B-134341, DECEMBER 17, 1957, 37 COMP. GEN. 408

B-134341: Dec 17, 1957

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THERE MUST BE A SHOWING THAT A SEPARATE OR ADDITIONAL CHARGE WAS MADE ON ACCOUNT OF THE GOVERNMENT PROPERTY AND IN THE ABSENCE OF SUCH A SHOWING THE TIPS OR FEES ARE TO BE REGARDED AS EXPENSES INCLUDED IN THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE. REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER THEREWITH ENCLOSED FOR $4. SIWAC WAS REQUIRED TO HAVE WITH HIM AT ALL TIMES GOVERNMENT-OWNED INTERPRETING EQUIPMENT IN ORDER TO PERFORM HIS DUTIES AS INTERPRETER FOR A GROUP OF FRENCH TRAINEES. THIS EQUIPMENT IS PORTABLE IN DESIGN. YOU SAY FURTHER THAT YOU HAVE ALLOWED REIMBURSEMENT OF FEES FOR HANDLINGS AT TRANSPORTATION TERMINALS. WERE DISALLOWED. BELL BOYS AND HOTEL MAIDS ARE INCLUDED IN THE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE AS PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH 6.1 OF STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

B-134341, DECEMBER 17, 1957, 37 COMP. GEN. 408

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES IN A TRAVEL STATUS - TIPS FOR HANDLING GOVERNMENT OWNED PROPERTY - REIMBURSEMENT IN ORDER FOR AN EMPLOYEE IN A TRAVEL STATUS TO BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR TIPS OR FEES PAID FOR THE HANDLING OF GOVERNMENT OWNED EQUIPMENT AT HOTELS, THERE MUST BE A SHOWING THAT A SEPARATE OR ADDITIONAL CHARGE WAS MADE ON ACCOUNT OF THE GOVERNMENT PROPERTY AND IN THE ABSENCE OF SUCH A SHOWING THE TIPS OR FEES ARE TO BE REGARDED AS EXPENSES INCLUDED IN THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE.

TO PAUL K. PASCHKE, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, DECEMBER 17, 1957:

YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 4, 1957, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER THEREWITH ENCLOSED FOR $4.

YOU SAY THAT MR. SIWAC WAS REQUIRED TO HAVE WITH HIM AT ALL TIMES GOVERNMENT-OWNED INTERPRETING EQUIPMENT IN ORDER TO PERFORM HIS DUTIES AS INTERPRETER FOR A GROUP OF FRENCH TRAINEES. THIS EQUIPMENT IS PORTABLE IN DESIGN, FITTING INTO A SPECIAL BRIEF CASE WEIGHING APPROXIMATELY 16 POUNDS. THE TRAVELER IN HIS ORIGINAL VOUCHER CLAIMED REIMBURSEMENT FOR FEES OR TIPS AT THE RATE OF 25 CENTS FOR EACH HANDLING OF THE INTERPRETING EQUIPMENT IN AND OUT OF TRANSPORTATION TERMINALS, AND ALSO FOR EACH HANDLING IN AND OUT OF HOTELS, WHEN TRAVELING TO THE VARIOUS CITIES ON THE PROGRAM ITINERARY. YOU SAY FURTHER THAT YOU HAVE ALLOWED REIMBURSEMENT OF FEES FOR HANDLINGS AT TRANSPORTATION TERMINALS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 5.6 OF STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, BUT THAT CLAIMS FOR SIXTEEN HANDLINGS IN AND OUT OF HOTELS, TOTALING $4, WERE DISALLOWED, SINCE TIPS TO WAITERS, PORTERS, BAGGAGE MEN, BELL BOYS AND HOTEL MAIDS ARE INCLUDED IN THE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE AS PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH 6.1 OF STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. YOU DO NOT SAY ON WHAT BASIS MR. SIWAC IS RECLAIMING THE AMOUNT OF TIPS EXPENDED WHILE MOVING IN AND OUT OF HOTELS. WHILE A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION WAS NOT SUBMITTED WITH YOUR REQUEST WE ASSUME THE TRAVELER WAS AUTHORIZED A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE WHILE ON THE TEMPORARY DUTY.

SECTIONS 5.6 AND 6.1 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, IN PERTINENT PART, PROVIDE AS FOLLOWS:

5.6. CHECKING AND HANDLING OF BAGGAGE.--- CHARGES FOR CHECKING BAGGAGE WILL BE ALLOWED. CHARGES OR TIPS AT TRANSPORTATION TERMINALS WILL BE ALLOWED FOR HANDLING GOVERNMENT PROPERTY CARRIED BY THE TRAVELER.

6.1 PER DIEM ALLOWANCE.--- THE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCLUDES ALL CHARGES FOR MEALS, LODGING, 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, HOTEL SERVANTS IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES, * * *

THE PROVISION IN SECTION 5.6 OF THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT FOR CHARGES OR TIPS AT TRANSPORTATION TERMINALS FOR HANDLING GOVERNMENT PROPERTY CARRIED BY THE TRAVELER APPEARED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-7, REVISED, TRANSMITTAL MEMORANDUM NO. 5, JULY 28, 1955. TIPS FOR BAGGAGE HANDLED AT HOTELS, INCLUDING GOVERNMENT PROPERTY CARRIED BY THE TRAVELER, ARE NOT SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED FOR BY THIS SECTION OR ANY OTHER SECTION OF THE REGULATIONS. IN OUR DECISION 27 COMP. GEN. 52 WE HELD, HOWEVER, THAT ANY NECESSARY CHARGES FOR HANDLING HEAVY GOVERNMENT-OWNED EQUIPMENT PROPERLY ARE REIMBURSABLE AS TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES.

THE ALLOWANCES UNDER SECTION 5.6 OF THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS FOR THE HANDLING AT TERMINALS OF GOVERNMENT PROPERTY CARRIED BY THE TRAVELER CONTEMPLATE A SITUATION WHERE A SEPARATE CHARGE OR ADDITIONAL COST IS EXPERIENCED BY THE TRAVELER BY REASON OF THE GOVERNMENT PROPERTY HANDLED. WHERE NO EXTRA CHARGE IS ENCOUNTERED BECAUSE OF THE GOVERNMENT PROPERTY HANDLED, ALLOWANCE, EVEN AT TRANSPORTATION TERMINALS, IS NOT AUTHORIZED. IN THAT REGARD, WE UNDERSTAND THAT, GENERALLY, LUGGAGE HANDLED AT TRANSPORTATION TERMINALS IS ON A CHARGE PER PIECE BASIS AS DISTINGUISHED FROM HANDLINGS AT HOTELS WHERE A GRATUITY BY CUSTOM IS ENCOUNTERED BY THE TRAVELER.

THE GOVERNMENT EQUIPMENT IS STATED TO WEIGH APPROXIMATELY 16 POUNDS AND IS PORTABLE IN DESIGN. ADDITIONALLY, THERE IS NO SHOWING BY THE TRAVELER THAT A SEPARATE OR ADDITIONAL CHARGE BY REASON OF THE HANDLING OF THE GOVERNMENT'S PROPERTY WAS MADE AT THE HOTELS.

THEREFORE, THE PRESENT VOUCHER CONSTITUTES ADDITIONAL REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES INCLUDED IN THE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE AND MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.