B-152097, SEP. 9, 1963

B-152097: Sep 9, 1963

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THE ESSENTIAL FACTS AND THE REASON FOR YOUR DOUBTS CONCERNING THE ENTITLEMENT OF THE EMPLOYEES ARE STATED IN YOUR LETTER AS FOLLOWS: "MR. WE POINTED OUT THAT THE AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL OF AN EMPLOYEE WAS SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FROM THE AUTHORITY FOR REIMBURSEMENT ON A COMMUTED BASIS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS PERSONAL EFFECTS AND HELD THAT THE EMPLOYEE IN THAT CASE WAS ENTITLED TO THE PRESCRIBED COMMUTED RATE FOR MOVEMENT OF HIS EFFECTS BETWEEN THE POINTS INVOLVED. WE SAID THAT THE FACT THAT THE EFFECTS WERE TRANSPORTED IN THE EMPLOYEE'S PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WOULD NOT PREVENT HIM FROM BEING REIMBURSED AT THE PROPER COMMUTED RATE. IN THE CASES UNDER CONSIDERATION THE EMPLOYEES HAVE FURNISHED ACCEPTABLE EVIDENCE OF THE WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS TRANSPORTED.

B-152097, SEP. 9, 1963

TO MR. A. B. WEST, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, REGION 3:

ON JULY 19, 1963, REFERENCE 3-300, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY VOUCHERS IN FAVOR OF RICHARD E. GRESH AND JOHN R. HARTPENCE, EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, COVERING REIMBURSEMENT ON A COMMUTED BASIS FOR TRANSPORTING THEIR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS INCIDENT TO CHANGES OF OFFICIAL STATIONS.

THE ESSENTIAL FACTS AND THE REASON FOR YOUR DOUBTS CONCERNING THE ENTITLEMENT OF THE EMPLOYEES ARE STATED IN YOUR LETTER AS FOLLOWS:

"MR. GRESH TRANSFERRED FROM DENVER, COLORADO, TO YUMA, ARIZONA, UNDER TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. 300-63-75 DATED APRIL 29, 1963. HE TRAVELED ALONE TRANSPORTING HIS PERSONAL EFFECTS IN HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE. HE HAS BEEN PAID HIS TRAVEL EXPENSES (SEE COPY OF VOUCHER NO. 63-1628, ENCLOSED) LIMITED TO COST OF COMMON CARRIER, AND THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER NO. 63-1988 IN THE AMOUNT OF $140.50 COVERS CLAIM FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS ON THE COMMUTED RATE BASIS.

"MR. HARTPENCE TRANSFERRED FROM HURON, SOUTH DAKOTA, TO YUMA, ARIZONA, UNDER TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. P-63-58 DATED MAY 28, 1963. HE TRAVELED WITH HIS WIFE IN HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AND PULLED HIS PRIVATELY OWNED CARGO TRAILER CONTAINING HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS. HIS CLAIM INCLUDES $195.25 FOR PER DIEM AND TRAVEL EXPENSES LIMITED TO COMMON CARRIER COSTS, AND $311.04 CLAIM FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS ON THE COMMUTED RATE BASIS.

"OUR DOUBT IN THESE CASES ARISES BECAUSE PREVIOUS DECISIONS OF YOUR OFFICE BEARING ON THIS MATTER CONSISTENTLY INVOLVE REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED FOR THE MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, SUCH AS TRUCK RENTAL AND HIRED DRIVER (32 COMP. GEN. 286) AND RENTED CARGO TRAILER (32 COMP. GEN. 541 AND 34 ID 29).'

IN 34 COMP. GEN. 29, CITED BY YOU, WE POINTED OUT THAT THE AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL OF AN EMPLOYEE WAS SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FROM THE AUTHORITY FOR REIMBURSEMENT ON A COMMUTED BASIS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS PERSONAL EFFECTS AND HELD THAT THE EMPLOYEE IN THAT CASE WAS ENTITLED TO THE PRESCRIBED COMMUTED RATE FOR MOVEMENT OF HIS EFFECTS BETWEEN THE POINTS INVOLVED, NOTWITHSTANDING THAT PAYMENT HAD BEEN MADE ON A MILEAGE BASIS FOR THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON THE SAME TRIP. IN AN UNPUBLISHED DECISION OF NOVEMBER 14, 1962, B-150180, WE SAID THAT THE FACT THAT THE EFFECTS WERE TRANSPORTED IN THE EMPLOYEE'S PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WOULD NOT PREVENT HIM FROM BEING REIMBURSED AT THE PROPER COMMUTED RATE.

IN THE CASES UNDER CONSIDERATION THE EMPLOYEES HAVE FURNISHED ACCEPTABLE EVIDENCE OF THE WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS TRANSPORTED, AND REIMBURSEMENT UPON A COMMUTED BASIS AS AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 2.1 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 1962, APPEARS PROPER. ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHERS, WHICH ARE RETURNED, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.