B-162838, NOV. 29, 1967

B-162838: Nov 29, 1967

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IS NOT REQUIRED TO HAVE GENERAL RULE PRECLUDING PAYMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES BETWEEN HOME AND HEADQUARTERS APPLIED SINCE EMPLOYEE DID NOT COMMUTE DAILY TO HIS DESIGNATED HEADQUARTERS AND ASSUMING THAT IT WAS TO THE ADVANTAGE OF THE GOVT. TO HAVE MOST OF THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL COMMENCE FROM HIS RESIDENCE. IS DESIGNATED ON THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION AS HIS DUTY STATION. THE CLAIM FOR $36.50 IS BASED ON MILEAGE OF 164 MILES EACH WAY AT 10 CENTS PER MILE AND $3.70 IN TOLLS. WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED THAT BOSTON HAS ALWAYS BEEN CONSIDERED MR. NO DETERMINATION HAD EVER BEEN MADE THAT BATH WAS HIS HEADQUARTERS FOR TRAVEL PURPOSES OR EVEN THAT HE HAD DUAL HEADQUARTERS AT BATH AND BOSTON. WE HAVE MADE EXCEPTIONS TO THAT RULE IN CERTAIN SITUATIONS.

B-162838, NOV. 29, 1967

TRAVEL EXPENSES - BETWEEN HOME AND HEADQUARTERS DECISION TO CERTIFYING OFFICER OF ICC CONCERNING PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING VOUCHER FOR MILEAGE AND TOLL EXPENSES FOR DAILY TRAVEL FROM RESIDENCE TO HEADQUARTERS. EMPLOYEE, AN AUDITOR, WHO PERFORMED DAILY OR INTERMITTENT TRAVEL BETWEEN HIS HOME AND VARIOUS LOCATIONS IN NEW ENGLAND AND CANADA AND WHO TRAVELED BETWEEN HIS HOME AND BOSTON HEADQUARTERS, IS NOT REQUIRED TO HAVE GENERAL RULE PRECLUDING PAYMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES BETWEEN HOME AND HEADQUARTERS APPLIED SINCE EMPLOYEE DID NOT COMMUTE DAILY TO HIS DESIGNATED HEADQUARTERS AND ASSUMING THAT IT WAS TO THE ADVANTAGE OF THE GOVT. TO HAVE MOST OF THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL COMMENCE FROM HIS RESIDENCE.

TO MRS. MARGUERITE B. CASEY:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 30, 1967, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $36.50 SUBMITTED BY EDWARD P. DUNN, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION, FOR MILEAGE AND TOLL EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH ROUND TRIP AUTO TRAVEL FROM HIS RESIDENCE IN BATH, MAINE, TO HIS HEADQUARTERS IN BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, DURING THE PERIOD AUGUST 13 THROUGH 15, 1967.

MR. DUNN IN THE COURSE OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES AS AN AUDITOR WITH THE COMMISSION PERFORMED DAILY OR INTERMITTENT TRAVEL FROM HIS RESIDENCE IN BATH TO VARIOUS SECTIONS OF NORTHEASTERN NEW ENGLAND AND CANADA UNDER A BLANKET TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION DATED JUNE 22, 1967. BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, IS DESIGNATED ON THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION AS HIS DUTY STATION.

ON SUNDAY AUGUST 13, 1967, MR. DUNN LEFT HIS HOME IN BATH AT 8 P.M. ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS ARRIVING IN BOSTON AT 1 A.M. ON AUGUST 14. HE REMAINED IN BOSTON UNTIL 5 P.M. ON AUGUST 15 WHEN HE DEPARTED FOR BATH, ARRIVING AT 9 P.M. THE CLAIM FOR $36.50 IS BASED ON MILEAGE OF 164 MILES EACH WAY AT 10 CENTS PER MILE AND $3.70 IN TOLLS, WHICH HAS BEEN APPROVED BY MR. DUNN'S SUPERVISOR.

INFORMALLY, WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED THAT BOSTON HAS ALWAYS BEEN CONSIDERED MR. DUNN'S OFFICIAL STATION. HE TRAVELS TO BOSTON ABOUT THREE TIMES A YEAR AND HAS NEVER MADE A CLAIM OR BEEN PAID PREVIOUSLY FOR SUCH TRAVEL. NO DETERMINATION HAD EVER BEEN MADE THAT BATH WAS HIS HEADQUARTERS FOR TRAVEL PURPOSES OR EVEN THAT HE HAD DUAL HEADQUARTERS AT BATH AND BOSTON.

YOU INQUIRE AS TO WHETHER THE CLAIM FOR MILEAGE AND TOLLS MAY BE PAID IN VIEW OF THE LONG STANDING RULE THAT EMPLOYEE MUST BEAR THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION FROM HIS RESIDENCE TO HIS PLACE OF BUSINESS AT HIS OFFICIAL STATION. 11 COMP. GEN. 417; 15 ID. 342; 19 ID. 836. HOWEVER, WE HAVE MADE EXCEPTIONS TO THAT RULE IN CERTAIN SITUATIONS. FOR EXAMPLE, IN 36 COMP. GEN. 795, WE HELD AT PAGE 797, AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * WHERE AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IS PROPERLY AUTHORIZED TO USE A PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE FOR OFFICIAL BUSINESS, IT IS WITHIN ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION TO ALLOW HIM MILEAGE FROM WHATEVER POINT HE BEGINS HIS JOURNEY WITH NO REQUIREMENT THAT THERE BE DEDUCTED FROM THE COMPUTATION OF SUCH MILEAGE THE DISTANCE THAT THE EMPLOYEE WOULD NORMALLY TRAVEL BETWEEN HIS HOME AND HIS HEADQUARTERS, IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER HE PERFORMS DUTY ON THAT DAY WITHIN OR WITHOUT THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF HIS HEADQUARTERS CITY OR AT HIS HEADQUARTERS OFFICE. THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS, HOWEVER, IN EXERCISING THEIR DISCRETIONARY POWER IN THIS MATTER ARE TO GIVE DUE CONSIDERATION TO THE INTERESTS OF BOTH THE GOVERNMENT AND THE EMPLOYEE. WHERE APPROPRIATE THEY MAY AND SHOULD IN THE EXERCISE OF THIS DISCRETION RESTRICT THE MILEAGE ALLOWABLE, BY WAY OF A REDUCED RATE OR DISTANCE. * * *"

WE ASSUME THAT IT WAS TO THE ADVANTAGE OF THE GOVERNMENT TO HAVE THE GREATER PART OF MR. DUNN'S TRAVEL COMMENCE FROM BATH SINCE MUCH OF THE TERRITORY THAT HE COVERED WAS NORTH OF THAT AREA. IN VIEW THEREOF, AND SINCE HE DID NOT COMMUTE DAILY TO HIS DESIGNATED OFFICIAL STATION, THE APPLICATION OF THE GENERAL RULE WOULD NOT APPEAR APPROPRIATE.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER IS RETURNED HEREWITH AND IF OTHERWISE CORRECT MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.