B-138658, MAR 23, 1959

B-138658: Mar 23, 1959

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YOU SAY MEMBERS OF THE BOARD ARE APPOINTED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES PURSUANT TO SECTION 4 OF PUBLIC LAW 507. THAT THE MEMBERS ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. THAT SOME OF THEM DO NOT HAVE SECRETARIAL HELP AND THEY SUBMIT REIMBURSEMENT CLAIMS IN THEIR OWN HANDWRITING. YOU FURTHER SAY YOUR PRACTICE HAS BEEN TO HAVE EACH BOARD MEMBER. WE HAVE REVIEWED YOUR PROPOSED TRAVEL ITINERARY FORM 604 AND WE SUGGEST THE FOLLOWING CHANGES. THE NAME OF THE TRAVELER IN THIS SPACE WOULD BE SUFFICIENT FOR OUR AUDIT PURPOSES SINCE SPACE IS PROVIDED IN THE PAYEE CERTIFICATE BLOCK IN THE LOWER RIGHT HAND PORTION OF THE FORM FOR THE TRAVELER'S SIGNATURE AND THE DATE HE EXECUTES THE CERTIFICATE.

B-138658, MAR 23, 1959

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

HONORABLE ALAN T. WATERMAN, DIRECTOR:

ON FEBRUARY 9, 1959, YOU REQUESTED OUR CONCURRENCE ON A PROPOSED PLAN TO SIMPLIFY THE REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES TO MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL SCIENCE BOARD.

YOU SAY MEMBERS OF THE BOARD ARE APPOINTED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES PURSUANT TO SECTION 4 OF PUBLIC LAW 507, 81ST CONGRESS, 42 U.S.C. 1861-75; THAT THE ACT REQUIRES THAT MEMBERS "SHALL BE EMINENT IN THE FIELDS OF THE BASIC SCIENCES, MEDICAL SCIENCE, ENGINEERING, AGRICULTURE, EDUCATION, OR PUBLIC AFFAIRS"; THAT THE MEMBERS ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS; AND THAT SOME OF THEM DO NOT HAVE SECRETARIAL HELP AND THEY SUBMIT REIMBURSEMENT CLAIMS IN THEIR OWN HANDWRITING. YOU FURTHER SAY YOUR PRACTICE HAS BEEN TO HAVE EACH BOARD MEMBER, AT THE COMPLETION OF HIS TRIP, TO SUBMIT A SIMPLE ITINERARY FORM SHOWING PLACES VISITED AND TAXICAB AND OTHER EXPENSES INCURRED. ON THE BASIS OF THESE ITINERARIES, YOUR TRAVEL CLERKS PREPARE THE TRAVEL VOUCHERS (STANDARD FORMS 1012).

YOU PROPOSE TO CHANGE YOUR TRAVEL ITINERARY FORM TO INCLUDE A CERTIFICATE BY THE TRAVELER SIMILAR TO THE ONE ON STANDARD FORM 1012. YOU WOULD THEN USE THE CERTIFIED TRAVEL ITINERARY FORM AS A SUPPORTING DOCUMENT FOR THE TRAVEL VOUCHER AND THE CERTIFICATE ON THE VOUCHER WOULD NOT BE SIGNED BY THE TRAVELER. THE TRAVEL VOUCHER WOULD BE PREPARED IN SUMMARY FORM ONLY AND WOULD NOT REPEAT THE DETAILS ON THE CERTIFIED ITINERARY FORM WHICH WOULD BE ATTACHED TO THE TRAVEL VOUCHER. PER DIEM CALCULATIONS WOULD BE MADE BY YOUR TRAVEL CLERKS.

WE HAVE REVIEWED YOUR PROPOSED TRAVEL ITINERARY FORM 604 AND WE SUGGEST THE FOLLOWING CHANGES. SPACE 1 PROVIDES FOR THE SIGNATURE OF THE TRAVELER. THE NAME OF THE TRAVELER IN THIS SPACE WOULD BE SUFFICIENT FOR OUR AUDIT PURPOSES SINCE SPACE IS PROVIDED IN THE PAYEE CERTIFICATE BLOCK IN THE LOWER RIGHT HAND PORTION OF THE FORM FOR THE TRAVELER'S SIGNATURE AND THE DATE HE EXECUTES THE CERTIFICATE. WE ALSO SUGGEST THE CERTIFICATE IN THE "PAYEE" BLOCK BE CHANGED TO READ "I HEREBY CLAIM REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL AS PERFORMED ABOVE AND I CERTIFY THAT THE STATEMENTS MADE HEREIN ARE CORRECT AND THAT PAYMENT HAS NOT BEEN RECEIVED." ALSO, SINCE YOU SAY MEMBERS ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, WE SUGGEST THAT A PROVISION BE MADE ON THE FORM FOR CERTIFICATION BY THE TRAVELER WHEN APPROPRIATE THAT ACCOMMODATIONS OBTAINED WERE THE LOWEST FIRST-CLASS AVAILABLE, AS PROVIDED BY SECTION 3.6 OF THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

WE NOTE THAT IN INSTRUCTION (9) YOU PROPOSE TO LIST IN COLUMN (9) THE EXPENSE ITEMS WHICH ARE IN EXCESS OF $3. SECTION 11 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS REQUIRES RECEIPTS FOR ALLOWABLE CASH EXPENDITURES WHEN THE AMOUNTS EXCEED $15, PLUS ANY APPLICABLE TAX, AND THE FAILURE TO OBTAIN THEM MUST BE FULLY EXPLAINED IN THE TRAVEL VOUCHER. MERE INCONVENIENCE IN THE MATTER OF TAKING RECEIPTS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED. WE SUGGEST THEREFORE THAT INSTRUCTION (9) BE CHANGED TO READ: "SHOW IN THIS SPACE ANY MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES INCURRED (LOCAL AND LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE CALLS, TAXICAB FARES, TELEGRAMS, ETC.). INDIVIDUAL AMOUNTS IN EXCESS OF $3 MUST BE SUPPORTED BY RECEIPTS." WE WOULD HAVE NO OBJECTION TO YOUR INCREASING THE RECEIPTS REQUIREMENT TO AMOUNTS IN EXCESS OF $15 IF YOU DEEM IT ADMINISTRATIVELY ADVISABLE TO DO SO.

WITH THE ABOVE SUGGESTED CHANGES, THE TRAVEL ITINERARY FORM 604 WILL FURNISH SUFFICIENT INFORMATION FOR OUR AUDIT PURPOSES, AND THE CERTIFIED ITINERARY MAY BE USED AS A SUPPORTING DOCUMENT ..END :