B-133817, OCT. 24, 1957

B-133817: Oct 24, 1957

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

SALEM WAS CHANGED TO VILLEFRANCHE SUR- MER. ORDERS WERE ISSUED AUTHORIZING DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL FROM VARIOUS PLACES IN THE UNITED STATES TO VILLEFRANCHE. WAS ORDERED TO NICE. THERE IS NO SHOWING AS TO THE MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION AVAILABLE FOR TRAVELERS BETWEEN CANNES AND VILLEFRANCHE. IT IS REPRESENTED THAT LIEUTENANT LACHELIER. WHO WAS AUTHORIZED TO PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION. COMPUTED BY CONVERTING THE FRANC TO ITS DOLLAR EQUIVALENT AT THE RATE OF EXCHANGE IN EFFECT WHEN THE EXPENDITURES WERE MADE. PAYMENT OF THIS BUS TRANSPORTATION HAS NOT BEEN MADE TO SPOUSES OF THE DEPENDENTS SINCE TRANSPORTATION WAS FURNISHED IN KIND. IN VIEW OF THE SETTLED RULE THAT REIMBURSEMENT IS NOT ALLOWED TO VOLUNTARY CREDITORS UNLESS THE EXPENDITURE OF PERSONAL FUNDS IN THE GOVERNMENT'S INTEREST WAS MADE UNDER URGENT AND UNFORESEEN EMERGENCIES.

B-133817, OCT. 24, 1957

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY:

IN A LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 13, 1957, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE NAVY (FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT) REQUESTED A DECISION ON THE PROPRIETY OF REIMBURSING A NAVY OFFICER FOR VOLUNTARY PAYMENTS MADE BY HIM IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRAVEL IN FRANCE OF CERTAIN DEPENDENTS OF NAVY PERSONNEL.

AFTER THE HOMEPORT OF THE U.S.S. SALEM WAS CHANGED TO VILLEFRANCHE SUR- MER, FRANCE, ORDERS WERE ISSUED AUTHORIZING DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL FROM VARIOUS PLACES IN THE UNITED STATES TO VILLEFRANCHE. LIEUTENANT (JG) FRANCOIS C. LACHELIER, USNR, WAS ORDERED TO NICE, FRANCE, TO MEET AND ASSIST THE DEPENDENTS WHO ARRIVED IN CANNES BY AMERICAN EXPORT LINES ON SIX DIFFERENT DATES BETWEEN MAY 16, 1956, AND JULY 29, 1956, INCLUSIVE. THERE IS NO SHOWING AS TO THE MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION AVAILABLE FOR TRAVELERS BETWEEN CANNES AND VILLEFRANCHE, A DISTANCE OF APPROXIMATELY 25 MILES. IN ANY EVENT, IT IS REPRESENTED THAT LIEUTENANT LACHELIER, WHO WAS AUTHORIZED TO PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION, PAID BUS FARE FOR DEPENDENTS TO VILLEFRANCHE ON EACH OF THE SIX OCCASIONS, AND THAT ALTOGETHER HE SPENT ABOUT $160, COMPUTED BY CONVERTING THE FRANC TO ITS DOLLAR EQUIVALENT AT THE RATE OF EXCHANGE IN EFFECT WHEN THE EXPENDITURES WERE MADE.

PAYMENT OF THIS BUS TRANSPORTATION HAS NOT BEEN MADE TO SPOUSES OF THE DEPENDENTS SINCE TRANSPORTATION WAS FURNISHED IN KIND. IN VIEW OF THE SETTLED RULE THAT REIMBURSEMENT IS NOT ALLOWED TO VOLUNTARY CREDITORS UNLESS THE EXPENDITURE OF PERSONAL FUNDS IN THE GOVERNMENT'S INTEREST WAS MADE UNDER URGENT AND UNFORESEEN EMERGENCIES, 33 COMP. GEN. 20, NO PAYMENT HAS BEEN MADE TO LIEUTENANT LACHELIER. IN HIS LETTER THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY SAYS THAT "UNDER THE STRICT APPLICATION OF (THIS) RULE, REIMBURSEMENT DOES APPEAR TO BE IMPROPER.' IT IS URGED, HOWEVER, THAT AN EXCEPTION BE RECOGNIZED HERE, SIMILAR TO THE ONE MADE IN THE DECISION OF APRIL 8, 1959, B-119481.

THE DECISION OF APRIL 8, 1949, INVOLVED REIMBURSEMENT TO AN EMPLOYEE FOR $1 EXPENDED FOR DRINKING WATER IN A COMMUNITY WHERE THE PUBLIC SUPPLY OF WATER HAD BEEN DECLARED, BY LOCAL HEALTH AUTHORITIES, AS NOT FIT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION. THAT DECISION RESTS AS MUCH UPON A SENSE OF URGENCY TO SUPPLY ONE OF LIFE'S NECESSITIES AS IT DOES ON THE EXTREMELY SMALL AMOUNT INVOLVED. IT IS NOT APPLICABLE TO THE INSTANT CASE. NOT ONLY IS THE AMOUNT CONSIDERABLY MORE, BUT ALSO THERE APPEARS NOTHING URGENT OR UNFORESEEN ABOUT THE CIRCUMSTANCES. LIEUTENANT LACHELIER WAS ORDERED TO MEET AND ASSIST THE DEPENDENTS BUT HE WAS NOT AUTHORIZED GENERALLY TO PROVIDE FOR THEIR TRANSPORTATION AT HIS EXPENSE. MOREOVER, THE NUMBER OF TRIPS PERFORMED AND THE LENGTH OF TIME INVOLVED ALSO VITIATE ANY INFERENCE THAT LIEUTENANT LACHELIER WAS RESPONDING TO AN UNFORESEEN EMERGENCY. HENCE, REIMBURSEMENT DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE PROPER.