[Question Concerning Propriety of Payment of the Constructive Cost of Airfare]

B-215897: Dec 31, 1985

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The Farm Credit Administration (FCA) requested an advance decision concerning the propriety of the payment of the constructive cost of airfare to an employee who, instead of using a government travel request to purchase an airline ticket, used a ticket issued to her husband as a member of a frequent travelers club. She claimed reimbursement based on the fact that FCA informed her that she could use whatever means of transportation she wished, and it would reimburse her on an actual or constructive basis. Regulations provide that civilian employees may only be reimbursed for actual and necessary travel expenses. GAO found that, although the employee claimed that she owes her husband's consulting firm for the free airline ticket, there was no evidence that a legal obligation had arisen or that payment had been made. Accordingly, since there was no evidence that the employee incurred any ascertainable personal expenses for the ticket, the claim was disallowed.

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