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IS AS FOLLOWS: PARAGRAPH 12A OF THE STANDARD TRAVEL REGULATIONS. IN SOME CASES THEY ARE AUTHORIZED TO USE THEIR PERSONALLY OWNED PLANES ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND OBTAIN REIMBURSEMENT FOR ACTUAL EXPENSES OF GASOLINE AND OIL. THE USE OF THEIR PERSONALLY OWNED PLANE IS AUTHORIZED ON THE ABOVE BASIS WHERE IT IS ADVANTAGEOUS AND/OR ECONOMICAL TO THE UNITED STATES. IT IS OBVIOUSLY ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT TO AUTHORIZE TRAVEL ON THIS BASIS. IT IS EQUALLY APPARENT THAT THE AUTHORIZATION OF SUCH TRAVEL ON THE BASIS OF MILEAGE ALLOWANCE WOULD BE OF CONSIDERABLE ADVANTAGE TO BOTH THE GOVERNMENT AND THE TRAVELING EMPLOYEE. A SPECIFIC RULING IS REQUESTED ON THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS: 1. YOUR PROMPT DECISION IN THESE MATTERS WILL BE APPRECIATED.

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B-85, JANUARY 4, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 588

CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES - TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AIRPLANE - ACTUAL EXPENSE VERSUS MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT BASIS THE ONLY STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THE COMMUTATION OF TRAVELING EXPENSES OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES IN A TRAVEL STATUS TO REIMBURSEMENT ON A MILEAGE BASIS BEING THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, 46 STAT. 1103, AS AMENDED, WHICH COVERS ONLY OFFICIAL TRAVEL BY THE EMPLOYEE'S OWN MOTORCYCLE OR OWN AUTOMOBILE, A CIVILIAN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL BY HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AIRPLANE MAY BE REIMBURSED ONLY ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS NOT TO EXCEED THE COST BY AVAILABLE COMMON CARRIER AS PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH 12 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE CHAIRMAN, CIVIL AERONAUTICS AUTHORITY JANUARY 4, 1939:

YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 14, 1938, IS AS FOLLOWS:

PARAGRAPH 12A OF THE STANDARD TRAVEL REGULATIONS, APPROVED DECEMBER 10, 1935, PROVIDES FOR THE PAYMENT OF A RATE NOT EXCEEDING FIVE CENTS PER MILE FOR USE OF PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILES ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AWAY FROM DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY.

THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS AUTHORITY HAS A NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES WHO OWN THEIR OWN AIRPLANES, AND IN SOME CASES THEY ARE AUTHORIZED TO USE THEIR PERSONALLY OWNED PLANES ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND OBTAIN REIMBURSEMENT FOR ACTUAL EXPENSES OF GASOLINE AND OIL. THE USE OF THEIR PERSONALLY OWNED PLANE IS AUTHORIZED ON THE ABOVE BASIS WHERE IT IS ADVANTAGEOUS AND/OR ECONOMICAL TO THE UNITED STATES.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE OFFICIAL BUSINESS OF THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS AUTHORITY CAN BE TRANSACTED MORE EXPEDITIOUSLY AND EFFICIENTLY IN THESE INSTANCES BY AUTHORIZING THE USE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S PERSONALLY OWNED PLANE, IT IS OBVIOUSLY ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT TO AUTHORIZE TRAVEL ON THIS BASIS. IT IS EQUALLY APPARENT THAT THE AUTHORIZATION OF SUCH TRAVEL ON THE BASIS OF MILEAGE ALLOWANCE WOULD BE OF CONSIDERABLE ADVANTAGE TO BOTH THE GOVERNMENT AND THE TRAVELING EMPLOYEE, PROVIDING TRAVEL MAY BE APPROVED IN THAT MANNER.

ACCORDINGLY, A SPECIFIC RULING IS REQUESTED ON THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

1. MAY TRAVEL BY PERSONALLY OWNED PLANE BE AUTHORIZED ON A MILEAGE BASIS?

2. IF SO, AT WHAT MILEAGE RATE OR RATES MAY SUCH TRAVEL BE AUTHORIZED?

3. PROVIDED THAT TRAVEL CAN BE AUTHORIZED IN PERSONALLY OWNED AIRPLANES, NOT TO EXCEED A FIXED RATE PER MILE, SHOULD THE MILEAGE OF THE TRIP BE FIGURED ON THE BASIS OF AIRLINE DISTANCES BETWEEN THE POINTS COVERED IN THE TRAVEL ORDER, OR THE EXACT MILEAGE OF THE CIVIL AIRWAY BETWEEN THE AIRPORTS NEAREST TO THE POINT OF ORIGIN OF THE TRAVEL AND THE DESTINATION?

YOUR PROMPT DECISION IN THESE MATTERS WILL BE APPRECIATED.

IN THE ABSENCE OF A STATUTE SO PROVIDING IT IS NOT PERMISSIBLE TO COMMUTE TRAVELING EXPENSES AND THUS REIMBURSE AN EMPLOYEE AT A RATE PER DIEM OR PER MILE. SEE 4 COMP. GEN. 735. THE ONLY STATUTE AUTHORIZING MILEAGE TO CIVIL EMPLOYEES IN A TRAVEL STATUS IS THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, 46 STAT. 1103, AS AMENDED, WHICH COVERS ONLY OFFICIAL TRAVEL BY THE EMPLOYEE'S OWN MOTORCYCLE OR OWN AUTOMOBILE AND CAN NOT, THEREFORE, BE APPLIED TO THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AIRPLANE. ACCORDINGLY, WHEN AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL BY HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AIRPLANE HE MAY BE REIMBURSED ONLY ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS NOT TO EXCEED THE COST BY AVAILABLE COMMON CARRIER AS PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH 12 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

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