B-17128, JUNE 11, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 879

B-17128: Jun 11, 1941

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DISTINCTION MADE BETWEEN SUCH TRAVEL AND CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL ENTIRELY BETWEEN THE POINTS OF OFFICIAL TRAVEL FOR WHICH THE TRAVELER IS REQUIRED TO BEAR ONLY THE ADDITIONAL OR INCREASED CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL COST UNDER PARAGRAPH 10 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. CREDIT WAS WITHHELD IN THE AMOUNT OF $7.05 ON EACH VOUCHER AS EXCESS TRAVEL CHARGES FOR THE REASON THAT THE EMPLOYEES. THE NOTICE OF EXCEPTION ( FORM 1100) IN EACH CASE STATES THE AUDIT EXCEPTION AS FOLLOWS: TRAVELER WAS ORDERED TO WASHINGTON. CHEYENNE TO WASHINGTON IS $87.50. THE GOVERNMENT IS LIABLE ONLY FOR . THE REPLIES MADE IN EACH CASE ARE SUBSTANTIALLY IDENTICAL. BEING AS FOLLOWS: THERE IS ATTACHED A LETTER DATED JANUARY 16.

B-17128, JUNE 11, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 879

TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS - USE FOR PERSONAL TRAVEL - APPORTIONMENT OF SAVINGS THE SAVING RESULTING FROM THE COMBINING OF GOVERNMENT TRAVEL WITH PERSONAL TRAVEL TO A POINT BEYOND THE OFFICIAL DESTINATION, BY THE UNAUTHORIZED USE OF A GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST FOR THE PERSONAL TRAVEL, SHOULD BE APPORTIONED BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND THE TRAVELER. METHOD SHOWN FOR APPORTIONING SUCH SAVING, AND DISTINCTION MADE BETWEEN SUCH TRAVEL AND CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL ENTIRELY BETWEEN THE POINTS OF OFFICIAL TRAVEL FOR WHICH THE TRAVELER IS REQUIRED TO BEAR ONLY THE ADDITIONAL OR INCREASED CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL COST UNDER PARAGRAPH 10 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, JUNE 11, 1941:

IN THE AUDIT OF VOUCHERS NOS. 697399 AND 697400 IN THE NOVEMBER 1939 ACCOUNTS OF G. F. ALLEN, CHIEF DISBURSING OFFICER, DIVISION OF DISBURSEMENT, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, COVERING REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL AND OTHER EXPENSES OF HAROLD J. DUNCAN AND ROBERT D. FERGUSON, RESPECTIVELY, EMPLOYEES OF THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, CREDIT WAS WITHHELD IN THE AMOUNT OF $7.05 ON EACH VOUCHER AS EXCESS TRAVEL CHARGES FOR THE REASON THAT THE EMPLOYEES, WHO HAD BEEN ORDERED TO PROCEED FROM THEIR POST OF DUTY, CASPAR, WYO., TO WASHINGTON, D.C., FOR TEMPORARY DUTY, PROCURED, ON GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS, ROUND-TRIP TICKETS FROM CHEYENNE, WYO., TO NEW YORK CITY, INSTEAD OF TO WASHINGTON--- THIS CHANGE IN DESIGNATION BEING FOR THE PURPOSE OF ENABLING THEM TO TAKE A TRIP FROM WASHINGTON TO NEW YORK AND RETURN FOR PERSONAL REASONS WITHOUT HAVING TO PAY THE REGULAR COST OF A ROUND-TRIP TICKET FROM WASHINGTON TO NEW YORK AND RETURN.

THE NOTICE OF EXCEPTION ( FORM 1100) IN EACH CASE STATES THE AUDIT EXCEPTION AS FOLLOWS:

TRAVELER WAS ORDERED TO WASHINGTON, D.C. FOR DUTY AND PURCHASED A ROUND- TRIP TICKET FROM CHEYENNE, WYO., TO NEW YORK, N.Y. AT A COST OF $92.50. THE ROUND-TRIP RATE, CHEYENNE TO WASHINGTON IS $87.50; WASHINGTON TO NEW YORK,

87.50 OF $13.10, TOTAL $100.60. THE GOVERNMENT IS LIABLE ONLY FOR ------ OF

100.60 $92.50 OR $80.45, THE TRAVELER BEING REQUIRED TO PAY HIS PROPORTIONATE

13.10 SHARE OR ------- OF $92.50, OR $12.05, LESS $5 THE AMOUNT DEDUCTED FROM

100.60 VOUCHER BY ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE.

THE REPLIES MADE IN EACH CASE ARE SUBSTANTIALLY IDENTICAL--- THE REPLY TO THE EXCEPTION TAKEN ON VOUCHER NO. 697399, BEING AS FOLLOWS:

THERE IS ATTACHED A LETTER DATED JANUARY 16, 1941, FROM MR. HAROLD J. DUNCAN, PROTESTING THE METHOD USED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN AUDITING THIS VOUCHER. THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY CONCURS IN THIS PROTEST, AS THE METHOD ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN THE AUDIT OF THIS ACCOUNT SEEMS TO BE AN UNNECESSARY AND UNWARRANTED DEPARTURE FROM THE METHOD FOLLOWED BY THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, AND ACCEPTED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE ON POST-AUDIT, FOR MANY YEARS IN THE AUDIT OF VOUCHERS COVERING COMMINGLED OFFICIAL AND PERSONAL TRAVEL. IT IS REQUESTED THAT RECONSIDERATION BE GIVEN TO THIS ACCOUNT WITH A VIEW TO THE REMOVAL OF THE EXCEPTION. THE REFUND CHECK HAS BEEN RETURNED TO THE TRAVELER PENDING A DECISION BY YOUR OFFICE.

THE LETTER OF JANUARY 16, 1941, REFERRED TO IN THE ABOVE-QUOTED REPLY, READS AS FOLLOWS:

I HAVE RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 8 REQUESTING MY CHECK IN THE AMOUNT OF $7.05, PAYABLE TO THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES, TO COVER AN EXCEPTION TAKEN BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE TO MY TRAVEL ACCOUNT FOR THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 12 TO OCTOBER 5, 1939, IN ADDITION TO THE $5 DEDUCTED BY YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 25, 1939.

I FULLY EXPECTED TO PAY THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE ROUND TRIP FROM CHEYENNE TO WASHINGTON AND THE ONE FROM CHEYENNE TO NEW YORK. HOWEVER, A PROTEST IS OFFERED TO THE REQUIREMENT TO PAY A PORTION OF THE COST OF A TRIP FROM CHEYENNE TO WASHINGTON BY USING THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE METHOD OF COMPUTATION. THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT BE OUT MORE THAN $87.50, AND THERE APPEARS TO BE NO REASON WHY I SHOULD HELP PAY OUT OF MY PERSONAL FUND $7.05 FOR THE OFFICIAL TRIP TO WASHINGTON. THE INGENIOUS METHOD OF COMPUTING A ROUND-TRIP TICKET FROM CHEYENNE TO NEW YORK AT $100.60, WHEN THE SCHEDULED FARE ACTUALLY PAID AND OF RECORD IS ONLY $87.50, CAN ONLY BE CONSIDERED AS IN FAVOR OF ONE SIDE. NO BENEFITS OBTAIN FROM ROUND-TRIP RATES FOR SHORT DISTANCES, BUT WEST-EAST RATES ARE BENEFICIAL TO THE GOVERNMENT; BUT THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT HAVE ALL THE ADVANTAGE. PREVIOUSLY, AUTHORIZATION HAD BEEN OBTAINED FOR THE PURCHASE OF A TICKET TO NEW YORK; AND IF I HAD KNOWN THAT $12.05 WAS GOING TO BE THE COST, I COULD HAVE TAKEN COACH FARE OR A SPECIAL-RATE TICKET OVER THE WEEK END, AT A COST SOMEWHERE NEAR THE ACTUAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO ROUND-TRIP FARES. THERE WAS NO ADDITIONAL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION, PER DIEM, OR LOST TIME.

MY CHECK IS ENCLOSED FOR THE AMOUNT REQUESTED; ALSO MR. FERGUSON-S, AND THE SAME OBJECTIONS APPLY IN HIS CASE. HOWEVER, WE DO NOT THINK THAT THE METHOD OF COMPUTATION IS FAIR, AND THAT THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD PAY THE FULL COST OF TRANSPORTATION FROM CASPER TO WASHINGTON AND RETURN--- NOT TAKING ADVANTAGE OF A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE IN WORKING OUT SOME OTHER METHOD FOR COMPUTATION THAT MAKES THE EMPLOYEE PAY PART OF THE GOVERNMENT'S EXPENSE.

THE REQUEST, IN MY OPINION, IS NOT FAIR AND JUST. HOWEVER, I REALIZE IT IS NOT THE RESULT OF COMPUTATIONS IN YOUR OFFICE; BUT IF YOU WISH TO CONSIDER THIS AS AN APPEAL, I HAVE NO OBJECTION TO TRANSMITTING THIS LETTER TO THE PROPER OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION.

THE STATEMENT MADE IN THE REPLY TO EXCEPTION, SUPRA, TO THE EFFECT THAT THE METHOD ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN THESE CASES CONSTITUTES AN UNNECESSARY AND UNWARRANTED DEPARTURE FROM THE METHOD FOLLOWED BY THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, AND ACCEPTED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE ON POST AUDIT FOR MANY YEARS IN THE AUDIT OF VOUCHERS COVERING COMMINGLED OFFICIAL AND PERSONAL TRAVEL, IS ERRONEOUS AND EVIDENTLY RESULTED FROM A FAILURE TO RECOGNIZE THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE PRINCIPLES APPLICABLE TO CASES INVOLVING CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL--- COVERED BY THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 10 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS--- AND THOSE APPLICABLE TO CASES INVOLVING TRAVEL, FOR PERSONAL REASONS, BEYOND THE POINT TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE IS ORDERED TO PERFORM OFFICIAL TRAVEL.

IT APPEARS THAT HAROLD J. DUNCAN AND ROBERT D. FERGUSON WERE DIRECTED BY ORDERS DATED SEPTEMBER 1, 1939, TO PROCEED FROM THEIR POST OF DUTY, CASPER, WYO., TO WASHINGTON, D.C., ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS OF THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, AND ON COMPLETION OF SUCH TEMPORARY DUTY TO RETURN TO THEIR POST OF DUTY; THAT THEY LEFT CASPER, WYO., AT 3:00 A.M., SEPTEMBER 13, 1939, VIA GOVERNMENT-OWNED AUTOMOBILE, FOR CHEYENNE, WYO., FROM WHICH PLACE THEY DEPARTED BY COMMON CARRIER AT 7:45 A.M., SEPTEMBER 13, 1939, ARRIVING IN WASHINGTON, D.C., AT 8:30 A.M., SEPTEMBER 15, 1939. THE EMPLOYEES WERE IN WASHINGTON, D.C., ON TEMPORARY DUTY UNTIL 1:30 P.M., SEPTEMBER 23, 1939, WHEN THEY LEFT FOR NEW YORK CITY FOR PERSONAL REASONS, RETURNING TO THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AT 11:30 P.M., SEPTEMBER 25, 1939, WHERE THEY REMAINED UNTIL 6:10 P.M., OCTOBER 3, 1939, WHEN THEY LEFT FOR THEIR POST OF DUTY, CASPER, WYO., ARRIVING THERE AT 3:00 P.M., OCTOBER 5, 1939.

THE TRANSPORTATION FOR THE ENTIRE ROUND TRIP FROM CHEYENNE, WYO., TO NEW YORK CITY FOR EACH EMPLOYEE WAS PROCURED ON A GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST, VALUE $92.50 EACH, THE USE OF WHICH FOR TRANSPORTATION ON PERSONAL BUSINESS OR PLEASURE IS UNAUTHORIZED. HAD THE EMPLOYEES PROCURED SEPARATE TICKETS FOR THE ROUND TRIP FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO NEW YORK CITY, IT WOULD HAVE COST EACH TRAVELER $13.10 FOR TRAIN FARE. HENCE, GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WERE USED, AT A COST OF $92.50, TO PROCURE AUTHORIZED OFFICIAL TRANSPORTATION, WHICH OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE COST THE GOVERNMENT $87.50, AND, ALSO, UNAUTHORIZED PERSONAL TRANSPORTATION WHICH OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE COST THE TRAVELER $13.10. OTHER WORDS, BY PROCURING BOTH THE OFFICIAL AND THE UNOFFICIAL TRANSPORTATION ON ONE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST THERE RESULTED A SAVING OF ($100.60-$92.50) $8.10 AS TO EACH TRANSPORTATION REQUEST. THE QUESTION HERE INVOLVED IS WHETHER THE ENTIRE SAVING RESULTING FROM SUCH USE OF THE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST SHALL ACCRUE TO THE TRAVELER, OR WHETHER THE GOVERNMENT IS ENTITLED TO A PROPORTIONATE SHARE OF SUCH SAVING. THE ANSWER SEEMS OBVIOUS. ON NO LEGAL OR EQUITABLE BASIS COULD IT BE HELD THAT THE TRAVELER IS ENTITLED TO ENTIRE SAVING UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES.

THE PROPORTIONATE SHARE OF THE COSTS CHARGEABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT AND TO EACH TRAVELER MAY BE RESTATED AS FOLLOWS:

CHART COST TO GOVERNMENT OF ROUND TRIP, CHEYENNE TO NEW YORK ------ $92.50ROUND-TRIP RATE, CHEYENNE TO WASHINGTON ------------- $87.50 ROUND- TRIP RATE, WASHINGTON TO NEW YORK ------------ 13.10

100.60 GOVERNMENT'S PORTION, 8750/10060 OF $92.50 ----------------------- - 80.45 TRAVELER'S PORTION, 1310/10060 OF $92.50 ----------------------- - - 12.05 EXCESS PAYMENT BY GOVERNMENT ON EACH TRANSPORTATION

REQUEST ($92.50-$80.45) ------------------------------ $12.05 AMOUNT ADMINISTRATIVELY DEDUCTED ---------------------- 5.00

------- BALANCE DUE GOVERNMENT FROM EACH TRAVELER ------ ----- 7.05

THE CASES CONSIDERED HEREIN, INVOLVING TRAVEL FOR PERSONAL REASONS BEYOND THE POINT TO WHICH OFFICIAL TRAVEL IS DIRECTED, SHOULD BE DISTINGUISHED FROM THOSE WHERE THERE IS INVOLVED CIRCUITOUS OR INDIRECT ROUTE TRAVEL. IN THE CASE OF CIRCUITOUS OR INDIRECT ROUTE TRAVEL FOR THE PERSONAL CONVENIENCE OF THE TRAVELER, THERE IS A DEVIATION FROM THE DIRECT ROUTE BUT THE ENTIRE TRAVEL IS BETWEEN THE POINTS FROM AND TO WHICH OFFICIAL TRAVEL IS DIRECTED, AND THE ADJUSTMENT IS TO BE MADE UPON THE BASIS PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH 10 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS; THAT IS, THE TRAVELER IS TO BEAR THE ADDITIONAL OR INCREASED COST FOR THE CIRCUITOUS OR INDIRECT ROUTE TRAVEL, THE GOVERNMENT BEARING THE COST OF WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN PAID HAD THE TRAVEL BEEN BY DIRECT ROUTE.

IN THE CASES HEREIN CONSIDERED, THE SAVING RESULTING FROM THE COMBINING OF PERSONAL TRAVEL WITH THE GOVERNMENT TRAVEL WAS PROPERLY APPORTIONED BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND THE TRAVELERS, AND THE AMOUNT OF $14.10 ($7.05 IN EACH CASE) SHOULD BE REFUNDED.

THE ACTION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE IN RETURNING THE TWO CHECKS IN THE AMOUNT OF $7.05 EACH, SUBMITTED BY THE TRAVELERS AS REFUND FOR THE OVERPAYMENTS, WAS ERRONEOUS. SAID CHECKS SHOULD HAVE BEEN FORWARDED HERE FOR APPROPRIATE DISPOSITION.