B-181141, DEC, 4, 1974

B-181141: Dec 4, 1974

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WHOSE RESIDENCE WAS 110 MILES NORTH IN KAUKAUNA. WAS PROPERLY DENIED PAYMENT FOR "CONSTRUCTIVE MILEAGE" FROM MILWAUKEE TO GREEN BAY ON 8 SEPARATE DAYS AS EMPLOYEE DID NOT PERFORM SUCH TRAVEL BUT ACTUALLY TRAVELED FROM HIS RESIDENCE IN KAUKAUNA AND IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT ON A MILEAGE BASIS ONLY FOR ACTUAL USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE. CORBIN - TRAVEL EXPENSES: THIS ACTION IS IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST FROM THE MANAGING DIRECTOR OF THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION (ICC) FOR A DECISION AS TO WHETHER REIMBURSEMENT TO MR. CORBIN'S PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL DUTY AWAY FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS IS PROPER. CORBIN IS EMPLOYED AS AN AUDITOR WITH THE ICC AND IS HEADQUARTERED IN MILWAUKEE. HIS RESIDENCE IS LOCATED AT KAUKAUNA.

B-181141, DEC, 4, 1974

EMPLOYEE HEADQUARTERED IN MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN, WHOSE RESIDENCE WAS 110 MILES NORTH IN KAUKAUNA, WISCONSIN, AND WHO PERFORMED TEMPORARY DUTY IN GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN, 25 MILES FROM KAUKAUNA, WAS PROPERLY DENIED PAYMENT FOR "CONSTRUCTIVE MILEAGE" FROM MILWAUKEE TO GREEN BAY ON 8 SEPARATE DAYS AS EMPLOYEE DID NOT PERFORM SUCH TRAVEL BUT ACTUALLY TRAVELED FROM HIS RESIDENCE IN KAUKAUNA AND IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT ON A MILEAGE BASIS ONLY FOR ACTUAL USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE.

CHARLES D. CORBIN - TRAVEL EXPENSES:

THIS ACTION IS IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST FROM THE MANAGING DIRECTOR OF THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION (ICC) FOR A DECISION AS TO WHETHER REIMBURSEMENT TO MR. CHARLES D. CORBIN, AN ICC EMPLOYEE, FOR CERTAIN TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO MR. CORBIN'S PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL DUTY AWAY FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS IS PROPER.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT MR. CORBIN IS EMPLOYED AS AN AUDITOR WITH THE ICC AND IS HEADQUARTERED IN MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN, AND HIS RESIDENCE IS LOCATED AT KAUKAUNA, WISCONSIN, WHICH IS 110 MILES NORTH OF MILWAUKEE. MR. CORBIN, HOWEVER, DOES NOT COMMUTE DAILY BETWEEN KAUKAUNA AND MILWAUKEE; HE HAS AN ANNUAL TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION AND SUBMITS A TRAVEL VOUCHER FOR EACH MONTH. DURING DECEMBER 1973 AND JANUARY 1974, MR. CORBIN WAS ON TEMPORARY DUTY IN GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN, WHICH IS 25 MILES FROM HIS RESIDENCE IN KAUKAUNA FROM WHICH HE COMMUTED DAILY. MR. CORBIN CLAIMED WHAT HE CALLED "CONSTRUCTIVE MILEAGE" FROM MILWAUKEE TO GREEN BAY FOR FOUR DAYS IN DECEMBER 1973 AND FOR FOUR DAYS IN JANUARY 1974. THIS TRAVEL WAS NOT ACTUALLY PERFORMED, HOWEVER, SINCE MR. CORBIN COMMUTED BETWEEN KAUKAUNA AND GREEN BAY ON THOSE DAYS.

THE ICC SUSPENDED PAYMENT FOR 474 MILES, WHICH REPRESENTS THE CLAIMED MILWAUKEE TO GREEN BAY "CONSTRUCTIVE MILEAGE" ON MR. CORBIN'S DECEMBER AND JANUARY VOUCHERS, ALLOWING HIM INSTEAD 50 MILES EACH DAY FOR THE TRAVEL HE ACTUALLY PERFORMED BETWEEN KAUKAUNA AND GREEN BAY. THIS ACTION WAS PARTIALLY BASED ON THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S DECISION AT 27 COMP. GEN. 32 (1947) WHICH QUOTES 23 COMP. GEN. 549 (1944) IN PART AT PAGE 34 AS FOLLOWS:

"*** WHERE THE EXPENSE INCURRED IN TRAVELING FROM HOME DOES NOT EXCEED THAT WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED IN TRAVELING FROM THE OFFICIAL STATION, REIMBURSEMENT ON THE BASIS OF THE REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES ACTUALLY INCURRED IS IN ORDER ***."

MR. CORBIN ALLEGES THAT THE ABOVE METHOD OF PAYMENT ALLOWS THE GOVERNMENT TO BENEFIT FROM REDUCED TRAVEL COSTS AND REDUCED TIME SPENT IN TRAVEL WHEN AN EMPLOYEE HAS HIS HOME NEAR TO HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION. MR. CORBIN CONTENDS THAT THIS IS UNFAIR IN THAT IT IN EFFECT GIVES THE EMPLOYEE TWO OFFICIAL STATIONS, THE EMPLOYEE ALWAYS BEING REIMBURSED THE LESSER OF THE COSTS, EVEN THOUGH THE EMPLOYEE SAVES THE GOVERNMENT TRAVEL EXPENSES ON ACCOUNT OF THE LOCATION OF HIS HOME.

SECTION 5704 OF TITLE 5 OF THE U.S.C. IS THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES TO GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES WHO USE THEIR PRIVATELY -OWNED AUTOMOBILE WHILE ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS. SECTION 5704(A) PROVIDES IN PART:

"*** UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED UNDER SECTION 5707 OF THIS TITLE, AN EMPLOYEE OR OTHER INDIVIDUAL PERFORMING SERVICE FOR THE GOVERNMENT, WHO IS ENGAGED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS INSIDE OR OUTSIDE HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY OR PLACE OF SERVICE, IS ENTITLED TO NOT IN EXCESS OF -

"(2) 12 CENTS A MILE FOR THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE OR AIRPLANE; INSTEAD OF THE ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION WHEN THAT MODE IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT ***."

THE PERTINENT REGULATIONS PERTAINING TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR USE OF A PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE ARE GOUND IN PART 4 OF THE FEDERAL PROPERTY MANUAL REGULATIONS (FPMR) 101-7, MAY 1, 1973, AND SECTION 1-4.1(B)(1) PROVIDES IN PART: "*** THE MILEAGE RATE AS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED MAY BE PAID FROM WHATEVER POINT THE EMPLOYEE OR OTHER PERSON RENDERING SERVICE TO THE GOVERNMENT BEGINS HIS JOURNEY."

IT IS CLEAR FROM THE ABOVE THAT THE GOVERNMENT WILL ONLY REIMBURSE AN EMPLOYEE FOR THE USE OF HIS PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE FOR ACTUAL MILES TRAVELED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND NOT FOR SOME CONSTRUCTIVE MILEAGE BASED ON A THEORETICAL TRIP WHICH THE EMPLOYEE DID NOT PERFORM. THE ICC'S INTERPRETATION OF THE ABOVE CITED RULE SET OUT AT 23 COMP. GEN., SUPRA, AND 27 COMP. GEN., SUPRA, IS CORRECT. THE LAW AND REGULATIONS DO NOT ALLOW ANY FURTHER REIMBURSEMENT TO AN EMPLOYEE USING HIS PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE WITH THE EXCEPTION OF SOME EXPENSES NOT PERTINENT HERE, EVEN THOUGH THE EMPLOYEE MAY FEEL THAT HE HAS SAVED THE GOVERNMENT CERTAIN COSTS. WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT MR. CORBIN IS BEING TREATED UNFAIRLY IN THIS MATTER AS IT WAS HIS PERSONAL CHOICE WHICH LED HIM TO TAKE UP RESIDENCE IN KAUKAUNA AND TO COMMUTE TO HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION THEREFROM. THEREFORE ANY ADDED COSTS WHICH MR. CORBIN MAY INCUR BECAUSE OF THIS CHOICE OF RESIDENCE ARE NOT FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO BEAR.

ACCORDINGLY, PAYMENT FOR THE EIGHT CONSTRUCTIVE TRIPS BETWEEN MILWAUKEE AND GREEN BAY WAS PROPERLY DENIED.