B-172235, AUG 10, 1971

B-172235: Aug 10, 1971

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HE IS ENTITLED TO MILEAGE ONLY FROM MCCLELLAN TO SEATTLE. PAYMENT OF EXPENSES FOR THE SHIPMENT OF THE SECOND AUTO IS BARRED BY BOTH 5 U.S.C. 5727 AND SECTION C7153. USAF: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR MEMORANDUM OF FEBRUARY 5. WHICH WAS FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE THROUGH THE ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER FOR ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE (HQ USAF). THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES UPON WHICH THE CLAIM IS BASED. ARE AS FOLLOWS: "A. HULL MADE A DETERMINATION THAT ONE VEHICLE WAS UNFIT TO TRAVEL THE ALASKAN HIGHWAY AND. IT IS NOTED THAT SEATTLE IS THE NORMAL PORT OF DEBARKATION SERVICING ELMENDORF AFB.". HULL WAS PAID MILEAGE ALLOWANCE AT THE RATE OF 18 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE USE OF TWO VEHICLES FROM MCCLELLAN AIR FORCE BASE TO SEATTLE.

B-172235, AUG 10, 1971

TRAVEL EXPENSES - SHIPMENT OF PRIVATE AUTOMOBILE ADVANCE DECISION DISALLOWING PAYMENT OF CERTAIN TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED BY EDWARD A. HULL, A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM MCCLELLAN AFB TO ELMENDORF AFB. SINCE CLAIMANT TRANSPORTED THE SECOND AUTOMOBILE FROM SEATTLE TO ELMENDORF BY SURFACE WATER TRANSPORTATION RATHER THAN BY DRIVING THE ALASKAN HIGHWAY, HE IS ENTITLED TO MILEAGE ONLY FROM MCCLELLAN TO SEATTLE. PAYMENT OF EXPENSES FOR THE SHIPMENT OF THE SECOND AUTO IS BARRED BY BOTH 5 U.S.C. 5727 AND SECTION C7153, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATION, VOLUME 2.

TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL M. WAGNER, USAF:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR MEMORANDUM OF FEBRUARY 5, 1971, AND ENCLOSURES, WHICH WAS FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE THROUGH THE ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER FOR ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE (HQ USAF), DENVER, COLORADO, AND THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE, WASHINGTON, D.C., PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 71-16. YOU REQUEST AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE PAYMENT OF CERTAIN ITEMS OF TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED BY MR. EDWARD A. HULL, A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, IN A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM MCCLELLAN AIR FORCE BASE TO ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE DURING THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER 1970.

THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES UPON WHICH THE CLAIM IS BASED, AS STATED IN YOUR MEMORANDUM, ARE AS FOLLOWS:

"A. MR. HULL PERFORMED PCS TRAVEL BETWEEN MCCLELLAN AND ELMENDORF AFBS. HIS ORDERS AUTHORIZED THE USE OF MORE THAN ONE AUTOMOBILE PER PARAGRAPH C6156-1, VOL II, JTR.

"B. MR. HULL DID IN FACT USE TWO VEHICLES FROM MCCLELLAN AFB TO SEATTLE, WASHINGTON. UPON ARRIVAL IN SEATTLE, MR. HULL MADE A DETERMINATION THAT ONE VEHICLE WAS UNFIT TO TRAVEL THE ALASKAN HIGHWAY AND, THEREFORE, SHIPPED THE VEHICLE VIA SURFACE WATER TRANSPORTATION FROM SEATTLE TO ANCHORAGE. IT IS NOTED THAT SEATTLE IS THE NORMAL PORT OF DEBARKATION SERVICING ELMENDORF AFB."

YOU FURTHER STATE THAT MR. HULL WAS PAID MILEAGE ALLOWANCE AT THE RATE OF 18 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE USE OF TWO VEHICLES FROM MCCLELLAN AIR FORCE BASE TO SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, AND THAT THE REMAINDER OF THE TRIP FROM SEATTLE TO ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE WAS PAID AT THE RATE OF 12 CENTS PER MILE BASED UPON THE USE OF ONE VEHICLE. YOUR SPECIFIC QUESTIONS IN THIS MATTER ARE:

"A. SHOULD HIGHWAY DISTANCE AT 18[ FOR BOTH VEHICLES HAVE BEEN PAID FOR THE ENTIRE DISTANCE FROM MCCLELLAN TO ELMENDORF AFBS?

"B. DOES PARAGRAPH C 7152, VOL II, JTR, ALLOW SHIPMENT OF ONE VEHICLE BY WATER TRANSPORTATION AND STILL PERMIT THE EMPLOYEE TO DRIVE ANOTHER VIA THE ALASKAN HIGHWAY? IF YES, SHOULD REIMBURSEMENT BE MADE FOR ACTUAL COST OF THE WATER SHIPMENT ($348.25) OR IS ENTITLEMENT LIMITED TO COST TO THE GOVERNMENT ($198.50)?

"C. SINCE THE APPROVAL FOR THE USE OF TWO VEHICLES WAS BASED ON THE ASSUMPTION BOTH VEHICLES WOULD BE DRIVEN VIA THE ALASKAN HIGHWAY (PARAGRAPH C 6156-1 AND C 7153-1-1, VOL II, JTR), IS THE CONDITION OF THE VEHICLES THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE EMPLOYEE AND HAS MR. HULL BEEN PROPERLY PAID?"

PARAGRAPH C 6155 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (JTR), VOLUME 2, PROVIDES THAT:

"1. GENERAL. TRAVEL BETWEEN POINTS IN CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND ALASKA (VIA ALASKA HIGHWAY), NEWFOUNDLAND, MEXICO, OR CENTRAL AMERICA INCLUDING PANAMA CANAL ZONE (VIA PAN AMERICAN HIGHWAY) BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE MAY BE AUTHORIZED SUBJECT TO THE CONDITIONS IN SUBPARS. 2 AND 3.

"2. PERMANENT DUTY TRAVEL, OTHER THAN RENEWAL AGREEMENT TRAVEL. FOR PERMANENT DUTY TRAVEL, OTHER THAN RENEWAL AGREEMENT TRAVEL, TO AND FROM PLACES LISTED IN SUBPAR. 1 *** "

THE FACTS AS REPORTED SHOW THAT MR. HULL DID NOT IN FACT DRIVE HIS SECOND AUTOMOBILE FROM SEATTLE TO ELMENDORF DUE TO MECHANICAL DIFFICULTIES. EVEN THOUGH HE WAS AUTHORIZED TO USE A SECOND VEHICLE IN HIS CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION, SUCH AUTHORIZATION CONTEMPLATED THE ACTUAL USE OF SAID VEHICLE IN TRAVELING THE ALASKA HIGHWAY. SINCE THE CLAIMANT TRANSPORTED HIS SECOND AUTOMOBILE BY SURFACE WATER TRANSPORTATION FROM SEATTLE TO ELMENDORF, HE WAS ONLY ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF MILEAGE EXPENSES (6 CENTS PER MILE) FOR SAID VEHICLE FROM MCCLELLAN TO SEATTLE. THEREFORE, YOUR PAYMENT ACTION IN THAT RESPECT WAS CORRECT. QUESTION "A" IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.

QUESTION "B" DEALS WITH WHETHER REIMBURSEMENT SHOULD BE MADE FOR SHIPMENT OF THE EMPLOYEE'S SECOND VEHICLE BY SURFACE WATER TRANSPORTATION FROM SEATTLE TO ELMENDORF. 5 U.S.C. 5727 PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"(B) UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE PRESIDENT MAY PRESCRIBE, THE PRIVATELY OWNED MOTOR VEHICLE OF AN EMPLOYEE *** MAY BE TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO, FROM, AND BETWEEN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND A POST OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, OR BETWEEN POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, WHEN -

"(1) THE EMPLOYEE IS ASSIGNED TO THE POST OF DUTY FOR OTHER THAN TEMPORARY DUTY; AND

"(2) THE HEAD OF THE AGENCY CONCERNED DETERMINES THAT IT IS IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE EMPLOYEE TO HAVE THE USE OF A MOTOR VEHICLE AT THE POST OF DUTY.

"(C) AN EMPLOYEE MAY TRANSPORT ONLY ONE MOTOR VEHICLE UNDER SUBSECTION (B) OF THIS SECTION DURING A 4-YEAR PERIOD, EXCEPT WHEN THE HEAD OF THE AGENCY CONCERNED DETERMINES THAT REPLACEMENT OF THE MOTOR VEHICLE DURING THE PERIOD IS NECESSARY FOR REASONS BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE EMPLOYEE AND IS IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND AUTHORIZES IN ADVANCE THE TRANSPORTATION UNDER SUBSECTION (B) OF THIS SECTION OF ONE ADDITIONAL PRIVATELY OWNED MOTOR VEHICLE AS A REPLACEMENT. ***

"(D) WHEN THE HEAD OF AN AGENCY AUTHORIZES TRANSPORTATION UNDER SUBSECTION (B) OF THIS SECTION OF A PRIVATELY OWNED MOTOR VEHICLE, THE TRANSPORTATION MAY BE BY -

"(1) COMMERCIAL MEANS, IF AVAILABLE AT REASONABLE RATES AND UNDER REASONABLE CONDITIONS; OR

"(2) GOVERNMENT MEANS ON A SPACE-AVAILABLE BASIS."

WE NOTE THAT MR. HULL'S TRAVEL ORDERS DID NOT INITIALLY PROVIDE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS SECOND AUTOMOBILE BUT WERE AMENDED TO SO PROVIDE AFTER THE SHIPMENT OCCURRED. FURTHER, IT IS NOTED THAT SUCH AUTHORIZATION IS PROHIBITED BY SECTION C 7153, JTR, VOLUME 2, WHICH PROVIDES:

"1. TRANSPORTATION NOT AUTHORIZED. TRANSPORTATION OF A PRIVATELY OWNED MOTOR VEHICLE WILL NOT BE AUTHORIZED WHEN:

"1. THE MOTOR VEHICLE MAY BE DRIVEN TO THE DUTY STATION OVER HARD SURFACED ALL-WEATHER HIGHWAYS, INCLUDING FERRIES, AND IT IS DETERMINED THAT THE EMPLOYEE, OR MEMBER OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY, SHOULD REASONABLY BE EXPECTED TO DRIVE THE VEHICLE;"

IN THIS CASE THE SECOND AUTOMOBILE BELONGING TO MR. HULL COULD HAVE BEEN DRIVEN TO ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE, HIS NEW DUTY STATION, ON THE ALASKA HIGHWAY AND, FURTHER, IT WAS REASONABLE TO EXPECT THAT HE OR HIS WIFE WOULD DRIVE SAID VEHICLE. IT WAS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CLAIMANT TO MAINTAIN HIS TWO AUTOMOBILES IN GOOD OPERATING CONDITION FOR HIGHWAY TRAVEL. HIS FAILURE TO SO MAINTAIN THE SECOND VEHICLE DID NOT GIVE HIM AUTHORITY TO SHIP SAID VEHICLE FROM SEATTLE TO ELMENDORF AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OR TO BE REIMBURSED FOR MILEAGE THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWABLE IF SUCH VEHICLE HAD ACTUALLY BEEN DRIVEN ON TO ELMENDORF. QUESTION "B" IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE. IN VIEW OF OUR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS "A" AND "B" NO REPLY IS NECESSARY TO QUESTION "C."

SINCE NO PART OF THE TRAVEL VOUCHER WHICH YOU ENCLOSED MAY BE PAID, IT IS BEING RETAINED IN OUR FILES.