B-174669, FEB 8, 1972

B-174669: Feb 8, 1972

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THAT AMOUNT REPRESENTS EXPENSES THAT WERE IN EXCESS OF YOUR PERSONAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COVERAGE. THE INFORMATION OF RECORD SHOWS THAT WHILE EN ROUTE TO QUANTICO IN YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE YOU WERE INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT CAUSING DAMAGE TO YOUR AUTOMOBILE IN THE AMOUNT OF $485.77. THE INSURANCE COMPANY PAID ALL BUT $100 OF THE DAMAGES WHICH YOU WERE REQUIRED TO PAY BY THE TERMS OF YOUR INSURANCE POLICY. YOUR CLAIM FOR THE $100 WAS DISALLOWED ON THE GROUND THAT YOU WERE TO BE REIMBURSED ON A MILEAGE BASIS FOR THE USE OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE WHICH INCLUDED ALL NECESSARY EXPENSES. A MILEAGE RATE AUTHORIZED FOR THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE IS IN LIEU OF ACTUAL EXPENSES. THE ONLY ACTUAL EXPENSES AUTHORIZED FOR REIMBURSEMENT ARE PARKING FEES.

B-174669, FEB 8, 1972

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - REIMBURSEMENT DECISION SUSTAINING DISALLOWANCE OF A CLAIM BY DAVID L. WHALEN, FOR AUTOMOBILE DAMAGES IN CONNECTION WITH A TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT. THE CLAIM MUST BE DENIED SINCE 5 U.S.C. 5704 PROVIDES FOR AN AUTHORIZED MILEAGE RATE IN LIEU OF ACTUAL EXPENSES.

TO MR. DAVID L. WHALEN:

ON SEPTEMBER 13, 1971, YOU REQUESTED REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 25, 1971, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR $100, REPRESENTING DAMAGES TO YOUR AUTOMOBILE IN CONNECTION WITH A TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT FROM ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND, TO QUANTICO, VIRGINIA. THAT AMOUNT REPRESENTS EXPENSES THAT WERE IN EXCESS OF YOUR PERSONAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COVERAGE.

THE INFORMATION OF RECORD SHOWS THAT WHILE EN ROUTE TO QUANTICO IN YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE YOU WERE INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT CAUSING DAMAGE TO YOUR AUTOMOBILE IN THE AMOUNT OF $485.77. THE INSURANCE COMPANY PAID ALL BUT $100 OF THE DAMAGES WHICH YOU WERE REQUIRED TO PAY BY THE TERMS OF YOUR INSURANCE POLICY. YOUR CLAIM FOR THE $100 WAS DISALLOWED ON THE GROUND THAT YOU WERE TO BE REIMBURSED ON A MILEAGE BASIS FOR THE USE OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE WHICH INCLUDED ALL NECESSARY EXPENSES.

UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 5 U.S.C. 5704, A MILEAGE RATE AUTHORIZED FOR THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE IS IN LIEU OF ACTUAL EXPENSES. THE ONLY ACTUAL EXPENSES AUTHORIZED FOR REIMBURSEMENT ARE PARKING FEES, FERRY FARES, AND BRIDGE, ROAD AND TUNNEL TOLLS.

WE NOTE THAT EVEN WHEN A PARTICULAR LAW MIGHT PERMIT THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (SECTION 3.5A) IN EFFECT AT THE TIME THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED INDICATE THAT REIMBURSEMENT WILL NOT BE MADE FOR:

" *** CHARGES FOR REPAIRS, DEPRECIATION, REPLACEMENTS, GREASE, ANTIFREEZE, FLUSHING CRANKCASES, TOWAGE, AND SIMILAR SPECULATIVE EXPENSES

THEREFORE, THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM FOR DAMAGES ($100) SUSTAINED BY YOUR AUTOMOBILE WHILE BEING USED FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL WAS PROPER BECAUSE A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE FOR THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE IS A COMMUTATION OF ALL THE EXPENSES OF OPERATING SUCH AUTOMOBILE AND PRECLUDES REIMBURSEMENT IN ADDITION THERETO FOR ANY ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED OTHER THAN THOSE EXPENSES SPECIFICALLY SET FORTH IN 5 U.S.C. 5704, NAMELY, PARKING FEES, FERRY FARES, AND BRIDGE, ROAD AND TUNNEL TOLLS. SEE 34 COMP. GEN. 139 (1954); 32 ID. 74 (1952).

WE NOTE YOU REFER TO 63 STAT. 167 AS A BASIS FOR ALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM. THIS STATUTE WOULD NOT APPEAR TO BE APPLICABLE TO YOUR CLAIM SINCE IT APPLIES ONLY TO THE CLAIMS OF PERSONS EMPLOYED IN FEDERAL PENAL AND CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS FOR DAMAGE TO OR LOSS OR DESTRUCTION OF PERSONAL PROPERTY OCCURRING INCIDENT TO THEIR SERVICE. HOWEVER, YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO 31 U.S.C. 240-243 WHICH PROVIDES THAT SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS OF CIVILIAN PERSONNEL FOR DAMAGES TO OR LOSS OF PERSONAL PROPERTY INCIDENT TO SERVICE IS FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE HEAD OF THE AGENCY CONCERNED AND THAT THE SETTLEMENT OF SUCH A CLAIM IS FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE. PERHAPS YOU SHOULD ASK THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY THAT YOUR CLAIM BE RECONSIDERED UNDER SUCH PROVISIONS.

THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 25, 1971, THEREFORE, IS SUSTAINED.