B-201301, JUN 9, 1981

B-201301: Jun 9, 1981

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EMPLOYEE ON TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT IS NOT ENTITLED TO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HIGHER COST OF THE CAR SHE RENTED AND THE LOWER COST OF THE RENTAL VEHICLE DESIGNATED BY AN AUTHORIZED TRAVEL OFFICIAL. THE COST OF A COMMERCIAL RENTAL VEHICLE OR OTHER SPECIAL CONVEYANCE IS REIMBURSABLE ONLY IF AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. EMPLOYEE STATES SHE WAS NOT AWARE OF RENTAL CAR ARRANGEMENTS. AGENCY STATES SUCH FACT WAS COMMUNICATED TO HER. SUCH DISPUTE IS RESOLVED IN FAVOR OF THE GOVERNMENT. IS NOT ENTITLED TO THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE HIGHER COST OF THE MOTOR VEHICLE SHE RENTED AND THE LOWER COST OF THE RENTAL VEHICLE THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER AUTHORIZED. VAUGHN WAS AUTHORIZED A TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT COMMENCING MAY 13.

B-201301, JUN 9, 1981

DIGEST: 1. EMPLOYEE ON TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT IS NOT ENTITLED TO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HIGHER COST OF THE CAR SHE RENTED AND THE LOWER COST OF THE RENTAL VEHICLE DESIGNATED BY AN AUTHORIZED TRAVEL OFFICIAL. THE COST OF A COMMERCIAL RENTAL VEHICLE OR OTHER SPECIAL CONVEYANCE IS REIMBURSABLE ONLY IF AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT, AND AN AUTHORIZED OFFICIAL MADE SUCH DETERMINATION IN THIS CASE PURSUANT TO PARA. 1-3.2A OF THE FEDERAL TRAVEL REGULATIONS. 2. EMPLOYEE STATES SHE WAS NOT AWARE OF RENTAL CAR ARRANGEMENTS. AGENCY STATES SUCH FACT WAS COMMUNICATED TO HER. THIS OFFICE OPERATES ON BASIS OF WRITTEN RECORD AND WHERE RECORD CONTAINS A DISPUTE OF FACT WHICH CANNOT BE RESOLVED WITHOUT ADVERSARY HEARING, SUCH DISPUTE IS RESOLVED IN FAVOR OF THE GOVERNMENT.

DOLORES VAUGHN - USE OF SPECIAL CONVEYANCE - CAR RENTAL:

WE DECIDE THAT MS. DOLORES VAUGHN, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY, IS NOT ENTITLED TO THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE HIGHER COST OF THE MOTOR VEHICLE SHE RENTED AND THE LOWER COST OF THE RENTAL VEHICLE THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER AUTHORIZED.

R. G. BORDLEY, CHIEF, ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE DIVISION, DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY, REQUESTS AN ADVANCE DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL BASED ON THE FOLLOWING FACTS.

BY TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION OF MAY 6, 1980, MS. VAUGHN WAS AUTHORIZED A TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT COMMENCING MAY 13, 1980, FROM HER PERMANENT DUTY STATION, HEADQUARTERS, DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY, CAMERON STATION, ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA, TO RICHMOND, VIRGINIA. IT ADVISED HER THAT A GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION (GSA) MOTOR POOL VEHICLE MUST BE USED IF AVAILABLE, AND IF NOT A GSA CONTRACT RENTAL VEHICLE SHOULD BE OBTAINED. IT SAID SHE COULD RENT AN ORDINARY COMMERCIAL VEHICLE ONLY IF VEHICLES WERE UNAVAILABLE THROUGH GSA. THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER SUBMITTED TO HER A "CONFIRMED RESERVATION SLIP," DATED MAY 9, 1980, SIGNED BY HIM, AND ADVISING HER THAT SHE SHOULD PICK UP THE VEHICLE RESERVED FOR HER AT AMERICAN RENTAL SYSTEM AT $15 PER DAY, 15 CENTS PER MILE AND AT A 36 PERCENT DISCOUNT. HOWEVER, THROUGH THE SECTION SECRETARY, WHO MADE THE ARRANGEMENTS, SHE RENTED A VEHICLE FROM ANOTHER FIRM AT A HIGHER RATE.

MS. VAUGHN BELIEVES SHE SHOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO PAY THE COST DIFFERENTIAL BECAUSE BOTH SHE AND THE SECRETARY WERE UNAWARE THAT THE TRAVEL OFFICE MADE THE ARRANGEMENTS FOR A RENTAL VEHICLE. MS. VAUGHN ALSO SAYS THAT SHE WAS A NEW EMPLOYEE AND WAS UNAWARE OF CORRECT PROCEDURES.

THE COST OF A COMMERCIAL RENTAL VEHICLE OR OTHER SPECIAL CONVEYANCE IS REIMBURSABLE ONLY IF AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. SEE PARAGRAPH 1-3.2A OF THE FEDERAL TRAVEL REGULATIONS (FTR)(FPMR 101-7, MAY 1973). IN THIS CASE THE PROPERLY DELEGATED OFFICIAL TO MAKE THIS DETERMINATION WAS THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER, AND HE DECIDED THAT THE LESS EXPENSIVE RENTAL VEHICLE OF THE AMERICAN RENTAL SYSTEM WAS TO BE AUTHORIZED AND RESERVED FOR MS. VAUGHN AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT.

FURTHER, THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER STATES THAT HE COMMUNICATED HIS DETERMINATION TO MS. VAUGHN IN THE FORM OF A CONFIRMED RESERVATION SLIP. MS. VAUGHN SAYS SHE WAS UNAWARE OF SUCH ARRANGEMENTS. THIS OFFICE OPERATES ON THE BASIS OF THE WRITTEN RECORD PRESENTED TO US BY THE PARTIES. THUS, WHERE THE RECORD BEFORE THIS OFFICE CONTAINS A DISPUTE OF FACT WHICH CANNOT BE RESOLVED WITHOUT AN ADVERSARY PROCEEDING, IT IS OUR LONG-STANDING PRACTICE TO RESOLVE SUCH DISPUTE IN FAVOR OF THE GOVERNMENT. B-186760, JUNE 3, 1977.

CONSEQUENTLY, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO REIMBURSE MS. VAUGHN FOR THE EXCESS COST DIFFERENTIAL.