B-141979, APR. 1, 1960

B-141979: Apr 1, 1960

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

YOU SUBMITTED A COPY OF A VOUCHER WHICH HAS BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY PROCESSED AND FOR WHICH PAYMENT HAS BEEN MADE TO THE EMPLOYEE IN ACCORDANCE WITH AN AMENDED TRAVEL ORDER WHICH WAS ISSUED SUBSEQUENT TO THE COMPLETION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL. YOU REQUEST A REVIEW OF THE MATTER AND THAT YOU BE ADVISED WHETHER THE PAYMENT SHOULD HAVE BEEN RESTRICTED TO THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION OF THE ORIGINAL TRAVEL ORDER. ALTHOUGH CERTIFYING OFFICERS ARE GRANTED THE RIGHT UNDER SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF DECEMBER 29. " THE VOUCHER SUBMITTED HAS BEEN ACTED UPON AND IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT YOU NOW HAVE A VOUCHER BEFORE YOU FOR CERTIFICATION REGARDING A REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES FOR THIS TRAVEL. THE MATTER NOW IS BEING CONSIDERED BY OUR CIVIL ACCOUNTING AND AUDITING DIVISION IN OUR CURRENT AUDIT.

B-141979, APR. 1, 1960

TO MR. OMER E. RIEHL, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE:

YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 28, 1960, REFERENCE F-1, REQUESTS OUR DECISION REGARDING A PAYMENT MADE TO MISS GERALDINE E. QUINN FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO BILLINGS, MONTANA.

YOU SUBMITTED A COPY OF A VOUCHER WHICH HAS BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY PROCESSED AND FOR WHICH PAYMENT HAS BEEN MADE TO THE EMPLOYEE IN ACCORDANCE WITH AN AMENDED TRAVEL ORDER WHICH WAS ISSUED SUBSEQUENT TO THE COMPLETION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL. YOU REQUEST A REVIEW OF THE MATTER AND THAT YOU BE ADVISED WHETHER THE PAYMENT SHOULD HAVE BEEN RESTRICTED TO THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION OF THE ORIGINAL TRAVEL ORDER.

ALTHOUGH CERTIFYING OFFICERS ARE GRANTED THE RIGHT UNDER SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF DECEMBER 29, 1941, 31 U.S.C. 82 (D) "TO APPLY FOR AND OBTAIN A DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL ON ANY QUESTION OF LAW INVOLVED IN A PAYMENT ON ANY VOUCHERS PRESENTED TO THEM FOR CERTIFICATION," THE VOUCHER SUBMITTED HAS BEEN ACTED UPON AND IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT YOU NOW HAVE A VOUCHER BEFORE YOU FOR CERTIFICATION REGARDING A REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES FOR THIS TRAVEL. MOREOVER, THE MATTER NOW IS BEING CONSIDERED BY OUR CIVIL ACCOUNTING AND AUDITING DIVISION IN OUR CURRENT AUDIT. THEREFORE, A DECISION UNDER SECTION 3 OF THE ACT MAY NOT BE RENDERED TO YOU ON THE MATTER.

YOUR ATTENTION ALSO IS DIRECTED TO PART 4 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WELFARE TRAVEL MANUAL, SECTION 10-20, WHICH READS IN PART:

"* * * CAUTION: WHEN AMENDMENTS ARE MADE, THE RATES, SUCH AS PER DIEM, OR MILEAGE ALLOWANCES, FIXED BY THE ORIGINAL ORDER SHALL NOT BE INCREASED OR DECREASED RETROACTIVELY. * * *"

WHILE IN THIS INSTANCE THE MILEAGE RATE WAS NOT INCREASED, THE LIMITATION IMPOSED THEREON BY THE ORIGINAL TRAVEL ORDER IS SOUGHT TO BE REMOVED BY THE AMENDED TRAVEL ORDER, AN ACTION WHICH IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES PRESENT IN THE RECORD WE MUST CONCLUDE IS CONTRARY TO THE PURPOSE OF THE REGULATION.

THEREFORE, TO THE EXTENT THAT THE PAYMENT EXCEEDED THE COMPARATIVE COST OF THE TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER, IT IS UNAUTHORIZED AND MUST BE RECOVERED. SEE OUR DECISION B-138342, FEBRUARY 27, 1959, A COPY OF WHICH IS ENCLOSED.