B-137336, NOVEMBER 17, 1958, 38 COMP. GEN. 366

B-137336: Nov 17, 1958

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MILITARY PERSONNEL - MILEAGE - GOVERNMENT CONVEYANCE - EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT USE BY AIR FORCE OFFICER ON OFFICIAL TRAVEL OF AIRCRAFT WHICH WAS LOANED BY DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE TO THE AIR FORCE ACADEMY AERO CLUB WHICH WAS GIVEN FULL OPERATIONAL CONTROL OF AIRCRAFT. AMOUNTS PAID BY THE OFFICER FOR GAS AND OTHER NECESSARY EXPENSES ARE FOR REIMBURSEMENT IF SUPPORTED BY RECEIPTS. 1958: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 25. IN WHICH YOU REQUEST DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT IS PROPER ON THE ACCOMPANYING VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL JOHN R. UPON THE COMPLETION OF WHICH THEY WERE TO RETURN TO THEIR PROPER DUTY STATION. THE TRAVEL DIRECTED WAS PERFORMED DURING THE PERIOD APRIL 14 TO 16.

B-137336, NOVEMBER 17, 1958, 38 COMP. GEN. 366

MILITARY PERSONNEL - MILEAGE - GOVERNMENT CONVEYANCE - EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT USE BY AIR FORCE OFFICER ON OFFICIAL TRAVEL OF AIRCRAFT WHICH WAS LOANED BY DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE TO THE AIR FORCE ACADEMY AERO CLUB WHICH WAS GIVEN FULL OPERATIONAL CONTROL OF AIRCRAFT, NEVERTHELESS, CONSTITUTES USE OF A GOVERNMENT CONVEYANCE WITHIN THE MEANING OF PARAGRAPH 4203-3A OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH AUTHORIZES PAYMENT OF MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION USE OF COMMERCIAL OR PRIVATELY OWNED TRANSPORTATION AND PRECLUDES SUCH ALLOWANCE FOR USE OF GOVERNMENT CONVEYANCES; HOWEVER, AMOUNTS PAID BY THE OFFICER FOR GAS AND OTHER NECESSARY EXPENSES ARE FOR REIMBURSEMENT IF SUPPORTED BY RECEIPTS.

TO MAJOR J. D. MURFIELD, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE, NOVEMBER 17, 1958:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 25, 1958, PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 58-2, FORWARDED HERE WITH COMMUNICATION OF SEPTEMBER 9, 1958, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE, IN WHICH YOU REQUEST DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT IS PROPER ON THE ACCOMPANYING VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL JOHN R. SALA FOR $162.15, REPRESENTING A MONETARY ALLOWANCE OF FIVE CENTS PER MILE FOR TRAVEL TOTALING 3,243 MILES PERFORMED UNDER PARAGRAPH 4 OF SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 1177, HEADQUARTERS, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY, DENVER, COLORADO, DATED APRIL 10, 1958.

THE ORDERS OF APRIL 10, 1958, DIRECTED THAT COLONEL SALA AND MAJOR JOHN S. ALBRIGHT PROCEED ON TEMPORARY DUTY FROM DENVER, COLORADO, TO TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE AND OXNARD AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA, ON OR ABOUT APRIL 14, 1958, FOR APPROXIMATELY FIVE DAYS TO INTERVIEW PROSPECTIVE INSTRUCTORS FOR THE AIR FORCE ACADEMY, UPON THE COMPLETION OF WHICH THEY WERE TO RETURN TO THEIR PROPER DUTY STATION. THE TRAVEL DIRECTED WAS PERFORMED DURING THE PERIOD APRIL 14 TO 16, 1958, BY THE USE OF A T-34 AIRCRAFT ON LOAN TO THE AIR FORCE ACADEMY AERO CLUB THROUGH ARRANGEMENTS MADE BY THE AIR FORCE ACADEMY AND THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE UNDER THE PROGRAM SET FORTH IN AIR FORCE REGULATION 34 14. THAT PROGRAM AUTHORIZES THE ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATION OF AERO CLUBS AS INSTRUMENTALITIES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE MILITARY PERSONNEL AND THEIR DEPENDENTS AND CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE AIR FORCE WITH OPPORTUNITY TO ENGAGE IN FLYING FOR RECREATION AND TO DEVELOP SKILLS IN AERO SCIENCES USEFUL TO THE AIR FORCE. YOU STATE THAT FOR THE USE OF THE AIRCRAFT COLONEL SALA MUST REIMBURSE THE ACADEMY AERO CLUB AT THE RATE OF $5 PER FLYING HOUR PLUS EXPENSES FOR AVIATION GAS USED, WITH THE AERO CLUB PAYING ALL OTHER EXPENSES OF OPERATION. YOUR QUESTION IS WHETHER THE USE OF THE AIRCRAFT UNDER THOSE CIRCUMSTANCES CONSTITUTED USE OF A GOVERNMENT CONVEYANCE TO PRECLUDE THE PAYMENT OF THE MONETARY ALLOWANCES CLAIMED.

PARAGRAPH 1150-6 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS DEFINES THE TERM " GOVERNMENT CONVEYANCE" AS MEANING ANY TRANSPORTATION FACILITY OWNED, LEASED, OR CHARTERED BY THE GOVERNMENT. PARAGRAPH 4203-3A OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES, WITH EXCEPTION NOT HERE MATERIAL, FOR THE PAYMENT TO MEMBERS OF A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION AT THE RATE OF FIVE CENTS PER MILE FOR AUTHORIZED TRAVEL PERFORMED AT PERSONAL EXPENSE. SUCH PROVISION CONTEMPLATES AND REFERS ONLY TO THE USE OF COMMERCIAL OR PRIVATELY OWNED TRANSPORTATION AND NOT TO TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT CONVEYANCE WHICH, UNDER ORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES, IS PROVIDED WITHOUT CHARGE WHEN USED FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL. UNDER UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE NECESSARY EXPENSES OF OPERATION OF GOVERNMENT CONVEYANCES, SUCH AS COST OF GASOLINE, OIL, REPAIRS, NONPERSONAL SERVICES, GUARDS, AND STORAGE, ARE INCURRED BY THE TRAVELER BECAUSE GOVERNMENT FACILITIES ARE NOT AVAILABLE, PARAGRAPH 4406 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT SUCH EXPENSES ARE REIMBURSABLE.

THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH THE AIRCRAFT USED BY COLONEL SALA AND MAJOR ALBRIGHT WAS ALLOCATED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE TO THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE AIR FORCE ACADEMY FOR LOAN TO THE AERO CLUB APPEAR IN LETTER OF HEADQUARTERS, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE, DATED MAY 2, 1957. WHILE, AS YOU SUGGEST, IT IS INDICATED IN THAT LETTER THAT THE AERO CLUB WAS FOR MOST PURPOSES GIVEN FULL OPERATIONAL CONTROL OF THE AIRCRAFT AND THE AIR FORCE MARKINGS WERE REMOVED FROM IT, THERE CAN BE NO DOUBT THAT IT WAS INTENDED THAT OWNERSHIP WAS TO REMAIN IN THE GOVERNMENT AND THAT IT DID SO REMAIN. CONSEQUENTLY, IT MUST BE CONSIDERED THAT COLONEL SALA USED A GOVERNMENT CONVEYANCE IN THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE TRAVEL IN QUESTION EVEN THOUGH FOR PRACTICAL PURPOSES SUCH CONVEYANCE WAS CONTROLLED BY THE AERO CLUB, AND, THEREFORE, THAT NO AUTHORITY EXISTS FOR THE PAYMENT TO HIM OF THE MONETARY ALLOWANCES IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION AUTHORIZED BY PARAGRAPH 4203-3A OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. IT IS CONSIDERED, HOWEVER, THAT A MEMBER TRAVELING UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR REASONABLE TRAVELING EXPENSES. ACCORDINGLY, COLONEL SALA PROPERLY MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR THE EXPENSES INCURRED FOR THE TRAVEL IN QUESTION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 4406 OF THE REGULATIONS IF SUPPORTED BY THE RECEIPTS REQUIRED BY THAT PARAGRAPH. THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER IS RETURNED HEREWITH AND, IF AMENDED TO REFLECT THAT VIEW, MAY BE PAID.

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