B-163577, MAR. 29, 1968

B-163577: Mar 29, 1968

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WHOSE OFFICIAL STATION IS WASHINGTON. DUE TO A SNOW STORM THE RETURN FLIGHT WAS DIVERTED TO DULLES AIRPORT AND THE AIRLINE FURNISHED BUS SERVICE TO THE AIRLINE BUS TERMINAL IN WASHINGTON. GOODE'S AUTOMOBILE WAS AT FRIENDSHIP AIRPORT AND. THERE WAS NO SCHEDULED AIRLINE BUS SERVICE. SUBJECT TO AGENCY RESTRICTIONS WHEN SUITABLE GOVERNMENT OR COMMON CARRIER TRANSPORTATION SERVICE IS AVAILABLE FOR ALL OR PART OF THE DISTANCE INVOLVED. SINCE UNDER SECTION 3.5C (1) OF THOSE REGULATIONS THE FEE FOR PARKING AN AUTOMOBILE AT A COMMON CARRIER TERMINAL WHILE A TRAVELER IS AWAY FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION IS LIMITED TO THE ESTIMATED COST FOR THE USE OF A TAXICAB TO AND FROM THE TERMINAL UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3.1B.

B-163577, MAR. 29, 1968

TO MR. A. L. ROHAN:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 14, 1968, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF YOUR CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT EXPENSES CLAIMED ON THE TRAVEL VOUCHER OF DR. EDWIN R. GOODE, JR., ASSISTANT DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR OF YOUR SERVICE, FOR MILEAGE AND PARKING AND FOR TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN TERMINALS.

DR. GOODE, WHOSE OFFICIAL STATION IS WASHINGTON, D.C., DEPARTED BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE FROM HIS RESIDENCE IN COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND, ON NOVEMBER 26, 1967, DROVE TO FRIENDSHIP AIRPORT WHERE HE PARKED HIS AUTOMOBILE, AND TRAVELED BY AIRPLANE TO CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, TO ATTEND A CONFERENCE. UPON COMPLETION OF THE CONFERENCE, DR. GOODE DEPARTED CHICAGO BY AIRPLANE. DUE TO A SNOW STORM THE RETURN FLIGHT WAS DIVERTED TO DULLES AIRPORT AND THE AIRLINE FURNISHED BUS SERVICE TO THE AIRLINE BUS TERMINAL IN WASHINGTON. SINCE DR. GOODE'S AUTOMOBILE WAS AT FRIENDSHIP AIRPORT AND, AS A RESULT OF THE SNOW STORM, THERE WAS NO SCHEDULED AIRLINE BUS SERVICE, PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, NOR TAXI SERVICE TO THE AIRPORT, HE HIRED A RENTAL CAR AS THE MOST EXPEDITIOUS MEANS TO GET HIM TO FRIENDSHIP AIRPORT. DR. GOODE CLAIMS REIMBURSEMENT FOR PARKING HIS AUTOMOBILE AT THE AIRPORT, MILEAGE AT THE RATE OF 10 CENTS PER MILE TO AND FROM HIS RESIDENCE AND FRIENDSHIP AIRPORT, AND RENTAL OF THE CAR TO DRIVE FROM THE WASHINGTON AIRLINE BUS TERMINAL TO HIS AUTOMOBILE.

BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-7 REVISED, TRANSMITTAL MEMORANDUM NO. 7, APRIL 7, 1967, AMENDED SUBSECTION B OF SECTION 3.1 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS BY REMOVING THE MAXIMUM $6 (PLUS TIP) LIMITATION FOR USE OF TAXICABS TO AND FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S RESIDENCE AND A COMMON CARRIER TERMINAL, SUBJECT TO AGENCY RESTRICTIONS WHEN SUITABLE GOVERNMENT OR COMMON CARRIER TRANSPORTATION SERVICE IS AVAILABLE FOR ALL OR PART OF THE DISTANCE INVOLVED. SINCE UNDER SECTION 3.5C (1) OF THOSE REGULATIONS THE FEE FOR PARKING AN AUTOMOBILE AT A COMMON CARRIER TERMINAL WHILE A TRAVELER IS AWAY FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION IS LIMITED TO THE ESTIMATED COST FOR THE USE OF A TAXICAB TO AND FROM THE TERMINAL UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3.1B, THE AMENDMENT HAD THE EFFECT OF RAISING THE AMOUNT PAYABLE TO A TRAVELER UNDER SECTION 3.5C (1) FOR MILEAGE AND PARKING. ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS OF THE USDA (7 AR 553.5B) AUTHORIZE MILEAGE AT A RATE OF 10 CENTS PER MILE IN SUCH CASES, AND OTHERWISE LIMIT THE REIMBURSEMENT TO TAXICAB COSTS AS PROVIDED FOR IN SECTION 3.5C (1) OF THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

THE RECORD INDICATES THE 8:30 A.M. FLIGHT FROM FRIENDSHIP AIRPORT, NEAR BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, WAS THE ONLY AVAILABLE ONE ON SUNDAY TO GET THE TRAVELER TO HIS MEETING ON TIME. THE TRAVELER HAD THE OPTION OF TAKING A TAXICAB TO WASHINGTON IN ORDER TO PROCEED BY AIRLINE BUS TO THE AIRPORT, OR DRIVING 32 MILES DIRECTLY FROM HIS RESIDENCE BY PRIVATE AUTOMOBILE TO THE AIRPORT. IF THE TRAVELER'S AIRPLANE HAD NOT BEEN DIVERTED, HE WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO THE MILEAGE TO AND FROM FRIENDSHIP AIRPORT AND THE PARKING FEE UNDER THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND THE PERTINENT ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS, ABOVE, SINCE THE AMOUNT CLAIMED WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN IN EXCESS OF TAXICAB FARES TO AND FROM THE TERMINAL. THE FACT THAT THE AIRPLANE WAS DIVERTED DID NOT DIVEST HIM OF SUCH ENTITLEMENT.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE, AND SINCE THE USE OF A RENTAL CAR BETWEEN THE WASHINGTON, D.C. TERMINAL AND FRIENDSHIP AIRPORT WAS REQUIRED BY CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE TRAVELER, WE WOULD NOT OBJECT TO THE ALLOWANCE OF THE EXPENSES CLAIMED BY DR. GOODE FOR PARKING AND FOR TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN RESIDENCE AND THE TERMINAL AND BETWEEN THE TERMINALS.

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