A-62726, SEPTEMBER 11, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 188

A-62726: Sep 11, 1935

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PAYMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED ON THE BASIS OF ROUND-TRIP DRAWING ROOM RATES FOR THE RETURN JOURNEY. NOTWITHSTANDING THE TRAVELERS MAY HAVE BEEN MISINFORMED AS TO THE ROUND-TRIP RATE ACCOMMODATIONS AVAILABLE. THIS IS TO APPEAL FOR A REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT OF FOUR SUSPENSIONS IN THE ACCOUNTS OF THOS. THEY ARE AS FOLLOWS: CERTIFICATE OF SETTLEMENT G-84885-J. 3.00 THE LAST VOUCHER MENTIONED IS NOT SET OUT IN THE CERTIFICATE REFERRED TO BUT THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED A NOTICE OF EXCEPTION FROM THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. EACH OF THESE FOUR SUSPENSIONS COVER ALLEGED OVERCHARGES FOR PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS IN THE MATTER OF TRANSPORTATION OF FEDERAL PRISONERS AND IS EXPLAINED AS FOLLOWS: FOR A SHORT TIME ONLY.

A-62726, SEPTEMBER 11, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 188

TRANSPORTATION - LOWEST FIRST-CLASS RATES - DEPUTY MARSHALS, GUARDS, AND PRISONERS THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 10 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933, 47 STAT. 1516, LIMITING TRAVEL EXPENSES OF EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE LOWEST FIRST-CLASS RATE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION FACILITY USED, DO NOT PRECLUDE THE USE OF A DRAWING ROOM WHERE NECESSARY IN THE TRANSPORTATION OF UNITED STATES PRISONERS, BUT IN USING ROUND-TRIP ACCOMMODATIONS REQUIRED BY THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO BE SECURED WHEN PRACTICABLE AND ECONOMICAL, PAYMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED ON THE BASIS OF ROUND-TRIP DRAWING ROOM RATES FOR THE RETURN JOURNEY, NOTWITHSTANDING THE TRAVELERS MAY HAVE BEEN MISINFORMED AS TO THE ROUND-TRIP RATE ACCOMMODATIONS AVAILABLE.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, SEPTEMBER 11, 1935:

FORMER UNITED STATES MARSHAL THOMAS J. KENNAMER, NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA, REQUESTED MAY 22, 1935, REVIEW OF THE ACTION OF THIS OFFICE IN DISALLOWING CREDIT FOR ITEMS OF $3, $7.05, AND $6 ON VOUCHERS 2, 3, AND 8, RESPECTIVELY, OF HIS ACCOUNT FOR SEPTEMBER QUARTER, 1933, AND $3 ON VOUCHER NO. 963 OF HIS DECEMBER QUARTER ACCOUNT, 1933, REPRESENTING OVERPAYMENTS ON PULLMAN FARES INCIDENT TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF PRISONERS, DEPUTY MARSHALS, AND GUARDS FROM BIRMINGHAM, ALA., TO VARIOUS POINTS IN THE UNITED STATES AND RETURN OF THE DEPUTY MARSHALS AND GUARDS TO BIRMINGHAM. IN EACH INSTANCE THE ITEM REPRESENTS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE ROUND-TRIP DRAWING ROOM ON THE GOING TRIP AND LOWER BERTH ON THE RETURN, COMPUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 10 OF THE PULLMAN CO. MASTER TARIFF, I.C.C., NO. 213.

IN REQUESTING REVIEW THE CLAIMANT STATES:

IN ACCORDANCE WITH SEC. 319 BOOK OF INSTRUCTIONS 1934, THIS IS TO APPEAL FOR A REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT OF FOUR SUSPENSIONS IN THE ACCOUNTS OF THOS. J. KENNAMER AS UNITED STATES MARSHAL FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA. THEY ARE AS FOLLOWS:

CERTIFICATE OF SETTLEMENT G-84885-J, DATED APRIL 10, 1935, REFERS TO THE FOLLOWING VOUCHERS AND AMOUNTS: VOUCHER NO. 2, SEPTEMBER QUARTER, 1933, SAL., FEES, AND EXPENSES OF

MARSHALS, 1934, DEPUTY ROSS YARBROUGH ------------------------- $3.00 VOUCHER NO. 3, SEPTEMBER QUARTER, 1933, SAL., FEES, AND EXPENSES

OF MARSHALS, 1934, DEPUTY J. L. WILLARD ------------------------ 7.05 VOUCHER NO. 8, SEPTEMBER QUARTER, 1933, SAL., FEES, AND EXPENSES

OF MARSHALS, 1934, DEPUTY N. B. AARON -------------------------- 6.00 VOUCHER NO. 963, DECEMBER QUARTER, 1933, SAL., FEES, AND EXPENSES

OF MARSHALS, 1934, DEPUTY J. L. WILLARD ------------------------ 3.00

THE LAST VOUCHER MENTIONED IS NOT SET OUT IN THE CERTIFICATE REFERRED TO BUT THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED A NOTICE OF EXCEPTION FROM THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, FORM 2084, AND HAS REFERENCE TO A SIMILAR CASE AS THE THREE VOUCHERS REFERRED TO IN CERTIFICATE G-84885-J.

EACH OF THESE FOUR SUSPENSIONS COVER ALLEGED OVERCHARGES FOR PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS IN THE MATTER OF TRANSPORTATION OF FEDERAL PRISONERS AND IS EXPLAINED AS FOLLOWS:

FOR A SHORT TIME ONLY, AND DURING THE YEAR 1933 THE PULLMAN COMPANY PUBLISHED A REDUCED RATE ON ROUND-TRIP PULLMAN FARES. DURING THAT TIME EACH OF THESE VOUCHERS REFERRED TO, COVERS EXPENSE WHEREIN ROUND-TRIP PULLMAN FARES WERE CHARGED.

IN SECURING THESE ACCOMMODATIONS THIS OFFICE WAS INFORMED BY THE VARIOUS AGENTS OF THE COMMON CARRIERS OF THIS CITY THAT IN ORDER TO SECURE THE REDUCED RATES IT WAS ESSENTIAL TO USE THE SAME CLASS ACCOMMODATION BOTH WAYS AND THAT IT WAS CHEAPER TO USE THE ROUND-TRIP DRAWING ROOM BOTH WAYS THAN TO USE THE DRAWING ROOM 1 WAY AND 2 LOWERS THE OTHER WAY. SINCE WE WERE NOT EXPERT RATE MEN, WE THEREFORE HAD TO RELY UPON THE ADVICE OF THE AGENTS FOR THE RAILROAD COMPANIES WHO SOLD US THE TRANSPORTATION, BELIEVING THAT WE WERE PAYING THE LOWEST POSSIBLE FARE FOR THE PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS THAT WE WERE ENTITLED TO WAS THE SOLE REASON FOR USING THE DRAWING-ROOM ACCOMMODATIONS BOTH WAYS.

IT NOW DEVELOPS THAT THE AGENTS FOR THE RAILROAD COMPANIES WERE IN ERROR IN THEIR ADVICE, BUT SINCE WE ACTUALLY USED THE DRAWING-ROOM ACCOMMODATIONS BOTH WAYS THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION RULES THAT THE PULLMAN COMPANY CANNOT MAKE REFUNDS IN THESE CASES.

WE FEEL THAT TO MAKE REFUNDS FROM THE PERSONAL FUNDS OF THE DEPUTY, AND UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES REFERRED TO, WOULD BE A GROSS INJUSTICE.

YOU WILL FIND ATTACHED TO THIS LETTER A STATEMENT FROM THE AGENTS OF THE L. AND N., FRISCO AND SOUTHERN RAILROAD COMPANIES, AT BIRMINGHAM, ALA., SUBSTANTIATING OUR CONTENTION.

IN VIEW OF THIS EXPLANATION IT IS SUBMITTED THAT THERE SHOULD BE NO DISALLOWANCE IN EITHER OF THE FOUR VOUCHERS REFERRED TO WITH REFERENCE TO PULLMAN FARES.

PARAGRAPH 16 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROVIDES:

16. SPECIAL TICKETS.--- THROUGH TICKETS, EXCURSION TICKETS, REDUCED RATE ROUND-TRIP OR PARTY TICKETS SHOULD BE SECURED WHENEVER PRACTICABLE AND ECONOMICAL.

BY CIRCULAR NO. 2016, DATED FEBRUARY 18, 1929, ADDRESSED TO ALL OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ENJOINED OBSERVANCE OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE ABOVE-QUOTED REGULATIONS AS FOLLOWS:

ATTENTION IS PARTICULARLY INVITED TO PARAGRAPH 16 OF THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHEREIN IT IS REQUIRED THAT ROUND-TRIP TICKETS BE PURCHASED WHENEVER PRACTICABLE AND ECONOMICAL. IN CASES WHERE THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE NEGLECTS TO OBTAIN SUCH CHEAPER TRANSPORTATION, THE DIFFERENCE IN COST WILL BE CHARGED TO HIM.

IN A CASE INVOLVING A SIMILAR QUESTION IT WAS HELD BY THIS OFFICE IN DECISION OF DECEMBER 18, 1933, A-52176:

SECTION 10 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933, 47 STAT. 1516, LIMITS TRAVEL EXPENSES OF EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE LOWEST FIRST-CLASS RATE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION FACILITY USED. HOWEVER, THIS DOES NOT PRECLUDE THE USE OF A DRAWING ROOM WHERE NECESSARY IN THE TRANSPORTATION OF UNITED STATES PRISONERS. SEE DECISION OF MAY 31, 1933, A-48894.

IN THE PRESENT CASE, THE USE OF THE DRAWING ROOM HAVING BEEN DETERMINED AS NECESSARY FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF UNITED STATES PRISONERS, THE MARSHAL SHOULD HAVE REQUESTED DRAWING-ROOM ACCOMMODATIONS FROM DETROIT TO ALDERSON FOR THE THREE PRISONERS AND TWO GUARDS, A ROUND TRIP LOWER BERTH FOR THE DEPUTY MARSHAL, AND LOWER BERTHS FOR THE TWO GUARDS FOR THE RETURN TRIP FROM ALDERSON TO DETROIT. IT IS NOT NECESSARY OR REQUIRED IN SUCH CASES THAT ROUND TRIP LOWER BERTH ACCOMMODATIONS BE SECURED AND CONVERTED INTO DRAWING-ROOM ACCOMMODATIONS, WHEN DEEMED NECESSARY, AFTER BOARDING THE TRAIN.

SECTION 10 OF THE PULLMAN CO.'S MASTER TARIFF OF TEMPORARY REDUCED ROUND TRIP RATES BETWEEN POINTS IN THE UNITED STATES AND DOMINION OF CANADA AND RULES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE SALE OF TICKETS AND RESERVATIONS OF ACCOMMODATIONS, EFFECTIVE JULY 14, 1932, I.C.C. NO. 213, PERMIT THE APPLICATION OF ROUND-TRIP RATES WHERE DIFFERENT ACCOMMODATIONS ARE REQUIRED AND USED ON THE GOING TRIP THAN THOSE USED ON THE RETURN TRIP, AND IN COMPUTING THE PROPER CHARGE FOR THE ACCOMMODATIONS HERE INVOLVED. IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES THERE WERE AVAILABLE TO THE FORMER MARSHAL AND HIS DEPUTIES ROUND-TRIP ACCOMMODATIONS FOR THE USE OF DRAWING ROOMS ON THE GOING TRIPS AND LOWER BERTHS ON THE RETURN TRIPS COMPUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 10 OF THE TARIFF, AND THE FACT THAT THEY MAY HAVE BEEN MISINFORMED IN THAT RESPECT BY THE CARRIER'S AGENT CANNOT EXCUSE THEM OR RELIEVE THEM OF THE LIABILITY FOR THE EXCESS COST TO THE GOVERNMENT. ACCORDINGLY, UPON REVIEW THE DISALLOWANCES APPEARING CORRECT MUST BE AND ARE SUSTAINED.