B-166107, MAR. 18, 1969

B-166107: Mar 18, 1969

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CARTER: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 31. YOU WERE ALLOWED $302.75. YOU CONTEND THAT YOU ARE ENTITLED TO $552. REIMBURSEMENT FOR COSTS INCURRED ON THAT PORTION OF THE JOURNEY WHICH IS TRAVELED BY INDIRECT ROUTE IS LIMITED TO THE TOTAL COST OF PER DIEM. TRANSPORTATION BY LESS THAN FIRST-CLASS AIR ACCOMMODATIONS (REGARDLESS OF MODE OF TRAVEL USED IN INDIRECT TRAVEL) WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY TRAVELING ON A USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE.'. UNDER THE REGULATION AN OFFICER WHO TRAVELS BY AN INDIRECT ROUTE IS CLEARLY LIMITED TO REIMBURSEMENT ON THE BASIS OF CONSTRUCTIVE COSTS BY LESS THAN FIRST-CLASS AIR ACCOMMODATIONS. WHILE THE APPLICATION OF SUCH REGULATION TO YOUR PARTICULAR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WHOLLY WITHIN THE UNITED STATES MAY SEEM INEQUITABLE WHEN THE AMOUNT ALLOWED IS COMPARED WITH THE AMOUNT TO WHICH YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED HAD YOU TRAVELED BY A DIRECT ROUTE.

B-166107, MAR. 18, 1969

TO MR. ALBERT E. CARTER:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 31, 1968, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF DECEMBER 16, 1968, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL TRAVEL EXPENSES INCIDENT TO YOUR TRANSFER AS A FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO AUSTIN, TEXAS, PURSUANT TO AUTHORIZATION NO. 9-71523, JULY 24, 1968.

THE RECORD INDICATES YOU AND YOUR DEPENDENTS TRAVELED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FROM MCLEAN, VIRGINIA, TO AUSTIN, TEXAS, VIA OCEAN CITY BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA, JACKSONVILLE BEACH AND DESTIN, FLORIDA, AND LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA, INSTEAD OF VIA A DIRECT ROUTE. YOU WERE ALLOWED $302.75, THE CONSTRUCTIVE COSTS OF FAMILY PLAN AIR TRAVEL VIA THE DIRECT ROUTE. YOU CONTEND THAT YOU ARE ENTITLED TO $552, THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE VIA THE DIRECT ROUTE, AND CLAIM AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT OF $249.25.

SECTION 131.3-2, VOLUME 6, FOREIGN AFFAIRS MANUAL, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"A. REIMBURSEMENT FOR COSTS INCURRED ON THAT PORTION OF THE JOURNEY WHICH IS TRAVELED BY INDIRECT ROUTE IS LIMITED TO THE TOTAL COST OF PER DIEM, INCIDENTAL EXPENSES, AND TRANSPORTATION BY LESS THAN FIRST-CLASS AIR ACCOMMODATIONS (REGARDLESS OF MODE OF TRAVEL USED IN INDIRECT TRAVEL) WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY TRAVELING ON A USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE.'

UNDER THE REGULATION AN OFFICER WHO TRAVELS BY AN INDIRECT ROUTE IS CLEARLY LIMITED TO REIMBURSEMENT ON THE BASIS OF CONSTRUCTIVE COSTS BY LESS THAN FIRST-CLASS AIR ACCOMMODATIONS. WHILE THE APPLICATION OF SUCH REGULATION TO YOUR PARTICULAR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WHOLLY WITHIN THE UNITED STATES MAY SEEM INEQUITABLE WHEN THE AMOUNT ALLOWED IS COMPARED WITH THE AMOUNT TO WHICH YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED HAD YOU TRAVELED BY A DIRECT ROUTE, NEVERTHELESS, WE HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO FIND ANY PROVISION IN THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS MANUAL CREATING ANY EXCEPTION THERETO. MOREOVER, THE FACT THAT A RESPONSIBLE EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE APPROVED A TRAVEL ADVANCE BASED ON YOUR TRAVEL PLANS OR THAT THE REGULATION DOES NOT TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THE TRANSPORTING OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE IS NOT SUFFICIENT FOR OUR OFFICE TO AUTHORIZE AN EXCEPTION TO THE REGULATION.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE, WE HAVE NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO SUSTAIN THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM.