B-57411, MAY 20, 1946, 25 COMP. GEN. 781

B-57411: May 20, 1946

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1946: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 16. AS FOLLOWS: THERE IS TRANSMITTED HEREWITH FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION AND DECISION A TRAVEL VOUCHER FOR $1.50 IN FAVOR OF WILFRED S. ROBERTS OF $1.50 IN TAXICAB FARES WHICH WERE DISALLOWED BY THE NATIONAL OFFICE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE IN THEIR ADMINISTRATIVE EXAMINATION OF ACCOUNTS SUBMITTED FOR THE PERIOD OF OCTOBER ST TO 31ST. THE DISALLOWANCE WAS BASED ON YOUR DECISION CITED ON PAGE 315 OF VOLUME 20 OF THE DECISIONS OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES. THE STATEMENTS ON THE ATTACHED VOUCHER ARE SELF-EXPLANATORY AND GIVE THE FULL BACKGROUND OF THE DISALLOWANCE AND RECLAIM. ROBERTS ARE THAT HIS RESIDENCE OUTSIDE THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF HIS OFFICIAL STATION IS NOT VOLUNTARY ON HIS PART.

B-57411, MAY 20, 1946, 25 COMP. GEN. 781

TRAVELING EXPENSES - HOME TO DEPOT - TAXICAB FARES - EMPLOYEE RESIDING OUTSIDE LIMITS OF OFFICIAL STATION AN EMPLOYEE, IN CONNECTION WITH OFFICIAL TRAVEL, MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR TAXICAB FARES INCURRED BETWEEN HIS HOME AND THE RAIL TERMINAL SERVING HIS PLACE OF RESIDENCE LOCATED OUTSIDE HIS OFFICIAL STATION ( NEW YORK CITY), AND FOR TAXICAB FARES INCURRED BETWEEN THE RAIL TERMINALS ( GRAND ( GRAND CENTRAL AND PENNSYLVANIA STATIONS) WITHIN THE OFFICIAL STATION, NOT TO EXCEED THE AMOUNT OF THE ESTABLISHED MAXIMUM TAXICAB FARE BETWEEN THE RAIL TERMINAL AT HIS OFFICIAL STATION FROM WHICH HE DEPARTED ON OFFICIAL TRAVEL ( PENNSYLVANIA STATION) AND THE REMOTEST POINT THEREFROM IN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF SUCH OFFICIAL STATION.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO H. G. SUSSMAN, DEPARTMENT OF STATE, MAY 20, 1946:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 16, 1946, AS FOLLOWS:

THERE IS TRANSMITTED HEREWITH FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION AND DECISION A TRAVEL VOUCHER FOR $1.50 IN FAVOR OF WILFRED S. ROBERTS, ASSOCIATE CHIEF OF THE INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTING DIVISION OF THIS AGENCY.

THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER REPRESENTS A RECLAIM BY MR. ROBERTS OF $1.50 IN TAXICAB FARES WHICH WERE DISALLOWED BY THE NATIONAL OFFICE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE IN THEIR ADMINISTRATIVE EXAMINATION OF ACCOUNTS SUBMITTED FOR THE PERIOD OF OCTOBER ST TO 31ST, 1945, FOR THE INTERIM INTERNATIONAL INFORMATION SERVICE, INTER-AMERICAN AFFAIRS FUNCTIONS, DEPARTMENT OF STATE. THE DISALLOWANCE WAS BASED ON YOUR DECISION CITED ON PAGE 315 OF VOLUME 20 OF THE DECISIONS OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES. IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS DISALLOWANCE, MR. ROBERTS REFUNDED THE AMOUNTS FOR WHICH HE HAD BEEN REIMBURSED AND ALSO SUBMITTED THE ATTACHED RECLAIM FOR A DECISION.

THE STATEMENTS ON THE ATTACHED VOUCHER ARE SELF-EXPLANATORY AND GIVE THE FULL BACKGROUND OF THE DISALLOWANCE AND RECLAIM. THE MAIN ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY MR. ROBERTS ARE THAT HIS RESIDENCE OUTSIDE THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF HIS OFFICIAL STATION IS NOT VOLUNTARY ON HIS PART, BUT THE RESULT OF THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF OBTAINING SUITABLE LIVING QUARTERS WITHIN NEW YORK CITY, AND THAT THE TAXICAB FARES, AS CLAIMED, DO NOT EQUAL OR EXCEED WHAT THE ESTABLISHED FARE WOULD BE IF HE RESIDED AT SOME DISTANT POINT WITHIN NEW YORK CITY.

ON THE BASIS OF THE DATA AS SET FORTH IN THE ATTACHED DOCUMENTS, YOUR DECISION IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER MR. ROBERTS' VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

THE REFERRED-TO DECISION FORMING THE BASIS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXCEPTION HELD (QUOTING FROM PAGE 317):

AS A PRACTICAL MATTER, THE EMPLOYEE IS PERMITTED TO START HIS OFFICIAL TRIP FROM HIS HOME WHEN IT IS UNNECESSARY FOR HIM FIRST TO REPORT TO HIS OFFICE, BUT THERE IS NO INTENTION MANIFESTED BY THE REGULATION OR OTHERWISE TO REIMBURSE AN EMPLOYEE FOR THE EXCESS COST OF TRANSPORTATION FROM HIS HOME LOCATED OUTSIDE THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF HIS OFFICIAL STATION FOR THE DISTANCE TRAVELED OUTSIDE SUCH LIMITS. THIS IS A PERSONAL EXPENSE HE IS REQUIRED TO BEAR, WHETHER REPORTING TO HIS OFFICE, OR WHETHER BEGINNING OR ENDING AN OFFICIAL TRIP AWAY FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION. WHEN AS HERE, AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE ELECTS TO RESIDE AT A PLACE BEYOND THE CORPORATE BOUNDARIES OF HIS OFFICIAL STATION AND TO WHICH THE TAXICAB RATES ESTABLISHED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY FOR TRAVEL WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF THE OFFICIAL STATION ARE NOT APPLICABLE, NO SOUND REASON IS PERCEIVED WHY, BECAUSE OF THAT ELECTION, THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD BEAR THE COST OF TRAVEL FROM HIS HOME TO THE LIMITS OF HIS OFFICIAL STATION SIMPLY BECAUSE HE BEGINS AN OFFICIAL TRIP FROM HIS HOME--- SUCH COST IN THE USUAL COURSE OF BUSINESS BEING, AS HEREINBEFORE INDICATED, ONE REQUIRED TO BE BORNE BY HIM WHEN REPORTING TO HIS DUTY STATION AND THUS NOT BEING ONE CONSTITUTING ANY ADDITIONAL BURDEN UPON HIM WHEN HE BEGINS AN OFFICIAL TRIP FROM HOME. IN SUCH CASES THE AMOUNT TO BE REIMBURSED AS TAXICAB FARE CANNOT EXCEED THE MAXIMUM FARE USUALLY AND LAWFULLY CHARGEABLE TO OR FROM A POINT WITHIN THE MUNICIPALITY IN WHICH THE EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION IS LOCATED.

IN SUPPORT OF HIS RECLAIM THE CLAIMANT SUBMITS THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT:

IT IS POINTED OUT THAT RESIDENCE BY THE TRAVELER OUTSIDE THE LIMITS OF HIS OFFICIAL STATION IS NOT ENTIRELY VOLUNTARY, BUT IS RATHER DUE TO THE IMPOSSIBILITY, AT THE PRESENT TIME, OF OBTAINING SUITABLE LIVING QUARTERS WITHIN HIS OFFICIAL STATION. THE ADDITIONAL TAXICAB FARE IS, THEREFORE, NOT AN ADDITIONAL EXPENSE TO THE GOVT. BECAUSE OF THE ELECTION OF THE TRAVELER, BUT A NECESSARY CHARGE OCCASIONED BY THE EXIGENCIES OF THE PRESENT HOUSING CONDITIONS. IN THIS CONNECTION, IT SHOULD ALSO BE NOTED THAT THE CHARGE FOR BOTH TAXI FARES IS STILL LESS THAN A SINGLE FARE FOR A TRAVELER WHO, WHILE RESIDING WITHIN THE LIMITS OF NEW YORK CITY LIVES AT A REMOTE POINT IN ONE OF THE BOROUGHS.

THE CHARGE FOR TAXI IS ONE CREATED OVER AND ABOVE THE NORMAL EXPENDITURE FOR TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN THESE POINTS BY REASON OF THE FACT THAT OFFICIAL TRAVEL REQUIRES THE TRAVELER TO CARRY BAGGAGE AND OFFICIAL PAPERS WHICH ARE IMPRACTICABLE TO CARRY ON FOOT. THIS TYPE OF EXPENDITURE, THEREFORE, APPEARS TO BE ONE OUT OF THE ORDINARY AND FOR THAT REASON, RECLAIM FOR THIS TAXI SERVICE IS SUBMITTED FOR CONSIDERATION.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS OF WILFRED S. ROBERTS IS NEW YORK CITY AND THAT HIS RESIDENCE IS LOCATED AT MAMARONECK, NEW YORK, WHICH IS OUTSIDE THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF HIS OFFICIAL STATION. IT APPEARS THAT DURING THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 11 TO 18, 1945, THE EMPLOYEE MADE TWO OFFICIAL TRIPS BETWEEN HIS RESIDENCE AND WASHINGTON, D.C., VIA HIS OFFICIAL STATION, AND THAT ON EACH TRIP HE USED A TAXI FROM HIS RESIDENCE TO THE RAILWAY STATION AT MAMARONECK. FURTHERMORE, IT APPEARS THAT IN EACH INSTANCE UPON ARRIVING AT GRAND CENTRAL STATION, HAVING TRAVELED AT HIS OWN EXPENSE BY TRAIN FROM MAMARONECK TO NEW YORK CITY, HE PROCEEDED BY TAXI TO PENNSYLVANIA STATION, AND THENCE BY PENNSYLVANIA RAILWAY TO HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION, WASHINGTON, D.C. ON THE RETURN TRIPS THE IDENTICAL MODES OF TRANSPORTATION APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN USED, AND BETWEEN THE SAME POINTS, EXCEPT THAT THERE IS NO SHOWING AS TO THE USE OF A TAXI BETWEEN PENNSYLVANIA STATION AND GRAND CENTRAL STATION ON SEPTEMBER 13, 1945.

PARAGRAPHS 3, 8, AND 11 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AS AMENDED, PROVIDE, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

3. OFFICIAL STATION--- POST OF DUTY.--- DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY AND OFFICIAL STATION MEAN ONE AND THE SAME, THE LIMITS OF WHICH WILL BE THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE CITY OR TOWN IN WHICH THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IS STATIONED * * *.

8. DEFINITION.--- TRANSPORTATION INCLUDES ALL NECESSARY OFFICIAL TRAVEL ON RAILROADS, AIR LINES, STEAMBOATS, STREETCARS, TAXICABS, AND OTHER USUAL MEANS OF CONVEYANCE.

(A) THE USUAL TAXICAB FARES FROM STATION, WHARF, OR OTHER TERMINAL TO EITHER PLACE OF ABODE OR PLACE OF BUSINESS, AND FROM EITHER PLACE OF ABODE OR PLACE OF BUSINESS TO STATION, WHARF, OR OTHER TERMINAL WILL BE ALLOWED. ( SEE PAR. 11).

11. SPECIAL CONVEYANCES.--- THE HIRE OF BOAT, AUTOMOBILE, AIRCRAFT, LIVERY, OR OTHER SPECIAL CONVEYANCE WILL BE ALLOWED ONLY WHEN NO PUBLIC OR REGULAR MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION ARE AVAILABLE OR WHEN SUCH REGULAR MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION CANNOT BE USED ADVANTAGEOUSLY IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT, IN WHICH CASE A SATISFACTORY EXPLANATION MUST ACCOMPANY THE ACCOUNT. (SEE PAR. 83 (E) (.

IN CASES WHERE AN EMPLOYEE IS DIRECTED TO TRAVEL TO A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION, THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS CONTEMPLATE OFFICIAL TRAVEL ONLY FROM AND RETURN TO THE EMPLOYEE'S HEADQUARTERS, AS DEFINED IN THE REGULATIONS, AND IF THE EMPLOYEE RESIDES BEYOND THE OFFICIAL LIMITS OF HIS STATION, HE MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED FOR TAXICAB FARES BETWEEN HIS HOME AND THE RAILROAD STATION OR OTHER TERMINAL AT THE PLACE OF HIS RESIDENCE IN A SUM IN EXCESS OF THE REGULARLY ESTABLISHED TAXICAB FARES WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED BETWEEN THE STATION OR OTHER TERMINAL AT HIS HEADQUARTERS AND THE REMOTEST POINT THEREFROM IN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF HIS OFFICIAL STATION. THE MERE FACT THAT AN EMPLOYEE'S PLACE OF RESIDENCE IS INVOLUNTARILY OUTSIDE THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF OFFICIAL STATION--- BEING DUE IN THE PRESENT INSTANCE, ACCORDING TO THE CLAIMANT TO THE IMPOSSIBILITY UNDER EXISTING CONDITIONS OF OBTAINING LIVING QUARTERS AT HIS HEADQUARTERS--- MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED AS SUFFICIENT TO WARRANT A DEPARTURE FROM THE ABOVE-STATED RULE, WHICH IS BASED ON THE APPLICABLE PROVISIONS OF THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AS INTERPRETED BY THIS OFFICE. 20 COMP. GEN. 315, SUPRA.

WHERE, AS HERE, AN EMPLOYEE IN DEPARTING FROM AND RETURNING TO NEW YORK CITY (OFFICIAL STATION) IN CONNECTION WITH OFFICIAL TRAVEL, INCURS TAXICAB FARES BETWEEN GRAND CENTRAL AND PENNSYLVANIA STATIONS, DUE AT LEAST IN PART TO THE BURDEN OF BAGGAGE AND OFFICIAL PAPERS, WHICH EXPENSE IS IN ADDITION TO THE TAXICAB FARES INCURRED AT HIS PLACE OF RESIDENCE (OUTSIDE OF HIS OFFICIAL STATION), PAYMENT MAY BE MADE FOR THE TAX FARES INCURRED BETWEEN HIS HOME AND THE STATION AT PLACE OF RESIDENCE, AND ALSO FOR THOSE INCURRED BETWEEN GRAND CENTRAL AND PENNSYLVANIA STATION IN A TOTAL AMOUNT (COMBINED FARES), NOT IN EXCESS OF THE REGULARLY ESTABLISHED TAXICAB FARES WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED BETWEEN THE RAILWAY STATION ( PENNSYLVANIA STATION IN THIS INSTANCE) AT HIS OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS AND THE REMOTEST POINT THEREFROM IN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE OFFICIAL DUTY STATION OF THE EMPLOYEE.

CERTIFICATION OF THE RECLAIM VOUCHER SHOULD BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING.