B-150801, MAR. 27, 1963

B-150801: Mar 27, 1963

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THE TRAIN FARE FROM BOSTON WAS HIGHER THAN THE AIR FARE. THE EXTRA COST OF THE TRAIN FARE AND THE ADDITIONAL PER DIEM WERE DEDUCTED FROM MR. IS THE SUBJECT OF HIS RECLAIM. REQUIRE A TRAVELER TO UTILIZE REDUCED RATE ROUND-TRIP FARES WHEN IT CAN BE DETERMINED PRIOR TO THE START OF THE TRIP THAT IT IS PRACTICAL AND ECONOMICAL TO THE GOVERNMENT. ROUND TRIP TICKETS ARE TO BE SECURED ONLY WHEN. IT IS KNOWN OR CAN BE REASONABLY ANTICIPATED THAT SUCH TICKET WILL BE UTILIZED. DAHAN PURCHASED AIR TRANSPORTATION FOR TRAVEL TO BOSTON AND RETURN NO REDUCED-RATE ROUND TRIP FARES WERE AVAILABLE EITHER BY AIR OR RAIL AND THE UNUSED AIR TICKET COST ONE-HALF THE PRICE OF THE TWO ONE- WAY TICKETS. OUR OPINION IS THAT MR.

B-150801, MAR. 27, 1963

TO MR. RAY E. SOLIDY, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 13, 1962, REFERENCE RES, TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF OUR OFFICE CONCERNING THE RECLAIM VOUCHER OF MR. GEORGE A. DAHAN, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION, FOR $21.83, THE AMOUNT SUSPENDED FROM HIS VOUCHER FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES HE INCURRED IN TRAVEL FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, AND RETURN, APRIL 3 THROUGH 5, 1962.

FOR PERFORMANCE OF THE TRAVEL IN QUESTION, MR. DAHAN PURCHASED TWO ONE- WAY AIR TICKETS AT WASHINGTON BUT INSTEAD OF USING THE RETURN TICKET HE RETURNED TO WASHINGTON BY TRAIN AND TURNED IN THE UNUSED AIR TICKET FOR REFUND. THE TRAIN FARE FROM BOSTON WAS HIGHER THAN THE AIR FARE, AND TRAVEL BY TRAIN INVOLVED AN ABSENCE FROM WASHINGTON OF AN ADDITIONAL ONE- HALF DAY FOR PER DIEM PURPOSES, PROVIDED MR. DAHAN BE HELD TO A RETURN BY AIR ON THE EVENING OF APRIL 4. THE EXTRA COST OF THE TRAIN FARE AND THE ADDITIONAL PER DIEM WERE DEDUCTED FROM MR. DAHAN'S ORIGINAL VOUCHER; AND THE AMOUNT THEREOF, $21.83, IS THE SUBJECT OF HIS RECLAIM.

SECTION 3.9 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND OUR DECISION 26 COMP. GEN. 787, REQUIRE A TRAVELER TO UTILIZE REDUCED RATE ROUND-TRIP FARES WHEN IT CAN BE DETERMINED PRIOR TO THE START OF THE TRIP THAT IT IS PRACTICAL AND ECONOMICAL TO THE GOVERNMENT. ROUND TRIP TICKETS ARE TO BE SECURED ONLY WHEN, ON THE BASIS OF THE JOURNEY AS PLANNED, IT IS KNOWN OR CAN BE REASONABLY ANTICIPATED THAT SUCH TICKET WILL BE UTILIZED. AT THE TIME MR. DAHAN PURCHASED AIR TRANSPORTATION FOR TRAVEL TO BOSTON AND RETURN NO REDUCED-RATE ROUND TRIP FARES WERE AVAILABLE EITHER BY AIR OR RAIL AND THE UNUSED AIR TICKET COST ONE-HALF THE PRICE OF THE TWO ONE- WAY TICKETS. HE SAYS, HOWEVER, HE FULLY INTENDED TO RETURN BY AIR AT THE TIME HE LEFT WASHINGTON, AND THAT HE RETURNED BY RAIL BECAUSE OF HIS RELUCTANCE TO FLY BY AIR AT NIGHT.

MR. DAHAN'S TRAVEL ORDERS AUTHORIZED HIM TO TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER. REGULATION OF THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION HAS BEEN CITED IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT LIMITING THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OF TRAVEL BY A PARTICULAR MODE OF CONVEYANCE, OR TO THE COST BY THE MODE OF TRAVEL USED ON THE GOING TRIP. OF COURSE, THE EXPENDITURES FOR TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS MUST BE REQUIRED BY THE PERFORMANCE OF THE OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND MUST BE THOSE THAT A PRUDENT MAN WOULD MAKE WHEN ENGAGED IN PERSONAL BUSINESS. SECTIONS 1.1 AND 1.2, STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. OUR OPINION IS THAT MR. DAHAN DID NOT TAKE ACTION INCONSISTENT WITH THOSE PROVISIONS IN RETURNING BY RAIL. THEREFORE, AND SINCE NO REDUCED-RATE ROUND-TRIP FARES WERE AVAILABLE, HIS DETERMINATION TO RETURN TO WASHINGTON BY TRAIN RATHER THAN AIR IN THIS CASE IS NOT A PROPER BASIS FOR DISALLOWING OTHERWISE ALLOWABLE TRAVEL COSTS.

THEREFORE, THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.