THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES, THE USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AT A MILEAGE RATE WAS AUTHORIZED. ALTHOUGH NO TRAVEL ORDER HAS BEEN FURNISHED, IT IS PRESUMED THAT THERE IS IN EXISTENCE A PROPER TRAVEL ORDER COVERING THE ENTIRE PERIOD OF TEMPORARY DUTY AND AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AT THE RATE OF FIVE CENTS A MILE.

IT IS STATED ON THE VOUCHER THAT THE "MILEAGE SHOWN ON THE ORIGINAL VOUCHER IS THE EXACT SPEEDOMETER READINGS," AND THAT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN IMPOSSIBLE TO TRAVEL THE SHORTER AND MORE NORTHERLY ROUTE DURING THE REQUIRED PERIOD OF TRAVEL, JANUARY 3 TO 8, 1949, DUE TO WEATHER CONDITIONS AND THE RESULTING SNOW AND ICE MAKING THE ROADS ON THAT ROUTE IMPASSABLE IN A GREAT NUMBER OF PLACES. ALSO, YOU STATE IN YOUR LETTER THAT ORGANIZATIONS ROUTING TRAVELERS THROUGH THE WEST DURING THIS PERIOD ADVISED TAKING THE ROUTE FOLLOWED BY THE EMPLOYEE.

THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931 (5 U.S.C. 73 (A) (, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, PUBLIC LAW 600, 60 STAT. 807, AND SECTION 12 (A) (1) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AS REVISED JULY 6, 1948, PROVIDE FOR THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE IN LIEU OF ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION FOR THE USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS WHENEVER SUCH MODE OF TRANSPORTATION IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT.

IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT, IN THE ABSENCE OF AN EXPLANATION AS TO THE OFFICIAL NECESSITY FOR TRAVELING THE LONGER DISTANCE, THE MILEAGE REIMBURSABLE UNDER SECTION 12 (A) (1) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS MAY NOT EXCEED THAT SHOWN ON THE MILEAGE TABLES BETWEEN THE AUTHORIZED POINTS OF TRAVEL. 26 COMP. GEN. 463. HOWEVER, UPON THE BASIS OF A PROPER EXPLANATION AS TO THE NECESSITY FOR THE LONGER DISTANCE, THE MILEAGE IS FOR COMPUTATION OVER THE ROUTE NECESSARILY USED, SUCH ROUTE BEING DETERMINED BY THE NATURE AND CONDITION OF THE HIGHWAYS, THE WEATHER, OR OTHER UNUSUAL CONDITIONS PRECLUDING THE USE AT THE TIME OF TRAVEL OF AN OTHERWISE ADEQUATE SHORTER ROUTE.

THE CLAIMANT'S EXPLANATION OF THE NECESSITY FOR THE EXCESS MILEAGE IN THIS CASE APPEARS TO JUSTIFY THE USE OF THE LONGER ROUTE TO AVOID EXCESS DELAY AND DANGEROUS ROADS DUE TO WEATHER CONDITIONS. ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, PROVIDED THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE HAS BEEN PROPERLY AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED WITHOUT LIMITATION THEREOF TO THE MOST DIRECT ROUTE, OR OTHERWISE, AND PROVIDED EVIDENCE OF SUCH AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL IS FURNISHED AND THE VOUCHER IS COMPLETED TO SHOW THE CITATION TO THE TRAVEL ORDER.