B-32270, MARCH 1, 1943, 22 COMP. GEN. 848

B-32270: Mar 1, 1943

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" ARE NOT SO COMPLIED WITH AS TO MEET IN SUBSTANCE THEIR REQUIREMENTS FOR REDEMPTION OF TICKETS. " AND IT IS FOUND THAT FAILURE SO TO RELEASE THE ACCOMMODATIONS WAS DUE TO THE EMPLOYEE'S DISREGARD OF SECTION 14 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS OR OTHER NEGLIGENCE. COLLECTION IS NOT REQUIRED WHERE IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT FAILURE TO RELEASE IS DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE EMPLOYEE. ARE PRESENTED TO A TICKET AGENT FOR CANCELLATION. 1943: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 3. WHERE PULLMAN RESERVATIONS SECURED IN EXCHANGE FOR GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS ARE NOT USED AND EITHER DUE TO THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE TRAVELER OR FOR REASONS BEYOND HIS CONTROL.

B-32270, MARCH 1, 1943, 22 COMP. GEN. 848

TRANSPORTATION - UNUSED PULLMAN ACCOMMODATION RESERVATIONS - GOVERNMENT'S AND EMPLOYEES' LIABILITY PAYMENT FOR UNUSED PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS RESERVED ON GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS MAY BE MADE FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS WHERE THE CONDITIONS OF TARIFF I.C.C. NO. A-20," GOVERNING THE REDEMPTION OF SLEEPING OR PARLOR CAR TICKETS * * *," ARE NOT SO COMPLIED WITH AS TO MEET IN SUBSTANCE THEIR REQUIREMENTS FOR REDEMPTION OF TICKETS. WHERE A CHARGE FOR UNUSED PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS, WHICH HAD BEEN RESERVED ON A GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST FOR USE OF AN EMPLOYEE, ACCRUES AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT DUE TO FAILURE TO RELEASE THE ACCOMMODATIONS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF TARIFF I.C.C. NO. A 20," GOVERNING THE REDEMPTION OF SLEEPING OR PARLOR CAR TICKETS * * *," AND IT IS FOUND THAT FAILURE SO TO RELEASE THE ACCOMMODATIONS WAS DUE TO THE EMPLOYEE'S DISREGARD OF SECTION 14 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS OR OTHER NEGLIGENCE, COLLECTION SHOULD BE MADE FROM THE EMPLOYEE IN THE AMOUNT OF SUCH CHARGE, BUT COLLECTION IS NOT REQUIRED WHERE IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT FAILURE TO RELEASE IS DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE EMPLOYEE. WHEN UNUSED TICKETS OR PORTIONS THEREOF, REPRESENTING UNUSED PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS RESERVED ON GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS, ARE PRESENTED TO A TICKET AGENT FOR CANCELLATION, THEY SHOULD NOT BE SURRENDERED BY THE TRAVELER TO SUCH AGENT BUT SHOULD BE HANDLED AS REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPHS 32 AND 33 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE LIAISON OFFICER, OFFICE FOR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, MARCH 1, 1943:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 3, 1943, AS FOLLOWS:

I.C.C. NO. A-20, TARIFF GOVERNING THE REDEMPTION OF SLEEPING AND PARLOR CAR TICKETS, EFFECTIVE MAY 20, 1942, PROVIDES THAT THE CANCELLATION OF PULLMAN SPACE MUST BE EFFECTED BEFORE TRAIN DEPARTURE, AND PRESCRIBES THE PROCEDURE TO BE FOLLOWED IN CANCELING SUCH ACCOMMODATIONS. UNDER THIS TARIFF THERE ARISE SEVERAL QUESTIONS REGARDING THE LIABILITY OF THE GOVERNMENT WHERE AN EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT FAILS TO CANCEL PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS SECURED IN EXCHANGE FOR GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS.

IN ORDER TO DEFINE MORE CLEARLY THE LIABILITY OF THE GOVERNMENT UNDER THIS TARIFF, WE WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR REPLY TO THE FOLLOWING INQUIRIES:

"I. WHERE PULLMAN RESERVATIONS SECURED IN EXCHANGE FOR GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS ARE NOT USED AND EITHER DUE TO THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE TRAVELER OR FOR REASONS BEYOND HIS CONTROL, ARE NOT RELEASED PRIOR TO TRAIN DEPARTURE, MAY THE GOVERNMENT PAY FOR SUCH ACCOMMODATIONS FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS?

"II. IF THE ANSWER TO QUESTION I IS IN THE AFFIRMATIVE IS THE GOVERNMENT REQUIRED TO EFFECT COLLECTION WHEN:

A. THE FAILURE TO RELEASE SUCH SPACE PRIOR TO TRAIN DEPARTURE IS DUE TO THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE EMPLOYEE?

B. THE FAILURE TO RELEASE PULLMAN RESERVATIONS IS DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE TRAVELER?

TARIFF I.C.C. NO. A-20 TO WHICH YOU REFER IS THE PULLMAN COMPANY'S TARIFF ISSUED APRIL 15, 1942, TO BE EFFECTIVE MAY 20, 1942," GOVERNING THE REDEMPTION OF SLEEPING OR PARLOR CAR TICKETS SOLD FOR ACCOMMODATIONS IN CARS OF THIS COMPANY; " AND EMBODIES THE CARRIER'S RULES TO GOVERN THE REDEMPTION OF " UNUSED OR PARTLY USED" TICKETS SOLD FOR SUCH ACCOMMODATIONS. IN TARIFF SECTION 3 (C) IT IS PROVIDED THAT: "TICKETS WILL NOT BE REDEEMED EXCEPT UNDER THE CONDITIONS SHOWN" IN THIS TARIFF.

COMMON CARRIERS' TARIFFS NAMING CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH CARRIERS WILL REDEEM TICKETS FOR UNUSED TRANSPORTATION HAVE BEEN IN EFFECT FOR MANY YEARS AND THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION HAS FOUND THAT IT WAS NOT UNREASONABLE FOR CARRIERS NOT TO PROVIDE FOR "PAYMENT OF REDEMPTION MONEY" FOR TICKETS NOT USED BY THE PURCHASER WHERE THE SITUATION WAS SUCH THAT THE CARRIERS WOULD HAVE NO PROTECTION AGAINST THE USE, BY OTHERS THAN THE PURCHASERS, OF THE TRANSPORTATION PURCHASED; PRESTON L. HILL V. PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY ET AL., 25 I.C.C. 650; OR WHERE IT WOULD BE PRACTICALLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE CARRIERS TO PREVENT MISUSE OF THE TRANSPORTATION PURCHASED; W. NELSON EDELSTEN V. PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY ET AL., 26 I.C.C. 359.

IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THE CITED CASES PERTAIN TO SITUATIONS WHERE THE CARRIERS POSSIBLY WOULD SUFFER NO DIRECT LOSS SUCH AS WOULD BE INVOLVED WHEN PURCHASERS OF TRANSPORTATION PUT THE CARRIERS IN THE POSITION OF RESERVING ACCOMMODATIONS WHICH COULD NOT BE SOLD TO OTHER WOULD-BE PURCHASERS OR OTHERWISE DISPOSED OF TO THE CARRIERS' ADVANTAGE OR FOR THE ACCOMMODATION OF OTHER PASSENGERS WITHOUT A TIMELY RELEASE, BY THE PURCHASERS, OF THE ACCOMMODATIONS WHICH HAD BEEN RESERVED FOR THEM. SITUATIONS OF THIS LATTER CHARACTER IT WOULD SEEM TO BE CONSISTENT WITH THE CITED CASES THAT TARIFF RULES SUCH AS THOSE IN TARIFF I.C.C. NO. A-20 WOULD NOT BE UNREASONABLE WHEN THEIR REQUIREMENT IS THAT, FOR PURPOSES OF REDEMPTION, TICKETS FOR ACCOMMODATIONS THAT ARE NOT GOING TO BE USED BY THE HOLDERS BE NOT ONLY RETURNED TO THE CARRIER BUT THAT THEY BE RETURNED PRIOR TO THE DEPARTURE OF THE TRAIN CONCERNED, OR THAT IN LIEU OF SUCH PRIOR RETURN THE CARRIER BE GIVEN NOTICE BEFORE DEPARTURE OF THE TRAIN THAT THE RESERVED ACCOMMODATIONS ARE RELEASED AND MAY BE OTHERWISE DISPOSED OF. IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT IN RESPECT TO FURNISHING TRANSPORTATION, A RAILROAD ORDINARILY BEARS TO THE GOVERNMENT THE SAME RELATION THAT IT DOES TO A PRIVATE PARTY. ST. LOUIS, B. AND M. R. CO. V. UNITED STATES, 268 U.S. 169. CONVERSELY, IT WOULD SEEM THAT IN RESPECT TO RECEIVING OR ENGAGING TRANSPORTATION THE GOVERNMENT ORDINARILY WOULD BEAR TO A RAILROAD THE SAME RELATION AS DOES A PRIVATE PARTY; AND THERE IS NO APPARENT REASON WHY THE SAME RULE SHOULD NOT APPLY WHERE THE PULLMAN COMPANY IS THE CARRIER CONCERNED. SEE IN THIS LATTER CONNECTION THE SOMEWHAT ANALOGOUS SITUATION IN 21 COMP. DEC. 184, PERTAINING TO AN UNUSED STEAMSHIP RESERVATION THE TICKET FOR WHICH WAS RETURNED TO THE CARRIER BUT NOT WITHIN THE TIME PRESCRIBED BY THE CARRIER'S REGULATIONS RELATING TO REDEMPTION.

THERE APPEARS, THEREFORE, NO REASON WHY, IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY SPECIFIC PROVISION TO THE CONTRARY APPEARING IN THE PARTICULAR APPROPRIATION CHARGEABLE WITH THE COST OF THE SERVICE, PAYMENT FOR UNUSED PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS SHOULD NOT BE MADE FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS WHERE THE CONDITIONS OF TARIFF I.C.C. NO. A-20, IF APPLICABLE, ARE NOT SO COMPLIED WITH AS TO MEET IN SUBSTANCE THEIR REQUIREMENTS FOR REDEMPTION OF TICKETS. IN THIS CONNECTION, HOWEVER, IT SEEMS PROPER TO POINT OUT THAT TICKETS PROCURED ON GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS AND PRESENTED TO THE TICKET AGENTS FOR CANCELLATION SHOULD NOT BE SURRENDERED BY THE TRAVELER TO SUCH AGENTS BUT SHOULD BE HANDLED AS REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPHS 32 AND 33 OF STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AS AMENDED, MARCH 7, 1941. ACCORDINGLY, THE ANSWER TO YOUR FIRST QUESTION IS IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.

CONCERNING YOUR QUESTION II (A), IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AS AMENDED, MARCH 7, 1941, REQUIRE (14) THAT WHEN A TRAVELER FINDS THAT HE WILL NOT USE SLEEPING-- OR PARLOR--- CAR ACCOMMODATIONS WHICH HAVE BEEN RESERVED FOR HIM "HE MUST RELEASE THEM IMMEDIATELY.' IN ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION II (A) YOU ARE ADVISED THAT WHERE A CHARGE FOR UNUSED TRANSPORTATION OF THIS CHARACTER ACCRUES AGAINST THE UNITED STATES BECAUSE THE RESERVED ACCOMMODATIONS WERE NOT RELEASED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF TARIFF I.C.C. NO. A-20, AND SUCH FAILURE SO TO RELEASE THE ACCOMMODATIONS IS FOUND TO HAVE BEEN DUE TO THE EMPLOYEE'S DISREGARD OF THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS OR OTHER NEGLIGENCE, COLLECTION SHOULD BE MADE FROM THE EMPLOYEE IN THE AMOUNT OF SAID CHARGE.

CONCERNING YOUR QUESTION II (B), YOU ARE ADVISED THAT WHERE THE FAILURE TO RELEASE THE ACCOMMODATIONS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF TARIFF I.C.C. NO. A-20 IS DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE TRAVELER AND NOT ARISING IN CONNECTION WITH NEGLIGENCE ON HIS PART, AND IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY SO DETERMINED, IT DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE REQUIRED THAT THE TRAVELER BE CHARGED WITH THE AMOUNT ACCRUING BECAUSE OF SUCH FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE TARIFF REQUIREMENTS.