B-16018, APRIL 28, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 698

B-16018: Apr 28, 1941

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IF THAT METHOD OF SECURING TRANSPORTATION IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED TO BE IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT. I HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE RECEIPT OF A CONSIDERABLE NUMBER OF COMPLAINTS FROM OFFICERS WHO HAVE PERFORMED TRAVEL BETWEEN LISBON. IT IS CONSIDERED ADVISABLE TO AT LEAST MODIFY THE PRESENT REQUIREMENTS WHICH ARE CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPH 10D OF ARMY REGULATIONS 30-910. THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT WILL BE SERVED. I HAVE BEEN ADVISED THAT A SAVING TO THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT. MOST OF THE TRAVEL TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES PERFORMED BY WAR DEPARTMENT PERSONNEL IS OF A CONFIDENTIAL AND SECRET NATURE. TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE. IT IS NOT ALTOGETHER CLEAR WHETHER IT WAS INTENDED BY YOUR DECISION OF JANUARY 28.

B-16018, APRIL 28, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 698

TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS - THROUGH TRANSPORTATION FOR FOREIGN TRAVEL - ARMY PERSONNEL THE ARMY REGULATIONS MAY BE MODIFIED TO PERMIT THE ISSUANCE OF TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS FOR THROUGH JOURNEYS BY WAR DEPARTMENT PERSONNEL TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES, INCLUDING TRAVEL BETWEEN FOREIGN PORTS AND RETURN TRANSPORTATION, IF THAT METHOD OF SECURING TRANSPORTATION IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED TO BE IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT. DECISION IN 16 COMP. GEN. 691, HOLDING THAT TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN FOREIGN PORTS, ETC., SHOULD BE PAID FOR IN FOREIGN CURRENCY WHEN A SAVING COULD BE REALIZED THEREBY, DISTINGUISHED.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, APRIL 28, 1941:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 5, 1941, AS FOLLOWS:

IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL BY MILITARY PERSONNEL TO LONDON, ENGLAND, UNDER EXISTING CONDITIONS, I HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE RECEIPT OF A CONSIDERABLE NUMBER OF COMPLAINTS FROM OFFICERS WHO HAVE PERFORMED TRAVEL BETWEEN LISBON, PORTUGAL, AND LONDON, ENGLAND, DUE TO THE INCONVENIENCE AND BURDENS PLACED UPON SUCH OFFICERS IN PURCHASING SUCH TRANSPORTATION FROM PERSONNEL FUNDS AND BEING LATER REIMBURSED.

TO REMEDY THIS SITUATION, IT IS CONSIDERED ADVISABLE TO AT LEAST MODIFY THE PRESENT REQUIREMENTS WHICH ARE CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPH 10D OF ARMY REGULATIONS 30-910, AS AMENDED BY CHANGE NO. 1, DATED OCTOBER 13, 1939, TO PERMIT THE USE OF THROUGH TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS, INCLUDING TRANSPORTATION FOR THE RETURN JOURNEY IN INSTANCES WHERE, IN THE OPINION OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT, THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT WILL BE SERVED, NOTWITHSTANDING THAT SOME REDUCTION IN THE ACTUAL COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION MIGHT BE EFFECTED THROUGH THE PURCHASE OF PART OF THE TRANSPORTATION INVOLVED WITH FOREIGN CURRENCY.

I HAVE BEEN ADVISED THAT A SAVING TO THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT, IN ALL CASES, OCCUR IN CONNECTION WITH EXCHANGE RATES THROUGH THE PURCHASE FOR CASH OF TRANSPORTATION IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES. THIS RESULTS FROM THE NECESSITY OF CABLING IN ORDER TO MAKE ADVANCE ARRANGEMENTS. THE EXPENSES INVOLVED IN CABLING, IN SOME INSTANCES AT LEAST, MORE THAN OFFSETS WHATEVER SAVING MAY BE EMBRACED IN PURCHASING PART OF THE TRANSPORTATION WITH FOREIGN CURRENCY. IF TRANSPORTATION TO FOREIGN POINTS COULD BE PROCURED IN THE UNITED STATES THE NECESSITY FOR SUCH INCIDENTAL EXPENSES WOULD MANIFESTLY BE OBVIATED. MOREOVER, UNDER PRESENT CONDITIONS, MOST OF THE TRAVEL TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES PERFORMED BY WAR DEPARTMENT PERSONNEL IS OF A CONFIDENTIAL AND SECRET NATURE. IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THE MISSIONS INVOLVED, TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE. THE IMPORTANCE OF CLEAR, SIMPLE ARRANGEMENTS THROUGH TO DESTINATION CANNOT BE OVEREMPHASIZED AND FREQUENTLY THIS CONSIDERATION OUTWEIGHS ANY OTHER.

IT IS NOT ALTOGETHER CLEAR WHETHER IT WAS INTENDED BY YOUR DECISION OF JANUARY 28, 1937 (16 COMP. GEN. 691), TO RENDER MANDATORY THE PURCHASE OF ALL OR PART OF THE TRANSPORTATION INVOLVED IN FOREIGN TRAVEL WITH FOREIGN CURRENCY IN ALL CASES WHERE SOME SAVING IN THE ACTUAL TRANSPORTATION COSTS WOULD RESULT. ON THE CONTRARY, IT MAY BE THAT THE EFFECT OF YOUR DECISION WAS LIMITED TO THE DETERMINATION OF WHETHER PARAGRAPH 17 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVELING REGULATIONS, AS AMENDED, APPROVED BY THE PRESIDENT JANUARY 30, 1934, AND DECEMBER 10, 1935, CONTEMPLATED THE MANDATORY USE OF TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS IN FOREIGN PORTS EVEN WHERE SAVINGS COULD BE EFFECTED BY PURCHASE WITH FOREIGN CURRENCY.

ACCORDINGLY, IT IS REQUESTED THAT THE WAR DEPARTMENT BE ADVISED WHETHER YOUR DECISION OF JANUARY 28, 1937, SUPRA, HAS THE EFFECT OF PRECLUDING THE WAR DEPARTMENT FROM ADOPTING A MODIFICATION OF ITS PRESENT REGULATIONS ON THE SUBJECT, CITED ABOVE, ALONG THE LINES HEREIN INDICATED, AND IF SO, WHETHER THAT DECISION MAY BE MODIFIED SO AS TO PERMIT THE ISSUANCE OF SUCH AMENDATORY REGULATIONS.

PARAGRAPH 10D OF ARMY REGULATIONS, AS AMENDED BY CHANGES NO. 1 OF OCTOBER 13, 1939, IS AS FOLLOWS:

D. OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES.--- WHERE TRAVEL IS TO OR FROM OVERSEA POINTS, ONE TRANSPORTATION REQUEST WILL BE ISSUED FOR THE PORTION OF THE TRAVEL WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES EXCLUSIVE OF ALASKA, AND A SEPARATE REQUEST FOR THE TRAVEL BEYOND (PAR. 20A (1) (C) (, PROVIDED THAT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WILL NOT BE USED AT OVERSEA POINTS OR OTHER PLACES OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES OR IN ALASKA FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF TRANSPORTATION WHEN THE TRANSPORTATION CAN BE PROCURED AT A LESS COST BY A CASH PAYMENT IN FOREIGN CURRENCY. SEE 16 COMP. GEN. 691. WHENEVER UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WILL NOT BE HONORED BY CARRIERS OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES OR IN ALASKA, SUCH REQUESTS WILL NOT BE ISSUED FOR SERVICE BY THOSE CARRIERS.

IT WOULD APPEAR TO BE IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT GENERALLY FOR TRAVELERS ON GOVERNMENT BUSINESS BETWEEN FOREIGN PORTS TO SECURE TRANSPORTATION THROUGH THE MEDIUM WHICH WOULD BE MOST ECONOMICAL TO THE UNITED STATES, AND THE DECISION OF JANUARY 28, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 691, REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER, HELD THAT THE USE OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS UNDER THE CONDITIONS THEREIN MENTIONED WAS NOT APPROPRIATE. HOWEVER, WHERE THE MISSION OF THE TRAVELER OR OTHER GOVERNMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS ARE INVOLVED, SUCH AS TO MAKE IMPRACTICABLE THE SECURING OF TRANSPORTATION PURCHASE OF TICKETS FROM PERSONAL FUNDS, OBVIOUSLY SUCH PURCHASE IS NOT CONTEMPLATED. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE OFFICIAL TRAVEL BETWEEN THE POINTS REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER HAS REFERENCE TO TRAVEL OVER ESTABLISHED COMMERCIAL AIR LINES. IF IT BE DETERMINED ADMINISTRATIVELY, DUE TO THE SITUATION NOW EXISTING, THAT THE PURCHASE OF TRANSPORTATION BY THE OFFICER FROM PERSONAL FUNDS IS LESS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE UNITED STATES, THE USE OF TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS MAY BE AUTHORIZED AS IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT.

NO OBJECTION IS PERCEIVED THEREFORE TO AN APPROPRIATE MODIFICATION OF THE QUOTED ARMY REGULATIONS SO AS TO PERMIT THE ISSUANCE OF TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS FOR THROUGH JOURNEYS IF THAT METHOD OF SECURING TRANSPORTATION BE DETERMINED AS IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT.