A-18506, JUNE 10, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 817

A-18506: Jun 10, 1927

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IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF ONLY ONE-HALF OF THE TOTAL COST OF THE SECTION AND MAY NOT LAWFULLY BE REIMBURSED FOR THE TOTAL COST OF ONE LOWER BERTH IF IT EXCEEDS ONE-HALF OF THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF THE SECTION. 1927: REFERENCE IS HAD TO YOUR REQUEST OF MAY 11. (2) THE EXCESS ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN PAID FOR ONE PULLMAN CHAIR ON TWO DIFFERENT OCCASIONS. THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED BETWEEN NOVEMBER 12. IRRESPECTIVE OF WHAT MAY HAVE BEEN PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY. - THE FOLLOWING ACCOMMODATIONS WILL BE ALLOWED ON TRAINS AND STEAMERS: (A) ONE STANDARD LOWER BERTH FOR EACH PERSON AND FIRST-CLASS STATEROOM ACCOMMODATIONS ON STEAMERS WHEN SAME IS NOT INCLUDED IN COST OF PASSAGE TICKET.

A-18506, JUNE 10, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 817

TRAVELING EXPENSES, JOINT - PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS A JUDGE OF THE UNITED STATES CUSTOMS COURT TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS WHEN ACCOMPANIED BY HIS WIFE, JOINT USE BEING MADE OF A PULLMAN SECTION, IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF ONLY ONE-HALF OF THE TOTAL COST OF THE SECTION AND MAY NOT LAWFULLY BE REIMBURSED FOR THE TOTAL COST OF ONE LOWER BERTH IF IT EXCEEDS ONE-HALF OF THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF THE SECTION.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE HON. W. C. ADAMSON, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE UNITED STATES CUSTOMS COURT, JUNE 10, 1927:

REFERENCE IS HAD TO YOUR REQUEST OF MAY 11, 1927, FOR REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT 0153143, DATED APRIL 30, 1927, DISALLOWING (1) THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COST OF A WHOLE SECTION AND THE COST OF ONE LOWER BERTH IN A PULLMAN CAR, (2) THE EXCESS ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN PAID FOR ONE PULLMAN CHAIR ON TWO DIFFERENT OCCASIONS, AND (3) FEES OR TIPS PAID IN EXCESS OF THE AMOUNTS PERMITTED BY THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

YOU STATE THAT THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY ON JANUARY 15, 1913, ISSUED INSTRUCTIONS THAT MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF GENERAL APPRAISERS, NOW KNOWN AS THE UNITED STATES CUSTOMS COURT, SHOULD BE ALLOWED A FULL SECTION IN SLEEPING CARS AND YOU ALSO SUBMIT A PENCIL MEMORANDUM SHOWING THAT YOU ACTUALLY PAID $1.50 FOR PULLMAN CHAIRS ON THE TWO OCCASIONS IN QUESTION.

THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED BETWEEN NOVEMBER 12, 1926, AND JANUARY 3, 1927, PURSUANT TO ORDER DATED OCTOBER 14, 1926, FROM THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE COURT. IRRESPECTIVE OF WHAT MAY HAVE BEEN PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, APPLICABLE TO ALL GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS, BUREAUS AND ESTABLISHMENTS FROM AND AFTER OCTOBER 1, 1926, PROVIDE AS FOLLOWS:

13. ACCOMMODATIONS ON TRAINS AND STEAMERS.--- THE FOLLOWING ACCOMMODATIONS WILL BE ALLOWED ON TRAINS AND STEAMERS:

(A) ONE STANDARD LOWER BERTH FOR EACH PERSON AND FIRST-CLASS STATEROOM ACCOMMODATIONS ON STEAMERS WHEN SAME IS NOT INCLUDED IN COST OF PASSAGE TICKET. IF THE ACCOMMODATIONS ARE SHARED BY THE TRAVELER, THE FACT SHOULD BE STATED IN THE EXPENSE ACCOUNT AND HE MAY BE REIMBURSED ONLY HIS PROPORTIONATE SHARE OF THE COSTS.

(B) ONE SEAT IN A SLEEPING, PARLOR, OR CHAIR CAR, WHEN JOURNEY IS MORE THAN 25 MILES. IF JOURNEY IS LESS THAN 25 MILES, THE NECESSITY FOR THE SEAT MUST BE SHOWN.

(C) A SECTION, COMPARTMENT, DRAWING-ROOM, OR OTHER SUPERIOR RAILWAY OR STEAMSHIP ACCOMMODATIONS WILL BE ALLOWED WHEN THE EXIGENCIES OF TRAVEL REQUIRE IT. WHEN NOT AUTHORIZED IN ADVANCE, FULL EXPLANATION SATISFACTORY TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIAL OF THE NECESSITY FOR THE USE OF SUCH SUPERIOR ACCOMMODATIONS MUST ACCOMPANY THE EXPENSE ACCOUNT.

THE TRAVEL ORDER DID NOT AUTHORIZE A FULL SECTION, NOR DO YOU SUBMIT ANY EXPLANATION FROM WHICH IT MAY BE PRESUMED THAT THE USE OF A FULL SECTION WAS NECESSARY FOR YOUR OWN PERSONAL TRANSPORTATION. IT APPEARS FROM THE RECORD THAT YOUR WIFE ACCOMPANIED YOU UPON THIS TRIP, AND IT MAY BE ASSUMED THAT THE FULL SECTION WAS USED JOINTLY FOR YOURSELF AND WIFE. UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES YOU WERE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR ONLY THE PROPORTIONATE PART, OR ONE-HALF OF THE TOTAL COST OF THE SECTION. COMP. DEC. 453, 456. THE SETTLEMENT WAS, THEREFORE, ERRONEOUS IN SO FAR AS IT DISALLOWED ONLY THE EXCESS OVER THE COST OF ONE LOWER BERTH. THE CHARGES CLAIMED FOR PULLMAN SECTIONS TOTALED $54.68, OF WHICH YOU WERE ONLY ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR ONE-HALF, OR $27.34, INSTEAD OF $30.38 AS ALLOWED IN THE SETTLEMENT.

THE PUBLISHED TARIFF FOR ONE PULLMAN CHAIR FROM SAN ANTONIO TO HOUSTON, TEX., AND FROM BALDWIN TO TAMPA, FLA., IS $1.50 IN EACH CASE AS CLAIMED BY YOU. THE $1.50 DISALLOWED UPON THESE TWO ITEMS WILL NOW BE CREDITED.

PARAGRAPH 54 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS FIXES THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT WHICH MAY BE ALLOWED AS FEES TO BELL BOYS AND MAIDS IN ANY ONE DAY AT 30 CENTS. UNDER NOVEMBER 26, 28, AND 29 YOU CLAIM REIMBURSEMENT FOR FEES PAID TO BELL BOYS AND MAIDS AGGREGATING 60 CENTS FOR EACH DAY. THE DISALLOWANCE OF THE 90 CENTS EXCESS WAS ACCORDINGLY CORRECT.

UPON REVIEW THERE IS CERTIFIED DUE YOU $157.25 INSTEAD OF $158.79 ALLOWED IN THE SETTLEMENT QUESTIONED BY YOU. THE CHECK RETURNED WITH YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW WILL ACCORDINGLY BE DEPOSITED TO THE CREDIT OF THE APPROPRIATION FROM WHICH DRAWN AND A NEW CHECK ISSUED FOR THE CORRECTED AMOUNT.