B-119925, JUNE 28, 1954, 33 COMP. GEN. 610

B-119925: Jun 28, 1954

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - FEES FOR HANDLING DEPENDENTS' BAGGAGE WHILE THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED BY PARAGRAPH 44 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS APPLICABLE TO ALL FEES COVERING THE HANDLING OF BAGGAGE NECESSARY FOR THE PERSONAL USE OF THE EMPLOYEE (OTHER THAN BAGGAGE TRANSFER CHARGES AUTHORIZED UNDER PARAGRAPH 41 OF SAID REGULATIONS) IT DOES NOT INCLUDE HANDLING CHARGES FOR BAGGAGE OF AN EMPLOYEE'S DEPENDENTS. THEREFORE AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE DEPENDENTS WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE BAGGAGE HANDLING CHARGES ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE DEPENDENTS' BAGGAGE. 1954: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 3. THE FEES WERE DEDUCTED ADMINISTRATIVELY FROM A PRIOR VOUCHER AS BEING COVERED BY THE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE PAID TO THE TRAVELER.

B-119925, JUNE 28, 1954, 33 COMP. GEN. 610

TRAVELING EXPENSES - FEES FOR HANDLING DEPENDENTS' BAGGAGE WHILE THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED BY PARAGRAPH 44 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS APPLICABLE TO ALL FEES COVERING THE HANDLING OF BAGGAGE NECESSARY FOR THE PERSONAL USE OF THE EMPLOYEE (OTHER THAN BAGGAGE TRANSFER CHARGES AUTHORIZED UNDER PARAGRAPH 41 OF SAID REGULATIONS) IT DOES NOT INCLUDE HANDLING CHARGES FOR BAGGAGE OF AN EMPLOYEE'S DEPENDENTS, AND THEREFORE AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE DEPENDENTS WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE BAGGAGE HANDLING CHARGES ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE DEPENDENTS' BAGGAGE, INCLUDING AUTHORIZED EXCESS BAGGAGE.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL WEITZEL TO I. BUNNELL, CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION, JUNE 28, 1954:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 3, 1954, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER STATED IN FAVOR OF FRED W. ZELLMER, AN EMPLOYEE OF YOUR ADMINISTRATION, IN THE AMOUNT OF $9.65, REPRESENTING FEES FOR THE HANDLING OF BAGGAGE BY PORTERS INCIDENT TO CHANGE OF HEADQUARTERS FROM SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, TO BEIRUT, LEBANON. THE FEES WERE DEDUCTED ADMINISTRATIVELY FROM A PRIOR VOUCHER AS BEING COVERED BY THE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE PAID TO THE TRAVELER.

IN RECLAIMING THE FEES IN QUESTION THE CLAIMANT STRESSES HIS INABILITY TO HANDLE THE LARGE AMOUNT OF BAGGAGE WHICH WAS NECESSARY UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, NAMELY, TWO TRUNKS AND TEN BAGS. ALSO, THERE IS ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER A MEMORANDUM FROM W. H. JERVEY, GENERAL SERVICES OFFICER, INTERNATIONAL REGION, CALLING ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT THE CLAIMANT WAS ACCOMPANIED BY DEPENDENTS AND THAT MUCH OF THE BAGGAGE WAS NECESSITATED BY THAT FACT. THE TRAVEL ORDER AUTHORIZED THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE CLAIMANT, HIS WIFE, AND TWO DAUGHTERS. IT ALSO AUTHORIZED THE CARRYING OF EXCESS BAGGAGE BY ALL MEMBERS OF THE GROUP, WITH THE PROVISION THAT IF THE TRAVELERS WERE AIRBORNE THE EXCESS BAGGAGE WOULD BE LIMITED TO 50 POUNDS PER PASSENGER.

SECTIONS 41 AND 44 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS RESPECTIVELY PROVIDE AS FOLLOWS---

41. TRANSFER OF BAGGAGE.--- NECESSARY CHARGES FOR THE TRANSFER OF BAGGAGE WILL BE ALLOWED.

44.DEFINITION.--- THE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WILL BE HELD TO INCLUDE ALL CHARGES FOR MEALS; LODGINGS, PERSONAL USE OF ROOM DURING DAYTIME, BATHS, ALL FEES AND TIPS TO WAITERS, PORTERS, BAGGAGE MEN, BELL BOYS, HOTEL MAIDS, DINING ROOM STEWARDS AND OTHERS ON VESSELS, AND HOTEL SERVANTS IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES, TELEGRAMS AND TELEPHONE CALLS RESERVING HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS, LAUNDRY, CLEANING AND PRESSING OF CLOTHING, FANS AND FIRES IN ROOMS; TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN PLACES OF LODGINGS OR WHERE MEALS ARE TAKEN AND PLACES OF DUTY.

IN 32 COMP. GEN. 357, IT WAS HELD THAT THE TRANSFER CHARGES REFERRED TO IN PARAGRAPH 41 ARE CHARGES OTHER THAN FEES TO PORTERS, SUCH AS CHARGES BY CARRIERS FOR TRANSFERRING BAGGAGE BETWEEN RAILROAD STATIONS OR PICK UP AND DELIVERY CHARGES BY TRANSFER OR EXPRESS COMPANIES.

CONSEQUENTLY, PARAGRAPH 44 IS APPLICABLE TO ALL FEES COVERING THE HANDLING OF BAGGAGE (OTHER THAN BAGGAGE TRANSFER CHARGES AS EXPLAINED ABOVE), NECESSARY FOR THE PERSONAL USE OF THE EMPLOYEE. HOWEVER, AS THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IS PERSONAL TO THE EMPLOYEE, IT IS NOT CONSIDERED AS INCLUSIVE OF THE HANDLING CHARGES PERTAINING TO THE BAGGAGE OF THE DEPENDENTS. ACCORDINGLY, AS THE TRAVEL OF THE DEPENDENTS WAS AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AND, AS STATED ABOVE, EXCESS BAGGAGE FOR ALL MEMBERS OF THE GROUP LIKEWISE WAS AUTHORIZED, PAYMENT OF THAT PART OF THE BAGGAGE HANDLING CHARGES ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE DEPENDENTS' BAGGAGE APPEARS PROPER TO THE EXTENT THE BAGGAGE DID NOT EXCEED LIMIT IMPOSED BY THE TRAVEL ORDER.

IN THE ABSENCE OF A STATEMENT FROM THE EMPLOYEE DISCLOSING A DIFFERENT DISTRIBUTION OF THE BAGGAGE BETWEEN HIMSELF AND HIS THREE DEPENDENTS, PAYMENT OF AN AMOUNT REPRESENTING THREE-FOURTHS OF THE TOTAL COST INCURRED FOR HANDLING THE BAGGAGE WITHIN THE LIMIT FIXED BY THE TRAVEL ORDER IS AUTHORIZED.