B-179508, FEB 4, 1974

B-179508: Feb 4, 1974

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EMPLOYEE OF ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE REQUESTED AND WAS AUTHORIZED TO USE POV TO AND FROM RESIDENCE FOR OFFICIAL DAILY TRAVEL TO SLAUGHTER AND MEAT PROCESSING PLANTS. EMPLOYEE'S CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL MILEAGE ON GROUND TRAVEL BETWEEN HOME AND WORK SITES SHOULD HAVE BEEN EXCLUDED WAS DISALLOWED SINCE SUCH MILEAGE WAS PROPERLY INCLUDED AND EMPLOYEE WAS SO ADVISED IN WRITING. ENGLISH: THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 9. THE MILEAGE RATE OF 11 CENTS PER MILE ON YOUR VOUCHERS WAS REDUCED BY YOUR AGENCY AND REIMBURSEMENT WAS MADE AT THE RATE OF 9 CENTS PER MILE. YOUR RECLAIM FOR THE DIFFERENCE OF $119.48 BETWEEN THE 11-CENT RATE CLAIMED AND THE 9-CENT RATE PAID FOR THE PERIOD IN QUESTION WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR TRANSPORTATION AND CLAIMS DIVISION.

B-179508, FEB 4, 1974

EMPLOYEE OF ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE REQUESTED AND WAS AUTHORIZED TO USE POV TO AND FROM RESIDENCE FOR OFFICIAL DAILY TRAVEL TO SLAUGHTER AND MEAT PROCESSING PLANTS. AGENCY LIMITED PAYMENT TO 9 CENTS PER MILE, RATE FOR TRAVEL BY POV NOT FOR ADVANTAGE OF GOVERNMENT, SINCE EMPLOYEE TRAVELED MORE THAN 700 MILES PER MONTH AND TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT VEHICLE WOULD BE MODE SELECTED AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO GOVERNMENT. EMPLOYEE'S CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL MILEAGE ON GROUND TRAVEL BETWEEN HOME AND WORK SITES SHOULD HAVE BEEN EXCLUDED WAS DISALLOWED SINCE SUCH MILEAGE WAS PROPERLY INCLUDED AND EMPLOYEE WAS SO ADVISED IN WRITING.

TO MR. ALBERT J. ENGLISH:

THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 9, 1973, AND PRIOR CORRESPONDENCE, REQUESTING THAT WE RECONSIDER THE SETTLEMENT OF OUR TRANSPORTATION AND CLAIMS DIVISION OF MAY 7, 1973, DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM FOR AN ADDITIONAL MILEAGE ALLOWANCE OF 2 CENTS PER MILE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED IN YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE DURING THE PERIOD FEBRUARY THROUGH JUNE 1972 INCIDENT TO YOUR EMPLOYMENT WITH THE ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE. YOU ALSO CLAIM ADDITIONAL MILEAGE ALLOWANCE FOR THE PERIOD JULY 1, 1972, TO JUNE 30, 1973.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT YOU REQUESTED AUTHORIZATION TO USE AND USED YOUR OWN AUTOMOBILE FOR YOUR OFFICIAL DAILY TRAVEL TO VISIT AND INSPECT CERTAIN SLAUGHTER AND MEAT PROCESSING ESTABLISHMENTS FROM FEBRUARY THROUGH JUNE 1972. YOUR REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION INDICATES YOU ALSO USED YOUR AUTOMOBILE FOR SUCH PURPOSES FROM JULY 1972 THROUGH JUNE 1973. ON YOUR TRAVEL VOUCHERS FOR THE INITIAL PERIOD YOU CLAIMED A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE OF 11 CENTS PER MILE FOR OFFICIAL DUTY TRAVEL AVERAGING OVER 700 MILES PER MONTH. THE MILEAGE RATE OF 11 CENTS PER MILE ON YOUR VOUCHERS WAS REDUCED BY YOUR AGENCY AND REIMBURSEMENT WAS MADE AT THE RATE OF 9 CENTS PER MILE. YOUR RECLAIM FOR THE DIFFERENCE OF $119.48 BETWEEN THE 11-CENT RATE CLAIMED AND THE 9-CENT RATE PAID FOR THE PERIOD IN QUESTION WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR TRANSPORTATION AND CLAIMS DIVISION.

REGARDING THE USE OF AUTOMOBILES, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-7, REVISED AUGUST 17, 1971, SECTION 2.2C(2) PROVIDES THAT WHEN AUTOMOBILE TRAVEL IS REQUIRED A GOVERNMENT OWNED AUTOMOBILE WILL BE USED UNLESS TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE IS PREFERRED BY REASONS OF COST, EFFICIENCY, OR WORK REQUIREMENTS. SECTION 2.2D OF THE CIRCULAR PROVIDES THAT WHEN AN EMPLOYEE IS AUTHORIZED USE OF THE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ALTHOUGH NOT DETERMINED TO BE FOR THE ADVANTAGE OF THE GOVERNMENT REIMBURSEMENT WILL BE LIMITED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 4. SECTION 4.4B OF THE CIRCULAR STATES THAT THE MILEAGE RATE FOR AUTHORIZED USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE WHEN A GOVERNMENT OWNED AUTOMOBILE WOULD BE MOST ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT WILL BE 9 CENTS. THE ABOVE PROVISIONS WERE IN EFFECT UNTIL MAY 1, 1973, WHEN THEY WERE INCORPORATED WITHOUT SUBSTANTIAL CHANGE INTO FPMR 101-7 WHICH WAS ISSUED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERSEDED THE CIRCULAR.

PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE CIRCULAR STATED ABOVE YOUR AGENCY ESTABLISHED THE POLICY THAT A GOVERNMENT OWNED AUTOMOBILE SHOULD BE USED BY AN EMPLOYEE WHO NEEDS A VEHICLE FOR OFFICIAL DUTY ON A CONTINUING BASIS AND AVERAGES MORE THAN 700 MILES PER MONTH. YOU ELECTED TO USE YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE AND WERE AUTHORIZED THE RATE OF 9 CENTS PER MILE. YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL MILEAGE IS BASED ON THE ALLEGATION THAT THE 700- MILE TOTAL DOES NOT INCLUDE THE "HOME TO HOME" MILEAGE - THE DISTANCE FROM YOUR RESIDENCE TO YOUR FIRST DUTY STATION PLUS THE DISTANCE FROM THE LAST DUTY STATION TO YOUR RESIDENCE. WHILE THE INITIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATION ISSUED AUGUST 30, 1971, COULD BE SO CONSTRUED, THE ADMINISTRATIVE OPINION HAS CONSISTENTLY BEEN THAT THE "HOME TO HOME" DISTANCE WAS INCLUDED IN THE TOTAL MILEAGE. IN THIS CONNECTION THE AGENCY REGULATION WAS REVISED MARCH 13, 1972, TO SHOW EXAMPLES BASED ON SUCH OPINION. THE RECORD ALSO INDICATES THAT YOU WERE ADVISED BY LETTERS OF APRIL 17, 1972, AND JULY 19, 1972, THAT YOUR AVERAGE MILEAGE JUSTIFIED THE USE OF A GOVERNMENT VEHICLE AND YOU WERE, THEREFORE, LIMITED TO THE RATE OF 9 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE USE OF YOUR VEHICLE. THE JULY LETTER ALSO SPECIFICALLY REFERRED YOU TO THE GOVERNING REGULATIONS.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE WE HEREBY AFFIRM THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM FOR THE PERIOD FEBRUARY THROUGH JUNE 1972 AND DISALLOW YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL MILEAGE FOR THE PERIOD JULY 1972 THROUGH JUNE 1973.