B-119418, MAY 17, 1954, 33 COMP. GEN. 553

B-119418: May 17, 1954

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1954: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 1. SINCE ONE UPPER AND ONE LOWER BERTH ACTUALLY WERE USED FOR TRAVEL FROM FORT WORTH TO LOS ANGELES BY THE INDIRECT ROUTE. IS SHOWN THAT THE DEPENDENTS DEPARTED FROM FORT WORTH ON OCTOBER 1 AND ARRIVED AT THE OVERSEAS DUTY STATION ON NOVEMBER 26. THAT SUCH TRAVEL WAS SUBSEQUENT TO AMENDMENT NO. 1 (TRAVEL ORDER NO. 974). WHEREAS IN ARRIVING AT THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST FOR DIRECT TRAVEL THE SUM CHARGED FOR THREE LOWER BERTHS IS USED IN THE COMPUTATION TO DETERMINE THE EXCESS COST SUSTAINED ON ACCOUNT OF INDIRECT TRAVEL TO THE PORT OF EMBARKATION. PARAGRAPH 10 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT WHERE AN EMPLOYEE PERFORMS TRAVEL BY AN INDIRECT ROUTE FOR HIS CONVENIENCE THE EXTRA EXPENSE WILL BE BORNE BY HIM.

B-119418, MAY 17, 1954, 33 COMP. GEN. 553

TRANSPORTATION - DEPENDENTS - CIRCUITOUS ROUTES - EXCESS COST LIABILITY UNDER SECTION 3 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS AMENDED, WHICH PROVIDES THAT THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY OF TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES SHALL NOT EXCEED THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION BY A USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE, AND PARAGRAPH 13A (1) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, WHICH PROVIDES FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF ONE LOWER BERTH FOR EACH TRAVELER, A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE WHOSE THREE DEPENDENTS OCCUPIED ONE LOWER AND ONE UPPER BERTH IN THE PERFORMANCE OF TRAVEL OVER A CIRCUITOUS ROUTE MAY BE ALLOWED THE COMPARATIVE COST OF THREE LOWER BERTHS IN THE COMPUTATION OF THE EXCESS COST SUSTAINED BY THE GOVERNMENT ON ACCOUNT OF THE INDIRECT TRAVEL.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL WEITZEL TO M. A. CRIBBIN, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, MAY 17, 1954:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 1, 1954, FILE A-3.32, TRANSMITTING FOR CONSIDERATION A NO PAYMENT VOUCHER IN BEHALF OF MR. JOHN G. MOORE, NOW EMPLOYED AS METEOROLOGIST WITH THE WEATHER BUREAU ASSIGNED TO DUTY ON WAKE ISLAND, COVERING INDIRECT TRAVEL PERFORMED BY USE OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS BY HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY (WIFE, DAUGHTER AGE 9, AND SON AGE 11) FROM FORT WORTH, TEXAS, TO LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, EN ROUTE TO AN OVERSEAS DESTINATION. YOU REQUEST A DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE COST OF THREE LOWER BERTHS FOR USE OF MRS. MOORE, THE DAUGHTER, AND SON, MAY BE ALLOWED IN THE COMPARATIVE COST BY DIRECT ROUTE, SINCE ONE UPPER AND ONE LOWER BERTH ACTUALLY WERE USED FOR TRAVEL FROM FORT WORTH TO LOS ANGELES BY THE INDIRECT ROUTE.

THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT THE EMPLOYEE TRAVELED TO THE DESIGNATED DUTY STATION ON WAKE ISLAND PURSUANT TO ORDERS NO. 974, DATED MAY 6, 1953. IS SHOWN THAT THE DEPENDENTS DEPARTED FROM FORT WORTH ON OCTOBER 1 AND ARRIVED AT THE OVERSEAS DUTY STATION ON NOVEMBER 26, 1953, AND THAT SUCH TRAVEL WAS SUBSEQUENT TO AMENDMENT NO. 1 (TRAVEL ORDER NO. 974), DATED AUGUST 6, 1953, WHICH AUTHORIZED THEIR TRAVEL BY RAIL TO LOS ANGELES; SURFACE VESSEL TO HONOLULU, HAWAII, THENCE BY AIRCRAFT FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE JOURNEY TO WAKE ISLAND.

THE ZERO VOUCHER SHOWS THAT THE DEPENDENTS PROCEEDED TO LOS ANGELES VIA PUEBLO, COLORADO, USING ONE LOWER AND ONE UPPER BERTH, WHEREAS IN ARRIVING AT THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST FOR DIRECT TRAVEL THE SUM CHARGED FOR THREE LOWER BERTHS IS USED IN THE COMPUTATION TO DETERMINE THE EXCESS COST SUSTAINED ON ACCOUNT OF INDIRECT TRAVEL TO THE PORT OF EMBARKATION.

PARAGRAPH 10 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT WHERE AN EMPLOYEE PERFORMS TRAVEL BY AN INDIRECT ROUTE FOR HIS CONVENIENCE THE EXTRA EXPENSE WILL BE BORNE BY HIM, AND REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR IS RESTRICTED TO THOSE CHARGES WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY A USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE. PARAGRAPH 13A (1) OF THOSE REGULATIONS PROVIDES FOR ALLOWANCE OF ONE STANDARD LOWER BERTH WHEN NIGHT TRAVEL IS INVOLVED. SECTION 3 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS AMENDED, PROVIDES THAT THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY OF AN EMPLOYEE SHALL BE SUBJECT TO THOSE PROVISIONS OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH RELATE TO TRANSPORTATION, WHETHER THE TRAVEL ORIGINATES AT THE EMPLOYEE'S LAST OFFICIAL STATION OR AT SOME OTHER POINT, BUT SPECIFICALLY PROVIDES THAT THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT SHALL NOT EXCEED THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION BY A USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BETWEEN THE OLD AND THE NEW DUTY STATIONS.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, IT REASONABLY MAY BE CONCLUDED THAT IN THE INSTANT CASE THE GOVERNMENT'S LIABILITY FOR THE TRAVEL FROM FORT WORTH TO LOS ANGELES MAY NOT EXCEED THE PROPER CHARGE FOR ONE ADULT AND TWO HALF FARES FOR DIRECT FIRST-CLASS RAIL TRAVEL BETWEEN THOSE POINTS, PLUS THE SUM PROPERLY CHARGEABLE FOR THREE LOWER BERTHS.

ACTION ON THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, SHOULD BE TAKEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING.