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The Department of Housing and Urban Development requested a decision concerning the legality of and government liability for permitting dependents to travel as passengers in government-furnished vehicles operated by federal employees while performing official travel. GAO held that: (1) although federal regulations provide that federal employees may only use a government-owned or leased vehicle for the performance of official business, they do not prohibit a family member from accompanying an employee as a passenger while on official travel; and (2) allowing a family member to accompany an employee on official travel could increase the government's liability, since that passenger could seek damages in the event of injury, death, or property damage caused by the federal employee during that travel.


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