B-145457, APR. 17, 1961

B-145457: Apr 17, 1961

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THIS ITEM WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DISALLOWED ON MR. THE FACTS PRESENTED ARE THAT UPON ARRIVAL IN NEW YORK CITY ON AUTHORIZED OFFICIAL BUSINESS MR. BECAUSE UNEXPECTED PROBLEMS DEVELOPED DURING THE CONFERENCE IT WAS DECIDED THAT MR. THE TAXICAB WAS USED BECAUSE MR. MAYER HAD WITH HIM AN OVERNIGHT BAG AND A LARGE BRIEF CASE WHICH WOULD HAVE RENDERED TRAVELING BY SUBWAY AT THAT HOUR IN THE AFTERNOON QUITE DIFFICULT. THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER CONTENDS THAT THE USE OF THE TAXICAB WAS NOT ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT AND HE HAS REFUSED TO SO CERTIFY PURSUANT TO SECTION 3.4A OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. SECTION 1.1 INCLUDES THE ADMONITION THAT TRAVELERS ARE EXPECTED TO EXERCISE THE SAME CARE IN INCURRING EXPENSES THAT A PRUDENT PERSON WOULD EXERCISE IF TRAVELING ON PERSONAL BUSINESS.

B-145457, APR. 17, 1961

TO AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, MARITIME ADMINISTRATION:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 27, 1961, REFERENCE 423, SUBMITS THE RECLAIM VOUCHER OF MR. VERNON W. MAYER OF THE MARITIME ADMINISTRATION STATIONED AT WASHINGTON, D.C., FOR $2.35 COVERING TAXICAB FARE AND TIP PAID BY HIM WHILE ON TEMPORARY DUTY IN NEW YORK CITY IN PROCEEDING FROM PLACE OF BUSINESS TO HOTEL. THIS ITEM WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DISALLOWED ON MR. MAYER'S ORIGINAL VOUCHER AND YOU NOW ASK FOR A DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING THE VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT IN VIEW OF THE SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES RELATED BELOW.

THE FACTS PRESENTED ARE THAT UPON ARRIVAL IN NEW YORK CITY ON AUTHORIZED OFFICIAL BUSINESS MR. MAYER PROCEEDED BY TAXICAB DIRECTLY TO THE PLACE OF CONFERENCE, WEST STREET IN DOWNTOWN NEW YORK. HE DID NOT THEN CHECK IN AT A HOTEL BECAUSE HE PLANNED TO RETURN TO WASHINGTON, D.C., IN THE AFTERNOON. BECAUSE UNEXPECTED PROBLEMS DEVELOPED DURING THE CONFERENCE IT WAS DECIDED THAT MR. MAYER SHOULD REMAIN IN NEW YORK CITY OVERNIGHT SO AS TO RESUME DISCUSSIONS THE NEXT DAY. THEREFORE, UPON ADJOURNMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 5:00 P.M. MR. MAYER PROCEEDED BY TAXICAB TO A HOTEL IN THE VICINITY OF 7TH AVENUE AND 50TH STREET. THE TAXICAB WAS USED BECAUSE MR. MAYER HAD WITH HIM AN OVERNIGHT BAG AND A LARGE BRIEF CASE WHICH WOULD HAVE RENDERED TRAVELING BY SUBWAY AT THAT HOUR IN THE AFTERNOON QUITE DIFFICULT. THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER CONTENDS THAT THE USE OF THE TAXICAB WAS NOT ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT AND HE HAS REFUSED TO SO CERTIFY PURSUANT TO SECTION 3.4A OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, CONTENDING THAT THE ITEM SHOULD BE CONSIDERED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 3.1A AND 1.1 OF THE REGULATIONS.

SECTION 1.1 INCLUDES THE ADMONITION THAT TRAVELERS ARE EXPECTED TO EXERCISE THE SAME CARE IN INCURRING EXPENSES THAT A PRUDENT PERSON WOULD EXERCISE IF TRAVELING ON PERSONAL BUSINESS. SECTION 3.1B LIMITS REIMBURSEMENT IN SUCH CASES TO TRAVEL BETWEEN TERMINAL AND PLACE OF ABODE OR PLACE OF BUSINESS; AND SECTION 3.4A INCLUDES AUTHORIZATION FOR THE USE OF TAXICAB, OTHERWISE, IF AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT WHENEVER THE EMPLOYEE IS ENGAGED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS WITHIN OR OUTSIDE HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY.

SECTION 1.1 OF THE REGULATIONS IS NOT APPLICABLE TO THIS CASE IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 3.1B AND 3.4A WHICH SPECIFICALLY STATE THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH TAXICAB FARES ARE REIMBURSABLE.

ON THE PRESENT RECORD THE ITEM IS FOR DISAPPROVAL BECAUSE SECTION 3.1B DOES NOT AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT FROM TERMINAL TO PLACE OF BUSINESS AND HOTEL; AND SECTION 3.4A IS SPECIFIC IN THE REQUIREMENT THAT THERE BE AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION OF ADVANTAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT IN SUCH CASES. WE HAVE NOT ATTEMPTED IN OUR DECISIONS TO DEFINE GENERALLY THE TERM "ADVANTAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT," THAT BEING A MATTER PRIMARILY FOR CONSIDERATION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE INVOLVED.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE VOUCHER, WHICH, WITH ACCOMPANYING PAPERS, IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.