B-150700, APRIL 30, 1963, 42 COMP. GEN. 612

B-150700: Apr 30, 1963

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TRAVEL EXPENSES - MILITARY PERSONNEL - TAXICABS - BETWEEN LODGING AND TEMPORARY DUTY POINT - UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES THE USE OF TAXICABS BY MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES FOR TRAVEL BETWEEN THEIR LODGING AND THE PLACE OF TEMPORARY DUTY WHEN THE LODGING IS SO REMOTE FROM THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION THAT IT IS NOT REASONABLY ACCESSIBLE BY PUBLIC CONVEYANCE AND WHEN THE TRAVEL REQUIRES AN EXCESSIVE EXPENDITURE OF PERSONAL FUNDS IS CONSIDERED TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS TO ENTITLE THE MEMBERS TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE ACTUAL EXPENSES. PROVIDED THAT THE EXPENSES ARE ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED. 1963: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 24. REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED FOR TAXICAB FARES BETWEEN HOTEL AND PLACE OF DUTY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH BO4KO2-2B (2).

B-150700, APRIL 30, 1963, 42 COMP. GEN. 612

TRAVEL EXPENSES - MILITARY PERSONNEL - TAXICABS - BETWEEN LODGING AND TEMPORARY DUTY POINT - UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES THE USE OF TAXICABS BY MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES FOR TRAVEL BETWEEN THEIR LODGING AND THE PLACE OF TEMPORARY DUTY WHEN THE LODGING IS SO REMOTE FROM THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION THAT IT IS NOT REASONABLY ACCESSIBLE BY PUBLIC CONVEYANCE AND WHEN THE TRAVEL REQUIRES AN EXCESSIVE EXPENDITURE OF PERSONAL FUNDS IS CONSIDERED TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS TO ENTITLE THE MEMBERS TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE ACTUAL EXPENSES, PROVIDED THAT THE EXPENSES ARE ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED.

TO F. E. LAMBERT, UNITED STATES COAST GUARD, APRIL 30, 1963:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 24, 1963 (FP-5,L-20), TRANSMITTING A PER DIEM VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF COMMANDER ELMER M. LIPSEY (3439), USCG, AND REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED FOR TAXICAB FARES BETWEEN HOTEL AND PLACE OF DUTY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH BO4KO2-2B (2), COAST GUARD TRAVEL MANUAL.

BY ORDERS DATED OCTOBER 15, 1962, COMMANDER LIPSEY WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED ON OR ABOUT OCTOBER 29, 1962, FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO SUCH PLACES IN NORTH AMERICA, ISLANDS OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC, EUROPE, AFRICA, ASIA MINOR AND THE MEDITERRANEAN AREA AS MIGHT BE NECESSARY ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS OF THE COAST GUARD IN CONNECTION WITH CALIBRATION OF MEDITERRANEAN LORAN C SYSTEM AS A RESULT OF ADDING A FOURTH STATION, ESTARTIT. THE ORDERS AUTHORIZED HIM TO VISIT AND REVISIT THE ABOVE AREAS AS MIGHT BE NECESSARY DURING A PERIOD OF APPROXIMATELY 60 DAYS UPON COMPLETION OF WHICH TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY HE WAS TO RETURN TO WASHINGTON, D.C. THE ORDERS PROVIDED FOR LOCAL TRAVEL VIA STREETCAR, BUS, SUBWAY, STREET RAILWAY, TRAIN, ETC., AND SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED USE OF TAXICABS AT THE TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY STATIONS SUBJECT TO THE RESTRICTIONS OUTLINED IN PARAGRAPH BO4KO2-3, COAST GUARD TRAVEL MANUAL.

YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER APPARENTLY EXISTS BECAUSE OF OUR DECISION B- 138038, DATED JANUARY 5, 1959, IN WHICH IT WAS HELD THAT UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES THERE INVOLVED AN AIR FORCE OFFICER WAS NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR USE OF A TAXICAB BETWEEN HIS HOTEL AND HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION. YOU SAY, HOWEVER, THAT THAT DECISION HINGES ON THE FACT THAT AIR FORCE IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS ISSUED UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF SECTION 2 (M) OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1954, 68 STAT. 1129, 40 U.S.C. 491 (M) NOW SUPERSEDED BY 37 U.S.C. 408), SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDE LOCAL TRANSPORTATION IN CONNECTION WITH DUTY DIRECTED BY TRAVEL ORDERS, WHEREAS COAST GUARD IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS INCLUDE LOCAL TRANSPORTATION IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL ORDERS.

THE PERTINENT STATUTE, 37 U.S.C. 408, PROVIDES THAT MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES MAY BE DIRECTED BY APPROPRIATE REGULATION OF THE HEAD OF THE EXECUTIVE AGENCY IN WHICH THEY ARE SERVING TO PROCURE TRANSPORTATION NECESSARY IN CONDUCTING OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT BUSINESS WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THEIR DUTY STATIONS. EXPENSES SO INCURRED BY SUCH MEMBERS FOR TRAIN, BUS, STREETCAR, TAXICAB, FERRY, BRIDGE, AND SIMILAR FARES AND TOLLS, OR FOR THE PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLES AT A FIXED RATE PER MILE, SHALL BE DEFRAYED BY THE AGENCY IN WHICH THEY ARE SERVING, OR THE PERSONNEL SO DIRECTED SHALL BE REIMBURSED FOR SUCH EXPENSES.

THE STATUTE AUTHORIZES REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE SPECIFIED TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO PROPER INTRASTATION TRAVEL WHEN THE EXPENSES ARE NOT OTHERWISE REIMBURSABLE UNDER THE INTERSTATION TRAVEL PROVISIONS OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT AS AMENDED, NOW CODIFIED AS 37 U.S.C. 404. COMP. GEN. 677; 41 COMP. GEN. 588. WE HAVE HELD THAT NO OBJECTION WOULD BE PRESENTED TO THE ISSUANCE OF REGULATIONS UNDER SECTION 2 (M) AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT OF A MEMBER'S EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION NECESSARILY INCURRED AT A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION IN LIKE MANNER AS MAY BE PROVIDED FOR SUCH EXPENSES AT A PERMANENT DUTY STATION. 35 COMP. GEN. 680.

PARAGRAPH BO4KO2, COAST GUARD TRAVEL MANUAL, ISSUED PURSUANT TO THE 1954 ACT PROVIDES FOR TRANSPORTATION NECESSARY IN CONDUCTING OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT BUSINESS WITHIN THE LIMITS OF DUTY STATIONS INCLUDING TEMPORARY DUTY STATIONS AND THAT EXPENSES INCURRED BY MEMBERS FOR TRAIN, BUS, STREETCAR, TAXICAB, ETC., MAY BE REIMBURSED. SUBPARAGRAPH 2B (2) PROVIDES THAT TO ENTITLE THE MEMBER TO REIMBURSEMENT THE MEMBER'S TRAVEL ORDERS SHALL INCLUDE A PROVISION THAT LOCAL TRAVEL VIA STREETCAR, BUS, SUBWAY, STREET RAILWAY, TRAIN, PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE, ETC., IS AUTHORIZED AND THAT THE USE OF TAXICABS AT TEMPORARY DUTY STATION OR TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY STATION IS AUTHORIZED SUBJECT TO THE RESTRICTION IN PARAGRAPH BO4KO2- 3, COAST GUARD TRAVEL MANUAL. THE LATTER PARAGRAPH PROVIDES THAT AUTHORIZATION FOR THE USE OF TAXICAB OR PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE RATHER THAN OTHER PUBLIC CONVEYANCE MUST BE LIMITED TO CONDITIONS WHICH ARE MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT, AND THAT CONSIDERATION MUST BE GIVEN TO THE URGENCY OF THE PARTICULAR BUSINESS TO BE ACCOMPLISHED, ADVANTAGES RESULTING FROM THE MORE EXPEDITIOUS TRANSACTION OF PUBLIC BUSINESS, AND THE AVAILABILITY OF OTHER SUITABLE MODES OF TRANSPORTATION. IF THE BUSINESS AT HAND CAN BE SATISFACTORILY ACCOMPLISHED BY THE USE OF BUS OR STREET CAR, GOVERNMENT VEHICLES, ETC., THE USE OF TAXICAB OR PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE WILL NOT BE AUTHORIZED OR ALLOWED.

AS JUSTIFICATION FOR THE USE OF TAXICABS IN CARRYING OUT THE TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY DIRECTED BY THE ORDERS OF OCTOBER 13, 1962, COMMANDER LIPSEY SUBMITTED A MEMORANDUM, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

SINCE THE AREAS SELECTED WERE REMOTE FROM POPULATED REGIONS, IT USUALLY WAS NECESSARY FOR PERSONNEL TO OBTAIN QUARTERS AT THE NEAREST CITIES ASSOCIATED WITH THE FIELDS OF INTEREST. IN MOST OF THESE CASES THERE WAS NO LOCAL TRANSPORTATION AVAILABLE TO AND FROM THE FIELDS AT THE TIMES REQUIRED FOR MONITORING WITH THE NET RESULT THAT TAXIS WERE EMPLOYED.

HE ALSO MENTIONS LANGUAGE BARRIERS, UNFAMILIARITY WITH FOREIGN AREAS AND DIFFICULTIES ENCOUNTERED IN DRIVING HIRED LOCAL VEHICLES AS MAKING THE USE OF TAXICABS FOR LOCAL TRAVEL AN URGENT REQUIREMENT FOR THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE ASSIGNED MILITARY MISSION, AND STATES THAT WHERE AVAILABLE, GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION WAS OBTAINED IN LIEU OF OR TO SUPPLEMENT TAXICABS FOR LOCAL TRAVEL.

IN THE DECISION OF JANUARY 5, 1959, B-138038, IT WAS HELD THAT OFFICIAL TRAVEL COMMENCES AND ENDS AT THE TRAVELER'S POST OF DUTY AND THE GOVERNMENT'S OBLIGATION TO FURNISH TRANSPORTATION INCIDENT TO INTERSTATION TRAVEL (37 U.S.C. 404) EXTENDS NO FURTHER THAN FROM AND TO THE STATION IN CONNECTION WITH PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL TRAVEL. IT WAS POINTED OUT THAT THE TRAVELER THERE INVOLVED APPARENTLY RECEIVED REIMBURSEMENT FOR TAXICAB FARES INCURRED IN ORIGINALLY PROCEEDING FROM THE WASHINGTON, D.C., TERMINAL TO THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AT ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, MARYLAND, AND UPON HIS ULTIMATE DEPARTURE FROM THAT PLACE PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPHS 4203-4 AND 4401 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. HOWEVER, AFTER REACHING HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION THE FARES FOR TRAVEL BACK TO WASHINGTON TO SECURE LODGING AND RETURN TO THE TEMPORARY STATION WERE HIS OWN RESPONSIBILITY AND NOT REIMBURSABLE UNDER THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AS FOR INTERSTATION TRAVEL OR UNDER THE 1954 ACT (37 U.S.C. 408) AS INTRASTATION TRAVEL.

THE 1959 DECISION WAS BASED ON THE RULE THAT TRAVEL BETWEEN THE MEMBER'S RESIDENCE OR PLACE OF LODGING AND HIS PLACE OF DUTY, WHETHER AT A PERMANENT OR TEMPORARY DUTY STATION, IS NOT IN ORDINARY TRAVEL CASES REGARDED AS TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS BUT IS THE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE MEMBER, ANY INCREASE IN COSTS AT A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION INCIDENT TO SUCH TRAVEL PRESUMABLY BEING REFLECTED IN THE QUARTERS PORTION OF THE TRAVELER'S PER DIEM ALLOWANCE. COMPARE PARAGRAPH 4004-7 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, EFFECTIVE MARCH 1, 1963. THE TRAVEL IN SUCH CASES IS NO MORE THAN IS COMMONLY PERFORMED BY MEMBERS ASSIGNED TO PERMANENT DUTY AT THAT STATION AND WHO ARE NOT FURNISHED QUARTERS ON THE BASE.

WE DO NOT BELIEVE, HOWEVER, THAT THE MEMBER IS REQUIRED TO BEAR THE EXPENSE OF ACTUAL TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN THE PLACE OF LODGING AND THE PLACE OF TEMPORARY DUTY UNDER ALL CIRCUMSTANCES. WHEN THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION IS SO REMOTE FROM SUITABLE LODGINGS AS NOT TO BE REASONABLY ACCESSIBLE BY PUBLIC CONVEYANCE AND THE REQUIRED TRAVEL IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH LODGINGS REQUIRES AN EXCESSIVE EXPENDITURE OF PERSONAL FUNDS, IT IS OUR VIEW THAT THE REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED PROVIDED SUCH TRANSPORTATION EXPENSE IS APPROVED BY AN APPROPRIATE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIAL AND REIMBURSEMENT IS NOT OTHERWISE PRECLUDED BY THE REGULATIONS. TRAVEL BETWEEN THE PLACE OF LODGING AND PLACE OF TEMPORARY DUTY IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES PROPERLY IS TO BE REGARDED AS TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS. BUT SINCE REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL BETWEEN THE PLACE OF TEMPORARY DUTY AND PLACE OF LODGING ORDINARILY IS NOT AUTHORIZED, ANY CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES SHOULD BE SUPPORTED BY A STATEMENT BY THE MEMBER EXPLAINING THE UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES MAKING NECESSARY THE USE OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION.

IT APPEARS THAT MOST OF THE TAXI FARES FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED IN THIS CASE INVOLVED TRAVEL BETWEEN THE PLACE OF LODGING AND THE TRANSPORTATION TERMINAL UPON ARRIVAL AT AND DEPARTURE FROM THE VARIOUS PLACES OF TEMPORARY DUTY, OR INVOLVED LOCAL TRAVEL BETWEEN DIFFERENT PLACES OF OFFICIAL DUTY, AND ARE REIMBURSABLE ON SUCH BASIS. WITH RESPECT TO TRAVEL TO AND FROM THE PLACES OF LODGING, OTHER THAN IS AUTHORIZED UNDER PARAGRAPH 4401 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, COMMANDER LIPSEY HAS STATED THAT THE THE AREAS SELECTED FOR MONITORING SITES GENERALLY WERE REMOTE FROM POPULATED REGIONS AND THAT IT USUALLY WAS NECESSARY FOR PERSONNEL TO OBTAIN QUARTERS AT THE NEAREST CITIES ASSOCIATED WITH THE FIELDS OF INTEREST. THESE GENERAL STATEMENTS DO NOT SHOW THE CIRCUMSTANCES OR CONDITIONS WHICH ACTUALLY EXISTED AT THE PARTICULAR STATIONS INVOLVED. HENCE, THE RECORD DOES NOT PRESENT A SUFFICIENT BASIS TO CONCLUDE THAT SUCH TRAVEL WAS OTHER THAN IS ORDINARILY THE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE MEMBER.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER AND SUPPORTING PAPERS ARE RETURNED HEREWITH, PAYMENT THEREON BEING AUTHORIZED IF CORRECT IN OTHER RESPECTS AFTER SUCH ITEMS HAVE BEEN DELETED. ANY RECLAIM MADE BY THE OFFICER FOR THESE ITEMS SHOULD BE SUPPORTED BY A STATEMENT EXPLAINING THE NECESSITY FOR SUCH TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN THE PLACE OF LODGING AND PLACE OF TEMPORARY DUTY AT EACH STATION, INCLUDING INFORMATION AS TO THE APPROXIMATE DISTANCE INVOLVED AND WHAT OTHER TRANSPORTATION, IF ANY, WAS AVAILABLE. IF IT SHOULD BE ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED FROM THE INFORMATION FURNISHED THAT ANY OF THE PLACES OF DUTY WERE SO REMOTE FROM SUITABLE LODGINGS AS NOT TO BE REASONABLY ACCESSIBLE BY LOCAL PUBLIC CONVEYANCE AND REQUIRED AN EXCESSIVE EXPENDITURE OF PERSONAL FUNDS FOR TRAVEL BY TAXI, REIMBURSEMENT WOULD APPEAR TO BE AUTHORIZED ON SUCH BASIS.

THE VOUCHER AND SUPPORTING PAPERS ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.

A COPY OF THIS DECISION IS BEING FORWARDED TO THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, FOR ITS INFORMATION.