B-138143, JAN 8, 1959

B-138143: Jan 8, 1959

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WISE USED A TAXICAB TO TRAVEL FROM HIS HOME TO HS OFFICE TO TRANSPORT LUGGAGE WHICH WAS TO BE USED IN PERFORMING TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS COMMENCING LATER IN THE DAY. THE TAXICAB FARE FROM HIS OFFICE TO THE AIRPORT WAS $2.20. OR OTHER TERMINAL WILL BE ALLOWED. YOU SAY THAT THE TAXICAB FARE FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S HOME TO THE OFFICE COULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWED UNDER OUR HOLDING IN 36 COMP. QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS: "AN EMPLOYEE WHO USED A TAXICAB FROM RESIDENCE TO OFFICE BECAUSE SHE WAS REQUIRED TO TAKE A SUITCASE IN PREPARATION FOR A FIVE-DAY TRAVEL STATUS TO BEGIN FROM THE OFFICE INCIDENT TO A CIVIL DEFENSE EXERCISE MAY HAVE THE OFFICE CONSIDERED AS A TERMINAL SO AS TO BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TAXI FARE.".

B-138143, JAN 8, 1959

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

MISS RUTH HOLLINGSWORTH:

YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 8, 1958, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE ENCLOSED RECLAIM VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. CHARLES R. WISE FOR $1.65, REPRESENTING THE COST OF TAXICAB FARE, INCLUDING $0.15 TIP, FROM HIS HOME TO HIS OFFICE ON SEPTEMBER 17, 1958.

THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT ON SEPTEMBER 17, 1958, MR. WISE USED A TAXICAB TO TRAVEL FROM HIS HOME TO HS OFFICE TO TRANSPORT LUGGAGE WHICH WAS TO BE USED IN PERFORMING TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS COMMENCING LATER IN THE DAY. EVIDENTLY HE PERFORMED HIS USUAL OFFICE DUTIES UNTIL 11:45 A.M. AT THAT TIME HE LEFT THE OFFICE BY TAXICAB FOR THE AIRPORT, FROM WHICH HE DEPARTED AT 12 NOON FOR OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA. THE TAXICAB FARE FROM HIS OFFICE TO THE AIRPORT WAS $2.20, INCLUDING A $0.20 TIP, FOR WHICH MR. WISE HAS BEEN REIMBURSED.

SECTION 3.1B OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"THE USUAL TAXICAB FARES FROM STATION, WHARF, OR OTHER TERMINAL TO EITHER PLACE OF ABODE OR PLACE OF BUSINESS AND FROM EITHER PLACE OF ABODE OR PLACE OF BUSINESS TO STATION, WHARF, OR OTHER TERMINAL WILL BE ALLOWED.

YOU SAY THAT THE TAXICAB FARE FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S HOME TO THE OFFICE COULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWED UNDER OUR HOLDING IN 36 COMP. GEN. 476, HAD IT BEEN THE ONLY FARE CLAIMED. IN THAT DECISION WE HELD, QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS:

"AN EMPLOYEE WHO USED A TAXICAB FROM RESIDENCE TO OFFICE BECAUSE SHE WAS REQUIRED TO TAKE A SUITCASE IN PREPARATION FOR A FIVE-DAY TRAVEL STATUS TO BEGIN FROM THE OFFICE INCIDENT TO A CIVIL DEFENSE EXERCISE MAY HAVE THE OFFICE CONSIDERED AS A TERMINAL SO AS TO BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TAXI FARE."

MR. WISE'S TRAVEL STATUS DID NOT BEGIN AT THE OFFICE; NEITHER WAS THE OFFICE THE POINT OF DEPARTURE. INSTEAD, THE DEPARTURE BEGAN AT THE AIRPORT; THUS, HIS OFFICE MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED AS BEING A "TERMINAL" WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE TERM "OR OTHER TERMINAL" USED IN SECTION 3.1B OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. THEREFORE, THE HOLDING IN 36 COMP. GEN. 476 - COVERING TRAVEL FROM THE OFFICE TO THE TEMPORARY DUTY POINT IN THE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE OF ANOTHER EMPLOYEE - IS NOT APPLICABLE HERE, AND THE TAXICAB FARE FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S HOME TO THE OFFICE COULD NOT HAVE BEEN ALLOWED IF IT HAD BEEN THE ONLY FARE CLAIMED.

THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE USE OF TAXICABS AND THE QUESTION OF REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF THE TAXICAB FARE IN THIS CASE ARE SIMILAR TO THOSE WHICH WE CONSIDERED IN OUR DECISION OF JANUARY 15, 1948, B-69021. IN THAT DECISION WE HELD THAT AN EMPLOYEE WHO USED A TAXICAB TO TRANSPORT LUGGAGE, WHICH WAS TO BE USED IN PERFORMING TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS COMMENCING LATER IN THE DAY, BETWEEN HIS HOME AND RAIL TERMINAL FROM WHICH DAY USED A TAXICAB, FOR WHICH HE WAS REIMBURSED, TO TRAVEL HE TRAVELED TO HIS HEADQUARTERS OFFICE, AND WHO LATER THAT FROM HIS OFFICE TO RAIL TERMINAL FROM WHICH HE DEPARTED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS, COULD NOT BE REIMBURSED THE COST OF THE FIRST TAXICAB FARE BECAUSE REIMBURSEMENT OF SUCH COST WAS NOT AUTHORIZED UNDER PARAGRAPH 8(A) (NOW SECTION 3.1B) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF TAXICAB FARES NOW AUTHORIZED UNDER SECTION 3.1B OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, QUOTED ABOVE, IS IDENTICAL WITH THAT FORMERLY AUTHORIZED UNDER PARAGRAPH 8(A).

IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING COMMENTS, WE CONCLUDE THAT THERE IS NO AUTHORITY BY WHICH THE EMPLOYEE IN THE INSTANT CASE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR THE COST OF THE TAXICAB FARE BETWEEN HIS RESIDENCE AND HIS OFFICE BECAUSE THAT CONSTITUTES A PERSONAL EXPENSE.

THEREFORE, THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.