B-162843, JAN. 10, 1968

B-162843: Jan 10, 1968

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MAY NOT BE ALLOWED MILEAGE FOR TRIP BACK TO OLD STATION TO TRANSPORT FAMILY TO NEW STATION EVEN THOUGH COMMON CARRIER COSTS WOULD BE MORE THAN ROUND-TRIP MILEAGE CLAIMED SINCE REGULATIONS DO NOT HAVE ANY ROUND-TRIP CONCEPT OR INTENT. THESE TRIPS WERE INCIDENT TO TRANSPORTATION OF MEMBERS OF YOUR FAMILY FROM THE WASHINGTON. THAT TRAVEL ORDER WAS AMENDED RETROACTIVELY SOMETIME AFTER FEBRUARY 17. WAS THE ORIGINAL INTENT OF YOUR ORDERS. IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES WE HAVE PERMITTED REIMBURSEMENT OF MILEAGE FOR MORE THAN ONE VEHICLE OR MORE THAN ONE TRIP TO TRANSPORT MEMBERS OF AN EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY TO HIS NEW STATION. WE HAVE NOT ALLOWED ANY EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE EMPLOYEE IN TRAVELING BACK TO HIS OLD OFFICIAL STATION SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF ACCOMPANYING OR DRIVING HIS FAMILY TO THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION.

B-162843, JAN. 10, 1968

EMPLOYEES - TRANSFERS - PUBLIC LAW 89-516 - MORE THAN ONE TRIP BETWEEN STATIONS DECISION SUSTAINING DISALLOWANCE OF CLAIM FOR MILEAGE FOR MORE THAN ONE TRIP BY AUTO BETWEEN OLD AND NEW STATIONS (WASHINGTON, D.C. AND WILKES- BARRE, PA.) EMPLOYEE WHO HAD TRAVEL ORDER INCIDENT TO TRANSFER AMENDED RETROACTIVELY TO AUTHORIZE TWO ROUND TRIPS BY AUTO IN MOVING FAMILY AND EFFECTS TO NEW OFFICIAL STATION, MAY NOT BE ALLOWED MILEAGE FOR TRIP BACK TO OLD STATION TO TRANSPORT FAMILY TO NEW STATION EVEN THOUGH COMMON CARRIER COSTS WOULD BE MORE THAN ROUND-TRIP MILEAGE CLAIMED SINCE REGULATIONS DO NOT HAVE ANY ROUND-TRIP CONCEPT OR INTENT.

TO MR. JOSEPH D. O-NEILL:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 11, 1967, CONCERNING OUR CLAIMS DIVISION'S SETTLEMENT OF SEPTEMBER 5, 1967, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM OF MILEAGE FOR THE TRIPS WHICH YOU TOOK BY AUTOMOBILE, FROM YOUR NEW OFFICIAL STATION, WILKES-BARRE, PENNSYLVANIA, TO KENSINGTON, MARYLAND, ON AUGUST 12 AND 27, 1966.

THESE TRIPS WERE INCIDENT TO TRANSPORTATION OF MEMBERS OF YOUR FAMILY FROM THE WASHINGTON, D.C. AREA (KENSINGTON) TO THE WILKES-BARRE AREA (FORTY FORT) UNDER TRAVEL ORDER NO. 02-2-234 DATED JULY 25, 1966. APPARENTLY YOU HAD PREVIOUSLY REPORTED TO WILKES-BARRE UNDER A SEPARATE TRAVEL ORDER. THE ORDER DATED JULY 25, 1966, AUTHORIZED THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR FAMILY AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ,ONE-WAY" FROM THE WASHINGTON AREA TO THE WILKES-BARRE AREA. THAT TRAVEL ORDER WAS AMENDED RETROACTIVELY SOMETIME AFTER FEBRUARY 17, 1967, PURPORTEDLY TO SUPPLY AUTHORITY FOR "TWO ROUND TRIPS BY AUTOMOBILE" IN MOVING YOUR FAMILY TO YOUR NEW OFFICIAL STATION. THAT, YOU SAY, WAS THE ORIGINAL INTENT OF YOUR ORDERS.

IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES WE HAVE PERMITTED REIMBURSEMENT OF MILEAGE FOR MORE THAN ONE VEHICLE OR MORE THAN ONE TRIP TO TRANSPORT MEMBERS OF AN EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY TO HIS NEW STATION. SEE OUR DECISIONS AT 27 COMP. GEN. 57, 28 ID. 586, 29 ID. 38, 32 ID. 342, 38 ID. 542 AND 45 ID. 373. HOWEVER, WE HAVE NOT ALLOWED ANY EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE EMPLOYEE IN TRAVELING BACK TO HIS OLD OFFICIAL STATION SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF ACCOMPANYING OR DRIVING HIS FAMILY TO THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION. THIS IS SO REGARDLESS OF THE FACT THAT COMMON CARRIER COSTS (AIR FARE, ETC., MENTIONED BY YOU) WOULD BE MORE THAN ROUND-TRIP MILEAGE. IN OTHER WORDS WE REGARD THE TRAVEL BY AN EMPLOYEE BACK TO HIS OLD OFFICIAL STATION AS A PERSONAL MATTER AND NOT IN CONNECTION WITH OFFICIAL BUSINESS OF THE UNITED STATES. THEREFORE, YOUR AGENCY LACKED AUTHORITY TO AMEND YOUR TRAVEL ORDERS TO REFLECT THAT YOU WOULD BE REIMBURSED FOR SUCH ONE-WAY TRAVEL.

YOU REFER TO SECTION 1.4 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, ISSUED IN 1962. THE SPECIFIC PROVISION WHICH YOU QUOTE WAS REVISED AND NUMBERED AS SECTION 1.3A, BY TRANSMITTAL MEMORANDUM NO. 5, DATED JULY 30, 1965. THAT SECTION IN PART SAID THAT TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY ARE ALLOWABLE WHETHER THE TRAVEL BEGINS AT THE EMPLOYEE'S OLD STATION OR SOME OTHER POINT. ALSO, YOU STRESS THAT PART OF THE PROVISIONS IN SECTION 3.5B (1) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH SAYS "IN SUCH CASES THE MILEAGE RATE AS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED MAY BE PAID FROM WHATEVER POINT THE EMPLOYEE OR OTHER PERSON RENDERING SERVICE TO THE GOVERNMENT BEGINS HIS JOURNEY.' HOWEVER, WE POINT OUT THAT SECTION 1.3A OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 ALSO PROVIDED THAT THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT "* * * WILL NOT EXCEED THE COST * * * BETWEEN THE EMPLOYEE'S OLD AND NEW OFFICIAL STATIONS.' THESE PROVISIONS OF THE REGULATIONS CLEARLY HAVE NO ROUND-TRIP CONCEPT OR INTENT AND, SO FAR AS WE ARE AWARE, HAVE NEVER BEEN SO CONSIDERED BY THE CONGRESS OR THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET.