[Claim for Reimbursement for Rental Car Costs]

B-217734: May 28, 1985

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A Navy employee on temporary duty claimed reimbursement for an amount that was deducted for a car rental fee while performing authorized return travel to his duty station. The local finance and accounting officer denied the portion of the claim that represented rental of the car and associated gasoline purchases for the weekends, when other personnel used the car for official business, because of a lack of any authority to pay for the cost of a rental vehicle when an employee is not in a travel status. Since the expenses claimed were not incurred by reason of the claimant's temporary duty assignment, GAO found that the Navy correctly limited the reimbursement to the rental costs that would have been incurred if he had rented the vehicle for his own use on a daily rather than a monthly basis. However, GAO also found that the Navy had the authority to lease a vehicle for a period of 60 days to be used by Navy personnel on duty. Accordingly, GAO found that the claim for the remainder of the rental fee may be paid as an administrative expense incurred on behalf of the Navy.