B-147175, OCT. 9, 1961

B-147175: Oct 9, 1961

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IN OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT YOUR CLAIM WAS CONSIDERED IN FIVE PARTS. YOUR CLAIM IN ITS ENTIRETY WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT BECAUSE (1) YOUR TRAVEL ORDERS RESTRICTED MILEAGE TO THE DISTANCE FROM 290 BROADWAY TO TETERBORO (TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WAS BASED UPON YOUR REQUEST AND PRIMARILY FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE). (2) MILEAGE RATE FOR REIMBURSEMENT ADMINISTRATIVELY WAS REDUCED FROM 8 CENTS TO 4 CENTS IN LIEU OF LIMITING REIMBURSEMENT TO COMMON CARRIER COSTS (36 COMP. YOUR PERMANENT DUTY STATION WAS OFFICIALLY DESIGNATED AS BENDIX RESIDENCY. ACTUALLY YOUR OFFICIAL STATION WAS TETERBORO. YOU NOW CONTEND THAT (1) THE AUTHORIZATION TO TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WAS NOT AT YOUR REQUEST AND PRIMARILY FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE.

B-147175, OCT. 9, 1961

TO MR. GEORGE BAYRON:

YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 3, 1961, REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 30, 1961, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR $1,109.96, REPRESENTING REIMBURSEMENT COVERING MILEAGE AND TOLL CHARGES INCIDENT TO TRAVEL PERFORMED IN YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE BETWEEN YOUR HOME IN BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, AND TETERBORO, NEW JERSEY, DURING THE PERIOD AUGUST 20, 1958, THROUGH AUGUST 11, 1960, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE ARMY AUDIT AGENCY, NEW YORK, NEW YORK.

IN OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT YOUR CLAIM WAS CONSIDERED IN FIVE PARTS, TO WIT (1) MILEAGE WHICH REPRESENTS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AUTHORIZED MILEAGE (290 BROADWAY, NEW YORK CITY, TO TETERBORO, NEW JERSEY) AND MILEAGE ACTUALLY TRAVELED DURING THE PERIOD AUGUST 20, 1958, TO NOVEMBER 1959, BETWEEN YOUR HOME IN BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, AND TETERBORO; (2) ADDITIONAL MILEAGE (DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 8 CENTS PER MILE AND 4 CENTS PER MILE) COVERING TRAVEL PERFORMED BETWEEN 290 BROADWAY, NEW YORK CITY, AND TETERBORO, NEW JERSEY, DURING THE PERIOD JUNE 1, 1959, TO NOVEMBER 13, 1959; (3) AND (4) MILEAGE AND BRIDGE TOLLS INCIDENT TO TRAVEL PERFORMED BETWEEN YOUR HOME IN BROOKLYN AND TETERBORO WITHIN THE PERIOD NOVEMBER 16, 1959, AND AUGUST 31, 1960; AND (5) REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED DURING THE PERIOD FEBRUARY 1, 1960, TO JULY 26, 1960. YOUR CLAIM IN ITS ENTIRETY WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT BECAUSE (1) YOUR TRAVEL ORDERS RESTRICTED MILEAGE TO THE DISTANCE FROM 290 BROADWAY TO TETERBORO (TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WAS BASED UPON YOUR REQUEST AND PRIMARILY FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE); (2) MILEAGE RATE FOR REIMBURSEMENT ADMINISTRATIVELY WAS REDUCED FROM 8 CENTS TO 4 CENTS IN LIEU OF LIMITING REIMBURSEMENT TO COMMON CARRIER COSTS (36 COMP. GEN. 795, 797, AND CPR T3 4-A (1) (B) ); (3) AND (4) DURING THE PERIODS NOVEMBER 16, 1959, TO JANUARY 31, 1960, AND JULY 27 TO AUGUST 31, 1960, YOUR PERMANENT DUTY STATION WAS OFFICIALLY DESIGNATED AS BENDIX RESIDENCY, TETERBORO, NEW JERSEY, AND AN EMPLOYEE MUST BEAR THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN HIS RESIDENCE AND PLACE OF DUTY AT HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION; AND (5) NOTWITHSTANDING THE ISSUE OF FORM 50, NYR 70-60, DATED FEBRUARY 1, 1960, WHICH PURPORTED TO ESTABLISH YOUR OFFICIAL STATION AT NEW YORK CITY, ACTUALLY YOUR OFFICIAL STATION WAS TETERBORO, NEW JERSEY, FOR THE PERIOD FEBRUARY 1, 1960, TO JULY 26, 1960.

YOU NOW CONTEND THAT (1) THE AUTHORIZATION TO TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WAS NOT AT YOUR REQUEST AND PRIMARILY FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE; (2) A REGIONAL MEMORANDUM OF AUGUST 12, 1959, SETS A RATE OF 8 CENTS PER MILE BETWEEN HOME AND TEMPORARY DUTY POINT; (3) UPON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE PRIVILEGE OF MOVING, AND THAT YOU WERE ENTITLED TO A REASONABLE PERIOD OF TIME TO SECURE A HOME, INDICATING THAT DURING SUCH PERIOD YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED IN A TEMPORARY DUTY STATUS AT TETERBORO; AND (4) YOUR PERMANENT DUTY STATION WAS AT BENDIX RESIDENCY ONLY FOR THE PERIOD JULY 27, 1960, TO AUGUST 31, 1960.

THE BASIS FOR THE DISAPPROVAL OF YOUR CLAIM IS A REPORT FROM THE NEW YORK DISTRICT OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY AUDIT AGENCY, DATED MARCH 17, 1961, FROM WHICH THE FOLLOWING EXCERPT IS QUOTED:

"* * * SINCE POV TRAVEL WAS REQUESTED BY THE TRAVELER AND PRIMARILY FOR HIS CONVENIENCE, A RESTRICTION OF MILEAGE ALLOWABLE WAS DEEMED APPROPRIATE

IT IS FURTHER REPORTED BY THE AGENCY THAT:

"* * * DURING THE PERIOD 16 NOVEMBER 1959--- 31 JANUARY 1960, AND 27 JULY 1960--- 31 AUGUST 1960 ATTENTION IS INVITED TO SF 50'S NYR 443 59 DATED 16 NOVEMBER 1959 AND NYR 205-60, DATED 7 JULY 1960. DURING BOTH OF THESE PERIODS THE BENDIX RESIDENCY, TETERBORO, N.J. WAS MR. BAYRON'S PERMANENT DUTY STATION. ACCORDINGLY, CLAIM SUBMITTED REPRESENTS REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN REPORTING TO THE PERMANENT DUTY STATION. SUBJECT CLAIM IS INVALID SINCE THE EXPENSE OF REPORTING TO THE PERMANENT DUTY STATION IS A RESPONSIBILITY OF THE EMPLOYEE AND HENCEFORTH NOT PROPER FOR PAYMENT.

"* * * CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED IN TRAVELING TO TETERBORO DURING THE PERIOD 1 FEBRUARY--- 26 JULY 1960 IS APPARENTLY BASED ON SF 50, NYR 70-60 DATED 1 FEBRUARY 1960 WHICH AUTHORIZED A CHANGE IN PERMANENT DUTY STATION FROM THE BENDIX RESIDENCY, TETERBORO, N.J. TO THE NEW YORK BRANCH, N.Y. SF 50, NYR 70 60 IS DEEMED INVALID IN SUPPORT OF THE CLAIM, INASMUCH AS THE TRANSFER IN PERMANENT DUTY STATION DESCRIBED IN THE SF 50 WAS NOT EFFECTED. MR. BAYRON, BEING THE RESIDENT AUDITOR AT THE BENDIX RESIDENCY, REPORTED THEREAT FOR DUTY PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF THE SF 50, AND CONTINUED TO DO SO AFTER ITS ISSUANCE, UNTIL HIS SEPARATION. ACCORDINGLY, FOR THE PERIOD OF THE CLAIM, TETERBORO, N.J. REMAINED HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION, SF 50, NYR 70-60 NOTWITHSTANDING.

"* * * IN ADMINISTERING THE TRAVEL PROGRAM, IT HAS BEEN OUR FIRM POLICY THAT EMPLOYEES SHALL NEITHER REAP FINANCIAL GAIN, NOR STAND FINANCIAL LOSS IN THE CONDUCT OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS. IN OUR OPINION, CONSIDERING ALL FACTORS INVOLVED MR. BAYRON WAS TREATED WITH EQUITY AND WAS REIMBURSED IN AMOUNTS WE FELT IN GOOD CONSCIENCE WERE DUE HIM. THE CLAIM SUBMITTED BY MR. BAYRON IS ACCORDINGLY DISAPPROVED EN-TOTO, AS INVALID AND WITHOUT MERIT.'

IT IS THE ESTABLISHED RULE OF OUR OFFICE TO ACCEPT THE REPORT OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY ON DISPUTED QUESTIONS OF FACT IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE SUFFICIENT TO OVERCOME THE PRESUMPTION OF THE CORRECTNESS THEREOF. YOU HAVE NOT SUBMITTED SUCH EVIDENCE.

A COPY OF THE REGIONAL MEMORANDUM OF AUGUST 12, 1959, TO WHICH YOU REFER, IS NOT OF RECORD ERE; THEREFORE, WE ARE NOT IN A POSITION TO SAY WHETHER IT IS PERTINENT TO YOUR CASE. MOREOVER, SINCE THE COST OF REPORTING TO DUTY EACH DAY AT AN EMPLOYEE'S PERMANENT DUTY STATION IS A PERSONAL EXPENSE, PAYMENT OF THOSE EXPENSES MUST BE DISALLOWED FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRANSFER.

CONCERNING THE POINTS BETWEEN WHICH MILEAGE WAS AUTHORIZED AND THE MILEAGE RATES ALLOWED, YOU ARE INFORMED THAT UNDER SECTION 4 OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949, 5 U.S.C. 837, AND SECTION 3.5B (1) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, THE MILEAGE RATE AND THE POINTS BETWEEN WHICH MILEAGE IS AUTHORIZED ARE MATTERS WITHIN THE ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION.

THEREFORE, UPON THE PRESENT RECORD OUR SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 30, 1961, MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.

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