A-88636, SEPTEMBER 11, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 243

A-88636: Sep 11, 1937

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IS PROPER WHERE RAIL OR STEAMER TRANSPORTATION IS NOT AVAILABLE OVER THE MOST ECONOMICAL USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE. IS AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE PREAUDIT DIFFERENCE STATEMENT. THE MATTER WAS REFERRED TO THE AUDIT DIVISION OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AS A TEST CASE. VANWINKLE WAS TO TRAVEL BETWEEN PORTLAND. THE REASON FOR THIS BEING THAT IN ORDER TO MAKE THE ENTIRE TRIP BY RAIL THE EMPLOYEE WOULD HAVE TO TRAVEL AN ADDITIONAL ONE HUNDRED MILES AND GOBY WAY OF BRIGHAM CITY. IT IS REQUESTED. THE BASIC RULE FOR TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES IS STATED IN PARAGRAPH 9 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. THAT IS. THAT IS. PROVIDED RAIL OR STEAMER IS AVAILABLE OVER THE MOST ECONOMICAL USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE.

A-88636, SEPTEMBER 11, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 243

TRANSPORTATION--- AIR TRAVEL--- BUS FARE IN COMPARATIVE COST COMPUTATIONS THE USE OF BUS FARE IN COMPUTING THE AMOUNT TO BE ALLOWED FOR AIR TRAVEL UNDER PARAGRAPH 8 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, IS PROPER WHERE RAIL OR STEAMER TRANSPORTATION IS NOT AVAILABLE OVER THE MOST ECONOMICAL USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, SEPTEMBER 11, 1937:

YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 26, 1937, IS AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE PREAUDIT DIFFERENCE STATEMENT, FORM 117 B, GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, SCHEDULE NO. 11-FC-2-2191, DATED JANUARY 8, 1937, RELATING TO THE TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT ACCOUNT OF MR. VANWINKLE. THE MATTER WAS REFERRED TO THE AUDIT DIVISION OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AS A TEST CASE.

IT APPEARS THAT MR. VANWINKLE WAS TO TRAVEL BETWEEN PORTLAND, OREGON, AND MALAD CITY, IDAHO. HE ELECTED TO TRAVEL BY AIR, AND IN THE PREPARATION OF HIS COMPARATIVE COST STATEMENT THE AUDIT DIVISION ROUTED THE TRAVELER BY RAIL FROM PORTLAND TO POCATELLO AND BY BUS FROM POCATELLO TO MALAD CITY, THE REASON FOR THIS BEING THAT IN ORDER TO MAKE THE ENTIRE TRIP BY RAIL THE EMPLOYEE WOULD HAVE TO TRAVEL AN ADDITIONAL ONE HUNDRED MILES AND GOBY WAY OF BRIGHAM CITY, UTAH.

IT HAS BEEN THE OPINION OF THIS DEPARTMENT THAT, INASMUCH AS THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDE THAT TRAVEL BY AIR MAY BE USED IN THE ABSENCE OF AN EMERGENCY WHERE THE COST THEREOF, LESS SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE AND SALARY SAVED, DOES NOT EXCEED THE COST OF ,RAIL OR STEAMER TRANSPORTATION AND PULLMAN, AND/OR STATE ROOM FARE BETWEEN THE POINTS OF TRAVEL" , THE ONLY PROPER BASIS FOR A COMPARATIVE COST STATEMENT WOULD BE AIR TRAVEL AGAINST RAIL OR STEAMER TRAVEL AND WOULD NOT PERMIT THE INCLUSION OF THE COST OF TRAVEL BY BUS IN PLACE OF THE OTHER METHODS OF TRANSPORTATION MENTIONED IN THE REGULATIONS.

IT IS REQUESTED, THEREFORE, THAT YOU REVIEW THE ABOVE MENTIONED PREAUDIT DIFFERENCE STATEMENT OF MR. VANWINKLE AND RENDER A DECISION THEREON SO THAT THE PROPER PROCEDURE MAY BE FOLLOWED IN THE FUTURE IN MAKING THIS PARTICULAR TRIP.

THE BASIC RULE FOR TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES IS STATED IN PARAGRAPH 9 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, THAT IS, THAT "ALL TRAVEL MUST BE BY THE MOST ECONOMICAL USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE.' WHILE PARAGRAPH 8 PERMITS AIR TRAVEL WHEN THE COST THEREOF DOES NOT EXCEED THE COST BY RAIL OR STEAMER, SUCH COMPARISON MUST BE READ IN CONNECTION WITH PARAGRAPH 9; THAT IS, PROVIDED RAIL OR STEAMER IS AVAILABLE OVER THE MOST ECONOMICAL USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE. IN THIS CONNECTION SEE 16 COMP. GEN. 668. TRAVEL BETWEEN MALAD CITY AND POCATELLO BY BUS WOULD APPEAR TO BE THE MOST ECONOMICAL USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE, AS TO HAVE TRAVELED BY ALL RAIL WOULD HAVE REQUIRED AN ADDITIONAL 100 MILES BY WAY OF BRIGHAM CITY, UTAH. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THEREFORE, THE USE OF BUS FARE FOR COMPUTING THE AMOUNT TO BE ALLOWED FOR AIR TRANSPORTATION WAS PROPER.