B-151701, JUL. 3, 1963

B-151701: Jul 3, 1963

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GAO was asked by a certifying officer at the Library of Congress whether an employee traveling on official business may be reimbursed for expenditures related to wheelchair services.  The certifying officer noted that the charges for wheelchairs were not regular fixed charges, but represented gratuities paid by the employee for the service.  GAO determined that the gratuities were covered in the subsistence allowance.

B-151701, JUL. 3, 1963

 

TO MR. JULIUS DAVIDSON, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS:

YOUR LETTER OF MAY 31, 1963, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE VOUCHER FOR $850.17 THEREWITH TRANSMITTED IN FAVOR OF [REDACTED], AN EMPLOYEE OF THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS.

THE ONLY PART OF THE VOUCHER YOU HAVE DOUBT ABOUT ARE GRATUITIES PAID BY THE EMPLOYEE WHILE TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS FOR WHEEL CHAIR SERVICES AND YOU REQUEST INFORMATION WHETHER THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR THESE EXPENDITURES. YOU SAY THAT THE CHARGES FOR WHEEL CHAIRS ARE NOT REGULAR FIXED CHARGES BUT REPRESENT GRATUITIES PAID BY THE EMPLOYEE FOR THE SERVICE.

REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES TO CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT WHILE TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS IS CONTROLLED BY THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 166, AS AMENDED, AND THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT THERETO. UNDER SECTION 6.1 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS "ALL FEES AND TIPS TO WAITERS, PORTERS, BAGGAGE MEN, BELL BOYS" ETC., ARE INCLUDED IN THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCES AND MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED AS A SEPARATE REIMBURSABLE ITEM UNDER THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS. MOREOVER, SECTION 3 OF SUCH REGULATIONS FAILS TO INCLUDE EXPENDITURES OF THE NATURE HERE INVOLVED WITHIN THE DEFINITION OF TRANSPORTATION. THEREFORE, OUR VIEW IS THAT THE GRATUITIES FOR THE WHEEL CHAIR SERVICES ARE COVERED IN THE SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE.

THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT ONLY AFTER EXCLUSION OF THE EXPENDITURES (GRATUITIES) FOR WHEEL CHAIR SERVICES.

 

 

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