B-165564, DECEMBER 26, 1968, 48 COMP. GEN. 447

B-165564: Dec 26, 1968

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PROPERLY WAS DISALLOWED TAXI FARE FOR THE DAY OF DEPARTURE IN THE COMPUTATION UNDER SECTIONS 3.5C (2) (A) AND 3.1B OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS OF THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER. FOR HAD THE EMPLOYEE TRAVELED BY PLANE THE AVAILABILITY OF THE OFFICE LIMOUSINE WOULD HAVE RESTRICTED THE USE OF A TAXICAB TO THE AIRPORT. WAS ENTITLED TO PROCEED ON TEMPORARY DUTY BY PLANE OR PRIVATELY OWNED AUTO NOT TO EXCEED COST BY COMMON CARRIER AND THAT HE ACTUALLY TRAVELED BY PRIVATE AUTO. - WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY SUSPENDED FOR THE REASONS SET OUT BELOW: SUBSECTION 3.5C (2) (A) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT "IN DETERMINING THE CONSTRUCTIVE COMMON CARRIER COST THERE WILL ALSO BE INCLUDED THE USUAL TRANSPORTATION COSTS TO AND FROM THE COMMON CARRIER TERMINALS.'.

B-165564, DECEMBER 26, 1968, 48 COMP. GEN. 447

TRAVEL EXPENSES - FARES - TAXICABS - COMMON CARRIER CONSTRUCTIVE COST AN EMPLOYEE AT HEADQUARTERS HAVING LIMOUSINE SERVICE AVAILABLE TO AND FROM THE AIRPORT TERMINAL WHO, ASSIGNED TEMPORARY DUTY AND AUTHORIZED TRAVEL BY PLANE OR PRIVATELY OWNED AUTO NOT TO EXCEED COMMON CARRIER COST, DEPARTS DURING OFFICE HOURS TRAVELING BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTO, PROPERLY WAS DISALLOWED TAXI FARE FOR THE DAY OF DEPARTURE IN THE COMPUTATION UNDER SECTIONS 3.5C (2) (A) AND 3.1B OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS OF THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER, FOR HAD THE EMPLOYEE TRAVELED BY PLANE THE AVAILABILITY OF THE OFFICE LIMOUSINE WOULD HAVE RESTRICTED THE USE OF A TAXICAB TO THE AIRPORT. HOWEVER, IF APPLICABLE, THE CONSTRUCTIVE TAXI FARE AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 3.1B FROM HOME TO OFFICE ON THE DAY OF DEPARTURE MAY BE ALLOWED.

TO EDWARD KNEUPER, JR., BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, DECEMBER 26, 1968:

YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 30, 1968, SUBMITTING A RECLAIM VOUCHER FROM MR. MORGAN W. PACE IN THE AMOUNT OF $1.85 REPRESENTING THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF A TAXI FARE, ASKS WHETHER THE VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT UNDER THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES HEREINAFTER RELATED.

YOU POINT OUT THAT MR. PACE, BY HIS TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION, WAS ENTITLED TO PROCEED ON TEMPORARY DUTY BY PLANE OR PRIVATELY OWNED AUTO NOT TO EXCEED COST BY COMMON CARRIER AND THAT HE ACTUALLY TRAVELED BY PRIVATE AUTO. INCLUDED IN THE CONSTRUCTIVE COMMON CARRIER COST ON THE ORIGINAL TRAVEL CLAIM TWO TAXI FARES AND TWO LIMOUSINE FARES IN AMARILLO. ONE OF THE TAXI FARES--- NOW BEING RECLAIMED--- WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY SUSPENDED FOR THE REASONS SET OUT BELOW:

SUBSECTION 3.5C (2) (A) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT "IN DETERMINING THE CONSTRUCTIVE COMMON CARRIER COST THERE WILL ALSO BE INCLUDED THE USUAL TRANSPORTATION COSTS TO AND FROM THE COMMON CARRIER TERMINALS.' LIMOUSINE SERVICE IS AVAILABLE AT OUR OFFICE TO AND FROM THE AIRPORT TERMINAL. A REVIEW OF OUR RECENT TRAVEL VOUCHERS REVEALS THAT WHEN AN EMPLOYEE TRAVELED BY PLANE AND DEPARTED OR RETURNED DURING OFFICE HOURS IN MOST CASES LIMOUSINE FARE ONLY BETWEEN OFFICE AND AIRPORT WAS CLAIMED. IN MOST OF THE REMAINING CASES ROUND-TRIP MILEAGE BETWEEN OFFICE AND AIRPORT PLUS PARKING FEES WERE ALLOWED. IN ADDITION, MILEAGE BETWEEN THE OFFICE AND THE EMPLOYEE'S RESIDENCE WAS ALLOWED UNDER SUBSECTION 3.5C (1). ON OCCASION AN EMPLOYEE WILL RETURN TO HIS HOME BEFORE DEPARTURE DURING WORKING HOURS AND WILL BE REIMBURSED TAXI AND LIMOUSINE FARES TO THE AIRPORT TERMINAL. SIMILAR REIMBURSEMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE WHEN AN EMPLOYEE RETURNS DURING OFFICE HOURS.

ON THIS BASIS WE CONSIDERED A TAXI FARE ON THE CONSTRUCTIVE DAY OF DEPARTURE DURING OFFICE HOURS NOT TO BE ALLOWABLE SINCE THE USUAL TRANSPORTATION COST TO THE AIRPORT TERMINAL WOULD HAVE BEEN LIMOUSINE FARE ONLY OR A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE BETWEEN THE AIRPORT AND OFFICE. WE ALSO CONCLUDE THAT TAXI FARE COULD NOT BE ALLOWED FOR TRANSPORTATION TO THE OFFICE UNDER THE SECOND PARAGRAPH OF SUBSECTION 3.1B, SINCE THIS TRANSPORTATION COST WOULD NOT BE TO OR FROM THE COMMON CARRIER TERMINAL.

WE NOTE FROM THE ORIGINAL VOUCHER, COVERING THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 30 OCTOBER 4, 1968, THAT THE COMPARATIVE COSTS BY COMMON CARRIER WERE LESS THAN THE COSTS CLAIMED FOR THE TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTO. SUCH COMPARATIVE COSTS ARE SHOWN TO BE, ONE ROUND TRIP PLANE FARE $78; TWO TAXI FARES AMARILLO ($1.60 PLUS TIP ?25 EQUALS $1.85) $3.70; TWO LIMOUSINE FARES AMARILLO AT $2 EACH $4; TWO TAXI FARES FARMINGTON (?60 PLUS TIP ?15 EQUALS ?75) $1.50, TOTALING $87.20.

SECTION 3.5C (2) (A), STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, THAT:

* * * IN DETERMINING THE CONSTRUCTIVE COMMON CARRIER COST THERE WILL ALSO BE INCLUDED THE USUAL TRANSPORTATION COSTS TO AND FROM THE COMMON CARRIER TERMINALS. * * *

SECTION 3.1B, SGTR, PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, FOR:

B. REIMBURSEMENT WILL BE ALLOWED FOR THE USUAL TAXICAB AND AIRPORT LIMOUSINE FARES, WHEN APPROPRIATE, PLUS TIP, FROM COMMON CARRIER OR OTHER TERMINAL, OR BETWEEN AN AIRPORT AND AIRPORT LIMOUSINE TERMINAL. * * *

THE FOREGOING PROVISIONS PRESUPPOSE THAT A TAXICAB IS REQUIRED FOR USE BETWEEN THE OFFICE AND TERMINAL. IN VIEW OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPLANATION THAT LIMOUSINE SERVICE IS AVAILABLE AT THE OFFICE TO AND FROM THE AIRPORT TERMINAL IT IS EVIDENT THAT A TAXICAB UPON DEPARTURE DURING OFFICE HOURS WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN UTILIZED HAD THE CLAIMANT TRAVELED BY AIRPLANE. IN ADDITION ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THE AMENDMENT MADE TO SUBSECTION B OF SECTION 3.1, SGTR, TRANSMITTAL MEMORANDUM NO. 7, APRIL 7, 1967, TO THE EFFECT THAT AGENCIES SHOULD ADMINISTRATIVELY RESTRICT THE USE OF TAXICABS WHEN SUITABLE GOVERNMENT OR COMMON CARRIER TRANSPORTATION SERVICE, INCLUDING AIRPORT LIMOUSINE SERVICE, IS AVAILABLE. THEREFORE, THE CONSTRUCTIVE TAXI FARE OF $1.85 MAY NOT BE ALLOWED. HOWEVER, WE DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION TO THE FOLLOWING PROVISION WHICH ALSO APPEARED IN THE AMENDMENT OF APRIL 7, 1967, PREVIOUSLY

IN ADDITION, REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED FOR THE USUAL REFERRED TO: TAXICAB FARES, PLUS TIP, FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S HOME TO HIS OFFICE ON THE DAY HE DEPARTS FROM HIS OFFICE ON AN OFFICIAL TRIP REQUIRING AT LEAST ONE NIGHT'S LODGING AND FROM HIS OFFICE TO HIS HOME ON THE DAY HE RETURNS TO HIS OFFICE FROM THE TRIP. IF SUCH PROVISIONS ARE ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED APPLICABLE HERE A BASIS WOULD EXIST FOR ALLOWANCE OF CONSTRUCTIVE TAXI FARE FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S HOME TO HIS OFFICE IN LIEU OF THE $1.85 RECLAIMED. SEE 36 COMP. GEN. 476. THE VOUCHER IS RETURNED HEREWITH AND MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT ON THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT RECORD.