B-197255, FEB 10, 1981

B-197255: Feb 10, 1981

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

IS MODIFIED ACCORDINGLY. MARQUART: THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST FOR CLARIFICATION OF OUR DECISION IN LOUIS DE BEER. THE CORRESPONDENCE FROM THE FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING OFFICER REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION WAS FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE BY ENDORSEMENT OF THE PER DIEM. IS A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT. MARQUART WAS TRANSFERRED OVERSEAS FROM FORT GEORGE G. SHIPMENT OF HIS POV WAS AUTHORIZED BY ITEM 15 OF THESE ORDERS. IN THE DE BEER CASE WE HELD THAT A DEFENSE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEE WHOSE VEHICLE IS TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE MAY BE PAID A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE UNDER PARAGRAPH C11004-4 OF VOLUME 2. THE CERTIFYING OFFICER'S FIRST TWO QUESTIONS RELATE TO THE STATEMENT IN THE FINAL PARAGRAPH OF THE DE BEER DECISION THAT THE MILEAGE ALLOWANCE IS TO BE "AS PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH 2-2.3 OF THE FTR.".

B-197255, FEB 10, 1981

DIGEST: A DEFENSE DEPARTMENT CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE AUTHORIZED TO TRANSPORT HIS PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE MAY BE REIMBURSED ON A MILEAGE BASIS AT THE RATE SPECIFIED IN PARAGRAPH 1-4.2 OF THE FEDERAL TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHERE THE EMPLOYEE HIRES ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DRIVE HIS PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE FROM THE VEHICLE'S PORT OF DEBARKATION TO THE EMPLOYEE'S NEW PERMANENT DUTY STATION. THE LAST PARAGRAPH OF B-193837, JULY 17, 1979, IS MODIFIED ACCORDINGLY.

MR. ANTHONY G. MARQUART:

THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST FOR CLARIFICATION OF OUR DECISION IN LOUIS DE BEER, B-193837, JULY 17, 1979. THE CORRESPONDENCE FROM THE FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING OFFICER REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION WAS FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE BY ENDORSEMENT OF THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE DATED DECEMBER 14, 1979, AND HAS BEEN ASSIGNED PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 79-43. THE ISSUES PRESENTED CONCERN THE REIMBURSEMENT TO BE MADE WHERE A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE PAYS ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DRIVE THE EMPLOYEE'S PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE (POV) FROM THE VEHICLE'S PORT OF DEBARKATION TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION INCIDENT TO PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TRAVEL.

THE CLAIMANT IN THIS CASE, MR. ANTHONY G. MARQUART, IS A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT. IN JULY OF 1979 MR. MARQUART WAS TRANSFERRED OVERSEAS FROM FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, MARYLAND, TO STUTTGART, GERMANY. HE AND HIS FAMILY TRAVELED TO STUTTGART BY AIR PURSUANT TO THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL ORDERS. SHIPMENT OF HIS POV WAS AUTHORIZED BY ITEM 15 OF THESE ORDERS. AS DID THE CLAIMANT IN THE DE BEER CASE, MR. MARQUART CLAIMS REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF HAVING ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL PICK UP HIS POV AT BREMERHAVEN, GERMANY, THE VEHICLE'S PORT OF DEBARKATION, AND DELIVER IT TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION. FOR THIS SERVICE HE PAID A FEE OF $75.00 PLUS $24.00 IN GASOLINE COSTS.

IN THE DE BEER CASE WE HELD THAT A DEFENSE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEE WHOSE VEHICLE IS TRANSPORTED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE MAY BE PAID A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE UNDER PARAGRAPH C11004-4 OF VOLUME 2, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (2 JTR) WHEN HE HIRES ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DRIVE THAT VEHICLE FROM THE PORT OF DEBARKATION TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION.

THE CERTIFYING OFFICER'S FIRST TWO QUESTIONS RELATE TO THE STATEMENT IN THE FINAL PARAGRAPH OF THE DE BEER DECISION THAT THE MILEAGE ALLOWANCE IS TO BE "AS PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH 2-2.3 OF THE FTR." POINTING TO THE RATIONALE OF THE DE BEER CASE AND TO THE FACT THAT 2 JTR PARA. C11004-4 PRESCRIBES A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE UNDER PARA. C4651-2A (WHICH IMPLEMENTS CHAPTER 1, PARA. 1-4.2 OF THE FTR) FOR THE SITUATION IN WHICH THE EMPLOYEE HIMSELF MAKES A SEPARATE TRIP TO A PORT TO PICK UP HIS AUTOMOBILE, THE CERTIFYING OFFICER ASKS THAT WE CLARIFY THAT HOLDING TO THE EXTENT THAT IT INDICATES THAT THE MILEAGE ALLOWANCE IS TO BE COMPUTED UNDER CHAPTER 2, PARA. 2-2.3 OF THE FTR. THE JTR PROVISION CORRESPONDING TO FTR PARA. 2- 2.3 IS 2 JTR PARA. C4250-1. WHEREAS FTR PARA. 1-4.2 (2 JTR C4651-2A) PRESCRIBES A MILEAGE RATE WHEN USE OF A POV IS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT, FTR PARA. 2-2.3 (2 JTR PARA. C4250-1) PRESCRIBES A RATE FOR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TRAVEL WHICH IS SUBSTANTIALLY BELOW THAT PRESCRIBED IN PARA. 1-4.2 AND WHICH VARIES DEPENDING UPON THE NUMBER OF FAMILY MEMBERS TRAVELING WITH THE EMPLOYEE.

PARAGRAPH C11004-4 IS THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT'S IMPLEMENTATION OF FTR PARA. 2.10.4C. AS IN EFFECT AT THE DATE OF THE TRAVEL INVOLVED IN THIS AND THE DE BEER CASE, PARAGRAPH C11004-4 PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART:

"4. MOVEMENT FROM PORTS. AN EMPLOYEE IS NOT ENTITLED TO SHIP HIS PRIVATELY OWNED MOTOR VEHICLE FROM A VEHICLE PORT FACILITY TO HIS NEW PERMANENT DUTY STATION. WHEN AN EMPLOYEE MAKES A SEPARATE TRIP TO A PORT TO RECLAIM HIS VEHICLE, PER DIEM IS NOT ALLOWABLE BUT ONE-WAY TRANSPORTATION COSTS AND ONE-WAY MILEAGE AT THE RATE PRESCRIBED IN PAR. C4651-2A ARE AUTHORIZED. THE TOTAL OF THE ONE-WAY TRANSPORTATION COSTS AND ONE-WAY MILEAGE PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT MAY NOT EXCEED THE COST OF SHIPPING THE PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE FROM THE PORT INVOLVED TO THE EMPLOYEE'S NEW PERMANENT DUTY STATION. HOWEVER, IF AN EMPLOYEE RECLAIMS HIS VEHICLE AT A VEHICLE PORT FACILITY INCIDENT TO PERFORMING PERMANENT CHANGE-OF-STATION TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE, MILEAGE, AT THE APPLICABLE RATE PRESCRIBED IN PAR. C4250-1, IS AUTHORIZED FROM THE VEHICLE PORT FACILITY OR PORT OF DEBARKATION, IF HE RETURNS THERE TO PICK UP HIS DEPENDENTS, TO HIS NEW PERMANENT DUTY STATION. ***"

WHERE AN EMPLOYEE IS NOT REQUIRED TO TRAVEL BY POV FROM THE VEHICLE'S PORT OF ENTRY TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION INCIDENT TO HIS OWN PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TRAVEL BUT IS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER FOR THE ENTIRE DISTANCE, ANY ENTITLEMENT HE MAY HAVE FOR THE COST OF RETRIEVING HIS AUTOMOBILE IS NECESSARILY BASED ON THE SECOND AND THIRD SENTENCES OF THE ABOVE-QUOTED REGULATION. WHETHER HE PERSONALLY TRAVELS TO THE PORT FACILITY OR PAYS ANOTHER TO DRIVE HIS AUTOMOBILE, REIMBURSEMENT IS TO BE COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF THE HIGHER MILEAGE RATE AUTHORIZED UNDER CHAPTER 1, PARA. 1-4.2 OF THE FTR AS IMPLEMENTED BY 2 JTR PARA. 4651-2A AND PAID SUBJECT TO THE MAXIMUM LIMITATION PRESCRIBED. THE REFERENCE TO FTR PARA. 2-3.2 IN THE LAST PARAGRAPH OF LOUIS DE BEER, B-193837, JULY 17, 1979, IS INCORRECT AND THE RULE STATED IS MODIFIED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE.

THE CERTIFYING OFFICER'S THIRD QUESTION RELATES TO THE CASE IN WHICH THE EMPLOYEE'S POV IS TRANSPORTED COMMERCIALLY FROM THE VEHICLE PORT FACILITY. HE ASKS WHETHER REIMBURSEMENT IS TO BE DETERMINED ON THE BASIS OF THE MILEAGE ALLOWANCE DISCUSSED ABOVE IN THAT CASE AS WELL AS WHEN THE EMPLOYEE HIRES ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DRIVE THE VEHICLE TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION.

THE FIRST SENTENCE OF PARAGRAPH C11004-4 OF THE JTR SPECIFICALLY STATES THAT AN EMPLOYEE IS NOT ENTITLED TO SHIP HIS POV FROM A VEHICLE PORT FACILITY TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION. AS WAS HELD IN DE BEER THIS LANGUAGE, WHICH DOES NOT APPEAR IN FTR PARA. 2-10.4C IS VIEWED AS A LIMIT ON REIMBURSEMENT FOR MOVEMENT OF VEHICLES FROM PORTS OF ENTRY, NOT AS A REQUIREMENT THAT THE VEHICLE BE MOVED IN A SPECIFIED WAY. THUS, A DEFENSE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEE WHOSE VEHICLE IS TRANSPORTED COMMERCIALLY BETWEEN THE PORT OF DEBARKATION AND HIS DUTY STATION IS ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED FOR THE COMMERCIAL SHIPPING CHARGES ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT THEY DO NO EXCEED THE APPLICABLE MILEAGE ALLOWANCE.

THE CERTIFYING OFFICER'S FINAL QUESTION APPARENTLY DOES NOT INVOLVE A SITUATION NOW BEFORE HIM FOR PAYMENT. FURTHER, THE FACTS PRESENTED WOULD NOT PERMIT US TO PROVIDE A FULL ANSWER. ACCORDINGLY, WE WILL NOT ATTEMPT TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION AT THIS TIME.

MR. MARQUART'S CLAIM SHOULD BE PAID IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE.