A-97837, NOVEMBER 12, 1938, 18 COMP. GEN. 450

A-97837: Nov 12, 1938

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DIFFERENT METHODS OF REIMBURSEMENT BEING PROVIDED ACCORDING TO WHICH OF THE METHODS OF TRAVEL IS DIRECTED. ANY CLEAR AUTHORIZATION IN COMPETENT ORDERS FOR USE OF COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT WILL BE TREATED AS SUFFICIENT TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF THE COST THEREOF AND MAKE APPLICABLE TO SUCH TRAVEL THE TRAVEL EXPENSES PRESCRIBED BY ACT OF MARCH 2. OFFICERS TRAVELING UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS WHICH DO NOT REQUIRE OR AUTHORIZE THE USE OF COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT ARE ENTITLED TO MILEAGE FOR PERFORMANCE OF THE ORDERED TRAVEL. WILL BE FOR DEDUCTION FROM THE OFFICER'S MILEAGE. WHERE COAST GUARD OFFICER IS AUTHORIZED UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS. TRAVEL IS ACTUALLY PERFORMED THEREUNDER BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT. SUCH TRANSPORTATION WOULD BE CONSIDERED AS HAVING BEEN AUTHORIZED BY THE ORDER AND REIMBURSEMENT WOULD NOT BE AUTHORIZED ON A MILEAGE BASIS WHETHER THE TRANSPORTATION WERE PROCURED ON A GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST OR FROM PERSONAL FUNDS.

A-97837, NOVEMBER 12, 1938, 18 COMP. GEN. 450

TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT - COAST GUARD PERSONNEL - REIMBURSEMENT BASIS UNDER ACT, JUNE 23, 1938 TWO METHODS OF TRAVEL BEING AUTHORIZED BY LAW--- LAND OR WATER TRANSPORTATION, AND TRANSPORTATION BY AIR--- SINCE THE PASSAGE OF SECTION 204 (C) OF THE ACT OF JUNE 23, 1938, 52 STAT. 983, PROVIDING FOR USE OF COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT BY GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL WHEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY, AND DIFFERENT METHODS OF REIMBURSEMENT BEING PROVIDED ACCORDING TO WHICH OF THE METHODS OF TRAVEL IS DIRECTED, TRAVEL ORDERS SHOULD BE EXPLICIT IN THEIR DIRECTION TO UTILIZE COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE CITED STATUTE, BUT ANY CLEAR AUTHORIZATION IN COMPETENT ORDERS FOR USE OF COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT WILL BE TREATED AS SUFFICIENT TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF THE COST THEREOF AND MAKE APPLICABLE TO SUCH TRAVEL THE TRAVEL EXPENSES PRESCRIBED BY ACT OF MARCH 2, 1931, 46 STAT. 1461, FOR ARMY, NAVY, MARINE CORPS, COAST GUARD, COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY, AND PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, COMMISSIONED AND ENLISTED PERSONNEL. COAST GUARD, ETC., OFFICERS TRAVELING UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS WHICH DO NOT REQUIRE OR AUTHORIZE THE USE OF COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT ARE ENTITLED TO MILEAGE FOR PERFORMANCE OF THE ORDERED TRAVEL, AND IF PERFORMED BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT, 3 CENTS PER MILE FOR ALL LAND GRANT INVOLVED OVER THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE, TOGETHER WITH THE ACTUAL COST OF TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED VIA COMMERCIAL AIR LINES ON GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS, WILL BE FOR DEDUCTION FROM THE OFFICER'S MILEAGE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH RULE STATED IN A-34175, JANUARY 30, 1931. AS TO TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT AIRPLANE SEE 8 COMP. GEN. 225. WHERE COAST GUARD OFFICER IS AUTHORIZED UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS, AND IN HIS DISCRETION, TO PERFORM TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL CARRIER, COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT, PRIVATELY-OWNED CONVEYANCE, GOVERNMENT AUTOMOBILE, OR BY COAST GUARD PLANE OR SURFACE CRAFT, AND TRAVEL IS ACTUALLY PERFORMED THEREUNDER BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT, SUCH TRANSPORTATION WOULD BE CONSIDERED AS HAVING BEEN AUTHORIZED BY THE ORDER AND REIMBURSEMENT WOULD NOT BE AUTHORIZED ON A MILEAGE BASIS WHETHER THE TRANSPORTATION WERE PROCURED ON A GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST OR FROM PERSONAL FUNDS, BUT IF A PORTION OF THE TRAVEL WERE PERFORMED BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT AND THE REMAINDER BY LAND TRANSPORTATION THE OFFICER'S REIMBURSEMENT WOULD BE AS FOR AN AIR TRAVEL STATUS FOR THE TRAVEL BY SUCH AIRCRAFT AND AS IN A MILEAGE STATUS FOR THE TRAVEL BY LAND TRANSPORTATION. WHERE A COAST GUARD OFFICER TRAVELING UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS WHICH DO NOT DESIGNATE THE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION TO BE USED, PERFORMS THE TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT PROCURED EITHER ON GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST OR FROM PERSONAL FUNDS HE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT ON A MILEAGE BASIS, BUT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION PROCURED BY GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST, THERE SHOULD BE DEDUCTED 3 CENTS PER MILE FOR LAND GRANT, IF ANY, INVOLVED, AND THE ACTUAL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION SO FURNISHED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, NOVEMBER 12, 1938:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 25, 1938, AS FOLLOWS:

THERE HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF THIS OFFICE YOUR LETTER (A- 97837), DATED SEPTEMBER 26, 1938 (18 COMP. GEN. 256), ADDRESSED TO THE HONORABLE THE SECRETARY OF WAR WITH REFERENCE TO THE USE OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS FOR TRAVEL BY AIR BY OFFICERS WHEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY. IN THIS LETTER IS STATED IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"SECTION 204 (C) OF THE ACT OF JUNE 23, 1938, CITED, NOW AUTHORIZES THE USE OF COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT WHEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY AND DIRECTS THAT GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS MAY BE ISSUED UPON SUCH AUTHORIZATIONS, AND IT IS FURTHER PROVIDED THAT THE EXPENSE FOR AIR TRAVEL PROCURED ON TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS SHALL BE ALLOWED WITHOUT REGARD TO COMPARATIVE COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION BY AIRCRAFT WITH OTHER MODES OF TRANSPORTATION. THE EFFECT OF THIS STATUTE IS TO SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZE THE USE OF COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT, WHEN PROPERLY AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED. THE MILEAGE LAWS HAVE BEEN HELD NOT APPLICABLE TO TRAVEL ORDERED TO BE BY AIR AND THE DEDUCTION OF THREE CENTS PER MILE IS NOT APPLICABLE TO AIR TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED ON GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST. IN VIEW THEREFORE OF THE SPECIFIC AUTHORITY TO UTILIZE SUCH MODE OF TRANSPORTATION, WHEN PROPERLY AUTHORIZED, THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1931, IS CLEARLY APPLICABLE WHEN TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL AIRPLANE IS DIRECTED IN ORDERS. ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT WHERE TRAVEL IS ORDERED BY COMMERCIAL AIRPLANE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 204 (C) OF THE ACT OF JUNE 23, 1938, ACTUAL AND NECESSARY TRAVELING EXPENSES AT RATES NOT TO EXCEED $8 PER DAY, OR, IN LIEU THEREOF, A PER DIEM AT RATES NOT TO EXCEED $6 PER DAY UNDER THE CITED ACT OF 1931, MAY BE PAID ARMY OFFICERS FOR ORDERED TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT.'

IN VIEW OF YOUR DECISION THAT THE MILEAGE LAWS ARE NOT APPLICABLE TO "TRAVEL ORDERED TO BE BY AIR," INFORMATION IS REQUESTED ON THE FOLLOWING POINTS WITH RESPECT TO THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL TRAVEL ON ORDERS WRITTEN AS QUOTED HEREIN:

"PROCEED, ON OR ABOUT 12 SEPTEMBER, 1938, TO NEW LONDON, CONNECTICUT, AND SUCH OTHER POINTS WITHIN THE NEW YORK DIVISION AS MAY BE NECESSARY, ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS OF THE COAST GUARD. UPON COMPLETION OF THIS DUTY, RETURN TO WASHINGTON, D.C., AND RESUME YOUR PRESENT STATUS.

"THE TRAVEL NECESSARY TO THE EXECUTION HEREOF IS REQUIRED BY THE PUBLIC INTERESTS. TRAVEL MAY BE PERFORMED BY COMMERCIAL CARRIER, COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT, PRIVATELY-OWNED CONVEYANCE, GOVERNMENT AUTOMOBILE, OR BY COAST GUARD PLANE OR SURFACE CRAFT, IN YOUR DISCRETION. FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT, A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE OF SIX DOLLARS, IN LIEU OF ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR SUBSISTENCE, IS AUTHORIZED.

"THE EXPENSE INCIDENT TO THE TRAVEL HEREIN AUTHORIZED IS CHARGEABLE TO TRAVEL ALLOTMENT SYMBOL NO. 73.'

(1) IS THE TRAVEL NOTED IN THE ABOVE ORDER "TRAVEL ORDERED TO BE BY AIR?

(2) WOULD AN OFFICER TRAVELING UNDER SUCH ORDERS ACCOMPLISHING SUCH TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT ON GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT ON A MILEAGE BASIS?

(3) WOULD THE OFFICER BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT ON A MILEAGE BASIS IF COMMERCIAL AIR TRANSPORTATION WERE PROCURED FROM PERSONAL FUNDS OF THE OFFICER AND NOT ON GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST?

(4) ON WHAT BASIS WOULD REIMBURSEMENT BE MADE IF A PORTION OF THE TRAVEL WERE ACCOMPLISHED BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT AND THE REMAINDER BY LAND TRANSPORTATION?

AGAIN, IT HAS BEEN THE PRACTICE OF THE COAST GUARD, BASED ON THE NEEDS OF THE SERVICE, TO ISSUE ORDERS TO COAST GUARD OFFICERS AS FOLLOWS:

"1 OCTOBER, 1938. "FROM: COMMANDANT. "TO: LIEUTENANT * * *. "SUBJECT: TEMPORARY DUTY; ORDERS; TRAVEL.

"1. PROCEED, ON OR ABOUT 4 OCTOBER, 1938, TO NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS OF THE COAST GUARD. UPON COMPLETION OF THIS DUTY, RETURN TO WASHINGTON, D.C., AND RESUME YOUR REGULAR STATUS.

"2. THE TRAVEL NECESSARY TO THE EXECUTION HEREOF IS REQUIRED BY PUBLIC INTERESTS.

"3. THE EXPENSE INCIDENT TO THE TRAVEL HEREIN AUTHORIZED IS CHARGEABLE TO TRAVEL ALLOTMENT SYMBOL NO. 73.

BY DIRECTION.'

INFORMATION IS REQUESTED IN THIS RESPECT ON THE FOLLOWING POINTS:

(1) WOULD AN OFFICER WHO TRAVELED UNDER THESE ORDERS, IF HE PERFORMED SUCH TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT, PROCURED ON GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST, BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT ON A MILEAGE BASIS?

(2) IF YOUR ANSWER TO THE PRECEDING QUESTION IS IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, WHAT DEDUCTION SHOULD BE MADE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS?

(3) WOULD THIS OFFICER, IF HE PROCURED TRANSPORTATION BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT WITH PERSONAL FUNDS BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT ON A MILEAGE BASIS?

AS YOUR ANSWER TO THE ABOVE QUESTIONS ARE OF GREAT IMPORTANCE TO THIS OFFICE IN FORMULATING REGULATIONS FOR THE COAST GUARD ON THIS SUBJECT, AN EARLY REPLY WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.

SECTION 204 (C) OF THE ACT OF JUNE 23, 1938, 52 STAT. 983, 984, PROVIDES REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE USE OF COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT, WHEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY. THERE ARE THUS TWO METHODS OF TRAVEL AUTHORIZED BY LAW, LAND OR WATER TRANSPORTATION AND TRANSPORTATION BY AIR, AND DIFFERENT METHODS OF REIMBURSEMENT PROVIDED ACCORDING TO WHICH OF THE METHODS OF TRAVEL IS DIRECTED. OFFICERS AUTHORIZED TO ISSUE TRAVEL ORDERS, SHOULD THEREFORE BE EXPLICIT IN THEIR DIRECTION TO UTILIZE COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE CITED STATUTE, BUT ANY CLEAR AUTHORIZATION IN COMPETENT ORDERS FOR THE USE OF SUCH MODE OF TRANSPORTATION WILL BE TREATED AS SUFFICIENT TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF THE COST OF SUCH MODE OF TRANSPORTATION, AND MAKE APPLICABLE TO SUCH TRAVEL THE TRAVEL EXPENSES PRESCRIBED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1931, 46 STAT. 1461.

OFFICERS TRAVELING UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS, WHICH DO NOT REQUIRE OR AUTHORIZE THE USE OF COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT, ARE ENTITLED TO MILEAGE FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE ORDERED TRAVEL, AND IF PERFORMED BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT 3 CENTS PER MILE FOR ALL LAND GRANT INVOLVED OVER THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE, TOGETHER WITH THE ACTUAL COST OF TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED VIA COMMERCIAL AIR LINES ON GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS, WILL BE FOR DEDUCTION FROM THE OFFICER'S MILEAGE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RULE STATED IN A-34175, JANUARY 30, 1931. AND SEE 8 COMP. GEN. 225 AS TO TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT AIRPLANE.

GIVING APPLICATION TO THE ABOVE-STATED RULE, THE ORDERS FIRST SET OUT LEAVE TO THE DISCRETION OF THE OFFICER THE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION TO BE USED BY HIM IN CARRYING OUT HIS ORDERS AND THE TRAVEL ALLOWANCE TO WHICH HE IS ENTITLED WILL BE BASED ON THE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION ACTUALLY UTILIZED BY HIM UNDER THE DISCRETION VESTED IN HIM UNDER HIS ORDERS. YOUR QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED IN THE ORDER STATED.

(1) IF TRAVEL IS ACTUALLY PERFORMED BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT, SUCH TRANSPORTATION IS CONSIDERED TO HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED BY THE ORDER.

(2) NO.

(3) NO.

(4) THE OFFICER WOULD BE IN AN AIR TRAVEL STATUS FOR TRAVEL ACCOMPLISHED BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT, AND IN A MILEAGE STATUS FOR TRAVEL ACCOMPLISHED BY LAND TRANSPORTATION.

THE LATTER ORDERS, SET OUT IN YOUR LETTER, DO NOT DESIGNATE THE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION TO BE USED, AND YOUR SPECIFIC QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED IN THE ORDER STATED, AS FOLLOWS:

(1) THE OFFICER WOULD BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT ON A MILEAGE BASIS.

(2) THREE CENTS PER MILE FOR LAND GRANT, IF ANY, INVOLVED AND THE ACTUAL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED ON TRANSPORTATION REQUEST FOR TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL AIR LINE.

(3) YES.

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