B-152290, SEP. 3, 1963

B-152290: Sep 3, 1963

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

IS SAID THAT A CAB WAS USED BECAUSE MR. WHENEVER AN EMPLOYEE IS ENGAGED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS WITHIN OR OUTSIDE HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY. MUNTZ'S RECLAIM VOUCHER IS SUPPORTED BY THE CERTIFICATE OF C. RECOMMENDING APPROVAL OF THE ITEM AS SUBMITTED AND REPRESENTING THAT IT WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT IT WAS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE TRAVELER TO TRANSPORT HIS LUGGAGE BY TAXICAB FROM HIS RESIDENCE TO HIS OFFICE. MUNTZ WOULD HAVE LOST APPROXIMATELY 2 HOURS WORK TIME IF HE HAD RETURNED TO HIS HOME TO PICK UP HIS LUGGAGE. WE WILL NOT QUESTION ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATIONS OF ADVANTAGE AUTHORIZED BY LAW TO BE MADE IN CONNECTION WITH OFFICIAL TRAVEL. IN THIS INSTANCE THE EXPENSE INCURRED BY THE EMPLOYEE WAS MERELY THAT OF COMMUTING BETWEEN HIS PLACE OF ABODE AND HIS OFFICE.

B-152290, SEP. 3, 1963

TO MR. WALLACE EVERTON, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, FOREST SERVICE:

YOUR LETTER OF JULY 22, 1963, REFERENCE 6540, REQUESTS AN ADVANCE DECISION UPON THE PROPRIETY OF PAYING A RECLAIM VOUCHER FOR $2.45 SUBMITTED TOGETHER WITH A COPY OF THE RELATED ORIGINAL TRAVEL VOUCHER OF MR. HERBERT H. MUNTZ, OF YOUR AGENCY.

THE AMOUNT RECLAIMED REPRESENTS TAXICAB FARE, TOLLS AND TIP PAID BY MR. MUNTZ INCIDENT TO TRAVEL BY CAB BETWEEN HIS RESIDENCE AND HIS OFFICE. IS SAID THAT A CAB WAS USED BECAUSE MR. MUNTZ CARRIED WITH HIM LUGGAGE REQUIRED FOR AUTHORIZED TRAVEL OF 2 1/2 DAYS DURATION, BEGINNING ON THE SAME DAY, TO HOT SPRINGS, ARKANSAS, AND RETURN.

YOU INQUIRE SPECIFICALLY WHETHER OR NOT MR. MUNTZ COULD BE CONSIDERED TO BE ENGAGED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS FOR THE PURPOSE OF REIMBURSEMENT UNDER PARAGRAPH 3.4A OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

THE REGULATION CITED BY YOU INCLUDES AUTHORITY FOR THE USE OF A TAXICAB, IF AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT, WHENEVER AN EMPLOYEE IS ENGAGED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS WITHIN OR OUTSIDE HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY.

MR. MUNTZ'S RECLAIM VOUCHER IS SUPPORTED BY THE CERTIFICATE OF C. F. BURNHAM, APPROVING OFFICER, RECOMMENDING APPROVAL OF THE ITEM AS SUBMITTED AND REPRESENTING THAT IT WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT IT WAS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE TRAVELER TO TRANSPORT HIS LUGGAGE BY TAXICAB FROM HIS RESIDENCE TO HIS OFFICE; PERFORM HIS OFFICIAL WORK, AND THEN DEPART FOR THE CARRIER TERMINAL; AND THAT, OTHERWISE, MR. MUNTZ WOULD HAVE LOST APPROXIMATELY 2 HOURS WORK TIME IF HE HAD RETURNED TO HIS HOME TO PICK UP HIS LUGGAGE.

ORDINARILY, WE WILL NOT QUESTION ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATIONS OF ADVANTAGE AUTHORIZED BY LAW TO BE MADE IN CONNECTION WITH OFFICIAL TRAVEL. HOWEVER, IN THIS INSTANCE THE EXPENSE INCURRED BY THE EMPLOYEE WAS MERELY THAT OF COMMUTING BETWEEN HIS PLACE OF ABODE AND HIS OFFICE, WHICH IS AN ITEM OF EXPENSE PERSONAL TO EVERY EMPLOYEE. THE FACT THAT HE CARRIED LUGGAGE--- PRESUMABLY CONTAINING HIS PERSONAL EFFECTS--- IN ANTICIPATION OF TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVEL BEGINNING LATER IN THE DAY WOULD NOT SERVE TO PLACE SUCH TRAVEL IN THE CATEGORY OF TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE EMPLOYEE LATER USED A TAXICAB BETWEEN HIS OFFICE AND THE AIRPORT, WHICH EXPENSE APPEARS TO BE ALLOWABLE UNDER SECTION 3.1B OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, THUS, THE CASE FALLS WITHIN OUR RULING IN B-138143, JANUARY 8, 1959, RATHER THAN OUR DECISION IN 36 COMP. GEN. 476.

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