A-52793, JANUARY 23, 1934, 13 COMP. GEN. 204

A-52793: Jan 23, 1934

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WHO ARE ENTITLED UNDER SECTION 259 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3. IS SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPHS 9 AND 10 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. WHEREIN CREDIT WAS DISALLOWED IN THE SUM OF $6.68 PAID TO JUDGE ANDREW MILLER ON VOUCHER NO. 770. THE FARE BY THIS ROUTE WAS $6.68 MORE THAN BY THE AVAILABLE DIRECT ROUTE VIA KANSAS CITY. WHICH IS. WAS DISALLOWED BY THIS OFFICE AS IN THE CASE OF MARSHAL HUDSPETH. BECAUSE THE EXTRA COST OF THE INDIRECT TRAVEL WAS NOT ALLOWABLE UNDER SECTIONS 9 AND 10 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. WAS ADVISED BY THE TICKET AGENT THAT THE FARE WAS $37.42 VIA EITHER ROUTE. THAT THE SERVICE VIA CHICAGO WAS MUCH BETTER. THOUGH THE TIME WAS THE SAME.

A-52793, JANUARY 23, 1934, 13 COMP. GEN. 204

TRAVELING EXPENSES - FEDERAL JUDGES REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES OF FEDERAL JUDGES, WHO ARE ENTITLED UNDER SECTION 259 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1911, 36 STAT. 1161, TO ONLY "NECESSARY" EXPENSES OF TRAVEL, IS SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPHS 9 AND 10 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, JANUARY 23, 1934:

UNITED STATES MARSHAL COOPER HUDSPETH REQUESTS A REVIEW OF NOTICE OF EXCEPTION DATED OCTOBER 17, 1933, IN MARSHAL HUDSPETH'S ACCOUNT, WHEREIN CREDIT WAS DISALLOWED IN THE SUM OF $6.68 PAID TO JUDGE ANDREW MILLER ON VOUCHER NO. 770, MARCH QUARTER, 1933, REPRESENTING THE DIFFERENCE IN RAILROAD FARE BETWEEN $44.10 AS PAID, AND $37.42 AS ALLOWED FOR TRAVEL FROM FORT SMITH, ARK., TO FARGO, N.DAK., DECEMBER 6 TO 8, 1932.

JUDGE MILLER, AND HIS SECRETARY, BEATRICE A. MCMICHAEL, TRAVELED FROM FORT SMITH, ARK., TO FARGO, N.DAK., VIA CHICAGO, ILL., AN INDIRECT ROUTE. THE FARE BY THIS ROUTE WAS $6.68 MORE THAN BY THE AVAILABLE DIRECT ROUTE VIA KANSAS CITY, OMAHA, AND ST. PAUL, WHICH IS, ALSO, THE MOST ECONOMICAL USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE. CREDIT FOR THE PAYMENT OF $6.68 TO MISS MCMICHAEL BY UNITED STATES MARSHAL O. GUNDALDSON, ON VOUCHER 515, MARCH QUARTER, 1933, WAS DISALLOWED BY THIS OFFICE AS IN THE CASE OF MARSHAL HUDSPETH, HEREINBEFORE MENTIONED, BECAUSE THE EXTRA COST OF THE INDIRECT TRAVEL WAS NOT ALLOWABLE UNDER SECTIONS 9 AND 10 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

MARSHAL HUDSPETH REQUESTS REVIEW OF THE DISALLOWANCE ON THE STRENGTH OF A LETTER ADDRESSED TO HIM BY JUDGE MILLER, DATED NOVEMBER 25, 1933. IN SAID LETTER JUDGE MILLER STATES, IN EFFECT, THAT HE MADE INQUIRY AT THE FORT SMITH TICKET OFFICE AS TO THE AMOUNT OF FARE FROM FORT SMITH TO FARGO, BOTH VIA KANSAS CITY AND VIA CHICAGO, AND ALSO AS TO TRAIN SERVICE, AND WAS ADVISED BY THE TICKET AGENT THAT THE FARE WAS $37.42 VIA EITHER ROUTE, BUT THAT THE SERVICE VIA CHICAGO WAS MUCH BETTER, THOUGH THE TIME WAS THE SAME; THAT HE SELECTED THE CHICAGO ROUTE AND RECEIVED A TICKET FOR THE SUM OF $37.42; THAT SOME MONTHS LATER HE RECEIVED NOTICE FROM THE RAILROAD COMPANY ADVISING HIM THAT THE FARE COLLECTED FROM HIM WAS AN UNDERCHARGE; THAT THE CORRECT AMOUNT FOR THE TICKET SHOULD HAVE BEEN $44.10, AND REQUESTED HIM TO PAY THE DIFFERENCE OF $6.68 WHICH HE DID, AND WAS PROMPTLY REIMBURSED THEREFOR BY MARSHAL HUDSPETH.

JUDGE MILLER REFERS TO PARAGRAPH 10 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND STATES THAT HE IS INTERESTED IN SECURING A FINAL CONSTRUCTION FROM THIS OFFICE AS TO ITS APPLICATION TO DISTRICT JUDGES.

SECTION 259 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1911, 36 STAT. 1161, SECTION 374, TITLE 28, U.S.C., PROVIDES THAT---

* * * DISTRICT JUDGES OF THE UNITED STATES * * * SHALL EACH BE ALLOWED AND PAID HIS NECESSARY EXPENSES OF TRAVEL * * * CONSEQUENT UPON HIS ATTENDING COURT OR TRANSACTING OTHER OFFICIAL BUSINESS IN PURSUANCE OF LAW AT ANY PLACE OTHER THAN HIS OFFICIAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE * * *.

IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THIS LAW AUTHORIZES PAYMENT OF ONLY THE "NECESSARY" EXPENSES OF TRAVEL. HENCE, THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE IN THIS RESPECT BETWEEN THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF FEDERAL JUDGES AND THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF ANY OTHER OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. IT HAS LONG BEEN THE RULE, EVEN PRIOR TO THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, THAT REIMBURSEMENT TO ANY OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES IS RESTRICTED TO THE EXPENSES ACTUALLY NECESSARY FROM THE GOVERNMENT STANDPOINT AND THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF SOME OFFICIAL NECESSITY THE RIGHT TO REIMBURSEMENT IS LIMITED TO THE LOWEST FIRST-CLASS FARE BY THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE, THE PERSONAL CONVENIENCE OR PREFERENCE OF THE TRAVELER NOT BEING FOR CONSIDERATION. 19 COMP. DEC. 418, 22 ID. 211; 3 COMP. GEN. 787, 4 ID. 353, 7 ID. 365. IT IS TO BE NOTED, ALSO, THAT THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, 46 STAT. 1103, RELATIVE TO PAYMENT OF MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL BY AUTOMOBILE,"UNDER REGULATIONS TO BE PRESCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT," MAKES NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN FEDERAL JUDGES AND ANY OTHER CIVILIAN OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES. SEE, ALSO, SECTION 10, ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933, 47 STAT. 1516, WHICH PROVIDES:

WHENEVER BY OR UNDER AUTHORITY OF LAW ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR TRAVEL MAYBE ALLOWED TO OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES, SUCH ALLOWANCES, IN THE CASE OF TRAVEL ORDERED AFTER THE DATE OF ENACTMENT OF THIS ACT, SHALL NOT EXCEED THE LOWEST FIRST-CLASS RATE BY THE TRANSPORTATION FACILITY USED IN SUCH TRAVEL.

BY DECISION OF AUGUST 5, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 190, IT WAS HELD THAT THE SUBSISTENCE ACT OF 1926, AS AMENDED BY SECTIONS 207, 208 AND 210, OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 405, 406, IS APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL JUDGES.

ACCORDINGLY, THE RULE CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPHS 9 AND 10 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS APPLICABLE TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF FEDERAL JUDGES AS WELL AS OTHER CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES. THE TRAVEL OF MISS MCMICHAEL, ALSO, IS GOVERNED BY THE SAME REGULATIONS. IN EACH CASE REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES FROM FORT SMITH, ARK., TO FARGO, N.DAK., MAY NOT EXCEED THE LOWEST FIRST CLASS FARE BY THE DIRECT ROUTE, NAMELY $37.42.