B-152759, DEC. 4, 1963

B-152759: Dec 4, 1963

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TO TRANSPORT LUGGAGE WHICH WAS TO BE USED IN PERFORMING TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS COMMENCING LATER IN THE DAY. WILL BE ALLOWED * * *" THE TAXICAB FARE WAS DISALLOWED ADMINISTRATIVELY ON THE BASIS THAT THE EXPENSE INCURRED BY THE EMPLOYEE WAS PRIMARILY THAT OF COMMUTING BETWEEN HIS RESIDENCE AND HIS OFFICE WHICH IS AN ITEM OF EXPENSE PERSONAL TO EVERY EMPLOYEE. THIS WAS BASED ON OUR DECISION OF JANUARY 15. WHICH WAS TO BE USED IN PERFORMING TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS COMMENCING LATER IN THE DAY. FOR WHICH HE WAS REIMBURSED. COULD NOT BE REIMBURSED THE COST OF THE FIRST TAXICAB FARE BECAUSE REIMBURSEMENT OF SUCH COST WAS NOT AUTHORIZED UNDER PARAGRAPH 8 (A) (NOW SECTION 3.1B) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

B-152759, DEC. 4, 1963

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

YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 3, 1963, REFERENCE 6540, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE ENCLOSED RECLAIM VOUCHER FOR $5.50 IN FAVOR OF MR. HARRY R. WRIGHT.

THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT ON SEPTEMBER 3, 1963, MR. WRIGHT USED A TAXICAB TO TRAVEL FROM HIS HOME TO THE AIRPORT BUS TERMINAL AT THE BILTMORE HOTEL IN ATLANTA, GEORGIA, TO TRANSPORT LUGGAGE WHICH WAS TO BE USED IN PERFORMING TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS COMMENCING LATER IN THE DAY. AFTER CHECKING HIS LUGGAGE MR. WRIGHT WALKED THREE BLOCKS TO HIS OFFICE, WORKED FROM 8:00 A.M. TO 10:30 A.M., THEN WALKED BACK TO THE AIRPORT BUS TERMINAL FROM WHICH HE DEPARTED BY LIMOUSINE AT 0:55 A.M. FOR THE ATLANTA AIRPORT.

SECTION 3.1B OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE USUAL TAXICAB FARES FROM COMMON CARRIER OR OTHER TERMINAL TO EITHER PLACE OF ABODE OR PLACE OF BUSINESS, OR FROM EITHER PLACE OF ABODE OR PLACE OF BUSINESS TO COMMON CARRIER OR OTHER TERMINAL, WILL BE ALLOWED * * *"

THE TAXICAB FARE WAS DISALLOWED ADMINISTRATIVELY ON THE BASIS THAT THE EXPENSE INCURRED BY THE EMPLOYEE WAS PRIMARILY THAT OF COMMUTING BETWEEN HIS RESIDENCE AND HIS OFFICE WHICH IS AN ITEM OF EXPENSE PERSONAL TO EVERY EMPLOYEE. THIS WAS BASED ON OUR DECISION OF JANUARY 15, 1948, B-69021. THAT DECISION WE HELD THAT AN EMPLOYEE WHO USED A TAXICAB TO TRANSPORT LUGGAGE, WHICH WAS TO BE USED IN PERFORMING TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS COMMENCING LATER IN THE DAY, BETWEEN HIS HOME AND RAIL TERMINAL AT LARCHMONT, NEW YORK, FROM WHICH HE TRAVELED TO HIS HEADQUARTERS OFFICE, AT NEW YORK, NEW YORK, AND WHO LATER THAT DAY USED A TAXICAB, FOR WHICH HE WAS REIMBURSED, TO TRAVEL FROM HIS OFFICE TO RAIL TERMINAL FROM WHICH HE DEPARTED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS, COULD NOT BE REIMBURSED THE COST OF THE FIRST TAXICAB FARE BECAUSE REIMBURSEMENT OF SUCH COST WAS NOT AUTHORIZED UNDER PARAGRAPH 8 (A) (NOW SECTION 3.1B) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. THE FACTS IN THAT DECISION ARE NOT APPLICABLE IN MR. WRIGHT'S CASE. MR. WRIGHT TOOK TAXICAB FROM HIS HOME TO THE AIR TERMINAL AS AUTHORIZED BY THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS. HE DID NOT TAKE A TAXICAB FROM HIS OFFICE TO THE AIR TERMINAL.

WE CONCLUDE THAT IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO TAXICAB FARE FROM HIS RESIDENCE TO THE AIR TERMINAL EVEN THOUGH HE DID NOT DEPART FROM THE TERMINAL ON HIS TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT UNTIL AFTER HE PERFORMED DUTY AT HIS OFFICE. SEE B-100414, DATED FEBRUARY 8, 1951, COPY HEREWITH.

THEREFORE, THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.