B-183974, NOV 14, 1975

B-183974: Nov 14, 1975

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EMPLOYEE WAS AUTHORIZED THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE (POV) IN A TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION. EMPLOYEE IS NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF AMOUNT CLAIMED AS MILEAGE OF POV. REGULATIONS REQUIRE ACTUAL USE OF VEHICLE AND THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR TRANSPORTING POV WITHIN CONTERMINOUS UNITED STATES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. STRINE - PAYMENT OF ADDITIONAL TRAVEL EXPENSES: THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION FROM THE DISBURSING OFFICER. STRINE WAS AUTHORIZED THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WITH THE NARRATIVE CITATION "SECOND AUTOMOBILE AUTHORIZED AS EMPLOYEE MUST REPORT TO NEW DUTY STATION IN ADVANCE OF FAMILY MEMBERS.". THE EMPLOYEE'S AUTOMOBILE WAS TOWED BEHIND THE U-HAUL TRUCK UNOCCUPIED BY ANY MEMBERS OF THE EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY.

B-183974, NOV 14, 1975

EMPLOYEE WAS AUTHORIZED THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE (POV) IN A TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION. IN FACT, THE EMPLOYEE TRAVELLED WITH HIS FAMILY IN A RENTED CONVEYANCE (U-HAUL TRUCK) WITH HIS AUTOMOBILE IN TOW. EMPLOYEE IS NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF AMOUNT CLAIMED AS MILEAGE OF POV. REGULATIONS REQUIRE ACTUAL USE OF VEHICLE AND THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR TRANSPORTING POV WITHIN CONTERMINOUS UNITED STATES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

ELDON E. STRINE - PAYMENT OF ADDITIONAL TRAVEL EXPENSES:

THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION FROM THE DISBURSING OFFICER, OMAHA DISTRICT, CORPS OF ENGINEERS, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, WHETHER A TRAVEL VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $198.48, SUBMITTED BY MR. ELDON E. STRINE, A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS, REPRESENTING MILEAGE FOR THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE IN CONNECTION WITH A TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION FROM VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON, TO OMAHA, NEBRASKA, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

MR. STRINE WAS AUTHORIZED THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WITH THE NARRATIVE CITATION "SECOND AUTOMOBILE AUTHORIZED AS EMPLOYEE MUST REPORT TO NEW DUTY STATION IN ADVANCE OF FAMILY MEMBERS." HOWEVER, THE EMPLOYEE, HIS SPOUSE, AND TWO CHILDREN TRAVELLED TOGETHER IN A U-HAUL TRUCK RENTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF TRANSPORTING HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS. THE EMPLOYEE'S AUTOMOBILE WAS TOWED BEHIND THE U-HAUL TRUCK UNOCCUPIED BY ANY MEMBERS OF THE EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY. MR. STRINE WAS PREVIOUSLY ALLOWED $2,186.16 FOR THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS BASED ON THE COMMUTED RATE SCHEDULE.

PARAGRAPHS C8200-1 AND C8200-3(A)(1) OF VOLUME 2, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROVIDE, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"C8200 MILEAGE ALLOWANCES

"1. PRESCRIBED MILEAGE RATES. MILEAGE RATES FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE WITHIN AND OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES ARE AS PRESCRIBED IN SUBPARS. 2 THROUGH 5. REGARDLESS OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE TRAVEL, RATES OTHER THAN THOSE PRESCRIBED WILL NOT BE SHOWN IN TRAVEL ORDERS.

"3. PERMANENT DUTY TRAVEL

A. TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE. EXCEPT FOR RENEWAL AGREEMENT TRAVEL, MILEAGE ALLOWANCES FOR PERMANENT DUTY TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WHEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED, WILL BE ALLOWED AS FOLLOWS:

"1. $0.08 PER MILE WHEN EMPLOYEE ONLY, OR ONE MEMBER OF IMMEDIATE FAMILY ONLY OCCUPIES THE AUTOMOBILE; ***."

THEREFORE, THE REGULATION PRESCRIBES AS A CONDITION PRECEDENT TO ANY MILEAGE ALLOWANCE THAT THE AUTOMOBILE BE OCCUPIED BY THE EMPLOYEE OR AT LEAST ONE MEMBER OF HIS FAMILY. THE CONDITIONS OF TRAVEL STATED IN THE MILEAGE ALLOWANCES PARAGRAPHS ARE MANDATORY. SINCE NEITHER MR. STRINE NOR ANY MEMBER OF HIS FAMILY OCCUPIED THE AUTOMOBILE WHILE IT WAS IN TRANSIT FROM VANCOUVER TO OMAHA, MILEAGE ALLOWANCES MAY NOT BE PAID. SEE ALSO FEDERAL TRAVEL REGULATIONS (FPMR 101-7) PARA. 2-2.3 (MAY 1973).

AUTHORITY FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCURRED BY AN EMPLOYEE INCIDENT TO A TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION AT THE TIME OF MR. STRINE'S TRANSFER IS FOUND IN FTR CHAPTER 2, PART 2 (MAY 1973), WHICH IN PARA. 2-2.1 STATES THAT REIMBURSEMENT WILL BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF 5 U.S.C. SEC. 5701-5709 (1970) AND CHAPTER 1 OF THE FTRS EXCEPT AS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED IN THE FTRS. PARAGRAPH 2-2.3 OF THE FTRS IMPLICITLY REQUIRES ACTUAL USE OF A VEHICLE AS A PREREQUISITE TO PAYMENT OF MILEAGE. B-176224, JULY 27, 1972.

IN REGARD TO THE QUESTION OF REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE TRANSPORTING OF THE EMPLOYEE'S AUTOMOBILE, 2-1.4H, IN FORCE AT THE TIME IN QUESTION, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"H. HOUSEHOLD GOODS. PERSONAL PROPERTY WHICH MAY BE TRANSPORTED LEGALLY IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE AND WHICH BELONGS TO AN EMPLOYEE AND HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY AT THE TIME SHIPMENT OR STORAGE BEGINS. THE TERM INCLUDES HOUSEHOLD FURNISHINGS, EQUIPMENT AND APPLIANCES, FURNITURE, CLOTHING, BOOKS, AND SIMILAR PROPERTY. IT DOES NOT INCLUDE PROPERTY WHICH IS FOR RESALE OR DISPOSAL RATHER THAN FOR USE BY THE EMPLOYEE OR MEMBERS OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY; NOR DOES IT INCLUDE SUCH ITEMS AS AUTOMOBILES, STATION WAGONS, MOTORCYCLES, AND SIMILAR MOTOR VEHICLES, AIRPLANES, MOBILE HOMES, CAMPER TRAILERS, BOATS, BIRDS, PETS, LIVESTOCK, CORDWOOD, BUILDING MATERIALS, PROPERTY BELONGING TO ANY PERSONS OTHER THAN THE EMPLOYEE OR HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY, OR ANY PROPERTY INTENDED FOR USE IN CONDUCTING A BUSINESS OR OTHER COMMERCIAL ENTERPRISE."

THIS REGULATION WOULD PRECLUDE SHIPMENT OF AN AUTOMOBILE AS HOUSEHOLD GOODS BY THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM. IN ADDITION, WE HAVE RECOGNIZED THAT NO AUTHORITY EXISTS TO TRANSPORT THE PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE OF AN EMPLOYEE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE BETWEEN DUTY STATIONS WITHIN THE UNITED STATES. SEE B-176224, JULY 27, 1972. 54 COMP. GEN. 301 (1974).

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.