B-126453, FEB. 13, 1956

B-126453: Feb 13, 1956

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REQUESTS DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO PAY THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER FOR $3.15 IN FAVOR OF WILLIS F. YOU ARE IN DOUBT AS TO WHICH OF TWO DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE IS FOR APPLICATION. MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FROM EMPLOYEE'S RESIDENCE TO AIRPORT AND RETURN PLUS PARKING FEE AT AIRPORT MAY BE CONSIDERED AS PROPER TRAVEL EXPENSE ITEMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS WHERE THE AMOUNT CLAIMED IS LESS THAN THE USUAL ALLOWABLE TAXICAB FARES AUTHORIZED IN SUCH CASES. WAS BASED ON A COMPARISON OF THE USUAL TAXICAB FARES BETWEEN AN EMPLOYEE'S HOME AND A NEARBY AIRPORT. AS DOVER AND NEWARK ARE SOME 35 MILES APART THE USE OF TAXICABS BETWEEN THE TWO PLACES WOULD NOT APPEAR TO BE THE USUAL PROCEDURE CONTEMPLATED UNDER PARAGRAPH 8 (A) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

B-126453, FEB. 13, 1956

TO MR. W. R. KELLY, DISBURSING OFFICER, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY:

YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 2, 1955, ORDBB-C F AND A, FORWARDED HERE THROUGH THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, FILE FINEK 248.7, REQUESTS DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO PAY THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER FOR $3.15 IN FAVOR OF WILLIS F. SHIRK, A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE. THE AMOUNT CLAIMED REPRESENTS PARKING FEES AT NEWARK, NEW JERSEY, AIRPORT OCTOBER 3 TO 5, 1955, A TOTAL OF 50 HOURS, WITH A CHARGE OF 35 CENTS FOR EACH SIX HOURS.

THE TRAVEL ORDER OF SEPTEMBER 26, 1955, AUTHORIZED MR. SHIRK TO TRAVEL FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS AT DOVER, NEW JERSEY, TO MADISON, INDIANA. THE ORDER PROVIDES FOR TRAVEL BY HIS OWN CAR FROM DOVER TO NEWARK AND RETURN AT 7 CENTS PER MILE AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. YOU ARE IN DOUBT AS TO WHICH OF TWO DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE IS FOR APPLICATION. IN 31 COMP. GEN. 424, WE HELD, QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS:

"IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 1 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH REQUIRE EMPLOYEES WHEN TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS TO EXERCISE THE SAME CARE IN INCURRING EXPENSES THAT A PRUDENT PERSON WOULD EXERCISE IF TRAVELING ON PERSONAL BUSINESS, MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FROM EMPLOYEE'S RESIDENCE TO AIRPORT AND RETURN PLUS PARKING FEE AT AIRPORT MAY BE CONSIDERED AS PROPER TRAVEL EXPENSE ITEMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS WHERE THE AMOUNT CLAIMED IS LESS THAN THE USUAL ALLOWABLE TAXICAB FARES AUTHORIZED IN SUCH CASES, EVEN THOUGH THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL ORDER DID NOT AUTHORIZE THE USE OF HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE.'

IN 32 COMP. GEN. 74, WE HELD, QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS:

"EMPLOYEES WHO RECEIVE REIMBURSEMENT ON A MILEAGE BASIS FOR THE USE OF THEIR PERSONALLY OWNED CARS FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL ASSUME ALL THE EXPENSE OF OPERATING THE CARS, INCLUDING PARKING FEES, REPAIRS, ETC., AND THEREFORE, EMPLOYEES WHO PERFORM OFFICIAL TRAVEL IN THE VICINITY OF THEIR OFFICIAL STATION AND WHO REPORT TO AND WORK A PORTION OF EACH DAY AT SUCH STATION MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED FOR THE DAILY COST OF PARKING AT PRIVATELY OWNED PARKING LOTS AT THEIR OFFICIAL STATION.'

THE DECISION IN 31 COMP. GEN. 424, WAS BASED ON A COMPARISON OF THE USUAL TAXICAB FARES BETWEEN AN EMPLOYEE'S HOME AND A NEARBY AIRPORT. AS DOVER AND NEWARK ARE SOME 35 MILES APART THE USE OF TAXICABS BETWEEN THE TWO PLACES WOULD NOT APPEAR TO BE THE USUAL PROCEDURE CONTEMPLATED UNDER PARAGRAPH 8 (A) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. SEE 31 COMP. GEN. 304 AND OUR DECISION OF NOVEMBER 21, 1953, B-117468, HOLDING THAT THE USE OF TAXICABS BETWEEN THE WASHINGTON NATIONAL AIRPORT AND BELTSVILLE, MARYLAND, A DISTANCE OF APPROXIMATELY 23 MILES, IS NOT AUTHORIZED UNDER PARAGRAPH 8 (A) BUT MUST BE CONSIDERED RATHER THE HIRING OF A SPECIAL CONVEYANCE UNDER PARAGRAPH 11 OF THE REGULATIONS.

WE HOLD THAT EXTENSION OF THE RULE OF 31 COMP. GEN. 424 TO THE FACTS OF THE CASE PRESENTED IS NOT WARRANTED UNDER THE LAW AND REGULATIONS AND THAT IT IS GOVERNED BY THE DECISION IN 32 COMP. GEN. 74. ACCORDINGLY, MR. SHIRK IS NOT ENTITLED TO THE PARKING FEES IN ADDITION TO THE MILEAGE ALLOWED FOR THE USE OF HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE. SEE ALSO 34 COMP. GEN. 139.