B-155277, OCT. 12, 1964

B-155277: Oct 12, 1964

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM MONROVIA. NO AMERICAN SHIPS ARE AVAILABLE BETWEEN MONROVIA. YOUR AUTOMOBILE AND EFFECTS WERE SHIPPED BY A FOREIGN VESSEL. YOU WERE REIMBURSED THE COST OF SHIPMENT OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE BY AN AMERICAN VESSEL IN THE AMOUNT OF $350 FROM GENOA. CONCERNING YOUR CONTENTION THAT ARRANGEMENTS FOR TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE AND EFFECTS TO EUROPE WERE MADE BY YOU AFTER DISCUSSING THE MATTER WITH AN OFFICIAL OF THE EMBASSY. REGARDLESS OF WHO MAY HAVE ASSISTED HIM IN HIS TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS. AS WE DO NOT HAVE THE FACTS PERTINENT TO THEIR CASES. IF CLAIMS UNDER IDENTICAL CIRCUMSTANCES WERE ADMINISTRATIVELY ALLOWED. 46 U.S.C. 1241 (A) PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS: "ANY OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS OVERSEAS * * * SHALL TRAVEL * * * ON SHIPS REGISTERED UNDER THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES WHERE SUCH SHIPS ARE AVAILABLE * * * PROVIDED.

B-155277, OCT. 12, 1964

TO MR. PHILIP C. NARTEN:

YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 10, 1964, REQUESTS REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF JULY 31, 1964, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT ALLEGED TO BE DUE FOR SHIPMENT OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE AND PART OF YOUR PERSONAL EFFECTS, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT UNDER TRAVEL ORDERS DATED JUNE 6, 1962, AS AMENDED, YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM MONROVIA, LIBERIA, TO BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS. YOUR FAMILY TRAVELED TO EUROPE FOR PERSONAL REASONS PRIOR TO YOUR EXPECTED DEPARTURE DATE OF JANUARY 1962. YOU DID NOT LEAVE FOR EUROPE TO JOIN YOUR FAMILY UNTIL JULY 7, 1962, DUE TO DELAYS ON THE PART OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE. NO AMERICAN SHIPS ARE AVAILABLE BETWEEN MONROVIA, LIBERIA, AND MARSEILLE, FRANCE, AND YOUR AUTOMOBILE AND EFFECTS WERE SHIPPED BY A FOREIGN VESSEL. YOU WERE REIMBURSED THE COST OF SHIPMENT OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE BY AN AMERICAN VESSEL IN THE AMOUNT OF $350 FROM GENOA, ITALY, TO NEW YORK, NEW YORK. YOU CLAIM THE DIFFERENCE, $110.10, BETWEEN THE AMOUNT ALLOWED, AND THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF SHIPMENT DIRECTLY FROM MONROVIA, LIBERIA, TO THE UNITED STATES BY AN AMERICAN SHIP, $440.75, PLUS $19.35 PORT CHARGES. YOU ALSO REQUEST REIMBURSEMENT OF $24.55 INCURRED IN SHIPMENT OF EFFECTS ON A FOREIGN SHIP.

CONCERNING YOUR CONTENTION THAT ARRANGEMENTS FOR TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE AND EFFECTS TO EUROPE WERE MADE BY YOU AFTER DISCUSSING THE MATTER WITH AN OFFICIAL OF THE EMBASSY, IT MAY BE STATED THAT THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE CORRECT PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL TRAVEL AND PAYMENT OF ANY CHARGES INCURRED THROUGH FAILURE TO OBSERVE THE GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS RESTS WITH THE EMPLOYEE TRAVELING, REGARDLESS OF WHO MAY HAVE ASSISTED HIM IN HIS TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS. I FOREIGN AFFAIRS MANUAL VI 131.3.

WE CANNOT COMMENT ON THE TRAVEL OF OTHER EMPLOYEES MENTIONED BY YOU, AS WE DO NOT HAVE THE FACTS PERTINENT TO THEIR CASES. IF CLAIMS UNDER IDENTICAL CIRCUMSTANCES WERE ADMINISTRATIVELY ALLOWED, SUCH PAYMENTS WOULD BE FOR CONSIDERATION IN THE POST AUDIT OF THE VOUCHER INVOLVED AND SUCH ACTION WOULD BE TAKEN WITH RESPECT THERETO AS MAY BE DEEMED APPROPRIATE.

SECTION 901 OF THE MERCHANT MARINE ACT OF 1936, 46 U.S.C. 1241 (A) PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"ANY OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS OVERSEAS * * * SHALL TRAVEL * * * ON SHIPS REGISTERED UNDER THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES WHERE SUCH SHIPS ARE AVAILABLE * * * PROVIDED, THAT THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES SHALL NOT CREDIT ANY ALLOWANCE FOR TRAVEL * * * INCURRED ON A FOREIGN SHIP IN THE ABSENCE OF SATISFACTORY PROOF OF THE NECESSITY THEREFOR.'

UNDER THAT SECTION THE ESTABLISHED RULE IS THAT WHEN A SHIP OF AMERICAN REGISTRY IS AVAILABLE OVER A DIRECT ROUTE, REIMBURSEMENT OR CREDIT FOR TRAVEL OVER AN INDIRECT ROUTE INVOLVING USE OF SHIPS OF FOREIGN REGISTRY IS LIMITED TO TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED FOR LAND AND AIR TRAVEL, AND TRAVEL BY AMERICAN SHIPS, NOT TO EXCEED THE COST OF TRAVEL BY A DIRECT ROUTE. COMP. GEN. 642; 30 ID. 407; 11 ID. 4; 9 ID. 210.

SINCE IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED THAT A SHIP REGISTERED UNDER THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES WAS AVAILABLE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE AND EFFECTS BETWEEN MONROVIA, LIBERIA, AND THE UNITED STATES AND AS THE INFORMATION FURNISHED US BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE SHOWS THAT YOU WERE REIMBURSED TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR TRAVEL BY THE INDIRECT ROUTE WHICH DID NOT EXCEED THE COST OF TRAVEL BY A DIRECT ROUTE WE MUST SUSTAIN THE ACTION TAKEN IN OUR SETTLEMENT OF JULY 31, 1964.