B-138464, MAR 2, 1959

B-138464: Mar 2, 1959

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

SCHMIDT WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL WITH HIS FAMILY BY COMMON CARRIER FROM ANCHORAGE TO LAKEWOOD. STOPOVERS WERE MADE AT SAN FRANCISCO-OAKLAND AREA (8 DAYS). WE SAID THAT "THE ONLY DETERMINATION NECESSARY REGARDING THE RETURN DESTINATION OF EMPLOYEES ON "HOME LEAVE" TRAVEL IS THAT THE COST THEREOF CHARGEABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT EXCEED THE COST OF ROUND TRIP TRAVEL TO THE "PLACES OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE" AT THE TIME OF APPOINTMENT OR TRANSFER TO OVERSEAS POST OF DUTY.'. THAT STATEMENT WAS NOT INTENDED TO BE CONSTRUED AS RECOGNIZING A 'TRAVEL TOUR' CONCEPT. THAT PHRASE IS NOT VIEWED AS REQUIRING TRAVEL TO THE ACTUAL RESIDENCE BEFORE THE TRAVEL EXPENSES ARE ALLOWABLE. THE COST PAYABLE BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR TRAVEL TO THE ALTERNATE LOCATION IS RESTRICTED TO COST ACTUALLY INCURRED AND MAY NOT EXCEED CONSTRUCTIVE COST TO ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE.".

B-138464, MAR 2, 1959

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

CLEA HARWICK, FEDERAL AVIATION AGENCY:

ON DECEMBER 30, 1958, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE TRAVEL VOUCHER WHICH YOU SUBMITTED COVERING TRAVEL EXPENSES OF MR. JAMES A. SCHMIDT AND HIS WIFE ON HOME LEAVE.

MR. SCHMIDT WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL WITH HIS FAMILY BY COMMON CARRIER FROM ANCHORAGE TO LAKEWOOD, OHIO, HIS ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE, AND RETURN. INSTEAD OF THEIR GOING TO LAKEWOOD, HOWEVER, THEY TRAVELED A CIRCUITOUS ROUTE BY AIR FROM ANCHORAGE TO SEATTLE, TO SAN FRANCISCO OAKLAND AREA, TO OKLAHOMA CITY, TO BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA, TO BILLINGS, MONTANA, TO SEATTLE AND RETURN TO ANCHORAGE. STOPOVERS WERE MADE AT SAN FRANCISCO-OAKLAND AREA (8 DAYS); AT OKLAHOMA CITY (13 DAYS), AND AT BISMARCK (8 DAYS). YOUR DOUBT AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF PAYMENT SPRINGS FROM OUR DECISION IN 37 COMP. GEN. 113, CONCERNING THE "TRAVEL TOUR" CONCEPT OF TRAVEL ON HOME LEAVE. WE SAID THERE:

"IN OUR DECISION OF OCTOBER 28, 1953, 35 COMP. GEN. 244, 246, WE SAID THAT "THE ONLY DETERMINATION NECESSARY REGARDING THE RETURN DESTINATION OF EMPLOYEES ON "HOME LEAVE" TRAVEL IS THAT THE COST THEREOF CHARGEABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT EXCEED THE COST OF ROUND TRIP TRAVEL TO THE "PLACES OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE" AT THE TIME OF APPOINTMENT OR TRANSFER TO OVERSEAS POST OF DUTY.' THAT STATEMENT WAS NOT INTENDED TO BE CONSTRUED AS RECOGNIZING A 'TRAVEL TOUR' CONCEPT. THE STATUTE AUTHORIZES TRAVEL FOR LEAVE PURPOSES TO 'PLACES OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE.' AS RECOGNIZED IN 35 COMP. GEN. 246, THAT PHRASE IS NOT VIEWED AS REQUIRING TRAVEL TO THE ACTUAL RESIDENCE BEFORE THE TRAVEL EXPENSES ARE ALLOWABLE. BY ITS TERMS, HOWEVER, THE STATUTORY REGULATIONS, ABOVE, AUTHORIZE TRAVEL ONLY TO 'ANOTHER LOCATION.' THE REGULATIONS DO NOT PROVIDE FOR TRAVEL TO VARIOUS LOCATIONS FOR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE. THUS, THE REGULATIONS PERMIT ELECTION OF AN ALTERNATE DESTINATION, WHICH ORDINARILY SHOULD BE SPECIFIED IN ADVANCE OF THE TRAVEL. THE COST PAYABLE BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR TRAVEL TO THE ALTERNATE LOCATION IS RESTRICTED TO COST ACTUALLY INCURRED AND MAY NOT EXCEED CONSTRUCTIVE COST TO ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE."

HERE MR. SCHMIDT DID NOT TRAVEL TO HIS ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE AND HE DID NOT SPECIFY IN ADVANCE AN ALTERNATE DESTINATION. WE PRESUME, HOWEVER, THAT HE WILL SPECIFY THE FARTHEST POINT ON HIS ITINERARY, WHICH APPEARS TO BE OKLAHOMA CITY, AS THE ALTERNATE DESTINATION. BASED ON THE PRINCIPLES SET OUT IN OUR PREVIOUS DECISIONS, AND SINCE THE TRAVEL ORDERS DID NOT LIMIT COMMON CARRIER COSTS TO LESS THAN FIRST CLASS HE MAY BE ALLOWED ONLY THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF DIRECT FIRST CLASS TRAVEL TO OKLAHOMA CITY AND RETURN TO ANCHORAGE BY A USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE, NOT TO EXCEED ACTUAL COSTS INCURRED AND NOT TO EXCEED THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF TRAVEL TO HIS ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE.

THEREFORE, THE VOUCHER, RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT AS SUBMITTED; BUT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, WHATEVER AMOUNT IS FOUND DUE UPON RECOMPUTING HIS ENTITLEMENT ON THE BASIS OF THIS DECISION MAY BE CERTIFIED. IF THE RECOMPUTATION RESULTS IN AN INDEBTEDNESS TO THE GOVERNMENT, HOWEVER, ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN PROMPTLY TO COLLECT THE OVERPAYMENT FROM MR. SCHMIDT.