B-46655, APRIL 20, 1945, 24 COMP. GEN. 763

B-46655: Apr 20, 1945

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - NAVAL PERSONNEL - TAXICAB FARES BETWEEN HOME AND RAIL OR AIR TERMINAL REIMBURSEMENT TO NAVAL OFFICERS FOR TAXICAB FARES BETWEEN THEIR HOMES AND THE RAIL OR AIR TERMINAL SERVING THE AREA IN WHICH THEY ARE STATIONED IS AUTHORIZED ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT THE FARES DO NOT EXCEED THE MAXIMUM FARES USUALLY CHARGED BETWEEN THE RAIL OR AIR TERMINAL AND ANY POINT WITHIN THE ESTABLISHED BOUNDARIES OF THE OFFICIAL STATION. AREAS CONTIGUOUS THERETO IN WHICH ARE LOCATED NAVAL INSTALLATIONS NORMALLY OPERATING IN CLOSE CONJUNCTION WITH OFFICES IN WASHINGTON. AS FOLLOWS: THERE IS ENCLOSED HEREWITH A LETTER FROM LIEUTENANT W. IT WAS HELD (SYLLABUS): "AN EMPLOYEE WITH OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS IN WASHINGTON.

B-46655, APRIL 20, 1945, 24 COMP. GEN. 763

TRAVELING EXPENSES - NAVAL PERSONNEL - TAXICAB FARES BETWEEN HOME AND RAIL OR AIR TERMINAL REIMBURSEMENT TO NAVAL OFFICERS FOR TAXICAB FARES BETWEEN THEIR HOMES AND THE RAIL OR AIR TERMINAL SERVING THE AREA IN WHICH THEY ARE STATIONED IS AUTHORIZED ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT THE FARES DO NOT EXCEED THE MAXIMUM FARES USUALLY CHARGED BETWEEN THE RAIL OR AIR TERMINAL AND ANY POINT WITHIN THE ESTABLISHED BOUNDARIES OF THE OFFICIAL STATION; HOWEVER, REASONABLE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS DEFINING THE BOUNDARIES OF AN OFFICIAL STATION FOR SUCH PURPOSES--- NOT NECESSARILY LIMITED TO THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE CITY OR TOWN IN WHICH STATIONED--- WOULD NOT BE OBJECTIONABLE. 20 COMP. GEN. 315, AMPLIFIED. ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS MAY DEFINE THE BOUNDARIES OF THE OFFICIAL STATION OF NAVAL PERSONNEL STATIONED IN WASHINGTON, D.C., AT THE ARLINGTON ANNEX, ARLINGTON COUNTY, VIRGINIA, OR AT THE NAVAL MEDICAL CENTER, BETHESDA, MARYLAND, FOR THE PURPOSE OF REIMBURSEMENT OF TAXICAB FARES INCURRED FOR TRAVEL BETWEEN HOME AND THE RAIL OR AIR TERMINAL, TO INCLUDE, IN ADDITION TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AREAS CONTIGUOUS THERETO IN WHICH ARE LOCATED NAVAL INSTALLATIONS NORMALLY OPERATING IN CLOSE CONJUNCTION WITH OFFICES IN WASHINGTON.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, APRIL 20, 1945:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 30, 1944, AS FOLLOWS:

THERE IS ENCLOSED HEREWITH A LETTER FROM LIEUTENANT W. T. JESSUP, USNR, NAVAL RESEARCH LABORATORY, ANACOSTIA STATION, WASHINGTON 20, D.C., WITH ENCLOSURES AND ACCOMPANYING ENDORSEMENTS, RELATIVE TO THE QUESTION OF REIMBURSEMENT FOR TAXICAB FARES PAID BY THIS OFFICER INCIDENT TO OFFICIAL TRAVEL FROM UNION STATION, WASHINGTON, D.C., TO HIS HOME IN ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA.

IN YOUR DECISION TO THE CHAIRMAN, UNITED STATES MARITIME COMMISSION, DECEMBER 16, 1940 (20 COMP. GEN. 315), ON A SIMILAR QUESTION, IT WAS HELD (SYLLABUS):

"AN EMPLOYEE WITH OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS IN WASHINGTON, D.C., WHO RESIDES OUTSIDE THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT ONLY FOR SUCH PART OF THE TAXICAB FARE AT THE BEGINNING OR END OF AN OFFICIAL TRIP, FROM, OR TO, HIS PLACE OF ABODE, TO, OR FROM, UNION STATION, WASHINGTON, D.C., AS EQUALS THE ESTABLISHED MAXIMUM TAXICAB FARE BETWEEN ANY POINT IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THE UNION STATION, BUT SUCH AN EMPLOYEE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL BY AIR MAY BE REIMBURSED NOT TO EXCEED THE HIGHER MAXIMUM TAXICAB FARE ESTABLISHED FOR TRIPS BETWEEN POINTS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THE WASHINGTON AIRPORT.'

SINCE IT APPEARS THAT THE ABOVE CITED DECISION IS BASED TO A LARGE EXTENT ON THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, APPLICABLE ONLY TO CIVILIAN PERSONNEL, THE NAVY DEPARTMENT IS IN DOUBT AS TO WHETHER SUCH DECISION HAS ANY APPLICATION TO TRAVEL BY NAVAL PERSONNEL.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE, YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO THE PROPER BASIS FOR ALLOWING TAXICAB FARES BETWEEN HOME AND UNION STATION INCIDENT TO OFFICIAL TRAVEL OF NAVAL PERSONNEL STATIONED IN WASHINGTON BUT LIVING OUTSIDE THE CORPORATE LIMITS THEREOF.

IN THE EVENT IT IS HELD THAT YOUR DECISION OF DECEMBER 16, 1940 (20COMP. GEN. 315) IS CONTROLLING IN THIS MATTER, YOUR FURTHER DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO THE APPLICATION OF THE CITED DECISION TO NAVAL PERSONNEL ON DUTY AT THE ARLINGTON ANNEX OR THE NATIONAL NAVAL MEDICAL CENTER WHO RESIDE IN ARLINGTON AND BETHESDA, RESPECTIVELY.

THE DECISION OF DECEMBER 16, 1940, 20 COMP. GEN. 215, TO WHICH YOU REFER, CONSIDERED THE RIGHT OF A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT STATIONED IN WASHINGTON, D.C., BUT RESIDING OUTSIDE THE LIMITS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, TO REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED FOR TAXICAB HIRE BETWEEN THE UNION STATION AT WASHINGTON AND HIS HOME INCIDENT TO THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL TRAVEL. IN THE COURSE OF THAT DECISION IT WAS POINTED OUT THAT AN OFFICIAL TRIP IS PRESUMED TO START FROM AND END AT THE EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION AND THAT IF HE ELECTS TO RESIDE BEYOND THE LIMITS OF THE AREA COMPRISING HIS OFFICIAL STATION, HE MUST BEAR THE EXCESS TRANSPORTATION COSTS OCCASIONED BY SUCH ELECTION. HENCE, THE CONCLUSION LIMITING REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES OF TAXICAB HIRE INCURRED IN THE CASE THEREIN CONSIDERED TO THE MAXIMUM ESTABLISHED FARE BETWEEN A POINT IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THE RAIL TERMINAL SERVING WASHINGTON, D.C. WAS REQUIRED IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS IN THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS DEFINING THE LIMITATIONS OF AN EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION OR POST OF DUTY TO BE THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE CITY OR TOWN IN WHICH HE IS STATIONED. THE QUESTION NOW PRESENTED IS WHETHER THAT DECISION IS FOR APPLICATION IN CONNECTION WITH THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL TRAVEL BY NAVAL PERSONNEL--- NOT CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES--- STATIONED IN WASHINGTON, D.C.; AT THE ARLINGTON ANNEX, ARLINGTON COUNTY, VIRGINIA; OR AT THE NAVAL MEDICAL CENTER, BETHESDA, MARYLAND.

WHILE THE CONCLUSION IN THE DECISION OF DECEMBER 16, 1940, WAS BASED UPON A CONSIDERATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF REGULATIONS GOVERNING CIVILIAN TRAVEL AND, THEREFORE, IS NOT NECESSARILY APPLICABLE TO NAVAL PERSONNEL, THE UNDERLYING PRINCIPLE STATED THEREIN THAT OFFICIAL TRAVEL COMMENCES AND ENDS AT THE TRAVELER'S STATION OR POST OF DUTY AND THAT THE GOVERNMENT'S OBLIGATION TO FURNISH TRANSPORTATION INCIDENT TO THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL TRAVEL EXTENDS NO FURTHER THAN FROM AND TO THAT STATION, IS APPLICABLE TO BOTH MILITARY AND CIVILIAN PERSONNEL. CONSEQUENTLY, EXPENSES INCURRED BY NAVAL PERSONNEL FOR TAXICAB OR OTHER PUBLIC CONVEYANCE FARES IN EXCESS OF THOSE NECESSARY IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL TO AND FROM THEIR OFFICIAL STATION ARE A PERSONAL OBLIGATION NOT CHARGEABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT.

HOWEVER, AS INDICATED ABOVE, THE LIMITATION WITH RESPECT TO REIMBURSEMENT TO A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE FOR TAXICAB FARES INCURRED INCIDENT TO THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL TRAVEL IS BASED UPON REGULATIONS DEFINING THE BOUNDARIES OF HIS OFFICIAL STATION. WHILE THAT DEFINITION IS NOT APPLICABLE TO NAVAL PERSONNEL, IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT OFFICERS HAVE BEEN REIMBURSED FOR TAXICAB FARES ON THE BASIS THEREOF AND THAT NO COMPARABLE REGULATIONS APPLICABLE TO NAVAL PERSONNEL HAVE BEEN PROMULGATED. OBJECTION IS PERCEIVED TO SUCH ADMINISTRATIVE ADOPTION OF THAT DEFINITION. HOWEVER, IN THE ABSENCE OF A STATUTORY PROVISION TO THE CONTRARY, A DETERMINATION AS TO WHAT CONSTITUTES AN OFFICER'S STATION OR POST OF DUTY FOR THE PURPOSES HEREIN CONSIDERED WOULD APPEAR TO BE A MATTER PRIMARILY FOR ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION RATHER THAN FOR DETERMINATION BY THIS OFFICE AND, THEREFORE, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT IT IS CONSIDERED THAT REIMBURSEMENT TO NAVAL OFFICERS FOR EXPENSES INCURRED FOR TAXICAB HIRE BETWEEN THEIR HOMES AND THE RAIL OR AIR TERMINAL SERVING THE AREA IN WHICH THEY ARE STATIONED IS AUTHORIZED--- IN OTHERWISE PROPER CASES--- ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT THEY DO NOT EXCEED THE MAXIMUM FARES USUALLY CHARGED BETWEEN THE RAIL OR AIR TERMINAL AND ANY POINT WITHIN THE ESTABLISHED BOUNDARIES OF THEIR POST OF DUTY, BUT THAT THIS OFFICE WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO REASONABLE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS DEFINING THE BOUNDARIES OF AN OFFICIAL STATION FOR SUCH PURPOSES. IT IS A MATTER OF COMMON KNOWLEDGE THAT THE VARIOUS ACTIVITIES NORMALLY MAINTAINED BY THE NAVY DEPARTMENT AT WASHINGTON, D.C., HAVE BEEN EXPANDED AND AUGMENTED BY REASON OF WARTIME CONDITIONS, NECESSITATING THE ESTABLISHMENT IN THE NEARBY AREAS OF MARYLAND AND VIRGINIA OF NAVAL INSTALLATIONS WHICH, THOUGH LYING BEYOND THE BOUNDARIES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, ARE FUNCTIONALLY A PART OF THE NAVAL ESTABLISHMENT CENTERED IN WASHINGTON, D.C. ACCORDINGLY, IT WOULD APPEAR REASONABLE TO INCLUDE WITHIN THE AREA CONSTITUTING THE OFFICIAL STATION OF NAVAL PERSONNEL STATIONED IN WASHINGTON; AT THE ARLINGTON ANNEX; OR AT THE NAVAL MEDICAL CENTER AT BETHESDA--- IN ADDITION TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA--- AREAS CONTIGUOUS THERETO IN WHICH NAVAL INSTALLATIONS NORMALLY OPERATING IN CLOSE CONJUNCTION WITH OFFICES IN WASHINGTON, D.C., ARE LOCATED. YOUR QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.