B-89761, MAY 12, 1950, 29 COMP. GEN. 457

B-89761: May 12, 1950

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A COAST GUARD OFFICER WHO PERFORMED TRAVEL IN HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE BETWEEN HIS HEADQUARTERS AT PHILADELPHIA AND MARCUS HOOK UNDER ORDERS AUTHORIZING TRANSPORTATION AND A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE WAS NOT IN A TRAVEL STATUS AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942. 1950: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 22. REIMBURSEMENT OF TAXICAB FARES WAS DENIED ON THE BASIS THAT THE USUAL MEANS OF TRAVEL IN THE PHILADELPHIA AREA IS VIA LOCAL TRANSIT SYSTEM AND A MONEY ALLOWANCE OF THREE CENTS PER MILE WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT MARCUS HOOK IS WITHIN THE METROPOLITAN AREA OF YOUR PERMANENT DUTY STATION. RESPECTING THE EXPENSES OF TAXICAB FARES THAT WERE INCURRED BY YOU ON FEBRUARY 11.

B-89761, MAY 12, 1950, 29 COMP. GEN. 457

TAXICAB FARES AND MILEAGE WITHIN CORPORATE LIMITS OF PERMANENT DUTY STATION AN EMPLOYEE WHO, DUE TO A TRANSPORTATION STRIKE SUSPENDING ALL PUBLIC CARRIER SERVICES AND THE LACK OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES, USED A TAXICAB IN CONNECTION WITH NECESSARY TRAVEL PERFORMED WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION MAY BE REIMBURSED THE TAXICAB FARES ACTUALLY INCURRED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL DUTY FOR THE PERIOD OF THE STRIKE. INASMUCH AS THE METROPOLITAN AREA OF PHILADELPHIA INCLUDES MARCUS HOOK, PENNSYLVANIA, A COAST GUARD OFFICER WHO PERFORMED TRAVEL IN HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE BETWEEN HIS HEADQUARTERS AT PHILADELPHIA AND MARCUS HOOK UNDER ORDERS AUTHORIZING TRANSPORTATION AND A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE WAS NOT IN A TRAVEL STATUS AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942, AS AMENDED, SO AS TO BE ENTITLED TO A MONEY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION FOR SUCH TRAVEL.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO LT. COMDR. GEORGE M. BISHOP, U.S. COAST GUARD, MAY 12, 1950:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 22, 1949, REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE ACTION TAKEN IN GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE SETTLEMENT DATED JULY 1, 1949, IN DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TAXICAB FARES INCURRED BY YOU IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL PERFORMED WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF YOUR PERMANENT DUTY STATION, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, FOR A MONEY ALLOWANCE OF THREE CENTS PER MILE FOR TRAVEL VIA PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE BETWEEN PHILADELPHIA AND MARCUS HOOK, PENNSYLVANIA. REIMBURSEMENT OF TAXICAB FARES WAS DENIED ON THE BASIS THAT THE USUAL MEANS OF TRAVEL IN THE PHILADELPHIA AREA IS VIA LOCAL TRANSIT SYSTEM AND A MONEY ALLOWANCE OF THREE CENTS PER MILE WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT MARCUS HOOK IS WITHIN THE METROPOLITAN AREA OF YOUR PERMANENT DUTY STATION.

RESPECTING THE EXPENSES OF TAXICAB FARES THAT WERE INCURRED BY YOU ON FEBRUARY 11, 14, 15, AND 16, 1949, WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF YOUR OFFICIAL DUTY STATION, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, AND IN EXPLANATION OF THE USE OF SUCH MODE OF TRANSPORTATION YOU HAVE CERTIFIED THAT THE PHILADELPHIA TRANSPORTATION COMPANY STRIKE INACTIVATED "ALL BUS, STREET CARS, AND ELEVATED AND SUBWAY LINES," AND THAT NO GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WAS AVAILABLE ON THE DATES SHOWN FOR SAID TRAVEL INVOLVING MARINE INSPECTIONS IN THE PHILADELPHIA AREA. ALTHOUGH DECLINING TO CERTIFY THE VOUCHER SUBMITTED FOR THE REASON SUCH TRAVEL WAS "WHOLLY PERFORMED VIA TAXICAB WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF CLAIMANTS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION," THE CERTIFYING OFFICER FURTHER STATES, HOWEVER, THAT ,MODE OF SUCH TRAVEL WAS NECESSARY DUE TO THE PHILADELPHIA TRANSPORTATION COMPANY'S STRIKE, INACTIVATING ALL BUS, STREET CAR, ELEVATED AND SUBWAY LINES.' THE NONAVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT VEHICLES IS SUBSTANTIATED BY THE COMMANDER, 3RD COAST GUARD DISTRICT, NEW YORK, NEW YORK, IN HIS COMMUNICATION DATED MARCH 25, 1949, ADDRESSED TO THE COMMANDANT, HEADQUARTERS, UNITED STATES COAST GUARD. THE TAXICAB TRAVEL PERFORMED BY YOU AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS OF THE COAST GUARD IN CONNECTION WITH THE MARINE INSPECTION OF CERTAIN VESSELS THEN LOCATED AT THE PORT OF PHILADELPHIA WAS PERFORMED FROM YOUR PHILADELPHIA OFFICE TO SUCH PORT, BOTH POINTS BEING ENTIRELY WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF YOUR OFFICIAL DUTY STATION. HOWEVER, INASMUCH AS ALL PUBLIC CARRIER SERVICE NORMALLY OPERATING BETWEEN THE POINTS INVOLVED WAS SUSPENDED DURING THE PERIOD FEBRUARY 11 TO 16, 1949, BECAUSE OF THE PREVAILING STRIKE ON THE ENTIRE PHILADELPHIA TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM, AND SINCE THE ADMINISTRATIVE HEADQUARTERS ON THE 3RD COAST GUARD DISTRICT REPORTS THAT SAID TAXICAB EXPENSES WERE NECESSARILY INCURRED, IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE RECORD REASONABLY ESTABLISHES THE OFFICIAL NECESSITY FOR THE USE OF SUCH MODE OF TRAVEL. ACCORDINGLY, A SUPPLEMENTAL SETTLEMENT WILL ISSUE IN DUE COURSE, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, ALLOWING YOU REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TAXICAB FARES ACTUALLY INCURRED BY YOU IN THE PERFORMANCE OF YOUR OFFICIAL DUTIES ON FEBRUARY 11, 14, 15, AND 16, 1949.

RESPECTING YOUR CLAIM FOR A MONEY ALLOWANCE AT THE RATE OF THREE CENTS PER MILE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE ON FEBRUARY 6 AND 7, 1949, BETWEEN PHILADELPHIA AND MARCUS HOOK, PENNSYLVANIA ROUND TRIPS), THE RECORD SHOWS THAT SAID CLAIM IS BASED UPON TRAVEL AND TEMPORARY DUTY ORDERS, DATED JANUARY 31, 1949, FROM COMMANDER, 3RD COAST GUARD DISTRICT. THE SAID ORDERS AUTHORIZED YOU TO "PROCEED FROM TIME TO TIME DURING THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY 1949 AND VISIT AND REVISIT SUCH PLACES IN THE PHILADELPHIA AREA OF THE 3RD CG DISTRICT AS MAY BE NECESSARY ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS OF THE CG.' A PER DIEM AS PRESCRIBED BY ARTICLE 421 (1), PAY AND SUPPLY INSTRUCTIONS, UNITED STATES COAST GUARD, IS AUTHORIZED IN PARAGRAPH 3 OF THE ORDERS IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRAVEL NECESSARY TO THE EXECUTION THEREOF. APPLICABLE PROVISIONS OF COAST GUARD PAY AND SUPPLY INSTRUCTIONS ISSUED PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY OF SECTION 12 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942 AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946 (SEE SECTION 112, TITLE 37, U.S.C. 1946 USED.), PROVIDE THAT OFFICERS OF THE COAST GUARD WHEN TRAVELING UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS WHICH, UNDER SAID INSTRUCTIONS "ENTITLE THEM TO TRANSPORTATION AND A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE, AS DISTINGUISHED FROM MILEAGE, AND WHO PERFORM THE REQUIRED TRAVEL AT OWN EXPENSE" MAY BE PAID, REGARDLESS OF THE MODE OF TRAVEL, A MONEY ALLOWANCE OF THREE CENTS PER MILE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION. SEE ARTICLE 423 (3) (A), AMENDMENT NO. 133, COAST GUARD PAY AND SUPPLY INSTRUCTIONS, JANUARY 1949. THE RIGHT TO TRANSPORTATION AND A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE UNDER OTHERWISE COMPETENT ORDERS IS DEPENDENT UPON A ,TRAVEL STATUS" WHICH, AS DEFINED IN ARTICLE 407 (4) (A) (I), COMMENCES "WITH THE DAY OF DEPARTURE FROM A SHIP OR WITH ACTUAL TRAVEL AWAY FROM A SHORE STATION" AND INCLUDES, INTER ALIA (SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THE SAME REGULATION),"TRAVEL IN CONNECTION WITH NECESSARY TEMPORARY DUTY, INCLUDING TIME SPENT AT A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION, AND WITHOUT REGARD TO THE LENGTH OF TIME AWAY FROM THE DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY.' ARTICLE 407 (1) PROVIDES THAT "OFFICERS ARE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL EXPENSES OR TRANSPORTATION IN KIND, AS AUTHORIZED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THESE INSTRUCTIONS, ONLY WHILE ACTUALLY IN A "TRAVEL STATUS.'" UNDER ARTICLE 422 (13), PER DIEM IS NOT ALLOWED PRIOR TO ACTUAL TRAVEL AWAY FROM PERMANENT SHORE STATION IN COMPLIANCE WITH ORDERS "SINCE TRAVEL STATUS DOES NOT COMMENCE UNTIL DEPARTURE FROM THE METROPOLITAN AREA OF THE PERMANENT DUTY STATION.' ( ALL ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

THE METROPOLITAN AREA OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, YOUR PERMANENT DUTY STATION AND DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY, AS DISTINGUISHED FROM THE ACTUAL CITY OR CORPORATE LIMITS OF SAID MUNICIPALITY, INCLUDES MARCUS HOOK, PENNSYLVANIA. SEE RAND-MCNALLY COMMERCIAL ATLAS AND MARKETING GUIDE. ALSO, NOTE IN THIS CONNECTION THE FIRST PARAGRAPH ON PAGE 3 OF DECISION TO YOU DATED MARCH 25, 1949, B-80175, RESPECTING YOUR STATUS FOR PURPOSES OF PER DIEM INCIDENT TO DUTY AT MARCUS HOOK, PENNSYLVANIA, ON SEPTEMBER 13 AND NOVEMBER 3, 1947. THEREFORE, SINCE THE TRAVEL YOU PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE BETWEEN PHILADELPHIA AND MARCUS HOOK, PENNSYLVANIA, ON FEBRUARY 6 AND 7, 1949, DID NOT INVOLVE A DEPARTURE FROM THE METROPOLITAN AREA OF YOUR PERMANENT DUTY STATION, OR CONSTITUTE ACTUAL TRAVEL AWAY FROM YOUR DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY, YOU WERE NOT IN A TRAVEL STATUS AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN THE ABOVE CITED AND QUOTED REGULATIONS AND A MONEY ALLOWANCE OF THREE CENTS PER MILE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION DID NOT ACCRUE AS A RESULT OF SUCH TRAVEL. ACCORDINGLY, INSOFAR AS THE SETTLEMENT OF JULY 1, 1949, DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR THREE CENTS PER MILE FOR TRAVEL BETWEEN PHILADELPHIA AND MARCUS HOOK, THE SETTLEMENT IS SUSTAINED.