B-212698, JAN 24, 1984

B-212698: Jan 24, 1984

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WAS NOTIFIED THAT HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION WAS CHANGED FROM FORT MCPHERSON. THE STATIONS ARE IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO EACH OTHER IN THE ATLANTA AREA. DETERMINED THAT EMPLOYEES INVOLVED IN THIS MOVE TO DUTY AT FORT GILLEM WERE NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSE FROM THEIR HOME TO OFFICE AT THEIR NEW LOCATION. WILLIAMS CONTENDS THAT HE HAS NOT RECEIVED ORDERS CHANGING HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION FROM FORT MCPHERSON TO FORT GILLEM AND THAT FORT GILLEM IS HIS ALTERNATE DUTY STATION FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL IS AUTHORIZED. THE NORMAL DUTY LOCATION FOR APPROXIMATELY 50 EMPLOYEES WAS CHANGED. THE CHANGE WAS TO BE IN EFFECT FOR A MINIMUM OF 1 YEAR. ONCE THE EMPLOYEES WERE NOTIFIED THAT THEIR DUTY LOCATION WAS OFFICIALLY CHANGED.

B-212698, JAN 24, 1984

DIGEST: AN ARMY EMPLOYEE MAY NOT BE PAID FOR COST OF TRAVEL BETWEEN HIS RESIDENCE AND HIS REGULAR PLACE OF WORK AT HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION ABSENT STATUTORY OR REGULATORY AUTHORITY.

JAMES H. WILLIAMS:

MR. JAMES H. WILLIAMS APPEALS OUR CLAIMS GROUP'S DENIAL OF HIS CLAIM FOR COST OF TRAVEL FROM HIS RESIDENCE TO HIS DUTY LOCATION. THE CLAIM MUST BE DISALLOWED SINCE AN EMPLOYEE MUST BEAR THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN HIS RESIDENCE AND PLACE OF DUTY AT HIS OFFICIAL STATION ABSENT STATUTORY OR REGULATORY AUTHORITY TO THE CONTRARY.

BY LETTER DATED JULY 8, 1982, MR. WILLIAMS, A UNITED STATES ARMY CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE, WAS NOTIFIED THAT HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION WAS CHANGED FROM FORT MCPHERSON, GEORGIA, TO FORT GILLEM, GEORGIA, FOR THE PERIOD JULY 23, 1982, THROUGH APPROXIMATELY JUNE 30, 1983, WITH A POSSIBILITY OF EXTENSION. THE STATIONS ARE IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO EACH OTHER IN THE ATLANTA AREA. ARMY PAMPHLET 210-1 DESCRIBES FORT GILLEM AS A SUBINSTALLATION OF FORT MCPHERSON 8 MILES AWAY. UPON INQUIRY FROM THE CIVILIAN PERSONNEL OFFICE, THE COMPTROLLER, FORT MCPHERSON, DETERMINED THAT EMPLOYEES INVOLVED IN THIS MOVE TO DUTY AT FORT GILLEM WERE NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSE FROM THEIR HOME TO OFFICE AT THEIR NEW LOCATION.

MR. WILLIAMS CONTENDS THAT HE HAS NOT RECEIVED ORDERS CHANGING HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION FROM FORT MCPHERSON TO FORT GILLEM AND THAT FORT GILLEM IS HIS ALTERNATE DUTY STATION FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL IS AUTHORIZED. HE CLAIMS A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE FOR HIS ROUND-TRIP COMMUTING EACH DAY BETWEEN HIS HOME IN SMYRNA, GEORGIA, AND FORT GILLEM.

IN THE PRESENT CASE, THE NORMAL DUTY LOCATION FOR APPROXIMATELY 50 EMPLOYEES WAS CHANGED. THE CHANGE WAS TO BE IN EFFECT FOR A MINIMUM OF 1 YEAR, WITH A POSSIBILITY OF EXTENSION OF AN ADDITIONAL 2-1/2 YEARS. ONCE THE EMPLOYEES WERE NOTIFIED THAT THEIR DUTY LOCATION WAS OFFICIALLY CHANGED, THE NEW LOCATION BECAME THEIR REGULAR PLACE OF WORK RATHER THAN AN ALTERNATE DUTY POINT AS CONTEMPLATED BY TRAVEL REGULATIONS. SINCE UNDER APPLICABLE REGULATIONS A CHANGE OF DUTY STATION TO A NEW STATION LESS THAN 10 MILES DISTANCE FROM THE OLD STATION DOES NOT ENTITLE THE EMPLOYEE TO RELOCATION EXPENSES, THE CHANGE IN DUTY LOCATION HERE INVOLVED DID NOT WARRANT RELOCATION OF MR. WILLIAMS' RESIDENCE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AND NO TRAVEL ORDERS WERE NECESSARY. SEE FEDERAL TRAVEL REGULATIONS (FPMR 101-7), PARA. 2-1.3; AND VOLUME 2, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PARA. C4108. THE LETTER OF NOTIFICATION BY THE ARMY WAS SUFFICIENT AUTHORITY TO CHANGE MR. WILLIAMS' OFFICIAL DUTY STATION.

THUS, MR. WILLIAMS' MILEAGE CLAIM IS FOR THE COST OF COMMUTING FROM HIS RESIDENCE TO HIS PLACE OF DUTY AT HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION.

THE ESTABLISHED RULE, AS STATED IN NUMEROUS DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE IS THAT AN EMPLOYEE MUST BEAR THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN HIS RESIDENCE AND HIS PLACE OF DUTY AT HIS OFFICIAL STATION ABSENT STATUTORY OR REGULATORY AUTHORITY TO THE CONTRARY. 55 COMP.GEN.1323, 1327 (1976); AND MATTER OF CLARK, B-190071, MAY 1, 1978.

ACCORDINGLY, THE CLAIMS GROUP'S DISALLOWANCE OF THE CLAIM IS SUSTAINED.