B-173279, AUG 16, 1971

B-173279: Aug 16, 1971

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WHICH IS REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH 841 OF THE DEPARTMENTAL MANUAL REGULATIONS THAT IMPLEMENTS SECTION 3.5(C)(1) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENTAL TRAVEL REGULATIONS. AS A GOVERNMENT VEHICLE WAS NOT AVAILABLE. PAYMENT AT 10[ PER MILE PLUS PARKING IS AUTHORIZED. HOWARD: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 10. THERE IS ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER A COPY OF ANNUAL TRAVEL ORDER NO. MERIDETH CLAIMS MILEAGE AT 10 CENTS PER MILE FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE BECAUSE GOVERNMENT-OWNED VEHICLE WAS NOT AVAILABLE. THE ITINERARY SHOWS THAT TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED DAILY FROM APRIL 26 THROUGH APRIL 30. TOTALING $11.90 WERE ALSO CLAIMED. THE VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $31.90 WAS APPROVED BY THE REGIONAL AUDIT MANAGER.

B-173279, AUG 16, 1971

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - LOCAL TRAVEL - REIMBURSEMENT FOR USE OF POV DECISION ALLOWING CLAIM OF MR. HAROLD W. MERIDETH, EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, FOR $31.90 FOR LOCAL TRAVEL PERFORMED IN HIS PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE FROM HIS RESIDENCE IN RIVERDALE, GEORGIA TO THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY OFFICE IN ATLANTA, GA., (40 MILES EACH WAY FOR FOUR DAYS) IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES. ASSUMING THAT APPROVAL OF THE VOUCHER BY THE REGIONAL AUDIT MANAGER CONSTITUTED APPROVAL OF THE USE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S AUTOMOBILE, WHICH IS REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH 841 OF THE DEPARTMENTAL MANUAL REGULATIONS THAT IMPLEMENTS SECTION 3.5(C)(1) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENTAL TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AND AS A GOVERNMENT VEHICLE WAS NOT AVAILABLE, PAYMENT AT 10[ PER MILE PLUS PARKING IS AUTHORIZED.

TO MRS. LUELLA S. HOWARD:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 10, 1971, REQUESTING OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER FOR $31.90, IN FAVOR OF MR. HAROLD W. MERIDETH, AN EMPLOYEE OF YOUR AGENCY, FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED FROM HIS RESIDENCE IN RIVERDALE, GEORGIA, TO THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY OFFICE IN ATLANTA, GEORGIA, IN THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL DUTIES PERTAINING TO AUDIT ACTIVITIES OF THE OFFICE OF AUDITS, ATLANTA REGION, OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION, UNDER ANNUAL TRAVEL ORDERS DATED JANUARY 10, 1971.

THERE IS ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER A COPY OF ANNUAL TRAVEL ORDER NO. TS 19748, DATED JANUARY 10, 1971, ISSUED BY THE OFFICE OF AUDITS, AUTHORIZING MR. MERIDETH TO TRAVEL FROM HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION IN ATLANTA, GEORGIA TO ANY POINT DIRECTED AND RETURN TO ATLANTA, GEORGIA. THE ORDER AUTHORIZED TRAVEL BY VARIOUS MEANS, INCLUDING GOVERNMENT VEHICLE, RENTAL CAR AS APPROPRIATE AND PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE. UNDER SUCH ORDER MR. MERIDETH CLAIMS MILEAGE AT 10 CENTS PER MILE FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE BECAUSE GOVERNMENT-OWNED VEHICLE WAS NOT AVAILABLE. THE ITINERARY SHOWS THAT TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED DAILY FROM APRIL 26 THROUGH APRIL 30, 1971, FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S RESIDENCE IN RIVERDALE, GEORGIA, TO THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY OFFICE, ATLANTA, GEORGIA, AND RETURN, WITH ROUND-TRIP MILEAGE OF 40 MILES ESTABLISHED BY SPEEDOMETER READINGS, FOR A TOTAL OF 200 MILES. PARKING FEES FOR DAILY PARKING OF HIS AUTOMOBILE, TOTALING $11.90 WERE ALSO CLAIMED. THE VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $31.90 WAS APPROVED BY THE REGIONAL AUDIT MANAGER. WE NOTE THAT THE TRAVEL APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN PERFORMED WITHIN THE EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS. THEREFORE THE TRAVEL ORDER PREVIOUSLY REFERRED TO WOULD NOT BE APPLICABLE SINCE IT IS CONCERNED WITH TRAVEL AWAY FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S HEADQUARTERS.

SECTION 3.5C(1), STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, IN EFFECT DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART THAT WHEN EMPLOYEES RENDERING SERVICE TO THE GOVERNMENT USE PRIVATELY OWNED MOTOR VEHICLES IN THE CONDUCT OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS WITHIN OR OUTSIDE THEIR DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY OR PLACES OF SERVICE, AND SUCH USE IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT, PAYMENT SHALL BE MADE ON A MILEAGE BASIS AT RATES NOT TO EXCEED THE APPROPRIATE APPLICABLE RATES THEREIN DESIGNATED. IT PROVIDES FURTHER FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF AUTOMOBILE PARKING FEES UNLESS THE TRAVEL ORDERS OR OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION RESTRICTS THEIR ALLOWANCE.

IMPLEMENTING DEPARTMENTAL MANUAL REGULATIONS 1500.13, PERTAINING TO THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED CAR FOR LOCAL TRAVEL ARE CONTAINED IN SECTION 4, CHAPTER 8 THEREOF.

PARAGRAPH 841 OF THE MANUAL PROVIDES THAT LOCAL TRAVEL IS AUTHORIZED ORALLY BY ANY SUPERVISOR WHO HAS BEEN REDELEGATED SUCH AUTHORITY AND NO WRITTEN TRAVEL ORDERS ARE REQUIRED, JUST THE APPROVAL OF THE REIMBURSEMENT VOUCHER. HOWEVER, WHERE THERE ARE A NUMBER OF MODES OF TRANSPORTATION AVAILABLE FOR ACCOMPLISHING LOCAL TRAVEL, PARTICULARLY IN THE LARGER METROPOLITAN AREAS, AUTHORIZING OFFICIALS WILL AUTHORIZE THE MODE OF TRAVEL THAT WILL ENABLE THE EMPLOYEE TO ACCOMPLISH OFFICIAL BUSINESS MOST EFFICIENTLY. IT PROVIDES FURTHER THAT THE APPROVAL OF REIMBURSEMENT VOUCHER BY THE APPROPRIATE OFFICIAL SHALL BE ACCEPTED AS ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL OF MODE OF TRAVEL USED; NO FURTHER JUSTIFICATION IS REQUIRED.

PARAGRAPH 843 OF THE MANUAL PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART THAT WHEN AN EMPLOYEE IS PROPERLY AUTHORIZED TO USE A POV FOR OFFICIAL BUSINESS, IT IS THE AGENCY'S INTENT TO ALLOW MILEAGE FROM WHATEVER POINT HE BEGINS HIS JOURNEY WITH NO REQUIREMENT THAT THERE BE DEDUCTED FROM THE COMPUTATION OF SUCH MILEAGE, THE DISTANCE THAT THE EMPLOYEE WOULD NORMALLY TRAVEL BETWEEN HIS HOME AND HIS HEADQUARTERS WITHIN THE LIMITATIONS OTHERWISE PRESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH 843A, WHICH IS NOT APPLICABLE HERE.

PARAGRAPH 842 OF THE MANUAL LISTS THE VARIOUS MODES OF TRAVEL WHICH MAY BE AVAILABLE LOCALLY, AND THE RATE OF REIMBURSEMENT FOR EACH AS SET OUT IN PARAGRAPH 820.A OF THE MANUAL. IN PERTINENT PART THEY INCLUDE AS FOLLOWS:

D. POV - ADVANTAGEOUS TO GOVERNMENT - GOVERNMENT VEHICLE AVAILABLE REIMBURSEMENT AT RATE (4).

E. POV - ADVANTAGEOUS TO GOVERNMENT - GOVERNMENT VEHICLE NOT AVAILABLE REIMBURSEMENT AT RATE (13).

RATE (4), PARAGRAPH 820.A IS 7 CENTS PER MILE IN INSTANCES INCLUDING LOCAL TRAVEL, WHEN IT IS ADVANTAGEOUS TO USE VEHICLE AND GOVERNMENT VEHICLE IS AVAILABLE. RATE (13) OF THAT PARAGRAPH IS 10 CENTS PER MILE FOR LOCAL TRAVEL AT OFFICIAL STATION WHEN IT IS ADVANTAGEOUS TO USE VEHICLE AND GOVERNMENT VEHICLE IS NOT AVAILABLE, OR IF AVAILABLE, ITS USE IS NOT FEASIBLE DUE TO JUSTIFIABLE REASONS. PARKING FEES ARE PAYABLE IN ADDITION TO THE MILEAGE RATE.

THERE IS NO INDICATION IN THE RECORD THAT THE LOCAL TRAVEL HERE INVOLVED WAS PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED, HOWEVER, UNDER THE CITED REGULATIONS, THE VOUCHER APPEARS PROPER FOR CERTIFICATION ASSUMING THAT THE APPROVAL OF THE VOUCHER CONSTITUTES APPROVAL OF THE USE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S AUTOMOBILE AS SEEMS TO BE INDICATED BY PARAGRAPH 841 OF THE REGULATIONS REFERRED TO ABOVE.

THE VOUCHER IS RETURNED HEREWITH FOR HANDLING ACCORDINGLY.