B-98317, OCTOBER 12, 1950, 30 COMP. GEN. 151

B-98317: Oct 12, 1950

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1950: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 20. MARRIOTT WAS EMPLOYED ON A WHEN ACTUALLY-EMPLOYED BASIS BY THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS FOR WORK ON A SPECIAL SURVEY BEING CONDUCTED IN THE SALT LAKE CITY AREA. THAT ALL OF THE TRAVEL IN QUESTION WAS PERFORMED IN AND AROUND THAT AREA. IT IS STATED THAT SPEEDOMETER READINGS COULD NOT BE USED AS A MEASURE OF THE DISTANCES TRAVELED BECAUSE THE SPEEDOMETER IN THE AUTOMOBILE UTILIZED WAS DEFECTIVE. MARRIOTT IS SAID TO HAVE STATED THAT HE NOTIFIED HIS SUPERVISOR AS TO THE CONDITION OF THE SPEEDOMETER PRIOR TO THE TRAVEL. THERE WAS ATTACHED TO THE SUBJECT VOUCHER THE FOLLOWING COMPUTATION OF MILEAGE WHICH WAS CERTIFIED AND APPROVED BY MR.

B-98317, OCTOBER 12, 1950, 30 COMP. GEN. 151

MILEAGE - TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE - EVIDENCE ACCEPTABLE IN LIEU OF SPEEDOMETER READINGS OR HIGHWAY MILEAGE GUIDES WHERE, DUE TO A DEFECTIVE SPEEDOMETER, AN EMPLOYEE TRAVELING ON A MILEAGE BASIS IN AND AROUND HIS HEADQUARTERS COULD NOT VERIFY THE DISTANCE TRAVELED BY STANDARD HIGHWAY MILEAGE GUIDES OR BY SPEEDOMETER READINGS, AS REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH 12A (1) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, A REASONABLE MILEAGE COMPUTATION OF THE DISTANCE TRAVELED, AS APPROVED AND CERTIFIED BY A RESPONSIBLE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER HAVING KNOWLEDGE OF THE FACTS, MAY BE ACCEPTED AS THE BEST AVAILABLE EVIDENCE THEREOF AND REIMBURSEMENT UPON SUCH BASIS MAY BE REGARDED AS SUBSTANTIAL COMPLIANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF SAID REGULATIONS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO VERA D. HUNTSMAN, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, OCTOBER 12, 1950:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 20, 1950, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF PAYMENT ON A VOUCHER, TRANSMITTED THEREWITH, IN FAVOR OF MR. JOHN D. MARRIOTT, FOR MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE UNDER THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES HEREINAFTER SET FORTH.

IT APPEARS FROM YOUR LETTER THAT MR. MARRIOTT WAS EMPLOYED ON A WHEN ACTUALLY-EMPLOYED BASIS BY THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS FOR WORK ON A SPECIAL SURVEY BEING CONDUCTED IN THE SALT LAKE CITY AREA; THAT ALL OF THE TRAVEL IN QUESTION WAS PERFORMED IN AND AROUND THAT AREA; AND THAT, THEREFORE, THE MILEAGE CLAIMED COULD NOT BE VERIFIED BY A STANDARD TABLE OF DISTANCES. FURTHER, IT IS STATED THAT SPEEDOMETER READINGS COULD NOT BE USED AS A MEASURE OF THE DISTANCES TRAVELED BECAUSE THE SPEEDOMETER IN THE AUTOMOBILE UTILIZED WAS DEFECTIVE. MR. MARRIOTT IS SAID TO HAVE STATED THAT HE NOTIFIED HIS SUPERVISOR AS TO THE CONDITION OF THE SPEEDOMETER PRIOR TO THE TRAVEL, AND, APPARENTLY, THE SUPERVISOR ASSURED HIM THAT HE WOULD BE REIMBURSED UPON A MILEAGE BASIS, NOTWITHSTANDING THE CONDITION OF THE SPEEDOMETER.

IN SUPPORT OF THE MILEAGE CLAIMED, THERE WAS ATTACHED TO THE SUBJECT VOUCHER THE FOLLOWING COMPUTATION OF MILEAGE WHICH WAS CERTIFIED AND APPROVED BY MR. WILLIAM C. HER OLD, FIELD SUPERVISOR:

MR. JOHN D. MARRIOTT'S AUTOMOBILE HAS A DEFECTIVE MILEAGE (SIC) INDICATOR; THEREFORE, MILEAGE (SIC) WAS TABULATED ON THE BASIS OF 6 CITY BLOCKS EQUAL TO 1 MILE. ( MEASURED BY A WORKING METER.)

IT IS NOTED THAT NO TRAVEL ORDER OR OTHER WRITTEN AUTHORIZATION FOR THE TRAVEL IN QUESTION WAS TRANSMITTED HERE WITH YOUR LETTER. HOWEVER, FOR PURPOSES OF THIS DECISION IT IS ASSUMED THAT THE SAID TRAVEL WAS PROPERLY AUTHORIZED AND THAT REIMBURSEMENT UPON A MILEAGE BASIS AT THE RATE OF 7 CENTS PER MILE WAS PRESCRIBED.

PARAGRAPHS 12A (1) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AS AMENDED, IS IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

* * * WHEN TRANSPORTATION IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY PRIVATELY OWNED MOTORCYCLE OR AUTOMOBILE, DISTANCES BETWEEN POINTS TRAVELED SHALL BE AS SHOWN IN STANDARD HIGHWAY MILEAGE GUIDES OR BY SPEEDOMETER READINGS. ANY SUBSTANTIAL DEVIATIONS FROM DISTANCES SHOWN IN THE STANDARD HIGHWAY MILEAGE GUIDES SHALL BE EXPLAINED. * * *

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE ACTUAL DISTANCES TRAVELED COULD BE VERIFIED NEITHER BY STANDARD HIGHWAY MILEAGE GUIDES NOR BY SPEEDOMETER READINGS OF THE AUTOMOBILE IN WHICH THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED, AND SINCE THE MILEAGE COMPUTATION, UPON WHICH THE AMOUNT CLAIMED ON THE VOUCHER IS BASED, APPEARS REASONABLE AND HAS BEEN CERTIFIED AND APPROVED BY THE FIELD SUPERVISOR, WHO APPARENTLY HAD KNOWLEDGE OF THE FACTS, IT MAY BE ACCEPTED AS THE BEST AVAILABLE EVIDENCE OF THE ACTUAL DISTANCES TRAVELED, AND REIMBURSEMENT UPON SUCH BASIS PROPERLY MAY BE REGARDED AS SUBSTANTIAL COMPLIANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF PARAGRAPH 12A (1) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, SUPRA. COMPARE 24 COMP. GEN. 168, AND 26 ID. 770.

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