B-173056, JUN 28, 1971

B-173056: Jun 28, 1971

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

BECAUSE NO DETERMINATION WAS MADE BY FAA REGARDING THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT IN CONNECTION WITH TRANSPORTATION OF CLAIMANT'S VEHICLE IN 1961 WHEN HE FIRST REPORTED FOR DUTY OR IN 1969 WHEN A REPLACEMENT VEHICLE WAS DELIVERED. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED ON THE BASIS OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT WHICH READS IN PART AS FOLLOWS: "ON 7 JUNE 1961 MR. WAS AUTHORIZED TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION FOR SELF AND FAMILY FROM ANAHEIM. AS THE SHIPMENT OF A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE WAS NOT AUTHORIZED ON THE TRAVEL ORDER. THIS POLICY WAS AMENDED ON 14 SEPTEMBER 1961 TO AUTHORIZE THE SHIPMENT OF ONE POV AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FOR THOSE TRANSFEREES WHO MET THE ESTABLISHED CRITERIA. MURRAY SHIPPED WHAT APPARENTLY WAS A REPLACEMENT VEHICLE IN AUGUST 1969 AND BELIEVES THAT HE SHOULD BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF SHIPMENT OF THIS VEHICLE IN VIEW OF THE POLICY CHANGE IN SEPTEMBER 1961.

B-173056, JUN 28, 1971

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - SHIPMENT OF PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE AFFIRMING DISALLOWANCE OF CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES INCIDENT TO SHIPMENT OF A REPLACEMENT AUTOMOBILE FROM ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA TO HONOLULU, HAWAII, DURING EMPLOYMENT WITH THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION. BECAUSE NO DETERMINATION WAS MADE BY FAA REGARDING THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT IN CONNECTION WITH TRANSPORTATION OF CLAIMANT'S VEHICLE IN 1961 WHEN HE FIRST REPORTED FOR DUTY OR IN 1969 WHEN A REPLACEMENT VEHICLE WAS DELIVERED, AND IN THE ABSENSE OF THE REQUIRED ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION PURSUANT TO 5 U.S.C. 5727 OR SECTION 8.2B OF OMB CIR. NO. A-56, THE CLAIM MUST BE DENIED.

TO MR. GEORGE F. MURRAY:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 6, 1971, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF MARCH 23, 1971, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE EXPENSES OF SHIPMENT OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE FROM ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA, TO HONOLULU, HAWAII, INCIDENT TO YOUR EMPLOYMENT WITH THE FEDERAL AVIATION AGENCY.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED ON THE BASIS OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT WHICH READS IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"ON 7 JUNE 1961 MR. MURRAY, AN FAA EMPLOYEE, WAS AUTHORIZED TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION FOR SELF AND FAMILY FROM ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA, TO HONOLULU, HAWAII. AS THE SHIPMENT OF A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE WAS NOT AUTHORIZED ON THE TRAVEL ORDER, MR. MURRAY SHIPPED ONE VEHICLE TO HIS NEW DUTY POINT AT NO EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT. THIS POLICY WAS AMENDED ON 14 SEPTEMBER 1961 TO AUTHORIZE THE SHIPMENT OF ONE POV AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FOR THOSE TRANSFEREES WHO MET THE ESTABLISHED CRITERIA. THE ESTABLISHED LOCAL POLICY DID NOT INCLUDE REPLACEMENT VEHICLES.

"MR. MURRAY SHIPPED WHAT APPARENTLY WAS A REPLACEMENT VEHICLE IN AUGUST 1969 AND BELIEVES THAT HE SHOULD BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF SHIPMENT OF THIS VEHICLE IN VIEW OF THE POLICY CHANGE IN SEPTEMBER 1961. IT WAS NOT THE INTENT THAT THE POLICY CHANGE APPLY TO REPLACEMENT VEHICLES IN THAT THE LOCAL POLICY ISSUED BY THE PACIFIC REGION AS A SUPPLEMENT TO OUR TRAVEL HANDBOOK AND APPROVED BY THE DIRECTOR OF MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS, FAA, STATES:

"'EMERGENCY OR OTHER REPLACEMENT OF A PRIVATELY OWNED MOTOR VEHICLE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WILL NOT BE AUTHORIZED FOR PACIFIC REGION FAA EMPLOYEES WHOSE OFFICIAL DUTY STATION IS IN THE STATE OF HAWAII.'

"ON 15 NOVEMBER 1968, THE PACIFIC REGIONAL OFFICE REQUESTED AND WAS GRANTED AUTHORITY TO ISSUE A LOCAL SUPPLEMENT PERTAINING TO REPLACEMENT VEHICLES FOR REASON THAT:

"SHIPMENT OF A POV AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS JUSTIFIED AND AUTHORIZED AT THE TIME OF TRANSFER TO THE STATE OF HAWAII, AND WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT A REPLACEMENT VEHICLE WITHIN THE STATE SHOULD BE SHIPPED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

"THIS POSITION IS BASED ON THE FACT THAT:

"1. THERE ARE MANY AUTOMOBILE DEALERSHIPS AND A WIDE SELECTION OF AUTOMOBILES AVAILABLE WITHIN THE STATE OF HAWAII.

"2. SERVICE FACILITIES TOGETHER WITH SPARE PARTS ARE READILY AVAILABLE THROUGHOUT THE STATE OF HAWAII.

"3. ALTHOUGH THE PURCHASE PRICE FOR AN AUTOMOBILE IS MORE THAN IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, LIKE MANY OTHER ITEMS, A COST OF LIVING ALLOWANCE IS PAID TO OFFSET SUCH INCREASED COSTS. ACCORDINGLY, THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT ABSORB ANY PART OF THE INCREASED COSTS OF A REPLACEMENT AUTOMOBILE BY AUTHORIZING SHIPMENT FROM THE MAINLAND AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

"BASED ON THE FOREGOING, SHIPMENT OF REPLACEMENT VEHICLES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FOR THOSE EMPLOYEES STATIONED WITHIN THE STATE OF HAWAII WILL NOT BE AUTHORIZED UNLESS THE POLICY IS OVERRULED."

THE APPLICABLE STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES IS CONTAINED IN SUBSECTION 1(F) OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946 AS ADDED BY SECTION 321 OF PUBLIC LAW 86-707 APPROVED SEPTEMBER 6, 1960, 74 STAT. 797, 5 U.S.C. 73B-1(F) NOW CODIFIED IN 5 U.S.C. 5727. SO FAR AS PERTINENT HERE THE LAW PROVIDES THAT UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE PRESIDENT MAY PRESCRIBE THE PRIVATELY OWNED MOTOR VEHICLE OF ANY EMPLOYEE ASSIGNED TO A POST OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES ON OTHER THAN TEMPORARY DUTY ORDERS MAY BE TRANSPORTED TO, FROM AND BETWEEN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND SUCH POST OF DUTY WHENEVER IT IS DETERMINED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED TO BE IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR SUCH EMPLOYEE TO HAVE THE USE OF A MOTOR VEHICLE AT HIS POST OF DUTY. THE AUTHORITY TO PRESCRIBE SUCH REGULATIONS WAS DELEGATED TO THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET (FORMERLY BUREAU OF THE BUDGET) BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10530 AS AMENDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10903 OF JANUARY 9, 1961.

THE REGULATIONS ISSUED BY THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET UNDER CIRCULAR NO. A-4, EFFECTIVE APRIL 17, 1961, WERE CONSOLIDATED INTO CIRCULAR NO. A-56, EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 1962. SECTION 8 OF THE REGULATIONS (FORMERLY TITLE XI OF NO. A-4) PRESCRIBES THE CONDITIONS AND CRITERIA GOVERNING THE TRANSPORTATION OF PRIVATELY OWNED MOTOR VEHICLES OF EMPLOYEES STATIONED AT PERMANENT POSTS OF DUTY OTHER THAN THOSE LOCATED IN THE CONTIGUOUS 48 STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. SO FAR AS HERE MATERIAL SECTION 8.2B OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A- 56, DATED APRIL 30, 1962, PROVIDED THAT ONE PRIVATELY OWNED MOTOR VEHICLE MAY BE TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WHEN THE HEAD OF THE AGENCY DETERMINES IN ADVANCE OF AUTHORIZATION THAT IT IS "IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT" FOR THE EMPLOYEE TO HAVE THE USE OF THE MOTOR VEHICLE AT THE PERMANENT POST OF DUTY. SIMILAR PROVISIONS ARE CONTAINED IN SECTION 10.2(A)(3) OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966.

THE FILE IN YOUR CASE FAILS TO REVEAL THAT ANY DETERMINATION HAS BEEN MADE BY YOUR AGENCY REGARDING THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE EITHER IN 1961 OR IN 1969. THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO MAKE THE REQUIRED DETERMINATION OR ISSUE THE NECESSARY AUTHORIZATION.

THEREFORE, WE MUST RULE THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF THE REQUIRED ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION THE CONCLUSION REACHED IN OUR SETTLEMENT OF MARCH 23, 1971, DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM, IS CORRECT AND IS HEREBY SUSTAINED.