B-115511, JUL 3, 1953

B-115511: Jul 3, 1953

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PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE FEDERAL MODIATION AND CONCILIATION SERVICE: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MAY 27. STATES THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL OF THE VOUCHER WILL CONSTITUTE THE APPROVALS REQUIRED IN PARAGRAPHS 12. OR IS IT NECESSARY THAT THESE SPECIFIC ITEMS BE SPELLED OUT ABOVE THE APPROVING OFFICER'S SIGNATURE? IS IT ALSO NECESSARY THAT TRAVEL VOUCHERS IN WHICH SUCH CLAIMS ARE MADE CONTAIN A CERTIFICATION BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR HIS DESIGNATED SUBORDINATE TO THE EFFECT THAT THE USE OF THE TELEPHONE WAS NECESSARY IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERMENT. IS IT NECESSARY IN CLAIMS INVOLVING TELEGRAMS. THAT THE CLAIMANT AGAIN STATE THAT THEY WERE ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS. YOUR FIRST QUESTION IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.

B-115511, JUL 3, 1953

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

FEDERAL MODIATION AND CONCILIATION SERVICE:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MAY 27, 1953, REQUESTING A DECISION WITH RESPECT TO THE SEVERAL QUESTIONS PROPOUNDED THEREIN CONCERNING TRAVEL VOUCHER APPROVAL AND CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS UNDER THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. THE LETTER READS IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"PARAGRAPH 5 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AS AMENDED AUGUST 1, 1952, STATES THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL OF THE VOUCHER WILL CONSTITUTE THE APPROVALS REQUIRED IN PARAGRAPHS 12, 13A(2), 39, 45, 45C, 45D, 75, 76, AND 79.

"THE QUESTION HAS BEEN RAISED BY CORTIFYING OFFICERS OF THIS SERVICE WHETHER OR NOT THE ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL OF THE VOUCHOR WOULD ALSO CONSTITUTE THE APPROVALS REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPHS 11, 12A(1), 13A(1), AND 15, OR IS IT NECESSARY THAT THESE SPECIFIC ITEMS BE SPELLED OUT ABOVE THE APPROVING OFFICER'S SIGNATURE?

"IN ADDITION TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF PARAGRAPH 69 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS REGARDING LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE CALLS, IS IT ALSO NECESSARY THAT TRAVEL VOUCHERS IN WHICH SUCH CLAIMS ARE MADE CONTAIN A CERTIFICATION BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR HIS DESIGNATED SUBORDINATE TO THE EFFECT THAT THE USE OF THE TELEPHONE WAS NECESSARY IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERMENT, IN ORDER TO COMPLY WITH 31 U.S.C. 680A?

"IN VIEW OF THE PRE-PRINTED STATEMENT APPEARING ON ALL TRAVEL VOUCHERS ABOVE THE PAYEE'S SIGNATURE REGARDING TRAVEL AND OTHER EXPENSES IN THE DISCHARGE OF OFFICIAL DUTY, AND THE STATEMENT OF CERTIFICATION BY THE PAYEE, IS IT NECESSARY IN CLAIMS INVOLVING TELEGRAMS, LOCAL AND LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE CALLS, THAT THE CLAIMANT AGAIN STATE THAT THEY WERE ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS, IN ORDER TO COMPLY WITH PARAGRAPHS 56, 68, AND 69 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS?"

THE APPROVAL REQUIREMENTS IN PARAGRAPHS 11, 12A(1), AND 16, OF THE ABOVE REGULATIONS NECESSITATE A SPECIFIC SHOWING OF ADVANTAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT AND PARAGRAPH 13A(1) REQUIRES A SHOWING AS TO USE OF SUPERIOR ACCOMMODATIONS BEING "FOR PURPOSES OF SECURITY." ACCORDINGLY, AND SINCE IN PROMULGATING SUCH REGULATIONS THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET DID NOT INCLUDE THESE PARAGRAPHS AMONG THOSE LISTED IN PARAGRAPH 5, THE SAID REQUIREMENTS NECESSARILY MUST BE ADHERED TO. YOUR FIRST QUESTION IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE, AND THE ALTERNATE QUESTION IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.

WITH RESPECT TO YOUR SECOND QUESTION, THE PROVISIONS OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS RELATING TO LONG-DISTANCE TELEPHONE CALLS ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS PROVIDE AS FOLLOWS:

"69. LONG-DISTANCE CALLS. - CHARGES FOR LONG-DISTANCE TELEPHONE CALLS ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS WILL BE ALLOWED, PROVIDED A STATEMENT IS FURNISHED SHOWING THE POINTS BETWEEN WHICH SERVICE WAS RENDERED, THE DATE, THE AMOUNT PAID ON EACH CALL, AND THAT THE CALLS WERE ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS. ***." HOWEVER, SINCE SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF MAY 10, 1939, 53 STAT. 738, 31 U.S.C. 680A, PROVIDES, IN PART, THAT PAYMENTS OF LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE TOLLS SHALL BE SUPPORTED BY A CERTIFICATE BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT, ESTABLISHMENT, OR AGENCY CONCERNED OR SUCH SUBORDINATES AS HE MAY SPECIALLY DESIGNATE, TO THE EFFECT THAT THE USE OF THE TELEPHONE IN SUCH INSTANCES WAS NECESSARY IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT, A SPECIAL CERTIFICATE TO THAT EFFECT IS LIKEWISE REQUIRED. SEE GENERALLY, 18 COMP. GEN. 1017. ALSO SEE PAGE 1 OF SENATE REPORT NO. 2495, 81ST CONGRESS, ON H.R. 9430 WHEREIN PROPOSED ELIMINATION OF THE SPECIAL CERTIFICATE WAS REJECTED. YOUR SECOND QUESTION IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.

AS TO WHETHER THE PRE-PRINTED STATEMENT APPEARING ON TRAVEL VOUCHERS ABOVE THE PAYEE'S SIGNATURE REGARDING TRAVEL AND OTHER EXPENSES IN THE DISCHARGE OF OFFICIAL DUTY, TOGETHER WITH THE STATEMENT OF CERTIFICATION BY THE PAYEE, OBVIATES THE NECESSITY FOR THE "OFFICIAL BUSINESS" STATEMENT REQUIRED BY THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPHS 56, 68, AND 69 OF THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS, YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO PARAGRAPH 83A OF THE REGULATIONS. IT IS PROVIDED THEREIN THAT "ALL CLAIMS FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES SHALL BE SUBMITTED ON THE REGULAR AUTHORIZED FORM OF TRAVEL VOUCHER AND MUST BE ITEMIZED AND STATED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THESE REGULATIONS." THUS, YOUR FINAL QUESTION MUST ALSO BE ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.