B-173573, AUG 26, 1971

B-173573: Aug 26, 1971

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THE SBA IS IMPOWERED TO PAY TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR RETIRED EXECUTIVES WHO COOPERATE WITH IT IN PROVIDING MANAGERIAL ASSISTANCE TO SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS. THE LAW LIMITS PAYMENTS TO PERSONS WHO TRAVELED 50 MILES OR MORE IN THIS REGARD AND AS CLAIMANT'S TRAVEL WAS MUCH LESS. CLAIM IS DENIED. MACKALL: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 7. DAVIDSON STATES THAT HE IS A MEMBER OF THE SERVICE CORPS OF RETIRED EXECUTIVES (SCORE). HE IS ALSO A REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE NATIONAL SCORE COMMITTEE WHICH MEETS IN WASHINGTON. DAVIDSON'S CLAIM IS FOR ROUNDTRIP TAXICAB FARES FROM HIS HOME TO THE SBA OFFICES WHERE THE NATIONAL SCORE COMMITTEE MET ON JUNE 7. SBA IS EMPOWERED TO PAY CERTAIN TRAVELING EXPENSES OF ANY INDIVIDUAL COOPERATING WITH IT IN PROVIDING MANAGERIAL ASSISTANCE TO SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS.

B-173573, AUG 26, 1971

TRAVEL EXPENSES - PAYMENT TO SCORE VOLUNTEERS DECISION DISALLOWING CLAIM OF MR. JULIUS DAVIDSON FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TAXICAB FARES INCIDENT TO VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES WITH SCORE. UNDER SMALL BUSINESS ACT, AS AMENDED, 15 U.S.C. 637(B)(1)(B), THE SBA IS IMPOWERED TO PAY TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR RETIRED EXECUTIVES WHO COOPERATE WITH IT IN PROVIDING MANAGERIAL ASSISTANCE TO SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS. HOWEVER, THE LAW LIMITS PAYMENTS TO PERSONS WHO TRAVELED 50 MILES OR MORE IN THIS REGARD AND AS CLAIMANT'S TRAVEL WAS MUCH LESS, CLAIM IS DENIED.

TO MR. JOHN C. MACKALL:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 7, 1971, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO THE LEGALITY OF PAYMENT OF A VOUCHER SUBMITTED BY MR. JULIUS DAVIDSON FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TAXICAB FARES AND ENCLOSING A LETTER DATED JULY 2, 1971, FROM MR. DAVIDSON TO YOU IN WHICH HE EXPLAINS THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING HIS CLAIM. THE VOUCHER HAS NOT BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED.

MR. DAVIDSON STATES THAT HE IS A MEMBER OF THE SERVICE CORPS OF RETIRED EXECUTIVES (SCORE), A VOLUNTARY GROUP SET UP BY AND COOPERATING WITH THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA) TO PROVIDE MANAGEMENT ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE TO SMALL BUSINESSMEN. IT APPEARS THAT AS A SCORE VOLUNTEER, MR. DAVIDSON HAS BEEN TRAVELING FROM HIS HOME IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA TO THE SBA DISTRICT OFFICE, ALSO IN THE DISTRICT, ON THE AVERAGE OF THREE TIMES PER WEEK FOR MORE THAN 5 YEARS, WHERE HE HAS PERFORMED CERTAIN DUTIES. HE IS ALSO A REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE NATIONAL SCORE COMMITTEE WHICH MEETS IN WASHINGTON, D.C., APPROXIMATELY EVERY 3 MONTHS UNDER THE AUSPICES OF SBA. MR. DAVIDSON'S CLAIM IS FOR ROUNDTRIP TAXICAB FARES FROM HIS HOME TO THE SBA OFFICES WHERE THE NATIONAL SCORE COMMITTEE MET ON JUNE 7, 8, AND 9, 1971.

UNDER SECTION 8(B)(1)(B) OF THE SMALL BUSINESS ACT, 72 STAT. 391, AS ADDED AND AMENDED, 15 U.S.C. 637(B)(1)(B), SBA IS EMPOWERED TO PAY CERTAIN TRAVELING EXPENSES OF ANY INDIVIDUAL COOPERATING WITH IT IN PROVIDING MANAGERIAL ASSISTANCE TO SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS. THE LANGUAGE AS TO SUCH EXPENSES IS AS FOLLOWS:

" *** TO PAY THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES AND A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 5703 OF TITLE 5 TO ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL FOR TRAVEL AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED AT THE REQUEST OF THE ADMINISTRATION IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL TO A POINT MORE THAN FIFTY MILES DISTANT FROM THE HOME OF THAT INDIVIDUAL IN PROVIDING GRATUITOUS SERVICES TO SMALL BUSINESSMEN IN FURTHERANCE OF THE PURPOSES OF SUBPARAGRAPH (A) OR IN CONNECTION WITH ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS SPONSORED BY THE ADMINISTRATION;"

THIS LANGUAGE WAS ADDED BY SECTION 105 OF THE SMALL BUSINESS ACT AMENDMENTS OF 1967, APPROVED OCTOBER 11, 1967, PUBLIC LAW 90-104, 81 STAT. 268, FOR THE SPECIFIC PURPOSE OF PROVIDING FOR PAYMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED BY SCORE VOLUNTEERS. H. REPT. NO. 552, 90TH CONG., 1ST SESSION. OF 1967, APPROVED OCTOBER 11, 1967, PUBLIC LAW 90-104, 81 STAT. 268, FOR THE SPECIFIC PURPOSE OF PROVIDING FOR PAYMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED BY SCORE VOLUNTEERS. H. REPT. NO. 552, 90TH CONG., 1ST SESSION.

IT IS CLEAR THAT AN INDIVIDUAL WOULD HAVE TO TRAVEL MORE THAN 50 MILES DISTANT FROM HIS HOME IN PROVIDING SERVICES TO SMALL BUSINESSMEN TO BE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THIS SECTION. ALTHOUGH THE EXACT WORDING OF THIS SECTION MAY LEAVE SOME DOUBT AS TO WHETHER THE 50- MILE LIMITATION ALSO APPLIES TO INDIVIDUALS WHO ATTEND MEETINGS SPONSORED BY SBA, THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY INDICATES THAT THE LIMITATION WAS INTENDED TO APPLY TO THE ENTIRE SECTION. THIS IS THE INTERPRETATION GIVEN TO IT BY YOUR AGENCY AND APPARENTLY IS ACCEPTED BY THE CLAIMANT.

MR. DAVIDSON CLAIMS, HOWEVER, THAT HIS VOUCHER IS BASED UPON HIS "OFFICIAL STATUS" DURING THE PERIOD OF THE NATIONAL SCORE COMMITTEE MEETING RATHER THAN UPON HIS STATUS AS A VOLUNTEER COOPERATING WITH SBA.

WE UNDERSTAND THAT MR. DAVIDSON IS NOT REGARDED AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES. MOREOVER, OUR VIEW IS THAT HIS SERVICES ON THE NATIONAL SCORE COMMITTEE STEM FROM THE AUTHORITY OF 15 U.S.C. 637(B)(1)(A) NATIONAL SCORE COMMITTEE STEM FROM THE AUTHORITY OF 15 U.S.C. 637(B)(1)(A) AUTHORIZING THE ACCEPTANCE OF VOLUNTARY SERVICES FOR THE PURPOSES PROVIDED THEREIN. SINCE PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION 637(B)(1)(B) TRAVEL AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES MAY BE REIMBURSED ONLY WHEN TRAVEL IS TO A POINT MORE THAN 50 MILES DISTANT FROM THE HOME OF THE INDIVIDUAL PROVIDING GRATUITOUS SERVICES, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR PAYMENT OF THE VOUCHER.

THE VOUCHER, WITH ATTACHMENTS, IS RETURNED HEREWITH AND MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.