B-139960, JUL. 23, 1959

B-139960: Jul 23, 1959

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IS SIMILAR IN THAT THE EMPLOYEE WENT FROM HIS HOME TO THE AIRPORT VIA HIS OFFICE FOR THE SAME PURPOSES. 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.'. OR OTHER TERMINAL WILL BE ALLOWED. PAYMENT ON A MILEAGE BASIS AT THE RATE OF 10 CENTS PER MILE WILL BE ALLOWED FOR THE ROUND-TRIP MILEAGE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE USED IN CONNECTION WITH AN EMPLOYEE GOING FROM HIS PLACE OF ABODE TO A COMMON CARRIER TERMINAL OR FROM A COMMON CARRIER TERMINAL TO HIS PLACE OF ABODE: PROVIDED.

B-139960, JUL. 23, 1959

TO MR. MARVIN W. BINGHAM, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE:

YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 12, 1959, REQUESTS OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU PROPERLY MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE SUPPLEMENTAL VOUCHER TRANSMITTED IN FAVOR OF CHARLES G. HAYNES, FOR $4.40, REPRESENTING MILEAGE FOR THE USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FROM HOME TO OFFICE AND RETURN, INCIDENT TO TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL DUTY ON OCTOBER 13, 1958, AND APRIL 22, 1959.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT ON OCTOBER 13, 1958, MR. HAYNES LEFT HIS RESIDENCE BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WITH SUFFICIENT LUGGAGE FOR USE IN TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS FOR A FIVE-WEEK PERIOD. HE WENT FROM HIS HOME TO THE NATIONAL AIRPORT VIA THE OFFICE FOR THE PURPOSE OF PICKING UP NECESSARY OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS AND PERFORMING ABOUT2 1/2 HOURS OF WORK IN PREPARATION FOR THE TRIP. HE LEFT THE OFFICE BY TAXICAB FOR THE AIRPORT, PAYING A TAXICAB FARE OF $1.10, FOR WHICH MR. HAYNES HAS BEEN REIMBURSED. THE SUPPLEMENTAL CLAIM FOR APRIL 22, 1959, IS SIMILAR IN THAT THE EMPLOYEE WENT FROM HIS HOME TO THE AIRPORT VIA HIS OFFICE FOR THE SAME PURPOSES, TAKING LUGGAGE SUFFICIENT FOR A TEN-DAY TRIP. MR. HAYNES LEFT THE OFFICE FOR THE AIRPORT BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FOR WHICH HE HAS BEEN REIMBURSED ON A MILEAGE BASIS.

YOU SUGGEST THAT THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR ROUND TRIP MILEAGE FROM HIS HOME TO HIS OFFICE UNDER OUR HOLDING IN 36 COMP. GEN. 476. 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.'

THE ABOVE-CITED DECISION DEALT WITH REIMBURSEMENT FOR TAXICAB FARES UNDER PARAGRAPH 8A (NOW SECTION 3.1B) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, WHICH PROVIDES THAT 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.

THE INSTANT CASE INVOLVES REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE UNDER SECTION 3.5B (1) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, WHICH PROVIDES IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"IN LIEU OF THE USE OF A TAXICAB UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3.1B, PAYMENT ON A MILEAGE BASIS AT THE RATE OF 10 CENTS PER MILE WILL BE ALLOWED FOR THE ROUND-TRIP MILEAGE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE USED IN CONNECTION WITH AN EMPLOYEE GOING FROM HIS PLACE OF ABODE TO A COMMON CARRIER TERMINAL OR FROM A COMMON CARRIER TERMINAL TO HIS PLACE OF ABODE: PROVIDED, THAT THE AMOUNT OF REIMBURSEMENT SHALL NOT EXCEED THE USUAL TAXICAB FARE, INCLUDING ALLOWABLE TIP, FOR A ONE-WAY TRIP FROM HIS PLACE OF ABODE TO TERMINAL OR FROM TERMINAL TO HIS PLACE OF ABODE.'

WE HAVE REGARDED THE TERMS "OR OTHER TERMINAL" AND "COMMON CARRIER TERMINAL" APPEARING IN SECTION 3.1B AND 3.5B (1) OF THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AS COVERING TRAVEL TO ANY TERMINAL. SEE B-136626, AUGUST 4, 1958 (COPY ENCLOSED). SEE ALSO THE REVISED 3.1B AND 3.5B (1), BUREAU OF THE BUDGET, CIRCULAR NO. A-7, REVISED, TRANSMITTAL MEMORANDUM NO. 10, DATED JUNE 22, 1959 (EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 1959), TO THE SAME EFFECT.

IN OUR DECISION OF DECEMBER 31, 1956, B-129785 (36 COMP. GEN. 476), CITED ABOVE, THE EMPLOYEE'S OFFICE WAS HELD TO BE A "TERMINAL" WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE TERM AS USED IN PARAGRAPH 8A (NOW SECTION 3.1B) OF THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS SINCE IT WAS THE POINT OF DEPARTURE ON TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE.

IN THE SITUATION HERE PRESENTED, THE AIRPORT WAS THE POINT OF DEPARTURE BY COMMON CARRIER. HOWEVER NECESSARY THE EMPLOYEE'S STOP OFF AT HIS OFFICE MAY HAVE BEEN FOR PURPOSES OF THE TRIP, HIS OFFICE MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED AS A "TERMINAL" WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE TERM "COMMON CARRIER TERMINAL" AS USED IN SECTION 3.5B (1) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. SEE B-138143, JANUARY 8, 1959 (COPY ENCLOSED).

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