B-121024, SEPTEMBER 24, 1954, 34 COMP. GEN. 139

B-121024: Sep 24, 1954

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IN LIEU OF USING TAXICABS THE COST OF WHICH IS REIMBURSABLE UNDER PRESENT ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE. SO THAT EMPLOYEES WHO ARE AUTHORIZED TO USE THEIR PERSONALLY OWNED CARS ARE REQUIRED TO ASSUME ALL OTHER EXPENSES OF OPERATION. IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER OR NOT MILEAGE IS AUTHORIZED. EVEN THOUGH MILEAGE IS NOT AUTHORIZED. 1954: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF AUGUST 9. THE ACTING DIRECTOR STATES THAT BECAUSE OF THE WIDELY SEPARATED OFFICES OF THE AGENCY ITS OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES FREQUENTLY ARE REQUIRED TO TRAVEL SEVERAL MILES BETWEEN OFFICES IN TRANSACTING OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND THAT UNDER THE PROCEDURE NOW IN EFFECT IN THE AGENCY REIMBURSEMENT FOR TAXICAB FARES IS APPROVED IN SUCH CASES AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT.

B-121024, SEPTEMBER 24, 1954, 34 COMP. GEN. 139

TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE - PARKING FEES EMPLOYEES WHO USE THEIR PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS WITHIN THEIR POSTS OF DUTY, IN LIEU OF USING TAXICABS THE COST OF WHICH IS REIMBURSABLE UNDER PRESENT ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE, MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED COST OF PARKING ON PRIVATELY OWNED PARKING LOTS ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS EVEN THOUGH THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE LESS THAN THE COST OF TAXICAB FARE. SECTION 4 OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949 AUTHORIZES THE ALLOWANCE OF MILEAGE TO EMPLOYEES FOR THE USE OF THEIR PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES IN THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL TRAVEL ON A COMMUTED BASIS AND PRECLUDES ANY ADDITIONAL ALLOWANCE ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS, EXCEPT FOR CERTAIN SPECIFICALLY NAMED TOLLS, SO THAT EMPLOYEES WHO ARE AUTHORIZED TO USE THEIR PERSONALLY OWNED CARS ARE REQUIRED TO ASSUME ALL OTHER EXPENSES OF OPERATION, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO PARKING FEES, AND IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER OR NOT MILEAGE IS AUTHORIZED. AN EMPLOYEE MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED FEES PAID FOR PARKING PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON A PARKING LOT WHEN USED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS, EVEN THOUGH MILEAGE IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL WEITZEL TO DIRECTOR, UNITED STATES INFORMATION AGENCY, SEPTEMBER 24, 1954:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF AUGUST 9, 1954, FROM THE ACTING DIRECTOR, REQUESTING A DECISION WHETHER, IN VIEW OF THE FACTS HEREINAFTER SET FORTH, THERE MAY BE APPROVED AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT REIMBURSEMENT FOR PARKING FEES PAID BY OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES INFORMATION AGENCY FOR PARKING THEIR PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES INCIDENT TO PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS WITHIN THEIR POSTS OF DUTY.

THE ACTING DIRECTOR STATES THAT BECAUSE OF THE WIDELY SEPARATED OFFICES OF THE AGENCY ITS OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES FREQUENTLY ARE REQUIRED TO TRAVEL SEVERAL MILES BETWEEN OFFICES IN TRANSACTING OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND THAT UNDER THE PROCEDURE NOW IN EFFECT IN THE AGENCY REIMBURSEMENT FOR TAXICAB FARES IS APPROVED IN SUCH CASES AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. IT IS STATED FURTHER THAT IN CERTAIN CASES IT HAS BEEN FOUND MOST PRACTICAL, BECAUSE OF THE ADDITIONAL SAVINGS IN TIME AND MORE EXPEDITIOUS TRANSACTION OF BUSINESS, TO AUTHORIZE THE USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES. WHEN THIS IS DONE IT BECOMES NECESSARY (IN THE ABSENCE OF FREE PARKING FACILITIES) FOR THE EMPLOYEES TO USE PARKING LOTS. IT IS STATED THAT, IF MILEAGE AND PARKING FEES WERE REIMBURSED IN THESE CASES, THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE LESS THAN IF TAXICABS WERE USED. IN THE EVENT BOTH MILEAGE AND PARKING FEES MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED, IT IS PROPOSED TO REIMBURSE THE OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES FOR PARKING FEES ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS, IF LEGALLY PERMISSIBLE, WHEN THE COST WOULD BE LESS THAN THE COST OF TAXICAB FARE.

ALSO, IT IS RELATED THAT IN STILL OTHER CASES OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES ARE ORDERED TO REPORT AT THE OPENING HOUR OF BUSINESS TO AN OFFICE OTHER THAN THEIR REGULAR OFFICE AND THAT THOSE WHO REGULARLY DRIVE THEIR CARS TO WORK ARE REQUIRED TO USE PARKING LOTS WHILE PERFORMING OFFICIAL BUSINESS IN THE EVENT NO FREE PARKING IS AVAILABLE. IN THESE CASES, IT IS PROPOSED TO PAY A PARKING FEE--- "NOT IN EXCESS OF TAXI FARE BETWEEN THE PLACE THE OFFICIAL BUSINESS IS PERFORMED AND THE EMPLOYEE'S REGULAR OFFICE" UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 166.

WHILE IT IS NOT SO STATED, IT IS ASSUMED THAT THE PARKING LOTS REFERRED TO ARE PRIVATELY OWNED, AND THIS DECISION IS RENDERED UPON THAT BASIS.

SECTION 4 OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 166, UNDER WHICH THE ALLOWANCE OF MILEAGE TO AN OFFICER TRAVEL IS AUTHORIZED, IS A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON OFFICIAL TRAVEL IS AUTHORIZED, IS A COMMUTATION OF THE EXPENSE OF OPERATING THE AUTOMOBILE AND PRECLUDES ANY ADDITIONAL ALLOWANCE ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS OTHER THAN "THE ACTUAL COST OF FERRY FARES, AND BRIDGE, ROAD, AND TUNNEL TOLLS.' HENCE, WHEN AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE RECEIVED REIMBURSEMENT ON A MILEAGE BASIS FOR THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE HE IS REQUIRED TO ASSUME ALL OTHER EXPENSES OF OPERATING SAID CAR, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO PARKING FEES. ACCORDINGLY, IN THE SITUATION PRESENTED, OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF YOUR AGENCY MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED ON A MILEAGE BASIS AND, ALSO, FOR PARKING FEES. SEE 32 COMP. GEN. 74.

CONCERNING THE REIMBURSEMENT OF PARKING FEES IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES PRESENTED, AND WHERE MILEAGE IS NOT ADMINISTRATIVELY AUTHORIZED, I AM OF THE OPINION THAT UNDER EXISTING LAW AND REGULATIONS THE PAYMENT THEREOF IS NOT AUTHORIZED.