B-37793, NOVEMBER 2, 1943, 23 COMP. GEN. 329

B-37793: Nov 2, 1943

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - FARES - ROUND-TRIP TICKETS WHERE IT IS SHOWN THAT DUE TO EMERGENCY WAR CONDITIONS AN OFFICIAL TRAVELER WAS UNABLE TO OBTAIN ADVANCE RESERVATIONS ON TRAINS AND WAS REQUIRED TO SECURE ONE-WAY TICKETS FOR EACH STEP OF THE JOURNEY. IT MAY BE CONCLUDED THAT THE SECURING OF A ROUND-TRIP TICKET WAS NOT "PRACTICABLE" WITHIN THE MEANING OF PARAGRAPH 16 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. 1943: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 16. HE FURNISHES THE FOLLOWING JUSTIFICATION FOR THE PURCHASE OF ONE-WAY TICKETS FOR THE VARIOUS STEPS OF THE JOURNEY: " DUE TO THE FACT THAT I WAS UNABLE TO OBTAIN ADVANCE RESERVATIONS. AT EACH STEP IN THE TRAVEL IT WAS NECESSARY TO TAKE WHATEVER RESERVATIONS THAT COULD BE OBTAINED FOR THE NEXT STEP OF THE JOURNEY.

B-37793, NOVEMBER 2, 1943, 23 COMP. GEN. 329

TRAVELING EXPENSES - FARES - ROUND-TRIP TICKETS WHERE IT IS SHOWN THAT DUE TO EMERGENCY WAR CONDITIONS AN OFFICIAL TRAVELER WAS UNABLE TO OBTAIN ADVANCE RESERVATIONS ON TRAINS AND WAS REQUIRED TO SECURE ONE-WAY TICKETS FOR EACH STEP OF THE JOURNEY, IT MAY BE CONCLUDED THAT THE SECURING OF A ROUND-TRIP TICKET WAS NOT "PRACTICABLE" WITHIN THE MEANING OF PARAGRAPH 16 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, REQUIRING TRAVELERS TO SECURE ROUND-TRIP TICKETS WHENEVER PRACTICABLE AND ECONOMICAL.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO C. P. KNAPP, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, NOVEMBER 2, 1943:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 16, 1943, AS FOLLOWS:

THE ATTACHED VOUCHER FOR $98.15, IN FAVOR OF H. M. HUFFMAN, PRINCIPAL PHYSICAL CHEMIST OF THE BUREAU OF MINES EXPERIMENT STATION, BARTLESVILLE, OKLAHOMA, HAS BEEN PRESENTED TO THIS OFFICE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXAMINATION AND CERTIFICATION.

MR. HUFFMAN TRAVELED FROM BARTLESVILLE, OKLAHOMA, TO CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, DETROIT, MICHIGAN, WASHINGTON, D.C., PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, AND RETURN TO BARTLESVILLE, OKLAHOMA, ISSUING GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS FOR ONE-WAY TICKETS FOR THE VARIOUS STEPS OF THE JOURNEY INSTEAD OF PURCHASING ROUND-TRIP TICKETS, WHENEVER PRACTICABLE AND ECONOMICAL, AS REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH 16 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. HE FURNISHES THE FOLLOWING JUSTIFICATION FOR THE PURCHASE OF ONE-WAY TICKETS FOR THE VARIOUS STEPS OF THE JOURNEY:

" DUE TO THE FACT THAT I WAS UNABLE TO OBTAIN ADVANCE RESERVATIONS, THE LOCAL TICKET AGENT ADVISED THE PURCHASE OF ONE-WAY TICKETS. AT EACH STEP IN THE TRAVEL IT WAS NECESSARY TO TAKE WHATEVER RESERVATIONS THAT COULD BE OBTAINED FOR THE NEXT STEP OF THE JOURNEY. SINCE IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO TELL WHICH RAILROAD THE JOURNEY WOULD BE MADE ON, IT SEEMED ADVISABLE TO MAKE THE TRIP ON ONE-WAY TICKETS.'

A RULING IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL AND CERTIFICATION MAY BE MADE OF THE VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT CLAIMED.

WHILE YOU DID NOT SIGN YOUR LETTER IN THE CAPACITY OF AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT YOU OFFICIALLY OCCUPY SUCH STATUS; HENCE, YOUR LETTER WILL BE REGARDED AS A REQUEST MADE IN THAT CAPACITY FOR DECISION PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF DECEMBER 29, 1941, 55 STAT. 876, WHICH GRANT TO CERTIFYING OFFICERS "THE RIGHT TO APPLY FOR AND OBTAIN A DECISION BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL ON ANY QUESTION OF LAW INVOLVED IN A PAYMENT ON ANY VOUCHERS PRESENTED TO THEM FOR CERTIFICATION.'

PARAGRAPH 16 OF THE GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES:

THROUGH TICKETS, EXCURSIONS, TICKETS, REDUCED RATE ROUND-TRIP OR PARTY TICKETS SHOULD BE SECURED WHENEVER PRACTICABLE AND ECONOMICAL.

IN VIEW OF THE EXPLANATION FURNISHED BY THE TRAVELER REGARDING THE DIFFICULTY OF MAKING ADVANCE RESERVATIONS ON TRAINS--- A CONDITION WHICH IS A MATTER OF COMMON KNOWLEDGE AT THIS TIME, ARISING FROM THE EMERGENCY WAR CONDITIONS--- IT MAY BE CONCLUDED THAT IT WAS NOT "PRACTICABLE" WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE REGULATIONS, SUPRA, TO HAVE OBTAINED ROUND-TRIP TICKETS IN RESPECT OF THE INVOLVED TRAVEL. ACCORDINGLY, SO FAR AS THE QUESTION RELATES TO THE MATTER OF THE PURCHASE OF ONE-WAY TICKETS FOR THE LOWEST FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS INSTEAD OF ROUND-TRIP TICKETS, THE VOUCHER, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT AND PROPER, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.