That's the ticket

Vivian E. Nichols, a civilian Air Force employee, had to fly from Nevada to Texas for a business trip. Nichols bought her airline ticket directly from the airline for $364. But the Defense Department's Joint Travel Regulations spell out that employees must use government-negotiated contracts, an in-house travel office, or the General Services Administration's Travel Management Center to buy airline tickets. Nichols only asked the Air Force to reimburse her for $308, the cost of the ticket had she bought it through any of the approved means. Still, her agency said no, basing its decision on the Joint Travel Regulations. The General Services Administration Board of Contract Appeals then stepped in. Actually, the Federal Travel Regulation, not the Joint Travel Regulations, applies to Nichols, since she is a civilian Defense employee, the board said. Under the Federal Travel Regulation, an employee is only liable for the additional costs of purchasing a ticket from an unauthorized source. The board ordered the Air Force to reimburse Nichols for her $308. In the matter of Vivian E. Nichols, The General Services Administration Board of Contract Appeals (15493-TRAV), Mar. 6, 2001. A Taxing Trip Darrell Thrasher, a civilian Army employee, shipped his car from Panama to Miami after getting transfer orders. Then Thrasher got a job offer at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., and was told per diem, mileage and air travel were authorized for his trip there. The Army paid Thrasher's reimbursement claim for travel expenses, but he later received a notice saying he was overpaid by $707.37. Thrasher filed an appeal, but the General Services Administration Board of Contract Appeals found that Thrasher was overpaid because of a miscalculation of the relocation income tax and denied his claim.

In the matter of Darrell M. Thrasher, General Services Administration Board of Contract Appeals (15436-RELO), Feb. 16, 2001.

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