A-5263, OCTOBER 28, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 412

A-5263: Oct 28, 1924

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WHERE IT IS SHOWN THAT STREET-CAR SERVICE WAS AVAILABLE. REIMBURSEMENT TO AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE IS AUTHORIZED FOR TAXICAB HIRE. WHERE IT IS SHOWN THAT THE DISTANCE TO DESTINATION AND RETURN WAS 1 1/2 MILES EACH WAY AND THAT STREET-CAR SERVICE WAS NOT AVAILABLE. WHEREIN WAS DISALLOWED HIS CLAIM FOR $7.40. THE ITEMS ARE LISTED IN THE CLAIMANT'S TRAVELING EXPENSE VOUCHER AS FOLLOWS: TABLE 1924 1. REASONABLE CHARGES FOR THEIR USE WILL BE ALLOWED. IN REGARD TO ITEMS 1 AND 8 THE CLAIMANT STATES THAT HIS RESIDENCE IS LOCATED FOUR BLOCKS FROM THE STREET-CAR LINE AND APPROXIMATELY 6 MILES FROM THE RAILROAD STATION. THAT TWO PIECES OF HEAVY BAGGAGE WERE NECESSARY TO BE TAKEN ON THE TRIP.

A-5263, OCTOBER 28, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 412

TAXICAB HIRE RAINY WEATHER, HEAVY HAND BAGGAGE, EMPLOYEE'S RESIDENCE FOUR BLOCKS FROM STREET-CAR LINE, AND EARLY MORNING APPOINTMENT, DO NOT JUSTIFY THE USE OF A TAXICAB BY AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS OF SAID DEPARTMENT, WHERE IT IS SHOWN THAT STREET-CAR SERVICE WAS AVAILABLE. REIMBURSEMENT TO AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE IS AUTHORIZED FOR TAXICAB HIRE, WHERE IT IS SHOWN THAT THE DISTANCE TO DESTINATION AND RETURN WAS 1 1/2 MILES EACH WAY AND THAT STREET-CAR SERVICE WAS NOT AVAILABLE.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, OCTOBER 28, 1924:

THOMAS L. GAUKEL, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, WITH HEADQUARTERS IN ST. LOUIS, ., HAS REQUESTED REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT NO. 037340, DATED JULY 15, 1924, WHEREIN WAS DISALLOWED HIS CLAIM FOR $7.40, REPRESENTING PAYMENTS FOR TAXI HIRE WHILE TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS IN ACCORDANCE WITH TRAVEL ORDER NO. 5361, DATED MARCH 1, 1924.

THE ITEMS ARE LISTED IN THE CLAIMANT'S TRAVELING EXPENSE VOUCHER AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE

1924 1. APRIL 22. BAGGAGE TRANSFER AND TAXICAB, RESIDENCE TO STATION -- $1.00 2. APRIL 23. TAXICAB TO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUILDING, EVANSVILLE - .50 3. APRIL 24. TAXICAB TO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUILDING, LOUISVILLE .50 4. APRIL 25. TAXICAB TO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUILDING, NASHVILLE -- .40 5. APRIL 26. TAXICAB TO HOTEL, MEMPHIS --------------------------- .50 6. APRIL 28. TAXICAB FARE, ROUND TRIP, TO MEMPHIS FUR. CO.

(NOT REACHED BY STREET CAR) ------------------------- 2.00 7. APRIL 29. TAXICAB FARE, ROUND TRIP, TO PLANT OF VAN VLEET

MANSFIELD DRUG CO. TO KEEP APPOINTMENT (NECESSARY OWING

HEAVY RAIN) ----------------------------------------- 2.00 8. APRIL 30. TAXICAB STATION TO RESIDENCE, ST. LOUIS ---------- --1.00

TOTAL ---------------------------------------------------------- 7.90

TRAVEL REGULATIONS, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, PARAGRAPH 31, PROVIDE AS FOLLOWS:

WHENEVER OFFICIAL TRAVEL REQUIRES THE USE OF STREET CARS, OMNIBUS, TRANSFER COACH, HACK, OR TAXICAB, REASONABLE CHARGES FOR THEIR USE WILL BE ALLOWED. CHARGES FOR CONVEYANCES OF THIS CLASS OTHER THAN STREET CARS MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A STATEMENT SHOWING THE NECESSITY FOR USE.

IN REGARD TO ITEMS 1 AND 8 THE CLAIMANT STATES THAT HIS RESIDENCE IS LOCATED FOUR BLOCKS FROM THE STREET-CAR LINE AND APPROXIMATELY 6 MILES FROM THE RAILROAD STATION, AND THAT TWO PIECES OF HEAVY BAGGAGE WERE NECESSARY TO BE TAKEN ON THE TRIP. THE BAGGAGE, IT APPEARS, CONSISTED OF OFFICIAL REFERENCE BOOKS, GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS, AND PRIVATE PROPERTY. THESE CIRCUMSTANCES ARE NOT DEEMED SUFFICIENT TO ESTABLISH THAT THE USE OF A TAXICAB WAS NECESSARY EITHER UPON DEPARTURE TO THE STATION OR WHEN THE EMPLOYEE RETURNED HOME. WHILE IT WOULD HAVE PERHAPS BEEN SOMEWHAT INCONVENIENT TO WALK FOUR BLOCKS TO THE STREET-CAR LINE, MERE INCONVENIENCE DOES NOT WARRANT THE USE OF A MORE EXPENSIVE VEHICLE IN PLACE OF A STREET CAR.

THE EXPLANATION WITH REFERENCE TO ITEMS 2, 3, 4, AND 5 IS THAT THE TAXICAB WAS USED BECAUSE OF HEAVY BAGGAGE AND EARLY MORNING APPOINTMENTS. NO SHOWING IS MADE THAT STREET CARS WERE NOT AVAILABLE AND THE FACTS PRESENTED DO NOT SHOW NECESSITY FOR THE USE OF THE TAXICABS.

ITEM 6, ROUND-TRIP FROM OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES SHIPPING BOARD TO THE PLANT OF THE MEMPHIS FURNITURE CO. 1 1/2 MILES EACH WAY, WHICH PLANTCAN NOT BE REACHED BY STREET CAR, IS DEEMED A NECESSARY EXPENDITURE AND UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES THIS ITEM IS ALLOWED.

THE FACT THAT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NECESSARY TO WALK FOUR BLOCKS TO A STREET CAR DURING A HEAVY RAINFALL DOES NOT WARRANT THE USE OF A TAXICAB FOR THE PURPOSE STATED IN ITEM 7.

THE TOTAL OF THE ITEMS 1 TO 8, INCLUSIVE, IS $7.90. IN THE SETTLEMENT THIS AMOUNT WAS ERRONEOUSLY COMPUTED AS $7.40. IT IS NOW FOUND THAT ITEM 6 WAS A NECESSARY EXPENSE AND IT IS THEREFORE ALLOWED.