A-80333, OCTOBER 7, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 352

A-80333: Oct 7, 1936

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STREETCAR PASSES AND TICKETS - PURCHASES IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES - PAYMENT PROCEDURE THERE IS NO PRESENT OBJECTION TO VOUCHERS. NOR TO THE REIMBURSEMENT OF AN EMPLOYEE FOR CASH STREETCAR FARES PAID WHERE SUPPORTED BY HIS CERTIFICATE THAT THEY WERE EXPENDED EXCLUSIVELY ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS. THE CREDIT FOR THE VOUCHERS WAS SUSPENDED FOR THE REASON THAT THE VOUCHERS. WERE NOT STATED IN FAVOR OF THE GERMAN POST OFFICE AND THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANIES INVOLVED. IT IS STATED: 2. IT WILL BE NOTED FROM THE STATEMENT OF THE NAVAL ATTACHE. IT IS LIKEWISE STATED THAT THE GERMAN STREET CAR AND AUTO BUS COMPANIES DECLINE TO GIVE RECEIPTS FOR STREET CAR AND AUTO BUS FARES. THE ONLY PROCEDURE WHICH COULD BE FOLLOWED WOULD BE THE PREPARATION OF STANDARD FORM 1034 IN THE NAME OF THE PAYEE ACCOMPANIED BY A STATEMENT THAT IT IS IMPRACTICABLE TO OBTAIN RECEIPTS.

A-80333, OCTOBER 7, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 352

POSTAGE STAMPS, STREETCAR PASSES AND TICKETS - PURCHASES IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES - PAYMENT PROCEDURE THERE IS NO PRESENT OBJECTION TO VOUCHERS, ON STANDARD FORM NO. 1034, DRAWN PAYABLE TO OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT IN REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENDITURES FOR PURCHASES OF STREETCAR FARES, POSTAGE STAMPS, ETC., FOR USE ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS OF NAVAL ATTACHE OFFICES IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES, IF MADE BY A PROPER ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER UNDER PROPER ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL, WHERE PAYMENT TO THE SELLER DIRECT WOULD BE ON UNSUPPORTED VOUCHERS BECAUSE OF THE REFUSAL TO FURNISH RECEIPTS; NOR TO THE REIMBURSEMENT OF AN EMPLOYEE FOR CASH STREETCAR FARES PAID WHERE SUPPORTED BY HIS CERTIFICATE THAT THEY WERE EXPENDED EXCLUSIVELY ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS, BUT PURCHASES OF STREETCAR PASSES AND TICKET BOOKS BY EMPLOYEES, TO BE KEPT IN THEIR POSSESSION, SHOULD BE DISCONTINUED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, OCTOBER 7, 1936:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED THROUGH THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL OF THE NAVY A LETTER FROM THE PAYMASTER GENERAL OF THE NAVY, DATED AUGUST 20, 1936, REQUESTING A DECISION CONCERNING THE USE OF STANDARD FORM NO. 1034, FOR PURCHASE OF STREETCAR TICKETS, OMNIBUS FARES, AND POSTAGE STAMPS IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES, AND, ALSO, REQUESTING A REVIEW OF SUSPENSIONS MADE AGAINST VOUCHERS 263 AND 282, APRIL 1 TO MAY 21, 1935, ACCOUNT OF C. H. J. KEPPLER, IN THE AMOUNTS OF $11.24 AND $48.58, RESPECTIVELY. THE VOUCHERS COVERED PAYMENTS TO RUDOLF KRANZ ON APRIL 30, 1935, FOR THE PURCHASE FROM GERMAN STREET RAILWAY, OMNIBUS, AND SUBWAY COMPANIES OF A BASE TICKET FOR ALL STREETCAR LINES FOR MAY 1935, 11 TICKET BOOKS FOR STREETCARS, AND 59 OMNIBUS FARES FOR HIS USE AS OFFICIAL MESSENGER OF THE OFFICE OF THE NAVAL ATTACHE AT BERLIN, GERMANY, AND TO CAPT. C. H. J. KEPPLER, UNITED STATES NAVAL ATTACHE, FOR THE PURCHASE FROM A GERMAN POST OFFICE OF POSTAGE STAMPS FOR THE OFFICIAL USE OF THE OFFICE OF THE NAVAL ATTACHE. THE CREDIT FOR THE VOUCHERS WAS SUSPENDED FOR THE REASON THAT THE VOUCHERS, ON STANDARD FORM 1034, WERE NOT STATED IN FAVOR OF THE GERMAN POST OFFICE AND THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANIES INVOLVED, AND THAT OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT MAY NOT CREATE VALID CLAIMS IN THEIR FAVOR BY PAYING OBLIGATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES FROM THEIR OWN FUNDS.

IN THE LETTER OF AUGUST 20, 1936, IT IS STATED:

2. IT WILL BE NOTED FROM THE STATEMENT OF THE NAVAL ATTACHE, BERLIN, IN THE ATTACHED LETTER OF 15 JULY 1936, THAT THE GERMAN POSTAL AUTHORITIES REFUSE TO SIGN RECEIPTS FOR THE PURCHASE OF POSTAGE STAMPS. IT IS LIKEWISE STATED THAT THE GERMAN STREET CAR AND AUTO BUS COMPANIES DECLINE TO GIVE RECEIPTS FOR STREET CAR AND AUTO BUS FARES. THIS SAME CONDITION EXISTS IN PRACTICALLY ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES AND THEREFORE IT DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE PRACTICAL TO PREPARE STANDARD FORM 1034 IN PAYMENT OF SUCH ITEMS IN THE NAME OF THE ACTUAL PAYEE, INASMUCH AS SUCH VOUCHER WOULD NOT BE SUBSTANTIATED BY ANY FORM OF RECEIPT.

3. THE ONLY PROCEDURE WHICH COULD BE FOLLOWED WOULD BE THE PREPARATION OF STANDARD FORM 1034 IN THE NAME OF THE PAYEE ACCOMPANIED BY A STATEMENT THAT IT IS IMPRACTICABLE TO OBTAIN RECEIPTS. IN VIEW OF THE CONDITIONS OUTLINED IT HAS BEEN THE PRACTICE IN THE PAST THAT VOUCHERS FOR POSTAGE STAMPS, STREET CAR TICKETS, AND OMNIBUS FARES FOR OFFICIAL USE OF THE OFFICE OF NAVAL ATTACHES BE PREPARED ON STANDARD FORM 1034 MADE OUT TO THE NAVAL ATTACHE AS PAYEE, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS RECEIPT FOR THE AMOUNT INVOLVED.

4. IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE PRACTICE WHICH HAS BEEN FOLLOWED IN THE PAST IS THE ONLY PRACTICABLE PROCEDURE AND SUCH PROCEDURE HAS BEEN FOLLOWED WITHOUT QUESTION BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS. IT IS THEREFORE REQUESTED THAT THE ATTACHED CORRESPONDENCE BE REFERRED TO THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL FOR DECISION WHETHER THE EXISTING PROCEDURE MAY BE CONTINUED TO BE FOLLOWED. IF A DIFFERENT PROCEDURE IS TO BE REQUIRED, IT IS REQUESTED THAT THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL SPECIFY A DATE IN THE FUTURE FOR SUCH REQUIREMENTS, SUFFICIENTLY IN ADVANCE TO ISSUE INSTRUCTIONS TO ALL NAVAL ATTACHES AND THAT VOUCHERS PAID PRIOR TO SUCH DATE IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXISTING PROCEDURE, AS HEREIN OUTLINED, BE PASSED TO CREDIT IN THEIR ACCOUNTS.

IN VIEW OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES STATED YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THIS OFFICE IS NOT REQUIRED TO OBJECT FURTHER AT THIS TIME TO THE CONTINUANCE OF THE ESTABLISHED PROCEDURE IN THIS RESPECT, AND THAT CREDIT WILL BE ALLOWED ACCORDINGLY IN THE ACCOUNTS OF THE NAVAL ATTACHE AT BERLIN FOR THE PAYMENTS ON THE TWO VOUCHERS IN QUESTION. HOWEVER, THE PURCHASE BY AN EMPLOYEE OF STREETCAR PASSES AND TICKETS TO BE KEPT IN HIS OWN POSSESSION FOR OFFICIAL USE, AS APPEARS IN THE CASE OF VOUCHER 263, IS OBJECTIONABLE AND SHOULD BE DISCONTINUED. SUCH PURCHASES SHOULD BE MADE BY THE PROPER ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER EXCLUSIVELY FOR USE ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS UNDER PROPER ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL (SEE 14 COMP. GEN. 322) AND VOUCHERS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EMPLOYEE FOR ANY CASH FARES PAID SHOULD BE SUPPORTED BY THE CERTIFICATE OF THE EMPLOYEE THAT THEY WERE EXPENDED EXCLUSIVELY ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS.