B-158709, APR. 1, 1966

B-158709: Apr 1, 1966

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TOUSLEY SHOW THAT HE WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM THE WHITE RIVER RANGER STATION. AS APPARENTLY IS REQUIRED BY ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS. AS A CONSEQUENCE THE AMOUNT OF $97.75 WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY WITHHELD IN THE PAYMENT OF HIS TRAVEL VOUCHER AND THUS FAR HE HAS NOT BEEN REIMBURSED. TOUSLEY SAYS THAT OTHER METHODS INITIATED TO EFFECT AN ADJUSTMENT HAVE BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL. THE CLAIMANT RELATES THE FACTS LEADING TO HIS FAILURE TO USE A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST AS FOLLOWS: "DEPARTURE FROM TACOMA WAS SCHEDULED FOR ABOUT 1:00 PM ON SATURDAY. THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION FOR THE TRIP WAS NOT AVAILABLE AT PARK HEADQUARTERS UNTIL FRIDAY. OBTAINING THE REQUEST ON SATURDAY MORNING WOULD HAVE CAUSED A LATER ARRIVAL AT ASILOMAR.

B-158709, APR. 1, 1966

TO THE AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, WESTERN REGION:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 8, 1966, ENCLOSING A TRAVEL VOUCHER FOR$97.75, IN FAVOR OF MR. RICHARD S. TOUSLEY, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, ASKS OUR DECISION WHETHER THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR RAIL TRANSPORTATION PURCHASED FROM HIS PERSONAL FUNDS INCIDENT TO OFFICIAL TRAVEL PERFORMED BY HIM IN JANUARY 1963.

THE FACTS RECITED IN YOUR LETTER AND IN THE ACCOMPANYING STATEMENT OF MR. TOUSLEY SHOW THAT HE WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM THE WHITE RIVER RANGER STATION, MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK, TACOMA, WASHINGTON TO ASILOMAR AND RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA, BEGINNING ON OR ABOUT JANUARY 5, 1963. UPON COMPLETION OF THE TRAVEL AND SUBMISSION OF HIS TRAVEL VOUCHER A QUESTION AROSE WHETHER THE EMPLOYEE COULD BE REIMBURSED FOR $97.75 REPRESENTING THE COST OF ROUND-TRIP RAIL FARE SINCE HE PURCHASED THE TRANSPORTATION BY CASH RATHER THAN BY TRANSPORTATION REQUEST, AS APPARENTLY IS REQUIRED BY ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS. AS A CONSEQUENCE THE AMOUNT OF $97.75 WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY WITHHELD IN THE PAYMENT OF HIS TRAVEL VOUCHER AND THUS FAR HE HAS NOT BEEN REIMBURSED. MR. TOUSLEY SAYS THAT OTHER METHODS INITIATED TO EFFECT AN ADJUSTMENT HAVE BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL.

THE CLAIMANT RELATES THE FACTS LEADING TO HIS FAILURE TO USE A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST AS FOLLOWS:

"DEPARTURE FROM TACOMA WAS SCHEDULED FOR ABOUT 1:00 PM ON SATURDAY, JANUARY 5. THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION FOR THE TRIP WAS NOT AVAILABLE AT PARK HEADQUARTERS UNTIL FRIDAY, IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE DEPARTURE. DUTY OBLIGATIONS ON THAT DAY PREVENTED MY MAKING THE HALF-DAY TRIP TO HEADQUARTERS TO PICK UP THE AUTHORIZATION AND A TRAVEL REQUEST. OBTAINING THE REQUEST ON SATURDAY MORNING WOULD HAVE CAUSED A LATER ARRIVAL AT ASILOMAR.

"FOR THE ABOVE REASONS, I ELECTED TO PURCHASE MY RAIL TICKET WITH PERSONAL FUNDS. MY SUPERVISOR BELIEVED THAT THIS WOULD BE ACCEPTABLE UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES.'

SECTION 4.2 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER, DOES NOT MANDATORILY REQUIRE THE USE OF TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WHEN A FARE IS IN EXCESS OF $15. ALSO SEE SECTION 12.4E. WE DO NOT HAVE THE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS IN THAT REGARD BEFORE US BUT WE ASSUME THAT SUCH REGULATIONS WOULD CONTEMPLATE THE PURCHASE OF CASH FARES BY A TRAVELER ON GOVERNMENT BUSINESS WHEN THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE TRAVEL INDICATE THAT THE INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES ARE BETTER SERVED BY SUCH A COURSE.

YOU EXPRESS THE VIEW THAT MR. TOUSLEY ACTED AS A PRUDENT TRAVELER IN PROCURING THE TRANSPORTATION IN THE MANNER IN WHICH HE DID, AND WE UNDERSTAND THIS TO MEAN THAT HE ACTED AS A PRUDENT PERSON AS CONTEMPLATED BY SECTION 1.1 OF THE THEN CONTROLLING EDITION OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. FROM THE FACTS PRESENTED WE CONCUR IN THAT VIEW.

THEREFORE, THE VOUCHER TRANSMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER IS RETURNED HEREWITH AND, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.