B-86965, JULY 21, 1949, 29 COMP. GEN. 38

B-86965: Jul 21, 1949

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IN VIEW OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE INTENTION THAT MILEAGE WOULD BE PAYABLE FOR DEPENDENTS WHEN TRAVEL IS SEPARATE AND APART FROM THE EMPLOYEE. 1949: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 9. YOU ADVISE THAT ACTION ALSO IS BEING WITHHELD ON SIMILAR CASES TO THE ONE SUBMITTED PENDING RECEIPT OF THE REQUESTED DECISION. IT APPEARS FROM THE INFORMATION PRESENTED THAT THE PERMANENT DUTY STATION OF THE EMPLOYEE CONCERNED WAS CHANGED FROM WASHINGTON. PURSUANT TO WHICH THE TRAVEL INVOLVED WAS PERFORMED PROVIDED IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS: THIS CHANGE IS MADE FOR OFFICIAL REASONS AND NOT PRIMARILY FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE OR BENEFIT. YOU WILL BE ALLOWED YOUR NECESSARY EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION AND A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE OF $6.00 IN CONNECTION THEREWITH.

B-86965, JULY 21, 1949, 29 COMP. GEN. 38

MILEAGE - TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE - DEPENDENTS - TRAVEL SEPARATE AND APART FROM EMPLOYEE WHERE CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS AUTHORIZED REIMBURSEMENT OF THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY AND PROVIDED FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE, BUT DID NOT AUTHORIZE SUCH TRAVEL SEPARATE AND APART FROM THE EMPLOYEE, THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION MAY, IN VIEW OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE INTENTION THAT MILEAGE WOULD BE PAYABLE FOR DEPENDENTS WHEN TRAVEL IS SEPARATE AND APART FROM THE EMPLOYEE, BE DEEMED SUFFICIENT TO AUTHORIZE THE ALLOWANCE OF MILEAGE FOR SUCH DEPENDENT TRAVEL IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF RAIL TRAVEL FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW STATION. 28 COMP. GEN. 586, DISTINGUISHED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, JULY 21, 1949:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 9, 1949, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF PAYING MILEAGE TO AN EMPLOYEE OF THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION FOR TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FROM CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, TO BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA, UNDER THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES HEREINAFTER SET FORTH. YOU ADVISE THAT ACTION ALSO IS BEING WITHHELD ON SIMILAR CASES TO THE ONE SUBMITTED PENDING RECEIPT OF THE REQUESTED DECISION.

IT APPEARS FROM THE INFORMATION PRESENTED THAT THE PERMANENT DUTY STATION OF THE EMPLOYEE CONCERNED WAS CHANGED FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA, EFFECTIVE UPON THE EMPLOYEE'S ARRIVAL AT BIRMINGHAM, IN ACCORDANCE WITH CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS DATED JANUARY 12, 1949. ALSO, IT APPEARS THAT THE EMPLOYEE LEFT WASHINGTON ON FEBRUARY 2, 1949, AND PROCEEDED TO CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, IN AN ANNUAL LEAVE STATUS AND THAT THEREAFTER HE TRAVELED FROM CHICAGO TO BIRMINGHAM DIRECT, ARRIVING IN BIRMINGHAM ON FEBRUARY 13, 1949. BECAUSE OF THE HOUSING SHORTAGE IN BIRMINGHAM, THE EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY, CONSISTING OF WIFE AND MINOR CHILD, AGE SIX AND ONE-HALF YEARS, DID NOT ACCOMPANY HIM AT THAT TIME. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE EMPLOYEE PROCEEDED TO CHICAGO IN A LEAVE STATUS AND RETURNED TO BIRMINGHAM WITH HIS FAMILY, TRAVELING BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE. CLAIMS MILEAGE IN THE AMOUNT OF $33.75 ON ACCOUNT OF TRANSPORTATION OF HIS FAMILY BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FROM CHICAGO TO BIRMINGHAM.

THE ORDERS DATED JANUARY 12, 1949, PURSUANT TO WHICH THE TRAVEL INVOLVED WAS PERFORMED PROVIDED IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

THIS CHANGE IS MADE FOR OFFICIAL REASONS AND NOT PRIMARILY FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE OR BENEFIT, OR AT YOUR REQUEST. YOU WILL BE ALLOWED YOUR NECESSARY EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION AND A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE OF $6.00 IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, SUCH EXPENSES TO INCLUDE THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR IMMEDIATE FAMILY AS PROVIDED FOR IN PUBLIC LAW 600 OF AUGUST 2, 1946, AND EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, APPROVED NOVEMBER 25, 1946.

YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO USE A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR TRANSFER AND YOU WILL BE REIMBURSED AT THE RATE OF FIVE CENTS PER MILE NOT TO EXCEED THE COST OF COMMON CARRIER BY THE MOST DIRECT ROUTE OF ALL PERSONS OFFICIALLY TRAVELING IN THAT VEHICLE.

WITH RESPECT TO SUCH ORDERS IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT---

* * * IT WAS FELT BY THE BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION THAT THE ABOVE AUTHORIZATIONS WERE SUFFICIENT TO ALLOW FIVE CENTS PER MILE, NOT TO EXCEED THE COST OF COMMON CARRIER, FOR THE TRAVEL OF AN EMPLOYEE'S DEPENDENTS IN THE EVENT THEY SHOULD TRAVEL SEPARATE AND APART FROM THE EMPLOYEE. * *

THAT IT WAS THE INTENTION OF THE BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION TO ALLOW MILEAGE FOR THE DEPENDENTS, IS BORNE OUT BY THE FACT THAT ALL EMPLOYEES WERE ADVISED BY BULLETIN AFTER THE APPROVAL OF PUBLIC LAW 600 AND EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805 THAT MILEAGE WOULD BE ALLOWED FOR TRAVEL OF THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS DEPENDENTS ON TRANSFER BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE EVEN THOUGH THE EMPLOYEE MIGHT EFFECT HIS TRANSFER AND LATER TAKE LEAVE TO TRANSPORT HIS DEPENDENTS FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS. THESE INSTRUCTIONS HAVE ALSO BEEN ISSUED FROM TIME TO TIME AT REGULAR CONFERENCES AND DURING RETRAINING CLASSES.

YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER ARISES BECAUSE OF THE DECISION OF APRIL 19, 1949, B-82930, 28 COMP. GEN. 586, WHICH HELD THAT WHERE TRAVEL BY DEPENDENTS TO A NEW DUTY STATION IS PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE, SEPARATE AND APART FROM THE TRAVEL OF THE EMPLOYEE IN REPORTING FOR DUTY AT THE NEW STATION, A GENERAL AUTHORIZATION FOR TRAVEL OF THE FAMILY IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE ON ACCOUNT OF SUCH DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL.

SINCE THE ADMINISTRATIVE INTENTION IN ISSUING ORDERS OF THE TYPE HERE INVOLVED WAS TO ALLOW MILEAGE IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE, AND SINCE APPROPRIATE INSTRUCTIONS WERE ISSUED REPEATEDLY TO PERSONNEL OF THE BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION THAT MILEAGE WOULD BE PAYABLE FOR TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES IDENTICAL WITH THOSE EXISTING IN THE INSTANT CASE, APPLICATION OF THE DECISION OF APRIL 19, 1949, ABOVE, DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE REQUIRED. ALSO, IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT APPROPRIATE STEPS HAVE BEEN TAKEN ADMINISTRATIVELY TO CLARIFY THE WORDING OF TRAVEL ORDERS TO CONFORM WITH THE REQUIREMENTS SET FORTH IN DECISION DATED APRIL 19, 1949, SUPRA, IN THOSE CASES WHERE IT IS INTENDED TO AUTHORIZE MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE SEPARATE AND APART FROM THE TRAVEL OF THE EMPLOYEE IN REPORTING TO A NEW DUTY STATION. ACCORDINGLY, NO OBJECTION WILL BE INTERPOSED BY THIS OFFICE TO PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT CLAIMED IN THIS CASE AND IN SIMILAR CASES, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, WHERE IT IS CLEAR THAT IT WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY INTENDED THAT MILEAGE SHOULD BE PAID IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE.

UNDER THE TRAVEL ORDER IN THE CASE PRESENTED, THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF HIS DEPENDENTS FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA, AND SINCE THE AMOUNT CLAIMED AS MILEAGE IS LESS THAN THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF RAIL TRAVEL FROM WASHINGTON TO BIRMINGHAM, NO OBJECTION IS PERCEIVED TO PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT CLAIMED.