B-239872, Sep 25, 1990

B-239872: Sep 25, 1990

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Which was driven by his brother in-law to transport personal belongings. As originally planned when authorization was issued. Neither is the mileage allowance payable for transportation of the vehicle itself. Was based on the limited size of the vehicles and the need to transport himself. The issue presented is whether Mr. Which was driven by his brother-in-law. The answer is no. /1/ Paragraph 2-2.3 of the Federal Travel Regulations (FTR) /2/ authorizes the use of a privately owned automobile as advantageous to the government for permanent change of station travel and prescribes mileage allowances for employee and members of his or her "immediate family" for such travel. Not more than one automobile is authorized for such travel.

B-239872, Sep 25, 1990

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - Relocation - Travel expenses - Privately-owned vehicles - Multiple vehicles - Mileage DIGEST: An agency that authorized an employee to use two privately-owned vehicles in connection with his transfer may not reimburse the employee mileage for use of the second vehicle, which was driven by his brother in-law to transport personal belongings, when the employee's wife traveled by air at the advice of her physician, instead of driving the second vehicle, as originally planned when authorization was issued. Applicable regulations authorize the mileage allowance for travel of a member of the employee's "immediate family," and the brother-in-law did not qualify. Neither is the mileage allowance payable for transportation of the vehicle itself.

Robin S. Vora - Relocation Travel:

Mr. Robin S. Vora's authorization to use two privately-owned automobiles in connection with a transfer from Georgia to Wisconsin, in 1988, was based on the limited size of the vehicles and the need to transport himself, and his wife and personal items (including infant care articles) necessary for a stay in temporary quarters. His wife, however, because of a physician's advice not to travel by automobile due to her advanced stage of pregnancy, traveled by air at government expense instead of driving the second vehicle, as originally planned. The issue presented is whether Mr. Vora may be reimbursed mileage on the second car, which was driven by his brother-in-law. The answer is no. /1/

Paragraph 2-2.3 of the Federal Travel Regulations (FTR) /2/ authorizes the use of a privately owned automobile as advantageous to the government for permanent change of station travel and prescribes mileage allowances for employee and members of his or her "immediate family" for such travel. Not more than one automobile is authorized for such travel, except under specified special circumstances. FTR para. 2-2.3e. Apparently the use of the second automobile in Mr. Vora's case was authorized under one of these special circumstances.

When Mrs. Vora elected to travel by air, her transportation was furnished by the government via that mode. While the brother-in-law drove the second car, he did not qualify as a member of the immediate family and the mileage allowance is not payable on his behalf. /3/ The mileage allowance is payable for the travel of an authorized individual and not for the transportation of his automobile. Thomas R. Stover, B-224092, March 23, 1987.

The fact that Mr. Vora's travel order erroneously continued to include authorization for a mileage allowance for the second automobile, after it was changed to authorize Mrs. Vora's travel by air, does not provide a basis to pay such an allowance contrary to law and regulation. See Fuller C. Jones, B-224660, March 14, 1988; and Aaron Lebowitz, B-233806, Nov. 16, 1989.

Accordingly, payment of a mileage allowance for use of the second vehicle may not be allowed.

/1/ The matter was referred here by an authorized certifying officer of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, New Orleans, Louisiana.

/2/ Incorp. by ref., 41 C.F.R. 101-7.003 (1989).

/3/ Although an employee's brother-in-law, who is being supported by the employee is included in the definition of"immediate family," FTR, para. 2- 1.4d(1)(d), there is no indication that Mr. Vora supported his brother-in- law, who drove the second vehicle. Mr. Vora's travel order stated that his immediate family consisted of his spouse, Irene Vora.