B-125639, OCT. 27, 1955

B-125639: Oct 27, 1955

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

THE AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 27. CONCERNING THE USE OF TRAVEL AGENCIES FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SERVICES FOR THE ROUND TRIP MOVEMENT OF EMPLOYEES BETWEEN STATIONS IN FIVE DIFFERENT FOREIGN COUNTRIES AND THE UNITED STATES WHEN SUCH EMPLOYEES ARE TRAVELING AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FOR HOME LEAVE PURPOSES. AN EXEMPTION IS REQUESTED FROM THE PROVISIONS OF OUR GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 123 IN ORDER THAT YOUR PARIS (FRANCE) OFFICE MAY (A) PROCURE THE DESIRED TRANSPORTATION SERVICES FROM A TRAVEL AGENCY (AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY) (B) BY THE USE OF PROCUREMENT DOCUMENTS OTHER THAN THE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST AND (C) MAKE PAYMENT FOR SUCH SERVICE ON INVOICES OF THE TRAVEL AGENCY.

B-125639, OCT. 27, 1955

TO THE CHAIRMAN, THE AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 27, 1955, FROM THE OFFICER IN CHARGE OF THE COMMISSION, CONCERNING THE USE OF TRAVEL AGENCIES FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SERVICES FOR THE ROUND TRIP MOVEMENT OF EMPLOYEES BETWEEN STATIONS IN FIVE DIFFERENT FOREIGN COUNTRIES AND THE UNITED STATES WHEN SUCH EMPLOYEES ARE TRAVELING AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FOR HOME LEAVE PURPOSES, AS AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 31, 1954, 68 STAT. 1008, 5 U.S.C. 73B-3.

AN EXEMPTION IS REQUESTED FROM THE PROVISIONS OF OUR GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 123 IN ORDER THAT YOUR PARIS (FRANCE) OFFICE MAY (A) PROCURE THE DESIRED TRANSPORTATION SERVICES FROM A TRAVEL AGENCY (AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY) (B) BY THE USE OF PROCUREMENT DOCUMENTS OTHER THAN THE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST AND (C) MAKE PAYMENT FOR SUCH SERVICE ON INVOICES OF THE TRAVEL AGENCY.

IN JUSTIFICATION OF THE REQUESTED EXEMPTIONS, YOUR LETTER NOTES THE ADVICE OF YOUR PARIS OFFICE THAT IT HAS "NEITHER THE STAFF NOR THE FACILITIES FOR HANDLING THE TRANSPORTATION ARRANGEMENTS INVOLVED" AND THAT THE AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY REPORTS THAT "THESE SERVICES WOULD BE RENDERED AT NO COST OVER AND ABOVE THE CARRIER'S TARIFF RATES.' THE COMMISSION BELIEVES THAT THE INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES WOULD BE MORE ADVANTAGEOUSLY SERVED BY THE UTILIZATION OF THE SERVICE OF A TRAVEL AGENCY IN CONNECTION WITH HOME LEAVE TRANSPORTATION.

OUR GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 123, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1955, SUPERSEDED OUR GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 108, WHICH CONTAINED NO SPECIFIC PROVISION RELATING TO TRAVEL AGENCIES. AFTER CAREFUL CONSIDERATION OF THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES NOTED BY DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT AND THE SERVICE CARRIERS AS TO THE USE OF TRAVEL AGENCIES,WE CONCLUDED THAT THEIR USE FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SERVICES INVOLVING FOREIGN COUNTRIES SHOULD BE LIMITED TO THE EXTENT SPECIFIED IN PARAGRAPHS 4 AND 5 OF GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 123. THOSE PARAGRAPHS REFLECT THE CONCLUSIONS REACHED HERE AFTER CAREFUL EVALUATION OF ALL THE FACTORS INVOLVED, AND IT IS NOT BELIEVED THAT YOUR LETTER HAS STATED ANY MATTERS NOT CONSIDERED WHEN THE REGULATIONS WERE BEING FORMULATED.

SINCE IT APPEARS THAT THE TRANSPORTATION ARRANGEMENTS FOR HOME LEAVE PURPOSES FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES IN FIVE DIFFERENT FOREIGN COUNTRIES WILL BE MADE BY YOUR PARIS OFFICE, IT SEEMS PROBABLE THAT THE PRINCIPAL AIR AND WATER CARRIERS WHICH FURNISH TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM THE UNITED STATES MAINTAIN OFFICES IN PARIS EQUIPPED TO SUPPLY INFORMATION AND SERVICES SIMILAR TO THAT AVAILABLE THROUGH TRAVEL AGENCIES. THE BENEFITS THAT ACCRUE TO THE UNITED STATES FROM THE USE OF THE AUTHORIZED UNITED STATES OF AMERICA TRANSPORTATION REQUEST (STANDARD FORM NO. 1169) AND THE PUBLIC VOUCHER FOR TRANSPORTATION OF PASSENGERS (STANDARD FORM NO. 1171), PARTICULARLY FOR ACCOUNTING AND AUDIT PURPOSES, APPEAR TO OUTWEIGH ANY OBJECTIONS ADVANCED AGAINST THE USE OF SUCH FORMS UNDER ORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES.

SINCE THE FACTS PRESENTED IN YOUR LETTER DO NOT SEEM SUFFICIENT TO AUTHORIZE DEVIATING FROM THE REQUIREMENTS OF OUR GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 123, YOUR REQUEST FOR SUCH AUTHORITY MAY NOT BE GRANTED.