B-163939, MAY 8, 1968

B-163939: May 8, 1968

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THE CLAIM FOR MILEAGE FOR THE SECOND AUTOMOBILE WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY SUSPENDED PENDING RECEIPT OF A JUSTIFICATION FOR ITS USE. AN AMENDED TRANSFER AUTHORIZATION WAS RECEIVED SIGNED BY THE DISTRICT DIRECTOR OF INTERNAL REVENUE WHICH STATED THAT "THERE WERE MORE MEMBERS OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY THAN COULD REASONABLY BE TRANSPORTED. YOU STATE NO FURTHER EXPLANATION OR CONDITIONS WERE PROVIDED AND. THERE IS DOUBT AS TO WHETHER THE CONDITIONS OF ACTUAL TRAVEL CONSTITUTE REASONABLE GROUNDS TO SHOW THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS FAMILY IN ONE AUTOMOBILE WAS NOT FEASIBLE. LOWRY'S TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION PROVIDE SUFFICIENT GROUNDS TO SHOW THAT TRANSPORTATION OF EMPLOYEE AND FAMILY IN ONE AUTOMOBILE WAS NOT FEASIBLE.

B-163939, MAY 8, 1968

TO MR. B. R. JOHNSON:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 21, 1968, REFERENCE ADFF WRW, RECEIVED IN OUR OFFICE ON APRIL 2, 1968, FORWARDING FOR OUR CONSIDERATION SF-1012, TRAVEL VOUCHER, SUBMITTED BY MR. JAMES T. LOWRY, COVERING RECLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR ONE OF TWO PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES INCIDENT TO HIS CHANGE IN POST OF DUTY FROM NASHVILLE TO MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE.

THE EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY, WIFE AND THREE CHILDREN, TRAVELED IN ONE AUTOMOBILE AND HE TRAVELED IN THE SECOND AUTOMOBILE. BOTH DEPARTED NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, ON AUGUST 17, 1967, AT 1 P.M. AND ARRIVED IN MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE, AT 5 P.M. MR. LOWRY CLAIMED REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE FIRST AUTOMOBILE FOR A DISTANCE OF 220 MILES AT A RATE OF 12 CENTS PER MILE, $26.40, AND FOR THE SECOND AUTOMOBILE FOR THE SAME DISTANCE AT THE RATE OF 6 CENTS PER MILE, $13.20.

THE CLAIM FOR MILEAGE FOR THE SECOND AUTOMOBILE WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY SUSPENDED PENDING RECEIPT OF A JUSTIFICATION FOR ITS USE. THEREAFTER, AN AMENDED TRANSFER AUTHORIZATION WAS RECEIVED SIGNED BY THE DISTRICT DIRECTOR OF INTERNAL REVENUE WHICH STATED THAT "THERE WERE MORE MEMBERS OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY THAN COULD REASONABLY BE TRANSPORTED, TOGETHER WITH LUGGAGE, IN ONE VEHICLE.' YOU STATE NO FURTHER EXPLANATION OR CONDITIONS WERE PROVIDED AND, ALTHOUGH SUBSECTIONS 2.3B AND 2.3B (1), BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966, AUTHORIZE THE USE OF TWO AUTOMOBILES FOR THE REASON STATED, THERE IS DOUBT AS TO WHETHER THE CONDITIONS OF ACTUAL TRAVEL CONSTITUTE REASONABLE GROUNDS TO SHOW THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS FAMILY IN ONE AUTOMOBILE WAS NOT FEASIBLE. IN THAT CONNECTION, YOU ASK THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

"1. DOES STATEMENT, AS SHOWN ON MR. LOWRY'S TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION PROVIDE SUFFICIENT GROUNDS TO SHOW THAT TRANSPORTATION OF EMPLOYEE AND FAMILY IN ONE AUTOMOBILE WAS NOT FEASIBLE, REGARDLESS OF MILES TRAVELED OR NUMBER IN IMMEDIATE FAMILY, OR

"2. DOES ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT, WHEN AUTHORIZED IN ADVANCE, DEPEND UPON SHOWING OF REASONS WHY TRAVEL IN ONE AUTOMOBILE WAS NOT FEASIBLE$"

WE POINT OUT THAT HERE AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION WAS MADE CONCERNING THE USE OF THE SECOND AUTOMOBILE WHEREAS USUALLY THE CERTIFYING OR DISBURSING OFFICER MUST MAKE HIS OWN DETERMINATION BASED ON INFORMATION FURNISHED BY THE CLAIMANT. ORDINARILY, WE DO NOT QUESTION AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION SUCH AS HERE INVOLVED UNLESS IT CLEARLY APPEARS THAT SUCH DETERMINATION IS AT VARIANCE WITH THE REPORTED FACTS IN A PARTICULAR CASE. SEE 26 COMP. GEN. 463. WE ASSUME THAT THE DISTRICT DIRECTOR AT THE TIME HE SIGNED THE AMENDED TRANSFER AUTHORIZATION WAS AWARE OF THE AMOUNT OF BAGGAGE THAT THE EMPLOYEE TRANSPORTED IN ADDITION TO HIS WIFE AND CHILDREN. THEREFORE WE SEE NO REASON TO QUESTION THE DETERMINATION OF THE DISTRICT DIRECTOR. YOUR QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.

THE VOUCHER WITH ATTACHMENTS IS RETURNED HEREWITH AND MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.