United States Department of Defense Standards of Conduct Office

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Travel and Transportation

Travel and transportation by Government employees is governed by a complex set of rules and regulations and Government employees should consult with their travel offices if they have any questions concerning application of the travel and transportation rules. The following general principles and references are provided for your information and use. Government travel and transportation can also occasionally raise ethics issues, e.g., acceptance of gifts of travel. In those instances, prior consultation with your assigned ethics counselor is encouraged.

General Principles:

Government owned or controlled transportation resources (vehicles and aircraft) shall be used for official purposes only.

Government transportation should be scheduled and arranged to be the most cost effective for the Government, not to maximize the personal convenience of the traveler.

Government transportation rules must be applied uniformly and not to selectively benefit someone solely because of rank or position.

Commercial transportation assets shall be used to the maximum extent possible/practicable.

Using Government vehicles to transport individuals between their residences and places of work is not transportation for an official purpose and is prohibited.

An officer/employee who willfully uses or authorizes the use of a Government vehicle/aircraft for other than official purposes shall be suspended without pay for at least one month.

Gifts of Travel:

As a general rule, Government employees may not accept gifts, including gifts of travel, if the gifts is from a prohibited source or given because of the employee's official position. There are, however, a number of exclusions and exceptions to the general prohibition that may permit acceptance of such a gift. See the "Gifts" topic for more detail concerning the gift rules.

In some instances, the gift is not offered to the employee as a personal gift but instead to the Government to defray official travel costs, e.g., the sponsor of the event has offered to pay for some or all of the travel costs for an employee who will be giving an official speech at the event. There is authority for the Government to accept such travel. It must, however, be accepted by a designated gift acceptance authority and be approved in writing in advance of the travel. See the 31 U.S.C. 1353 "Gift of Travel" below.

References:

Joint Travel Regulation (JTR) (DoD Civilian Personnel and Uniformed Service Members), http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/travelreg.cfm

31 U.S.C. 1353 (Gift of Travel)