B-148066, FEB. 15, 1962

B-148066: Feb 15, 1962

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LARSON WAS DIRECTED TO TRAVEL FROM BOULDER. OUR DISCUSSION WILL BE CONFINED TO THAT PERFORMED BETWEEN BOULDER AND NEW YORK CITY. IN THE AMOUNT OF $143.35 WERE OBTAINED BY THE USE OF TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS MAKING A TOTAL COST OF $462.95. THE COMPARATIVE COST STATEMENT SUBMITTED BY YOU SHOWS THAT THE EMPLOYEE COULD HAVE LEFT DENVER BY TRAIN AT 4:00 P.M. ON THE RETURN TRIP HE COULD HAVE LEFT NEW YORK AT 5:05 P.M. INCLUDING ROOMETTES WOULD HAVE BEEN $199.25 AND THE PER DIEM WOULD HAVE BEEN $64. WHILE IT IS NOT SHOWN ON THE RECORD SUBMITTED TO US. WE ASSUME AN APPROPRIATE TRANSPORTATION COST WILL BE ALLOWED BETWEEN BOULDER AND DENVER. YOU SAY THE SOLE PURPOSE OF THE TRAVEL WAS TO ATTEND THE CONFERENCE IN LONDON FOR THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 6-8.

B-148066, FEB. 15, 1962

TO AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE:

ON JANUARY 24, 1962, YOUR FILE 40.04, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER FOR $522.75, IN FAVOR OF ROY E. LARSON FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES INCIDENT TO HIS SERVICES AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS.

BY TRAVEL ORDER NO. 0262 8162, DATED JULY 25, 1961, MR. LARSON WAS DIRECTED TO TRAVEL FROM BOULDER, COLORADO, TO LONDON, ENGLAND, AND RETURN, FOR THE PURPOSE OF ATTENDING A CONFERENCE. THE ORDER AUTHORIZED THE USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE BETWEEN BOULDER AND TERRE HAUTE, INDIANA, AT 10 CENTS PER MILE (DETERMINED TO BE MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT), TRAVEL BY TRAIN BETWEEN TERRE HAUTE AND NEW YORK CITY, AND BY BOAT BETWEEN NEW YORK AND LONDON. THE ORDER ALSO AUTHORIZED PER DIEM AT THE "MAXIMUM RATES ALLOWABLE UNDER PREVAILING BUREAU OF BUDGET GULATIONS.'

NO QUESTION HAS BEEN PRESENTED CONCERNING THE TRAVEL BETWEEN NEW YORK AND LONDON; HENCE, OUR DISCUSSION WILL BE CONFINED TO THAT PERFORMED BETWEEN BOULDER AND NEW YORK CITY.

ON THE OUTBOUND TRIP MR. LARSON DEPARTED BOULDER BY AUTOMOBILE AT 7 A.M., ON AUGUST 28 AND ARRIVED AT TERRE HAUTE 11:30 A.M., ON AUGUST 30. HE LEFT TERRE HAUTE BY TRAIN AT 1:55 P.M., THE SAME DAY AND ARRIVED IN NEW YORK AT 9:15 A.M., ON AUGUST 31. ON THE RETURN TRIP HE LEFT NEW YORK BY TRAIN AT 4:10 P.M., SEPTEMBER 19 AND ARRIVED IN TERRE HAUTE AT 9:20 A.M., SEPTEMBER 20. HE LEFT TERRE HAUTE BY AUTOMOBILE AT 9:45 A.M., SEPTEMBER 20, AND ARRIVED AT BOULDER AT 9:00 P.M., SEPTEMBER 22. FOR THIS PART OF THE TRAVEL THE EMPLOYEE CLAIMS $211.60 FOR MILEAGE AND $108.00 FOR PER DIEM. IN ADDITION, RAIL FARE, PLUS ROOMETTES, IN THE AMOUNT OF $143.35 WERE OBTAINED BY THE USE OF TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS MAKING A TOTAL COST OF $462.95.

THE COMPARATIVE COST STATEMENT SUBMITTED BY YOU SHOWS THAT THE EMPLOYEE COULD HAVE LEFT DENVER BY TRAIN AT 4:00 P.M., AUGUST 29 AND ARRIVED IN NEW YORK AT 7:55 A.M., AUGUST 31. ON THE RETURN TRIP HE COULD HAVE LEFT NEW YORK AT 5:05 P.M., SEPTEMBER 19 AND ARRIVED IN DENVER AT 8:20 A.M., SEPTEMBER 21. YOU SAY THE ROUND-TRIP FARE, INCLUDING ROOMETTES WOULD HAVE BEEN $199.25 AND THE PER DIEM WOULD HAVE BEEN $64, OR A TOTAL OF $263.25. ALSO, WHILE IT IS NOT SHOWN ON THE RECORD SUBMITTED TO US, WE ASSUME AN APPROPRIATE TRANSPORTATION COST WILL BE ALLOWED BETWEEN BOULDER AND DENVER, COLORADO.

YOU SAY THE SOLE PURPOSE OF THE TRAVEL WAS TO ATTEND THE CONFERENCE IN LONDON FOR THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 6-8, AND IT APPEARS THAT THE TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE BETWEEN BOULDER AND TERRE HAUTE WAS FOR PERSONAL REASONS. YOU ALSO EXPRESS THE OPINION THAT THE STATEMENT IN THE TRAVEL ORDER THAT TERRE HAUTE IS 100 MILES NEARER NEW YORK CITY THAN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, FAILS TO ESTABLISH THE REQUIRED SHOWING OF ECONOMY AND ADVANTAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT.

UNDER SECTION 3.5 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON A MILEAGE BASIS MAY BE AUTHORIZED WHEN IT IS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. FURTHER, NO DETERMINATION OF ADVANTAGE IS REQUIRED WHEN PAYMENT ON THAT BASIS IS LIMITED TO COST OF TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER INCLUDING PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE.

IN 26 COMP. GEN. 463, WE SAID:

"AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION OF ADVANTAGE WITH RESPECT TO TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLES ON A MILEAGE BASIS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 (A) (1) (NOW 3.5) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AS REVISED--- IT NO LONGER BEING REQUIRED THAT A DETERMINATION BE MADE THAT SUCH MODE OF TRAVEL IS MORE ECONOMICAL TO THE UNITED STATES--- GENERALLY WILL NOT BE QUESTIONED BY THIS OFFICE, UNLESS IT CLEARLY APPEARS THAT SUCH DETERMINATION IS AT VARIANCE WITH THE REPORTED FACTS IN A PARTICULAR CASE.'

SEE ALSO 26 COMP. GEN. 581, 583, WHEREIN WE SAID THAT A SEPARATE SHOWING OF ECONOMY AND ADVANTAGE NO LONGER IS REQUIRED.

HERE THE EXPENSES AS CLAIMED EXCEED THE COST BY RAIL BY $199.70 OR SOME 76 PERCENT. NO ADVANTAGE OR BENEFIT TO THE GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN SHOWN WHICH WOULD JUSTIFY ALLOWANCE IN EXCESS OF COMMON CARRIER COSTS. ON THE CONTRARY, YOU INDICATE THE ABSENCE OF A FACTUAL BASIS FOR A DETERMINATION OF ADVANTAGE. THEREFORE, ON THE PRESENT RECORD, PAYMENT SHOULD BE LIMITED TO COMMON CARRIER (TRAIN) COSTS INCLUDING PER DIEM AS SET FORTH IN THE CITED SECTION OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED, SHOULD BE ADJUSTED ACCORDINGLY.

REGARDING YOUR QUESTION AS TO CHARGING ANNUAL LEAVE FOR EXCESS TRAVEL TIME, WE SAID IN 39 COMP. GEN. 250 THAT "OUR OFFICE WILL IN AN APPROPRIATE FACTUAL SITUATION DISAPPROVE THE GRANTING OF EXCESSIVE TIME OFF WITHOUT A CHARGE TO ANNUAL LEAVE AS WELL AS AN UNWARRANTED CHARGE FOR ANNUAL LEAVE.' IN THE CASE THEN UNDER CONSIDERATION THE EMPLOYEE HAD BEEN AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WITH REIMBURSEMENT LIMITED TO THE COST BY COMMON CARRIER AND QUESTION PRESENTED WAS WHETHER THE CHARGE TO ANNUAL LEAVE FOR EXCESS TIME WHICH HAD BEEN MADE BY THE AGENCY WAS PROPER WE HELD ON THE FACTS BEFORE US THAT THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL TIME WAS NOT LIMITED TO THE TIME REQUIRED TO PERFORM THE TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER BUT SHOULD BE BASED UPON REASONABLE TRAVEL TIME. INDICATED, HOWEVER, THAT IN CASES IN WHICH IT IS SHOWN THAT ADDITIONAL TRAVEL TIME WAS OCCASIONED SOLELY BECAUSE OF MATTERS PERSONAL TO THE EMPLOYEES, THEY SHOULD BE CHARGED ANNUAL LEAVE FOR SUCH PERIODS. SEE, ALSO, OUR DECISION OF OCTOBER 31, 1960, B-144215 TO YOU, PERTAINING TO RECLAIM VOUCHER OF ROBERT S. KIRBY AND LEO J. MALONEY, AND, GENERALLY, BOULDER INSTRUCTION NO. 59-15, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THIS SUBJECT. THE PRESENT RECORD, OUR OPINION IS THAT THE EMPLOYEE SHOULD BE CHARGED ANNUAL LEAVE FOR EXCESS TRAVEL TIME.