B-119993, AUGUST 19, 1954, 34 COMP. GEN. 81

B-119993: Aug 19, 1954

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - TAXICAB FARES - TRAVEL BETWEEN PLACE OF LODGING AND PLACE OF DUTY EMPLOYEE WHO USED TAXICABS FROM PLACE OF LODGING TO TEMPORARY DUTY STATIONS BECAUSE OF UNFAMILIARITY WITH LOCAL TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES WHICH WERE AVAILABLE MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED FOR THE COST OF DAILY TRAVEL BY TAXICAB AS AN ITEM OF TRANSPORTATION NOT INCIDENTAL TO SUBSISTENCE. PAYMENT MAY NOT BE ALLOWED UNLESS THE ADMINISTRATION AUTHORIZATION AND TRAVEL RECEIPTS REQUIREMENTS OF PARAGRAPHS 11 AND 80E ARE SATISFIED. 1954: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR UNDATED LETTER POSTMARKED APRIL 12. PAYMENT OF THE $35.30 WAS DENIED BY THE SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 16 FOR THE REASON THAT ADEQUATE PUBLIC MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION WAS DETERMINED TO BE AVAILABLE FOR NECESSARY TRAVEL BETWEEN PLACE OF LODGING.

B-119993, AUGUST 19, 1954, 34 COMP. GEN. 81

TRAVELING EXPENSES - TAXICAB FARES - TRAVEL BETWEEN PLACE OF LODGING AND PLACE OF DUTY EMPLOYEE WHO USED TAXICABS FROM PLACE OF LODGING TO TEMPORARY DUTY STATIONS BECAUSE OF UNFAMILIARITY WITH LOCAL TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES WHICH WERE AVAILABLE MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED FOR THE COST OF DAILY TRAVEL BY TAXICAB AS AN ITEM OF TRANSPORTATION NOT INCIDENTAL TO SUBSISTENCE; ALSO, WHILE THE USE OF TAXICABS FOR SUCH TRAVEL MAY FALL WITHIN PURVIEW OF THE SPECIAL CONVEYANCE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 11 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PAYMENT MAY NOT BE ALLOWED UNLESS THE ADMINISTRATION AUTHORIZATION AND TRAVEL RECEIPTS REQUIREMENTS OF PARAGRAPHS 11 AND 80E ARE SATISFIED. SEE 32 COMP. GEN. 137.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL WEITZEL TO SOLOMON MOLDOFF, AUGUST 19, 1954:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR UNDATED LETTER POSTMARKED APRIL 12, 1954, REQUESTING REVIEW OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE SETTLEMENT DATED FEBRUARY 16, 1954, WHICH DISALLOWED $35.30 OF YOUR CLAIM FOR $38.30, REPRESENTING EXPENSES INCURRED FOR TAXICAB FARES ON MARCH 19, 20 AND 23, 1953, WHILE ON TEMPORARY DUTY IN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, AND VICINITY, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, HEADQUARTERS, SIGNAL CORPS ENGINEERING LABORATORIES, FORT MONMOUTH, NEW JERSEY.

PAYMENT OF THE $35.30 WAS DENIED BY THE SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 16 FOR THE REASON THAT ADEQUATE PUBLIC MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION WAS DETERMINED TO BE AVAILABLE FOR NECESSARY TRAVEL BETWEEN PLACE OF LODGING, BURBANK, CALIFORNIA, AND THE PLACES WHERE THE TEMPORARY DUTY WAS PERFORMED--- LOS ANGELES AND VICINITY. THE SUM ALLOWED, $3.30, REPRESENTS THE COST OF ROUND-TRIP TRANSPORTATION BY PACIFIC ELECTRIC RAILWAY BETWEEN BURBANK AND PASADENA ($1.20), BURBANK AND LOS ANGELES (?60), BURBANK AND PASADENA VIA LOS ANGELES ($1.20).

YOU EXPRESS THE VIEW THAT YOU SHOULD BE REIMBURSED FOR THE CHARGES CLAIMED SINCE YOU WERE NOT FAMILIAR WITH LOS ANGELES, THE SURROUNDING AREA, OR THE TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES AVAILABLE. YOU STATE THAT TAXICABS WERE UTILIZED PURSUANT TO LOCAL ADVICE AND THAT TRAVEL BY ANY OTHER MEANS WOULD HAVE NECESSITATED ADDITIONAL TIME TO COMPLETE THE TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT.

THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT FURNISHED THIS OFFICE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY RECOMMENDED PAYMENT OF THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION BY THE PACIFIC ELECTRIC RAILWAY. TARIFFS ON FILE IN THIS OFFICE SHOW A SCHEDULED SERVICE BETWEEN THE POINTS INVOLVED OF APPROXIMATELY EVERY 30 MINUTES, EXCEPT DURING CERTAIN HOURS OF THE MORNING AND EVENING WHEN MORE FREQUENT SERVICE IS AVAILABLE.

PARAGRAPH 11 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

11. SPECIAL CONVEYANCE.--- THE HIRE OF BOAT, AUTOMOBILE, TAXICAB, AIRCRAFT, LIVERY, OR OTHER SUCH CONVEYANCE WILL BE ALLOWED IF THE USE OF SUCH FACILITIES IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT WHENEVER THE EMPLOYEE OR OTHERS RENDERING SERVICE TO THE GOVERNMENT IS ENGAGED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS WITHIN OR OUTSIDE HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY. * * * PARAGRAPH 80E OF THOSE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT RECEIPTS, WHEN PRACTICABLE TO OBTAIN THEM, WILL BE REQUIRED FOR THE HIRE OF A SPECIAL CONVEYANCE (NOT TAXICABS LOCALLY) WHERE THE AMOUNT EXCEEDS $3.

SINCE THE USE OF TAXICABS FOR THE TRAVEL IN QUESTION FALLS WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF PARAGRAPH 11, ABOVE, THIS OFFICE IS WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM IN THE ABSENCE OF (1) A DETERMINATION OF ADVANTAGE BY AN APPROPRIATE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIAL (THE OFFICER WHO ISSUED TRAVEL ORDER OR HIS SUCCESSOR) OF THE USE OF THE SPECIAL CONVEYANCE; AND (2) RECEIPTS FOR THE USE OF THE SPECIAL CONVEYANCE UTILIZED OR AN ADEQUATE EXPLANATION OF WHY RECEIPTS WERE NOT PROCURED. SEE 32 COMP. GEN. 137.

ACCORDINGLY, UPON THE PRESENT RECORD THE SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 16, 1954, MUST BE, AND IS, SUSTAINED.