B-145571, MAY 25, 1961

B-145571: May 25, 1961

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

LITTLE FOR $21.64 WHICH WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED FOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COST OF RAIL AND AIR TRANSPORTATION USED AND THE CONSTRUCTIVE ROUND TRIP COST BY RAIL FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL BETWEEN WASHINGTON. HE WAS INFORMED BY THE AMERICAN AIRLINES THAT ALL SCHEDULED FLIGHTS HAD BEEN CANCELED BECAUSE OF A STRIKE. A ROUND TRIP TICKET BY AIR WAS PURCHASED IN ADVANCE OF THE TRAVEL AND IT WAS ANTICIPATED BY BOTH THE TRAVELER AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE THAT AIR TRAVEL WOULD BE USED FOR BOTH THE GOING AND RETURN TRIPS. THE USE OF RAIL TRAVEL ON THE GOING TRIP WAS NOT FOR THE PERSONAL CONVENIENCE OF THE TRAVELER BUT WAS NECESSITATED FOR REASONS BEYOND HIS CONTROL. THE RECORD SHOWS THE TRAVELER WAS REQUIRED TO BE IN TULSA AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

B-145571, MAY 25, 1961

TO MR. S. SCHOFER, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE:

YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 7, 1961, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE TRANSMITTED RECLAIM VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. TOWNES R. LITTLE FOR $21.64 WHICH WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED FOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COST OF RAIL AND AIR TRANSPORTATION USED AND THE CONSTRUCTIVE ROUND TRIP COST BY RAIL FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL BETWEEN WASHINGTON, D.C., AND OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA. THE VOUCHER INCLUDES AN ITEM FOR EXCESS BAGGAGE EXPENSES INCURRED ON THE RETURN TRIP BY AIR TRAVEL.

THE RECORD SHOWS MR. LITTLE OBTAINED A ROUND TRIP TICKET BY AIR FROM WASHINGTON TO OKLAHOMA CITY ON FEBRUARY 14, 1961, UNDER BLANKET TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. 121-61, DATED JUNE 15, 1960, FOR TRAVEL TO HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AT STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA. ON FEBRUARY 18, 1961, TWELVE HOURS BEFORE FLIGHT TIME, HE WAS INFORMED BY THE AMERICAN AIRLINES THAT ALL SCHEDULED FLIGHTS HAD BEEN CANCELED BECAUSE OF A STRIKE. HE THEN CANCELED THE OUTGOING PORTION OF THE AIRPLANE TICKET AND IMMEDIATELY SECURED A ONE- WAY TICKET TO OKLAHOMA CITY BY RAIL FOR DEPARTURE AT 5:30 P.M., ON FEBRUARY 18. UPON COMPLETION OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES HE RETURNED BY AIR TO WASHINGTON, USING THE RETURN TRIP PORTION OF HIS AIRPLANE TICKET.

YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER ARISES BECAUSE MR. LITTLE USED DIFFERENT MODES OF TRANSPORTATION ON THE GOING AND RETURN TRIPS AND UNDER THE REQUIREMENT IN PARAGRAPH 3.9 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS REIMBURSEMENT WOULD BE LIMITED TO THE COST OF A ROUND TRIP TICKET BY THE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION USED ON THE GOING TRIP. HOWEVER, A ROUND TRIP TICKET BY AIR WAS PURCHASED IN ADVANCE OF THE TRAVEL AND IT WAS ANTICIPATED BY BOTH THE TRAVELER AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE THAT AIR TRAVEL WOULD BE USED FOR BOTH THE GOING AND RETURN TRIPS. THE USE OF RAIL TRAVEL ON THE GOING TRIP WAS NOT FOR THE PERSONAL CONVENIENCE OF THE TRAVELER BUT WAS NECESSITATED FOR REASONS BEYOND HIS CONTROL.

THEREFORE, REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES HERE MAY BE ALLOWED FOR THE MODES OF TRANSPORTATION USED.

WE DO NOT VIEW AS UNREASONABLE THE SELECTION BY THE TRAVELER OF A TRAIN LEAVING AT 5:30 P.M., ON FEBRUARY 18, 1961, AND ARRIVING IN TULSA, OKLAHOMA, AT 10 P.M., ON FEBRUARY 19, 1961, INSTEAD OF A TRAIN LEAVING AT 6:30 P.M., ON FEBRUARY 18, 1961, AND ARRIVING IN TULSA AT 4:45 A.M., ON FEBRUARY 20, 1961. THE RECORD SHOWS THE TRAVELER WAS REQUIRED TO BE IN TULSA AS SOON AS POSSIBLE; ALSO, THAT HE WAS INFORMED HE WOULD HAVE TO LEAVE THE PULLMAN AT 4:45 A.M., IN TULSA.

SINCE MR. LITTLE'S CONTENTION THAT THE EXCESS BAGGAGE CARRIED BY AIR ON THE RETURN TRIP CONSISTED OF GOVERNMENT EQUIPMENT, OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS, PAPERS AND HAND BOOKS HAS BEEN CORROBORATED BY HIS SUPERIOR, THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THAT EXPENSE.

THE RECLAIM VOUCHER, WHICH TOGETHER WITH RELATED PAPERS IS RETURNED, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.