B-164189, JUN. 25, 1968

B-164189: Jun 25, 1968

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HIS TOTAL CLAIM WAS FOR $28.70 REPRESENTING 287 MILES AND YOU ALLOWED ONLY $22.90. HE WAS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF $23.90 ($28.70-$4.80 EQUALS $23.90). LOMBARDO'S HOME TO PERMANENT STATION BUT WE WILL ASSUME THAT IT IS 24 MILES. LOMBARDO IS OF THE OPINION THAT PARAGRAPH 06153 OF VOLUME 2. JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (JTR) IN PROVIDING FOR DEDUCTION FROM TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVEL OF THE DISTANCE FROM HOME TO PERMANENT DUTY STATION IS AN ARBITRARY AND ILLEGAL CONDITION PRECEDENT. WHO IS ENGAGED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS INSIDE OR OUTSIDE HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY OR PLACE OF SERVICE. IS ENTITLED TO NOT IN EXCESS OF. OF THE ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION WHEN THAT MODE OF TRANSPORTATION IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. * * *" "SEC. 5707.

B-164189, JUN. 25, 1968

TO LIEUTENANT M. DRINKWATER:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 15, 1968, REFERENCE DCRL-FOAAP, SUBMITTING A RECLAIM VOUCHER OF MR. JOHN R. LOMBARDO, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY, REPRESENTING MILEAGE BETWEEN HIS RESIDENCE AND A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION IN THE CONDUCT OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS.

YOU INDICATE THAT YOU DISALLOWED THE SUM OF $4.80 REPRESENTING 48 MILES TRAVEL BETWEEN MR. LOMBARDO'S RESIDENCE AND A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION ON THE BASIS OF LOCAL REGULATIONS. HIS TOTAL CLAIM WAS FOR $28.70 REPRESENTING 287 MILES AND YOU ALLOWED ONLY $22.90. ASIDE FROM THE QUESTION PRESENTED IT APPEARS THAT IF OTHERWISE PROPER, HE WAS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF $23.90 ($28.70-$4.80 EQUALS $23.90). MOREOVER, YOU DO NOT INDICATE THE DISTANCE FROM MR. LOMBARDO'S HOME TO PERMANENT STATION BUT WE WILL ASSUME THAT IT IS 24 MILES.

MR. LOMBARDO IS OF THE OPINION THAT PARAGRAPH 06153 OF VOLUME 2, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (JTR) IN PROVIDING FOR DEDUCTION FROM TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVEL OF THE DISTANCE FROM HOME TO PERMANENT DUTY STATION IS AN ARBITRARY AND ILLEGAL CONDITION PRECEDENT.

WITH RESPECT TO THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE AND THE ISSUE OF REGULATIONS GOVERNING SUCH EXPENSES SECTIONS 5704 AND 5707 OF TITLE 5, UNITED STATES CODE PROVIDE:

"SEC. 5704. MILEAGE AND RELATED ALLOWANCES

"/A) UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED UNDER SECTION 5707 OF THIS TITLE, AN EMPLOYEE OR OTHER INDIVIDUAL PERFORMING SERVICE FOR THE GOVERNMENT, WHO IS ENGAGED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS INSIDE OR OUTSIDE HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY OR PLACE OF SERVICE, IS ENTITLED TO NOT IN EXCESS OF---

"/1) 8 CENTS A MILE FOR THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED MOTORCYCLE; OR

"/2) 12 CENTS A MILE FOR THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE OR AIRPLANE; INSTEAD OF THE ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION WHEN THAT MODE OF TRANSPORTATION IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. * * *" "SEC. 5707. REGULATIONS

"THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET SHALL PRESCRIBE REGULATIONS NECESSARY FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF THIS SUBCHAPTER. THE FIXING, PAYMENT, ADVANCEMENT, AND RECOVERY OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCES, AND THE REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES, UNDER THIS SUBCHAPTER SHALL BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS. * * *"

STATUTORY REGULATIONS ISSUED BY THE DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF THE BUDGET IMPLEMENTING THE FOREGOING LAWS PROVIDE:

"IN SUCH CASES THE MILEAGE RATE AS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED MAY BE PAID FROM WHATEVER POINT THE EMPLOYEE OR OTHER PERSONS RENDERING SERVICE TO THE GOVERNMENT BEGINS HIS JOURNEY. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PROPER OFFICIALS OF THE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS TO FIX SUCH RATES, WITHIN THE MAXIMUM, AS WILL MOST NEARLY COMPENSATE THE TRAVELER FOR NECESSARY EXPENSES. * * *"

CONSISTENT WITH THE AUTHORITY CONFERRED UNDER THE ABOVE REGULATIONS PARAGRAPH 06153 OF VOLUME 2, JTR, PROVIDES:

"WHEN AN EMPLOYEE PERFORMS DAILY OR INTERMITTENT TRAVEL DIRECTLY FROM HIS RESIDENCE TO TEMPORARY DUTY STATION, INSTEAD OF REPORTING TO HEADQUARTERS AND THENCE TO THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION, MILEAGE FOR USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE MAY BE AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED, PROVIDED SUCH MODE OF TRANSPORTATION IS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. REIMBURSEMENT FOR MILEAGE MAY BE LIMITED TO THE AMOUNT REPRESENTING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REPORTING TO THE EMPLOYEE'S PERMANENT DUTY STATION AND THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION.'

UNDER THE DISCRETION CONFERRED IN THE ABOVE REGULATION TO LIMIT REIMBURSEMENT TO THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN EMPLOYEE'S REPORTING TO HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION AND HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION THE LOCAL REGULATION DCRL 7340.1, PARAGRAPH IV-C PROVIDES:

"C. INDIVIDUALS PERFORMING TRAVEL FROM THEIR PLACE OF RESIDENCE TO A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION MAY BE AUTHORIZED REIMBURSEMENT FOR USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ONLY FOR THAT DISTANCE TRAVELED WHICH EXCEEDS THE DISTANCE FROM THEIR RESIDENCE TO THE PERMANENT DUTY STATION. WHEN AN INDIVIDUAL COMMENCES TRAVEL AT THE PERMANENT DUTY STATION AND DOES NOT RETURN TO THE PERMANENT DUTY STATION, REIMBURSEMENT WILL BE LIMITED TO THAT DISTANCE TRAVELED IN EXCESS OF THE DISTANCE FROM THE PERMANENT DUTY STATION TO THE PLACE OF RESIDENCE.'

IN CASES OF THIS TYPE WE HAVE HELD THAT WHEN 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 OFFICIAL DUTY STATION. THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS, HOWEVER, IN THE EXERCISE OF THEIR DISCRETIONARY POWER TO AUTHORIZE MILEAGE FROM WHATEVER POINT THE EMPLOYEE BEGINS THE TRAVEL MUST GIVE DUE CONSIDERATION TO BOTH THE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT AND THE EMPLOYEE. THEREFORE, IN APPROPRIATE CASES, THEY MAY AND SHOULD IN THE EXERCISE OF THIS DISCRETION RESTRICT THE MILEAGE ALLOWABLE BY WAY OF REDUCED RATE OR DISTANCE. SEE 36 COMP. GEN. 795 (B- 131810, JUNE 4, 1957), COPY ENCLOSED. ACCORDINGLY, IT WAS A PROPER EXERCISE OF THE AGENCY'S DISCRETION TO LIMIT REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL TO A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION BY THE AMOUNT WHICH SUCH TRAVEL EXCEEDED THE DISTANCE FROM THEIR RESIDENCE TO THE PERMANENT DUTY STATION.

ON THE BASIS OF EXISTING REGULATIONS, WHICH WE FIND TO BE PROPER, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR PAYMENT OF THE CLAIM.