B-138160, JAN 19, 1959

B-138160: Jan 19, 1959

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

BUCKARDT RECLAIMING $200 WHICH WAS SUSPENDED FROM A PREVIOUS VOUCHER. WHICH WERE THE LOWEST FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS AVAILABLE WHEN THE RESERVATIONS WERE MADE. BUCKARDT SAID THAT THE M ACCOMMODATIONS WERE INFERIOR IN THAT THEY WERE ON B DECK AND DID NOT HAVE PRIVATE SHOWER OR BATH. BOTH OF WHICH ARE APPLICABLE TO DR. LIMIT THE ALLOWABLE COST OF ACCOMMODATIONS ON SHIPS TO THE LOWEST FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS AVAILABLE AT THE TIME RESERVATIONS ARE MADE. THOSE REGULATIONS WERE ISSUED PURSUANT TO STATUTORY AUTHORITY AND. THEY HAVE THE SAME FORCE AND EFFECT AS LAW. EXCEPT IN RARE INSTANCES WHEN THERE WAS A GLARING DISPARITY. WE HAVE ACCEPTED THE CARRIER'S DESIGNATION OF FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS.

B-138160, JAN 19, 1959

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

A. M. PLATEQUAL, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE:

ON DECEMBER 11, 1958, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER OF DR. HENRY R. BUCKARDT RECLAIMING $200 WHICH WAS SUSPENDED FROM A PREVIOUS VOUCHER.

THE AMOUNT RECLAIMED REPRESENTS THE VALUE OF A GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST ISSUED BY MR. BUCKARDT TO PAY THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COST OF GRADE M ACCOMMODATIONS ON BOARD THE S. S. PRESIDENT CLEVELAND, WHICH WERE THE LOWEST FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS AVAILABLE WHEN THE RESERVATIONS WERE MADE, AND THE GRADE C ACCOMMODATIONS ACTUALLY OCCUPIED BY DR. BUCKARDT AND HIS WIFE FROM YOKOHAMA, JAPAN, TO SAN FRANCISCO. IN A MEMORANDUM DATED DECEMBER 23, 1957, DR. BUCKARDT SAID THAT THE M ACCOMMODATIONS WERE INFERIOR IN THAT THEY WERE ON B DECK AND DID NOT HAVE PRIVATE SHOWER OR BATH. UPON DISCOVERING THE NATURE OF THE SUITE ASSIGNED TO THEM, HE ARRANGED FOR BETTER ACCOMMODATIONS WITH THE PURSER ABOARD THE SHIP AND ISSUED A GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST FOR THE DIFFERENCE OF $200.

THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (SECTION 3.6B, AND THE FOREIGN SERVICE TRAVEL REGULATIONS (4.53), BOTH OF WHICH ARE APPLICABLE TO DR. BUCKARDT'S TRAVEL, LIMIT THE ALLOWABLE COST OF ACCOMMODATIONS ON SHIPS TO THE LOWEST FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS AVAILABLE AT THE TIME RESERVATIONS ARE MADE. THOSE REGULATIONS WERE ISSUED PURSUANT TO STATUTORY AUTHORITY AND, THEREFORE, THEY HAVE THE SAME FORCE AND EFFECT AS LAW. OUR OFFICE HAS RELIED IN THE PAST ON THE CARRIER'S PUBLISHED TARIFF AND, EXCEPT IN RARE INSTANCES WHEN THERE WAS A GLARING DISPARITY, WE HAVE ACCEPTED THE CARRIER'S DESIGNATION OF FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS. IN 28 COMP. GEN. 399, AND AGAIN RECENTLY IN B-80425, DATED JANUARY 12, 1959, WE SPECIFICALLY CONSIDERED THE QUESTION WHETHER THE M GRADE ACCOMMODATIONS WITHOUT BATHROOM FACILITIES ABOARD THE S. S. PRESIDENT CLEVELAND, ALTHOUGH DESIGNATED AS FIRST CLASS BY THE CARRIER, MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED AS, IN FACT, LESS THAN FIRST CLASS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT TERM AS USED IN GOVERNING STATUTES AND REGULATIONS. IN BOTH DECISIONS, WE HELD IN EFFECT THAT THE DESIGNATION BY THE CARRIER OF ACCOMMODATIONS AS FIRST CLASS MUST BE ACCEPTED IN THE ABSENCE OF CONTROLLING REGULATIONS ISSUED UNDER PROPER AUTHORITY PERMITTING A DIFFERENT CONCLUSION.

THEREFORE, DR. BUCKARDT'S RECLAIM VOUCHER MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

THE VOUCHER AND SUPPORTING PAPERS ARE RETURNED.