B-153643, MAR. 23, 1964

B-153643: Mar 23, 1964

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

THE FACTS CONTAINED IN YOUR LETTER THAT ARE PERTINENT TO THE CLAIM OF MR. GROUT ARE SET FORTH HEREIN. WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM HAMILTON. A ROUND TRIP AIR TICKET WAS PROCURED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FOR MR. GROUT'S DUTIES FOR WHICH THE TRAVEL WAS AUTHORIZED WERE CONCLUDED ON OCTOBER 2. GROUT'S CLAIM FOR $329.55 ARISES FROM THE FACT THAT HIS RETURN TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES WAS ACCOMPLISHED ON A FOREIGN FLAG VESSEL RATHER THAN A VESSEL OF AMERICAN REGISTRY. NO AMERICAN VESSEL WAS AVAILABLE AT THE TIME OF MR. 1963 IS THAT THE "UNITED STATES" SAILED FROM LE HAVRE ON OCTOBER 3. THE EMBASSY WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO CONFIRM IF SPACE COULD HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE ON THE "UNITED STATES" OCTOBER 3. 1964 WAS WRITTEN.'.

B-153643, MAR. 23, 1964

TO MR. H. C. STEUDL, FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURAL:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 2, 1964, REQUESTS ADVICE CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT A TRAVEL VOUCHER TRANSMITTED THEREWITH IN FAVOR OF MR. ROY A. GROUT. THE AMOUNT CLAIMED ON THE VOUCHER ($329.55) REPRESENTS THE VALUE OF THE UNUSED PORTION OF A ROUND TRIP AIR TICKET BETWEEN BURLINGTON, IOWA, AND COLOGNE, GERMANY.

THE FACTS CONTAINED IN YOUR LETTER THAT ARE PERTINENT TO THE CLAIM OF MR. GROUT ARE SET FORTH HEREIN.

BY TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION DATED AUGUST 8, 1963, MR. GROUT, A HONEY INDUSTRY TRADE REPRESENTATIVE, WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM HAMILTON, ILLINOIS, TO COLOGNE, GERMANY, AND RETURN FOR THE PURPOSE OF PARTICIPATING IN THE OPERATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES FOOD EXHIBIT AT THE 1963 ANUGA FAIR HELD IN COLOGNE. A ROUND TRIP AIR TICKET WAS PROCURED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FOR MR. GROUT WHICH HE USED IN TRAVELING TO COLOGNE.

MR. GROUT'S DUTIES FOR WHICH THE TRAVEL WAS AUTHORIZED WERE CONCLUDED ON OCTOBER 2, 1963, AND IMMEDIATELY THEREAFTER MR. GROUT TOOK A VACATION TRIP IN EUROPE AND DID NOT DEPART FOR THE UNITED STATES UNTIL OCTOBER 17, 1963, WHEN HE DEPARTED FROM CHERBOURG, FRANCE, FOR NEW YORK, ABOARD THE S.S QUEEN ELIZABETH.

YOUR DOUBT CONCERNING THE PROPERTY OF MR. GROUT'S CLAIM FOR $329.55 ARISES FROM THE FACT THAT HIS RETURN TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES WAS ACCOMPLISHED ON A FOREIGN FLAG VESSEL RATHER THAN A VESSEL OF AMERICAN REGISTRY.

YOUR LETTER SAYS THAT:

"INFORMATION RECEIVED FROM THE AMERICAN EMBASSY DATED JANUARY 21, 1964 (ATTACHED) STATES THAT AS FAR AS THEY CAN DETERMINE, NO AMERICAN VESSEL WAS AVAILABLE AT THE TIME OF MR. GROUT'S RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES. THEY ALSO STATED THE ONLY INFORMATION THEY COULD OBTAIN REGARDING AVAILABILITY OF SPACE ON AN AMERICAN VESSEL IMMEDIATELY AFTER OCTOBER 2, 1963 IS THAT THE "UNITED STATES" SAILED FROM LE HAVRE ON OCTOBER 3, WHILE THE "AMERICA" DUE TO LEAVE BREMERHAVEN ON OCTOBER 14, DID NOT SAIL BECAUSE OF THE STRIKE IN THE UNITED STATES. HOWEVER, THE EMBASSY WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO CONFIRM IF SPACE COULD HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE ON THE "UNITED STATES" OCTOBER 3, 1963, AT THE TIME THEIR OPERATIONS MEMORANDUM DATED JANUARY 21, 1964 WAS WRITTEN.'

WE HAVE ASCERTAINED FROM THE UNITED STATES LINES THAT IN ADDITION TO THE SAILING OF THE "UNITED STATES" FROM LEHAVRE ON OCTOBER 3, 1963, WHICH IS REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER, THE "UNITED STATES" ALSO SAILED FROM LE HAVRE ON OCTOBER 16, 1963, AT WHICH TIME WE HAVE BEEN INFORMED FIRST CLASS SPACE WOULD HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE. HENCE, WE SEE NO BASIS FOR CONCLUDING THAT NO VESSEL OF AMERICAN REGISTRY WAS AVAILABLE DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED.

HOWEVER, REGARDLESS OF THE AVAILABILITY OF AN AMERICAN VESSEL, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT UPON SUBMISSION OF APPROPRIATE SUPPORTING EVIDENCE MR. GROUT WOULD BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF AMOUNTS ACTUALLY EXPENDED FOR LAND AND AIR TRANSPORTATION FOLLOWING HIS DEPARTURE FROM COLOGNE, GERMANY--- SUCH REIMBURSEMENT NOT TO EXCEED THE VALUE OF THE UNUSED PORTION OF THE ROUND TRIP AIR TICKET WHICH WE UNDERSTAND REPRESENTS THE MOST ECONOMICAL DIRECT ROUTE TRANSPORTATION FROM COLOGNE, GERMANY, TO BURLINGTON, IOWA. COMPARE 39 COMP. GEN. 642; 30 ID. 407. THE FIRST CLASS TRANSPORTATION RATES FOR THE INDIRECT TRAVEL ALLEGEDLY PERFORMED BY MR. GROUT APPEAR TO HAVE EQUALLED OR EXCEEDED THE AMOUNT CLAIMED ON THE VOUCHER.

ACCORDINGLY THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF IN FACT MR. GROUT FURNISHES ADMINISTRATIVELY ACCEPTABLE EVIDENCE THAT HE INCURRED LAND AND AIR TRANSPORTATION COSTS EQUAL TO OR EXCEEDING THE VALUE OF THE UNUSED PORTION OF THE ROUND TRIP AIR TICKET WHICH HE NOW CLAIMS.