B-202370.OM, JAN 15, 1982

B-202370.OM: Jan 15, 1982

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL: WE ARE FORWARDING THE CLAIM OF MR. THE CLAIMANT WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TRAINING. TRANSPORTATION BY GOVERNMENT VEHICLE WAS NOT AVAILABLE. IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT AN EMPLOYEE MUST BEAR THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN HIS RESIDENCE AND HIS PLACE OF DUTY AT HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION. 55 COMP.GEN. 1323 (1976). FOSTER'S CLAIM MAKE UNCERTAIN A DETERMINATION OF HIS ENTITLEMENTS SINCE HIS TRAVEL APPEARS TO BE ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND THERE IS ADVANTAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT. THE MATTER IS FORWARDED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION AND INSTRUCTIONS. AUTHORIZES THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE TO AN EMPLOYEE FOR THE USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED MOTOR VEHICLE (POV) IN THE CONDUCT OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS WITHIN OR OUTSIDE HIS DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY OR PLACES OF SERVICE AND SUCH USE IS AUTHORIZED AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT OR AS AN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED EXERCISE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S PREFERENCE.

B-202370.OM, JAN 15, 1982

DIGEST: WHERE AN EMPLOYEE OF THE NAVY WHOSE JOB INVOLVES THE CARE AND TRAINING OF A DRUG DETECTION DOG TRANSPORTS THE DOG FROM HIS RESIDENCE TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION AND RETURNS EACH DAY, HE MAY NOT BE ALLOWED A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE SINCE MILEAGE FOR HOME TO OFFICE TRAVEL HAS BEEN ALLOWED ONLY WHEN EMPLOYEE DEVIATES FROM DIRECT ROUTE FOR OFFICIAL REASONS AND IN CERTAIN EMERGENCY SITUATIONS WHEN EMPLOYEES TAKE FELLOW WORKERS TO THE DUTY STATION.

THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL:

WE ARE FORWARDING THE CLAIM OF MR. RICHARD H. FOSTER FOR MILEAGE PAYMENT BETWEEN HIS HOME AND DUTY STATION FROM OCTOBER 1, 1972, THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 1979, WHILE EMPLOYED AS A CIVILIAN DRUG DETECTION DOG (DDD) HANDLER FOR THE U. S. NAVY AT THE NAVAL AIR STATION, ALAMEDA, CALIFORNIA.

THE CLAIMANT WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TRAINING, CARE AND MAINTENANCE OF THE DDD AT ALL TIMES. MR. FOSTER KEPT THE DDD AT HIS HOME, AS REQUIRED, AND TRANSPORTED IT TO AND FROM HIS DUTY STATION IN HIS PRIVATELY-OWNED VEHICLE (POV). TRANSPORTATION BY GOVERNMENT VEHICLE WAS NOT AVAILABLE.

IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT AN EMPLOYEE MUST BEAR THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN HIS RESIDENCE AND HIS PLACE OF DUTY AT HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION. 55 COMP.GEN. 1323 (1976). HOWEVER, THE UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES OF MR. FOSTER'S CLAIM MAKE UNCERTAIN A DETERMINATION OF HIS ENTITLEMENTS SINCE HIS TRAVEL APPEARS TO BE ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND THERE IS ADVANTAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT. ACCORDINGLY, THE MATTER IS FORWARDED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION AND INSTRUCTIONS. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT HUGH DELANEY, EXT. 53218.

INDORSEMENT

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, AFMD - CLAIMS GROUP (ROOM 5858)

RETURNED. PARAGRAPH 1-4.1A OF THE FEDERAL TRAVEL REGULATIONS (FPMR 101-7) (MAY 1973), PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO 5 U.S.C. 5704, AUTHORIZES THE PAYMENT OF MILEAGE TO AN EMPLOYEE FOR THE USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED MOTOR VEHICLE (POV) IN THE CONDUCT OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS WITHIN OR OUTSIDE HIS DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY OR PLACES OF SERVICE AND SUCH USE IS AUTHORIZED AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT OR AS AN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED EXERCISE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S PREFERENCE.

THE ESTABLISHED RULE IS THAT AN EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL BETWEEN HOME AND WORK IS NOT OFFICIAL BUSINESS. THUS AN EMPLOYEE NORMALLY MUST BEAR THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN HIS RESIDENCE AND HIS PLACE OF DUTY AT HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION. 55 COMP.GEN. 1323 (1976). AN EXCEPTION TO THE RULE HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED WHEN THERE IS A DEVIATION FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S USUAL ROUTE TO OR FROM HIS DUTY STATION IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONDUCT OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS. IN THESE CASES WE HAVE CONCLUDED THAT IT IS WITHIN AGENCY DISCRETION TO AUTHORIZE MILEAGE FOR TOTAL MILES TRAVELED OR TO PAY MILEAGE ONLY FOR ADDITIONAL MILEAGE MADE NECESSARY BY THE OFFICIAL BUSINESS. SEE 36 COMP.GEN. 795 (1957) AND 32 COMP.GEN. 235 (1952), B-158931, OCTOBER 15, 1970. IN THIS CASE, MR. FOSTER IS CLAIMING MILEAGE FROM HIS RESIDENCE TO HIS HEADQUARTERS AND AS SUCH IS NOT ENTITLED TO THE MILEAGE UNDER THIS EXCEPTION TO THE GENERAL RULE.

THE ONLY OTHER SITUATION IN WHICH MILEAGE HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED FOR HOME TO OFFICE TRAVEL INVOLVES EMERGENCIES WHEN CERTAIN EMPLOYEES TRANSPORT FELLOW EMPLOYEES TO WORK. B-158931, MAY 26, 1966, AND OCTOBER 15, 1970. IN THIS CASE THE EMPLOYEE, AS PART OF HIS JOB, IS REQUIRED TO CARE FOR THE DOG AT HIS HOME. NO EMERGENCY SITUATION IS INVOLVED, MERELY THE EMPLOYEE'S NORMAL TRAVEL TO WORK. THE FACT THAT MILEAGE HAS BEEN ALLOWED IN THOSE EMERGENCY SITUATIONS DOES NOT FURNISH A BASIS FOR PAYING MILEAGE IN THIS CASE.

ACCORDINGLY, THE CLAIM FOR MILEAGE SHOULD BE DENIED.