It is my understanding of the JFTR and GSA Travel, that this travel is considered the local area, and therefore, the contractor is authorized reinbursement in cost for public transportation or mileage, but not a rental vehicle. The GSA Q&A webpage is somewhat vague on this matter. Also, is there any guidelines as to when the Government would pay for cell phone usage for contractors, especially in the local area.
Reference: JTR, Chapter 2, Part H
When POC use is authorized/approved for travel between a member's/employee's residence or the PDS and one or more alternate work sites within the local area, the member/employee is paid mileage for the distance that exceeds the their commuting distance.
Reimbursement for transportation expenses in/around the PDS/TDY area may be authorized/approved for travel between:
- office or duty point and another place of business;
- places of business; or
- residence and place of business other than office or duty point.
When it is determined to be to the Government's advantage, designated Service officials may authorize/approve reimbursement for transportation expenses incurred by members/employees conducting official business in the local area of the PDS and/or TDY stations.
Reimbursement for travel by commercial means may be authorized/approved for necessary expenses incurred for:
- local public transportation when tokens, tickets or cash fares are not furnished;
- taxi cab fares and transportation-related tips; and
- hire and operation of a special conveyance including necessary parking fees. (This could be a rental car)
Cell Phone Use. When a cell phone is used for official communication, each call must be documented showing the additional cost incurred outside of the normal usage covered in the cell phone contract. Prepaid communication services (i.e., prepaid phone cards,cell phones) are not reimbursable unless the AO can determine they were used for official business.
It is important to note that the JTR states that the organization "may" approve / authorize the expenses in the question. It is entirely up to the organization and the approving official if these expenses will be reimbursed.