B-172068, JUN 18, 1971

B-172068: Jun 18, 1971

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LOVELESS: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MARCH 2. WAS AT CRYSTAL MALL BUILDING NUMBER 4. SMITH NECESSARILY USED A COMMERCIAL PARKING FACILITY FOR HIS PRIVATE VEHICLE AND IT WAS NOT UTILIZED DURING THE DAY FOR OTHER OFFICIAL TRIPS. THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER COVERING PARKING FEES OF $2.75 DAILY FOR 203 DAYS DURING THE 10-MONTH PERIOD HAS BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT BUT YOU ARE UNCERTAIN AS TO THE AUTHORITY TO REIMBURSE MR. WE NOTE THAT NO CLAIM IS MADE FOR MILEAGE AND. WHEN USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED. REIMBURSEMENT OF OTHERWISE PROPER PARKING FEES IS ALLOWABLE UNLESS THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION OR OTHER DETERMINATION RESTRICTS THEIR ALLOWANCE.

B-172068, JUN 18, 1971

TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT - PARKING FEES DECISION CONCERNING CLAIM BY OSWALD N. SMITH FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF PARKING FEES IN THE AMOUNT OF $558.25 INCIDENT TO HIS DETAIL TO THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION. INCIDENT TO A TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT, PARKING FEES MAY BE APPROVED AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. HOWEVER, THE COST OF USUAL PARKING AT CLAIMANT'S REGULAR DUTY STATION SHOULD BE CONSIDERED IN ARRIVING AT THE AMOUNT TO APPROVE IN THE INSTANT CASE.

TO MR. B. G. LOVELESS:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MARCH 2, 1971, WITH ENCLOSURES, REFERENCE 3BCPA FILE NO. 371-71, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER (STANDARD FORM 1164) FOR PAYMENT OF THE SUM OF $558.25 CLAIMED BY MR. OSWALD N. SMITH FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE PARKING FEES HE PAID INCIDENT TO HIS DETAIL TO THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, 1441 L STREET, N.W., WASHINGTON, D.C., FROM DECEMBER 15, 1969, TO OCTOBER 14, 1970.

YOU SAY THAT MR. SMITH'S REGULARLY ASSIGNED DUTY STATION WITH THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICES, WAS AT CRYSTAL MALL BUILDING NUMBER 4, ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA. BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF PUBLIC PARKING AT THE POINT OF DETAIL YOU INDICATE THAT MR. SMITH NECESSARILY USED A COMMERCIAL PARKING FACILITY FOR HIS PRIVATE VEHICLE AND IT WAS NOT UTILIZED DURING THE DAY FOR OTHER OFFICIAL TRIPS. THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER COVERING PARKING FEES OF $2.75 DAILY FOR 203 DAYS DURING THE 10-MONTH PERIOD HAS BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT BUT YOU ARE UNCERTAIN AS TO THE AUTHORITY TO REIMBURSE MR. SMITH AND OTHER EMPLOYEES IN SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES.

WE NOTE THAT NO CLAIM IS MADE FOR MILEAGE AND, THEREFORE, ASSUME THE DISTANCE FROM RESIDENCE TO REGULAR DUTY STATION EXCEEDED THE DISTANCE FROM RESIDENCE TO POINT OF DETAIL. SEE SECTION 3.5C(1) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND OUR DECISIONS AT 24 COMP. GEN. 858 (1945) AND 32 ID. 235 (1952). ALSO, WE POINT OUT THAT UNDER THAT SECTION OF THE REGULATIONS, WHEN USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED, REIMBURSEMENT OF OTHERWISE PROPER PARKING FEES IS ALLOWABLE UNLESS THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION OR OTHER DETERMINATION RESTRICTS THEIR ALLOWANCE.

WE ENCLOSE A COPY OF OUR DECISION B-171674 DATED MAY 4, 1971, WHEREIN INCIDENT TO A TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT PARKING FEES WERE APPROVED AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. FREE PARKING WAS AVAILABLE TO THE EMPLOYEE AT HIS REGULAR DUTY STATION. MR. SMITH'S DETAIL IS SIMILAR TO THE SITUATION IN THAT CASE EXCEPT THAT WE UNDERSTAND HE WOULD HAVE INCURRED SOME PARKING COSTS AT HIS REGULAR DUTY STATION HAD HE NOT BEEN DETAILED TO THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION.

OUR DECISION AT 32 COMP. GEN. 235, 236, INDICATES THAT IN THE EXERCISE OF ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION THERE MAY BE FOR CONSIDERATION WHAT AMOUNT OF ADDITIONAL COST WAS INCURRED ON ACCOUNT OF THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL TRAVEL.

THE STATEMENT OF ADVANTAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT IN THIS CASE IS THAT THE COMPARATIVE COST OF TWO-WAY TAXI FARE BETWEEN REGULAR STATION AND POINT OF DETAIL PLUS APPROXIMATELY ONE MAN-HOUR EACH DAY WOULD HAVE EXCEEDED THE PARKING FEES. WE FIND NO PROPER BASIS FOR USE OF THOSE FACTORS IN THE DETERMINATION OF ADVANTAGE. RATHER, IT APPEARS THAT THE COST OF USUAL PARKING AT THE REGULAR DUTY STATION WOULD BE MORE PROPER FOR CONSIDERATION IN ARRIVING AT THE AMOUNT TO APPROVE IN MR. SMITH'S CASE.

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