B-144927, FEB. 27, 1961

B-144927: Feb 27, 1961

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WHILE HE WAS CAMPAIGNING FOR THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT. IS AUTHORIZED TO PROTECT THE PERSONS OF THE * * * VICE PRESIDENT AT HIS REQUEST. THE PROVISIONS OF THE FOREGOING STATUTE ARE CLEAR. YOU ADVISE THAT THE VICE PRESIDENT REQUESTED PROTECTION AND THAT THE TWO AGENTS WERE OFFICIALLY AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED UNDER THEIR BLANKET TRAVEL ORDERS TO ACCOMPANY THE VICE PRESIDENT ON THE CHARTERED TRIPS SHOWN ON THE LISTING ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER. THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW WERE MET. NOTE THAT YOU HAVE VERIFIED THAT THE PRO RATA SHARE OF THE TRANSPORTATION AND TRANSPORTATION TAX CLAIMED IS BASED UPON THE TOTAL COST OF EACH TRIP DIVIDED BY THE NUMBER OF PASSENGERS CARRIED. YOU ALSO POINT OUT THAT THE TRANSPORTATION COSTS BILLED BY THE CARRIERS IS ON A MILEAGE BASIS WITH ADDITIONAL CHARGES MADE FOR STOPOVERS.

B-144927, FEB. 27, 1961

AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE:

YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 26, 1961, SUBMITS A VOUCHER FOR $11,730.06, PAYABLE TO THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE. THE COMMITTEE REQUESTS REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE PRO RATA SHARE OF THE TRANSPORTATION AND TRANSPORTATION TAX PAID BY THAT COMMITTEE ON CERTAIN CHARTERED AIRPLANE AND TRAIN TRIPS DURING THE PERIOD JULY 25 TO NOVEMBER 9, 1960, FOR TWO SECRET SERVICE AGENTS WHO ACCOMPANIED THE FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, WHILE HE WAS CAMPAIGNING FOR THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT. YOU ASK WHETHER THE VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

18 U.S.C. 3056 READS, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"SUBJECT TO THE DIRECTION OF THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, THE UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, IS AUTHORIZED TO PROTECT THE PERSONS OF THE * * * VICE PRESIDENT AT HIS REQUEST; * * *.'

THE PROVISIONS OF THE FOREGOING STATUTE ARE CLEAR. YOU ADVISE THAT THE VICE PRESIDENT REQUESTED PROTECTION AND THAT THE TWO AGENTS WERE OFFICIALLY AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED UNDER THEIR BLANKET TRAVEL ORDERS TO ACCOMPANY THE VICE PRESIDENT ON THE CHARTERED TRIPS SHOWN ON THE LISTING ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER. HENCE, THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW WERE MET. NOTE THAT YOU HAVE VERIFIED THAT THE PRO RATA SHARE OF THE TRANSPORTATION AND TRANSPORTATION TAX CLAIMED IS BASED UPON THE TOTAL COST OF EACH TRIP DIVIDED BY THE NUMBER OF PASSENGERS CARRIED. YOU ALSO POINT OUT THAT THE TRANSPORTATION COSTS BILLED BY THE CARRIERS IS ON A MILEAGE BASIS WITH ADDITIONAL CHARGES MADE FOR STOPOVERS. WE HAVE INFORMALLY RECEIVED ADVICE FROM YOU TO THE EFFECT THAT ON SOME OF THE TRIPS OTHER SECRET SERVICE AGENTS WERE TRANSPORTED WITHOUT CHARGE AND THAT THE TWO AGENTS HERE REFERRED TO ACCOMPANIED THE VICE PRESIDENT ON OTHER CHARTERED TRIPS PRIOR TO JULY 25, 1960, FOR WHICH NO CHARGES WERE MADE.

FROM THE INFORMATION SHOWN ON THE LIST OF TRIPS FURNISHED WITH THE VOUCHER WE CAN ASCERTAIN ONLY THE FIRST-CLASS FARES CHARGEABLE FOR THE TRAVEL PERFORMED BY THE TWO AGENTS INVOLVED IN THE PROPOSED PAYMENT. SUCH FIRST-CLASS FARES AMOUNT TO $9,970.42. THOSE FARES ARE $1,759.64 LESS THAN THE AMOUNT OF $11,730.06 CLAIMED ON THE VOUCHER. UNQUESTIONABLY, FOR A CONSIDERABLE PORTION OF THE TRAVEL INVOLVED SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS WOULD HAVE BEEN NECESSARY, THUS INCREASING THE CHARGES THE SECRET SERVICE DIVISION WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO PAY HAD THE TRANSPORTATION BEEN FURNISHED ON SCHEDULED CARRIERS. THESE CHARGES WOULD HAVE BEEN FURTHER INCREASED DEPENDING UPON THE TYPE OF AIRPLANE OR RAILROAD CAR USED AND ON WHETHER SPECIAL SERVICE FEES FOR FERRYING, LAYOVERS, OR OTHER SIMILAR SERVICES WERE ASSESSABLE. TO ASCERTAIN SUCH POSSIBLE ADDITIONAL CHARGES CONSIDERABLE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION WOULD HAVE BEEN FURTHER INCREASED DEPENDING UPON THE TYPE OF AIRPLANE OR RAILROAD CAR USED AND ON WHETHER SPECIAL SERVICE FEES FOR FERRYING, LAYOVERS, OR OTHER SIMILAR SERVICES WERE ASSESSABLE. TO ASCERTAIN SUCH POSSIBLE ADDITIONAL CHARGES CONSIDERABLE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION WOULD HAVE TO BE OBTAINED FROM THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE AND EXTENSIVE ADDITIONAL RESEARCH WOULD BE REQUIRED BY OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION. WE BELIEVE THAT THE INCLUSION OF SUCH OTHER PROPER CHARGES FOR THE TRAVEL PERFORMED WOULD INCREASE THE FIRST-CLASS FARE CHARGE OF $9,970.42 TO MORE THAN THE AMOUNT CLAIMED. THEREFORE, THE AMOUNT CLAIMED APPEARS REASONABLE WHEN COMPARED WITH THE PROBABLE COST OF FIRST-CLASS FARES. MOREOVER, IT IS RECOGNIZED THAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES HERE INVOLVED WERE UNUSUAL AND PRECLUDED THE USE OF NORMAL TRANSPORTATION MEANS FOR THE TRAVEL SO THAT THE COST OF FIRST CLASS FARES IS NOT NECESSARILY APPROPRIATE FOR COMPARATIVE PURPOSES. IN A SENSE IT COULD BE CONSIDERED THAT THE TRAVEL WAS BY SPECIAL CONVEYANCE, THE HIRE OF WHICH UNDER PARAGRAPH 3.4, STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS ALLOWABLE IF THE USE THEREOF IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE TRANSPORTATION USED WAS ADVANTAGEOUS UNDER THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES PRESENT IN THESE INSTANCES AND COULD BE APPROVED ADMINISTRATIVELY.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING CONSIDERATIONS THERE IS JUSTIFICATION FOR PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT CLAIMED UPON THE CURRENT RECORD SUPPLEMENTED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL REFERRED TO ABOVE. THE VOUCHER, RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE PAID UPON SUCH APPROVAL, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.