B-94983, MAY 29, 1950, 29 COMP. GEN. 485

B-94983: May 29, 1950

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1950: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 26. THE AMOUNT CLAIMED IS STATED TO REPRESENT A RECLAIM OF AN AMOUNT SUSPENDED ADMINISTRATIVELY ON DISBURSING OFFICER VOUCHER NO. 1219074. THE MODES OF TRAVEL DESIGNATED WERE "/A) COMMON CARRIER. PLUS THE PER DIEM TO WHICH HE WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED HAD SUCH MODE OF TRANSPORTATION BEEN UTILIZED. THE CLAIM WAS ALLOWED ADMINISTRATIVELY IN AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF RAIL TRAVEL PLUS CONSTRUCTIVE PER DIEM APPLICABLE TO THAT MODE OF TRAVEL. TRAVEL BY AIRCRAFT IS UPON THE SAME BASIS AS TRAVEL BY OTHER COMMON CARRIER. NO COMPARISON OF COST WITH RAIL OR OTHER COMMON CARRIER NORMALLY IS REQUIRED. INASMUCH AS EXPRESS AUTHORITY WAS GRANTED THE EMPLOYEE IN THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION TO TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER.

B-94983, MAY 29, 1950, 29 COMP. GEN. 485

MILEAGE; PER DIEM - TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE - CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF AIR TRAVEL IN VIEW OF PARAGRAPH 8 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PLACING AIR TRAVEL ON THE SAME BASIS AS TRAVEL BY OTHER COMMON CARRIER, AN EMPLOYEE WHO ELECTS TO TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE PURSUANT TO A TRAVEL ORDER AUTHORIZING TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER, INCLUDING AIRCRAFT, OR BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON A MILEAGE BASIS NOT TO EXCEED THE COST BY COMMON CARRIER, MAY BE PAID MILEAGE NOT TO EXCEED AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF AIR TRANSPORTATION PLUS THE CONSTRUCTIVE PER DIEM APPLICABLE TO THAT MODE OF TRAVEL.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO VERA D. HUNTSMAN, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, MAY 29, 1950:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 26, 1950, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER, UNDER THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES HEREINAFTER SET FORTH, A VOUCHER TRANSMITTED THEREWITH IN FAVOR OF DAVID W. OWEN, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS, FOR MILEAGE INCIDENT TO OFFICIAL TRAVEL FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONA, TO SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, AND RETURN, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT. THE AMOUNT CLAIMED IS STATED TO REPRESENT A RECLAIM OF AN AMOUNT SUSPENDED ADMINISTRATIVELY ON DISBURSING OFFICER VOUCHER NO. 1219074, PAID ON MARCH 29, 1950, BY PAUL D. BANNING, CHIEF DISBURSING OFFICER, TREASURY DEPARTMENT.

THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION IN QUESTION PROVIDED FOR TRAVEL BETWEEN PHOENIX AND SAN FRANCISCO. THE MODES OF TRAVEL DESIGNATED WERE "/A) COMMON CARRIER, (RAIL, BUS, AIR, WATER)" AND "/D) PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON A MILEAGE BASIS, BUT NOT TO EXCEED THE COST BY COMMON CARRIER.' THE EMPLOYEE ELECTED TO TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AND FILED CLAIM FOR THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF AIR TRAVEL, PLUS THE PER DIEM TO WHICH HE WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED HAD SUCH MODE OF TRANSPORTATION BEEN UTILIZED. THE CLAIM WAS ALLOWED ADMINISTRATIVELY IN AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF RAIL TRAVEL PLUS CONSTRUCTIVE PER DIEM APPLICABLE TO THAT MODE OF TRAVEL. THE RECLAIM OF $4.05 REPRESENTS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CONSTRUCTIVE AIR TRAVEL COSTS, INCLUSIVE OF PER DIEM, AND CONSTRUCTIVE RAIL TRAVEL COSTS, INCLUSIVE OF PER DIEM.

UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 8 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, TRAVEL BY AIRCRAFT IS UPON THE SAME BASIS AS TRAVEL BY OTHER COMMON CARRIER, AND NO COMPARISON OF COST WITH RAIL OR OTHER COMMON CARRIER NORMALLY IS REQUIRED. SEE 26 COMP. GEN. 693, 695. INASMUCH AS EXPRESS AUTHORITY WAS GRANTED THE EMPLOYEE IN THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION TO TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER, INCLUDING AIRCRAFT, IT MAY BE PRESUMED THAT THE LIMITATION ON MILEAGE TO AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO CONSTRUCTIVE COMMON CARRIER COSTS WAS INTENDED TO MEAN THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF TRAVEL BY ANY ONE OF THE COMMON CARRIER AUTHORIZED TO BE UTILIZED AND THAT, IF IT HAD BEEN INTENDED ADMINISTRATIVELY TO LIMIT MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT TO THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF TRAVEL BY RAIL, APPROPRIATE LANGUAGE WOULD HAVE BEEN INCLUDED IN THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION TO THAT EFFECT. IN VIEW THEREOF, THE CONCLUSION IS WARRANTED THAT THE MILEAGE CLAIMED BY THE EMPLOYEE NEED NOT HAVE BEEN REDUCED BELOW AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF AIR TRANSPORTATION PLUS THE CONSTRUCTIVE PER DIEM APPLICABLE TO THAT MODE OF TRAVEL.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.