B-188045, MAY 9, 1977

B-188045: May 9, 1977

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EMPLOYEE WAS ASSIGNED FROM NATIONAL CITY. EMPLOYEE MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED TRANSPORTATION COSTS OF COMMUTING TO NEW JOB LOCATION SINCE RECORD INDICATES ASSIGNMENT WAS PERMANENT. COSTS INCURRED IN COMMUTING BETWEEN RESIDENCE AND PERMANENT DUTY STATION ARE TO BE BORNE BY EMPLOYEE. SMITH - TRAVEL EXPENSES TO AND FROM WORK: THIS ACTION IS IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST BY MR. THE REQUEST WAS FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE BY LETTER DATED DECEMBER 16. SMITH WAS ASSIGNED FROM NATIONAL CITY. IT IS REPORTED THAT THE APPROPRIATE PERSONNEL PAPERWORK NECESSARY TO EFFECT SUCH A TRANSFER WAS REQUESTED AT THAT TIME BUT THE PAPERWORK FOR THIS TRANSFER ACTION WAS NOT PROCESSED IN A TIMELY MANNER. WAS ISSUED TO ACCOMPLISH THE CHANGE IN DUTY STATIONS FROM NATIONAL CITY TO NORTH ISLAND FOR MR.

B-188045, MAY 9, 1977

EMPLOYEE WAS ASSIGNED FROM NATIONAL CITY, CALIFORNIA, TO NORTH ISLAND, CALIFORNIA. EMPLOYEE MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED TRANSPORTATION COSTS OF COMMUTING TO NEW JOB LOCATION SINCE RECORD INDICATES ASSIGNMENT WAS PERMANENT, NOT TEMPORARY, AND COSTS INCURRED IN COMMUTING BETWEEN RESIDENCE AND PERMANENT DUTY STATION ARE TO BE BORNE BY EMPLOYEE.

THOMAS L. SMITH - TRAVEL EXPENSES TO AND FROM WORK:

THIS ACTION IS IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST BY MR. W. J. PERRY, ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE OFFICER, DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY, OGDEN, UTAH, FOR OUR DECISION CONCERNING A CLAIM BY MR. THOMAS L. SMITH FOR ROUND TRIP MILEAGE DIFFERENTIAL AND TOLLS REPRESENTING ADDITIONAL COMMUTING MILEAGE BETWEEN HIS RESIDENCE AND HIS PLACE OF DUTY AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY. THE REQUEST WAS FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE BY LETTER DATED DECEMBER 16, 1976, FROM THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE, REFERENCE PDTATAC NO. 76-26.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT MR. SMITH WAS ASSIGNED FROM NATIONAL CITY, CALIFORNIA, TO NORTH ISLAND, CALIFORNIA, ON FEBRUARY 24, 1975, PURSUANT TO HIS REQUEST. IT IS REPORTED THAT THE APPROPRIATE PERSONNEL PAPERWORK NECESSARY TO EFFECT SUCH A TRANSFER WAS REQUESTED AT THAT TIME BUT THE PAPERWORK FOR THIS TRANSFER ACTION WAS NOT PROCESSED IN A TIMELY MANNER. HOWEVER, A REQUEST FOR PERSONNEL ACTION, STANDARD FORM 52, DATED APRIL 6, 1976, WITH AN EFFECTIVE DATE OF APRIL 18, 1976, WAS ISSUED TO ACCOMPLISH THE CHANGE IN DUTY STATIONS FROM NATIONAL CITY TO NORTH ISLAND FOR MR. SMITH.

MR. SMITH IS CLAIMING MILEAGE AND TOLLS IN THE AMOUNT OF $781.70 ON THE BASIS THAT HIS ORAL TRANSFER FROM NATIONAL CITY TO NORTH ISLAND WAS NOT A PERMANENT TRANSFER AND, THEREFORE, HE WAS ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED FOR THE MILEAGE BETWEEN NATIONAL CITY AND NORTH ISLAND AS THOUGH HE HAD TRAVELED IT EACH DAY IN THE PERFORMANCE OF TEMPORARY DUTY. IN EFFECT HE IS ASKING TO BE PAID MILEAGE FOR THE INCREASED COMMUTING DISTANCE BETWEEN HIS HOME AND NORTH ISLAND, AS COMPARED WITH THE DISTANCE BETWEEN HIS HOME AND NATIONAL CITY, ON A CONSTRUCTIVE BASIS.

DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE HAVE CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT NO AUTHORITY EXISTS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF AN EMPLOYEE FOR THE EXPENSES INCURRED IN TRAVELING FROM HIS RESIDENCE TO HIS PLACE OF BUSINESS. THIS IS AN EXPENSE WHICH MUST BE BORNE BY THE EMPLOYEE. SEE 11 COMP.GEN. 417(1932); 15 ID. 342(1935); 19 ID. 836(1940); 36 ID. 450(1956).

THE LOCATION OF THE OFFICIAL STATION OF AN EMPLOYEE PRESENTS A QUESTION OF FACT AND IS NOT LIMITED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE DESIGNATION. BUT IT HAS BEEN CONSISTENTLY HELD BY THIS OFFICE THAT AN EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL DUTY STATION IS THE PLACE AT WHICH HE PERFORMS THE MAJOR PART OF HIS DUTIES AND IS EXPECTED TO SPEND THE GREATER PART OF HIS TIME. 32 COMP.GEN. 87(1952). FURTHERMORE, SINCE THE QUESTION OF THE LOCATION OF AN EMPLOYEE'S WORKPLACE IS ESSENTIALLY A FACTUAL MATTER, SUCH DETERMINATIONS ARE PRIMARILY MATTERS FOR THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY.

IN THE INSTANT CASE MR. SMITH CLAIMS TRAVEL EXPENSES INCIDENT TO A TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT AND THE AGENCY STATES THAT HIS ASSIGNMENT WAS PERMANENT. IT IS A WELL-ESTABLISHED RULE THAT WHERE THERE IS A DISPUTE BETWEEN THE CLAIMANT AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY AS TO THE FACTS, THOSE REPORTED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY WILL BE ACCEPTED BY THIS OFFICE IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE SUFFICIENT TO OVERCOME THE PRESUMPTION OF THE CORRECTNESS THEREOF. B-184608, SEPTEMBER 9, 1976, AND CASES CITED THEREIN.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT EMPLOYEES WHO WERE ASSIGNED TO NORTH ISLAND FOR TEMPORARY ROTATION TOURS OF 3 MONTHS WERE REIMBURSED FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES. HOWEVER, MR. SMITH'S SUPERVISOR STATES THAT HIS ASSIGNMENT WAS INTENDED TO BE PERMANENT, AND HE PERFORMED HIS DUTIES REGULARLY AT NORTH ISLAND FOR MORE THAN A YEAR WHEN HIS WRITTEN TRANSFER WAS ISSUED. UPON THE PRESENT RECORD WE FIND NO PROPER BASIS TO DISAGREE WITH THE DETERMINATION BY THE DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY THAT NORTH ISLAND WAS MR. SMITH'S OFFICIAL DUTY STATION DURING THE PERIOD IN QUESTION.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER MAY NOT BE PAID.

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