B-135315, MAR. 19, 1958

B-135315: Mar 19, 1958

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THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED BY MEANS OF THE EMPLOYEE'S PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE. OF ALL TRAVELERS WHOSE EXPENSES THE GOVERNMENT IS OBLIGATED TO PAY. TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF IMMEDIATE FAMILY WAS AUTHORIZED. NORTH DAKOTA 12.75 PER DIEM 1 1/4 DAYS AT $12.00 15.00 OTHER 2.00 $ 92.88 THE INFORMATION SUBMITTED IN THIS CASE INDICATES THAT HAD TRAVEL BEEN BY TRAIN IT WOULD HAVE INVOLVED DAY AND NIGHT TRAVEL. YOUR LETTER STATES THAT THE VOUCHER IS BEING SUBMITTED FOR A DECISION AS TO WHETHER OUR DECISION IN 33 COMP. COULD BE APPLIED IN THIS CASE TO THE EXTENT THAT THE TRAVELER COULD HAVE CLAIMED THE COST OF A BEDROOM SUITE INSTEAD OF TWO LOWER BERTHS. SINCE ONE UPPER AND ONE LOWER BERTH WERE ACTUALLY USED BY THE INDIRECT ROUTE.

B-135315, MAR. 19, 1958

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

ON FEBRUARY 20, 1958, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION UPON THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT THE TRAVEL VOUCHER SUBMITTED IN FAVOR OF PHILIP G. FREEMAN, WHEREIN THE TRAVELER CLAIMED $92.88 TO BE APPLIED AGAINST A TRAVEL ADVANCE OF $325 WHICH HE OBTAINED TO DEFRAY EXPENSES OF CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION FROM PERIORA, ILLINOIS, TO GRAND FORKS, NORTH DAKOTA.

THE EMPLOYEE HAS FIVE DEPENDENTS, HIS WIFE AND FOUR SMALL CHILDREN AGES 3, 2, 1, AND 5 WEEKS. THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED BY MEANS OF THE EMPLOYEE'S PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE. THE TRAVEL ORDERS AUTHORIZED USE OF AN AUTOMOBILE AT 10 CENTS PER MILE LIMITED TO COST OF COMMON CARRIER, INCLUDING PER DIEM OF EMPLOYEE, OF ALL TRAVELERS WHOSE EXPENSES THE GOVERNMENT IS OBLIGATED TO PAY. TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF IMMEDIATE FAMILY WAS AUTHORIZED. IN THE COMPARATIVE COST STATEMENT SHOWN ON THE VOUCHER THE EMPLOYEE HAS CLAIMED THE FOLLOWING:

TABLE

2 1ST CLASS FARES ONE WAY $ 50.38

1 BEDROOM FROM PEORIA, ILLINOIS TO ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA

12.75

1 BEDROOM FROM ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA TO GRAND FORKS, NORTH

DAKOTA 12.75

PER DIEM 1 1/4 DAYS AT $12.00 15.00

OTHER 2.00

$ 92.88

THE INFORMATION SUBMITTED IN THIS CASE INDICATES THAT HAD TRAVEL BEEN BY TRAIN IT WOULD HAVE INVOLVED DAY AND NIGHT TRAVEL, WITH A CHANGE OF TRAINS PERMITTING DAYTIME ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PART OF THE TRIP.

YOUR LETTER STATES THAT THE VOUCHER IS BEING SUBMITTED FOR A DECISION AS TO WHETHER OUR DECISION IN 33 COMP. GEN. 553, COULD BE APPLIED IN THIS CASE TO THE EXTENT THAT THE TRAVELER COULD HAVE CLAIMED THE COST OF A BEDROOM SUITE INSTEAD OF TWO LOWER BERTHS. THE DECISION IN 33 COMP. GEN. 553 INVOLVED THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THE COST OF THREE LOWER BERTHS FOR THE USE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S WIFE AND DAUGHTER, AGE 9, AND SON, AGE 11, COULD BE ALLOWED IN THE COMPARATIVE COST BY DIRECT ROUTE, SINCE ONE UPPER AND ONE LOWER BERTH WERE ACTUALLY USED BY THE INDIRECT ROUTE.

SECTION 3.6A (1) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AUTHORIZES USE OF ONE STANDARD LOWER BERTH WHEN NIGHT TRAVEL IS INVOLVED. FOR DAYTIME TRAVEL THE REGULATIONS PERMIT ONE SEAT IN A SLEEPING OR PARLOR CAR. SECTION 4 OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 PROVIDES THAT TRANSPORTATION OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY OF AN EMPLOYEE SHALL BE SUBJECT TO THOSE PROVISIONS OF THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH RELATE TO TRANSPORTATION. CF. 25 COMP. GEN. 372, 375. WE UNDERSTAND, HOWEVER, THAT THE PULLMAN COMPANY ORDINARILY REQUIRES CHILDREN UNDER 5 YEARS OF AGE TO BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADULT AND SLEEP WITH THE ADULT. NO ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS ARE REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER, THEREFORE, WE ASSUME NO ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS OR POLICY EXISTS CONCERNING THIS MATTER.

WHERE, AS HERE, THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS WIFE AND FOUR CHILDREN (AGES 5 WEEKS, 1, 2, AND 3 YEARS) PERFORM TRAVEL BY AUTOMOBILE THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF DAYTIME TRAVEL BY TRAIN IS TO BE COMPUTED BY ALLOWING A SEAT IN A SLEEPING PARLOR CAR FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL. FOR THE NIGHTTIME CONSTRUCTIVE TRAVEL COSTS A REASONABLE APPLICATION OF THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO THIS CASE WHEN CONSTRUED TOGETHER WITH THE PULLMAN COMPANY POLICY WOULD PERMIT USE OF THREE LOWER BERTHS.

THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF COMMON CARRIER TRAVEL FOR THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS FAMILY SHOULD BE COMPUTED ACCORDINGLY, AND SHOULD INCLUDE THE REQUIRED FIRST-CLASS FARES. SINCE THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED ON A WEEKDAY USE OF THE "FAMILY PLAN" IN EFFECT AT TIME OF TRAVEL WOULD BE PROPER. ALLOWABLE EXPENSES SHOULD BE LIMITED TO CONSTRUCTIVE COSTS OF THE COMMON CARRIER TRAVEL, INCLUDING APPROPRIATE PER DIEM FOR THE EMPLOYEE, OR MILEAGE FOR USE OF THE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AT 10 CENTS PER MILE PLUS APPLICABLE PER DIEM, WHICHEVER IS THE LESSER. WE SEE NO OBJECTION TO APPROPRIATE ADJUSTMENT OF THE VOUCHER TO PERMIT PAYMENT OF THE TRAVEL COSTS OF CONFORM WITH THE ABOVE.