B-249433 August 6, 1992

B-249433: Aug 6, 1992

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Financial Officer is advised that there are no decisions. There is no authority to reimburse employees for use of unlicensed taxis at a mileage rate under 5 U.S.C. We are unable to issue you a decision on his matter. The following is presented for your information. As in the example you have provided. Nor are we aware of any federal statute or regulation providing guidance as to their use. Since the unlicensed taxi drivers are holding themselves out for hire as such it appears to us that. It is reasonable to continue your present practice of reimbursing your employees for the cost of the unlicensed taxis at a rate comparable to licensed taxis in the area. The general rule to be applied when an employee travels as a passenger in the privately-owned automobile of a nongovernment employee is to allow reimbursement to the employee of his actual expenses.

B-249433 August 6, 1992

Financial Officer is advised that there are no decisions, or federal statutory or regulatory authority pertaining to reimbursement for use of unlicensed taxis and that the agency's policy of reimbursing employees at a rate comparable to licensed taxis in the area appears reasonable. There is no authority to reimburse employees for use of unlicensed taxis at a mileage rate under 5 U.S.C. Sec. 57O4 (1988).

Ronald M. Scroggins Deputy Chief Financial Officer/Controller United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission Washington, D.C. 20555

Dear Mr. Scroggins:

We refer to your letter of July 1, 1992, in which you request clarification as to the appropriate reimbursement to be made to unlicensed taxi drivers currently being utilized by employees in the Region IV office of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Arlington, Texas.

This Office issues decisions to certifying and disbursing officers based on a specific voucher or request for payment, or based on a claim against the United States. 31 U.S.C. Secs. 3529, 3702 (1988). Therefore, we are unable to issue you a decision on his matter. However, the following is presented for your information.

This Office has not issued a decision concerning the use of unlicensed taxis, as in the example you have provided. Nor are we aware of any federal statute or regulation providing guidance as to their use. Since the unlicensed taxi drivers are holding themselves out for hire as such it appears to us that, in the absence of any statutory or regulatory prohibition, it is reasonable to continue your present practice of reimbursing your employees for the cost of the unlicensed taxis at a rate comparable to licensed taxis in the area.

As to your question pertaining to payment to the taxi drivers at a mileage rate, 5 U.S.C. Sec. 5704 (1988) provides for payments to an employee for the use of a privately owned automobile on official business at a mileage rate determined by the Administrator of General Services. However, the general rule to be applied when an employee travels as a passenger in the privately-owned automobile of a nongovernment employee is to allow reimbursement to the employee of his actual expenses, not to exceed the constructive cost of travel by the approved mode. Walter D. Felzke, B-191282, Sept. 29, 1978. There have been a few exceptions to this general rule, for example, we have allowed reimbursement at a mileage rate to an employee who borrowed his father's automobile and utilized it to perform temporary duty. Douglas D. Bolstad, B-204040, Apr. 6, 1982. See also, Linda A. Johnson, 60 Comp.Gen. 339 (1981) (reimbursement to an employee for mileage and parking fees when a friend drives the employee to the airport at the temporary duty station). We are not aware of any authority to reimburse an employee for use of an unlicensed taxi at a mileage rate, and, as stated above, we believe your present practice of reimbursement is proper.

If you still have any questions on this matter, you may wish to consult the Administrator, General Services Administration, who has the general authority under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. Sec. 5707 (1988) to issue regulations pertaining to travel.