B-149968, OCT. 24, 1962

B-149968: Oct 24, 1962

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WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR $55.94 FOR THE RENTAL OF A U-DRIVE-IT AUTO TO SECURE MEDICAL TREATMENT AND MEALS ON TWO WEEKENDS WHEN SUCH FACILITIES WERE NOT AVAILABLE AT YOUR TEMPORARY DUTY STATION. YOU CONTEND THAT SUCH RENTAL WAS AUTHORIZED BY THE ISSUANCE OF AN AMENDMENT TO YOUR TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION AFTER YOUR RETURN FROM TEMPORARY DUTY. IN ADDITION YOU SAY THAT IT WAS NECESSARY TO OBTAIN PRIVATE OUTSIDE MEDICAL TREATMENT ON THE WEEKENDS OF MAY 12-14 AND 19 21. BECAUSE NO FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE AT WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE ON THOSE WEEKENDS. SUCH TREATMENTS WERE OBTAINED IN DAYTON. YOU SAY ALSO THAT NO EATING FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE AT WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE ON THOSE SAME WEEKENDS AND THAT YOU WERE REQUIRED TO TRAVEL OUTSIDE YOUR TEMPORARY DUTY POST TO SECURE YOUR MEALS DURING SUCH TIMES.

B-149968, OCT. 24, 1962

TO MR. KEITH A. WILLIAMSON:

YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 28, 1962, ASKS THAT WE RECONSIDER OUR SETTLEMENT OF MARCH 26, 1962, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR $55.94 FOR THE RENTAL OF A U-DRIVE-IT AUTO TO SECURE MEDICAL TREATMENT AND MEALS ON TWO WEEKENDS WHEN SUCH FACILITIES WERE NOT AVAILABLE AT YOUR TEMPORARY DUTY STATION.

YOU CONTEND THAT SUCH RENTAL WAS AUTHORIZED BY THE ISSUANCE OF AN AMENDMENT TO YOUR TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION AFTER YOUR RETURN FROM TEMPORARY DUTY. IN ADDITION YOU SAY THAT IT WAS NECESSARY TO OBTAIN PRIVATE OUTSIDE MEDICAL TREATMENT ON THE WEEKENDS OF MAY 12-14 AND 19 21, 1961, BECAUSE NO FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE AT WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE ON THOSE WEEKENDS. SUCH TREATMENTS WERE OBTAINED IN DAYTON, OHIO, 10 MILES DISTANCE, TWICE A DAY. YOU SAY ALSO THAT NO EATING FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE AT WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE ON THOSE SAME WEEKENDS AND THAT YOU WERE REQUIRED TO TRAVEL OUTSIDE YOUR TEMPORARY DUTY POST TO SECURE YOUR MEALS DURING SUCH TIMES. FOR THE FOREGOING PURPOSES YOU SAY YOU RENTED A U-DRIVE-IT AUTO.

THE RECORDS SHOW THAT ON MAY 8, 1961, AT APPROXIMATELY 2200--- 10:00 P.M. --- YOU WERE INJURED WHEN ALIGHTING FROM A BASE BUS. ON MAY 10, 1961, YOU REPORTED TO THE BASE DISPENSARY AND FIRST AID STATION WHERE APPROPRIATE FORMS (C.A.1, EMPLOYEE'S NOTICE OF INJURY OR OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE) WERE EXECUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATIONS.

PARAGRAPH 8B, USE OF COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES, CH. 6, AFM 40- 10J PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"THE USE OF * * * RENTAL AUTOMOBILE * * * IN THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS MAY BE ALLOWED FOR LOCAL TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN PLACES OF DUTY AND BUSINESS OR PLACES OF BUSINESS AT AND IN THE VICINITY OF AN OFFICIAL DUTY STATION OR PLACE OF TEMPORARY DUTY AS WELL AS BETWEEN PLACE OF LODGING AND PLACES OF DUTY OR BUSINESS AT A PLACE OF TEMPORARY DUTY. DETERMINATION OF ADVANTAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT * * * IS REQUIRED BEFORE SUCH TRANSPORTATION CAN BE AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. * *

THE FOREGOING REGULATION WAS ISSUED ADMINISTRATIVELY PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 3.4., SPECIAL CONVEYANCE, STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, WHICH READS, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"THE HIRE OF * * * AUTOMOBILE * * * OR OTHER CONVEYANCE WILL BE ALLOWED 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. * * *"

OTHER PERTINENT PROVISIONS OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS READ AS FOLLOWS:

"3.1.C.WHERE THE NATURE AND LOCATION OF THE WORK AT A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION ARE SUCH THAT SUITABLE MEALS CANNOT BE PROCURED THERE, THE EXPENSE OF DAILY TRAVEL REQUIRED TO PROCURE MEALS AT THE NEAREST AVAILABLE PLACE WILL BE CONSIDERED NECESSARY TRANSPORTATION NOT INCIDENTAL TO SUBSISTENCE. A STATEMENT OF THE NECESSITY FOR SUCH DAILY TRAVEL SHOULD ACCOMPANY THE TRAVEL VOUCHER.

"1.2. REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES.--- TRAVELING EXPENSES WHICH WILL BE REIMBURSED ARE CONFINED TO THOSE EXPENSES ESSENTIAL TO THE TRANSACTING OF THE OFFICIAL BUSINESS.'

WE FIND NO AUTHORITY IN THE QUOTED REGULATIONS PERMITTING THE HIRE OR RENTAL OF AN AUTOMOBILE FOR THE PURPOSE OF SECURING MEDICAL TREATMENT ON THE TWO WEEKENDS IN QUESTION. NOR DOES THE AMENDED ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORIZATION FOR THE USE THEREOF SHOW THAT SUCH USE WAS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. IT IS EVIDENT THAT TRAVEL PERFORMED FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF OBTAINING MEDICAL TREATMENT IS NOT "TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS, AND THEREFORE IS NOT COVERED BY THE FOREGOING REGULATIONS. INSTEAD SUCH EXPENSE, IF REIMBURSABLE, WOULD APPEAR TO BE INCIDENTAL TO YOUR INJURY AND YOUR CLAIM, THEREFORE, WOULD BE FOR CONSIDERATION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES COMPENSATION ACT, 5 U.S.C. 751, SEQ., SPECIFICALLY 5 U.S.C. 759, WHICH PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"FOR ANY INJURY SUSTAINED BY AN EMPLOYEE WHILE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTY * * * THE UNITED STATES SHALL FURNISH TO THE EMPLOYEE ALL SERVICES * * * PRESCRIBED OR RECOMMENDED BY DULY QUALIFIED PHYSICIANS WHICH * * * ARE LIKELY TO CURE OR TO GIVE RELIEF OR TO REDUCE THE DEGREE OR PERIOD OF DISABILITY * * *. FOR THE SECURING OF SUCH SERVICES * * * THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION, AND MAY BE PAID ALL EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE SECURING OF SUCH SERVICES * * * WHICH, IN THE OPINION OF THE SECRETARY ARE NECESSARY AND REASONABLE. ALL SUCH EXPENSES WHEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY THE SECRETARY SHALL BE PAID FROM THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION FUND. * * *" THE FOREGOING ACT IS ADMINISTERED BY THE BUREAU OF EMPLOYEES COMPENSATION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, WASHINGTON 25, D.C.

IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE HIRING OF AN AUTOMOBILE WAS NECESSARY TO OBTAIN MEALS ON WEEKENDS, IT IS SIGNIFICANT TO POINT OUT THAT APPARENTLY THE ONLY WEEKENDS SUCH NECESSITY EXISTED ARE THOSE ON WHICH IT WAS NECESSARY FOR YOU TO OBTAIN MEDICAL TREATMENT. HENCE, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE NECESSITY EXISTED ONLY BY REASON OF YOUR INJURED CONDITION AND THAT THE RETROACTIVE ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORIZATION TO HIRE AN AUTOMOBILE WAS PREDICATED UPON THE FACT OF YOUR INJURY RATHER THAN BEING CONSIDERED "ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT" WHILE YOU WERE "ENGAGED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, QUOTED ABOVE. MOREOVER, THERE IS NO SHOWING THAT YOU COULD NOT HAVE OBTAINED YOUR MEALS AT NEARER POINTS OR THAT YOU COULD NOT HAVE TRAVELED TO SUCH POINTS BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION.

ACCORDINGLY, WE FIND NO BASIS UPON THE PRESENT RECORD AND UNDER THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND THE REGULATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, QUOTED ABOVE, FOR ALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM. OUR SETTLEMENT OF MARCH 26, 1962, THEREFORE, IS SUSTAINED.