B-118983, MARCH 11, 1954, 33 COMP. GEN. 391

B-118983: Mar 11, 1954

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- WHICH IS OFFERED BY AN AIRLINE IN LIEU OF A SLEEPER BERTH ACCOMMODATION. 1954: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER FEBRUARY 17. ALTHOUGH YOUR LETTER IS NOT SIGNED IN THE CAPACITY OF AN AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER. THE RECORDS OF THIS OFFICE SHOW THAT HERETOFORE YOU HAVE OFFICIATED AS SUCH AND. IT IS PRESUMED THAT YOUR PRESENT REQUEST FOR DECISION IS SUBMITTED IN THAT CAPACITY. RUTLEDGE WAS OFFICIALLY ORDERED TO TEHRAN FOR PERMANENT DUTY. THE FOREIGN DUTY STATION WAS PROCURED ON GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST NO. - BETWEEN NEW YORK AND AMSTERDAM DOES NOT HAVE SLEEPER BERTH ACCOMMODATIONS BUT IN LIEU THEREOF OFFERS SLEEPER SEAT ACCOMMODATIONS AT A SUBSTANTIAL SAVING TO THE TRAVELER.

B-118983, MARCH 11, 1954, 33 COMP. GEN. 391

TRAVELING EXPENSES - AIR TRAVEL - SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS - "SLEEPAIR SEAT" A SLEEPER SEAT ACCOMMODATION--- CALLED "SLEEPAIR SEAT"--- WHICH IS OFFERED BY AN AIRLINE IN LIEU OF A SLEEPER BERTH ACCOMMODATION, MAY BE REGARDED AS A SLEEPING ACCOMMODATION IN THE NATURE OF A STANDARD BERTH WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE SLEEPER PLANE ACCOMMODATION PROVISIONS OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND THE FOREIGN SERVICE TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO NEAL J. PRICE, FOREIGN OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATION, MARCH 11, 1954:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER FEBRUARY 17, 1954, FILE C:VEB:NJP, TRANSMITTING A VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $10 STATED IN FAVOR OF MRS. ANNABEALL E. RUTLEDGE, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE FOREIGN OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATION, TEHRAN, IRAN, FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR PERSONAL FUNDS EXPENDED FOR A ,SLEEPAIR SEAT" IN CONNECTION WITH AIR TRAVEL FROM NEW YORK, NEW YORK, TO AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS, DURING NOVEMBER 1953, AND REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING SAID VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT.

ALTHOUGH YOUR LETTER IS NOT SIGNED IN THE CAPACITY OF AN AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, THE RECORDS OF THIS OFFICE SHOW THAT HERETOFORE YOU HAVE OFFICIATED AS SUCH AND, THEREFORE, IT IS PRESUMED THAT YOUR PRESENT REQUEST FOR DECISION IS SUBMITTED IN THAT CAPACITY.

THE PAPERS ATTACHED TO YOUR LETTER DO NOT INCLUDE A COPY OF THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION INVOLVED, HOWEVER, IT HAS BEEN INFORMALLY ASCERTAINED THAT MRS. RUTLEDGE WAS OFFICIALLY ORDERED TO TEHRAN FOR PERMANENT DUTY, AND THAT HER TRANSPORTATION VIA COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT BETWEEN NEW YORK, NEW YORK, AND THE FOREIGN DUTY STATION WAS PROCURED ON GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST NO. MSA-36203. YOUR LETTER STATES THAT THE FLIGHT UTILIZED BY MRS. RUTLEDGE--- K.L.M. ROYAL DUTCH AIRLINES--- BETWEEN NEW YORK AND AMSTERDAM DOES NOT HAVE SLEEPER BERTH ACCOMMODATIONS BUT IN LIEU THEREOF OFFERS SLEEPER SEAT ACCOMMODATIONS AT A SUBSTANTIAL SAVING TO THE TRAVELER, WHICH ACCOMMODATION IS REPORTED TO BE THE EQUIVALENT OF A SLEEPER BERTH ON OTHER AIRLINES. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE COST OF THE "SLEEPAIR SEAT" WAS BORNE BY THE TRAVELER IN VIEW OF THE DOUBT AS TO WHETHER APPLICABLE TRAVEL REGULATIONS AUTHORIZED PAYMENT FOR SUCH AN ACCOMMODATION FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS.

PARAGRAPH 13 OF THE STANDARDIZES GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AS AMENDED, READS IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

C. SLEEPER PLANE ACCOMMODATIONS.--- ONE STANDARD BERTH ON AIRPLANES HAVING SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS WHEN OVERSEAS NIGHT TRAVEL, BEGINNING OR TERMINATING IN THE UNITED STATES, IS INVOLVED.

THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AS AMENDED, ARE APPLICABLE TO ALL TYPES OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION COVERED BY THE FOREIGN SERVICE TRAVEL REGULATIONS UNLESS SPECIFIC DEVIATIONS THEREFROM ARE PRESCRIBED. THE FOREIGN SERVICE TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT TRAVEL EXPENSES SHALL BE ALLOWED IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATIONS IN EFFECT AT THE TIME THE EXPENSES ARE ACTUALLY INCURRED, AND THEY AUTHORIZE THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL TRAVEL BY ANY MEANS (NOT PROHIBITED BY LAW) AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. SECTION 180-4.52 OF THE REGULATIONS LAST CITED ( PART III, FOREIGN SERVICE MANUAL) DATED JUNE 12, 1953, PROVIDES:

ACCOMMODATIONS ON PLANES.--- EACH AUTHORIZED TRAVELER SHALL BE ALLOWED A SEAT ON AN AIRPLANE, PROVIDED THE ACCOMMODATION IS ACTUALLY USED. WHEN NIGHT TRAVEL OF MORE THAN 6 HOURS DURATION IS INVOLVED, ONE STANDARD BERTH SHALL BE ALLOWED FOR EACH TRAVELER 5 YEARS OF AGE OR OVER IF SUCH ACCOMMODATIONS ARE AVAILABLE AND ARE ACTUALLY USED; ONE STANDARD BERTH SHALL BE ALLOWED FOR EACH TWO CHILDREN UNDER 5, BUT NO BERTH SHALL BE ALLOWED FOR SEPARATE OCCUPANCY BY ONE CHILD UNDER 5 WHO IS ACCOMPANIED BY A PERSON OVER 5 YEARS OF AGE TRAVELING AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

IN VIEW OF THE CITED REGULATIONS, THE "SLEEPAIR SEAT" USED FOR NIGHT TRAVEL BETWEEN THE NEW YORK AIR TERMINAL AND THE OVERSEAS LOCATION, MAY BE REGARDED AS A SLEEPING ACCOMMODATION IN THE NATURE OF A STANDARD BERTH AND THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT. COMPARE 32 COMP. GEN. 542.