B-146558, AUG. 31, 1961

B-146558: Aug 31, 1961

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THE DETAIL OF THE DEDUCTION APPEARING ON THE ADMINISTRATIVE AUDIT DIFFERENCE STATEMENT IS QUOTED BELOW: "IT APPEARS THAT THE TRIP FROM DENVER. TO TUCSON COULD HAVE BEEN MADE BY FRONTIER AIRLINES AT THE FOLLOWING SAVING TO THE GOV-T. ACCORDING TO YOUR LETTER AND THE INVOICE SUBMITTED THEREWITH THE CHARGE OF THE CONTINENTAL AIRLINES FOR THE ROUND TRIP IS $114.40 INSTEAD OF $111.35. THE SAVING ON TRANSPORTATION COSTS WOULD HAVE BEEN $31.50 INSTEAD OF $28.45. THE STATEMENT SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF THE RECLAIM VOUCHER IS SIGNED BY MR. MERRILL LIKEWISE SUBMITTED A RECLAIM VOUCHER BUT YOU DID NOT INCLUDE IT IN YOUR SUBMISSION AS THE DETAILS OF TRAVEL PERFORMED BY THOSE EMPLOYEES ARE THE SAME. SHAW WHILE APPARENTLY UNAWARE OF THE REDUCED RATE AT THE TIME DID NOT CHOOSE TO TRAVEL VIA FRONTIER AIRLINES WHEN PROCEEDING TO TUCSON FOR A CONFERENCE BECAUSE THE TIME OF ARRIVAL OF ITS PLANE AT TUCSON WAS SCHEDULED AT 1:10 P.M.

B-146558, AUG. 31, 1961

TO AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, BUREAU OF MINES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR:

ON JULY 25, 1961, YOU SUBMITTED A RECLAIM TRAVEL VOUCHER PROPOSING PAYMENT OF $31.45 TO JOHN F. SHAW, RESEARCH DIRECTOR, DENVER MINING RESEARCH CENTER, BUREAU OF MINES, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, AND REQUESTED OUR DECISION WHETHER THE VOUCHER LAWFULLY MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

THE AMOUNT OF $31.45, DEDUCTED FROM A PRIOR TRAVEL VOUCHER BEFORE PAYMENT, REPRESENTS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FARES OF THE CONTINENTAL AIRLINES AND THE FRONTIER AIRLINES FOR THE ROUND TRIP BETWEEN DENVER, COLORADO, AND TUCSON, ARIZONA.

THE DETAIL OF THE DEDUCTION APPEARING ON THE ADMINISTRATIVE AUDIT DIFFERENCE STATEMENT IS QUOTED BELOW:

"IT APPEARS THAT THE TRIP FROM DENVER, COLO. TO TUCSON COULD HAVE BEEN MADE BY FRONTIER AIRLINES AT THE FOLLOWING SAVING TO THE GOV-T.

CHART. 1 1ST CLASS FARE CONTINENTAL AIRLINES

VIA EL PASO, TEXAS $111.35 ROUND TRIP 1 1ST CLASS FARE FRONTIER AIRLINES

82.90 DO.

DIFFERENCE $28.45 PER DIEM CLAIMED 6/11/61, 10:30 A.M. TO 6/17/61 5:10 P.M. 6 1/2 DAYS AT $12.00/DAY $78.00 PER DIEM ALLOWED 6/11/61, 8:30 A.M. TO 6/17/61 11:59 A.M. 6 1/2 DAYS AT $12.00/DAY

75.00

DIFFERENCE $ 3.00

TOTAL DIFFERENCE $31.45 FRONTIER FLIGHT 307 LV. DENVER :30 A.M. AR. TUCSON 1:10 P.M. FRONTIER FLIGHT 308 LV. TUCSON 7:35 A.M. AR. DENVER 11:59 A.M.'

ACCORDING TO YOUR LETTER AND THE INVOICE SUBMITTED THEREWITH THE CHARGE OF THE CONTINENTAL AIRLINES FOR THE ROUND TRIP IS $114.40 INSTEAD OF $111.35, A DIFFERENCE OF $3.05. THEREFORE, THE SAVING ON TRANSPORTATION COSTS WOULD HAVE BEEN $31.50 INSTEAD OF $28.45.

THE STATEMENT SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF THE RECLAIM VOUCHER IS SIGNED BY MR. SHAW AND ROBERT H. MERRILL BECAUSE MR. MERRILL LIKEWISE SUBMITTED A RECLAIM VOUCHER BUT YOU DID NOT INCLUDE IT IN YOUR SUBMISSION AS THE DETAILS OF TRAVEL PERFORMED BY THOSE EMPLOYEES ARE THE SAME.

MR. SHAW WHILE APPARENTLY UNAWARE OF THE REDUCED RATE AT THE TIME DID NOT CHOOSE TO TRAVEL VIA FRONTIER AIRLINES WHEN PROCEEDING TO TUCSON FOR A CONFERENCE BECAUSE THE TIME OF ARRIVAL OF ITS PLANE AT TUCSON WAS SCHEDULED AT 1:10 P.M. AND HE HAD ARRANGED A MEETING FOR 5:00 P.M. AT THE AIRPORT WITH OTHER TRAVELERS WHO WERE ALSO ENROUTE TO THE CONFERENCE. THE CONTINENTAL AIRLINES' PLANE WAS SCHEDULED TO ARRIVE AT TUCSON AT 5:00 P.M. MR. SHAW STATES THAT HE COULD NOT HAVE DEPARTED TUCSON AT 7:35 A.M. ON HIS RETURN TRAVEL BECAUSE OF A CONFERENCE ON THE MORNING OF JUNE 17. WHILE MR. SHAW DOES NOT STATE THE TIME OF THE MEETING ON THE DAY OF DEPARTURE, WE ASSUME THAT HE COULD HAVE DEPARTED ON THE 5:30 P.M. FRONTIER PLANE, ARRIVING IN DENVER AT 9:50 P.M. TRAVEL VIA FRONTIER WOULD THEREFORE HAVE INCREASED HIS PER DIEM ALLOWANCE BY ONE-HALF DAY OR $6.

IN EXPLAINING WHY HE HAD NO KNOWLEDGE OF FRONTIER'S ROUND-TRIP EXCURSION RATE, MR. SHAW SAYS:

"* * * WE DID NOT CONSIDER IT NECESSARY TO "PHONE FRONTIER TO SEE IF THEY HAD AN EXCURSION WHEN WE HAD THEIR RATES EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 1961 IN THE OFFICE. IT IS NOT CONSIDERED DESIRABLE TO SPEND FOUR HOURS AT THE TUCSON AIRPORT ON SUNDAY AFTERNOON WAITING FOR OUR APPOINTMENT. * * *"

IF MR. SHAW HAD TRAVELED VIA FRONTIER, THE NET SAVING WOULD HAVE BEEN $25.50 ($31.50 MINUS $6). SECTION 3.9 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS REQUIRES THE PURCHASE OF EXCURSION AND REDUCED-RATE ROUND-TRIP FARES WHEN SUCH TYPE OF SERVICE IS PRACTICABLE AND ECONOMICAL TO THE GOVERNMENT. THE FACT THAT THE AVAILABILITY OF SUCH FARES MAY NOT BE KNOWN TO THE TRAVELER AFFORDS NO LEGAL BASIS FOR CHARGING THE GOVERNMENT WITH EXCESS COSTS RESULTING FROM THE FAILURE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE REDUCED FARE.

WE RECOGNIZE THAT FROM THE TRAVELER'S STANDPOINT THE WAIT OR DELAY OF APPROXIMATELY FOUR HOURS AT THE AIRPORT IN TUCSON ON SUNDAY AFTERNOON WAS DISTASTEFUL OR UNPLEASANT. WE OBSERVE, HOWEVER, THAT BY THE AIRLINE USED THE TRAVELER WAS OBLIGED TO WAIT AT THE EL PASO AIRPORT IN EXCESS OF TWO HOURS. WE FEEL, THEREFORE, THAT THE ADDITIONAL WAITING TIME REQUIRED AT TUCSON DOES NOT FURNISH A LEGAL BASIS FOR PAYMENT OF THE ADDITIONAL COSTS.

THEREFORE, ON THE PRESENT RECORD THE VOUCHER, WHICH TOGETHER WITH RELATED PAPERS IS RETURNED, MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.