B-159920, SEPTEMBER 19, 1966, 46 COMP. GEN. 221

B-159920: Sep 19, 1966

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WHEN THE COST OF A ROUND-THE-WORLD AIR TICKET USED BY AN EMPLOYEE ON OFFICIAL TRAVEL IS NOT REDUCED FOR THE VALUE OF THE LAST LEG OF THE CIRCLE -TRIP TICKET THAT WAS NOT UTILIZED AS THE EMPLOYEE TRAVELED THIS PORTION OF THE TRIP BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FOR PERSONAL REASONS. THE TAXI FARES AND EXCESS BAGGAGE CHARGES THE EMPLOYEE WOULD HAVE INCURRED HAD HE COMPLETED THE RETURN TRAVEL BY AIR MAY BE CONSIDERED AND THE EMPLOYEE PAID MILEAGE AT THE APPROVED RATE NOT TO EXCEED THE TOTAL OF THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST DETERMINATION. THE FACTS PRESENTED ARE THAT MR. SCHILLING WHOSE PERMANENT DUTY STATION IS WASHINGTON TRAVELED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS TO VARIOUS POINTS AROUND THE WORLD TRAVELING EASTWARDLY BY AIR FROM WASHINGTON TO MEMPHIS.

B-159920, SEPTEMBER 19, 1966, 46 COMP. GEN. 221

MILEAGE - TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE - COMMON CARRIER LIMITATION - COMPUTATION - MIXED MODE OF TRANSPORTATION. WHEN THE COST OF A ROUND-THE-WORLD AIR TICKET USED BY AN EMPLOYEE ON OFFICIAL TRAVEL IS NOT REDUCED FOR THE VALUE OF THE LAST LEG OF THE CIRCLE -TRIP TICKET THAT WAS NOT UTILIZED AS THE EMPLOYEE TRAVELED THIS PORTION OF THE TRIP BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FOR PERSONAL REASONS, NO AMOUNT MAY BE ALLOWED FOR THE UNUSED PORTION OF THE TICKET IN DETERMINING MILEAGE ENTITLEMENT ON THE BASIS OF THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF COMMON CARRIER TRANSPORTATION PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 3.5B/2) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. HOWEVER, THE SECTION AUTHORIZING INCLUSION OF TRANSPORTATION COSTS TO AND FROM COMMON CARRIER TERMINALS AND EXCESS BAGGAGE COSTS IN ARRIVING AT CONSTRUCTIVE COST ENTITLEMENT, THE TAXI FARES AND EXCESS BAGGAGE CHARGES THE EMPLOYEE WOULD HAVE INCURRED HAD HE COMPLETED THE RETURN TRAVEL BY AIR MAY BE CONSIDERED AND THE EMPLOYEE PAID MILEAGE AT THE APPROVED RATE NOT TO EXCEED THE TOTAL OF THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST DETERMINATION.

TO A. M. FLATEQUAL, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, SEPTEMBER 19, 1966:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 18, 1966, BY WHICH YOU REQUEST OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY PROPERLY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER OF MR. GUY A. W. SCHILLING, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, TO REIMBURSE HIM ON A MILEAGE BASIS FOR THE OFFICIAL TRAVEL WHICH HE PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE BETWEEN MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE, AND WASHINGTON, D.C; BEGINNING ON DECEMBER 30, 1965.

THE FACTS PRESENTED ARE THAT MR. SCHILLING WHOSE PERMANENT DUTY STATION IS WASHINGTON TRAVELED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS TO VARIOUS POINTS AROUND THE WORLD TRAVELING EASTWARDLY BY AIR FROM WASHINGTON TO MEMPHIS, THE LAST STOP ON HIS ITINERARY, FROM MEMPHIS TO WASHINGTON BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE. WHEN THE UNUSED MEMPHIS TO WASHINGTON PORTION OF MR. SCHILLING'S ROUND-THE-WORLD AIR TICKET WAS RETURNED TO PAN AMERICAN WORLD AIRWAYS NO REFUND WAS MADE BECAUSE THE "CIRCLE TRIP (RTW) DISCOUNT" WHICH HAD BEEN APPLIED TO THAT TICKET AS PURCHASED COULD NOT BE APPLIED IF THE WASHINGTON-MEMPHIS PORTION OF THE TRAVEL WAS EXCLUDED AND THE ONE-WAY FARE WHICH WAS APPLICABLE TO THE TICKET WITHOUT THE MEMPHIS-WASHINGTON LEG WAS MORE THAN THE CIRCLE TRIP FARE. WE UNDERSTAND THE USE OF THE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WAS FOR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE AND THAT THE TRAVELER COULD HAVE PROCEEDED FROM MEMPHIS TO WASHINGTON BY USE OF THE ROUND-THE-WORLD AIR TICKET UPON COMPLETION OF HIS DUTY AT MEMPHIS.

SECTION 3.5B/2) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART:

(2) WHEN EMPLOYEES AND OTHERS RENDERING SERVICE TO THE GOVERNMENT USE PRIVATELY OWNED MOTOR VEHICLES FOR PERSONAL REASONS IN THE CONDUCT OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS WITHIN OR OUTSIDE THEIR DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY OR PLACES OF EMPLOYMENT, PAYMENT ON THE MILEAGE BASIS PRESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH (1), IMMEDIATELY ABOVE, INCLUDING RELATED PER DIEM, WILL BE LIMITED TO THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF COMMON CARRIER TRANSPORTATION AND RELATED PER DIEM, DETERMINED AS FOLLOWS:

(A) THE MILEAGE PAYMENT WILL NOT EXCEED THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF COACH ACCOMMODATIONS (OR TOURIST OR ECONOMY ACCOMMODATIONS IF A CARRIER USES THIS TERM INSTEAD OF "COACH ACCOMMDATIONS") ON AIRPLANES WHEN SUCH SERVICE IS PROVIDED BY A CARRIER. * * *

IN DETERMINING THE CONSTRUCTIVE COMMON CARRIER COST THERE WILL ALSO BE INCLUDED THE USUAL TRANSPORTATION COSTS TO AND FROM THE COMMON CARRIER TERMINALS. IN ADDITION, THE COST OF EXCESS BAGGAGE WILL BE INCLUDED WHEN IT WOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWED HAD THE TRAVELER USED THE CARRIER UPON WHICH THE CONSTRUCTIVE TRANSPORTATION COSTS ARE DETERMINED, PROVIDED THE TRAVELER CERTIFIES AS TO THE WEIGHT OF THE BAGGAGE OR PRESENTS OTHER ACCEPTABLE EVIDENCE OF ITS WEIGHT.

THAT SECTION DOES NOT CONTAIN SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS WITH REGARD TO THE DETERMINATION OF THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF TRAVEL WHEN THE EMPLOYEE PERFORMS ONLY PART OF THE TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE FOR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE. SECTION 3.9 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES, HOWEVER, THAT SPECIAL FARES SUCH AS THE ROUND-THE- WORLD CIRCLE FARE HERE INVOLVED WILL BE UTILIZED WHEN PRACTICAL AND ECONOMICAL TO THE GOVERNMENT. IN VIEW OF THAT PROVISION WE BELIEVE THAT THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF THE MEMPHIS-WASHINGTON LEG OF MR. SCHILLING'S TRAVEL MUST BE BASED ON THE COST OF SUCH TRAVEL TO THE GOVERNMENT AS PART OF HIS ROUND-THE-WORLD TRAVEL. SINCE THE COST OF AIR TRAVEL WAS NOT DECREASED BY VIRTUE OF THE FACT THAT THE FINAL LEG OF THE ROUND-THE-WORLD TICKET WAS NOT USED NO AMOUNT MAY BE ALLOWED AS THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION.

UNDER THE LAST QUOTED PARAGRAPH OF SECTION 3.5B/2) (A) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS THE CONSTRUCTIVE AMOUNT OF OTHER REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES SUCH AS ADDITIONAL TAXI FARES AND EXCESS BAGGAGE CHARGES WHICH MR. SCHILLING WOULD HAVE INCURRED HAD HE TRAVELED BY AIR FROM MEMPHIS TO WASHINGTON MAY BE USED AS A BASIS FOR DETERMINING THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF SUCH TRAVEL. THEREFORE, MR. SCHILLING MAY BE PAID MILEAGE AT THE APPROVED RATE NOT TO EXCEED THE TOTAL OF SUCH CONSTRUCTIVE COSTS.

THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, TOGETHER WITH THE ATTACHMENTS THERETO, MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.