A-25599, JANUARY 23, 1929, 8 COMP. GEN. 391

A-25599: Jan 23, 1929

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AN AFFIDAVIT THAT SUCH RECEIPTS HAVE BEEN LOST CAN NOT BE ACCEPTED AS AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES. 3 COMP. THESE ITEMS WERE INCLUDED IN HIS ORIGINAL EXPENSE VOUCHER COVERING THE DATES MENTIONED BUT WERE ELIMINATED THEREFROM WHEN THE VOUCHER WAS CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT ON PREAUDIT AND HAVE NOW AGAIN BEEN SUBMITTED ON A SEPARATE VOUCHER ACCOMPANIED BY AN AFFIDAVIT AS FOLLOWS: I. THE FIRST DECISION CITED WAS RENDERED NOVEMBER 14. THE DECISION HELD: THE EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE PROCUREMENT OF SLEEPING-CAR BERTHS AND PARLOR-CAR CHAIRS ARE CONSIDERED BY THIS OFFICE AS A NECESSARY PART OF TRANSPORTATION. WHERE THERE IS NO SPECIFIC REQUIREMENT IN THE INSTRUCTIONS GOVERNING TRAVELING EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE SPECIAL AGENCY SERVICE TO FURNISH SUCH RECEIPTS THEY WILL NOT BE REQUIRED BY THIS OFFICE. * * * THE DECISION IN 3 COMP.

A-25599, JANUARY 23, 1929, 8 COMP. GEN. 391

TRAVELING EXPENSES - PULLMAN RECEIPTS PARAGRAPH 95 (R) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS REQUIRES THAT RECEIPTS BE FURNISHED IN SUPPORT OF TRAVEL VOUCHERS CLAIMING REIMBURSEMENT FOR SLEEPING-CAR, PARLOR-CAR, AND STATEROOM FARES WHEN PAID IN CASH, AND AN AFFIDAVIT THAT SUCH RECEIPTS HAVE BEEN LOST CAN NOT BE ACCEPTED AS AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES. 3 COMP. GEN. 775 NO LONGER APPLICABLE. 6 COMP. GEN. 116 DISTINGUISHED.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, JANUARY 23, 1929:

THERE HAS BEEN PRESENTED TO THIS OFFICE FOR PREAUDIT VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF PAUL ESCHNER, SPECIAL AGENT, BUREAU OF PROHIBITION, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, FOR $8.25 AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR PULLMAN FARES BETWEEN NEW YORK CITY AND BAY CITY, MICH., OCTOBER 13, 1928, AND BETWEEN BAY CITY, MICH., AND DETROIT, MICH., OCTOBER 25, 1928. THESE ITEMS WERE INCLUDED IN HIS ORIGINAL EXPENSE VOUCHER COVERING THE DATES MENTIONED BUT WERE ELIMINATED THEREFROM WHEN THE VOUCHER WAS CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT ON PREAUDIT AND HAVE NOW AGAIN BEEN SUBMITTED ON A SEPARATE VOUCHER ACCOMPANIED BY AN AFFIDAVIT AS FOLLOWS:

I, PAUL ESCHNER, ASSISTANT SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, PLANT CONTROL, POST OF DUTY IN WASHINGTON, D.C., DO DEPOSE AND SAY THAT:

WHILE IN NEW YORK CITY ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS I RECEIVED ORDERS TO PROCEED TO BAY CITY, MICH., OCTOBER 13, 1928.

I HAD ONLY ONE TRANSPORTATION REQUEST LEFT, WITH WHICH I SECURED PASSAGE ON THE BALTIMORE AND OHIO RAILROAD.

I SECURED PULLMAN ACCOMMODATION FROM NEW YORK TO BAY CITY AND PAID $7.50 IN CASH FOR SAME.

THE RECEIPT FOR THIS CASH ITEM HAS BEEN LOST.

I SECURED PULLMAN ACCOMMODATION OCTOBER 25 FROM BAY CITY, MICH., TO DETROIT, MICH., FOR WHICH I PAID $0.75 IN CASH IN ACCORDANCE WITH INSTRUCTIONS TO PAY CASH FOR ITEMS LESS THAN $1. THE RECEIPT HAS BEEN LOST.

IN FURTHER SUPPORT OF THE CLAIM THERE HAS BEEN SUBMITTED A STATEMENT BY THE ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER OF PROHIBITION TO THE EFFECT THAT THE DECISIONS 27 MS. COMP. GEN. 682, 3 COMP. GEN. 775, AND 6 ID. 116, AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT OF SUCH ITEMS WITHOUT RECEIPTS AND WITHOUT REQUIRING AN AFFIDAVIT AS TO REASON FOR NOT FURNISHING RECEIPT.

THE FIRST DECISION CITED WAS RENDERED NOVEMBER 14, 1923, TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, ON THE QUESTION OF THE NECESSITY OF RECEIPTS FOR PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS. TREASURY REGULATION, PARAGRAPH 21, T.D. 39069, QUOTED IN THE DECISION, STATED THAT RECEIPTS WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO SUPPORT SUCH CHARGE AND, ACCORDINGLY, THE DECISION HELD:

THE EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE PROCUREMENT OF SLEEPING-CAR BERTHS AND PARLOR-CAR CHAIRS ARE CONSIDERED BY THIS OFFICE AS A NECESSARY PART OF TRANSPORTATION, AND THE SERVICE BEING GENERALLY AT A KNOWN FIXED AMOUNT IT HAS NOT BEEN THOUGHT NECESSARY TO REQUIRE PRODUCTION OF RECEIPTS THEREFOR TO SUPPORT THE PAYMENT. IT APPEARS TO BE PROPER TO LEAVE IT AS AN ADMINISTRATIVE MATTER WHETHER THE FACT THAT THE SERVICE HAS BEEN ACTUALLY OBTAINED BY THE EMPLOYEE SHOULD BE SHOWN THROUGH PRODUCING THE RECEIPTS--- THE REQUIREMENT IN THIS RESPECT GOING ALMOST WHOLLY TO THE INTEGRITY OF THE EMPLOYEE. THE OATH TO AN EXPENSE VOUCHER CONTAINING SUCH ITEMS APPEARS SUFFICIENT FOR THIS PURPOSE, AND WHERE THERE IS NO SPECIFIC REQUIREMENT IN THE INSTRUCTIONS GOVERNING TRAVELING EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE SPECIAL AGENCY SERVICE TO FURNISH SUCH RECEIPTS THEY WILL NOT BE REQUIRED BY THIS OFFICE. * * *

THE DECISION IN 3 COMP. GEN. 775 WAS RENDERED APRIL 18, 1924, AND WAS, ALSO, UPON A TRAVEL VOUCHER OF AN EMPLOYEE OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT AND FOLLOWED THE PREVIOUS RULING IN THE DECISION OF NOVEMBER 14, 1923, THERE BEING AT THAT TIME NO TREASURY DEPARTMENT REGULATION REQUIRING RECEIPTS FOR SUCH EXPENSES.

THE DECISION IN 6 COMP. GEN. 116 WAS RENDERED AUGUST 16, 1926, TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU, WITH RESPECT TO THE BUREAU REGULATIONS AS TO THE REQUIREMENT OF RECEIPTS TO SUPPORT CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES OF CLAIMANTS AND BENEFICIARIES OF THE BUREAU, AND IT WAS HELD THEREIN THAT, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE BUREAU REGULATIONS ASSUMED TO WAIVE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR SUCH RECEIPTS, THIS OFFICE MUST, AND GENERALLY WOULD, REQUIRE RECEIPTS IN ALL CASES WHERE NECESSARY TO ESTABLISH THE ACTUALITY AND CORRECTNESS OF ANY EXPENDITURES FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED. IN THAT CASE THE TRAVEL INVOLVED WAS PERFORMED IN JANUARY, 1926, AND THE CHARGES FOR GASOLINE, OIL, ETC., WERE SMALL AND FOR THE DISTANCE TRAVELED, APPEARED TO BE FAIR AND REASONABLE AND WERE ALLOWED IN THE ABSENCE OF RECEIPTS. HOWEVER, IT WAS SAID THAT FUTURE TRAVEL ORDERS IN SUCH CASES SHOULD DIRECT THE BENEFICIARY TO FURNISH SUCH RECEIPTS AS EVIDENCE OF PAYMENT IN SUPPORT OF CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT. THAT DECISION HAS NO APPLICATION TO THE FURNISHING OF RECEIPTS FOR PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS.

AT THE PRESENT TIME THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 1926, ARE APPLICABLE TO ALL DEPARTMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND IT IS PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH 95 (R) THEREOF, AS FOLLOWS:

95. RECEIPTS REQUIRED.--- RECEIPTS, WHEN PRACTICABLE TO OBTAIN THEM, WILL BE REQUIRED FOR:

(R) SLEEPING-CAR, PARLOR-CAR, AND STATEROOM FARES, WHEN PAID FOR IN CASH, WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES, OR ON COASTWISE TRANSPORTATION LINES. THE SEAT OR BERTH CHECK WILL BE SUFFICIENT, BUT IN CASES WHERE COUPONS OR CHECKS ARE NOT GIVEN BY THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY AND IT IS SO STATED IN THE EXPENSE ACCOUNT, SAME WILL NOT BE REQUIRED.

IN VIEW OF THIS REQUIREMENT IN THE REGULATIONS THAT RECEIPTS BE FURNISHED, THE DECISIONS IN 27 MS. COMP. GEN. 682 AND 3 COMP. GEN. 775 ARE NO LONGER APPLICABLE. IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THE REGULATIONS NOW REQUIRE THAT RECEIPTS BE FURNISHED FOR PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS, NOTWITHSTANDING THAT ALL TRAVEL VOUCHERS IN WHICH SUCH EXPENSES ARE CLAIMED MUST BE SWORN TO. WHERE A RECEIPT IS NOT FURNISHED THEREFOR A SEPARATE AFFIDAVIT STATING THAT THE RECEIPT WAS LOST HAS NO GREATER EVIDENTIARY VALUE THAN THE ORIGINAL SWORN VOUCHER.

THE REQUIREMENT OF THE REGULATIONS IS THAT THE EMPLOYEE MUST FURNISH THE RECEIPTS "WHEN PRACTICABLE TO OBTAIN THEM," BUT THAT "IN CASES WHERE COUPONS OR CHECKS ARE NOT GIVEN BY THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY * * * SAME WILL NOT BE REQUIRED.' IN THE PRESENT CASE THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY DID GIVE THE COUPON OR CHECK; THAT IS TO SAY, IT WAS PRACTICABLE FOR THE EMPLOYEE TO OBTAIN THE RECEIPTS; AND, IN VIEW OF THE PLAIN REQUIREMENT OF THE REGULATIONS, AN AFFIDAVIT THAT THE COUPONS OR CHECKS WERE LOST CAN NOT BE ACCEPTED AS SUFFICIENT TO AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR. A-23613, JULY 13, 1928; A-24670, NOVEMBER 2, 1928.