B-168883, APR. 15, 1970

B-168883: Apr 15, 1970

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INCIDENT TO PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION (PCS) IS ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF MILEAGE WITHOUT REGARD TO COST OF TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER. SUBSECTION 2.3 A (1) CLEARLY ESTABLISHES THAT USE OF POV FOR PCS TRAVEL IS ADVANTAGEOUS TO GOVT. NOTHING IN REGULATION'S LANGUAGE SUGGESTS ITS APPLICATION IS LIMITED TO TRANSFERS WITHIN CONTINENTAL U. MILLET AND HIS FOUR DEPENDENTS WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER AND BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE FROM BALBOA. YOU EXPLAIN THAT SUCH PRACTICE IS BASED UPON FACTORS OF TIME AND COST INVOLVED IN TRAVELING BY AUTOMOBILE BETWEEN BALBOA AND THE UNITED STATES. YOU QUESTION WHETHER SUBSECTION 2.3A IS APPLICABLE IN CASES WHERE ONE OF THE DUTY STATIONS IS LOCATED OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES.

B-168883, APR. 15, 1970

MILEAGE--TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE--ADVANTAGE TO GOVERNMENT- CHANGE OF DUTY STATION EMPLOYEE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE (POV) FROM CANAL ZONE TO FLA; INCIDENT TO PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION (PCS) IS ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF MILEAGE WITHOUT REGARD TO COST OF TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER, AS BOB CIR. NO. A-56, SUBSECTION 2.3 A (1) CLEARLY ESTABLISHES THAT USE OF POV FOR PCS TRAVEL IS ADVANTAGEOUS TO GOVT. AND ALLOWS FOR NO DISCRETION BY AGENCY TO CONCLUDE OTHERWISE. MOREOVER, NOTHING IN REGULATION'S LANGUAGE SUGGESTS ITS APPLICATION IS LIMITED TO TRANSFERS WITHIN CONTINENTAL U. S. EMPLOYEE'S PER DIEM SHOULD BE COMPUTED ON BASIS OF REASONABLE DRIVING DISTANCE PER DAY (SUBSECTION 2.3 A (2)).

TO MR. R. J. SCHULLERY:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 22, 1970, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING OUR DECISION WHETHER A VOUCHER FOR $277.35 IN FAVOR OF MR. CARL D. MILLET MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

BY TRAVEL ORDER DATED MAY 28, 1968, MR. MILLET AND HIS FOUR DEPENDENTS WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER AND BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE FROM BALBOA, CANAL ZONE, TO JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, PURSUANT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. IN ACCORDANCE WITH AGENCY PRACTICE THE TRAVEL ORDER PROVIDED THAT REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE WOULD BE LIMITED TO THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER. YOU EXPLAIN THAT SUCH PRACTICE IS BASED UPON FACTORS OF TIME AND COST INVOLVED IN TRAVELING BY AUTOMOBILE BETWEEN BALBOA AND THE UNITED STATES.

MR. MILLET AND THREE OF HIS DEPENDENTS TRAVELED BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE ARRIVING IN JACKSONVILLE ON JULY 13, 1968. THE FOURTH DEPENDENT TRAVELED BY AIR. ON HIS ORIGINAL TRAVEL VOUCHER THE EMPLOYEE CLAIMED MILEAGE AT THE RATE OF 12 CENTS FOR 4,512 MILES PLUS PER DIEM FOR 16 1/2 DAYS. IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF THE TRAVEL ORDER THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE LIMITED REIMBURSEMENT FOR AUTOMOBILE TRAVEL TO THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER, INCLUDING PER DIEM FOR 2 1/2 DAYS. HIS RECLAIM VOUCHER THE EMPLOYEE HAS ADJUSTED HIS CLAIM FOR MILEAGE TO 4,286 MILES AND HIS CLAIM FOR PER DIEM TO 12 1/2 DAYS.

MR. MILLET BELIEVES THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE MAY NOT, UNDER SUBSECTION 2.3A OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, RESTRICT PAYMENT OF MILEAGE AND PER DIEM TO THE COST OF TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER WHEN AN EMPLOYEE USES A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE FOR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TRAVEL. YOU QUESTION WHETHER SUBSECTION 2.3A IS APPLICABLE IN CASES WHERE ONE OF THE DUTY STATIONS IS LOCATED OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES.

SUBSECTION 2.3A OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966, PROVIDES, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"A. WHEN AN EMPLOYEE, WITH OR WITHOUT AN IMMEDIATE FAMILY, WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR TRAVEL ALLOWANCES UNDER SECTION 1.3, USES A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FOR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TRAVEL, SUCH USE IS DEEMED TO BE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. THE PROVISIONS IN THIS SUBSECTION ALSO APPLY TO NEW APPOINTEES, INCLUDING THOSE COVERED IN SECTION 5 AND EMPLOYEES RETURNING FROM POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO PLACES OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE FOR SEPARATION. THE PROVISIONS DO NOT APPLY TO EMPLOYEES ASSIGNED TO POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES IN CONNECTION WITH ROUNDTRIP TRAVEL FOR LEAVE PURPOSES BETWEEN TOURS OF DUTY."

THE REGULATION CLEARLY ESTABLISHES USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE FOR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TRAVEL AS BEING ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT AND ALLOWS FOR NO DISCRETION BY AGENCY OFFICIALS TO CONCLUDE OTHERWISE. THERE IS NOTHING IN THE LANGUAGE USED TO SUGGEST THAT APPLICATION OF THE REGULATION IS LIMITED TO TRANSFERS BETWEEN DUTY STATIONS LOCATED WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. THEREFORE, USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE HAVING BEEN AUTHORIZED, THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF MILEAGE UNDER SUBSECTION 2.3A (1) WITHOUT REGARD TO THE COST OF TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER. ALSO, IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUBSECTION 2.3A (2), THE EMPLOYEE'S PER DIEM SHOULD BE COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF A REASONABLE DRIVING DISTANCE PER DAY, AS ESTABLISHED BY YOUR AGENCY.

THE VOUCHER IS RETURNED HEREWITH FOR HANDLING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE.