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THIS CASE IS DISTINGUISHABLE BECAUSE THE AUTO WAS NECESSARY FOR THE CONTINUATION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S JOURNEY AND WAS PICKED UP BEFORE ARRIVAL AT THE NEW POST. SECRETARY: THIS WILL REFER TO LETTER OF YOUR OFFICE DATED FEBRUARY 15. THE STATEMENT OF THE DECISION TO WHICH THE LETTER IS DIRECTED IS QUOTED AS FOLLOWS: "THE EMPLOYEE WAS AUTHORIZED SHIPMENT OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AND ALSO TO USE THE VEHICLE IN TRANSPORTING HIS DEPENDENTS (5) ACROSS THE COUNTRY. WE HAVE NOTED THE DISTINCTION YOU POINT OUT BETWEEN THE PERTINENT LANGUAGE OF SUBSECTION 10.2G OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET (OMB) CIRCULAR NO. PER DIEM IS NOT ALLOWABLE BUT THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE ALLOWED ONE-WAY TRANSPORTATION COSTS BY COMMON CARRIER AND ONE-WAY MILEAGE COSTS OF OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE.

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B-170850, JUN 9, 1971

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES - PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLES COST OF PICK-UP AFFIRMING PRIOR DECISION WHICH ALLOWED COST OF BUS FARE FROM MCGUIRE AFB TO PORT ELIZABETH, N.J. FOR THE PURPOSE OF PICKING UP A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE AND MILEAGE BACK TO MCGUIRE, INCIDENT TO THE USE OF THE VEHICLE IN TRANSPORTING EMPLOYEE AND DEPENDENTS ACROSS COUNTRY AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. ALTHOUGH PARAGRAPH C7154-3 OF THE JTR PROHIBITS PAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES TO AN EMPLOYEE WHO HAS ARRIVED AT HIS NEW POST WHEN HE MAKES A SEPARATE TRIP TO THE PORT TO PICK UP A MOTOR VEHICLE, THIS CASE IS DISTINGUISHABLE BECAUSE THE AUTO WAS NECESSARY FOR THE CONTINUATION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S JOURNEY AND WAS PICKED UP BEFORE ARRIVAL AT THE NEW POST.

TO MR. SECRETARY:

THIS WILL REFER TO LETTER OF YOUR OFFICE DATED FEBRUARY 15, 1971, FROM YOUR ASSISTANT SECRETARY, MANPOWER AND RESERVE AFFAIRS, REQUESTING THIS OFFICE TO RECONSIDER A PORTION OF OUR DECISION B-170850, DECEMBER 31, 1970, AND FURTHER REQUESTING ELUCIDATION OF OUR VIEWS ON ANOTHER ASPECT OF THAT DECISION.

THE STATEMENT OF THE DECISION TO WHICH THE LETTER IS DIRECTED IS QUOTED AS FOLLOWS:

"THE EMPLOYEE WAS AUTHORIZED SHIPMENT OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AND ALSO TO USE THE VEHICLE IN TRANSPORTING HIS DEPENDENTS (5) ACROSS THE COUNTRY, SUCH USE BEING ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE UNITED STATES AS PROVIDED IN THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS. THEREFORE, WE SEE NO OBJECTION TO ALLOWANCE OF PER DIEM FOR THE TWO DAYS (NOT UNREASONABLE) AWAITING DELIVERY OF THE VEHICLE AT THE PORT SO THAT IT COULD BE USED FOR THAT PURPOSE. MOREOVER, WE SEE NO OBJECTION TO THE ALLOWANCE OF BUS FARE FROM VICINITY OF MCGUIRE AIR BASE TO PORT ELIZABETH, NEW JERSEY, FOR THE PURPOSE OF PICKING UP THE VEHICLE AND TO THE ALLOWANCE OF MILEAGE BACK TO MCGUIRE."

THE REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION CONCERNS THE LAST SENTENCE OF THE PARAGRAPH QUOTED ABOVE. WE HAVE NOTED THE DISTINCTION YOU POINT OUT BETWEEN THE PERTINENT LANGUAGE OF SUBSECTION 10.2G OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET (OMB) CIRCULAR NO. A-56 AND PARAGRAPH C7154-3, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, VOLUME 2.

OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-56 PROVIDES THAT:

" *** IF THE EMPLOYEE MAKES A SEPARATE TRIP TO A POST TO DELIVER OR PICK UP A MOTOR VEHICLE, PER DIEM IS NOT ALLOWABLE BUT THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE ALLOWED ONE-WAY TRANSPORTATION COSTS BY COMMON CARRIER AND ONE-WAY MILEAGE COSTS OF OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. SUCH ALLOWANCES SHALL NOT EXCEED THE COST OF SHIPPING THE VEHICLE BY COMMERCIAL CARRIER FROM OR TO THE POST." (NOTE: WE UNDERSTAND THAT "POST" AS USED HEREIN WAS INTENDED TO BE "PORT.")

THE APPLICABLE LANGUAGE OF PARAGRAPH C7154-3 PROHIBITS PAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED AS FOLLOWS:

" *** NO PER DIEM, TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES, OR MILEAGE WILL BE ALLOWED THE EMPLOYEE WHEN HE MAKES A SEPARATE TRIP TO THE PORT TO DELIVER OR PICK UP THE MOTOR VEHICLE."

WE WOULD POINT OUT THAT IN OUR DECEMBER 31, 1970 DECISION THERE WAS INVOLVED A SHORT TRIP IN NEW JERSEY FOR THE PURPOSE OF PICKING UP THE EMPLOYEE'S AUTOMOBILE WHICH WAS USED TO TRANSPORT HIM AND HIS FAMILY ON TO CHANDLER, ARIZONA. THE USE OF THE AUTOMOBILE WAS AUTHORIZED AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. SINCE THE PICK UP OF THE AUTOMOBILE WAS NECESSARY TO THE CONTINUATION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S JOURNEY, THE LANGUAGE IN PARAGRAPH C7154-3 WAS NOT DEEMED APPLICABLE. APPARENTLY, SUCH REGULATION WAS PRIMARILY INTENDED TO PRECLUDE A SEPARATE TRIP TO A PORT TO PICK UP A VEHICLE AFTER AN EMPLOYEE HAS ARRIVED AT HIS NEW POST OR RESIDENCE. SEE NO BASIS FOR ALTERING OUR CONCLUSION IN THIS PARTICULAR SITUATION.

YOUR FURTHER QUESTION CONCERNS OUR STATEMENT AS TO ALLOWANCE OF PER DIEM FOR 2 DAYS WAITING TIME. THE 2 WEEKEND DAYS OCCURRED IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING ARRIVAL IN THE UNITED STATES AND WERE SPENT BY THE EMPLOYEE AND FIVE DEPENDENTS NECESSARILY AWAITING THE OPENING OF A CUSTOMS OFFICE IN ORDER TO RETRIEVE THE AUTOMOBILE AUTHORIZED AS THE VEHICLE TO BE USED FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL TO A PERMANENT DUTY STATION AT KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE BY WAY OF AN ALTERNATE DESTINATION AT CHANDLER, ARIZONA. YOU ASK WHETHER OUR HOLDING IS BASED ON A SPECIFIC PROVISION OF OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-56 OR ON ITS TERMS IN GENERAL.

SECTION 2 OF OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-56 SPECIFIES THAT, WITH RESPECT TO PER DIEM, TRANSPORTATION COSTS, AND OTHER TRAVEL EXPENSES, ALLOWANCES WILL BE MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. THOSE REGULATIONS IN SUBSECTION 3.5A PROVIDE, INTER ALIA, THAT: "IN DETERMINING WHETHER USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE IS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT, CONSIDERATION WILL BE GIVEN TO *** ECONOMY AND EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE EFFECTIVENESS *** ." IN THIS CASE IT WAS MORE ECONOMICAL TO THE GOVERNMENT TO AUTHORIZE TRAVEL OF THE EMPLOYEE AND FIVE DEPENDENTS BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE THAN BY COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION. THE ADDITIONAL COST OF 2 DAYS PER DIEM, WHILE DIMINISHING THE SAVINGS, WOULD NOT BE GREAT ENOUGH TO CHANGE THE RELATIVE ECONOMIC ADVANTAGE. ACCORDINGLY, IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE THIS ADVANTAGE, IT WAS NECESSARY FOR THE EMPLOYEE TO DELAY HIS JOURNEY FOR 2 DAYS TO TAKE DELIVERY OF THE AUTOMOBILE. COMPARE B-162357, OCTOBER 4, 1967; B-163112, MARCH 13, 1968; B-167567, AUGUST 18, 1969; COPIES ENCLOSED.

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