[Entitlement to Mileage Reimbursement]

B-206503: Nov 30, 1982

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GAO was asked whether a Marine Corps officer was entitled to reimbursement for mileage as local or nonlocal travel for a round trip between a Marine Corps base and an air station since different rates of mileage are applicable to each type of travel. GAO found that the member's travel was properly characterized as local travel and the appropriate payment for mileage was therefore authorized. GAO was asked whether a determination that the air station was within the commuting area of the Marine Corps base would affect the payment of per diem allowances to service members traveling between the base and the air station for periods of more than 1 day. GAO concluded that payment of per diem is not necessarily precluded in that situation since a per diem allowance is generally authorized for a service member during periods when he is performing temporary duty under orders at a place away from his permanent duty station, and the boundaries of a permanent duty station are more narrowly defined than the limits prescribed for local travel. The member is entitled to per diem if he remains at the duty site and does not commute daily between that place and his permanent station. In response to a third issue which was presented, GAO held that travel to a passenger air terminal in furtherance of a temporary duty assignment away from the area of a service member's permanent duty station may not properly be regarded as local travel. Therefore, the mileage allowance payable is restricted to the lower rate for nonlocal travel unless regulations are amended.