B-130712, JUL. 31, 1963

B-130712: Jul 31, 1963

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WHICH WAS DISALLOWED BY OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF MAY 17. THE CHANGE IN THE MILEAGE RATE WAS MADE TO COMPLY WITH ADMINISTRATIVE CIRCULAR NO. 5. WHICH WAS A BLANKET TRAVEL ORDER. REFERENCE WAS MADE IN THE DEPARTMENTAL REGULATION OR IN THE BUREAU NOTICE TO TRAVEL ORDERS DIRECTING SPECIAL TRIPS. THE CHANGE TO THE LOWER MILEAGE RATE WAS INCORPORATED IN THE BUREAU'S REGULATIONS BY CUSTOMS ACCOUNTING MANUAL AMENDMENT NO. THE PERIOD OF TEMPORARY DUTY WAS ESTIMATED AS EXTENDING FROM ABOUT MAY 27 TO SEPTEMBER 8. THE TRAVEL ORDER AUTHORIZED THE MODE OF TRAVEL AND REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR AS: "COMMON CARRIER AND/OR PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON A MILEAGE BASIS AT THE MAXIMUM RATE PRESCRIBED IN SECTION 3.5 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IT HAVING BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT SUCH MODE OF TRANSPORTATION AT THIS RATE IS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT THAN TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER.'.

B-130712, JUL. 31, 1963

TO MR. JOSEPH GRUBACH, APPRAISER OF MERCHANDISE, BUREAU OF CUSTOMS:

YOUR LETTER OF MAY 22, 1963, REQUESTS REVIEW OF YOUR CLAIM AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT, BUREAU OF CUSTOMS, FOR ADDITIONAL MILEAGE FOR TWO SEPARATE PERIODS OF TRAVEL, WHICH WAS DISALLOWED BY OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF MAY 17, 1963.

YOUR CLAIM AROSE BECAUSE THE BUREAU OF CUSTOMS, BY NOTICE FIS-8-FI, DATED JULY 26, 1962, EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 1962, REDUCED THE AUTHORIZED MILEAGE RATE FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY-OWNED VEHICLE FROM 12 CENTS TO 10 CENTS PER MILE. THE CHANGE IN THE MILEAGE RATE WAS MADE TO COMPLY WITH ADMINISTRATIVE CIRCULAR NO. 5, SUPPLEMENT NO. 3, DATED JUNE 29, 1962, ISSUED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, WHICH, EFFECTIVE ON AUGUST 1, 1962, PRESCRIBED DEPARTMENTAL REGULATIONS AND SET A MILEAGE RATE OF 10 CENTS PER MILE WITH THE EXCEPTION THAT BUREAU HEADS COULD AUTHORIZE A RATE UP TO 12 CENTS PER MILE IN EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES.

NOTICE FIS-8-FI OF JULY 26, 1962, REFERS TO PART 190, CUSTOMS ACCOUNTING MANUAL AND TO BUREAU CIRCULAR FIS-8-FI, JUNE 26, 1962, PROMULGATING TRAVEL ORDER NO. 12, FISCAL YEAR 1963, WHICH WAS A BLANKET TRAVEL ORDER. REFERENCE WAS MADE IN THE DEPARTMENTAL REGULATION OR IN THE BUREAU NOTICE TO TRAVEL ORDERS DIRECTING SPECIAL TRIPS. THE CHANGE TO THE LOWER MILEAGE RATE WAS INCORPORATED IN THE BUREAU'S REGULATIONS BY CUSTOMS ACCOUNTING MANUAL AMENDMENT NO. X-21, DATED OCTOBER 1, 1962.

YOUR FIRST CLAIM CONCERNS TRAVEL PERFORMED UNDER TRAVEL ORDER T-439, DATED MAY 15, 1962. THIS TRAVEL ORDER COVERING A SPECIFIC TRIP AUTHORIZED YOU TO TRAVEL FROM DETROIT, MICHIGAN, TO NEW YORK CITY, VIA WASHINGTON, D.C., AND RETURN. THE PERIOD OF TEMPORARY DUTY WAS ESTIMATED AS EXTENDING FROM ABOUT MAY 27 TO SEPTEMBER 8, 1962. THE TRAVEL ORDER AUTHORIZED THE MODE OF TRAVEL AND REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR AS:

"COMMON CARRIER AND/OR PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON A MILEAGE BASIS AT THE MAXIMUM RATE PRESCRIBED IN SECTION 3.5 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IT HAVING BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT SUCH MODE OF TRANSPORTATION AT THIS RATE IS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT THAN TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER.'

THE MAXIMUM RATE AUTHORIZED BY SGTR 3.5 WAS 12 CENTS PER MILE. RETURN TRAVEL BY AUTOMOBILE FROM NEW YORK TO DETROIT WAS PERFORMED ON AUGUST 31 AND SEPTEMBER 1, 1962.

IT IS APPARENT THAT ADMINISTRATIVE CIRCULAR NO. 5, SUPPLEMENT NO. 3, DID NOT IN ITSELF AMEND EXISTING TRAVEL ORDERS; RATHER IT REQUIRED THE SEVERAL BUREAUS TO TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION IN THAT REGARD. ALSO, SINCE BUREAU NOTICE FIS-8-FI, JULY 26, 1962, MADE REFERENCE TO BLANKET ORDER NO. 12, BUT NOT TO SPECIAL TRIP ORDERS, THAT NOTICE LIKEWISE DID NOT OPERATE TO AMEND YOUR ORDER NO. T-439.

THE GENERAL RULE IS THAT TRAVEL ORDERS MAY NOT BE MODIFIED RETROACTIVELY TO INCREASE OR DECREASE RIGHTS WHICH HAVE ACCRUED AND BECOME FIXED UNDER ORDERS FOR TRAVEL ALREADY PERFORMED. B-142103, MARCH 15, 1960. CF. B- 46734, MARCH 17, 1945, AND B-54700, FEBRUARY 14, 1946. THEREFORE, IN THE ABSENCE OF ACTUAL NOTICE TO YOU THAT THE 12-CENT RATE AUTHORIZED BY TRAVEL ORDER T-439 WAS TO BE REDUCED, PROSPECTIVELY, TO THE 10-CENT RATE, THE FORMER RATE CONTINUED IN EFFECT UNTIL THE RECEIPT OF NOTICE OR UNTIL THE COMPLETION OF YOUR ASSIGNMENT ON SEPTEMBER 1, 1962. WE FIND NO EVIDENCE OF ACTUAL NOTICE PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 1, 1962, THAT YOUR 12-CENT MILEAGE RATE WAS REDUCED.

YOUR SECOND CLAIM CONCERNS TRAVEL PERFORMED FROM NOVEMBER 26 TO NOVEMBER 29, 1962, UNDER TRAVEL ORDER NO. 12, REFERRED TO ABOVE. THAT TRAVEL ORDER ORIGINALLY PRESCRIBED THE MAXIMUM MILEAGE AUTHORIZED BY SGTR 3.5, I.E., 12 CENTS. BUREAU NOTICE FIS-8-FI OF JULY 26, 1962, AMENDED TRAVEL ORDER NO. 12 TO CHANGE THE MILEAGE RATE ALLOWABLE TO 10 CENTS RATHER THAN 12 CENTS. YOU WERE PERSONALLY NOTIFIED OF THE DECREASE IN THE MILEAGE RATE ALLOWABLE BY A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 27, 1962. ALTHOUGH THAT LETTER WOULD NOT HAVE REACHED YOU BEFORE YOU BEGAN YOUR TRAVEL, YOU HAD ACTUAL NOTICE OF THE CHANGE, AS SHOWN BY THE FACT THAT THE LETTER OF NOVEMBER 27, WAS A REPLY TO INQUIRIES YOU MADE IN LETTERS OF OCTOBER 9, 1962, CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF THE 10 CENT RATE. THEREFORE, YOU WERE PROPERLY REIMBURSED AT THE RATE OF 10 CENTS PER MILE FOR THIS TRAVEL, AND NO FURTHER AMOUNT IS DUE.

A SETTLEMENT WILL BE ISSUED FOR THE ADDITIONAL MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT TO WHICH YOU ARE ENTITLED.

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