B-153314, FEB. 18, 1964

B-153314: Feb 18, 1964

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YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM HONG KONG TO LARCHMONT. YOU WERE AUTHORIZED REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRAVEL INVOLVED BY AN INDIRECT ROUTE WHICH IN YOUR CASE DID NOT EXCEED TRAVEL BY FIRST CLASS DIRECT ROUTE. YOU WERE ALLOWED $152.34 REPRESENTING 2 ROUND TRIP AIR FARES FROM CAIRO TO ASWAN TO LUXOR AND RETURN TO CAIRO ($78.20) AND MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL BY A PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE FROM LARCHMONT. THAT PART OF YOUR CLAIM FOR $39.80 FOR HIRE OF A USOM VEHICLE WHILE TRAVELING BY AN INDIRECT ROUTE IN RETURNING TO THE UNITED STATES WAS DISALLOWED BECAUSE IT HAD NOT BEEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AS REQUIRED BY VOLUME 6. IN ASKING THAT WE RECONSIDER THE MATTER YOU SAY THAT THE CAR WAS HIRED DUE TO THE CANCELLATION OF THE FLIGHT FROM PHNOM PENH TO SIEM REAP AND NO OTHER MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION WAS AVAILABLE AND THERE WAS NO TIME TO REQUEST A CHANGE IN THE TRAVEL ORDERS FROM WASHINGTON AUTHORIZING HIRE OF A VEHICLE.

B-153314, FEB. 18, 1964

TO MR. HERBERT LEVIN:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 26, 1963, ASKING RECONSIDERATION OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 26, 1963, WHICH DISALLOWED THAT PART OF YOUR CLAIM FOR $39.80 REPRESENTING THE HIRE OF A USOM VEHICLE FOR TRAVEL FROM PHNOM PENH TO SIEM REAP.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BY TRAVEL ORDER DATED MAY 4, 1962, YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM HONG KONG TO LARCHMONT, NEW YORK, FOR HOME LEAVE BY WAY OF WASHINGTON, D.C., AND RETURN TO HONG KONG. IN TRAVELING TO THE UNITED STATES YOU ELECTED TO TRAVEL BY AN INDIRECT ROUTE FOR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE. YOU WERE AUTHORIZED REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRAVEL INVOLVED BY AN INDIRECT ROUTE WHICH IN YOUR CASE DID NOT EXCEED TRAVEL BY FIRST CLASS DIRECT ROUTE.

THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE IN AUDITING YOUR TRAVEL VOUCHER DEDUCTED $39.80 REPRESENTING THE HIRE OF AN AUTOMOBILE; $78.20 REPRESENTING 2 ROUND TRIP AIR FARES FROM CAIRO TO ASWAN TO LUXOR AND RETURN TO CAIRO; AND $74.14 REPRESENTING MILEAGE FROM LARCHMONT, NEW YORK, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., FOR CONSULTATION AND RETURN. BY OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT DATED NOVEMBER 26, 1963, YOU WERE ALLOWED $152.34 REPRESENTING 2 ROUND TRIP AIR FARES FROM CAIRO TO ASWAN TO LUXOR AND RETURN TO CAIRO ($78.20) AND MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL BY A PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE FROM LARCHMONT, NEW YORK, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., FOR CONSULTATION AND RETURN ($74.14). THAT PART OF YOUR CLAIM FOR $39.80 FOR HIRE OF A USOM VEHICLE WHILE TRAVELING BY AN INDIRECT ROUTE IN RETURNING TO THE UNITED STATES WAS DISALLOWED BECAUSE IT HAD NOT BEEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AS REQUIRED BY VOLUME 6, FOREIGN AFFAIRS MANUAL, 190 SGTR 3.4A.

IN ASKING THAT WE RECONSIDER THE MATTER YOU SAY THAT THE CAR WAS HIRED DUE TO THE CANCELLATION OF THE FLIGHT FROM PHNOM PENH TO SIEM REAP AND NO OTHER MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION WAS AVAILABLE AND THERE WAS NO TIME TO REQUEST A CHANGE IN THE TRAVEL ORDERS FROM WASHINGTON AUTHORIZING HIRE OF A VEHICLE.

VOLUME 6, FOREIGN AFFAIRS MANUAL, 190 SGTR 3.4A, PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"3.4 SPECIAL CONVEYANCE.

"A. THE HIRE OF * * * AUTOMOBILE * * * WILL BE ALLOWED IF AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT WHENEVER THE EMPLOYEE IS ENGAGED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS * * *.'

IT WILL BE NOTED THAT UNDER THE ABOVE-QUOTED PROVISION OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE REGULATION REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE HIRE OF A VEHICLE WILL BE ALLOWED IF AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT.

THEREFORE, IN THE ABSENCE OF APPROVAL OF THE USE OF THE AUTOMOBILE BY THE PROPER OFFICIAL AS BEING ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT WE ARE WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT THEREOF AND MUST SUSTAIN OUR ACTION OF NOVEMBER 26, 1963, WHICH DISALLOWED THAT PART OF YOUR CLAIM FOR THE HIRE OF AN AUTOMOBILE.