B-144358, NOV. 28, 1960

B-144358: Nov 28, 1960

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WALDRON AND HIS DEPENDENT WIFE WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM BOLLEVILLE. EXCESS BAGGAGE WAS AUTHORIZED FOR TRAVEL BY AIR OF NOT MORE THAN 100 POUNDS IN EXCESS OF THE FREE ALLOWANCE FOR THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS WIFE. ADDITIONAL MILEAGE OF 11 CENTS PER MILE WAS AUTHORIZED FOR TOWING A HOUSE TRAILER BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE. THE ORIGINAL TRAVEL VOUCHER WAS SUBMITTED FOR $971.88. $553.55 OF THAT AMOUNT REPRESENTS A CLAIM FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AND THE REMAINING AMOUNT. YOU SAY THAT THE VOUCHER WAS RETURNED TO OBTAIN THE TRAVELER'S STATEMENT OF THE NUMBER OF POUNDS OF EXCESS BAGGAGE CARRIED IN HIS AUTOMOBILE AND FOR JUSTIFICATION AS TO WHY BAGGAGE WAS CARRIED IN HIS AUTOMOBILE SINCE HE WAS TOWING A HOUSE TRAILER.

B-144358, NOV. 28, 1960

TO MISS JANET W. KNIGHT, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, FEDERAL AVIATION AGENCY, REGION 5:

ON OCTOBER 28, 1960, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION WHETHER A RECLAIM VOUCHER FOR $118 IN FAVOR OF MR. WALLACE I. WALDRON, AN EMPLOYEE OF YOUR AGENCY, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT. THE AMOUNT CLAIMED REPRESENTS THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF 100 POUNDS OF EXCESS BAGGAGE BY AIR.

MR. WALDRON AND HIS DEPENDENT WIFE WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM BOLLEVILLE, MICHIGAN, TO FAIRBANKS, ALASKA, HIS NEW HEADQUARTERS, BY COMMON CARRIER OR PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE AT 10 CENTS PER MILE, REIMBURSABLE COST NOT TO EXCEED COST BY COMMON CARRIER. EXCESS BAGGAGE WAS AUTHORIZED FOR TRAVEL BY AIR OF NOT MORE THAN 100 POUNDS IN EXCESS OF THE FREE ALLOWANCE FOR THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS WIFE. ADDITIONAL MILEAGE OF 11 CENTS PER MILE WAS AUTHORIZED FOR TOWING A HOUSE TRAILER BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE.

THE ORIGINAL TRAVEL VOUCHER WAS SUBMITTED FOR $971.88. $553.55 OF THAT AMOUNT REPRESENTS A CLAIM FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AND THE REMAINING AMOUNT, NAMELY, $418.33, REPRESENTS MILEAGE FOR TOWING THE HOUSE TRAILER. MR. WALDRON SUBMITTED A COMPARATIVE COST STATEMENT FOR AIR TRAVEL TOTALING $597.50, INCLUDING $118 FOR TRANSPORTATION OF 100 POUNDS EXCESS BAGGAGE.

YOU SAY THAT THE VOUCHER WAS RETURNED TO OBTAIN THE TRAVELER'S STATEMENT OF THE NUMBER OF POUNDS OF EXCESS BAGGAGE CARRIED IN HIS AUTOMOBILE AND FOR JUSTIFICATION AS TO WHY BAGGAGE WAS CARRIED IN HIS AUTOMOBILE SINCE HE WAS TOWING A HOUSE TRAILER. HE SAID THAT 300 POUNDS OF BAGGAGE WAS CARRIED IN THE AUTOMOBILE BUT GAVE NO EXPLANATION CONCERNING THE BAGGAGE. CONSEQUENTLY, A DEDUCTION OF $118 WAS MADE FOR THE 100 POUNDS OF EXCESS BAGGAGE CLAIMED FOR AIR TRAVEL COMPARATIVE COST, WHICH MADE THE COMPARATIVE COST OF AIR TRAVEL $74.05 LESS THAN THE MILEAGE FOR THE AUTOMOBILE. THAT AMOUNT WAS DISALLOWED ON THE ORIGINAL TRAVEL VOUCHER. WE NOTE, IN THAT REGARD, THAT MR. WALDRON NOW CLAIMS, AND THE VOUCHER IS ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED FOR, $118. SINCE THE MILEAGE AT THE AUTHORIZED RATE TOTALS ONLY $74.05 IN EXCESS OF THAT ALLOWED ON THE ORIGINAL VOUCHER IT IS EVIDENT THAT THE RECLAIM SHOULD HAVE BEEN LIMITED TO THAT SUM.

WE HAVE HELD THAT WHEN PAYMENT OF EXCESS BAGGAGE CHARGES IN CONNECTION WITH AIR TRAVEL HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED IN AN EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL ORDERS, THE EXCESS BAGGAGE CHARGES AUTHORIZED ARE A PROPER ITEM OF EXPENSE WHICH MAY BE INCLUDED IN ARRIVING AT A CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF AIR TRAVEL FOR COMPARATIVE COST PURPOSES WHEN TRAVEL IS PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AND THE BAGGAGE IS TRANSPORTED IN THE AUTOMOBILE. 33 COMP. GEN. 614. CONSEQUENTLY, THE EXCESS BAGGAGE CHARGES AUTHORIZED FOR AIR TRAVEL MAY BE INCLUDED IN THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF AIR TRAVEL FOR COMPARATIVE COST PURPOSES IN CASES SUCH AS THIS, IN AN AMOUNT WHICH THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE IS SATISFIED WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED IF THE EMPLOYEE ACTUALLY HAD TRAVELED BY AIR. ACTION ON THE VOUCHER SHOULD BE TAKEN AS STATED ABOVE.