B-166210, APRIL 2, 1969, 48 COMP. GEN. 651

B-166210: Apr 2, 1969

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SUCCESSIVE CHANGES AN EMPLOYEE WHO BEFORE HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE TRANSFERRED TO A NEW DUTY STATION WAS TRANSFERRED A SECOND TIME TO A STATION LOCATED AT A GREATER DISTANCE FROM HIS OLD DUTY STATION THAN THE FIRST TRANSFER POINT IS ENTITLED TO MILEAGE BASED ON THE GREATER DISTANCE FROM THE OLD TO THE ULTIMATE DUTY STATION FOR THE MOVEMENT OF HIS FAMILY AND IN DETERMINING THE COMMUTED PAYMENT COVERING THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS UNDER THE PRINCIPLE FORMERLY APPLIED TO THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. THAT IS THAT THE "COST TO THE GOVERNMENT SHALL NOT EXCEED THE COST OF SHIPMENT IN ONE LOT BY THE MOST ECONOMICAL ROUTE FROM THE LAST OFFICIAL STATION TO THE NEW.".

B-166210, APRIL 2, 1969, 48 COMP. GEN. 651

TRANSPORTATION--HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS--TRANSFERS--SUCCESSIVE CHANGES AN EMPLOYEE WHO BEFORE HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE TRANSFERRED TO A NEW DUTY STATION WAS TRANSFERRED A SECOND TIME TO A STATION LOCATED AT A GREATER DISTANCE FROM HIS OLD DUTY STATION THAN THE FIRST TRANSFER POINT IS ENTITLED TO MILEAGE BASED ON THE GREATER DISTANCE FROM THE OLD TO THE ULTIMATE DUTY STATION FOR THE MOVEMENT OF HIS FAMILY AND IN DETERMINING THE COMMUTED PAYMENT COVERING THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS UNDER THE PRINCIPLE FORMERLY APPLIED TO THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, THAT IS THAT THE "COST TO THE GOVERNMENT SHALL NOT EXCEED THE COST OF SHIPMENT IN ONE LOT BY THE MOST ECONOMICAL ROUTE FROM THE LAST OFFICIAL STATION TO THE NEW."

TO HAROLD J. FARRALL, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, APRIL 2, 1969:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 14, 1969, REFERENCE 7-360, CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSE CLAIM OF MR. FORREST D. DOYLE WHICH WAS SUBMITTED AND PAID IN CONNECTION WITH MR. DOYLE'S TRANSFER OF STATION FROM TORRINGTON, WYOMING, TO CASPER, WYOMING, IN MARCH 1968.

THE PERTINENT FACTS GIVING RISE TO YOUR DOUBT AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF PAYMENT OF THE MILEAGE CLAIMED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF MR. DOYLE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY AND THE MILEAGE USED IN DETERMINING THE COMMUTED PAYMENT COVERING THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ARE SET FORTH IN YOUR LETTER AS FOLLOWS:

WE QUESTION THE ALLOWANCE OF MILEAGE FOR MR. DOYLE'S FAMILY CLAIMED FROM CHEYENNE, WYOMING TO CASPER, WYOMING, WHICH IS 52 MORE MILES THAN THE MILEAGE FROM TORRINGTON, WYOMING TO CASPER, WYOMING (THE OLD TO NEW DUTY STATIONS). ALSO, WE QUESTION THE USE OF THE COMMUTED RATE BASED ON MILEAGE CHEYENNE--- CASPER RATHER THAN TORRINGTON--- CASPER.

ON JUNE 19, 1966, MR. DOYLE TRANSFERRED FROM CHEYENNE, WYOMING TO TORRINGTON, WYOMING, A DISTANCE OF 90 MILES. HOWEVER, HIS WIFE AND FAMILY CONTINUED TO LIVE IN CHEYENNE. MR. DOYLE DID NOT COMMUTE DAILY FROM CHEYENNE TO TORRINGTON. HE STAYED IN TORRINGTON DURING THE WEEK DAYS AND DROVE TO CHEYENNE ONLY ON WEEKENDS. BEFORE THE FAMILY COULD MOVE TO TORRINGTON, MR. DOYLE WAS TRANSFERRED TO CASPER, WYOMING.

THE SHORTLINE MILEAGE FROM TORRINGTON, WYOMING TO CASPER, WYOMING IS 145 MILES. THE SHORTLINE MILEAGE FROM CHEYENNE, WYOMING TO CASPER, WYOMING US 197 MILES. MR. DOYLE'S WIFE AND CHILDREN MOVED FROM CHEYENNE TO CASPER ON MARCH 20, 1968. HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE MOVED FROM CHEYENNE TO CASPER ON MARCH 17, 1968.

THE PRINCIPLE INVOLVED IN YOUR REQUEST FOR DECISION IS NOT NEW. IN OUR DECISION, 27 COMP. GEN. 267, WE HELD AS FOLLOWS (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS):

AN EMPLOYEE WHO WAS ORDERED FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER AND WHO, BEFORE SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO SUCH NEW STATION, WAS TRANSFERRED TO A THIRD STATION TO WHICH SHIPMENT WAS MADE WITHIN THE TWO- YEAR ALLOWABLE PERIOD IS ENTITLED, UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 ISSUED PURSUANT TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE STATUTE OF AUGUST 2, 1946, TO REIMBURSEMENT ON A CUMMUTED BASIS FOR SHIPMENT FROM THE FIRST TO THE THIRD STATION, ONLY, BASED UPON THE SHORTLINE DISTANCE BETWEEN SUCH POINTS, IRRESPECTIVE OF THE ACTUAL COST OF SUCH SINGLE SHIPMENT.

YOU WILL NOTE THAT EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 CITED IN THE QUOTED SYLLABUS CONTAINED LANGUAGE SIMILAR TO THAT APPEARING IN THE PRESENT REGULATION IN THAT IT PROVIDED THAT THE "COST TO THE GOVERNMENT SHALL NOT EXCEED THE COST OF SHIPMENT IN ONE LOT BY THE MOST ECONOMICAL ROUTE FROM THE LAST OFFICIAL STATION TO THE NEW." WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY FOLLOWED THE ABOVE- QUOTED HOLDING IN SUBSEQUENT CASES. SEE DECISION OF MARCH 9, 1965, B- 156164 AND DECISION OF APRIL 17, 1964, B-153732.

WE SEE NO REASON FOR APPLYING ANY DIFFERENT RULE HERE, EITHER WITH RESPECT TO TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT PAYABLE ON ACCOUNT OF THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OR HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY FROM CHEYENNE, WYOMING, TO CASPER, WYOMING. ACCORDINGLY, THE 197-MILE DISTANCE--- RATHER THAN THE 144-MILE DISTANCE--- SHOULD BE USED IN THE COMPUTATION OF THE BENEFITS INVOLVED.