B-122948, MAY 11, 1955

B-122948: May 11, 1955

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 8. YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER IS STATED TO ARISE BECAUSE THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE TRANSPORTED IN THE EMPLOYEE'S PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE. THE EMPLOYEE WAS AUTHORIZED TO PROCEED FROM BROOKINGS. SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WAS AUTHORIZED THEREIN. ON THE LATTER TRIP HE WAS ACCOMPANIED BY HIS WIFE. WE HELD THAT THE EMPLOYEE THERE INVOLVED WAS NOT ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF EFFECTS IN HIS PRIVATELY OWNED TRAILER. IN CONNECTION WITH WHICH HE WAS PAID SEVEN CENTS PER MILE FOR THE USE OF HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE. TRANSPORTED HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN HIS PRIVATELY OWNED HOUSE TRAILER WHICH WAS TOWED BY A HIRED MOVER WHOSE CHARGES FOR SUCH SERVICE WERE THE SAME WHETHER A TRAILER WAS EMPTY OR LOADED.

B-122948, MAY 11, 1955

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

C.O. BROWN, JR., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 8, 1955, FORWARDING FOR CONSIDERATION A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF GLENN A. AVERY, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE, IN THE AMOUNT OF $78.32. THE VOUCHER COVERS REIMBURSEMENT ON A COMMUTED BASIS FOR TRANSPORTING 1,430 POUNDS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND, ALSO, MILEAGE FOR THE USE OF HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE INCIDENT TO A CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION. YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER IS STATED TO ARISE BECAUSE THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE TRANSPORTED IN THE EMPLOYEE'S PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE.

BY TRAVEL ORDER DATED DECEMBER 27, 1954, THE EMPLOYEE WAS AUTHORIZED TO PROCEED FROM BROOKINGS, SOUTH DAKOTA, HIS OFFICIAL STATION, TO HURON, SOUTH DAKOTA, FOR PERMANENT DUTY. SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WAS AUTHORIZED THEREIN. ALSO, THE TRAVEL ORDER AUTHORIZED TRAVEL FOR THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY (WIFE) FROM HIS OLD TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION, BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE, AT THE RATE OF "7 CENTS PER MILE WHEN TWO OR MORE PERSONS TRAVEL TOGETHER."

MR. AVERY TRAVELED FROM BROOKINGS TO HURON, A DISTANCE OF 75 MILES, BY HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE, ON DECEMBER 31, 1954, AND JANUARY 1, 1955, TRANSPORTING THEREIN HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN THE AMOUNTS OF 680 AND 750 POUNDS, RESPECTIVELY. ON THE LATTER TRIP HE WAS ACCOMPANIED BY HIS WIFE. IN CONSEQUENCE THEREOF, HE SUBMITTED THE VOUCHER HERE INVOLVED COVERING REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE TWO LOTS OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, AT THE APPLICABLE COMMUTED RATE, PLUS MILEAGE FOR USE OF HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE, AT THE RATE OF SEVEN CENTS PER MILE, FOR THE DISTANCE COVERED ON JANUARY 1, 1955.

IN 32 COMP. GEN. 154, CITED IN YOUR LETTER, WE HELD THAT THE EMPLOYEE THERE INVOLVED WAS NOT ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF EFFECTS IN HIS PRIVATELY OWNED TRAILER, PULLED BY HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE, ON THE SAME TRIP ON WHICH HE TRANSPORTED HIMSELF AND FAMILY, IN CONNECTION WITH WHICH HE WAS PAID SEVEN CENTS PER MILE FOR THE USE OF HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE. ALSO, IN B 112449, 32 COMP. GEN. 367, WE HELD (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS):

"AN EMPLOYEE WHO, UPON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, TRANSPORTED HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN HIS PRIVATELY OWNED HOUSE TRAILER WHICH WAS TOWED BY A HIRED MOVER WHOSE CHARGES FOR SUCH SERVICE WERE THE SAME WHETHER A TRAILER WAS EMPTY OR LOADED, IS NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS AMENDED, UPON A COMMUTED BASIS OR ANY OTHER BASIS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF SAID HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OR FOR THE COST OF HAVING THE TRAILER TOWED."

UNDER THOSE DECISIONS, AN EMPLOYEE TO BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, INCIDENT TO A TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION, MUST ESTABLISH THAT HE INCURRED AN EXPENSE THEREFOR. SPECIFICALLY, IN THE CASE OF MOVEMENT BY HOUSE TRAILER, HE MUST SHOW THAT HE INCURRED EXPENSE OVER AND ABOVE THE COST THAT HE WOULD HAVE INCURRED FOR THE MOVEMENT OF THE HOUSE TRAILER ALONE.

WHILE THE DECISIONS DID NOT INVOLVE THE TRANSPORTATION OF AN EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AT NO ADDITIONAL COST, THE CONCLUSION REACHED IS EQUALLY APPLICABLE TO SUCH CASES. IT FOLLOWS THAT, WHILE MR. AVERY IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT UPON A COMMUTED BASIS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF 680 PONDS OF HIS EFFECTS ON DECEMBER 31, 1954, HE MAY NOT BE PAID FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE 750 POUNDS MOVED ON JANUARY 1, 1955. HE IS ENTITLED, HOWEVER, TO BE PAID SEVEN CENTS PER MILE FOR THE USE OF HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON JANUARY 1.

THE VOUCHER, RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT UPON THE BASIS INDICATED, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.