A-24639, OCTOBER 18, 1928, 8 COMP. GEN. 199

A-24639: Oct 18, 1928

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SUCH EXPENSES WHEN LESS THAN AUTHORIZED SLEEPING-CAR ACCOMMODATIONS WILL BE PAID. THE EMPLOYEE WILL BE CHARGED WITH ANNUAL LEAVE OR LEAVE WITHOUT PAY FOR THE TIME LOST BY REASON OF THE STOP-OVERS. WHEREIN ONLY $29.24 WAS ALLOWED ON HIS CLAIM FOR $37.84. WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT IT REPRESENTED LODGING. RECEIVED AN ORDER AS FOLLOWS: YOU ARE DIRECTED TO VISIT FAIRFIELD. YOUR ACTUAL TRAVELING AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED IN COMPLYING WITH THESE INSTRUCTIONS WILL BE PAID FROM AN APPROPRIATION UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE SUPERVISING ARCHITECT'S OFFICE. YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE MEMORANDUM OF THE 25TH INSTANT IN REGARD TO THE REASON FOR YOUR STOPPING OVER AT BOTH PITTSBURGH AND CHICAGO IN ORDER TO SLEEP IN A HOTEL IN LIEU OF ON A TRAIN IS NOT CONSIDERED A SATISFACTORY REASON FOR DEVIATING FROM THE INSTRUCTIONS WHICH DIRECTED YOU TO PROCEED TO FAIRFIELD.

A-24639, OCTOBER 18, 1928, 8 COMP. GEN. 199

TRAVELING EXPENSES - SLEEPING-CAR ACCOMMODATIONS - STOP-OVERS FOR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE WHERE CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES TRAVELING UNDER ORDERS WITH SLEEPING-CAR PRIVILEGES MAKE STOP-OVERS EN ROUTE WITHOUT OFFICIAL AUTHORITY, TO SPEND NIGHTS IN HOTELS RATHER THAN ON TRAINS, SUCH EXPENSES WHEN LESS THAN AUTHORIZED SLEEPING-CAR ACCOMMODATIONS WILL BE PAID, BUT THE EMPLOYEE WILL BE CHARGED WITH ANNUAL LEAVE OR LEAVE WITHOUT PAY FOR THE TIME LOST BY REASON OF THE STOP-OVERS.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, OCTOBER 18, 1928:

CHARLES H. UMSTEAD REQUESTED SEPTEMBER 7, 1928, REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT NO. 0186999, DATED AUGUST 24, 1928, WHEREIN ONLY $29.24 WAS ALLOWED ON HIS CLAIM FOR $37.84, AS REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL AND OTHER EXPENSES IN MAKING A TRIP FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO FAIRFIELD, IOWA, AND RETURN, AS ASSISTANT ARCHITECT, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, DURING THE PERIOD FROM JULY 4 TO 14, 1928. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE AMOUNT CLAIMED AND THE AMOUNT ALLOWED, $8.60, WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT IT REPRESENTED LODGING, SUBSISTENCE, AND STREET-CAR FARES DURING UNAUTHORIZED STOP-OVERS AT PITTSBURGH AND CHICAGO.

THE FACTS APPEAR TO BE AS FOLLOWS:

ON JULY 3, 1928, THE CLAIMANT, WHILE ON DUTY AT HIS HEADQUARTERS, WASHINGTON, D.C., RECEIVED AN ORDER AS FOLLOWS:

YOU ARE DIRECTED TO VISIT FAIRFIELD, IOWA, FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING A TOPOGRAPHICAL SURVEY OF THE SITE OF THE PROPOSED POST-OFFICE BUILDING.

UPON COMPLETION OF THESE DUTIES RETURN TO YOUR HEADQUARTERS UNLESS OTHERWISE DIRECTED.

YOUR ACTUAL TRAVELING AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED IN COMPLYING WITH THESE INSTRUCTIONS WILL BE PAID FROM AN APPROPRIATION UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE SUPERVISING ARCHITECT'S OFFICE.

AS HEREINBEFORE STATED, THE TRAVEL COVERED THE PERIOD FROM JULY 4 TO 14, 1928. ON JULY 30, 1928, THE SUPERVISING ARCHITECT ADDRESSED A LETTER TO THE CLAIMANT AS FOLLOWS:

REFERRING TO RECENT INSTRUCTIONS DIRECTING YOU TO MAKE A VISIT TO FAIRFIELD, IOWA, FOR THE PURPOSE OF SURVEYING THE SITE FOR THE PROPOSED BUILDING IN THAT CITY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE MEMORANDUM OF THE 25TH INSTANT IN REGARD TO THE REASON FOR YOUR STOPPING OVER AT BOTH PITTSBURGH AND CHICAGO IN ORDER TO SLEEP IN A HOTEL IN LIEU OF ON A TRAIN IS NOT CONSIDERED A SATISFACTORY REASON FOR DEVIATING FROM THE INSTRUCTIONS WHICH DIRECTED YOU TO PROCEED TO FAIRFIELD, IOWA, AND WAS INTENDED FOR A CONTINUOUS TRIP.

THE CLAIMANT REPLIED TO THE FOREGOING ON JULY 31, 1928. ON AUGUST 2, 1928, THE VOUCHER WAS FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT, WITHOUT ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL AS TO STOP-OVERS EN ROUTE DOING AND RETURNING, AND DISALLOWANCE WAS MADE AS TO $8.60, AS HEREINBEFORE STATED.

SINCE THE FOREGOING, CAREFUL CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO THE CLAIMANT'S REASON FOR THE THREE STOP-OVERS, BUT SAID REASON CAN NOT BE REGARDED AS SUFFICIENT TO JUSTIFY THE STOP-OVERS. HOWEVER, THERE ARE OTHER FACTS FOR CONSIDERATION IN CONNECTION WITH THIS CLAIM.

IT IS NOTED THAT THE CLAIMANT TRAVELED VIA THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD TO CHICAGO, AND THE CHICAGO, BURLINGTON AND QUINCY RAILROAD TO FAIRFIELD, ON BOTH THE GOING AND RETURN TRIPS. PENNSYLVANIA THROUGH TRAIN NO. 59 LEAVES WASHINGTON, D.C., DAILY AT 3.10 P.M., AND ARRIVES AT CHICAGO AT 9 A.M.; CHICAGO, BURLINGTON AND QUINCY TRAIN NO. 9 LEAVES CHICAGO 10.30 A.M. AND ARRIVES IN FAIRFIELD AT 4.32 P.M., TIME 25 HOURS 22 MINUTES. THEREFORE HE SHOULD HAVE ARRIVED AT HIS DESTINATION AT 4.32 P.M. JULY 5, BUT DID NOT ARRIVE UNTIL ABOUT 6 A.M. JULY 7, A LOSS TO THE GOVERNMENT OF ONE ENTIRE DAY BY REASON OF HIS UNAUTHORIZED STOP-OVER AT PITTSBURGH. THE MORNING TRAIN ON WHICH HE LEFT WASHINGTON WOULD NOT HAVE GOTTEN HIM IN FAIRFIELD ANY EARLIER THAN THE AFTERNOON TRAIN.

RETURNING CHICAGO, BURLINGTON AND QUINCY TRAIN NO. 6 LEAVES FAIRFIELD AT 1.20 P.M. AND ARRIVES IN CHICAGO AT 7.45 P.M.; PENNSYLVANIA TRAIN NO. 54 LEAVES CHICAGO AT 9 P.M. AND ARRIVES IN WASHINGTON AT 6.40 P.M., TIME 29 HOURS 20 MINUTES. THEREFORE HE SHOULD HAVE ARRIVED BACK IN WASHINGTON AT 6.40 P.M. JULY 12, BUT HE DID NOT ARRIVE UNTIL ABOUT 7.10 P.M. JULY 14, A LOSS TO THE GOVERNMENT OF TWO DAYS BY REASON OF HIS UNAUTHORIZED STOP- OVERS AT CHICAGO AND PITTSBURGH.

CHART PULLMAN STANDARD LOWER BERTH RATE, WASHINGTON TO CHICAGO- - - - - $8.25 PULLMAN SEAT RATE CHICAGO TO FAIRFIELD - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1.65

9.90 SAME PULLMAN RATES APPLY ON THE RETURN TRIP.

THE CLAIMANT DID NOT INCUR ANY EXPENSE FOR PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS ON THE TRIP, AND AS HE IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE EXPENSE HE ACTUALLY INCURRED ON THE TRIP, INCLUDING UNAUTHORIZED STOP-OVERS, NOT TO EXCEED WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD HIS TRIP EACH WAY BEEN CONTINUOUS, THAT IS, NO STOP-OVERS, AND AS THE AMOUNT FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED IS LESS THAN THE AMOUNT THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWABLE HAD THE TRIP BEEN MADE WITHOUT STOP-OVERS AND BY USING PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS, THE ADDITIONAL SUM OF $8.60 WILL NOT BE ALLOWED. HOWEVER, THE THREE DAYS' EXCESS TIME TAKEN ON THE TRIP BY REASON OF THE UNAUTHORIZED STOP-OVERS SHOULD BE CHARGED AS ANNUAL LEAVE OR AS LEAVE WITHOUT PAY, IN THE DISCRETION OF THE DEPARTMENT.

UPON REVIEW THERE IS CERTIFIED AS DUE THE CLAIMANT THE SUM OF $8.60 IN ADDITION TO THE AMOUNT HERETOFORE ALLOWED.