B-34185, JUNE 16, 1943, 22 COMP. GEN. 1109

B-34185: Jun 16, 1943

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FIRST-CLASS RAIL ACCOMMODATIONS WERE NOT AVAILABLE WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME FOR HIS RETURN TRAVEL OVER THE MOST ECONOMICAL USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE. CONSIDERING THAT THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN PAYABLE HAD THE EMPLOYEE WAITED FOR AVAILABLE FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS BY THE MOST DIRECT ROUTE MORE THAN OFFSETS THE ADDITIONAL TRANSPORTATION COST. THAT "REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES WILL BE BASED ONLY ON SUCH CHARGES AS WERE ACTUALLY INCURRED. " NOT TO EXCEED WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY TH MOST ECONOMICAL USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE. WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WAS AUTHORIZED TO USE. 1943: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 26. TRAVEL) AS FOLLOWS: ATTACHED IS VOUCHER PRESENTED TO ME FOR CERTIFICATION IN FAVOR OF D.

B-34185, JUNE 16, 1943, 22 COMP. GEN. 1109

TRAVELING EXPENSES - CIRCUITOUS ROUTES - UNAVAILABILITY OF FIRST CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS BY DIRECT ROUTE WHERE, UPON COMPLETION OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT OF AN EMPLOYEE, FIRST-CLASS RAIL ACCOMMODATIONS WERE NOT AVAILABLE WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME FOR HIS RETURN TRAVEL OVER THE MOST ECONOMICAL USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE, AND THE OFFICIAL NECESSITY FOR THE EMPLOYEE TO PROCEED TO HIS DESTINATION WITH THE LEAST POSSIBLE DELAY HAS BEEN SATISFACTORILY ESTABLISHED, THE EXCESS TRANSPORTATION COST DUE TO TRAVEL BY IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS OVER A CIRCUITOUS ROUTE NEED NOT BE CHARGED TO THE EMPLOYEE, CONSIDERING THAT THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN PAYABLE HAD THE EMPLOYEE WAITED FOR AVAILABLE FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS BY THE MOST DIRECT ROUTE MORE THAN OFFSETS THE ADDITIONAL TRANSPORTATION COST. IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 10 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, GOVERNING REIMBURSEMENT TO OFFICIAL TRAVELERS USING AN INDIRECT ROUTE FOR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE, THAT "REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES WILL BE BASED ONLY ON SUCH CHARGES AS WERE ACTUALLY INCURRED," NOT TO EXCEED WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY TH MOST ECONOMICAL USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE, THE COMPARISON BETWEEN THE COST OF AN EMPLOYEE'S CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL AND THE COST BY THE MOST ECONOMICAL USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE NEED NOT BE COMPUTED ON THE COST OF COACH SERVICE WHEN TRANSPORTATION ACTUALLY USED, AND WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WAS AUTHORIZED TO USE, AS FIRST-CLASS TRANSPORTATION.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO W. E. THOMPSON, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, JUNE 16, 1943:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 26, 1943 (REFERENCE A, DISBURSEMENT, VOUCHERS, TRAVEL) AS FOLLOWS:

ATTACHED IS VOUCHER PRESENTED TO ME FOR CERTIFICATION IN FAVOR OF D. WILLIAM RETTEW IN THE AMOUNT OF $8.48 COVERING SUSPENSION FROM A PREVIOUS ACCOUNT, ( VOUCHER 7-353294 PAID MARCH 13, 1943, ACCOUNTS G. F. ALLEN, SYMBOL 107-107) FOR CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL AND A TELEPHONE TOLL CALL. THE CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL WAS SUSPENDED BECAUSE OF PARAGRAPH 9 OF THE STANDARD GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

THE TOLL CALL MAY NOW BE CERTIFIED SINCE THE TRAVELER HAS SHOWN THE LENGTH OF THE CALL AND HAS SIGNED THE CERTIFICATE, BUT BEFORE CERTIFICATION OF THE CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL, YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED. THE TRAVELER HAS STATED THAT ACCOMMODATIONS ON THE DIRECT ROUTE WERE NOT AVAILABLE WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME WHICH UNDER THE PRESENT CONGESTED CONDITIONS OF THE TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES IS UNDERSTANDABLE, BUT WHETHER OR NOT COACH ACCOMMODATIONS ON THE DIRECT ROUTE WERE AVAILABLE HAS NOT BEEN STATED. IT IS, HOWEVER, ASSUMED THAT SUCH ACCOMMODATIONS WERE AVAILABLE. THE ATTACHED MEMORANDUM FROM THE TRAVELER'S SUPERIOR SHOWS THE NECESSITY OF THE TRAVELER'S BEING AT THE DESTINATION AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE, BUT WHETHER THIS STATEMENT IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE TRAVELER'S STATEMENT IS SUFFICIENT TO JUSTIFY CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL TO OBTAIN ACCOMMODATIONS IS FOR DECISION.

ON FEBRUARY 28, 1943, MR. RETTEW TRAVELED FROM PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, TO TROY, OHIO, UNDER AUTHORIZATION NO. 101 R-15, DATED SEPTEMBER 28, 1942, WHICH AUTHORIZED TRAVEL BETWEEN HIS OFFICIAL STATION, MADISON, WISCONSIN, AND POINTS WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES ( D.O. VOUCHER NO. 7-353294, PAID MARCH 16, 1943, BY G. F. ALLEN). HE USED GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST UO. A 325424 TO SECURE ROUND- TRIP FIRST-CLASS RAIL TRANSPORTATION FROM PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, TO DAYTON, OHIO, AND RETURN (USED PHILADELPHIA TO DAYTON VALUE $20.13), AND NO. 325425, FOR PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS, UPPER BERTH, FROM PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, TO DAYTON, OHIO, VIA PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD, AT A COST OF $37.65, AND $4, RESPECTIVELY, AND UPON COMPLETION OF HIS DUTY AT TROY ON MARCH 2, 1943, SECURED TRANSPORTATION FROM DAYTON TO PHILADELPHIA VIA NEW YORK CENTRAL RAILROAD ON GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS AS FOLLOWS: TRANSPORTATION REQUEST NO. A-325426, DAYTON, OHIO, TO NEW YORK,

NEW YORK, AND RETURN (FIRST-CLASS RAIL FARE) (USED DAYTON TO

NEW YORK, VALUE $23.10) -------------------------------------$42.80 TRANSPORTATION REQUEST NO. A-325427, DAYTON, OHIO, TO NEW

YORK, NEW YORK (LOWER BERTH) ------------------------------- 5.80 TRANSPORTATION REQUEST NO. A-325428, NEW YORK, NEW YORK, TO

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, AND RETURN (COACH FARE) (USED

NEW YORK TO PHILADELPHIA, VALUE $2) ------------------------ 4.00

THE TRAVELER STATED ON HIS VOUCHER REGARDING THE ABOVE TRAVEL THAT:

IT WAS NECESSARY THAT I TRAVEL BY THE N.Y.C. TO PHILA. PA. AS IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO GET ANY SPACE ON THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD UNTIL THURSDAY. IT WAS ONLY THRU THE EFFORTS OF THE HOBART BROS. THAT I WAS ABLE TO GET OUT TUESDAY. RESERVATIONS WERE REQUESTED IN PHILADELPHIA SATURDAY FOR SPACE FROM DAYTON FOR MONDAY BUT NOTHING COULD BE SECURED.

IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXAMINATION OF THE VOUCHER A DEDUCTION OF $8.13 WAS MADE DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE RETURN TRIP WAS BY OTHER THAN THE DIRECT ROUTE. SEE ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER OF EXCEPTION DATED MARCH 11, 1943, THE ORIGINAL OF WHICH IS ATTACHED TO THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER.

THE ADMINISTRATIVE MEMORANDUM JUSTIFYING THE CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL READS AS FOLLOWS:

MR. R. W. RETTEW HAS ADVISED THIS OFFICE OF THE DEDUCTION MADE FROM HIS EXPENSE ACCOUNTS DUE TO " EXCESS COST OF TRANSPORTATION.'

AS YOU CAN WELL UNDERSTAND OUR MEN ARE ALL EXTREMELY BUSY AND MUST TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EVERY HOUR OF WORKING TIME AND IF IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR THEM TO RETURN, OR FOR THEM TO GO TO THEIR ASSIGNMENT USING THE MOST DIRECT ROUTE, THEY WILL HAVE TO AVAIL THEMSELVES OF A LONGER ROUTE PROVIDING THEY ARE GOING TO SAVE TIME BY TAKING THE LONGER ROUTE. WE DO NOT WANT ANY OF OUR MEN SITTING AROUND AFTER THEIR ASSIGNMENT HAS BEEN COMPLETED, WAITING FOR THEIR TRAIN OVER A DIRECT ROUTE TO TAKE THEM TO THEIR NEXT ASSIGNMENT. WE SINCERELY HOPE THAT YOU WILL UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF GETTING OUR MEN TO DESTINATION WITH THE LEAST POSSIBLE DELAY AND WILL BEAR THIS IN MIND WHEN CHECKING THEIR EXPENSE ACCOUNTS.

OUR MEN ALL DO ENOUGH TRAVELING SO THAT THEY ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE THE LONG WAY AROUND IF ANY AVAILABLE SPACE CAN BE HAD BY THE MOST DIRECT ROUTE.

THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS REGARDING ROUTING OF TRAVEL AND TRAVEL BY INDIRECT ROUTE PROVIDE:

9. ROUTING OF TRAVEL.--- ALL TRAVEL MUST BE BY THE MOST ECONOMICAL USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE. TRAVEL BY OTHER ROUTES MAY BE ALLOWED WHEN THE OFFICIAL NECESSITY THEREFOR IS SATISFACTORILY ESTABLISHED. ( SEE PARS. 15, 16, 87).

10. INDIRECT-ROUTE TRAVEL.--- IN CASE A PERSON TRAVELS BY AN INDIRECT ROUTE FOR HIS OWN PERSONAL CONVENIENCE, THE EXTRA EXPENSE WILL BE BORNE BY HIMSELF AND REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES WILL BE BASED ONLY ON SUCH CHARGES AS WERE ACTUALLY INCURRED, NOT TO EXCEED WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY THE MOST ECONOMICAL USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE. ( SEE PARS. 27, 49).

AS TO WHETHER COACH SERVICE WAS AVAILABLE BETWEEN DAYTON AND PHILADELPHIA, TARIFFS AND SCHEDULES ON FILE SHOW THAT TRAVELER COULD HAVE LEFT DAYTON VIA COACH AT 8:16 P.M. MARCH 2, 1943, AND ARRIVED PHILADELPHIA AT 9:06 A.M. MARCH 3, 1943. HOWEVER, AS PARAGRAPH 10 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, ABOVE QUOTED, STATES SPECIFICALLY THAT "REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES WILL BE BASED ONLY ON SUCH CHARGES AS WERE ACTUALLY INCURRED," THE COMPARISON BETWEEN THE COST OF CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL AND THE COST "BY THE MOST ECONOMICAL USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE" NEED NOT BE COMPUTED ON THE COST OF COACH SERVICE IN THE INSTANT CASE FOR THE REASON THAT THE TRANSPORTATION ACTUALLY USED, AND WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WAS AUTHORIZED TO USE, WAS NOT COACH SERVICE, BUT FIRST-CLASS TRANSPORTATION.

THE TRAVELER'S STATEMENT AS TO THE NONAVAILABILITY OF FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS WHEN READ IN THE LIGHT OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE MEMORANDUM, SUPRA, MAY BE ACCEPTED, AND THE EXCESS TRANSPORTATION COST DUE TO CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL MAY BE ALLOWED--- IT BEING FOR NOTING THAT THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE ($6, WHILE IN TRAVEL STATUS) FOR APPROXIMATELY TWO DAYS WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN PAYABLE HAD THE EMPLOYEE WAITED FOR AVAILABLE FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS BY THE MOST DIRECT ROUTE MORE THAN OFFSETS THE ADDITIONAL TRANSPORTATION COST OF $8.13. SEE DECISION OF JUNE 7, 1943, B-34344, TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, 22 COMP. GEN. 1080. CF. 20 COMP. GEN. 125.

THE VOUCHER IS RETURNED HEREWITH, AND IF IT BE OTHERWISE CORRECT, SAME MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.