A-91947, FEBRUARY 24, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 680

A-91947: Feb 24, 1938

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A GOVERNMENT TRAVELER WHO REQUIRES THE FURNISHING OF THE EXCLUSIVE USE OF A STATEROOM IS CHARGEABLE WITH THE EXCESS COST INVOLVED. ON THE BACK OF THE VOUCHER ARE LISTED VARIOUS TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS USED BY THE PAYEE INCLUDING REQUEST NO. PARAGRAPH 13 (A) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES: (A) ONE STANDARD LOWER BERTH FOR EACH PERSON AND LOWEST RATE FIRST CLASS STATEROOM ACCOMMODATIONS ON STEAMERS WHEN SAME IS NOT INCLUDED IN COST OF PASSAGE TICKET. IF THE ACCOMMODATIONS ARE SHARED BY THE TRAVELER THE FACT SHOULD BE STATED IN THE EXPENSE ACCOUNT AND HE MAY BE REIMBURSED ONLY HIS PROPORTIONATE SHARE OF THE COSTS. THE REFERENCE TO "FIRST-CLASS STATEROOM ACCOMMODATIONS" IN THE STANDARDIZED TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS TO BE UNDERSTOOD TO MEAN THE LOWEST FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATION IN A STATEROOM.

A-91947, FEBRUARY 24, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 680

TRAVELING EXPENSES - FARES - SUPERIOR ACCOMMODATIONS - STEAMER STATEROOMS WHERE STATEROOMS ON VESSELS CONTAIN TWO OR MORE BERTHS WHICH MAY BE RESERVED SEPARATELY, A GOVERNMENT TRAVELER WHO REQUIRES THE FURNISHING OF THE EXCLUSIVE USE OF A STATEROOM IS CHARGEABLE WITH THE EXCESS COST INVOLVED, THE "FIRST-CLASS STATEROOM ACCOMMODATIONS" REFERRED TO IN THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS CONTEMPLATING ONLY THE LOWEST FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATION IN A STATEROOM.

DECISION BY ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT, FEBRUARY 24, 1938:

VOUCHER NO. 7-150620, ACCOUNTS OF G. F. ALLEN, CHIEF DISBURSING OFFICER, JUNE 1937, IN FAVOR OF STANLEY F. WILSON, ASSOCIATE REGIONAL FORESTER, COVERS REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES FOR THE PERIOD MAY 10 TO JUNE 4, 1937, IN THE AMOUNT OF $84.15. ON THE BACK OF THE VOUCHER ARE LISTED VARIOUS TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS USED BY THE PAYEE INCLUDING REQUEST NO. A- 1030873, ISSUED TO THE WISCONSIN AND MICHIGAN STEAMSHIP COMPANY FOR ONE FIRST-CLASS STATEROOM FROM MILWAUKEE, S., TO MUSKEGON, MICH., AT A COST OF $4.25. IT APPEARS THAT ON VESSELS OF THIS COMPANY THE STATEROOMS CONTAIN TWO OR MORE BERTHS WHICH MAY BE RESERVED SEPARATELY, THE PRICE FOR A LOWER BERTH BEING $2.25, THE HIGHER RATE BEING FOR THE EXCLUSIVE USE OF A STATEROOM.

SECTION 10 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933, 47 STAT. 1516, PROVIDES:

WHENEVER BY OR UNDER AUTHORITY OF LAW ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR TRAVEL MAY BE 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.

PARAGRAPH 13 (A) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES:

(A) ONE STANDARD LOWER BERTH FOR EACH PERSON AND LOWEST RATE FIRST CLASS STATEROOM ACCOMMODATIONS ON STEAMERS WHEN SAME IS NOT INCLUDED IN COST OF PASSAGE TICKET. IF THE ACCOMMODATIONS ARE SHARED BY THE TRAVELER THE FACT SHOULD BE STATED IN THE EXPENSE ACCOUNT AND HE MAY BE REIMBURSED ONLY HIS PROPORTIONATE SHARE OF THE COSTS. (SEE PARS. 13 (D), 95).

THE LOWEST FIRST-CLASS RATE ON RAILROADS HAS BEEN UNIFORMLY HELD TO BE THE RATE FOR ONE STANDARD LOWER BERTH, AND THE ACT OF 1933, SUPRA, HAS BEEN HELD TO PROHIBIT PAYMENT FOR A SECTION OR A DRAWING ROOM FOR THE USE OF ONE TRAVELER. NO REASON APPEARS WHY A TRAVELER ON A STEAMSHIP SHOULD BE ALLOWED THE EXCLUSIVE USE OF A STATEROOM CONTAINING TWO OR MORE BERTHS. THE REFERENCE TO "FIRST-CLASS STATEROOM ACCOMMODATIONS" IN THE STANDARDIZED TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS TO BE UNDERSTOOD TO MEAN THE LOWEST FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATION IN A STATEROOM, WHICH WOULD BE THE RATE FOR ONE LOWER BERTH. AS THE USE OF THE TRANSPORTATION REQUEST IN THIS CASE FOR THE EXCLUSIVE USE OF A STATEROOM WILL REQUIRE THE GOVERNMENT TO PAY THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY THE RATE FOR THE STATEROOM INSTEAD OF THE RATE FOR ONE LOWER BERTH, THE EXCESS COST SHOULD HAVE BEEN DEDUCTED FROM THE AMOUNT OF THIS VOUCHER BEFORE PAYMENT TO THE TRAVELER.

ACCORDINGLY, CREDIT FOR THE EXCESS COST WILL BE DISALLOWED IN THE DISBURSING OFFICER'S ACCOUNTS.