B-167754, SEP 8, 1969

B-167754: Sep 8, 1969

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AMBASSADOR: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER RECEIVED IN OUR OFFICE AUGUST 11. YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM WASHINGTON. THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE DEDUCTED THE COST OF THE TRAVEL BY THE FOREIGN CARRIER FROM YOUR TRAVEL VOUCHER ON THE GROUND THAT YOU COULD HAVE FLOWN BY AMERICAN AIRCRAFT FROM MADRID TO NEW YORK. YOU STATE THAT WHILE THERE WAS NO AMERICAN FLIGHT FROM MADRID TO LONDON. SECTION 134.1 OF THE MANUAL PROVIDES THAT IT IS THE POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT. SECTION 134.4 PROVIDES THAT WHEN A FOREIGN-FLAG AIRLINE IS USED FOR ANY REASON. AN APPROVED WRITTEN JUSTIFICATION IS REQUIRED SETTING FORTH THE REASON FOR USING A FOREIGN AIRLINE. SECTION 134.6 PROVIDES THAT FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 134.2 AND 134.3 WILL SUBJECT THE EMPLOYEE TO PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE DOLLAR VALUE OF THE PUBLISHED AIRLINE FARE APPLYING TO ROUTE SEGMENTS INVOLVED WHEN TRAVELERS USE FOREIGN-FLAG AIRLINES FOR ONE OR MORE SEGMENTS OF A JOURNEY IN CONFLICT WITH THE REGULATIONS.

B-167754, SEP 8, 1969

CIVIL PAY - TRAVEL - FOREIGN AIRCRAFT DECISION TO AMERICAN AMBASSADOR SUSTAINING DISALLOWANCE OF CLAIM FOR AMOUNT DEDUCTED FROM TRAVEL VOUCHER FOR USE OF FOREIGN AIRCRAFT FROM MADRID, SPAIN TO LONDON, ENGLAND. IN ABSENCE OF JUSTIFICATION FOR USE OF FOREIGN-FLAG AIRLINE UNDER TRAVEL ORDERS THAT AUTHORIZED TRAVEL TO VARIOUS EUROPEAN CITIES AND RETURN TO UNITED STATES OFFICER WHOSE DEPARTMENT ARRANGED FLIGHT FROM MARDID TO LONDON AND THEN TO WASHINGTON TO AVOID DELAYS AT NEW YORK AIRPORT MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED FOR PORTION OF TRIP USING FOREIGN-FLAG AIRCRAFT.

TO MR. AMBASSADOR:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER RECEIVED IN OUR OFFICE AUGUST 11, 1969, REQUESTING REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 1, 1969, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR $83.80 DEDUCTED FROM YOUR TRAVEL VOUCHER DUE TO THE USE OF A FOREIGN AIRCRAFT FROM MADRID, SPAIN, TO LONDON, ENGLAND, UNDER TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION DATED APRIL 15, 1969.

YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM WASHINGTON, D. C., TO VARIOUS EUROPEAN CITIES AND RETURN TO WASHINGTON, D. C. ON THE RETURN TRIP YOU TRAVELED BY FOREIGN AIRCRAFT FROM MADRID, SPAIN, TO LONDON, ENGLAND, AND FROM LONDON DIRECT TO WASHINGTON, D.C., BY AMERICAN AIRCRAFT. THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE DEDUCTED THE COST OF THE TRAVEL BY THE FOREIGN CARRIER FROM YOUR TRAVEL VOUCHER ON THE GROUND THAT YOU COULD HAVE FLOWN BY AMERICAN AIRCRAFT FROM MADRID TO NEW YORK, NEW YORK, AND FROM THERE TO WASHINGTON. YOU STATE THAT WHILE THERE WAS NO AMERICAN FLIGHT FROM MADRID TO LONDON, THE ROUTING ARRANGED BY THE DEPARTMENT TO LONDON AND THEN DIRECT TO WASHINGTON AVOIDED THE CHRONIC AND SEVERE DELAYS EXPERIENCED BY AIRPLANES AT NEW YORK AIRPORTS.

REGULATIONS IN VOLUME 6, FOREIGN AFFAIRS MANUAL, GOVERN REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE. SECTION 134.1 OF THE MANUAL PROVIDES THAT IT IS THE POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, AND THE POLICY SET FORTH BY CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, THAT ALL OFFICIAL AIR TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES BE PERFORMED ON AMERICAN FLAG CARRIERS EXCEPT WHEN OTHERWISE NECESSITATED BY THE OFFICIAL BUSINESS CONCERNED OR TO AVOID UNREASONABLE DELAY, EXPENSE, OR INCONVENIENCE. SECTIONS 134.2 AND 134.3 AUTHORIZE THE USE OF FOREIGN AIRLINES IN CERTAIN INSTANCES. SECTION 134.4 PROVIDES THAT WHEN A FOREIGN-FLAG AIRLINE IS USED FOR ANY REASON, OTHER THAN INSTANCES WHERE NO AMERICAN-FLAG AIRLINES OPERATE BETWEEN ANY TWO POINTS ON A TRAVELER'S ITINERARY, AN APPROVED WRITTEN JUSTIFICATION IS REQUIRED SETTING FORTH THE REASON FOR USING A FOREIGN AIRLINE. SECTION 134.6 PROVIDES THAT FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 134.2 AND 134.3 WILL SUBJECT THE EMPLOYEE TO PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE DOLLAR VALUE OF THE PUBLISHED AIRLINE FARE APPLYING TO ROUTE SEGMENTS INVOLVED WHEN TRAVELERS USE FOREIGN-FLAG AIRLINES FOR ONE OR MORE SEGMENTS OF A JOURNEY IN CONFLICT WITH THE REGULATIONS.

SECTION 115 PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART THAT A TRAVELER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CORRECT PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL TRAVEL AND FOR THE PAYMENT OF ANY CHARGES INCURRED THROUGH FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE GOVERNING REGULATIONS, REGARDLESS OF WHO MAY HAVE ASSISTED HIM IN MAKING HIS TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS.

THE ABOVE REGULATIONS WERE PRESCRIBED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE AUTHORITY GRANTED TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE BY THE FOREIGN SERVICE ACT OF 1946, 22 U.S.C. 1136 AND, THEREFORE, HAVE THE FULL FORCE AND EFFECT OF STATUTE. ACCORDINGLY, IN THE ABSENCE OF A "CERTIFICATE OF JUSTIFICATION FOR USE OF FOREIGN-FLAG AIRLINE" AS REQUIRED BY THE REGULATIONS, WE MAY NOT AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRAVEL BETWEEN MADRID AND LONDON.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.