A-30422, FEBRUARY 12, 1930, 9 COMP. GEN. 354

A-30422: Feb 12, 1930

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AS FOLLOWS: THE BUREAU OF MINES OF THIS DEPARTMENT STATES THAT THE UNIVERSAL AIR LINE AND OTHER AIR TRANSPORTATION LINES HAVE RECENTLY ADVERTISED THAT THEY WILL CARRY GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES AT RAILROAD FARE PLUS PULLMAN FARE. IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THIS WILL RESULT IN A CONSIDERABLE SAVING IN TIME. THAT BUREAU IS DESIROUS OF HAVING ITS EMPLOYEES TRAVEL. YOUR DECISION IS THEREFORE RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THIS MODE OF TRAVEL MAY BE UTILIZED. PROVIDED THE COST IS NO GREATER THAN THE COST OF THE RAILROAD FARE PLUS PULLMAN. YOUR DECISION IS ALSO REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER. IT WILL BE PROPER FOR A SUPERVISING OFFICER OF THE BUREAU OF MINES IN THE FIELD TO DIRECT HIS MEN TO PROCEED BY AIRPLANE TO THE SCENE OF THE DISASTER WITH MINE-RESCUE APPARATUS.

A-30422, FEBRUARY 12, 1930, 9 COMP. GEN. 354

TRAVELING EXPENSES - AIR TRAVEL TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS MAY BE PERFORMED BY AIRPLANE IF THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT EXCEED THE COST OF RAILROAD FARE, PLUS PULLMAN FARE WHEN LENGTH OF JOURNEY WOULD AUTHORIZE THE USE OF PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS, LESS LAND-GRANT DEDUCTIONS WHEN APPLICABLE. AIRPLANE TRANSPORTATION, IRRESPECTIVE OF THE COMPARATIVE COST OF RAIL TRANSPORTATION BUT NOT EXCEEDING THE COST OF LIKE SERVICE TO THE PUBLIC GENERALLY, MAY BE UTILIZED BY EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OF MINES WHEN AN EMERGENCY SUCH AS A MINE DISASTER NECESSITATES THE IMMEDIATE PRESENCE OF THE EMPLOYEES WITH RESCUE APPARATUS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, FEBRUARY 12, 1930:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 27, 1930, AS FOLLOWS:

THE BUREAU OF MINES OF THIS DEPARTMENT STATES THAT THE UNIVERSAL AIR LINE AND OTHER AIR TRANSPORTATION LINES HAVE RECENTLY ADVERTISED THAT THEY WILL CARRY GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES AT RAILROAD FARE PLUS PULLMAN FARE. IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THIS WILL RESULT IN A CONSIDERABLE SAVING IN TIME, AS WELL AS A SAVING OF ONE DAY'S PER DIEM IN MOST INSTANCES, THAT BUREAU IS DESIROUS OF HAVING ITS EMPLOYEES TRAVEL, IN SOME CASES, BY AIRPLANE. YOUR DECISION IS THEREFORE RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THIS MODE OF TRAVEL MAY BE UTILIZED, PROVIDED THE COST IS NO GREATER THAN THE COST OF THE RAILROAD FARE PLUS PULLMAN, AND WHETHER GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS MAY BE USED.

YOUR DECISION IS ALSO REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER, IN THE EVENT OF A MINE DISASTER, IT WILL BE PROPER FOR A SUPERVISING OFFICER OF THE BUREAU OF MINES IN THE FIELD TO DIRECT HIS MEN TO PROCEED BY AIRPLANE TO THE SCENE OF THE DISASTER WITH MINE-RESCUE APPARATUS, IF HE DEEMS IT EXPEDIENT, AND WHETHER, IN SUCH EVENT, THE TOTAL ACTUAL COST OF TRAVEL WILL BE REIMBURSED IF THE EMPLOYEE PAYS CASH, OR THE COMPANY'S BILL HONORED IN FULL IF A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST HAS BEEN ISSUED. IT WOULD, OF COURSE, BE NECESSARY TO RELY ON THE JUDGMENT OF THE OFFICER IN THE FIELD, BECAUSE HE WOULD HAVE KNOWLEDGE OF THE FACTS AND BE ABLE TO DETERMINE WHETHER A REAL EMERGENCY EXISTED. IN SUCH EMERGENCY CASES THE AIRPLANE FARE MIGHT BE IN EXCESS OF THE RAILROAD FARE PLUS THE PULLMAN CHARGE.

RECEIPT IS ACKNOWLEDGED, ALSO, OF YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 4, 1930, RELATIVE TO THE SAME MATTER.

IF THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION BY AIRPLANE WILL NOT EXCEED THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OF RAILROAD TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN THE SAME POINTS, INCLUDING PULLMAN FARE WHEN THE LENGTH OF THE JOURNEY BY RAIL AUTHORIZES THE USE OF PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS (SEE PAR. 13 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS) AND IT IS IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT TO MAKE USE OF THIS MODE OF TRAVEL, NO OBJECTION WOULD BE MADE TO THE REIMBURSEMENT TO THE TRAVELER FOR AIRPLANE FARES WHICH MAY BE REQUIRED TO BE PAID IN CASH OR TO THE USE OF TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS FOR SUCH TRANSPORTATION. SEE A- 30018, JANUARY 15, 1930. IN DETERMINING WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OF TRANSPORTATION BY RAIL, LAND-GRANT DEDUCTIONS WHEREVER APPLICABLE MUST BE DEDUCTED FROM THE COMMERCIAL FARE.

IN THE EVENT OF A MINE DISASTER CREATING AN ACTUAL EMERGENCY NECESSITATING THE PRESENCE OF EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OF MINES WITH RESCUE APPARATUS, AIRPLANE TRANSPORTATION MAY BE AVAILED OF, NOTWITHSTANDING THAT RAIL TRANSPORTATION MIGHT BE CHEAPER, AND THE EMPLOYEE MAY, UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, BE REIMBURSED THE ACTUAL COST OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION, OR IF A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST HAS BEEN USED IN SUCH CASES, THE COMPANY'S BILL THEREFORE WILL BE HONORED IN FULL, PROVIDED THE COST DOES NOT EXCEED THE COST OF LIKE TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED BY AIRPLANES TO THE PUBLIC GENERALLY; IT BEING UNDERSTOOD ALSO THAT THE SERVICE OF THE AIRPLANE WILL BE SPECIAL BECAUSE ORDINARY AIRPLANE SERVICE IS NOT AVAILABLE AT TIME AND THE SPECIAL SERVICE IS OUTSIDE THE REGULAR TIME FOR THE AIRPLANE SERVICE. THE FACTS ON WHICH THE CLAIMED EMERGENCY IS BASED MUST BE FULLY STATED AND EXPLAINED IN CONNECTION WITH ANY CLAIM FOR PAYMENT OR CREDIT FOR PAYMENT WHERE THE AMOUNT CLAIMED OR PAID EXCEEDS THE AMOUNT THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN PAYABLE IF THE TRANSPORTATION HAD BEEN BY RAIL.