B-119124, APRIL 7, 1954, 33 COMP. GEN. 434

B-119124: Apr 7, 1954

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- IS NOT REQUIRED TO REFUND ONE-HALF OF SAVINGS ACCRUING TO HIM FOR WIFE'S TRANSPORTATION. PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE AUTHORIZED IN TRAVEL ORDERS IS INTENDED TO BE IN LIEU OF ALL SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE TRAVELER AND NO ADDITIONAL AMOUNT MAY BE AUTHORIZED EVEN THOUGH THE ACTUAL EXPENSES EXCEED THE PRESCRIBED ALLOWANCE. HOLTZ WAS ACCOMPANIED BY HIS WIFE AND. ALTHOUGH SHE WAS NOT AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WERE UTILIZED TO OBTAIN TRANSPORTATION FOR HER IN TWO INSTANCES. WAS SECURED BY MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION REQUEST NO. CLEARLY IS PROPER AND NO OBJECTION HAS BEEN RAISED TO SUCH ACTION BY MR. THE BASIS OF A SECOND PROPOSED ADMINISTRATIVE DEDUCTION IS QUESTIONED BY MR.

B-119124, APRIL 7, 1954, 33 COMP. GEN. 434

TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS - TICKETS - CONVERSION OF SINGLE TICKET TO FAMILY RATE PLAN TICKET EMPLOYEE WHO PROCURED A SINGLE FIRST-CLASS AIRLINE TICKET FOR USE IN AUTHORIZED TRAVEL BY MEANS OF A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST, AND WHO CONVERTED THE TICKET INTO "FAMILY RATE PLAN" TICKETS FOR HIMSELF AND WIFE BY PAYMENT OF AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT OUT OF PERSONAL FUNDS--- AND AT NO ADDITIONAL EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT--- IS NOT REQUIRED TO REFUND ONE-HALF OF SAVINGS ACCRUING TO HIM FOR WIFE'S TRANSPORTATION; HOWEVER, THIS SHOULD NOT BE VIEWED AS CONDONING IN FUTURE CASES THE UTILIZATION OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS FOR ANY PURPOSE OTHER THAN AUTHORIZED TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS. PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE AUTHORIZED IN TRAVEL ORDERS IS INTENDED TO BE IN LIEU OF ALL SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE TRAVELER AND NO ADDITIONAL AMOUNT MAY BE AUTHORIZED EVEN THOUGH THE ACTUAL EXPENSES EXCEED THE PRESCRIBED ALLOWANCE.

ACTING COMPTROLLER WEITZEL TO WILLIAM E. FRANK, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, APRIL 7, 1954:

BY LETTER OF MARCH 2, 1954 (REFERENCE 370), THE CHIEF, PROGRAM COORDINATION AND FINANCE DIVISION, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, FORWARDED FOR CONSIDERATION YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 19, 1954 (REFERENCE D-312), TRANSMITTING A VOUCHER SUBMITTED BY WESLEY G. HOLTZ FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO AUTHORIZED TRAVEL AND REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

MR. HOLTZ WAS ACCOMPANIED BY HIS WIFE AND, ALTHOUGH SHE WAS NOT AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WERE UTILIZED TO OBTAIN TRANSPORTATION FOR HER IN TWO INSTANCES. AIR TRANSPORTATION FOR BOTH MR. HOLTZ AND HIS WIFE FROM PARIS, FRANCE, TO ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, WAS SECURED BY MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION REQUEST NO. IN -84874 AT A COST OF $39.20. THE PROPOSED ADMINISTRATIVE DEDUCTION FROM THE VOUCHER OF $19.60, REPRESENTING THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OF MRS. HOLTZ- TRANSPORTATION IN THIS INSTANCE, CLEARLY IS PROPER AND NO OBJECTION HAS BEEN RAISED TO SUCH ACTION BY MR. HOLTZ.

HOWEVER, THE BASIS OF A SECOND PROPOSED ADMINISTRATIVE DEDUCTION IS QUESTIONED BY MR. HOLTZ. A SINGLE FIRST-CLASS AIRLINE TICKET FOR TRAVEL IN THE UNITED STATES, PROCURED BY MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION REQUEST NO. IN- 84870, WAS CONVERTED BY MR. HOLTZ INTO "FAMILY RATE PLAN" TICKETS FOR HIMSELF AND HIS WIFE THROUGH PAYMENT OF AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT OUT OF HIS PERSONAL FUNDS. THIS RESULTED IN A "SUBSTANTIAL SAVINGS" TO MR. HOLTZ FOR HIS WIFE'S TRANSPORTATION FOR THIS PHASE OF THE TRAVEL. YOU STATE THAT NO APPLICABLE DECISION OF THIS OFFICE HAS BEEN FOUND AND THAT, THEREFORE, IT HAS BEEN "ARBITRARILY CONCLUDED THAT AT LEAST ONE-HALF OF THE SAVING SECURED BY TRANSPORTATION REQUEST CONVERSION SHOULD REVERT TO THE GOVERNMENT.' THE PROPOSED ADMINISTRATIVE DEDUCTION OF $13.55 WAS COMPUTED ON THAT BASIS.

GENERALLY, IT IS NOT PERMISSIBLE TO MAKE USE OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS FOR PURCHASE OF TICKETS FOR OTHER THAN USE IN AUTHORIZED TRAVEL. HOWEVER, IN THIS CASE IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THE CONVERSION TO THE "FAMILY RATE" WAS ACCOMPLISHED AT NO EXTRA COST TO THE GOVERNMENT. THE ACTUAL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT IN THE INSTANT TRANSACTION WAS LIMITED TO THE AMOUNT FIRST-CLASS AIR TRANSPORTATION FOR MR. HOLTZ ALONE WOULD HAVE COST. ACCORDINGLY, THE ADMINISTRATIVE DEDUCTION OF $13.55 DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE REQUIRED IN THIS INSTANCE.

THIS DECISION SHOULD NOT BE VIEWED AS CONDONING THE UTILIZATION IN ANY FUTURE CASE OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS FOR ANY PURPOSE OTHER THAN AUTHORIZED TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS, AND MR. HOLTZ SHOULD BE SO ADVISED.

THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION IN THE PRESENT CASE AUTHORIZED A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE OF $9 IN THE UNITED STATES AND "AT PREVAILING MAXIMUM RATE ALLOWED BY BUREAU OF THE BUDGET REGULATIONS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES.' ALTHOUGH THE VOUCHER ITSELF IS STATED IN TERMS OF SUCH PER DIEM RATES, IN A MEMORANDUM ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER MR. HOLTZ CONTENDS THAT HE SHOULD BE REIMBURSED HIS ACTUAL SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH A TOUR OF SWISS ENGINEERING WORKS BECAUSE THE TOUR "WAS PAID FOR ON LUMP-SUM BASIS, COVERING MEALS, LODGING, AND TRAVEL (AND THIS LUMP-SUM) EXCEEDED THE TRAVEL PLUS PER DIEM RATES.' WHEN A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IS AUTHORIZED IT IS IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES ( PAR. 45, STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS) AND THE FACT THAT ACTUAL SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OF THE TRAVELER IN SOME CASES MAY EXCEED THE PER DIEM ALLOWABLE AFFORDS NO BASIS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF SUCH EXCESS EXPENSES. THEREFORE, THE STATING OF THE VOUCHER IN THE PRESENT CASE IN TERMS OF AUTHORIZED PER DIEM RATES RATHER THAN ACTUAL SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WAS CORRECT, AND NO ADDITIONAL REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES IS AUTHORIZED.

THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH TOGETHER WITH ITS SUPPORTING PAPERS, UPON DELETION OF THE PROPOSED ADMINISTRATIVE DEDUCTION IN THE AMOUNT OF $13.55, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE PROPER.