B-111722, DECEMBER 8, 1952, 32 COMP. GEN. 274

B-111722: Dec 8, 1952

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1952: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 20. IT WAS PERFORMED BY COMMERCIAL AIR. YOUR RECLAIM OF THE SUMS SUSPENDED WAS FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE AND UPON CONSIDERATION BY THE CLAIMS DIVISION WAS DISALLOWED IN THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 15. INDICATING THAT YOU ARE DEVELOPING THE FACTS AS TO TRAVEL BY THE ALTERNATE FLIGHTS UPON WHICH YOUR PER DIEM WAS COMPUTED. WITH REGARD THERETO YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM MAY BE RECONSIDERED BY THIS OFFICE UPON YOUR REQUEST. AS YOUR LETTER IS. THAT ITEM OF THE CLAIM IS BEING RECONSIDERED AT THIS TIME. YOU CONTEND THAT THE EXTRA-FARE EXPENSE SHOULD NOT BE BORNE BY YOU AS THE RESERVATIONS AND THE TICKETS FOR THE TRAVEL WERE OBTAINED FOR YOU BY JOINT ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES.

B-111722, DECEMBER 8, 1952, 32 COMP. GEN. 274

TRAVELING EXPENSES - FARES - EXTRA-FARE PLANE - ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL REQUIREMENT THE TRAVEL OF AN EMPLOYEE AND FAMILY ON AN EXTRA-FARE PLANE PURSUANT TO RESERVATIONS AND TICKETS OBTAINED BY JOINT ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS HAVING BEEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY THE HEAD OF AN AGENCY OR BY AN OFFICIAL DESIGNATED FOR THAT PURPOSE AS REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH 15 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AS AMENDED, SO AS TO AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT TO THE EMPLOYEE FOR THE AMOUNT OF THE ADDITIONAL EXPENSE INCURRED FOR TRAVEL BY THE EXTRA-FARE PLANE.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO WILLARD ALLAN, DECEMBER 8, 1952:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 20, 1952, ACKNOWLEDGED AUGUST 29, RELATIVE TO THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 15, 1952, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR $131.90, THE SUM ADMINISTRATIVELY WITHHELD AS TRAVELING EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE CHANGE OF YOUR OFFICIAL STATION FROM ATHENS, GREECE, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE.

THE TRAVEL, THAT OF YOURSELF AND FAMILY, AUTHORIZED BY AN ORDER DATED SEPTEMBER 26, 1951, TOOK PLACE OVER THE PERIOD OCTOBER 13 TO NOVEMBER 4, 1951. IT WAS PERFORMED BY COMMERCIAL AIR--- THE GREATER PART BY EXTRA- FARE PLANE. IN VIEW OF SCHEDULED FLIGHTS CONSUMING LESS TIME THAN THE FLIGHTS USED, AND AS THE FORMER DID NOT INVOLVE AN EXTRA FARE, THE DIVISION OF FINANCE, DEPARTMENT OF STATE, COMPUTED THE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE UPON THE BASIS OF SUCH ALTERNATE TRAVEL AND WITHHELD CREDIT FOR THE EXTRA FARES PAID. IT THUS SUSPENDED UPON YOUR ORIGINAL TRAVEL VOUCHER THE SUM OF $91.90, AS EXCESS PER DIEM, AND $40, THE AMOUNT OF THE EXTRA FARES, TOTALING $131.90. YOUR RECLAIM OF THE SUMS SUSPENDED WAS FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE AND UPON CONSIDERATION BY THE CLAIMS DIVISION WAS DISALLOWED IN THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 15, 1952.

IN YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 20, 1952, STATING YOUR CASE FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXTRA FARES PAID, AND INDICATING THAT YOU ARE DEVELOPING THE FACTS AS TO TRAVEL BY THE ALTERNATE FLIGHTS UPON WHICH YOUR PER DIEM WAS COMPUTED, YOU REQUEST INFORMATION AS TO THE PROCEDURE TO BE FOLLOWED IN ORDER TO COLLECT THE BALANCE DUE. WITH REGARD THERETO YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM MAY BE RECONSIDERED BY THIS OFFICE UPON YOUR REQUEST, SETTING FORTH THE BASIS FOR THE VIEW THAT AN ERROR HAS OCCURRED. AS YOUR LETTER IS, IN EFFECT, A REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF THE DISALLOWANCE OF THE EXTRA FARES PAID BY YOU INCIDENT TO THE TRAVEL, THAT ITEM OF THE CLAIM IS BEING RECONSIDERED AT THIS TIME.

YOU CONTEND THAT THE EXTRA-FARE EXPENSE SHOULD NOT BE BORNE BY YOU AS THE RESERVATIONS AND THE TICKETS FOR THE TRAVEL WERE OBTAINED FOR YOU BY JOINT ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES, ATHENS, AND YOU WERE NOT ADVISED OF THE EXTRA FARE. YOU FURTHER STATE THAT YOU DID NOT LEARN THEREOF UNTIL IMMEDIATELY BEFORE TAKE-OFF ON THE EXTRA-FARE PLANE, WHEN YOU WERE REQUESTED TO PAY THE ADDITIONAL SUM, AT WHICH TIME CANCELLATION OF THE RESERVATIONS WOULD HAVE INVOLVED AN APPRECIABLE CHARGE.

WITH REGARD TO THE USE OF EXTRA-FARE PLANES YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO PARAGRAPH 15 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AS AMENDED OCTOBER 1, 1950, WHICH PROVIDES:

TRAVEL BY EXTRA-FARE PLANES OR TRAINS MAY BE AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY THE HEAD OF THE AGENCY, OR BY SUCH OFFICIAL AS MAY BE DESIGNATED FOR THAT PURPOSE, WHENEVER THE USE OF SUCH FACILITIES ARE DETERMINED TO BE MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT.

THUS, THE USE OF EXTRA-FARE PLANES FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL REQUIRES ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL. THE FACT THAT RESERVATIONS FOR THE TRAVEL INVOLVED WERE MADE BY JOINT ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES DOES NOT WARRANT THE CONCLUSION THAT THE USE OF AN EXTRA-FARE PLANE WAS EITHER AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY AN OFFICIAL DESIGNATED TO DO SO PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH 15, ABOVE QUOTED. LACKING SUCH AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL, AND IN THE ABSENCE OF SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE THAT THE ALTERNATE SCHEDULES SPECIFIED IN THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 15, COULD NOT HAVE BEEN UTILIZED, THIS OFFICE MAY NOT REIMBURSE YOU THE AMOUNT OF THE ADDITIONAL EXPENSE INCURRED FOR TRAVEL BY THE EXTRA-FARE PLANE.

THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 15, 1952, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR THE EXTRA FARES PAID, MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.