B-89505, OCTOBER 31, 1949, 29 COMP. GEN. 205

B-89505: Oct 31, 1949

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SUBSISTENCE - PER DIEMS - LAY-OVER AT PORT OF DEBARKATION WHERE IT IS CLEAR FROM AN EMPLOYEE'S CHANGE-OF-STATION ORDERS. THAT THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE LAND TRAVEL INVOLVED WAS TO BE MEASURED BY THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF SUCH TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER. THE GOVERNMENT'S OBLIGATION MAY NOT BE INCREASED BY PAYMENT OF PER DIEM FOR A PERIOD OF DELAY AT THE PORT OF DEBARKATION AWAITING ARRIVAL OF THE EMPLOYEE'S AUTOMOBILE WHICH UNDER APPLICABLE REGULATIONS WAS NOT AUTHORIZED TO BE TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. AWAITING ARRIVAL OF HIS PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WHICH WAS TRANSPORTED ON A VESSEL OTHER THAN THAT USED BY THE EMPLOYEE. BROWNE WAS TRANSFERRED FROM HONOLULU. TRANSPORTATION OF THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS DEPENDENT WAS AUTHORIZED FOR TRAVEL FROM HONOLULU TO THE MAINLAND PORT OF DEBARKATION VIA FIRST AVAILABLE MILITARY SURFACE TRANSPORTATION.

B-89505, OCTOBER 31, 1949, 29 COMP. GEN. 205

SUBSISTENCE - PER DIEMS - LAY-OVER AT PORT OF DEBARKATION WHERE IT IS CLEAR FROM AN EMPLOYEE'S CHANGE-OF-STATION ORDERS, AUTHORIZING TRANSPORTATION BY GOVERNMENT VESSEL FROM AN OVERSEAS STATION TO THE MAINLAND PORT OF DEBARKATION AND THENCE TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE, THAT THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE LAND TRAVEL INVOLVED WAS TO BE MEASURED BY THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF SUCH TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER, THE GOVERNMENT'S OBLIGATION MAY NOT BE INCREASED BY PAYMENT OF PER DIEM FOR A PERIOD OF DELAY AT THE PORT OF DEBARKATION AWAITING ARRIVAL OF THE EMPLOYEE'S AUTOMOBILE WHICH UNDER APPLICABLE REGULATIONS WAS NOT AUTHORIZED TO BE TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO COL. O. E. WALSH, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, OCTOBER 31, 1949:

BY 8TH INDORSEMENT DATED SEPTEMBER 22, 1949, THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY (REFERENCE ENGFA 201 CIV.), FORWARDED HERE FOR CONSIDERATION YOUR 2ND INDORSEMENT DATED MAY 25, 1949, FILE REFERENCE NPPFB, AND RELATED CORRESPONDENCE, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF ALLOWANCE OF THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF FREDERICK L. BROWNE. SAID VOUCHER COVERS PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE CLAIMED BY MR. BROWNE FOR THE PERIOD SPENT AT THE PORT OF DEBARKATION IN THE UNITED STATES IN FEBRUARY 1949, AWAITING ARRIVAL OF HIS PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WHICH WAS TRANSPORTED ON A VESSEL OTHER THAN THAT USED BY THE EMPLOYEE.

THE EVIDENCE OF RECORD SHOWS THAT BY TRAVEL ORDERS DATED JANUARY 5, 1949, FREDERICK L. BROWNE WAS TRANSFERRED FROM HONOLULU, T.H., TO PORTLAND, OREGON, FOR PERMANENT DUTY AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY. TRANSPORTATION OF THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS DEPENDENT WAS AUTHORIZED FOR TRAVEL FROM HONOLULU TO THE MAINLAND PORT OF DEBARKATION VIA FIRST AVAILABLE MILITARY SURFACE TRANSPORTATION, AND TRAVEL FROM SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, TO PORTLAND, OREGON, WAS AUTHORIZED TO BE PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE "AT THE RATE OF 3.6 CENTS PER MILE, PROVIDED THAT THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION VIA PRIVATE VEHICLE SHALL NOT EXCEED THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION BY COMMON CARRIER," IT HAVING BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT "THIS METHOD OF TRAVEL IS THE MOST ECONOMICAL AND ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT.' A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE WAS AUTHORIZED FOR THE EMPLOYEE AT THE RATE OF $7 WHILE TRAVELING OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND AT THE RATE OF $6 WHILE TRAVELING WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS THEREOF, BUT NO PER DIEM WAS ALLOWABLE UNDER THE ORDERS FOR TRAVEL OF HIS DEPENDENT. HIS ORDERS FURTHER PROVIDED THAT "SHIPMENT OF ONE (1) PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE IS ALSO AUTHORIZED IN ACCORDANCE WITH CIRCULAR 120, DA AND AF, 30 APRIL 48.' IT APPEARS THAT THE EMPLOYEE, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS WIFE, DEPARTED FROM HONOLULU VIA MILITARY TRANSPORTATION AT 3 P.M. JANUARY 27, 1949, AND ARRIVED AT SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, 9 A.M. FEBRUARY 2. HOWEVER, HIS AUTOMOBILE DID NOT ARRIVE IN SAN FRANCISCO UNTIL FEBRUARY 11. AT 8.30 A.M. FEBRUARY 12, THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS WIFE LEFT SAN FRANCISCO VIA PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE, ARRIVING IN PORTLAND, OREGON, AT 2:30 P.M. FEBRUARY 14, 1949. ON ID.O. VOUCHER NO. 1680, JULY 1949 ACCOUNTS OF O. E. WALSH, THE EMPLOYEE WAS ALLOWED THE SUM OF $63.96, REPRESENTING PER DIEM FROM 3 P.M. JANUARY 27 TO 12 NOON FEBRUARY 3--- BASED UPON VESSEL TRAVEL TO THE WEST COAST AND COMMON CARRIER TIME FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO PORTLAND (CONSTRUCTIVE DEPARTURE FROM SAN FRANCISCO BEING AT 5 P.M. FEBRUARY 2 AND ARRIVAL AT PORTLAND BEING AT 11:30 A.M. FEBRUARY 3/--- LESS A DEDUCTION OF $8.40 FOR QUARTERS FURNISHED WHILE ON BOARD MILITARY TRANSPORT, PLUS MILEAGE FOR 680 MILES, SAN FRANCISCO TO PORTLAND, AT THE RATE OF 3.6 CENTS PER MILE. THE EMPLOYEE NOW CLAIMS AN ADDITIONAL SUM AS PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FOR THE PERIOD OF DELAY AT SAN FRANCISCO AWAITING ARRIVAL OF HIS AUTOMOBILE, CLAIM FOR THAT PERIOD HAVING BEEN OMITTED FROM HIS ORIGINAL VOUCHER SO THAT THE BALANCE DUE COULD BE PROCESSED PROMPTLY.

DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY CIRCULAR 120 DATED APRIL 30, 1948--- STATED IN THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL ORDERS AS CONTROLLING HIS RIGHTS IN CONNECTION WITH THE SHIPMENT OF HIS PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE--- PROVIDES THAT TRANSPORTATION OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE ARMY IS NOT AUTHORIZED BY LAW AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE BUT THAT SUCH VEHICLES MAY BE TRANSPORTED ON GOVERNMENT VESSELS ON A SPACE-AVAILABLE BASIS WITH PORT CHARGES BEING PAID BY THE OWNER OR BY COMMERCIAL FACILITIES AT THE OWNER'S EXPENSE. IN ADDITION, IT IS STATED THEREIN THAT ZONE OF THE INTERIOR TRANSPORTATION OF SUCH AUTOMOBILES IS NOT AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. TO THE SAME EFFECT, SEE CPR T3.7 6B/2) DATED SEPTEMBER 23, 1948. SEE, GENERALLY, 5 U.S.C. 73C. THOSE REGULATIONS ARE FOR APPLICATION TO THE INSTANT CASE. THE FACT THAT THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL ORDERS DID NOT IN SO MANY WORDS STATE THAT HE WAS AUTHORIZED TO USE COMMON CARRIER MAY NOT SERVE TO NULLIFY THE EFFECT OF THE REGULATORY PROVISIONS. IT IS AMPLY CLEAR FROM HIS ORDERS THAT THE COST OF TRAVEL TO THE GOVERNMENT WAS TO BE MEASURED BY THE OVER-ALL COST OF THE TRAVEL HERE INVOLVED VIA COMMON CARRIER. THAT OBLIGATION LAWFULLY MAY NOT BE INCREASED BY REASON OF A LAY-OVER AWAITING ARRIVAL OF THE EMPLOYEE'S PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE--- PERSONAL PROPERTY WHICH UNDER THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS WAS NOT AUTHORIZED TO BE TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

ACCORDINGLY, REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE LAND TRAVEL HERE IN QUESTION WOULD APPEAR TO BE PROPER IN AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE AUTHORIZED MILEAGE AND PER DIEM FOR TRAVEL TIME (INCLUDING THE LAY-OVER AT SAN FRANCISCO) BY AUTOMOBILE, NOT IN EXCESS OF THE TOTAL CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER OF THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS DEPENDENT, INCLUDING PER DIEM FOR RAIL TRAVEL TIME OF THE EMPLOYEE--- IT BEING UNDERSTOOD THAT (IF NOT ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED) PROPER ADMINISTRATIVE CONSIDERATION WILL BE GIVEN TO THE MATTER OF CHARGING ANY EXCESS TRAVEL TIME TO THE EMPLOYEE'S LEAVE, ATTENTION IN THAT CONNECTION BEING INVITED TO THE PENULTIMATE PARAGRAPH OF 26 COMP. GEN. 463, 466. ALSO, SEE 18 COMP. GEN. 755.

WITH RESPECT TO THE DEDUCTION OF $8.40 MADE ON HIS ORIGINAL VOUCHER ( D.O. VOUCHER 1680, SUPRA) FOR QUARTERS FURNISHED WHILE TRAVELING ON MILITARY TRANSPORT, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT SAID DEDUCTION WOULD NOT APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN PROPER. THE RULE IS THAT WHERE A CIVILIAN OFFICER OR AN EMPLOYEE, PURSUANT TO AN OFFICIAL ORDER, PERFORMS TRAVEL ON A VESSEL OWNED OR CONTROLLED BY THE UNITED STATES, OR ON A COMMERCIALLY OPERATED VESSEL WHERE THE PRICE OF PASSAGE INCLUDES STATEROOM OR BERTH, NO DEDUCTION IS REQUIRED FOR LODGING SO FURNISHED WHILE ON BOARD SUCH VESSEL. 25 COMP. GEN. 167; B-74218, APRIL 9, 1948.

ACTION ON THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, SHOULD BE TAKEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE.