A-19037, JULY 25, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 63

A-19037: Jul 25, 1927

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WHO PURCHASED HIS TRANSPORTATION FROM HIS PERSONAL FUNDS OVER ROUTES INVOLVING LAND GRANT OR OPERATING UNDER EQUALIZATION AGREEMENTS IS ENTITLED. TO REIMBURSEMENT ONLY IN THE AMOUNT IT WOULD HAVE COST THE GOVERNMENT HAD TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS BEEN USED. 1927: THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION THE CLAIM OF LIEUT. A VOUCHER WAS SUBMITTED TO THE DISBURSING OFFICER. HE WAS PAID THEREON. THE CORRECTNESS OF THIS PAYMENT WILL BE DETERMINED IN THE AUDIT OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER'S ACCOUNTS. THE CLAIM IS FOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SUCH NET MILITARY FARES AND FULL COMMERCIAL FARES. WHEN TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS ARE NOT USED AND "WHEN NOT IN EXCESS OF GOVERNMENT RATES ON TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS FOR TRAVEL IN THE UNITED STATES IN NORTH AMERICA.'.

A-19037, JULY 25, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 63

TRANSPORTATION - GOVERNMENT REQUESTS - DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NET MILITARY AND FULL COMMERCIAL FARES AN OFFICER OF THE ARMY ASSIGNED TO NATIONAL GUARD DUTY, TRAVELING UNDER ORDERS ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS, WHO PURCHASED HIS TRANSPORTATION FROM HIS PERSONAL FUNDS OVER ROUTES INVOLVING LAND GRANT OR OPERATING UNDER EQUALIZATION AGREEMENTS IS ENTITLED, UNDER THE LAND-GRANT LAWS AND THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 10-B-/1), ARMY REGULATIONS 35-4820, TO REIMBURSEMENT ONLY IN THE AMOUNT IT WOULD HAVE COST THE GOVERNMENT HAD TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS BEEN USED.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, JULY 25, 1927:

THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION THE CLAIM OF LIEUT. COL. ARTHUR POILLON, CAVALRY, UNITED STATES ARMY, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES IN THE AMOUNT OF $15.20, STATED TO BE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COMMERCIAL AND GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION RATES FROM MARFA, TEX., TO NEW YORK CITY, FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED IN MAY, 1927.

SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 88, WAR DEPARTMENT, DATED APRIL 15, 1927, RELIEVED CLAIMANT FROM DUTY WITH THE FIRST CAVALRY AT MARFA, TEX., EFFECTIVE MAY 15, 1927, AND DIRECTED HIM TO PROCEED TO NEW YORK CITY, AS INSTRUCTOR OF CAVALRY, NEW YORK NATIONAL GUARD. HE LEFT MARFA PURSUANT TO SUCH ORDERS MAY 16, 1927, AND ARRIVED IN NEW YORK CITY MAY 19, 1927, TRAVELING AT HIS OWN EXPENSE BY THE WAY OF NEW ORLEANS, LA. A VOUCHER WAS SUBMITTED TO THE DISBURSING OFFICER, MILITIA BUREAU, IN WHICH HE CLAIMED REIMBURSEMENT AT THE FULL COMMERCIAL RATE OF $81.86 FOR RAILROAD FARE AND $27 FOR ONE LOWER SLEEPING-CAR BERTH, A TOTAL OF $108.86, AND HE WAS PAID THEREON, VOUCHER 526, JUNE, 1927, ACCOUNTS OF MAJ. BENJ. L. JACOBSON, $70.56 FOR RAILROAD FARE AND $23.10 FOR PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS, A TOTAL OF $93.66, COMPUTED BY THE DISBURSING OFFICER AS THE AUTHORIZED RATE TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE TRAVEL. THE CORRECTNESS OF THIS PAYMENT WILL BE DETERMINED IN THE AUDIT OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER'S ACCOUNTS. THE CLAIM IS FOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SUCH NET MILITARY FARES AND FULL COMMERCIAL FARES.

THE SECOND PARAGRAPH OF SECTION 67 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 22, 1922, 42 STAT. 1034, PROVIDES FOR AN APPORTIONMENT AMONG THE STATES OF THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION FOR THE NATIONAL GUARD, WITH A PROVISO THAT THE SUM SO APPORTIONED SHALL BE AVAILABLE UNDER SUCH RULES AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR FOR THE ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES OF OFFICERS OF THE REGULAR ARMY WHEN TRAVELING ON DUTY IN CONNECTION WITH THE NATIONAL GUARD, AND PARAGRAPH 10- B-/1), ARMY REGULATIONS 35-4820, PROMULGATED THEREUNDER PROVIDES FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL COST OF TRANSPORTATION, INCLUDING PARLOR-CAR OR SLEEPING-CAR ACCOMMODATIONS, WHEN TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS ARE NOT USED AND "WHEN NOT IN EXCESS OF GOVERNMENT RATES ON TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS FOR TRAVEL IN THE UNITED STATES IN NORTH AMERICA.'

CLAIMANT IS AN OFFICER IN THE UNITED STATES ARMY. HE WAS TRAVELING UNDER ORDERS ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS, AND AS THE COST OF HIS TRANSPORTATION IS BORNE BY THE UNITED STATES, HE COMES WITHIN THE TERM "TROOPS OF THE UNITED STATES" AS USED IN LAND-GRANT ACTS, UNDER WHICH THE GOVERNMENT IS ENTITLED TO DEDUCTIONS FROM REGULAR COMMERCIAL CHARGES ON ACCOUNT OF TRANSPORTATION OVER SUCH LAND-GRANT ROADS, AND UNDER THE REGULATIONS HE IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION AND SLEEPING-CAR ACCOMMODATIONS NOT IN EXCESS OF GOVERNMENT RATES ON TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS.

THERE ARE SEVERAL STANDARD ROUTES OF TRAVEL FROM MARFA, TEX., TO NEW YORK CITY AND, WHILE THE LOWEST NET MILITARY FARE APPLIES OVER THE ROUTE VIA SAN ANTONIO, KANSAS CITY, AND ST. LOUIS OR CHICAGO, THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT, BY REASON OF EQUALIZATION AGREEMENTS, WOULD HAVE BEEN THE SAME HAD TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS BEEN ISSUED OVER ANY OF SUCH STANDARD ROUTES. WHATEVER THE REASON FOR CLAIMANT'S SELECTION OF A PARTICULAR ROUTE AND FAILURE TO SECURE TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS FOR TRAVEL OVER THE ROUTE SELECTED BY HIM, THEY CAN NOT OPERATE TO INCREASE THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT.

THE CLAIM FOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE NET MILITARY AND THE FULL COMMERCIAL FARES IS ACCORDINGLY DISALLOWED.