Home-to-Work (HTW) transportation imposes a major cost burden to the taxpayer. Current guidance that governs HTW utilization within the departments of the Executive Branch is overly permissive and leaves room for wide interpretation which leads to overuse and misuse of government vehicles. This is due primarily to a lack of definitions assigned to words in the key subsection of 31USC1344 which allows HTW usage, especially for law enforcement personnel. By defining key words within the law, the Executive Office of the President will compel components to curtail HTW while still allowing them to perform mission critical duties.
The key phrase in 31USC1344 is found in section (a)(2)(B), which states that HTW vehicle usage is to be used only by law enforcement personnel who are performing duties “…essential for the safe and efficient performance of intelligence, counter-intelligence, protective services, or criminal law enforcement.” Currently components are free to assign definitions to 31USC1344(a)(2)(B). The following terms should be defined by the Office of the President;
• Safe and efficient
• Protective Services
• Criminal Law Enforcement
By applying the correct definitions to the law the Executive Office of the President may compel its components to utilize HTW in an appropriate manner that is based solely on mission requirements as they directly relate to law.
The Executive Office of the President should also provide clarifying examples that demonstrate acceptable and unacceptable HTW practices for each definition.
HTW usage has the appearance of being a benefit or perk of position and/or location in many instances within the Executive Branch and it should be closely scrutinized as both a measure to comply with law and to safeguard taxpayer dollars.
There is a potential to save well over $150M in this submission.