B-145431, APR. 28, 1961

B-145431: Apr 28, 1961

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DELAY IN ANSWERING YOUR LETTER IS ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE FACT THAT YOUR REQUEST FOR DECISION WAS ADDRESSED TO OUR CLAIMS DIVISION. THERE IS FOR NOTING THAT YOUR LETTER WAS ADDRESSED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. MARX WAS AUTHORIZED TO ATTEND A TRAINING COURSE CONDUCTED AT THE OFFICE OF CIVIL AND DEFENSE MOBILIZATION RADIOLOGICAL DEFENSE SCHOOL. TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED BY FIRST-CLASS AIR FROM RICHMOND. WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DISALLOWED UNDER PARAGRAPH 3.9 OF OCDM ADMINISTRATIVE MANUAL AM 25-3. WHICH PROHIBITS REIMBURSEMENT FROM THE GOVERNMENT'S PROPORTIONATE SHARE OF THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSE WHEN SUCH TRANSPORTATION WAS PROCURED BY THE ISSUANCE OF A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST OF A STATE OR BY A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION THEREOF.

B-145431, APR. 28, 1961

TO DIRECTOR, BUDGET AND FISCAL OFFICE, OFFICE OF CIVIL AND DEFENSE MOBILIZATION:

YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 24, 1961, TO OUR CLAIMS DIVISION REQUESTS OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY PAY THE TRANSMITTED VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF DR. MARTIN B. MARX FOR $52.10, COVERING ONE-HALF OF THE COST FOR ROUND-TRIP FARE FROM RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, TO BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN, FOR THE PURPOSE OF ATTENDING A COURSE OF TRAINING AT THE OCDM SCHOOL AT BATTLE CREEK. DELAY IN ANSWERING YOUR LETTER IS ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE FACT THAT YOUR REQUEST FOR DECISION WAS ADDRESSED TO OUR CLAIMS DIVISION. IN THAT CONNECTION WE DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION TO 22 COMP. GEN. 725:

"* * * THE SUBMISSION OF A VOUCHER TO THIS OFFICE BY A CERTIFYING OFFICER FOR THE PURPOSE OF REQUESTING OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL, UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE ACT OF DECEMBER 29, 1941, AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE LEGALITY OF A PROPOSED PAYMENT--- AS DISTINGUISHED FROM A REQUEST FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE OF A CLAIM UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 236, REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED--- SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO THE "COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON, D.C.'

"* * * IN THAT CONNECTION, THERE IS FOR NOTING THAT YOUR LETTER WAS ADDRESSED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE--- NOT TO THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES. WHEN A CERTIFYING OFFICER DESIRES AN ADVANCE DECISION, THE VOUCHER NEED NOT BE CERTIFIED AND, TO FACILITATE HANDLING HERE, THE SUBMISSION SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO THE "COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON, D.C.'"

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT DR. MARX WAS AUTHORIZED TO ATTEND A TRAINING COURSE CONDUCTED AT THE OFFICE OF CIVIL AND DEFENSE MOBILIZATION RADIOLOGICAL DEFENSE SCHOOL, BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN, FROM OCTOBER 31 TO NOVEMBER 4, 1960. TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED BY FIRST-CLASS AIR FROM RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, TO BATTLE CREEK AND RETURN, THE TRANSPORTATION HAVING BEEN PROCURED ON A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST BY THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA AT NO PERSONAL EXPENSE TO THE STUDENT. DR. MARX CLAIMED THE AMOUNT OF $80.90, THAT SUM BEING ONE-HALF THE COST OF THE ACTUAL ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL AND PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE. SINCE THE ROUND-TRIP AIR TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN RICHMOND AND BATTLE CREEK IN THE AMOUNT OF $104.20 DID NOT INVOLVE AN EXPENDITURE BY DR. MARX, ONE-HALF OF THIS AMOUNT, $52.10, WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DISALLOWED UNDER PARAGRAPH 3.9 OF OCDM ADMINISTRATIVE MANUAL AM 25-3, NOW IN EFFECT, WHICH PROHIBITS REIMBURSEMENT FROM THE GOVERNMENT'S PROPORTIONATE SHARE OF THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSE WHEN SUCH TRANSPORTATION WAS PROCURED BY THE ISSUANCE OF A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST OF A STATE OR BY A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION THEREOF. A RECLAIM IS NOW BEING MADE BY DR. MARX FOR THE AMOUNT OF THIS SUSPENSION.

YOU REQUEST OUR DECISION CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF THE PROPOSED PAYMENT OF THE RECLAIMED AMOUNT TO DR. MARX UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE FEDERAL CIVIL DEFENSE ACT OF 1950, AS AMENDED, 50 U.S.C. APP. 2281 (E), AUTHORIZING PAYMENT BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF TRAVEL AND PER DIEM AT NOT TO EXCEED ONE-HALF OF THE TOTAL COST OF SUCH EXPENSES INCIDENT TO A STUDENT'S ATTENDANCE AT THE SCHOOL FOR TRAINING PURPOSES. YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER ARISES BECAUSE DR. MARX'S TRANSPORTATION WAS FURNISHED IN EXCHANGE FOR A COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA TRANSPORTATION REQUEST AND REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR IS PROHIBITED UNDER THE ABOVE-CITED ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS.

IN YOUR LETTER YOU REFER TO OUR DECISION OF NOVEMBER 10, 1960, B 144208. HOWEVER, THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN THAT DECISION ARE NOT SIMILAR TO THOSE NOW FOR CONSIDERATION. IN DECISION B-144208, REIMBURSEMENT WAS AUTHORIZED THE STUDENT TO THE EXTENT OF THE ACTUAL TRANSPORTATION COSTS INCURRED BY HIM, NOT EXCEEDING THE PROPORTIONATE SHARE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR THESE EXPENSES.

SINCE DR. MARX'S ROUND-TRIP TRANSPORTATION WAS PROCURED ON A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST ISSUED BY THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, WITHOUT EXPENSE TO HIM, WE KNOW OF NO AUTHORITY WHEREBY HE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR THE COST OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION OR ANY PART THEREOF. THEREFORE, THE VOUCHER TRANSMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER--- WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH- - PROPERLY MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

ALSO, YOU ASK WHETHER DR. MARX MAY BE PAID AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT OF $28.80, REPRESENTING ONE-HALF COST OF THE PER DIEM EXPENSE INCURRED, HE ALREADY HAVING BEEN PAID $28.80 FOR THE GOVERNMENT'S SHARE OF SUCH EXPENSE. WE ARE WITHOUT JURISDICTION TO RENDER AN AUTHORITATIVE DECISION IN RESPONSE TO YOUR QUESTION BECAUSE YOU DO NOT HAVE A VOUCHER PROPOSING A SUPPLEMENTAL PER DIEM ALLOWANCE BEFORE YOU FOR PAYMENT. HOWEVER, SINCE DR. MARX DOES NOT CLAIM ADDITIONAL PER DIEM AND SINCE IT IS APPARENT THAT THE SUPPLEMENTAL PAYMENT THEREOF WOULD NOT FINALLY DISPOSE OF HIS CLAIM, IT IS OUR VIEW THAT NO USEFUL PURPOSE WOULD BE SERVED BY MAKING SUCH A PAYMENT AT THIS TIME. WE BELIEVE THAT THE ENTIRE MATTER COULD BE SETTLED IF DR. MARX WOULD SUBMIT EVIDENCE ESTABLISHING THAT HE HAS ADJUSTED THE TRANSPORTATION COST WITH THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA.