B-147614, DEC. 28, 1961

B-147614: Dec 28, 1961

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THE RECORD SHOWS THAT TRAVEL RESERVATIONS WERE PREPARED FOR MR. MCMASTER WAS NOT FOR HIS PERSONAL CONVENIENCE AS NO STOP-OVERS WERE MADE BY HIM EN ROUTE EITHER TO OR FROM ANN ARBOR. TRAVEL BY OTHER ROUTES MAY BE ALLOWED WHEN THE OFFICIAL NECESSITY THEREFORE IS SATISFACTORILY ESTABLISHED.'. MCMASTER WAS THE RESULT OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR. THERE IS NOTHING PRESENTED HERE WHICH WOULD ESTABLISH AN OFFICIAL NECESSITY FOR USING AN INDIRECT ROUTE. WHILE THE MISUNDERSTANDING IS REGRETTABLE IT MAY NOT SERVE AS A BASIS FOR ALLOWING PAYMENT OF THE EXCESS COST OF TRANSPORTATION BY AN INDIRECT ROUTE CONTRARY TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE REGULATIONS. COLLECTION OF THE INDEBTEDNESS IS REQUIRED. IS RETURNED.

B-147614, DEC. 28, 1961

TO MR. JOHN W. FINN, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE:

YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 14, 1961, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE TRANSMITTED VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. WILLIAM W. MCMASTER, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH, COVERING TRAVEL EXPENSES FROM BETHESDA, MARYLAND, TO ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN, AND RETURN.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT TRAVEL RESERVATIONS WERE PREPARED FOR MR. MCMASTER BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE FOR ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL BY RAIL FROM BETHESDA TO ANN ARBOR VIA NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNDER TRAVEL ORDER DATED MAY 1, 1961. YOU SAY THE INDIRECT TRAVEL VIA NEW YORK RESULTED FROM AN ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR AND THE TRAVELER BEING UNFAMILIAR WITH THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS BECAUSE OF HIS RECENT APPOINTMENT TO THE SERVICE RELIED ENTIRELY UPON THE ROUTING PREPARED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE.

THE RECORD FURTHER SHOWS THAT THE INDIRECT ROUTE USED BY MR. MCMASTER WAS NOT FOR HIS PERSONAL CONVENIENCE AS NO STOP-OVERS WERE MADE BY HIM EN ROUTE EITHER TO OR FROM ANN ARBOR.

SECTION 3.2 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS READS:

"ROUTING OF TRAVEL.--- ALL TRAVEL MUST BE BY A USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE. TRAVEL BY OTHER ROUTES MAY BE ALLOWED WHEN THE OFFICIAL NECESSITY THEREFORE IS SATISFACTORILY ESTABLISHED.'

ALTHOUGH THE ROUTE USED BY MR. MCMASTER WAS THE RESULT OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR, THERE IS NOTHING PRESENTED HERE WHICH WOULD ESTABLISH AN OFFICIAL NECESSITY FOR USING AN INDIRECT ROUTE.

WHILE THE MISUNDERSTANDING IS REGRETTABLE IT MAY NOT SERVE AS A BASIS FOR ALLOWING PAYMENT OF THE EXCESS COST OF TRANSPORTATION BY AN INDIRECT ROUTE CONTRARY TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE REGULATIONS. THEREFORE, COLLECTION OF THE INDEBTEDNESS IS REQUIRED.

ACTION ON THE VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $51.45, WHICH TOGETHER WITH RELATED PAPERS, IS RETURNED, SHOULD BE TAKEN ACCORDINGLY.