A-2154, OCTOBER 6, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 236

A-2154: Oct 6, 1926

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ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS ARE REQUIRED GENERALLY TO USE THE CHEAPEST MODE OF TRANSPORTATION AVAILABLE. THE TIME NECESSARILY ABSENT FROM HEADQUARTERS IS CONFINED BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 8 A.M. ENTITLING THE TRAVELER TO NO SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES AND IT IS SHOWN THAT TRAVEL BY THE CHEAPER ELECTRIC ROAD WOULD HAVE NECESSITATED ABSENCE BEFORE 8 A.M. THE USE OF THE STEAM RAILROAD IS AUTHORIZED WITHOUT FURTHER EVIDENCE OF THE ACTUAL SAVING IN TIME OR OTHER BENEFIT ACCRUING TO THE GOVERNMENT. 1926: THERE WAS RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 3. AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 11. IN WHICH YOU HOLD THAT WHERE TRANSPORTATION OF INTERNAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IS LIMITED TO TRAVEL BETWEEN WASHINGTON AND BALTIMORE IT SHOULD BE BY THE ROAD AT THE LOWER FARE UNLESS THERE IS SUBMITTED WITH THE VOUCHER A STATEMENT OF FACTS SHOWING THE ACTUAL SAVING IN TIME BY USE OF ANOTHER ROAD AND THE BENEFIT RESULTING TO THE GOVERNMENT THEREFROM.

A-2154, OCTOBER 6, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 236

TRAVELING EXPENSES - CHEAPEST ROUTE EMPLOYEES TRAVELING BETWEEN WASHINGTON, D.C., AND BALTIMORE, MD., ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS ARE REQUIRED GENERALLY TO USE THE CHEAPEST MODE OF TRANSPORTATION AVAILABLE. WHERE, HOWEVER, BY USING THE MORE EXPENSIVE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION, I.E., STEAM RAILROAD, THE TIME NECESSARILY ABSENT FROM HEADQUARTERS IS CONFINED BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 8 A.M. AND 6 P.M. ENTITLING THE TRAVELER TO NO SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES AND IT IS SHOWN THAT TRAVEL BY THE CHEAPER ELECTRIC ROAD WOULD HAVE NECESSITATED ABSENCE BEFORE 8 A.M. OR AFTER 6 P.M. ENTAILING THE PAYMENT OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OR PER DIEM, THE USE OF THE STEAM RAILROAD IS AUTHORIZED WITHOUT FURTHER EVIDENCE OF THE ACTUAL SAVING IN TIME OR OTHER BENEFIT ACCRUING TO THE GOVERNMENT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, OCTOBER 6, 1926:

THERE WAS RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 3, 1926, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 11, 1926 (1924) (A.D. 8116, RECONSIDERATION), IN WHICH YOU HOLD THAT WHERE TRANSPORTATION OF INTERNAL REVENUE EMPLOYEES IS LIMITED TO TRAVEL BETWEEN WASHINGTON AND BALTIMORE IT SHOULD BE BY THE ROAD AT THE LOWER FARE UNLESS THERE IS SUBMITTED WITH THE VOUCHER A STATEMENT OF FACTS SHOWING THE ACTUAL SAVING IN TIME BY USE OF ANOTHER ROAD AND THE BENEFIT RESULTING TO THE GOVERNMENT THEREFROM.

AT THE TIME THE MATTER WAS BEFORE YOU FOR CONSIDERATION THE FARE BETWEEN THE TWO CITIES BY THE ELECTRIC RAILWAY WAS $1.05 FOR ONE WAY, OR $2 FOR THE ROUND TRIP. THE FARE, HOWEVER, HAS BEEN INCREASED TO $1.24 FOR ONE WAY, OR $2.37 FOR THE ROUND TRIP. THE FARE BY THE STREAM ROADS IS $1.44 FOR ONE WAY, OR $2.88 FOR THE ROUND TRIP. BY TAKING THE ELECTRIC RAILWAY THERE IS A NOMINAL MOMENTARY SAVING OF 20 CENTS FOR THE ONE WAY AND 51 CENTS FOR THE ROUND TRIP IN TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES.

IT REQUIRES ONE AND ONE-HALF HOURS' TRAVEL BY THE ELECTRIC RAILWAY AND LESS THAN AN HOUR'S TRAVEL BY THE STREAM RAILWAYS. EMPLOYEES BY USING THE ELECTRIC RAILWAY MUST DEPART AT 7.30 A.M. TO BE AT THEIR PLACES OF EMPLOYMENT AT 9 A.M. AT THE CLOSE OF THE DAY DEPARTURE AT 5 P.M. BY ELECTRIC RAILWAY INVOLVES ARRIVAL AT HEADQUARTERS AFTER 6 P.M. AND SUBSISTENCE CHARGES OR PER DIEM IN LIEU THEREOF ARE CLAIMED AND ALLOWED IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR RULINGS ON SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES ON SHORT TEMPORARY ABSENCES FOR PARTS OF A DAY. 3 COMP. GEN., 598; ID. 739; ID. 906; AND 4 ID. 745.

ON THE OTHER HAND, BY STREAM RAILWAYS EMPLOYEES MAY LEAVE HEADQUARTERS AT 8 A.M., AND ARRIVE AT THEIR ACTUAL PLACES OF WORK AT 9 A.M. IF RETURN TO HEADQUARTERS IS MADE AT OR SHORTLY AFTER 4.30 P.M. THEY WILL ARRIVE BACK AT HEADQUARTERS USUALLY BEFORE 6 P.M., WHICH TRAVEL WILL NOT ENTITLE THEM TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES.

IN VIEW THE SMALL DIFFERENCE IN FARES NOW OBTAINING BETWEEN THE STEAM ROADS AND THE ELECTRIC LINE AND THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES POINTED OUT HEREIN AND IN PREVIOUS CORRESPONDENCE, IT IS THOUGHT APPROPRIATE AGAIN TO SUBMIT FOR CONSIDERATION THE MATTER OF ALLOWING OFFICIAL TRAVEL BETWEEN WASHINGTON AND BALTIMORE ON THE STEAM ROADS WITHOUT THE NECESSITY OF FURNISHING A STATEMENT SHOWING THE ACTUAL SAVING IN TIME AND THE BENEFIT RESULTING TO THE GOVERNMENT THEREFROM.

IN DECISIONS IN 3 COMP. GEN. 598, 739, AND 966, CITED BY YOU, THE RULING WAS TO THE EFFECT THAT SHORT TEMPORARY ABSENCES FROM HEADQUARTERS ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS TRIPS AT SUCH HOURS AND UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS AS TO NEGATIVE ANY PRESUMPTION OF NECESSITY FOR THE INCURRING OF ANY ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR SUBSISTENCE DO NOT ENTITLE THE EMPLOYEE TO ANY REIMBURSEMENT ON ACCOUNT OF SUBSISTENCE, EITHER ON A PER DIEM OR AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS; AND IN 4 COMP. GEN. 745, ALSO CITED BY YOU, WAS APPLIED THE RULING ANNOUNCED IN 4 COMP. GEN. 331 (SEPTEMBER 30, 1924) THAT AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS ABSENT FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS FOR A PERIOD OF 10 HOURS OR LESS BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 8 A.M. AND 6 P.M. IS NOT IN A TRAVEL STATUS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE LAW AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES, EITHER ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS OR A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF BASIS.

FROM YOUR STATEMENT THAT THE USE OF ELECTRIC ROAD BY EMPLOYEES OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE DEPARTMENT, BALTIMORE, MD., IN TRAVELING OFFICIALLY BETWEEN THAT CITY AND WASHINGTON RESULTS IN THE ALLOWANCE OF SUBSISTENCE CHARGES WHICH ARE ASSUMED TO BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATIONS AND WITH DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE, AND UPON YOUR STATEMENT AS TO THE INCREASE OF FARE BY ELECTRIC ROAD, IT WOULD SEEM THAT IF THE TRAVEL WERE MADE BY STEAM ROAD THERE WOULD BE A RESULTING BENEFIT TO THE GOVERNMENT IN A SAVING OF TIME AND EXPENSE.

YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT IN THE CASE OF VOUCHERS FOR SUCH TRAVEL BY STEAM ROAD WHERE NO CHARGE IS MADE FOR SUBSISTENCE BECAUSE OF THE ABSENCE BEING ENTIRELY BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 8 A.M. AND 6 P.M. A STATEMENT SHOWING THE ACTUAL SAVING IN TIME BY USE OF THE STEAM OVER THE ELECTRIC ROAD WILL NOT HEREAFTER BE REQUIRED IF IT BE SHOWN THAT TRAVEL OVER THE ELECTRIC ROAD WOULD HAVE NECESSITATED DEPARTURE BEFORE 8 A.M. OR ARRIVAL AFTER 6 P.M. ..END :