A-27902, SEPTEMBER 12, 1929, 9 COMP. GEN. 112

A-27902: Sep 12, 1929

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MARINE CORPS IN EXCESS OF THAT TO THE NEW DUTY STATIONS OF THE OFFICERS ARE TO BE COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF COMMERCIAL FARES APPLICABLE TO THE PUBLIC GENERALLY AND NOT ON THE BASIS OF REDUCED RATES SECURED BY THE GOVERNMENT UNDER SIDE AGREEMENTS WITH THE CARRIERS. THAT IS. WHETHER THE COMPUTATIONS ARE TO BE BASED ON COMMERCIAL FARES APPLICABLE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC OR WHETHER THE OFFICERS CONCERNED ARE TO RECEIVE THE BENEFIT OF ANY SAVINGS EFFECTED BY THE GOVERNMENT BECAUSE THE CARRIER HAS BILLED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION UNDER JOINT PASSENGER MILITARY SIDE AGREEMENTS WITH THE CARRIERS. IN THE CASE SUBMITTED TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WERE ISSUED BY A QUARTERMASTER FOR RAIL TRANSPORTATION AND PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS FOR AN OFFICER'S WIFE FROM SAN FRANCISCO.

A-27902, SEPTEMBER 12, 1929, 9 COMP. GEN. 112

TRANSPORTATION - DEPENDENTS OF OFFICERS OF ARMY, NAVY, AND MARINE CORPS THE AMOUNTS TO BE COLLECTED FOR TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT TO DEPENDENTS OF OFFICERS OF THE ARMY, NAVY, AND MARINE CORPS IN EXCESS OF THAT TO THE NEW DUTY STATIONS OF THE OFFICERS ARE TO BE COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF COMMERCIAL FARES APPLICABLE TO THE PUBLIC GENERALLY AND NOT ON THE BASIS OF REDUCED RATES SECURED BY THE GOVERNMENT UNDER SIDE AGREEMENTS WITH THE CARRIERS.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, SEPTEMBER 12, 1929:

THERE HAS BEEN PRESENTED FOR CONSIDERATION AND DECISION A QUESTION RESPECTING THE METHOD OF COMPUTING FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING COLLECTIONS FROM OFFICERS OF THE ARMY, NAVY, AND MARINE CORPS THE EXCESS COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED THEIR DEPENDENTS WHEN CHANGING STATION UNDER CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS; THAT IS, WHETHER THE COMPUTATIONS ARE TO BE BASED ON COMMERCIAL FARES APPLICABLE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC OR WHETHER THE OFFICERS CONCERNED ARE TO RECEIVE THE BENEFIT OF ANY SAVINGS EFFECTED BY THE GOVERNMENT BECAUSE THE CARRIER HAS BILLED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION UNDER JOINT PASSENGER MILITARY SIDE AGREEMENTS WITH THE CARRIERS.

IN THE CASE SUBMITTED TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WERE ISSUED BY A QUARTERMASTER FOR RAIL TRANSPORTATION AND PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS FOR AN OFFICER'S WIFE FROM SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF., TO WASHINGTON, D.C., AND RAIL TRANSPORTATION FOR A 5-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO ST. LOUIS, MO., ON ORDERS CHANGING THE OFFICER'S DUTY STATION FROM FORT WILLIAM MCKINLEY, P.I., TO FORT RILEY, KANS., THUS INVOLVING EXCESS COST OF TRANSPORTATION FOR THE WIFE AND DAUGHTER BEYOND THE LATTER PLACE. UPON A COMMERCIAL FARE BASIS THE EXCESS COST OF THE TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED THE WIFE AND DAUGHTER AMOUNTED TO $57.16, WHICH AMOUNT WAS COLLECTED FROM THE OFFICER BY THE QUARTERMASTER AT THE TIME THE REQUESTS WERE ISSUED, BUT THE FINANCE OFFICER AT WASHINGTON, D.C., TO WHOM THE AMOUNT COLLECTED WAS TRANSMITTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS, COMPUTED THE COST OF THE EXCESS TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED THE OFFICER'S WIFE AND DAUGHTER APPARENTLY ON THE BASIS OF THE RATE WHICH THE GOVERNMENT PAID THE CARRIER THEREFOR AND REFUNDED THE SUM OF $2.23 TO THE OFFICER.

SECTION 4 OF THE JOINT PASSENGER MILITARY SIDE AGREEMENT A, EFFECTIVE WHEN THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED BY THE OFFICER'S DEPENDENTS, PROVIDES:

THIS AGREEMENT IS CONFINED TO AND APPLIES EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE FOLLOWING CLASSES OF NONMILITARY TRAFFIC UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE UNITED STATES WAR DEPARTMENT, UNITED STATES NAVY DEPARTMENT, AND UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS, WHEN TRAVELING ON TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS OF THE ISSUES OF THE UNITED STATES WAR DEPARTMENT, UNITED STATES NAVY DEPARTMENT, AND UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS, WHERE THE ENTIRE TRANSPORTATION COST IS PAID FROM MONEY APPROPRIATED BY CONGRESS FOR THE WAR DEPARTMENT, NAVY DEPARTMENT, AND MARINE CORPS: (1) WIVES AND DEPENDENTS OF OFFICERS, WARRANT OFFICERS, AND NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICERS OF THE FIRST, SECOND, AND THIRD PAY GRADES IN THE ARMY AND CORRESPONDING GRADES IN THE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS.

AND IN SECTION 5 IT WAS PROVIDED:

(1) (A) SUBJECT TO THE CONDITIONS HEREINAFTER STATED AND TO ALL OTHER PROVISIONS OF THIS AGREEMENT, ON TRAVEL OF THE CLASSES SUBJECT TO THIS AGREEMENT * * * WITHIN WESTERN MILITARY BUREAU TERRITORY, * * * OVER THE LINES OF THE CARRIERS PARTIES TO THIS AGREEMENT IN THAT TERRITORY, AN ALLOWANCE OF FIVE PERCENT (5 PERCENT) WILL BE MADE TO THE GOVERNMENT BY THE CARRIERS PARTIES HERETO FROM COMMERCIAL ONE-WAY FARES ESTABLISHED ON THE BASIS PRESCRIBED IN JOINT MILITARY PASSENGER EQUALIZATION AGREEMENT 4, SUPPLEMENTS THERETO OR REISSUES THEREOF, ON TRAVEL COMPETITIVE AND NONCOMPETITIVE REGARDLESS OF DISTANCE TRAVELED, * * *.

(3) THE ALLOWANCE WILL NOT BE MADE IN ANY OF THE FOLLOWING CASES:

(B) ON ANY TRANSPORTATION PAID BY THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, EXCEPT AS AUTHORIZED IN SECTION 4 THEREOF. * * *

THE TRANSPORTATION THAT WAS AUTHORIZED IN SECTION 4 OF SAID AGREEMENT TO BE INCLUDED WAS THAT ,WHERE THE ENTIRE TRANSPORTATION COST IS PAID FROM MONEY APPROPRIATED BY CONGRESS" FOR THE WAR AND NAVY DEPARTMENTS AND THE MARINE CORPS, OR, IN OTHER WORDS, SUCH TRANSPORTATION ONLY AS THE WAR AND NAVY DEPARTMENTS AND THE MARINE CORPS WERE OBLIGATED BY LAW TO FURNISH AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES AND FOR THE COST OF WHICH THE CONGRESS HAS MADE APPROPRIATIONS.

AGREEMENTS BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND THE CARRIERS ARE TO BE CONSIDERED AS CONTRACTS FOR THAT CLASS OF TRANSPORTATION WHICH THE GOVERNMENT IS REQUIRED TO FURNISH, WITHOUT REFUND BY TRAVELERS OR BY OFFICERS IN THE CASE OF DEPENDENTS.

IN THE INSTANT CASE THE PAYMENT OF THE COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION OF THE DEPENDENTS OF THE OFFICER BEYOND THE OFFICER'S DUTY STATION WAS NOT A PAYMENT OF MONEYS APPROPRIATED BY THE CONGRESS FOR THE WAR DEPARTMENT, BUT, IN EFFECT, WAS A PAYMENT FROM MONEY DEPOSITED BY THE OFFICER AT THE TIME THE TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WERE ISSUED FOR HIS DEPENDENTS AND CREDITED TO THE APPROPRIATION MERELY TO FACILITATE THE PAYMENT OF THE CARRIER'S BILL.

IN 26 COMP. DEC. 1044, IT WAS SAID THAT THE EXCESS AMOUNT TO BE COLLECTED WHEN TRANSPORTATION IS FURNISHED FROM A POINT FROM WHICH THE COST IS GREATER THAN FROM THE OLD STATION SHOULD BE ON THE BASIS OF THE DIFFERENCE IN COMMERCIAL RATES UNLESS CONCESSIONS THEREFROM ARE MADE BY THE CARRIERS IN THEIR CHARGES FOR THE SERVICE. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN THAT DECISION ARE CONSIDERED AS BEING PROPER AND WOULD BE FOR APPLICATION IN CASES WHERE CONCESSIONS HAVE BEEN MADE BY THE CARRIERS FOR TRANSPORTATION PAID FOR BY THE OFFICER AND NOT BY THE GOVERNMENT, BUT THEY HAVE NOT DONE SO IN THIS CASE AND UNDER THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT, AS AMENDED, IT IS DOUBTFUL WHETHER ANY SUCH CONCESSIONS COULD BE LEGALLY MADE. THE CONCESSIONS MADE BY CARRIERS TO THE GOVERNMENT BEING FOR THAT CLASS OF TRANSPORTATION WHICH, UNDER THE LAW, THE GOVERNMENT IS REQUIRED TO FURNISH, SUCH CONCESSIONS DO NOT APPLY TO ANY TRANSPORTATION THAT WAS FURNISHED THE OFFICER'S DEPENDENTS BEYOND HIS NEW DUTY STATION, AND THE COST OF THE EXCESS TRANSPORTATION SO FURNISHED IS TO BE COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF COMMERCIAL FARES RATHER THAN ON THE BASIS OF REDUCED RATES SECURED BY THE GOVERNMENT UNDER SIDE AGREEMENTS WITH THE CARRIERS.

UNDERBILLING BY THE CARRIER DOES NOT RELIEVE THE GOVERNMENT FROM ITS LIABILITY FOR THE PROPER COST OF TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED ON TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS ISSUED BY ITS AUTHORIZED OFFICERS. 6 COMP. DEC. 936.

IN ALL PENDING AND FUTURE CASES INVOLVING EXCESS COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED FOR DEPENDENTS OF OFFICERS OF THE ARMY, NAVY, AND MARINE CORPS, WHEN TRAVELING ON TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS FURNISHED BY THOSE SERVICES, THE RULE HERE ANNOUNCED IS FOR APPLICATION IN COMPUTING THE VALUE OF THE EXCESS TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED SUCH DEPENDENTS THAT IS TO BE COLLECTED FROM THE OFFICERS CONCERNED.