B-59521, OCTOBER 31, 1946, 26 COMP. GEN. 286

B-59521: Oct 31, 1946

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PARAGRAPH 12 (A) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS "IN LIEU OF ACTUAL EXPENSES. GARAGE RENT WHICH IS REIMBURSABLE UNDER SAID REGULATIONS WHEN THE USE OF AN AUTOMOBILE IS AUTHORIZED ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS. IT MUST APPEAR THAT THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF STORAGE IS PROTECTION OF THE PROPERTY. THAT THE PROPERTY IS OF SUFFICIENT WEIGHT AND VALUE TO WARRANT STORAGE IN SUCH A MANNER. THAT NO GOVERNMENT STORAGE FACILITIES ARE AVAILABLE OR CONVENIENT. RESPECTING THE ALLOWABILITY OF DAILY TRAVEL COSTS BETWEEN PLACE OF LODGING AND PLACE OF TEMPORARY DUTY WHERE SUCH TRAVEL IS NOT MADE BY THE PUBLIC GENERALLY FOR THAT PURPOSE. MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE OR PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION COSTS ARE NOT PAYABLE TO AN EMPLOYEE FOR DAILY TRAVEL BETWEEN HIS LODGINGS IN BOSTON.

B-59521, OCTOBER 31, 1946, 26 COMP. GEN. 286

TRAVELING EXPENSES - TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON MILEAGE BASIS; GARAGE RENT; STORAGE CHARGES; TRAVEL BETWEEN PLACE OF LODGING AND TEMPORARY DUTY STATION SINCE THE MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID PURSUANT TO THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, AS AMENDED, AND PARAGRAPH 12 (A) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS "IN LIEU OF ACTUAL EXPENSES," AND EMPLOYEE TRAVELING BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON A MILEAGE BASIS MAY NOT BE PAID, IN ADDITION THERETO, GARAGE RENT WHICH IS REIMBURSABLE UNDER SAID REGULATIONS WHEN THE USE OF AN AUTOMOBILE IS AUTHORIZED ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS. IN ORDER THAT, PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY OF PARAGRAPH 75 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF CHARGES FOR STORAGE OF PROPERTY USED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS, AN EMPLOYEE TRAVELING BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON A MILEAGE BASIS MAY BE REIMBURSED STORAGE CHARGES ON THE AUTOMOBILE ON THE BASIS THAT IT CONTAINS GOVERNMENT PROPERTY USED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS, IT MUST APPEAR THAT THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF STORAGE IS PROTECTION OF THE PROPERTY--- THE AUTOMOBILE BEING MERELY INCIDENTAL THERETO; THAT THE PROPERTY IS OF SUFFICIENT WEIGHT AND VALUE TO WARRANT STORAGE IN SUCH A MANNER; AND THAT NO GOVERNMENT STORAGE FACILITIES ARE AVAILABLE OR CONVENIENT. IN CONSONANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 8 (B) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, RESPECTING THE ALLOWABILITY OF DAILY TRAVEL COSTS BETWEEN PLACE OF LODGING AND PLACE OF TEMPORARY DUTY WHERE SUCH TRAVEL IS NOT MADE BY THE PUBLIC GENERALLY FOR THAT PURPOSE, MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE OR PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION COSTS ARE NOT PAYABLE TO AN EMPLOYEE FOR DAILY TRAVEL BETWEEN HIS LODGINGS IN BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, AND PLACE OF TEMPORARY DUTY IN SOUTH BOSTON, IT BEING EVIDENT THAT SUCH TRAVEL IS NOTHING MORE THAN THAT PERFORMED DAILY BY PERSONS EMPLOYED AT SOUTH BOSTON BUT RESIDING IN OTHER BOSTON AREAS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO D. O. FULLER, U.S. NAVAL RESERVE, OCTOBER 31, 1946:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 4, 1946, FILE REFERENCE L20-3 (673), SUBMITTING FOR DECISION SUPPLEMENTAL CLAIM IN FAVOR OF HAROLD W. ARMITSTEAD, COVERING EXPENDITURES INCURRED IN THE SUM OF $11 FOR STORAGE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FROM MAY 14 TO 24, 1946 (11 NIGHTS AT $1 PER NIGHT), WHICH AMOUNT WAS DEDUCTED FROM HIS ORIGINAL REIMBURSEMENT VOUCHER FOR THE REASON THAT SAID STORAGE WAS "NOT REIMBURSABLE.'

IT IS DISCLOSED BY THE RECORD THAT MR. ARMITSTEAD WAS AUTHORIZED BY TRAVEL ORDER DATED MAY 14, 1946, TO PROCEED FROM HIS OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS AT SANDS POINT, NEW YORK, TO BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE, IT HAVING BEEN DETERMINED THAT SUCH TRAVEL WAS MORE ECONOMICAL AND ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE UNITED STATES IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 12 (A) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

THE SUPPLEMENTAL VOUCHER, CERTIFIED BY THE CLAIMANT AND AN AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT:

FOR THE SUCCESSFUL ACCOMPLISHMENT OF MY DUTY IN BOSTON, MASS., IT WAS NECESSARY THAT I CARRY GOVERNMENT EQUIPMENT, CONSISTING OF TOOLS, WEIGHING APPROXIMATELY 125 POUNDS. WHEN NOT IN USE TOOLS WERE KEPT IN MY PRIVATE CAR, TOGETHER WITH RESTRICTED AND CONFIDENTIAL MANUALS. FOR SECURITY PURPOSES, IT WAS ESSENTIAL THAT THE CAR BE STORED IN A SAFE PLACE.

THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 73A, AND PARAGRAPH 12 (A) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROMULGATED THEREUNDER, PROVIDE THAT AN EMPLOYEE MAY BE PAID MILEAGE FOR USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE "IN LIEU OF ACTUAL EXPENSES.' PARAGRAPH 12 OF THE REGULATIONS SPECIFICALLY LISTS GARAGE RENT AS ONE OF THE ITEMS FOR WHICH AN EMPLOYEE MAY BE REIMBURSED WHEN THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE IS AUTHORIZED UPON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS, AS DISTINGUISHED FROM A MILEAGE BASIS. THEREFORE, IT IS CLEAR THAT AN EMPLOYEE MAY NOT BE PAID BOTH MILEAGE AND GARAGE RENT BUT THAT THE MILEAGE IS IN LIEU OF EXPENSES ORDINARILY INCURRED IN THE USE OF AN AUTOMOBILE (INCLUDING GARAGE RENT) FOR WHICH AN EMPLOYEE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT UPON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS. SEE 2 COMP. GEN. 809; 21 ID. 507, AT PAGE 510; AND THE RECENT AMENDMENT TO THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, SUPRA, CONTAINED IN PUBLIC LAW 600, 79TH CONGRESS, 2D SESSION, APPROVED AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 807, WHICH SPECIFICALLY PROVIDES FOR PAYMENT OF CERTAIN ITEMS IN ADDITION TO MILEAGE, NOT HERETOFORE ALLOWABLE, BUT NOT INCLUDING STORAGE CHARGES FOR AUTOMOBILES.

WITH REFERENCE TO THE STATEMENT THAT THE CAR WAS STORED TO PROTECT GOVERNMENT PROPERTY, THERE REMAINS FOR CONSIDERATION ANOTHER PORTION OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, NAMELY, PARAGRAPH 75, WHICH AUTHORIZES REIMBURSEMENT FOR STORAGE OF PROPERTY USED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS. TO QUALIFY FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR STORAGE OF AN AUTOMOBILE UNDER THAT PARAGRAPH, IT MUST CLEARLY APPEAR THAT THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE STORAGE WAS THE PROTECTION OF THE PROPERTY BEING USED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS, THE AUTOMOBILE BEING MERELY INCIDENTAL THERETO, AND THAT THE PROPERTY WAS OF SUFFICIENT WEIGHT AND VALUE TO WARRANT STORAGE IN SUCH A MANNER. ALSO, THERE SHOULD BE A SHOWING THAT NO GOVERNMENT FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE OR CONVENIENT FOR THE STORAGE.

WHILE IN THE INSTANT CASE STORAGE OF THE PROPERTY CONSISTING OF TOOLS, WEIGHING APPROXIMATELY 125 POUNDS, AND DOUBTLESS OF CONSIDERABLE VALUE, MIGHT BE WARRANTED UNDER CONDITIONS WHERE IT WAS NECESSARY THAT THE PROPERTY BE TRANSPORTED TO VARIOUS LOCALITIES FOR USE DURING A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME, THERE HAVE BEEN ADVANCED NO REASONABLE GROUNDS AS TO WHY THE PROPERTY COULD NOT HAVE BEEN STORED EITHER AT THE SOUTH BOSTON NAVAL DRY DOCK OR ON BOARD THE VESSEL WHERE THE CLAIMANT'S DUTIES WERE PERFORMED FOR A PERIOD OF APPROXIMATELY 11 DAYS, IT APPEARING THAT SUCH AN ARRANGEMENT WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE CONVENIENT AND OBVIOUSLY MORE ECONOMICAL FOR ALL CONCERNED.

ACCORDINGLY, ON THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT RECORD, PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER IS NOT AUTHORIZED, WHICH VOUCHER WILL BE RETAINED IN THE FILES OF THIS OFFICE.

IT IS NOTED FROM THE PAPERS SUBMITTED THAT THE CLAIMANT HAS BEEN PAID MILEAGE WHICH INCLUDES DAILY TRIPS BETWEEN PLACE OF LODGING AND THE SOUTH BOSTON NAVAL DRY DOCK. IN THAT CONNECTION, PARAGRAPH 8 (B) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

WHERE THE NATURE AND LOCATION OF THE WORK WHERE TEMPORARILY STATIONED ARE SUCH THAT MEALS AND LODGING CANNOT BE PROCURED THERE, AND THE DAILY TRAVEL REQUIRED TO PROCURE SUBSISTENCE AT THE NEAREST AVAILABLE PLACE IS NOT SUCH AS MADE BY THE PUBLIC GENERALLY FOR THAT PURPOSE, NOR PERFORMED FOR THE PERSONAL CONVENIENCE OF THE TRAVELER, THE EXPENSE THEREOF WILL BE CONSIDERED AS NECESSARY TRANSPORTATION NOT INCIDENTAL TO SUBSISTENCE. FULL STATEMENT OF THE NECESSITY FOR SUCH DAILY TRAVEL SHOULD ACCOMPANY THE EXPENSE ACCOUNT.

THE APPLICATION OF THAT REGULATION, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES HERE INVOLVED, PRECLUDES PAYMENT OF MILEAGE OR PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION COSTS INCURRED IN REPORTING FOR WORK IN THE MORNING AND RETURNING TO PLACE OF LODGING IN THE EVENING--- THERE DOUBTLESS BEING NUMEROUS PERSONS EMPLOYED IN SOUTH BOSTON, BUT RESIDING IN OTHER BOSTON AREAS, WHO GO BACK AND FORTH TO THEIR WORK EACH DAY. SEE 11 COMP. GEN. 126; B-40834, MARCH 28, 1944; CF. 16 COMP. GEN. 562; 17 ID. 711; 21 ID. 1093.

ACCORDINGLY, ANY OVERPAYMENT RESULTING FROM PAYMENT OF THE MILEAGE BETWEEN PLACES OF LODGING AND THE SOUTH BOSTON NAVAL DRY DOCK WOULD BE FOR COLLECTING BACK FROM THE EMPLOYEE, AND THIS OFFICE SHOULD BE ADVISED OF SUCH ACTION FOR CONSIDERATION IN THE AUDIT OF THE ORIGINAL VOUCHER.