B-127076, MAY 2, 1956, 35 COMP. GEN. 609

B-127076: May 2, 1956

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TRANSPORTATION - REQUESTS - COMMINGLED PERSONAL AND OFFICIAL TRAVEL - EMPLOYEE'S COST FEDERAL EMPLOYEES WHO USE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS FOR AUTHORIZED TRAVEL BEYOND A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION FOR PERSONAL REASONS ARE REQUIRED TO BEAR THE EXPENSES FOR SUCH EXCESS TRAVEL. THE FORMER RULE OF PRORATING BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND THE EMPLOYEE THE SAVINGS RESULTING FROM COMBINED OFFICIAL AND PERSONAL TRAVEL WILL NO LONGER BE FOLLOWED. PAYMENT OF WHICH WAS REFUSED ADMINISTRATIVELY ON HER PRIOR TRAVEL VOUCHER. WAS AUTHORIZED ON APRIL 20. ON MAY 4 SHE WAS AUTHORIZED TO STOP OFF IN CHICAGO. PRIOR TO HER DEPARTURE FROM WASHINGTON MISS FOSTER WAS GRANTED APPROVED ANNUAL LEAVE FROM MAY 2 TO 6.

B-127076, MAY 2, 1956, 35 COMP. GEN. 609

TRANSPORTATION - REQUESTS - COMMINGLED PERSONAL AND OFFICIAL TRAVEL - EMPLOYEE'S COST FEDERAL EMPLOYEES WHO USE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS FOR AUTHORIZED TRAVEL BEYOND A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION FOR PERSONAL REASONS ARE REQUIRED TO BEAR THE EXPENSES FOR SUCH EXCESS TRAVEL, AND THE FORMER RULE OF PRORATING BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND THE EMPLOYEE THE SAVINGS RESULTING FROM COMBINED OFFICIAL AND PERSONAL TRAVEL WILL NO LONGER BE FOLLOWED. COMP. GEN. 879, OVERRULED.

TO EDWARD B. KELLY, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE, MAY 2, 1956:

YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 20, 1956 (15:A), REQUESTS OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE VOUCHER THEREWITH TRANSMITTED IN WHICH MISS HELEN B. FOSTER RECLAIMS $32.65, PAYMENT OF WHICH WAS REFUSED ADMINISTRATIVELY ON HER PRIOR TRAVEL VOUCHER.

MISS FOSTER, AN EMPLOYEE IN THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC ASSISTANCE, SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, WAS AUTHORIZED ON APRIL 20, 1955, TO TRAVEL FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO SALT LAKE CITY UTAH, TO PERFORM OFFICIAL BUSINESS IN THAT CITY APRIL 28, 29, AND 30, AND RETURN TO WASHINGTON. ON MAY 4 SHE WAS AUTHORIZED TO STOP OFF IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, ON THE RETURN TRIP TO ATTEND A MEETING OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC WELFARE ASSOCIATION'S COMMITTEE ON THE AGING ON MAY 9 AND 10. PRIOR TO HER DEPARTURE FROM WASHINGTON MISS FOSTER WAS GRANTED APPROVED ANNUAL LEAVE FROM MAY 2 TO 6, SO THAT SHE MIGHT VISIT RELATIVES IN SEATTLE, WASHINGTON. THE ORIGINAL CLAIM WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY SETTLED ON THE BASIS THAT THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD SHARE IN THE SAVING RESULTING FROM COMBINING GOVERNMENT TRAVEL WITH PERSONAL TRAVEL TO A POINT BEYOND THE OFFICIAL DESTINATION. IN ACCORDANCE WITH 20 COMP. GEN. 879 MISS FOSTER WAS CHARGED $91.93, THAT IS, $83.57 PLUS $8.36 TAX, AS HER PROPORTIONATE SHARE OF THE TOTAL COST OF THE ROUND TRIP TICKET BETWEEN WASHINGTON, D. C., AND SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, SECURED AT A COST OF $283.80 ON A GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST. HER CLAIM FOR $32.65 ($89.85 FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES LESS $57.20 AS EXCESS COST OF TRAVEL FOR PERSONAL REASONS) WAS DISALLOWED AND AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT OF $1.98 WAS COLLECTED AND DEPOSITED TO THE CREDIT OF THE APPROPRIATION. THE TRAVELER QUESTIONS THE EQUITY OF THE SETTLEMENT FOR THE REASON THAT THE GOVERNMENT SAVED THE COST OF A ROUND TRIP FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, BY THE FACT THAT SHE WENT ON ANNUAL LEAVE INSTEAD OF RETURNING TO WASHINGTON ON APRIL 30.

THE RECLAIM IS COMPUTED--- AS WAS HER ORIGINAL CLAIM--- ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COST OF THE ROUND TRIP FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, AND THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR A ROUND TRIP BETWEEN WASHINGTON, D.C., AND SALT LAKE CITY. HOWEVER, A ROUND TRIP BETWEEN SALT LAKE CITY AND SEATTLE, HAD IT BEEN PURCHASED SEPARATELY BY THE EMPLOYEE, WOULD HAVE COST HER $96.70 PLUS TAX.

IN 20 COMP. GEN. 879, WE HELD, QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS:

THE SAVING RESULTING FROM THE COMBINING OF GOVERNMENT TRAVEL WITH PERSONAL TRAVEL TO A POINT BEYOND THE OFFICIAL DESTINATION, BY THE UNAUTHORIZED USE OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST FOR THE PERSONAL TRAVEL, SHOULD BE APPORTIONED BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND THE TRAVELER. METHOD SHOWN FOR APPORTIONING SUCH SAVING, AND DISTINCTION MADE BETWEEN SUCH TRAVEL AND CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL ENTIRELY BETWEEN THE POINTS OF OFFICIAL TRAVEL FOR WHICH THE TRAVELER IS REQUIRED TO BEAR ONLY THE ADDITIONAL OR INCREASED CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL COST UNDER PARAGRAPH 10 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

PARAGRAPH 10 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

* * * IN CASE A PERSON TRAVELS BY AN INDIRECT ROUTE FOR HIS CONVENIENCE, THE EXTRA EXPENSE WILL BE BORNE BY HIMSELF AND REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES WILL BE BASED ONLY ON SUCH CHARGES AS WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY A USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE.

IT IS POSSIBLE TO VISUALIZE A CASE IN WHICH THE TRAVEL TO THE PLACE OF PERSONAL BUSINESS OR LEAVE MIGHT BE PERFORMED EITHER BY TRAVELING THROUGH THE PLACE OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS OR BY AN INDIRECT ROUTE TRAVELING THROUGH THE PLACE OF PERSONAL BUSINESS OR LEAVE TO THE PLACE OF TEMPORARY DUTY, THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT AND TO THE EMPLOYEE UNDER THE ABOVE DECISION AND REGULATION BEING THUS DEPENDENT UPON THE ROUTE UTILIZED. FURTHERMORE, THE SAVING TO THE GOVERNMENT FROM A PRORATING OF COSTS IS PROBLEMATICAL IN VIEW OF THE DIFFICULTY IN DETERMINING WHICH RULE IS FOR APPLICATION AND THE NECESSARY COMPUTATION REQUIRED WHEN THE PRORATING RULE IS HELD APPLICABLE. WHEN A GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST IS USED--- RIGHTFULLY OR WRONGFULLY--- THE GOVERNMENT LIABILITY TO THE CARRIER FOR THE SCHEDULED FARES FOR THE TRAVEL THEREON CALLED FOR IS NOT OPEN TO QUESTION. 27 COMP. GEN. 732. ACCORDINGLY, UPON A REVIEW OF PREVIOUS RULINGS IN THIS RESPECT WE NOW ARE OF THE OPINION THAT THE REGULATION RELATING TO TRAVEL BY INDIRECT ROUTE SHOULD BE APPLIED TO ALL EXCESS TRAVEL IN WHICH THE EMPLOYEE COMBINES PERSONAL AND OFFICIAL TRAVEL, BOTH AUTHORIZED PRIOR TO DEPARTURE FROM HEADQUARTERS, IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER THE PERSONAL PORTION OF THE TRAVEL EXTENDS BEYOND THE TEMPORARY DUTY OR IS EN ROUTE TO OR FROM SUCH DUTY STATION. DECISIONS TO THE CONTRARY, INCLUDING 20 COMP. GEN. 879, WILL NO LONGER BE FOLLOWED.

ACCORDINGLY, THE EMPLOYEE IS CHARGEABLE WITH ONLY THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN $283.80, THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE ROUND TRIP FROM WASHINGTON, D. C., TO SEATTLE, AND $231.70 WHICH THE RECORD SHOWS IT WOULD HAVE COST THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE ROUND TRIP BETWEEN WASHINGTON, D.C. AND SALT LAKE CITY OR $52.10, PLUS FEDERAL TAX OF 10 PERCENT, MAKING $57.31 (11 CENTS MORE THAN THE AMOUNT THE EMPLOYEE CHARGED TO HERSELF ON THE ORIGINAL VOUCHER). AS THE COLLECTION OF $1.98 WAS AS THE RESULT OF FILING HER CLAIM FOR $32.65 IT MAY BE ADDED TO THE PRESENT VOUCHER WHICH, OF OTHERWISE PROPER, MAY NOW BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $34.52 ($32.65 PLUS $1.98 MINUS 11 CENTS). THE VOUCHER IS RETURNED.