A-34445, DECEMBER 13, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 267

A-34445: Dec 13, 1930

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TRANSPORTATION - ROUND-TRIP FARES AS A GENERAL RULE EMPLOYEES ARE ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED FOR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES ON THE BASIS OF ROUND-TRIP FARES ONLY. CLAIMS FOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COST OF TWO ONE-WAY FARES ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN ACTUALLY EXPENDED AND THE COST OF A ROUND-TRIP TICKET SHOULD NOT BE PAID BY DISBURSING OFFICERS BUT SHOULD BE FORWARDED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT. WHICH DEDUCTION APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN MADE BY YOU FOR THE REASON THAT THE CLAIMANT CHARGED TWO ONE-WAY FARES FOR A TOTAL OF $22.62. WHEREAS THE ROUND TRIP FARE FOR A 30-DAY PERIOD IS $20.40. YOU ARE ADVISED THAT. YOUR ACTION IN REIMBURSING THE CLAIMANT ON THE BASIS OF ROUND-TRIP FARES WAS CORRECT AND PROPER.

A-34445, DECEMBER 13, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 267

TRANSPORTATION - ROUND-TRIP FARES AS A GENERAL RULE EMPLOYEES ARE ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED FOR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES ON THE BASIS OF ROUND-TRIP FARES ONLY. CLAIMS FOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COST OF TWO ONE-WAY FARES ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN ACTUALLY EXPENDED AND THE COST OF A ROUND-TRIP TICKET SHOULD NOT BE PAID BY DISBURSING OFFICERS BUT SHOULD BE FORWARDED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO G. A. MAUK, UNITED STATES MARSHAL, DECEMBER 13, 1930:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 30, 1930, TRANSMITTING A COPY OF A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 26, 1930, FROM FORREST V. SORRELS, OPERATIVE IN CHARGE, DIVISION OF SECRET SERVICE, EL PASO, TEX., WITH RESPECT TO HIS CLAIM FOR $2.22, REPRESENTING A DEDUCTION FROM HIS ACCOUNT AS SUBMITTED FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES IN RESPONDING TO A SUBPOENA FROM EL PASO, TEX., TO TUCSON, ARIZ., WHICH DEDUCTION APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN MADE BY YOU FOR THE REASON THAT THE CLAIMANT CHARGED TWO ONE-WAY FARES FOR A TOTAL OF $22.62, WHEREAS THE ROUND TRIP FARE FOR A 30-DAY PERIOD IS $20.40. YOU REQUEST DECISION OF THIS OFFICE AS TO WHAT MAY BE CONSIDERED AS A VALID EXCUSE FOR THE FAILURE OF AN EMPLOYEE TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS TO PURCHASE A ROUND-TRIP FARE.

YOU ARE ADVISED THAT, WITH RESPECT TO THE CLAIM IN QUESTION, YOUR ACTION IN REIMBURSING THE CLAIMANT ON THE BASIS OF ROUND-TRIP FARES WAS CORRECT AND PROPER. IF THE CLAIMANT FEELS THAT HE IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT ON THE BASIS OF TWO 1-WAY FARES HE MAY BE ADVISED OF HIS RIGHT TO PRESENT TO THIS OFFICE, FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT, A CLAIM FOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COST OF TWO 1-WAY FARES AND THE COST OF A ROUND TRIP TICKET. SUCH PROCEDURE SHOULD BE FOLLOWED GENERALLY IN THOSE CASES WHEREIN THE CLAIMANTS HAVE BEEN PAID THE AMOUNTS TO WHICH THEY ARE APPARENTLY ENTITLED UNDER EXISTING LAW AND REGULATIONS BUT WHO FEEL THAT ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS ARE DUE THEM, AS DISBURSING OFFICERS GENERALLY ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO MAKE ADDITIONAL PAYMENTS ON CLAIMS ON WHICH THEY HAVE MADE ONE PAYMENT AS IN FULL. IN OTHER WORDS, DISBURSING OFFICERS ARE AUTHORIZED TO PAY CURRENT CLAIMS ONLY.

WITH RESPECT TO YOUR REQUEST FOR A DECISION AS TO WHAT MAY BE CONSIDERED AS A VALID EXCUSE FOR THE FAILURE TO PURCHASE A ROUND-TRIP FARE, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED IN SUCH MATTERS ARE SO VARIED THAT NO DEFINITE RULE CAN BE ESTABLISHED, AS THE MERITS OF EACH CLAIM MUST BE DETERMINED UPON THE PARTICULAR FACTS INVOLVED THEREIN. AND IN ALL CASES IN WHICH THERE IS ROOM FOR REASONABLE DOUBT AS TO WHETHER REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON THE BASIS OF A ROUND-TRIP TICKET OR TWO ONE-WAY FARES, THE DISBURSING OFFICER SHOULD EITHER SUBMIT THE VOUCHER COVERING THE ENTIRE CLAIM TO THIS OFFICE FOR A DECISION IN ADVANCE OF PAYMENT OR PAY ON THE BASIS OF THE LOWER RATE AND ADVISE THE CLAIMANT OF HIS RIGHT TO SUBMIT A CLAIM TO THIS OFFICE FOR ANY ADDITIONAL AMOUNT THOUGHT TO BE DUE.