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IN THE SETTLEMENT YOU WERE ADVISED THAT THE USE OF THE TAXICABS IN QUESTION FALLS WITHIN PURVIEW OF PARAGRAPH 11 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. IT IS NOT A QUESTION OF ADVANTAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT. THAT USE OF TAXICABS IS THE ONLY MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION AUTHORIZED. THAT BOTH MODES FROM WORCESTER WERE REJECTED BY THE LOCAL FINANCE OFFICE. IS AS FOLLOWS: "1. NORMAL COMMUTING DISTANCE FROM PLACE OF ABODE TO WESTOVER AIR FORCE BASE IS CONSIDERED TO INCLUDE AN AREA. SINCE WESTOVER AIR FORCE BASE IS SITUATED IN A METROPOLITAN AREA WITH ADEQUATE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION THIS HEADQUARTERS HAS NO WRITTEN POLICY PERTAINING TO AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL OF USE OF SPECIAL CONVEYANCE OTHER THAN THAT PRESCRIBED IN AIR FORCE MANUAL 40 10 AND THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATION. "3.

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B-130230, APR. 29, 1957

TO MR. ALBERT SALLOOM:

YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 23, 1956, REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED NOVEMBER 6, 1956, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR $45.75 REPRESENTING THE EXCESSIVE COST OF TAXIS YOU USED ON JUNE 24 AND JULY 1, 1956, AT THE BEGINNING AND ENDING OF THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZED IN TRAVEL ORDER NO. 214 DATED JUNE 15, 1956, FROM WESTOVER AIR FORCE BASE. THE SUM OF $45.75 REPRESENTS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE AMOUNT YOU CLAIMED FOR TAXI FARES FROM YOUR RESIDENCE, WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS, TO THE AIRPORT LIMOUSINE TERMINAL IN SPRINGFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS, AND THE AMOUNT ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED AS THE TAXI FARES ALLOWABLE FROM WESTOVER AIR FORCE BASE TO THE SAID TERMINAL.

IN THE SETTLEMENT YOU WERE ADVISED THAT THE USE OF THE TAXICABS IN QUESTION FALLS WITHIN PURVIEW OF PARAGRAPH 11 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AND THAT YOUR TRAVEL ORDER DOES NOT CONTAIN A STATEMENT BY AN APPROPRIATE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIAL THAT USE OF TAXICABS --- AS USED BY YOU--- WOULD BE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. YOU SAY, HOWEVER, IT IS NOT A QUESTION OF ADVANTAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT; THAT USE OF TAXICABS IS THE ONLY MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION AUTHORIZED; THAT YOU PREVIOUSLY REQUESTED AUTHORIZATION TO TRAVEL FROM WORCESTER TO SPRINGFIELD --- WHENEVER POSSIBLE, BUT THAT BOTH MODES FROM WORCESTER WERE REJECTED BY THE LOCAL FINANCE OFFICE; AND, HENCE, THAT THESE FACTORS LEFT YOU NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO USE TAXICABS FROM WORCESTER TO SPRINGFIELD WHEN YOU BEGAN OFFICIAL TRAVEL DURING WEEKENDS OR DURING OFF-DUTY HOURS.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES--- CONSIDERING THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPHS 3, 8A, 9, AND 11 OF THE STANDARDIZED REGULATIONS--- WE REQUESTED THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE TO FURNISH US A REPORT IN THE MATTER. THE DEPARTMENT'S REPORT, IN PERTINENT PART, IS AS FOLLOWS:

"1. NORMAL COMMUTING DISTANCE FROM PLACE OF ABODE TO WESTOVER AIR FORCE BASE IS CONSIDERED TO INCLUDE AN AREA, THE BOUNDARY OF WHICH ENCOMPASSES GREATER SPRINGFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS.

"2. SINCE WESTOVER AIR FORCE BASE IS SITUATED IN A METROPOLITAN AREA WITH ADEQUATE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION THIS HEADQUARTERS HAS NO WRITTEN POLICY PERTAINING TO AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL OF USE OF SPECIAL CONVEYANCE OTHER THAN THAT PRESCRIBED IN AIR FORCE MANUAL 40 10 AND THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATION.

"3. TRAVEL ORDERS ISSUED BY THIS HEADQUARTERS CONTEMPLATED THAT TRAVEL BEGINS AND ENDS AT WESTOVER AIR FORCE BASE. HOWEVER, TRAVEL MAY BEGIN AND END AT ANY POINT WITHIN REASONABLE COMMUTING DISTANCE TO THE BASE, NOT TO EXCEED THE DISTANCE FROM THE TERMINAL TO THE BASE.'

ALSO, IT APPEARS THAT AT THE TIME--- SUNDAY, JUNE 24--- INSTEAD OF DELAYING YOUR DEPARTURE UNTIL 10 A.M. THAT DAY, FROM YOUR RESIDENCE TO SPRINGFIELD, YOU COULD HAVE USED A BUS AT 9 A.M. OR A TRAIN AT 8:48 A.M. FROM WORCESTER, EITHER OF WHICH WOULD HAVE ARRIVED IN SPRINGFIELD IN AMPLE TIME TO CATCH THE COMMERCIAL AIRPORT LIMOUSINE. SIMILARLY--- IN THE ABSENCE OF OFFICIAL JUSTIFICATION OTHERWISE--- WE ASSUME THAT RAIL OR BUS TRANSPORTATION ALSO WAS AVAILABLE AT THE TIME YOU RETURNED HOME AT THE END OF YOUR AUTHORIZED TRIP. OUR RECORDS SHOW THE ROUND TRIP FARES FROM WORCESTER TO SPRINGFIELD AS $2.55 (BUS) AND $3.88 (RAIL) WHICH ARE LESS THAN THE SUM ALLOWED YOU.

AS TO THE TAXI FARES OF OTHER EMPLOYEES--- WHO YOU SAY, TRAVELED LESS THAN HALF THE DISTANCE YOU TRAVELED AND WERE ALLOWED DOUBLE THE AMOUNT YOU WERE ALLOWED UNDER THE SAME SITUATION--- WE CAN ONLY SAY THAT EACH CLAIM IS CONSIDERED BY US UPON ITS INDIVIDUAL MERITS, AND THAT IF ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS HAVE OCCURRED IN A GIVEN CASE, SUCH WILL BE FOR POST-AUDIT CONSIDERATION BY OUR OFFICE.

THEREFORE, SINCE THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE HAS NOT APPROVED THE USE OF TAXICABS BY YOU AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT--- AND SUCH TRAVEL FROM WORCESTER TO SPRINGFIELD IS NOT REGARDED AS A USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE WITHIN A REASONABLE DISTANCE FROM OR TO WESTOVER AIR FORCE BASE--- THE SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 6, 1956, IS SUSTAINED.

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