B-126820, MAR. 13, 1956

B-126820: Mar 13, 1956

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BUREAU OF MINES: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 26. IT APPEARS THAT WHILE THE TRAVELER WAS IN EUROPE ON PERSONAL BUSINESS HE WAS AUTHORIZED TO PERFORM OFFICIAL TRAVEL BETWEEN POINTS IN EUROPE. HE WAS AUTHORIZED TO VISIT ADDITIONAL EUROPEAN POINTS. WAS NEVER RECEIVED. A TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION WAS ISSUED DIRECTING MR. ON SEPTEMBER 15 AN AMENDATORY ORDER WAS ISSUED AUTHORIZING HIM TO TRAVEL FROM BOSTON. MASSACHUSETTS "WHERE YOU ARE ON LEAVE. WE PRESUME THAT HE WAS INSTRUCTED TO MAKE THE STOP-OVER IN SOME MANNER NOT DISCLOSED BY THE PRESENT RECORD. THE AMOUNT CLAIMED WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY SUSPENDED ON THE BASIS THAT RECEIPTS COVERING THE EXPENDITURES WERE NOT FURNISHED IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 80G OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

B-126820, MAR. 13, 1956

TO MRS. NAOMI E. STOKES, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, BUREAU OF MINES:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 26, 1956, TRANSMITTING FOR ADVANCE DECISION A RECLAIM VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF ROBERT MCMURTRIE COVERING REIMBURSEMENT OF RAIL AND PULLMAN FARES FOR TRAVEL FROM BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., ON SEPTEMBER 25 AND 26, 1955.

IT APPEARS THAT WHILE THE TRAVELER WAS IN EUROPE ON PERSONAL BUSINESS HE WAS AUTHORIZED TO PERFORM OFFICIAL TRAVEL BETWEEN POINTS IN EUROPE. TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION WQ-ADM-23, AUGUST 19, 1955, HE WAS AUTHORIZED TO VISIT ADDITIONAL EUROPEAN POINTS, AND TO MAKE A STOP-OVER IN WASHINGTON, D.C., ON HIS RETURN TRIP. HIS SCHEDULE OF EXPENSES, HOWEVER, BEARS A NOTATION THAT THE ORIGINAL OF SUCH TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION, SENT TO HIM BY DIPLOMATIC POUCH, WAS NEVER RECEIVED. ON SEPTEMBER 7, 1955, A TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION WAS ISSUED DIRECTING MR. MCMURTRIE TO TRAVEL FROM HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION, GRAND FORKS, NORTH DAKOTA, TO MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, AND RETURN, TO ATTEND A CONFERENCE. ON SEPTEMBER 15 AN AMENDATORY ORDER WAS ISSUED AUTHORIZING HIM TO TRAVEL FROM BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS "WHERE YOU ARE ON LEAVE," TO MINNEAPOLIS AND GRAND FORKS, BEGINNING ON OR ABOUT SEPTEMBER 26, 1955. NEITHER OF THE TWO LATTER TRAVEL AUTHORIZATIONS DIRECTED A STOP OVER AT WASHINGTON. HOWEVER, SINCE MR. MCMURTRIE PERFORMED DUTY IN WASHINGTON EN ROUTE TO MINNEAPOLIS, WE PRESUME THAT HE WAS INSTRUCTED TO MAKE THE STOP-OVER IN SOME MANNER NOT DISCLOSED BY THE PRESENT RECORD, RATHER THAN FOR PERSONAL REASONS. THE TRAVELER PURCHASED RAIL AND PULLMAN TRANSPORTATION TO WASHINGTON WITH HIS OWN FUNDS, AND INCLUDED A CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENTS ON HIS TRAVEL VOUCHER FOR SEPTEMBER, 1955. THE AMOUNT CLAIMED WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY SUSPENDED ON THE BASIS THAT RECEIPTS COVERING THE EXPENDITURES WERE NOT FURNISHED IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 80G OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. THE CLAIMANT STATES THAT RECEIPTS WERE NOT OBTAINED AND GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WERE NOT USED BECAUSE HE DID NOT REALIZE THAT HE WAS ON OFFICIAL DUTY AT THE TIME HE PURCHASED THE TRANSPORTATION. ALSO, WE NOTE THAT THE EXCESS TRANSPORTATION COSTS RESULTING FROM THE TRAVEL TO GRAND FORKS BY THE INDIRECT ROUTE AMOUNTS ONLY TO $6.27, THE BALANCE OF THE ADDITIONAL COST BEING EXCESS PER DIEM.

PARAGRAPH 80G OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AS AMENDED BY ATTACHMENT A, TRANSMITTAL MEMORANDUM NO. 5 (EFFECTIVE AUGUST 29, 1955), BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR A-7, REVISED, PROVIDES:

"80. RECEIPTS REQUIRED.--- RECEIPTS FOR ALLOWABLE EXPENDITURES, WHEN PRACTICAL TO OBTAIN THEM, WILL BE REQUIRED FOR:

"G. OTHER EXPENDITURES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR IN THIS PARAGRAPH, WHERE THE AMOUNT INVOLVED IS IN EXCESS OF $3. (SEE PAR. 79.)"

THE CITED PARAGRAPH 79 PROVIDES:

"MISCELLANEOUS EXPENDITURES NOT ENUMERATED HEREIN, WHEN NECESSARILY INCURRED BY THE TRAVELER IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSACTION OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS, WILL BE ALLOWED WHEN APPROVED.'

IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 80, SUBPARAGRAPHS C. AND N., REQUIRING RECEIPTS FOR THE ITEMS OF COMMON CARRIER TRANSPORTATION THEREIN SPECIFIED, WE HOLD THAT PARAGRAPH 80G, DOES NOT REQUIRE THAT RECEIPTS BE FURNISHED IN SUPPORT OF CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF ORDINARY RAIL FARES PAID FOR IN CASH. SEE GENERALLY 28 COMP. GEN. 237, 238.

WHILE PARAGRAPH 80 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES IN SUBPARAGRAPH N. THAT RECEIPTS MUST BE FURNISHED FOR SLEEPING CAR, PARLOR CAR OR STATEROOM FARES PAID FOR IN CASH, THAT PARAGRAPH ALSO PROVIDES THAT IF IT IS IMPRACTICAL TO FURNISH RECEIPTS IN ANY CASE AS REQUIRED THE FAILURE TO DO SO MUST BE FULLY EXPLAINED. WHILE THE RECORD IS NOT ENTIRELY CLEAR IN THE MATTER, IT SEEMS THAT THE FAILURE TO FURNISH A RECEIPT SHOWING USE OF PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS FROM BOSTON TO WASHINGTON TRAVEL RESULTED FROM THE INTERMINGLING OF OFFICIAL DUTY AND LEAVE TRAVEL. ACCORDINGLY, ON THE PRESENT RECORD, THE VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE PROPER.