B-150421, DEC. 26, 1962

B-150421: Dec 26, 1962

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THE SUM OF $52.06 WAS DEDUCTED FROM HIS TRAVEL VOUCHER. - ABOVE THAT WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD DR. SUCH ACTION WAS TAKEN BECAUSE OF OUR DECISION 26 COMP. THAT CONCEPT IS FOUND IN SECTION 3.9 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. YOU SUGGEST THAT INASMUCH AS REDUCED ROUND TRIP RATES NO LONGER ARE AVAILABLE ON DOMESTIC AIRLINES. A BASIC PURPOSE OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS TO PROVIDE PROCEDURES WHICH WILL RESULT IN THE LEAST PRACTICAL COST. NEITHER OF THE EMPLOYEES HERE SEEMED TO HAVE OBJECTED TO THAT MODE OF TRANSPORTATION. WE FEEL THAT THEY SHOULD BE HELD TO THAT AMOUNT OF SUBSISTENCE THAT AIR TRAVEL WOULD HAVE ENTAILED. GRAY OBVIOUSLY HAD NO OBJECTION TO AIR TRAVEL AS THE GREATER PART OF HIS JOURNEY WAS MADE BY AIR TRANSPORTATION.

B-150421, DEC. 26, 1962

TO MRS. B. V. STRICKLER, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION:

BY LETTER DATED DECEMBER 3, 1962, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT A RECLAIM VOUCHER SUBMITTED BY DR. DWIGHT E. GRAY, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION.

DR. GRAY, APPARENTLY UNDER TRAVEL ORDERS AUTHORIZING TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER, TRAVELED FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, TO ATTEND A SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION CONFERENCE. HE TRAVELED BY AIR JET COACH FROM WASHINGTON TO SAN FRANCISCO. ON THE RETURN TRIP DR. GRAY TRAVELED BY RAIL FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, TAKING A DAY'S ANNUAL LEAVE AT GRAND CANYON, ARIZONA. HE FLEW FROM CHICAGO TO WASHINGTON. THE SUM OF $52.06 WAS DEDUCTED FROM HIS TRAVEL VOUCHER, SAID AMOUNT REPRESENTING THE EXCESS COST--- INCLUDING PER DIEM--- ABOVE THAT WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD DR. GRAY USED AIR TRANSPORTATION FOR THE ENTIRE RETURN TRIP. SUCH ACTION WAS TAKEN BECAUSE OF OUR DECISION 26 COMP. GEN. 787.

THAT DECISION, REQUIRING THE USE OF REDUCED-RATE TRANSPORTATION, HELD THAT AN EMPLOYEE WHO USED TWO MODES OF TRANSPORTATION WHILE TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS MAY BE ALLOWED ONLY THE TRANSPORTATION COSTS WHICH WOULD BE INCURRED HAD THE ENTIRE TRIP BEEN MADE VIA THE MODE USED IN THE GOING TRIP. THAT CONCEPT IS FOUND IN SECTION 3.9 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

YOU SUGGEST THAT INASMUCH AS REDUCED ROUND TRIP RATES NO LONGER ARE AVAILABLE ON DOMESTIC AIRLINES, OUR OFFICE MIGHT WANT TO RECONSIDER 26 COMP. GEN. 787.

WHILE THE REDUCED RATE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3.9 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS MAY NOT APPLY IN THIS CASE, A BASIC PURPOSE OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS TO PROVIDE PROCEDURES WHICH WILL RESULT IN THE LEAST PRACTICAL COST--- INCLUSIVE OF PER DIEM--- TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE TRAVEL OF ITS EMPLOYEES. SEE SECTIONS 1.1, 1.2, 3.3, AND 6.10 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

IN B-144215, OCTOBER 31, 1960, WE HELD:

"WHILE OUR OFFICE HAS CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT AN EMPLOYEE MAY NOT BE FORCED TO FLY IN AN AIRPLANE ON GOVERNMENT BUSINESS, NEITHER OF THE EMPLOYEES HERE SEEMED TO HAVE OBJECTED TO THAT MODE OF TRANSPORTATION. ONCE HAVING ELECTED THAT MODE, WE FEEL THAT THEY SHOULD BE HELD TO THAT AMOUNT OF SUBSISTENCE THAT AIR TRAVEL WOULD HAVE ENTAILED. THEREFORE, THE ADDITIONAL TRANSPORTATION COSTS AND PER DIEM RECLAIMED BY THE EMPLOYEES SHOULD NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.'

DR. GRAY OBVIOUSLY HAD NO OBJECTION TO AIR TRAVEL AS THE GREATER PART OF HIS JOURNEY WAS MADE BY AIR TRANSPORTATION. ALSO, THERE IS NO SHOWING OF ANY OFFICIAL REASON FOR HIS USE OF A DIFFERENT MODE BETWEEN SAN FRANCISCO AND CHICAGO. ON THE CONTRARY, THE EVIDENCE SHOWS THAT THE USE OF TRAIN FOR A PORTION OF THE RETURN JOURNEY WAS SOLELY FOR PERSONAL REASONS.

ACCORDINGLY, THE RECLAIM VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED, MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.