Department of Agriculture

POV and GOV Dilemma

Recognize that POV travel is less expensive than GOV travel, and reimburse appropriately. A new AAA study shows the cost to own and operate a sedan rose nearly 2 cents a mile to 58.5 cents per mile. As a high-mileage driver the government had been reimbursing me (to use my POV for government business) 19 cents per mile, which is down from the 28.5 cents per mile that was reimbursed in prior years (while actual costs have gone up). This creates an even greater discrepancy between what agencies (IRS vs. GSA) determine to be the cost of driving (and a greater tax deduction due at years end). I asked the GSA for the study the government used to determine this new and greater incongruity only to be told that the cost method used is confidential and proprietary info. This kind of lack of transparency can't be good for government innovation or competitiveness. Nor the fact that the government has determined the costs of driving to go both up and down simultaneously -- reimbursing low-mileage drivers at 51 cents, up from 50 cents and the high-mileage drivers at 19 cents, down from 28.5 cents. It would be amazing to learn if GSA can staff and operate their agency; buy vehicles; park; administer; maintain and fix those vehicles; self insure; continuously fill them with $4 per gallon gas; recoup large enough amounts at auction, etc. etc. and in turn justify reimbursing a high-mileage driver just 19 cents to operate their POV instead. The employee required to drive as part of their assignment cannot pay for a private vehicle's maintenance and repairs, tires, gasoline (including all taxes thereon) and oil for 19 cents per mile! My point is that rather than squeezing the high-mileage driver into requesting a GOV, reimburse them a prudent amount to create huge savings and efficiencies for the US government/taxpayer.

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Idea No. 2013