B-167851, OCT. 1, 1969

B-167851: Oct 1, 1969

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WHENEVER EMPLOYEE IS ENGAGED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS WITHIN OR OUTSIDE HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY. SCHULLERY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 5. KELLY WAS DIRECTED TO DEPART ON A FLIGHT FROM DULLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT TO ASSIST WITH AN EMERGENCY AT THE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL TOWER. HE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO OBTAIN THE NECESSARY CLOTHING AND REACH THE AIRPORT IN TIME FOR TICKETING FOR HIS FLIGHT. YOU STATE THAT THE EXPENSE INCURRED IS ADMINISTRATIVELY CONSIDERED AS ESSENTIAL TO THE CONDUCT OF PUBLIC BUSINESS. OF THE SGTR PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART THAT THE HIRE OF A TAXICAB (OTHER THAN FOR USE UNDER SECTION 3.1B) WILL BE ALLOWED IF AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT WHENEVER THE EMPLOYEE IS ENGAGED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS WITHIN OR OUTSIDE HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY.

B-167851, OCT. 1, 1969

TRAVEL EXPENSES--FARES--TAXICABS--BETWEEN RESIDENCE AND HEADQUARTERS-- ADVANTAGEOUS TO GOVERNMENT FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION AGENCY EMPLOYEE WHO INCURRED TAXICAB EXPENSE FOR TRANSPORTATION FROM OFFICE TO RESIDENCE TO OBTAIN NECESSARY CLOTHING AND REACH AIRPORT IN TIME FOR EMERGENCY OFFICIAL TRIP MAY BE REIMBURSED UNDER SUBSEC. 3.4A OF STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, WHICH AUTHORIZES HIRE OF TAXICAB, IF APPROVED AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO GOVERNMENT, WHENEVER EMPLOYEE IS ENGAGED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS WITHIN OR OUTSIDE HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY. SUBJECT REIMBURSEMENT, HOWEVER, WOULD NOT BE AUTHORIZED UNDER SUBSEC. 3.1B.

TO MR. R. J. SCHULLERY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 5, 1969, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER FOR $6 IN FAVOR OF MR. EDWARD M. KELLY, AN EMPLOYEE OF YOUR AGENCY, REPRESENTING THE TAXICAB FARE FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION TO HIS RESIDENCE TO OBTAIN CLOTHING FOR USE ON AN EMERGENCY TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT.

ON THE AFTERNOON OF JULY 16, 1969, MR. KELLY WAS DIRECTED TO DEPART ON A FLIGHT FROM DULLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT TO ASSIST WITH AN EMERGENCY AT THE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL TOWER, HOUSTON, TEXAS. IF MR. KELLY HAD TRAVELED TO HIS RESIDENCE IN HIS CAR POOL, HE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO OBTAIN THE NECESSARY CLOTHING AND REACH THE AIRPORT IN TIME FOR TICKETING FOR HIS FLIGHT. THEREFORE, HE DEPARTED BY TAXICAB PRIOR TO THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS. YOU STATE THAT THE EXPENSE INCURRED IS ADMINISTRATIVELY CONSIDERED AS ESSENTIAL TO THE CONDUCT OF PUBLIC BUSINESS. YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER ARISES FROM THE FACT THAT SUBSECTION 3.1B OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (SGTR) DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TAXICAB FARE FROM AN EMPLOYEE'S OFFICE TO HIS HOME PRIOR TO THE BEGINNING OF AN OFFICIAL TRIP.

SUBSECTION 3.1B OF THE SGTR STATES IN DETAIL THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH AN EMPLOYEE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR TAXICAB FARES TO OR FROM HIS PLACE OF BUSINESS OR HOME AND A COMMON CARRIER OR OTHER TERMINAL IN THE USUAL SITUATION. SUBSECTION 3.4A, FIRST PARAGRAPH, OF THE SGTR PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART THAT THE HIRE OF A TAXICAB (OTHER THAN FOR USE UNDER SECTION 3.1B) WILL BE ALLOWED IF AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT WHENEVER THE EMPLOYEE IS ENGAGED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS WITHIN OR OUTSIDE HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY. IN VIEW OF THE REGULATIONS CITED ABOVE, WE BELIEVE THAT AN EMPLOYEE WHO INCURS A TAXICAB FARE FOR TRANSPORTATION FROM HIS OFFICE TO HIS HOME TO PREPARE FOR AN EMERGENCY OFFICIAL TRIP MAY BE REIMBURSED UNDER SUBSECTION 3.4A OF THE SGTR, BUT NOT UNDER SUBSECTION 3.1B. IN THIS CONNECTION SEE B-160586, FEBRUARY 1, 1967, COPY HEREWITH, WHEREIN WE HELD THAT UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES SIMILAR TO THOSE IN THIS CASE AN EXCEPTION APPEARED WARRANTED TO THE RULE THAT AN EMPLOYEE MUST BEAR THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN HIS HOME AND HIS OFFICIAL STATION.

THE VOUCHER RETURNED HEREWITH MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.