B-141287, MAR. 7, 1960

B-141287: Mar 7, 1960

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WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR A REFUND OF $3.90 FOR AN UNUSED PARLOR CAR SEAT TICKET WHICH WAS NOT CANCELED BY YOU AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 3.7 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. YOU SAY THAT FAILURE TO RELEASE THE UNUSED ACCOMMODATIONS WAS DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND YOUR CONTROL AND DID NOT ARISE FROM NEGLIGENCE ON YOUR PART BECAUSE YOU TRAVELED AS A TEAM WITH THE HEAD OF THE PARTY HANDLING ALL TRANSPORTATION MATTERS. YOU ALSO SAY THAT YOUR GROUP LEADER CHANGED YOUR ORIGINAL TRAVEL AND THAT IF CANCELLATION OF YOUR PULLMEN CHAIR RESERVATION WAS NOT MADE IT WAS NOT THE RESULT OF YOUR NEGLIGENCE. READS IN PART AS OLLOWS: "WHEN A TRAVELER FINDS HE WILL NOT USE ACCOMMODATIONS WHICH HAVE BEEN RESERVED FOR HIM HE MUST RELEASE THEM WITHIN THE TIME LIMITS SPECIFIED BY THE CARRIERS.

B-141287, MAR. 7, 1960

TO MR. IRWIN THOLL:

YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 31, 1959, RELATES TO OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF OCTOBER 20, 1959, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR A REFUND OF $3.90 FOR AN UNUSED PARLOR CAR SEAT TICKET WHICH WAS NOT CANCELED BY YOU AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 3.7 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

YOU SAY THAT FAILURE TO RELEASE THE UNUSED ACCOMMODATIONS WAS DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND YOUR CONTROL AND DID NOT ARISE FROM NEGLIGENCE ON YOUR PART BECAUSE YOU TRAVELED AS A TEAM WITH THE HEAD OF THE PARTY HANDLING ALL TRANSPORTATION MATTERS. YOU ALSO SAY THAT YOUR GROUP LEADER CHANGED YOUR ORIGINAL TRAVEL AND THAT IF CANCELLATION OF YOUR PULLMEN CHAIR RESERVATION WAS NOT MADE IT WAS NOT THE RESULT OF YOUR NEGLIGENCE. UPON THE BASIS OF YOUR ALLEGATIONS WE REFERRED THE MATTER BACK TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE FOR A FURTHER REPORT. THAT REQUESTED REPORT HAS NOW BEEN RECEIVED.

THE CIVILIAN PERSONNEL REGULATIONS, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, CFR T3.3D, READS IN PART AS OLLOWS:

"WHEN A TRAVELER FINDS HE WILL NOT USE ACCOMMODATIONS WHICH HAVE BEEN RESERVED FOR HIM HE MUST RELEASE THEM WITHIN THE TIME LIMITS SPECIFIED BY THE CARRIERS. FAILURE OF TRAVELERS TO TAKE SUCH ACTION MAY SUBJECT THEM TO LIABILITY FOR ANY RESULTING LOSSES. WHEN A CHARGE FOR UNUSED ACCOMMODATIONS WHICH HAD BEEN RESERVED FOR USE OF AN EMPLOYEE ACCRUES AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT BECAUSE OF FAILURE TO RELEASE THE ACCOMMODATIONS WAS DUE TO THE EMPLOYEE'S NEGLIGENCE, COLLECTION SHOULD BE MADE FROM THE EMPLOYEE IN THE AMOUNT OF SUCH CHARGE; COLLECTION IS NOT REQUIRED IF IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT FAILURE TO RELEASE THEM IS DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE EMPLOYEE. * * * THE TRAVELER MUST TAKE THE ACTIONS INDICATED IN PARAGRAPHS 53 AND 54A, AR 55-53.'

ALSO, PARAGRAPH 57 OF ARMY REGULATIONS 55-53 READS IN PART:

"THE TRAVELER WILL ATTACH TO EACH WHOLLY UNUSED TICKET * * * COVERING UNUSED SLEEPING OR SEATING ACCOMMODATIONS IN CARRIER'S EQUIPMENT, A SIGNED STATEMENT AS TO THE DATE AND HOUR ON WHICH HE NOTIFIED THE CARRIER'S REPRESENTATIVE TO CANCEL AND RELEASE THE ACCOMMODATIONS SPECIFIED ON THE TICKET/S). CANCELLATIONS OF RESERVATIONS WILL BE MADE AS SOON AS IT IS KNOWN THAT THEY WILL NOT BE USED TO PRECLUDE ASSESSMENT OF CANCELLATION CHARGES. * * *"

THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT RECENTLY RECEIVED STATES THAT YOU WERE UNACCOMPANIED BY ANY REPRESENTATIVE OF THE AGENCY ON YOUR TRAVEL BY TRAIN FROM PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., ON JUNE 17, 1958. ALTHOUGH RESERVATION FOR A PULLMAN CHAIR SEAT WAS MADE FOR YOU BY THE AGENCY, YOU ELECTED TO TRAVEL BY A TRAIN DIFFERENT FROM THAT FOR WHICH YOU HAD A RESERVATION. THE PULLMAN CHAIR TICKET WAS NOT CANCELED BY YOU AS REQUIRED BY THE REGULATIONS WHEN YOU DECIDED TO TRAVEL BY ANOTHER TRAIN, AND THE UNUSED TICKET WAS ATTACHED TO YOUR TRAVEL VOUCHER WITHOUT CANCELLATION.

SINCE YOU DID NOT COMPLY WITH THE REGULATIONS REGARDING THE IMMEDIATE CANCELLATION OF UNUSED TICKETS YOU ARE LIABLE FOR THE RESULTING CHARGE AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE UNUSED TRANSPORTATION. THEREFORE, THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM FOR A REFUND OF THE AMOUNT PAID BY YOU TO REIMBURSE THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE COST OF THE UNUSED TICKET WAS PROPER AND UPON REVIEW, THE SETTLEMENT IS SUSTAINED.

YOU ALSO REQUEST THAT YOU BE FURNISHED COPIES OF ALL PERTINENT DATA MADE TO OUR OFFICE BY THE AGENCY. SINCE THE DATA ARE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS BETWEEN GOVERNMENT OFFICES THERE IS NO INDICATION THAT COPIES WERE AUTHORIZED FOR DISTRIBUTION TO YOU.

YOU FURTHER REQUEST INFORMATION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN BY YOU IN THE EVENT YOU WOULD LIKE TO APPEAL OUR DECISION. THE DECISIONS OF OUR OFFICE ARE FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE UPON THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT (31 U.S.C. 74), AND THERE IS NO PROCEDURE PRESCRIBED FOR APPEALING FROM SUCH DECISIONS. HOWEVER, WE DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION TO THE PROVISIONS OF 28 U.S.C. 1346; ID. 1491, CONCERNING MATTERS COGNIZABLE IN THE DISTRICT COURTS OF THE UNITED STATES AND IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF CLAIMS.