B-96152, JULY 11, 1950, 30 COMP. GEN. 11

B-96152: Jul 11, 1950

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PROVIDED TRANSPORTATION IN KIND IS NOT REQUIRED AND THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE IS ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED AS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY. 1950: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 15. REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY ARE ENTITLED TO MILEAGE FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCES PURSUANT TO COMPETENT ORDERS WITHIN THE OCCUPIED ZONES OF GERMANY. YOU STATE THAT TRANSPORTATION VIA MILITARY TRAINS IS AVAILABLE FOR ALL DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES. IT IS NOTED THAT FARES FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL VIA MILITARY TRAINS WITHIN GERMANY ARE NOT ASSESSED ON A PER CAPITA BASIS.

B-96152, JULY 11, 1950, 30 COMP. GEN. 11

MILEAGE - TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE - CIVILIANS IN OCCUPIED ZONES OF GERMANY CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY WHO, UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS, PERFORM OFFICIAL TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WITHIN THE OCCUPIED ZONES OF GERMANY MAY BE PAID MILEAGE, NOT TO EXCEED THE STATUTORY RATE, FOR SUCH TRAVEL, PROVIDED TRANSPORTATION IN KIND IS NOT REQUIRED AND THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE IS ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED AS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY, JULY 11, 1950:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 15, 1950, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY ARE ENTITLED TO MILEAGE FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCES PURSUANT TO COMPETENT ORDERS WITHIN THE OCCUPIED ZONES OF GERMANY.

YOU STATE THAT TRANSPORTATION VIA MILITARY TRAINS IS AVAILABLE FOR ALL DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES, AS WELL AS MILITARY PERSONNEL, FOR AUTHORIZED TRAVEL WITHIN THE OCCUPIED ZONES OF GERMANY, AND IT IS NOTED THAT FARES FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL VIA MILITARY TRAINS WITHIN GERMANY ARE NOT ASSESSED ON A PER CAPITA BASIS, SINCE MUCH MILITARY TRAINS ARE OPERATED AT THE COST OF THE GERMAN ECONOMY, AND NO PAYMENT OF U.S. GOVERNMENT APPROPRIATED FUNDS IS INVOLVED.

YOU MAKE SPECIFIC REFERENCE TO OFFICE DECISION DATED JULY 15, 1948, B- 77941, WHEREIN THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE WAS DENIED JOHN A. TOWNLEY, MAJOR, F.D., OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, FRANKFURT, GERMANY, FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE PURSUANT TO ORDERS DATED NOVEMBER 13, 1947, AUTHORIZING SAID ARMY OFFICER TO PROCEED "FROM HIS PRESENT STATION TO SALZBURG, HERSCHING, TULLN AND VIENNA, AUSTRIA, ON TEMPORARY DUTY FOR A PERIOD NOT TO EXCEED EIGHT (8) DAYS," AND UPON COMPLETION THEREOF TO RETURN TO HIS PROPER STATION. PARAGRAPH 2 OF MAJOR TOWNLEY'S ORDERS PROVIDED, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

TRAVEL BY MILITARY AIRCRAFT, GOVERNMENT MOTOR VEHICLE AND/OR RAIL TRANSPORTATION IS AUTHORIZED. CHANGE IN ITINERARY IS AUTH, WHEN TRAVELING BY AIR, AS MAY BE REQUIRED BY CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE TRAVELER. TPA IS AUTH ON A NON-REIMBURSABLE BASIS. * * *

THE CITED DECISION HELD THAT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 12 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT (56 STAT. 364), AS AMENDED, OFFICER TOWNLEY WAS NOT ENTITLED TO A MONEY ALLOWANCE OF 3 CENTS PER MILE (IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION) FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE (AND FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT WAS SPECIFICALLY PRECLUDED) SINCE SUCH TRAVEL COULD HAVE BEEN PERFORMED BY RAIL (AS AUTHORIZED) AT NO EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT OR THE TRAVELER. SAID DECISION WAS INTENDED TO APPLY ONLY TO PERSONNEL IN THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES WHO TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE FOR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE WHEN TRANSPORTATION IN KIND IS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED AND IS AVAILABLE FOR THE TRAVEL DIRECTED. IT HAS NO APPLICATION TO THE RIGHTS OF A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY TO MILEAGE FOR THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WHENEVER SUCH MODE OF TRANSPORTATION IS ADMINISTRATIVELY AUTHORIZED (OR SUBSEQUENTLY APPROVED) AS "MORE ADVANTAGEOUS" TO THE GOVERNMENT. SEE PARAGRAPH 12 (A) (1), STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS; CIVILIAN PERSONNEL REGULATIONS 155.6-13 AND T3.6-13, DATED MAY 27, 1947, AND SEPTEMBER 13, 1948, RESPECTIVELY. SEE, ALSO, SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 907, AND SECTION 4, ACT OF JUNE 9, 1949, 63 STAT. 166. ALTHOUGH EXISTING CIVILIAN TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT ALL AUTHORIZED TRAVEL "MUST BE BY THE MOST ECONOMICAL USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE," NO LAW OR REGULATION HAS BEEN FOUND REQUIRING CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES TO UTILIZE TRANSPORTATION IN KIND ( GOVERNMENT MEANS) FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL TRAVEL WHERE SUCH MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION IS NOT REQUIRED BY COMPETENT ORDERS, OR WHERE THE EMPLOYEES ARE GIVEN THE PRIVILEGE OF SELECTING OTHER MODES OF AVAILABLE TRANSPORTATION FOR TRAVEL TO AND FROM DESIGNATED LOCATIONS. HOWEVER, THE DETERMINATION OF THE MODE OF TRAVEL TO BE USED BY AN EMPLOYEE IS VESTED IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS--- NOT THE EMPLOYEE--- AND IN THE EVENT AN EMPLOYEE ELECTS TO TRAVEL BY A METHOD DIFFERENT FROM THAT OFFICIALLY AUTHORIZED, THE AMOUNT THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS OBLIGATED TO PAY, GENERALLY, MAY NOT EXCEED WHAT IT WOULD HAVE COST HAD THE TRAVELER UTILIZED THE MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION PRESCRIBED.

WITH REGARD TO THE SUSPENSION RAISED ON VOUCHER NO. 6176 OF THE SEPTEMBER 1948 ACCOUNTS OF MAJOR A. G. MERRITT, F.D., SYMBOL NO. 214 367, COVERING PAYMENT OF MILEAGE TO WILLIAM J. ANDERSON, FORMER CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE, FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FROM BERLIN TO BREMERHAVEN, GERMANY, DURING SEPTEMBER 1947, IT NOW APPEARS THAT SAID SUSPENSION WAS IMPROPER BECAUSE MR. ANDERSON'S TRAVEL ORDERS DATED AUGUST 30, 1947, SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED THAT SAID TRAVEL BY PRIVATE CAR "WILL BE TO THE ADVANTAGE OF THE GOVERNMENT.' CONCERNING THE MILEAGE CLAIM ( NO. 10859438) OF DEXTER G. TILROE, FORMER CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE, HEADQUARTERS, U.S. FORCES IN AUSTRIA, FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FROM VIENNA, AUSTRIA, TO BREMERHAVEN, GERMANY, FEBRUARY 28, TO MARCH 3, 1948, PURSUANT TO TRAVEL ORDERS DATED FEBRUARY 26, 1948, THE RECORD SHOWS THAT MR. TILROE'S ORDERS AUTHORIZED SAID LAND TRAVEL BY " TPA" AT THE RATE OF 5 CENTS PER MILE,"NOT TO EXCEED 678 MILES.' IN VIEW OF HIS TRAVEL ORDERS AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPLANATION SUBSEQUENTLY FURNISHED WHICH INDICATED A REASONABLE BASIS FOR THE "DETERMINATION OF ADVANTAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT," ALLOWANCE THEREOF IN THE SUM OF $33.90, AUTHORIZED BY SETTLEMENT DATED APRIL 11, 1950, APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN CORRECT.

ANSWERING YOUR QUESTION SPECIFICALLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THIS OFFICE WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE (NOT TO EXCEED THE STATUTORY RATES PRESCRIBED FOR THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE INVOLVED) TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF YOUR DEPARTMENT FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE WITHIN THE OCCUPIED ZONES OF GERMANY, IN ANY CASE WHERE "TRANSPORTATION IN KIND" IS NOT REQUIRED TO BE UTILIZED BY COMPETENT ORDERS, AND THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL WITHIN GERMANY IS ADMINISTRATIVELY AUTHORIZED (OR SUBSEQUENTLY APPROVED) AS "MORE ADVANTAGEOUS" TO THE GOVERNMENT.