B-151201, MAY 29, 1963

B-151201: May 29, 1963

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PURSUANT TO THOSE ORDERS YOU WERE ISSUED GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST NO. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT PAYMENT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OBTAINED WITH THE TRANSPORTATION REQUEST WAS MADE TO NEW YORK CENTRAL RAILROAD IN THE SUM OF $37.75 FOR ROUND-TRIP RAIL TRAVEL AND THE SUM OF $6.10 FOR ONE LOWER BERTH. IT APPEARS THAT WHEN YOU PRESENTED THE TRANSPORTATION REQUEST TO THE AGENT OF THE ISSUING CARRIER YOU WERE NOT FURNISHED A TICKET FOR SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS ON THE RETURN TRIP. YOU WERE ALLOWED THE SUM OF $6.10. IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU CONTEND YOU ARE ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED AN ADDITIONAL SUM OF $5.12 ON THE BASIS THAT THE CARRIER WAS AT FAULT IN CHARGING YOU AT THE RATE OF $11.22 FOR ACCOMMODATIONS THAT COST $6.10.

B-151201, MAY 29, 1963

TO MAJOR MORRIS GUSOWSKY, USAR:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 25, 1963, REQUESTS FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL REIMBURSEMENT FOR YOUR TRAVEL FROM NEW YORK, NEW YORK, TO WATERTOWN, NEW YORK, AND RETURN, DURING THE PERIOD AUGUST 15, TO 29, 1960, INCIDENT TO ACTIVE DUTY FOR TRAINING ORDERS OF AUGUST 8, 1960.

PURSUANT TO THOSE ORDERS YOU WERE ISSUED GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST NO. M 9,831,361, DATED AUGUST 12, 1960, WHICH AUTHORIZED YOU TO OBTAIN FIRST-CLASS RAIL TRANSPORTATION FROM NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, TO WATERTOWN, NEW YORK, AND RETURN WITH LOWER BERTH ACCOMMODATIONS FOR THE SAME TRAVEL. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT PAYMENT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OBTAINED WITH THE TRANSPORTATION REQUEST WAS MADE TO NEW YORK CENTRAL RAILROAD IN THE SUM OF $37.75 FOR ROUND-TRIP RAIL TRAVEL AND THE SUM OF $6.10 FOR ONE LOWER BERTH. HOWEVER, IT APPEARS THAT WHEN YOU PRESENTED THE TRANSPORTATION REQUEST TO THE AGENT OF THE ISSUING CARRIER YOU WERE NOT FURNISHED A TICKET FOR SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS ON THE RETURN TRIP. UPON YOUR RETURN YOU OBTAINED SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS FROM SYRACUSE TO NEW YORK CITY FOR THE SUM OF $11.22 (SIC), REPRESENTING $10.20 FOR ROOMETTE AND $1.20 TAX. BY SETTLEMENT DATED AUGUST 22, 1962, YOU WERE ALLOWED THE SUM OF $6.10, REPRESENTING THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR A LOWER BERTH FROM SYRACUSE, NEW YORK, TO NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK.

IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU CONTEND YOU ARE ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED AN ADDITIONAL SUM OF $5.12 ON THE BASIS THAT THE CARRIER WAS AT FAULT IN CHARGING YOU AT THE RATE OF $11.22 FOR ACCOMMODATIONS THAT COST $6.10.

GENERAL CIRCULAR OF THE PULLMAN COMPANY EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1955, AND IN EFFECT AT THE TIME, SETS FORTH INSTRUCTIONS TO TICKET AGENTS GOVERNING THE ISSUANCE OF PULLMAN TICKETS IN EXCHANGE FOR GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS. SECTION V OF THE CIRCULAR COVERS THE ISSUANCE OF TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS BY MILITARY AGENCIES. SUBPARAGRAPH (C) OF THE GENERAL PROVISIONS PROVIDES THAT WHENEVER A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST FOR A LOWER BERTH IS PRESENTED AND A BERTH IN A ROOM IS FURNISHED, THE CHARGE WILL BE FOR A STANDARD LOWER BERTH IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER THE BERTH FURNISHED IS A LOWER BERTH OR AN UPPER BERTH IN A ROOM. UNDER THIS AGREEMENT, THE GOVERNMENT WAS CHARGED $6.10 FOR THE ROOMETTE YOU OCCUPIED WHEN YOU TRAVELED TO WATERTOWN, NEW YORK, ON THE TICKET YOU OBTAINED FROM THE CARRIER WHEN YOU PRESENTED YOUR TRANSPORTATION REQUEST. HOWEVER, WHEN YOU PURCHASED YOUR TICKET FOR A ROOMETTE ON THE RETURN TRIP YOU WERE CHARGED $11.22 ($10.20 PLUS $1.02 TAX) WHICH IS THE PUBLISHED RATE CHARGED TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC.

ARMY REGULATIONS 55-53 DATED JUNE 28, 1955, PRESCRIBE PROCEDURES TO BE FOLLOWED IN THE ISSUE AND USE OF UNITED STATES OF AMERICA TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS AND ARE APPLICABLE TO THE MOVEMENT OF MILITARY PERSONNEL AND THEIR DEPENDENTS. PARAGRAPH 3B PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, THAT ONLY ONE TRANSPORTATION REQUEST WILL BE USED FOR PROCUREMENT OF BOTH RAIL TRANSPORTATION AND AUTHORIZED SLEEPING OR PARLOR-CAR ACCOMMODATIONS (EITHER ONE-WAY OR ROUND-TRIP). IN SUCH CASES, THE TRANSPORTATION REQUEST WILL BE DRAWN ON THE HONORING RAIL CARRIER WHO WILL RENDER BILL FOR THE ENTIRE SERVICE. PARAGRAPH 4 PROVIDES THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS EXEMPT FROM THE FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION TAX APPLICABLE TO COMMERCIAL CARRIER TRANSPORTATION WHEN SUCH TRANSPORTATION IS PROCURED BY MEANS OF A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST. PARAGRAPH 48 PROVIDES THAT WHEN A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST IS TO BE EXCHANGED FOR BOTH RAILROAD TICKETS AND SLEEPING OR PARLOR-CAR TICKETS THE TRAVELER WILL PRESENT THE TRANSPORTATION REQUEST WHICH HE SIGNED (RECEIPTED) TO THE AGENT OF THE ISSUING CARRIER FOR TICKETS AND/OR ACCOMMODATION AUTHORITY FORM BEFORE COMMENCING THE JOURNEY.

THIS REGULATION WAS ISSUED PURSUANT TO THE PERTINENT STATUTE, 37 U.S.C. 404, AND IT HAS THE FORCE AND EFFECT OF LAW. THE REGULATION REQUIRES MEMBERS TO FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS CONCERNING THE USE OF TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS SO THAT THE GOVERNMENT WILL RECEIVE THE BENEFITS INCIDENT THERETO. THE REGULATION PLACED RESPONSIBILITY UPON YOU, THE TRAVELER, TO SECURE NECESSARY SLEEPING CAR ACCOMMODATIONS FOR THE JOURNEY TO WATERTOWN AND RETURN, FROM THE ISSUING CARRIER AT THE TIME YOU EXCHANGED THE TRANSPORTATION REQUEST FOR TICKETS. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT WHEN YOU EXCHANGED YOUR TRANSPORTATION REQUEST FOR TICKETS YOU DID NOT RECEIVE A TICKET FOR SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS FOR THE RETURN TRIP TO NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK. AT THAT TIME, YOU SHOULD HAVE BROUGHT THIS MATTER TO THE ATTENTION OF THE TICKET AGENT AND OBTAINED A TICKET FOR SUCH SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS. IT IS WELL SETTLED THAT THE GOVERNMENT MAY NOT BE CHARGED WITH EXCESS TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES RESULTING FROM THE TRAVELER'S FAILURE TO SEE TO IT THAT HE HAS RECEIVED THE PROPER ACCOMMODATIONS. SEE 34 COMP. GEN. 639.

SINCE THE COST WHICH THE GOVERNMENT WOULD HAVE PAID FOR YOUR SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS FROM SYRACUSE TO NEW YORK CITY HAD YOU OBTAINED THE TICKET WHEN YOU EXCHANGED YOUR TRANSPORTATION REQUEST WAS $6.10, THERE IS NO BASIS ON WHICH YOU MAY BE ALLOWED AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 22, 1962, IS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.