B-158176, JAN. 10, 1966

B-158176: Jan 10, 1966

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YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM MIAMI TO BALTIMORE FOR THE PURPOSE OF PERFORMING TEMPORARY DUTY. YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WITH REIMBURSEMENT AT THE RATE OF NINE CENTS A MILE. OA-4504 WAS ISSUED CHANGING YOUR PERMANENT DUTY STATION FROM MIAMI TO BALTIMORE. YOUR GOODS WERE STORED IN BALTIMORE FOR LESS THAN 30 DAYS AT A COST OF $46.50. WE HAVE HELD THAT WHEN PAYMENT OF EXCESS BAGGAGE CHARGES IN CONNECTION WITH AIR TRAVEL HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED IN AN EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL ORDERS. THE EXCESS BAGGAGE CHARGES AUTHORIZED ARE A PROPER ITEM OF EXPENSE WHICH MAY BE INCLUDED IN ARRIVING AT A CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF AIR TRAVEL FOR COMPARATIVE COST PURPOSES WHEN TRAVEL IS PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE AND THE BAGGAGE IS TRANSPORTED IN THE AUTOMOBILE. 33 COMP.

B-158176, JAN. 10, 1966

TO MR. ROBERT A. CONDON:

BY LETTER OF NOVEMBER 26, 1965, YOU REQUESTED REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED JULY 26, 1965, WHICH ALLOWED REIMBURSEMENT TO YOU IN THE SUM OF $270.60 FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES INCURRED DURING THE PERIOD APRIL 2 TO APRIL 12, 1965, BUT DISALLOWED THE SUM OF $144.20 REPRESENTING THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF SHIPPING 360 POUNDS OF EXCESS BAGGAGE BY AIR FROM MIAMI, FLORIDA, TO BALTIMORE, MARYLAND.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE TRAVEL ORDER NO. OA-3994, DATED MARCH 30, 1965, YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM MIAMI TO BALTIMORE FOR THE PURPOSE OF PERFORMING TEMPORARY DUTY. YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WITH REIMBURSEMENT AT THE RATE OF NINE CENTS A MILE, NOT TO EXCEED COST BY COMMON CARRIER. ON MAY 5, 1965, TRAVEL ORDER NO. OA-4504 WAS ISSUED CHANGING YOUR PERMANENT DUTY STATION FROM MIAMI TO BALTIMORE. THAT TRAVEL ORDER AUTHORIZED TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM MIAMI TO BALTIMORE IN ADDITION TO THE NINE CENTS A MILE FOR AUTOMOBILE TRAVEL, NOT TO EXCEED THE COST BY COMMON CARRIER, BUT CONTAINED NO AUTHORIZATION FOR THE SHIPMENT OF EXCESS BAGGAGE.

YOU PERFORMED THE TRAVEL IN QUESTION BY PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE IN WHICH YOU SAY YOU TRANSPORTED A MINIMUM OF 400 POUNDS OF PERSONAL EFFECTS. ON APRIL 2, 1965, YOU SHIPPED 840 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS BY COMMERCIAL CARRIER FROM MIAMI TO BALTIMORE AT A COST OF $138. YOUR GOODS WERE STORED IN BALTIMORE FOR LESS THAN 30 DAYS AT A COST OF $46.50.

IN YOUR TRAVEL VOUCHER OF JUNE 3, 1965, YOU CLAIMED REIMBURSEMENT OF $346.46 FOR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES, ITEMIZED AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE

MILEAGE (1,144 MILES AT .09 CENTS PER MILE) $102.96

PER DIEM (2 3/4 DAYS AT $16 PER DAY) 44.00

TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS:

COMMUTED RATE FOR 840 LBS AND 1,144 MILES 153.00

TEMPORARY STORAGE (ACTUAL EXPENSE LESS THAN

COMMUTED ALLOWANCE) 46.50

TOTAL EXPENSES CLAIMED $346.46

YOU COMPUTED THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF TRAVEL BY AIR FROM MIAMI TO BALTIMORE TO BE $215.30. HOWEVER, IN ARRIVING AT THAT FIGURE YOU INCLUDED THE SUM OF $144.20 REPRESENTING THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF SHIPPING 360 POUNDS OF EXCESS BAGGAGE BY AIR BETWEEN THE TWO POINTS. CONSEQUENTLY, THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST BY AIR ($215.30) EXCEEDED THE MILEAGE AND PER DIEM FOR TRAVEL BY AUTOMOBILE ($146.96) BY $68.34.

YOUR ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE SUSPENDED THE EXCESS BAGGAGE ITEM ($144.20) FROM YOUR VOUCHER AND APPROVED REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE REMAINING CONSTRUCTIVE COSTS OF TRAVEL ($71.10) AND THE COMMUTED ALLOWANCES FOR TRANSPORTATION AND STORAGE OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS ($199.50). THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF OUR OFFICE ALSO DISALLOWED YOU REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXCESS BAGGAGE SINCE YOUR TRAVEL ORDERS CONTAINED NO AUTHORIZATION FOR THE SHIPMENT THEREOF.

WE HAVE HELD THAT WHEN PAYMENT OF EXCESS BAGGAGE CHARGES IN CONNECTION WITH AIR TRAVEL HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED IN AN EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL ORDERS, THE EXCESS BAGGAGE CHARGES AUTHORIZED ARE A PROPER ITEM OF EXPENSE WHICH MAY BE INCLUDED IN ARRIVING AT A CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF AIR TRAVEL FOR COMPARATIVE COST PURPOSES WHEN TRAVEL IS PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE AND THE BAGGAGE IS TRANSPORTED IN THE AUTOMOBILE. 33 COMP. GEN. 614. IN YOUR CASE, HOWEVER, EXCESS BAGGAGE CHARGES WERE NEITHER AUTHORIZED NOR APPROVED BY YOUR ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 5.2 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. NOTE ALSO THAT SECTION 3.5B (2) (A) OF THE SAME REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT IN DETERMINING THE CONSTRUCTIVE COMMON CARRIER COST, THE COST OF EXCESS BAGGAGE WILL BE INCLUDED WHEN IT WOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWED HAD THE TRAVELER USED THE CARRIER UPON WHICH THE CONSTRUCTIVE TRANSPORTATION COSTS ARE DETERMINED.

ON THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT RECORD, THEREFORE, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO INCLUDE THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF EXCESS BAGGAGE IN ARRIVING AT THE TOTAL CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF AIR TRAVEL. HOWEVER, SHOULD YOUR ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE DETERMINE THAT YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO TRANSPORT A REASONABLE AMOUNT OF EXCESS BAGGAGE HAD YOU ACTUALLY PERFORMED THE TRAVEL BY AIR, AND APPROVES A SPECIFIC AMOUNT OF EXCESS BAGGAGE, YOU MAY RESUBMIT YOUR CLAIM WITH EVIDENCE OF SUCH ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION TO OUR OFFICE FOR RECONSIDERATION.

UPON REVIEW OF YOUR CLAIM WE FIND THAT THE CORRECT COMMUTED ALLOWANCE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS IS $184.38. THEREFORE, OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IS TODAY BEING AUTHORIZED TO ALLOW YOU AN ADDITIONAL SUM OF $31.38, REPRESENTING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE AMOUNT WHICH WAS PREVIOUSLY PAID TO YOU FOR THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR EFFECTS ($153) AND THE CORRECT AMOUNT DUE ($184.38).

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