B-116803, OCTOBER 22, 1953, 33 COMP. GEN. 185

B-116803: Oct 22, 1953

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - FARES - LOWEST FIRST-CLASS LIMITATION - ALL-ROOM TRAINS - EARLY DEPARTURE AND DELAYED RETURN WHILE SUPERIOR ACCOMMODATIONS ON ALL-ROOM TRAINS MAY NOT BE ALLOWED AS THE "LOWEST FIRST-CLASS RATE" IF LOWER BERTHS ARE AVAILABLE ON OTHER TRAINS BETWEEN THE POINTS OF TRAVEL. MAY BE REIMBURSED THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COST OF A LOWER BERTH AND EMPLOYEE'S SHARE OF THE COST OF A BEDROOM WHICH IS LESS THAN COST OF A ROOMETTE ON THE SAME TRAIN. 1953: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 14. WHICH AMOUNT WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DEDUCTED FROM VOUCHER NO. 32147. THE DEDUCTION WAS MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH 28 COMP. GEN. 392 TO THE EFFECT THAT SUPERIOR ACCOMMODATIONS BETWEEN TWO POINTS ON ALL-ROOM TRAINS MAY NOT BE ALLOWED AS THE "LOWEST FIRST-CLASS RATE" IF LOWER BERTH FACILITIES ARE IN FACT AVAILABLE ON OTHER TRAINS BETWEEN THE POINTS OF TRAVEL.

B-116803, OCTOBER 22, 1953, 33 COMP. GEN. 185

TRAVELING EXPENSES - FARES - LOWEST FIRST-CLASS LIMITATION - ALL-ROOM TRAINS - EARLY DEPARTURE AND DELAYED RETURN WHILE SUPERIOR ACCOMMODATIONS ON ALL-ROOM TRAINS MAY NOT BE ALLOWED AS THE "LOWEST FIRST-CLASS RATE" IF LOWER BERTHS ARE AVAILABLE ON OTHER TRAINS BETWEEN THE POINTS OF TRAVEL, AN EMPLOYEE WHO TRAVELS ON AN ALL ROOM TRAIN, BECAUSE USE OF TRAIN CARRYING STANDARD SLEEPERS WOULD REQUIRE DEPARTURE EIGHTEEN AND ONE-HALF HOURS EARLIER AND DELAY RETURN ELEVEN AND ONE-QUARTER HOURS, MAY BE REIMBURSED THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COST OF A LOWER BERTH AND EMPLOYEE'S SHARE OF THE COST OF A BEDROOM WHICH IS LESS THAN COST OF A ROOMETTE ON THE SAME TRAIN.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO GLENN C. TODD, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, OCTOBER 22, 1953:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 14, 1953, REFERENCE A DISBURSEMENT R-6 VOUCHERS, TRANSMITTING A TRAVEL VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF WALTER H. LUND, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, IN WHICH HE CLAIMS $1.64, REPRESENTING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COST OF A LOWER BERTH AND HIS SHARE OF THE COST OF A BEDROOM USED BY HIM AND ANOTHER TRAVELER FROM PORTLAND, OREGON, TO SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, AND RETURN, WHICH AMOUNT WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DEDUCTED FROM VOUCHER NO. 32147, APRIL 1953 ACCOUNTS OF A. O. WAHLERS, SYMBOL NO. 420, COVERING TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED DURING THE PERIOD MARCH 1 TO MARCH 28, 1953. THE DEDUCTION WAS MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH 28 COMP. GEN. 392 TO THE EFFECT THAT SUPERIOR ACCOMMODATIONS BETWEEN TWO POINTS ON ALL-ROOM TRAINS MAY NOT BE ALLOWED AS THE "LOWEST FIRST-CLASS RATE" IF LOWER BERTH FACILITIES ARE IN FACT AVAILABLE ON OTHER TRAINS BETWEEN THE POINTS OF TRAVEL.

YOU STATE THAT A LOWER BERTH BTWEEN THE TWO POINTS IS $8.30 OR $16.60 ROUND TRIP, AND THAT THE COST OF A BEDROOM IS $18.25, $9.12 PER PERSON OR $18.24 ROUND TRIP (TARIFFS ON FILE HERE SHOW COST OF BEDROOM AS $31.50 ROUND TRIP--- $37.50 FOR TWO PERSONS, AND COST OF ROOMETTE FOR ROUND TRIP AS $23.10). FURTHERMORE, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT RAIL TRAVEL BETWEEN PORTLAND AND SAN FRANCISCO IS AVAILABLE ONLY ON THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD AND THAT THE OVERNIGHT TRAINS WHICH OPERATE DAILY BETWEEN THOSE POINTS ARE THE CASCADE, CARRYING ONLY ALL-ROOM SLEEPERS, AND THE KLAMATH, WHICH CARRIES STANDARD SLEEPERS. IT IS STATED THAT THE CASCADE AND THE KLAMATH LEAVE PORTLAND 4:45 P.M. AND 10:10 P.M.; ARRIVE AT SAN FRANCISCO 9:15 A.M. AND 9:20 P.M. THE NEXT DAY, LEAVE SAND FRANCISCO 5:00 P.M. AND 7:30 P.M.; ARRIVE PORTLAND 9:30 A.M. AND 8:35 P.M., THE NEXT DAY, RESPECTIVELY. ALSO, IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT A DAY TRAIN LEAVES PORTLAND AT 7:45 A.M., ARRIVES SAN FRANCISCO, 11:15 P.M.; LEAVES SAN FRANCISCO 7:45 A.M., AND ARRIVES PORTLAND 11:15 P.M.

MR. LUND LEFT PORTLAND ON MARCH 1 ON THE CASCADE, ARRIVED AT SAN FRANCISCO MARCH 2 AT 9:15 A.M. TO ATTEND A WORK CONFERENCE BEGINNING THAT DAY, LEFT SAN FRANCISCO MARCH 6 ON THE CASCADE AND ARRIVED IN PORTLAND AT 9:30 A.M. MARCH 7. BY USE OF THE CASCADE RATHER THAN THE KLAMATH OR THE DAY TRAIN, PER DIEM SAVINGS WAS EFFECTED IN EXCESS OF THE ADDITIONAL COST OF THE SUPERIOR ACCOMMODATIONS USED.

SECTION 10 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933 (5 U.S.C. 73B), AS AMENDED BY SECTION 6 OF PUBLIC LAW 600, 60 STAT. 806, 808, RESTRICTS TRANSPORTATION COSTS TO NOT TO EXCEED "THE LOWEST FIRST-CLASS RATE BY THE TRANSPORTATION FACILITY USED IN SUCH TRANSPORTATION" UNLESS CERTIFICATION IS MADE THAT LOWEST FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS ARE NOT AVAILABLE OR USE OF SUPERIOR ACCOMMODATIONS IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED FOR PURPOSES OF SECURITY.

IT IS THE VIEW OF THIS OFFICE THAT, ASIDE FROM THE PER DIEM SAVINGS FACTOR, THE EXTENT OF THE EARLY DEPARTURE AND DELAYED RETURN WHICH WOULD HAVE RESULTED HAD THE KLAMATH OR THE DAY TRAIN BEEN USED AS SUCH AS TO REMOVE THOSE TRAINS FROM CONSIDERATION. ACCORDINGLY, AND SINCE BY REASON OF THE OCCUPANCY WITH ANOTHER TRAVELER THE COST OF THE ACCOMMODATIONS UTILIZED WAS LESS THAN THE COST WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD A ROOMETTE--- PRESUMABLY LOWEST AVAILABLE ACCOMMODATIONS ON THE CASCADE--- BEEN USED, THE VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHER CORRECT.