B-156044, FEB. 18, 1965, 44 COMP. GEN. 505

B-156044: Feb 18, 1965

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WILL BE ALLOWED IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $6 (PLUS TIP) * * * YOU PRESENT THE QUESTION AS FOLLOWS: YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER CERTAIN EMPLOYEES IN HOUSING AND HOME FINANCE AGENCY (HHFA) REGION III (ATLANTA) ARE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF A TAXICAB USED TO TRANSPORT BAGGAGE FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S RESIDENCE TO THE REGIONAL OFFICE INCIDENT TO TRAVEL LATER IN THE DAY ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS FROM A COMMON CARRIER TERMINAL LOCATED TWO BLOCKS FROM THE OFFICE. IT WAS NOT FEASIBLE FOR ANY EMPLOYEE TO TRANSPORT HIS BAGGAGE BY USUAL MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION FROM HIS RESIDENCE TO THE OFFICE. PAYMENT IS RESTRICTED TO CASES IN WHICH A TAXICAB IS USED FOR TRANSPORTATION TO OR FROM THE COMMON CARRIER OR OTHER TERMINAL USED BY THE EMPLOYEE.

B-156044, FEB. 18, 1965, 44 COMP. GEN. 505

TRAVEL EXPENSES - FARES - TAXICABS - BETWEEN RESIDENCE AND HEADQUARTERS PRIOR TO TRAVEL STATUS ALTHOUGH TAXICAB FARE PAID BY GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES TO TRANSPORT BAGGAGE FROM THEIR RESIDENCES TO HEADQUARTERS INCIDENT TO OFFICIAL TRAVEL TO BE PERFORMED LATER IN THE DAY FROM A COMMON CARRIER LOCATED TWO BLOCKS FROM THE OFFICE, TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEES WALKED, MAY NOT BE ALLOWED, ABSENT AMENDMENT TO SECTION 3.1 (B) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH LIMITS REIMBURSEMENT FOR TAXICAB FARES TO AND FROM A COMMON CARRIER OR OTHER TERMINAL TO EITHER PLACE OF ABODE OR PLACE OF BUSINESS, AND IN VIEW OF THE NUMBER OF DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH WOULD BE ENCOUNTERED, PAYMENTS MADE TO EMPLOYEES NEED NOT BE IDENTIFIED OR COLLECTED, THE AMOUNTS APPROXIMATING THE COST TO THE EMPLOYEES TO TRAVEL FROM THEIR RESIDENCES TO THE TERMINAL.

TO THE ADMINISTRATOR, HOUSING AND HOME FINANCE AGENCY, FEBRUARY 18, 1965:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 29, 1965, CONCERNING THE ALLOWANCE OF TAXICAB FARES UNDER SECTION 3.1B OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS INCIDENT TO THE TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVEL OF CERTAIN EMPLOYEES OF THE HOUSING AND HOME FINANCE AGENCY, REGION III, ATLANTA, GEORGIA.

THE REGULATION IN QUESTION PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART:

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 IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $6 (PLUS TIP) * * *

YOU PRESENT THE QUESTION AS FOLLOWS:

YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER CERTAIN EMPLOYEES IN HOUSING AND HOME FINANCE AGENCY (HHFA) REGION III (ATLANTA) ARE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF A TAXICAB USED TO TRANSPORT BAGGAGE FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S RESIDENCE TO THE REGIONAL OFFICE INCIDENT TO TRAVEL LATER IN THE DAY ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS FROM A COMMON CARRIER TERMINAL LOCATED TWO BLOCKS FROM THE OFFICE. EACH EMPLOYEE WALKED FROM THE OFFICE TO THE TERMINAL AFTER PERFORMING HIS USUAL OFFICE DUTIES FOR ONE OR MORE HOURS. IT WAS NOT FEASIBLE FOR ANY EMPLOYEE TO TRANSPORT HIS BAGGAGE BY USUAL MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION FROM HIS RESIDENCE TO THE OFFICE.

THE QUOTED REGULATION PROVIDES FOR PAYMENT OF TAXICAB FARES BY THE GOVERNMENT IN CONNECTION WITH AN EMPLOYEE'S DEPARTURE ON AND HIS RETURN FROM OFFICIAL TRAVEL, HOWEVER, PAYMENT IS RESTRICTED TO CASES IN WHICH A TAXICAB IS USED FOR TRANSPORTATION TO OR FROM THE COMMON CARRIER OR OTHER TERMINAL USED BY THE EMPLOYEE. IN THE DECISION 36 COMP. GEN. 476, WHICH YOU CITE, THE EMPLOYEE CONCERNED WAS ALLOWED REIMBURSEMENT OF THE TAXICAB FARE FROM HER RESIDENCE TO HER OFFICE, HOWEVER, SHE DEPARTED ON TEMPORARY DUTY FROM THE OFFICE, TRAVEL BEING PERFORMED IN THE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE OF ANOTHER EMPLOYEE. THE OFFICE WAS CONSIDERED AS THE "TERMINAL" SINCE IT WAS THE POINT OF DEPARTURE ON TEMPORARY DUTY BY AUTOMOBILE. IN THE OTHER DECISION YOU CITE, B-138143, JANUARY 8, 1959, THE AIRPORT WAS THE POINT OF DEPARTURE BY COMMON CARRIER. THEREFORE, THE OFFICE COULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS A "TERMINAL" UNDER THE REGULATIONS. THE DECISION OF DECEMBER 4, 1963, B-152759, A COPY OF WHICH IS ENCLOSED, WE ALLOWED PAYMENT OF TAXICAB FARE CLAIMED IN A CASE INVOLVING AN EMPLOYEE STATION IN ATLANTA. THE EMPLOYEE IN THAT CASE TOOK A TAXICAB FROM HIS RESIDENCE TO THE COMMON CARRIER TERMINAL WHERE HE DEPOSITED HIS PERSONAL BAGGAGE, HE THEN WALKED THE SHORT DISTANCE TO HIS OFFICE AND WORKED PART OF THE DAY BEFORE RETURNING ON FOOT TO THE TERMINAL TO DEPART ON TEMPORARY DUTY. WE HAVE NOT AUTHORIZED PAYMENT OF THE TAXICAB FARES OF DEPARTING EMPLOYEES UNDER SECTION 3.1B UNLESS THE PLACE TO WHICH THEY TRAVEL BY TAXICAB IS THE TERMINAL FROM WHICH THEY WILL DEPART.

WE REALIZE THAT UNDER B-152759, DISCUSSED ABOVE, EMPLOYEES OF YOUR REGIONAL OFFICE IN ATLANTA WILL BE ABLE TO QUALIFY FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TAXICAB FARES BY STOPPING AT THE COMMON CARRIER TERMINAL AND DEPOSITING THEIR PERSONAL BAGGAGE BEFORE REPORTING TO THE OFFICE FOR WORK ON DAYS THEY WILL DEPART ON TEMPORARY DUTY. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF THE EXPLICIT PROVISION OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND IN VIEW OF THE NUMBER OF DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH WOULD BE ENCOUNTERED WE BELIEVE THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF AN AMENDMENT TO SECTION 3.1B OF THE REGULATIONS TAXICAB FARES FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S RESIDENCE MUST BE LIMITED THEREUNDER TO CASES WHEN THE EMPLOYEE CONCERNED TRAVELS TO THE COMMON CARRIER OR OTHER TERMINAL FROM WHICH NE WILL DEPART.

REGARDING PAYMENTS WHICH MAY HAVE BEEN MADE TO EMPLOYEES OF YOUR ATLANTA OFFICE FOR TRAVEL TO THE OFFICE ON DAYS THEY LATER DEPARTED ON TEMPORARY DUTY, IT WOULD APPEAR FROM THE PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES IN ATLANTA THAT THE AMOUNTS PAID WERE APPROXIMATELY THE SAME AS THOSE WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD THE EMPLOYEES TRAVELED FROM THEIR RESIDENCES TO THE TERMINAL. THEREFORE, NO ACTION NEED BE TAKEN TO IDENTIFY OR COLLECT SUCH PAYMENTS.