B-4203, JUNE 22, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 962

B-4203: Jun 22, 1939

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SUCH AS THAT IT OCCASIONALLY HAPPENS SHIPS ARE UNABLE TO TAKE ON PASSENGERS IF THE SEA IS ROUGH AT THE PORT FROM WHICH THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS TO BEGIN. 1939: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 6. HAS RESIGNED FROM THE FOREIGN SERVICE AND APPROPRIATE INSTRUCTIONS HAVE BEEN DRAFTED AUTHORIZING HIS TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FROM LA PAZ TO THE UNITED STATES SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS. THERE WAS RECEIVED A DESPATCH DATED APRIL 12. ADVISED HIM AS FOLLOWS: "IT IS NOTED FROM YOUR DESPATCH UNDER ACKNOWLEDGMENT THAT YOU PLAN TO PROCEED VIA ANTOFAGASTA. IN THIS CONNECTION IT IS DESIRED TO INFORM YOU THAT THE DEPARTMENT HAS ASCERTAINED THAT THE COST OF THE TRIP TO THE UNITED STATES VIA MOLLENDO IS SOMEWHAT LESS THAN THE ROUTE YOU PROPOSE TO FOLLOW.

B-4203, JUNE 22, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 962

TRAVELING EXPENSES - OTHER THAN BY SHORTEST AND MOST ECONOMICAL USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE - REMOTE CONTINGENCY JUSTIFICATION A REMOTE CONTINGENCY, SUCH AS THAT IT OCCASIONALLY HAPPENS SHIPS ARE UNABLE TO TAKE ON PASSENGERS IF THE SEA IS ROUGH AT THE PORT FROM WHICH THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS TO BEGIN, FORMS NO PROPER BASIS FOR ESTABLISHING A GENERAL RULE FOR THE USE OF A MORE EXPENSIVE ROUTE THAN THAT OF THE SHORTEST AND MOST ECONOMICAL USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BETWEEN THE POINTS OF TRAVEL INVOLVED--- LA PAZ, BOLIVIA, AND THE UNITED STATES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL BROWN TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, JUNE 22, 1939:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 6, 1939, AS FOLLOWS:

THE HONORABLE ROBERT G. CALDWELL, AMERICAN MINISTER TO BOLIVIA, HAS RESIGNED FROM THE FOREIGN SERVICE AND APPROPRIATE INSTRUCTIONS HAVE BEEN DRAFTED AUTHORIZING HIS TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FROM LA PAZ TO THE UNITED STATES SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

THERE WAS RECEIVED A DESPATCH DATED APRIL 12, 1939, FROM THE MINISTER REGARDING HIS ROUTE OF TRAVEL, IN ANSWER TO WHICH THE DEPARTMENT'S INSTRUCTION OF APRIL 26, 1939, ADVISED HIM AS FOLLOWS:

"IT IS NOTED FROM YOUR DESPATCH UNDER ACKNOWLEDGMENT THAT YOU PLAN TO PROCEED VIA ANTOFAGASTA; AND IN THIS CONNECTION IT IS DESIRED TO INFORM YOU THAT THE DEPARTMENT HAS ASCERTAINED THAT THE COST OF THE TRIP TO THE UNITED STATES VIA MOLLENDO IS SOMEWHAT LESS THAN THE ROUTE YOU PROPOSE TO FOLLOW. THE DEPARTMENT HAS NO OBJECTION, OF COURSE, TO YOUR PROCEEDING AS YOU HAVE PLANNED BUT IT IS CONSIDERED ADVISABLE AT THIS TIME TO APPRISE YOU OF THE FACT THAT, UNDER THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS, YOUR EXPENSES CAN BE REIMBURSED ONLY IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED THE COST OF TRAVEL VIA MOLLENDO.'

THE EXCESS COST VIA ANTOFAGASTA INCLUDING RAIL AND STEAMER FARES AND PER DIEM CHARGES WOULD BE APPROXIMATELY $24.00.

THERE IS ENCLOSED A COPY OF MINISTER CALDWELL'S DESPATCH OF MAY 27, 1939, RELATIVE TO TRAVEL VIA ANTOFAGASTA AND MOLLENDO. SINCE THE MINISTER POSSIBLY MIGHT BE FORCED TO WAIT AT MOLLENDO FOR A WEEK OR TEN DAYS FOR THE NEXT SAILING DUE TO ROUGH SEAS, WOULD YOU APPROVE OF HIS TRAVEL VIA ANTOFAGASTA?

IT WOULD ALSO BE APPRECIATED IF YOU WOULD ADVISE ME WHETHER, IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, ALL NORTH-BOUND TRAVEL FROM LA PAZ MAY BE PERFORMED VIA ANTOFAGASTA INSTEAD OF MOLLENDO.

IT IS THE ESTABLISHED RULE THAT ALL TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES MUST BE BY THE SHORTEST AND MOST ECONOMICAL USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE. IT WOULD APPEAR FROM YOUR SUBMISSION THAT THE SHORTEST AND MOST ECONOMICAL USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE FROM LA PAZ TO THE UNITED STATES IS BY WAY OF MOLLENDO, PERU. MR. CALDWELL'S DESPATCH STATES THAT IT OCCASIONALLY HAPPENS THAT SHIPS ARE UNABLE TO TAKE ON PASSENGERS AT THAT PORT, IF THE SEA IS ROUGH. SUCH A REMOTE CONTINGENCY FORMS NO PROPER BASIS FOR ESTABLISHING A GENERAL RULE FOR THE USE OF THE MORE EXPENSIVE ROUTE. ACCORDINGLY, IF MR. CALDWELL FOR PERSONAL REASONS WISHES TO TRAVEL BY WAY OF THE PORT OF ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE, HE WILL BE REQUIRED TO BEAR THE EXTRA COST OF SUCH ROUTE. SEE PARAGRAPH 10 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.