A-65774, NOVEMBER 15, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 412

A-65774: Nov 15, 1935

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

IS JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY LIABLE WITH THE PERSONS USING SUCH REQUESTS AND THE AMOUNT OF THE EXCESS COST INVOLVED IS FOR DISALLOWANCE IN THE ACCOUNTS (10 COMP. DAVENPORT WAS FURNISHED RAIL TRANSPORTATION AND PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS FROM OMAHA. ALL THE OTHER OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES WERE FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION AND PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS FROM KANSAS CITY TO GREAT FALLS VIA ST. CREDIT FOR ITEMS OF $7.92 (TRANSPORTATION) AND $4.88 (PULLMAN) WAS DISALLOWED IN EACH CASE FOR THE REASON THAT THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OR PULLMAN IN EXCESS OF THE COST OVER THE USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE VIA BILLINGS. 267 WAS MADE ON TRANSPORTATION VOUCHER 4872 OF YOUR APRIL 1934. ACCOUNTS AND THE EXCESS COST OF $7.31 WAS SUSPENDED.

A-65774, NOVEMBER 15, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 412

TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS - EXCESS OVER COST OF USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE - DISBURSING OFFICER'S LIABILITY A DISBURSING OFFICER WHO APPROVES TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS INVOLVING THE FURNISHING OF TRANSPORTATION AND PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS AT AN EXCESS OVER THE COST BY THE USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE, IS JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY LIABLE WITH THE PERSONS USING SUCH REQUESTS AND THE AMOUNT OF THE EXCESS COST INVOLVED IS FOR DISALLOWANCE IN THE ACCOUNTS (10 COMP. GEN. 170 DISTINGUISHED).

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO FIRST LIEUTENANT H. O. PAXSON, UNITED STATES ARMY, NOVEMBER 15, 1935:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO DISALLOWANCE OF CREDIT IN YOUR ACCOUNTS FOR EXCESS COST OF RAIL TRANSPORTATION AND PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS FURNISHED VARIOUS OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE AT KANSAS CITY FROM KANSAS CITY, MO., TO GREAT FALLS, MONT., VIA ST. PAUL, MINN., AS SHOWN BY VOUCHERS AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE VOUCHER EMPLOYEE AMOUNT

1301 GROVER C. BEARDSLEY ----------------------------- $12.80

1303 ALLAN S. WYMAN ---------------------------------- 12.80

1304 MERL A. TRUNDLE --------------------------------- 12.80

1311 EDWARD LEROY SNYDER ----------------------------- 12.80

1358 CECIL R. GRIFFITH ------------------------------- 12.80

1360 DOMINIC M. RIES ---------------------------------12.80

1402 DAVIS G. HENRY ---------------------------------- 12.80

1435 FRANK M. CUTLER --------------------------------- 12.80

1436 ROBERT E. DAVENPORT ----------------------------- 10.31

1437 GEORGE A. DAVIS --------------------------------- 12.80

1445 MILLER J. FIELDS -------------------------------- 12.80

THE TRAVEL ORDERS DIRECTED EACH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE TO PROCEED TO GREAT FALLS AND SUCH OTHER POINTS AS NECESSARY FOR DUTY CONNECTED WITH RIVER AND HARBOR WORK AND ON COMPLETION RETURN TO HIS STATION AT KANSAS CITY.

ROBERT E. DAVENPORT WAS FURNISHED RAIL TRANSPORTATION AND PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS FROM OMAHA, NEBR., TO GREAT FALLS, VIA ST. PAUL ON TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS NOS. WE 128,267, 128,268, AND 128,269. ALL THE OTHER OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES WERE FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION AND PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS FROM KANSAS CITY TO GREAT FALLS VIA ST. PAUL ON TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WE 107,439, 107,440, AND 107,441, AND EXCEPT AS HEREINAFTER NOTED, CREDIT FOR ITEMS OF $7.92 (TRANSPORTATION) AND $4.88 (PULLMAN) WAS DISALLOWED IN EACH CASE FOR THE REASON THAT THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OR PULLMAN IN EXCESS OF THE COST OVER THE USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE VIA BILLINGS, MONT. PAYMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED ON TRANSPORTATION REQUEST WE 128,267 WAS MADE ON TRANSPORTATION VOUCHER 4872 OF YOUR APRIL 1934, ACCOUNTS AND THE EXCESS COST OF $7.31 WAS SUSPENDED. PAYMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED ON THE OTHER TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS INVOLVED WAS MADE ON TRANSPORTATION VOUCHERS 1926 AND 4868 OF YOUR JANUARY AND APRIL 1934 ACCOUNTS.

IN REPLY OF MAY 25, IT IS STATED THAT THE TRAVEL INVOLVED WAS PERFORMED IN CONNECTION WITH SURVEY OPERATIONS CONDUCTED IN BUILDING A HIGH-TENSION POWER LINE FROM GREAT FALLS TO FORT PECK FOR THE PURPOSE OF OBTAINING ELECTRICAL ENERGY NECESSARY IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF A DAM ACROSS THE MISSOURI RIVER AT FORT PECK AND THAT THE EMPLOYEES WERE ROUTED VIA ST. PAUL BECAUSE THE PLANS OF OPERATION WERE TENTATIVE IN CHARACTER AND IT WAS NOT POSSIBLE TO DETERMINE THE ULTIMATE DESTINATION OF THE PARTY IN ADVANCE OF TRAVEL. IT IS STATED FURTHER THAN ON ACCOUNT OF THE ACUTE UNEMPLOYMENT SITUATION EXISTING AT THE TIME, IT WAS DESIRABLE TO BEGIN OPERATIONS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AND TO PROSECUTE THEM VIGOROUSLY BEFORE THE BEGINNING OF COLD WEATHER.

IN REPLY OF AUGUST 2, 1935, IT IS STATED THAT APPROVAL BY THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS OF THE GENERAL PLANS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE DAM WAS RECEIVED ON NOVEMBER 11, 1933; THAT THE ONLY TRAIN BETWEEN KANSAS CITY AND BILLINGS, MONT., LEAVES KANSAS CITY AT 10:30 A.M.; THAT BY LEAVING KANSAS CITY AT 5:45 P.M. ON NOVEMBER 11 ON THE CHICAGO, ROCK ISLAND AND PACIFIC RAILWAY, VIA ST. PAUL, THE PARTY ARRIVED AT GREAT FALLS AT 11:45 A.M., NOVEMBER 13, AND BEGAN WORK ON THE SURVEY THE MORNING OF NOVEMBER 14; THAT IF THE PARTY HAD WAITED OVER FOR THE TRAIN LEAVING KANSAS CITY AT 10:30 A.M., NOVEMBER 12, IT WOULD NOT HAVE ARRIVED AT GREAT FALLS UNTIL 6:25 A.M., NOVEMBER 14, THEREBY DELAYING BEGINNING OF THE SURVEY UNTIL THE MORNING OF NOVEMBER 15.

THE LOWEST FIRST-CLASS TRANSPORTATION OVER THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BETWEEN POINTS INVOLVED HAS LONG BEEN THE ESTABLISHED RULE FOR PAYMENT FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY GOVERNMENT OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND IN THE ABSENCE OF SOME OFFICIAL NECESSITY, THE RIGHT TO CREDIT FOR PAYMENT IS LIMITED TO THE LOWEST FIRST-CLASS FARE BY THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE. IN THE INSTANT CASES, IT APPEARS THAT THE DELAY IN KANSAS CITY CAUSED THE NEED FOR TRAVEL BY A CIRCUITOUS ROUTE RATHER THAN ANY EMERGENCY AT THE DESTINATION AND UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THIS CANNOT BE ACCEPTED AS SHOWING A NECESSITY FOR TRAVEL OVER A CIRCUITOUS ROUTE, RESULTING IN AN EXCESS COST TO THE GOVERNMENT. MOREOVER, THE REPORTED SAVING OF TIME BY USE OF THE MORE EXPENSIVE ROUTE IS SHOWN TO HAVE BEEN INCONSEQUENTIAL FROM THE GOVERNMENT STANDPOINT, THE PARTY ARRIVING AT 11:45 A.M., NOVEMBER 13, NOT BEGINNING WORK UNTIL THE MORNING OF NOVEMBER 14, WHEREAS, IF TRAVEL HAD BEEN PERFORMED OVER THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE, IT WOULD HAVE ARRIVED AT 6:25 A.M., NOVEMBER 14, AND COULD HAVE STARTED WORK THE SAME MORNING.

IN CASES OF THIS KIND, WHERE TRANSPORTATION AND PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS HAVE BEEN FURNISHED ON GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS AT AN EXCESS COST OVER THE COST BY THE MOST ECONOMICAL ROUTE, THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY HAS BEEN HELD ENTITLED TO PAYMENT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED (A-34656, JAN. 6, 1931), BUT THAT THE EXPENSE ACCOUNT OF THE PARTIES USING THE TRANSPORTATION AND PULLMAN ACCOMMODATION WAS FOR SUSPENSION FOR EXPLANATION AND IF THE EXPLANATION WAS NOT SATISFACTORY, CREDIT HAS BEEN ALLOWED THE DISBURSING OFFICER IF HE WAS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE EXCESS CHARGES AND A CHARGE RAISED AGAINST THE EMPLOYEE (10 COMP. GEN. 170). HOWEVER, IN THESE INSTANCES, IT APPEARS THAT YOU APPROVED THE TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS AND, THEREFORE, YOU ARE JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY LIABLE WITH THE OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES USING SUCH REQUESTS FOR INCURRING THE EXCESS COST INVOLVED. ACCORDINGLY, THE ACTION TAKEN BY THIS OFFICE IN DISALLOWING CREDIT IN YOUR ACCOUNT FOR THE EXCESS COST MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED. THE RECORDS OF THIS OFFICE SHOW FURTHER THAT CREDIT WAS INADVERTENTLY ALLOWED IN YOUR ACCOUNTS FOR SIMILAR CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL ON TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WE 107,439, 107,440, AND 107,441 BY OTHER MEMBERS INCLUDED IN THIS SAME SURVEY PARTY, TO WIT, SELDEN T. SWOPE, HERBERT E. IRVIN, DONNELL WILLIAM LOVE, LOY W. GOLDEN, AND ROLAND R. WALTON, AS SHOWN BY VOUCHERS AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE VOUCHER DATE EMPLOYEE EXCESS COST

1329 DECEMBER 1933 SELDEN T. SWOPE ------------- $12.80

1407 ---- DO ---- HERBERT E. IRVIN ------------ 12.80

1417 ---- DO ---- DONNELL WILLIAM LOVE -------- 12.80

1450 ---- DO ---- LOY W. GOLDEN --------------- 12.80

1785 JANUARY 1934 ROLAND R. WALTON ------------ 12.80

YOUR ACCOUNTS COVERING THESE PAYMENTS WILL ACCORDINGLY BE REOPENED AND CREDIT FOR THESE EXCESS PAYMENTS DISALLOWED.