A-33637, NOVEMBER 4, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 201

A-33637: Nov 4, 1930

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - AIR TRAVEL - RECEIPTS WHERE OFFICIAL TRAVEL IS MADE BY AIRPLANE INSTEAD OF BY CHEAPER MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION. REIMBURSEMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED. 1930: THERE IS BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR PREAUDIT A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF JOSEPH B. ON THE OUTWARD JOURNEY TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED ENTIRELY BY AIRPLANE. RECEIPT IN THE SUM OF $48.13 IS SUBMITTED. THERE IS FURNISHED A RECEIPT IN THE SUM OF $137. THERE IS SUBMITTED IN SUBSTANTIATION OF THE ALLEGED EXPENDITURE OF $20.89 A CERTIFICATE STATING THAT ON JULY 21. IT IS NOTED THAT THIS CERTIFICATE CONTAINS NOTHING TO SHOW THAT THE SUM OF $20.89 WAS SPENT FOR THE TRIP AS ALLEGED. WHICH MIGHT BE TAKEN TO MEAN THAT A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST WAS USED.

A-33637, NOVEMBER 4, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 201

TRAVELING EXPENSES - AIR TRAVEL - RECEIPTS WHERE OFFICIAL TRAVEL IS MADE BY AIRPLANE INSTEAD OF BY CHEAPER MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION, REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR, IN THE ABSENCE OF A SHOWING OF AN ACTUAL EMERGENCY, MAY NOT EXCEED THE COST OF RAILROAD AND PULLMAN FARES BETWEEN THE POINTS INVOLVED. IN THE ABSENCE OF A RECEIPT OR OTHER EVIDENCE SHOWING THE AMOUNT ACTUALLY SPENT FOR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES, REIMBURSEMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO GUY L. SEAMAN, DISBURSING CLERK, INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION, NOVEMBER 4, 1930:

THERE IS BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR PREAUDIT A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF JOSEPH B. EASTMAN, COMMISSIONER, INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION, IN THE SUM OF $308.47, REPRESENTING TRAVELING EXPENSES INCURRED DURING THE PERIOD JULY 14, 1930, TO AUGUST 1, 1930, IN TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO BUTTE, MONT., AND RETURN. ON THE OUTWARD JOURNEY TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED ENTIRELY BY AIRPLANE. FOR THE TRIP FROM WASHINGTON TO CHICAGO, RECEIPT IN THE SUM OF $48.13 IS SUBMITTED, AND FROM CHICAGO TO SALT LAKE CITY, THERE IS FURNISHED A RECEIPT IN THE SUM OF $137. CONNECTION WITH THE AIRPLANE TRIP FROM SALT LAKE CITY TO BUTTE, THERE IS SUBMITTED IN SUBSTANTIATION OF THE ALLEGED EXPENDITURE OF $20.89 A CERTIFICATE STATING THAT ON JULY 21, 1930, HE "TRAVELED VIA NATIONAL PARKS AIRWAY (INC.)" BETWEEN THE TWO POINTS. IT IS NOTED THAT THIS CERTIFICATE CONTAINS NOTHING TO SHOW THAT THE SUM OF $20.89 WAS SPENT FOR THE TRIP AS ALLEGED; ON THE CONTRARY, THE CERTIFICATE BEARS THE NOTATION "GOV.TRSP.' WHICH MIGHT BE TAKEN TO MEAN THAT A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST WAS USED.

MR. EASTMAN GIVES AS HIS REASON FOR USING THE MORE EXPENSIVE AIR TRANSPORTATION INSTEAD OF RAIL TRANSPORTATION, THE NECESSITY FOR HIS PRESENCE IN WASHINGTON DURING THE EARLY PART OF JULY, 1930, PRIOR TO HIS TRIP, STATING THAT THE USE OF AN AIRPLANE ENABLED HIM TO SAVE FROM ONE AND ONE-HALF TO TWO DAYS' TIME. IN OTHER WORDS, HE CONTENDS THAT GOVERNMENT BUSINESS BEFORE HE MADE THE TRIP MADE IT NECESSARY FOR HIM TO STAY IN WASHINGTON UNTIL TOO LATE TO MAKE THE TRIP BY TRAIN. IT THUS APPEARS THAT THE DELAY IN WASHINGTON CAUSED THE NEED FOR FASTER TRAVEL, RATHER THAN AN EMERGENCY AT HIS DESTINATION. THIS CAN NOT BE ACCEPTED AS SHOWING A NECESSITY FOR AIR TRAVEL IN CONNECTION WITH THE DUTY TO BE PERFORMED ON THE TRIP.

ON THIS BASIS, WHEN THE VOUCHER WAS CONSIDERED ON ORIGINAL SUBMISSION FOR PREAUDIT ON SCHEDULE NO. 881, THERE WAS WITHHELD FROM CERTIFICATION $78.65, THE EXCESS OF THE AIRPLANE FARES OVER THE COST OF RAILROAD AND PULLMAN FARES BETWEEN THE POINTS INVOLVED, AND, IN ADDITION, CREDIT WAS WITHHELD ON THE ITEM OF $20.89 COVERING FARE CLAIMED FROM SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, TO BUTTE, MONT., FOR A PROPER RECEIPT, THE VOUCHER BEING CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT FOR THE DIFFERENCE OF $208.93.

IN CONNECTION WITH THE RESUBMISSION OF THE VOUCHER THERE IS PRESENTED THE FOLLOWING EXPLANATION OF THE ITEMS:

CONSIDERING THE FACT THAT AT THE TIME MR. EASTMAN MADE THIS TRIP, IT WAS NECESSARY FOR HIM TO BE IN WASHINGTON UNTIL THE LAST POSSIBLE MOMENT, AND THAT HE SAVED PRACTICALLY TWO DAYS TIME, IT WOULD SEEM THAT THERE WAS AN ACTUAL MONEY-SAVINGS TO THE GOVERNMENT INASMUCH AS HIS SALARY AMOUNTS TO $33.33 PER DAY, AND HE WAS ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS OF $7 PER DAY FOR SUBSISTENCE.

IT WOULD ALSO SEEM THAT HIS CERTIFICATION OF THE ACTUAL AMOUNT PAID FOR TRANSPORTATION FROM SALT LAKE CITY TO BUTTE SHOULD OBVIATE THE NECESSITY OF A RECEIPT BECAUSE YOU ALREADY HAVE THE EVIDENCE OF THE PROPER CHARGE AS BILLED BY THE NATIONAL PARKS AIRWAY.

THE SUPPLEMENTAL MEMORANDUM PREPARED BY MR. EASTMAN TO ACCOMPANY THE VOUCHER INDICATES THAT IT WAS NECESSARY FOR HIM TO BE IN BUTTE, MONT., FOR A HEARING ON JULY 21, 1930; THAT HE DESIRED TO OBSERVE PERSONALLY CERTAIN MINING, SMELTING AND REFINING OPERATIONS BEFORE ATTENDING THE HEARING; THAT IN THE TIME AVAILABLE BETWEEN JULY 14, 1930, DATE OF CONCLUSION OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS IN WASHINGTON, AND JULY 21, 1930, DATE OF HEARING IN BUTTE, THE TRIP INCLUDING THE STOP OVERS FOR OBSERVATIONS THOUGHT TO BE NECESSARY, COULD NOT BE MADE BY TRAIN; AND THAT IN ADDITION TO THE SAVING IN TIME ABOVE REFERRED TO, THERE WAS A SLIGHT SAVING FOR SUBSISTENCE, AN EXAMPLE BEING CITED OF THE TRIP BETWEEN CHICAGO AND SALT LAKE CITY DURING WHICH LUNCH AND DINNER WERE PROVIDED BY THE CARRIER.

THERE IS INCLUDED IN THE MEMORANDUM, ALSO, THE FOLLOWING CERTIFICATE, SIGNED BY MR. EASTMAN:

I HEREBY CERTIFY THAT WITH RESPECT TO VOUCHER NO. 7, COVERING TRANSPORTATION FROM SALT LAKE CITY TO BUTTE VIA THE NATIONAL PARKS AIRWAY ON JULY 21, 1930, I PAID $20.89. THIS WAS EQUIVALENT TO THE RAILROAD FARE PLUS PULLMAN CHARGES. IF NECESSARY, A RECEIPT CAN BE OBTAINED, BUT IT SEEMS UNNECESSARY TO ME, INASMUCH AS THE AMOUNT PAID CAN BE CHECKED BY THE TRANSPORTATION REQUEST IC-130,001, FOR $20.89, WHICH COVERED THE RETURN JOURNEY.

IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF A SHOWING OF AN ACTUAL EMERGENCY, WHERE OFFICIAL TRAVEL IS MADE BY AIRPLANE INSTEAD OF BY CHEAPER MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION, REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR MAY NOT EXCEED THE COST OF RAILROAD AND PULLMAN FARES BETWEEN THE POINTS INVOLVED. 9 COMP. GEN. 354. WHEN A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE IS TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS HIS ACTUAL AND NECESSARY TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES ARE PAYABLE BY THE GOVERNMENT. THERE IS NO SHOWING IN THIS CASE OF ANY NECESSITY FROM THE GOVERNMENT'S STANDPOINT FOR THE USE OF AIRPLANES RATHER THAN THE USUAL CHEAPER MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION. WHILE IT IS CONTENDED THAT GOVERNMENT BUSINESS IN WASHINGTON REQUIRED MR. EASTMAN'S PRESENCE IN WASHINGTON UNTIL TOO LATE FOR HIM TO COMPLETE HIS TRIP BY TRAIN INCLUDING HIS BUSINESS EN ROUTE, BY JULY 21, 1930, THE DATE SET FOR THE HEARINGS SCHEDULED IN BUTTE, MONT., NO FACTS HAVE BEEN PRESENTED TO SUPPORT THAT CONTENTION, AND THERE IS NO SHOWING OF THE NECESSITY FOR HOLDING THE HEARINGS ON THAT DATE. ACCORDINGLY, UPON THE FACTS PRESENTED, REIMBURSEMENT IN EXCESS OF THE COST OF RAIL AND PULLMAN FARES IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

IN CONNECTION WITH THE ITEM OF $20.89, REPRESENTING THE AMOUNT CLAIMED FOR AIR TRANSPORTATION FROM SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, TO BUTTE, MONT., JULY 21, 1930, THE EXPLANATION SUBMITTED, WHILE SATISFACTORY IN SO FAR AS THE AMOUNT CHARGED FOR SUCH TRIP IS CONCERNED, IT IS NOT SATISFACTORY TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT IN THE ABSENCE OF A RECEIPT OR OTHER EVIDENCE SHOWING THAT SUCH AMOUNT WAS ACTUALLY SPENT AS ALLEGED. ACCORDINGLY, PAYMENT OF THIS ITEM MAY NOT BE MADE IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE OF ACTUAL EXPENDITURE THEREOF.

PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER IS AUTHORIZED NOT EXCEEDING THE AMOUNT OF $208.93 AS ORIGINALLY CERTIFIED IN THE PREAUDIT.