B-164352, JUN. 25, 1968

B-164352: Jun 25, 1968

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COX: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 14. WHO WAS TRANSFERRED FROM CHARLESTON. YOU STATE THE MILEAGE RATES ARE IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUBSECTION 2.3A (1). SINCE THE STANDARD MILEAGE GUIDE SHOWS THE DISTANCE BETWEEN CHARLESTON AND LANSING IS 402 MILES AND BETWEEN CHARLESTON AND DENVER IS 1. THE EMPLOYEE WAS PAID $125.68. THE EMPLOYEE RECLAIMS THE AMOUNT DISALLOWED ON THE GROUND THAT THE REGULATIONS LIMIT HIS REIMBURSEMENT TO THE COST THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD THE TRAVEL BEEN BY THE DIRECT ROUTE. NOT TO THE MILEAGE THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN DRIVEN BY THE DIRECT ROUTE. HE ALLEGES THAT IF HE HAD TAKEN THE DIRECT ROUTE HE WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO $164.40 (1. WHICH IS LESS THAN THE TOTAL AMOUNT CLAIMED.

B-164352, JUN. 25, 1968

TO MR. ALBERT D. COX:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 14, 1968, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER AN ITEM OF $32.72 REPRESENTING MILEAGE ON A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. FRANKLIN D. MEYERS, AN EMPLOYEE OF YOUR AGENCY, MAY BE ALLOWED.

MR. MEYERS, WHO WAS TRANSFERRED FROM CHARLESTON, WEST VIRGINIA, TO DENVER, COLORADO, BY TRAVEL ORDER DATED AUGUST 29, 1967, TRAVELED WITH HIS WIFE TO HIS NEW STATION BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE VIA LANSING, MICHIGAN, IN ORDER TO TRANSPORT HIS TWO STEPCHILDREN TO SCHOOL. TRAVELED 1,764 MILES BY THIS ROUTE AND CLAIMED MILEAGE OF 12 CENTS FROM CHARLESTON TO LANSING (432 MILES) AND 8 CENTS BETWEEN LANSING AND DENVER (1,332 MILES) FOR A TOTAL OF $158.40. YOU STATE THE MILEAGE RATES ARE IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUBSECTION 2.3A (1), BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A- 56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966. HOWEVER, SINCE THE STANDARD MILEAGE GUIDE SHOWS THE DISTANCE BETWEEN CHARLESTON AND LANSING IS 402 MILES AND BETWEEN CHARLESTON AND DENVER IS 1,370 MILES, THE EMPLOYEE WAS PAID $125.68, REPRESENTING 12 CENTS A MILE FOR THE 402 MILES AND 8 CENTS A MILE FOR 968 MILES, THE BALANCE OF THE MILEAGE OF THE DIRECT ROUTE FROM CHARLESTON TO DENVER.

THE EMPLOYEE RECLAIMS THE AMOUNT DISALLOWED ON THE GROUND THAT THE REGULATIONS LIMIT HIS REIMBURSEMENT TO THE COST THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD THE TRAVEL BEEN BY THE DIRECT ROUTE, NOT TO THE MILEAGE THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN DRIVEN BY THE DIRECT ROUTE. HE ALLEGES THAT IF HE HAD TAKEN THE DIRECT ROUTE HE WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO $164.40 (1,370 MILES X 12 CENTS PER MILE FOR A FAMILY OF 4), WHICH IS LESS THAN THE TOTAL AMOUNT CLAIMED.

SECTION 2 OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS: "SECTION 2. AUTHORIZED ALLOWANCES FOR SUBSISTENCE AND TRANSPORTATION "2.1 FOR THE EMPLOYEE. EXCEPT AS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED IN THESE REGULATIONS * * * TRANSPORTATION COSTS AND OTHER TRAVEL EXPENSES OF THE EMPLOYEE, SHALL BE ALLOWED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS IN THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, AND THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. THIS APPLIES TO TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES * * * "2.2 FOR MEMBERS OF AN EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY.

"A. TRANSPORTATION. EXCEPT AS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED IN THESE REGULATIONS, ALLOWABLE TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR THE EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY, INCLUDING TRANSPORTATION, ARE GOVERNED BY THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, AND THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. TRAVEL OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY MAY BEGIN AT THE EMPLOYEE'S OLD OFFICIAL STATION OR SOME OTHER POINT, OR PARTIALLY AT BOTH, OR MAY END AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION OR SOME OTHER PLACE SELECTED BY THE EMPLOYEE, OR PARTIALLY AT BOTH. HOWEVER, THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY WILL NOT EXCEED THE ALLOWABLE COST BY USUALLY TRAVLED ROUTE BETWEEN THE EMPLOYEE'S OLD AND NEW OFFICIAL STATIONS.'

SUBSECTION 3.3 OF THE STANDARDIZED TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"3.3. INDIRECT-ROUTE OR INTERRUPTED TRAVEL. --- IN CASE A PERSON FOR HIW OWN CONVENIENCE TRAVLES BY AN INDIRECT ROUTE OR INTERRUPTS TRAVEL BY DIRECT ROUTE, THE EXTRA EXPENSE WILL BE BORNE BY HIM. * * *"

ADDITIONAL COSTS INCURRED BY THE EMPLOYEE AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY BY REASON OF A DEVIATION FROM THE DIRECT ROUTE IN ORDER TO LEAVE CHILDREN AT A LOCATION EN ROUTE ARE PERSONAL OBLIGATIONS. SEE 34 COMP. GEN. 540. HOWEVER, WHILE THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO MILEAGE FOR HIMSELF AND HIS WIFE ONLY ON THE BASIS OF DIRECT TRAVEL TO THE NEW STATION, HE IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OF THE TWO CHILDREN TO THE ALTERNATE LOCATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUBSECTION 2.2A OF THE CIRCULAR. THE EMPLOYEE HAS BEEN ALLOWED REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRAVEL OF THE CHILDREN TO THE ALTERNATE LOCATION BY THE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION ACTUALLY USED. THE FACT THAT HE WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT IF THE CHILDREN HAD TRAVELED ON TO DENVER IS NOT MATERIAL. IN VIEW OF THIS AND SINCE HE HAS BEEN REIMBURSED FOR HIS TRAVEL AND THAT OF HIS WIFE BY THE DIRECT ROUTE, HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO ANY ADDITIONAL AMOUNT FOR THE TRAVEL IN QUESTION.

THE ITEM OF $32.72 INCLUDED IN THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, SHOULD THEREFORE BE DELETED.