B-42031, JUNE 12, 1944, 23 COMP. GEN. 946

B-42031: Jun 12, 1944

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IS TO BE JUDGED AS OF THE ROUTE CONTEMPLATED AT THE TIME THE TRAVELER LEAVES HIS HEADQUARTERS AND NOT BY CHANGES IN HIS ROUTING WHICH MAY BE MADE BEFORE HIS RETURN. WHERE A ROUND-TRIP RATE WAS NOT AVAILABLE OVER THE TRAVELER'S CONTEMPLATED ROUTE. HE ACTUALLY RETURNED BY A ROUTE OVER WHICH A ROUND-TRIP RATE WOULD HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE DOES NOT OBLIGATE HIM FOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COSTS OF THE ON ONE-WAY TICKETS USED AND THE ROUND-TRIP RATE. THERE IS TRANSMITTED HEREWITH FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION BUREAU VOUCHER NO. 18663 IN FAVOR OF MR. ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER IS A STATEMENT FROM THE TRAVELER WITH RESPECT TO THE USE OF ONE WAY TICKETS OVER A PORTION OF THE JOURNEY WHEREAS IT WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE ECONOMICAL TO HAVE SECURED A ROUND TRIP TICKET.

B-42031, JUNE 12, 1944, 23 COMP. GEN. 946

TRAVELING EXPENSES - FARES - ROUND-TRIP - ROUTE CHANGES DURING TRAVEL THE PRACTICABILITY AND ECONOMY OF PURCHASING A ROUND-TRIP TICKET, AS REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH 16 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, IS TO BE JUDGED AS OF THE ROUTE CONTEMPLATED AT THE TIME THE TRAVELER LEAVES HIS HEADQUARTERS AND NOT BY CHANGES IN HIS ROUTING WHICH MAY BE MADE BEFORE HIS RETURN, AND, THEREFORE, WHERE A ROUND-TRIP RATE WAS NOT AVAILABLE OVER THE TRAVELER'S CONTEMPLATED ROUTE, THE FACT THAT, DUE TO CHANGES IN ITINERARY DURING THE TRAVEL, HE ACTUALLY RETURNED BY A ROUTE OVER WHICH A ROUND-TRIP RATE WOULD HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE DOES NOT OBLIGATE HIM FOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COSTS OF THE ON ONE-WAY TICKETS USED AND THE ROUND-TRIP RATE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO ROBERT J. ALBERS, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, JUNE 12, 1944:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF MAY 12, 1944, AS FOLLOWS:

IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC 389, 77TH CONGRESS, THERE IS TRANSMITTED HEREWITH FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION BUREAU VOUCHER NO. 18663 IN FAVOR OF MR. VICTOR B. FREDENHAGEN IN THE AMOUNT OF $81.78. ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER IS A STATEMENT FROM THE TRAVELER WITH RESPECT TO THE USE OF ONE WAY TICKETS OVER A PORTION OF THE JOURNEY WHEREAS IT WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE ECONOMICAL TO HAVE SECURED A ROUND TRIP TICKET.

ON THE BASIS OF PREVIOUS DECISIONS OF YOUR OFFICE IT APPEARS TO BE INTENDED THAT ROUND TRIP TICKETS REQUIRED TO BE SECURED UNDER PAR. 16 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHERE PRACTICABLE AND ECONOMICAL ARE MANDATORY IN THAT A PROCEDURE IS ESTABLISHED (PAR. 32 STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS) FOR THE REDEMPTION OF THE TICKETS IN THE EVENT THE RETURN PORTION IS NOT USED. HOWEVER, IT DOES APPEAR IN THE CONSIDERATION OF MANY CASES THERE WAS A CONTEMPLATED RETURN BY THE TRAVELER TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION FROM THE DESTINATION OVER APPROXIMATELY THE SAME ROUTE OR BY OTHER TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT, AT THE TIME HE DEPARTED FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS. SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES ARE NOT ANALOGOUS TO THE ONE HERE PRESENTED SINCE THE TRAVELER HAD AN ITINERARY ESTABLISHED AT THE TIME HE DEPARTED FROM HEADQUARTERS WHICH DID NOT CONTEMPLATE THAT HE WOULD RETURN BY THE SAME ROUTE UPON ADVICE FROM HIS SUPERIOR OFFICERS AFTER VISITING NUMEROUS POINTS IN THE FIELD. ALSO REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR DECISION B- 35827, DATED AUGUST 25, 1943, QUOTED IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"WHILE AN EMPLOYEE IS REQUIRED UNDER PAR. 9 AND 16, STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO TRAVEL BY THE MOST ECONOMICAL USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE AND TO PROCURE REDUCED RATE ROUND TRIP TICKETS WHENEVER PRACTICABLE AND ECONOMICAL IT HAS NOT BEEN THE PRACTICE IN THIS OFFICE IN THE AUDIT OF ACCOUNTS TO HOLD A TRAVELER TO A ROUND TRIP RATE FOR TRAVEL TO AN INTERMEDIATE POINT WHERE NO DUTY IS TO BE PERFORMED.'

DUE TO THE REQUIREMENT THAT IN MANY CASES A TRAVELER WILL BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR NOT SECURING REDUCED RATE ROUND TRIP TICKETS, UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES SIMILAR TO THOSE PREVAILING HERE, MANY OF OUR EMPLOYEES ACTUALLY SECURE ROUND TRIP TICKETS WHEN IT IS NOT PRESUMED AT DEPARTURE FROM HEADQUARTERS THAT ANY TRAVEL WILL BE PERFORMED ON THE RETURN PORTION BECAUSE THEY WISH TO PRECLUDE A CHARGE AGAINST THEM FOR FAILURE TO SECURE ROUND TRIP TICKETS IN THE EVENT THEY ARE SUBSEQUENTLY RETURNED TO THE ORIGINAL ROUTE. THIS PRACTICE CREATES IN THIS OFFICE A LARGE NUMBER OF UNUSED RETURN PORTIONS OF TICKETS SUBMITTED BY TRAVELERS FOR REDEMPTION FOR WHICH ADJUSTMENTS ARE NECESSARY WITH THE CARRIERS IN THE SETTLEMENT OF THEIR ACCOUNTS. IF IT IS YOUR DECISION THAT CIRCUMSTANCES IN CONNECTION WITH THE ATTACHED VOUCHER DOES NOT REQUIRE THAT ROUND TRIP TICKETS BE SECURED, IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE NECESSITY FOR MANY OF THESE ADJUSTMENTS MAY BE AVOIDED.

YOUR DECISION IS KINDLY REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT WITHOUT HOLDING THE TRAVELER RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE ONE WAY TICKETS ACTUALLY USED AND THE VALUE OF A ROUND TRIP TICKET.

IT APPEARS FROM THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER THAT THE EMPLOYEE PURCHASED ONE-WAY TICKETS BETWEEN LINCOLN, NEBRASKA, WOOLSEY, HECLA, ABERDEEN, CHAMBERLAIN, WOOLSEY, OMAHA, AND LINCOLN; AND IN EXPLANATION OF THE FAILURE TO PURCHASE ROUND-TRIP TICKETS HE STATES IN A MEMORANDUM OF APRIL 29, 1944, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO MY TRAVEL VOUCHER COVERING THE PERIOD FROM APRIL 10 TO APRIL 26.

THE TRIP WAS PLANNED TO FOLLOW THE PREARRANGED ZONE TECHNICIANS' SCHEDULE AS OUTLINED FOR THE PERIOD FEBRUARY 28 TO JUNE 30.

THIS SCHEDULE PROVIDED FOR A VISIT TO HURON, HECLA, WATERTOWN, AND BROOKINGS, SOUTH DAKOTA, WITH INTERMEDIATE STOPS. THE RETURN TRIP FROM BROOKINGS TO OMAHA IS MADE OVER THE C. AND N.W. RAILROAD.

AT HECLA I RECEIVED A WIRE FROM MR. DAVIES, APPROVED BY MR. ALLRED, THAT I CHANGE MY SCHEDULE AND GO TO CHAMBERLAIN. IT WAS ALSO DECIDED THAT I GO AGAIN TO MILLER ON APRIL 24 AND 25 WHICH PRECLUDED THE VISIT TO BROOKINGS.

THIS CHANGE IN SCHEDULE MADE IT NECESSARY FOR ME TO TAKE THE C.M.ST.P. RAILROAD AT WOOLSEY FOR THE RETURN TRIP TO OMAHA AND LINCOLN WHICH RETRACED THE ROUTE OVER WHICH I REACHED THE HURON WORK GROUP.

SINCE THE CHANGE IN SCHEDULE WAS NOT FORESEEN AND IT WAS NOT OF MY OWN CHOOSING, ONE-WAY TICKETS WERE PURCHASED FOR THE TRIP AS SHOWN.

THE SCHEDULES ON FILE IN THIS OFFICE CONFIRM THE TRAVELER'S STATEMENT THAT A ROUND-TRIP TICKET WAS NOT AVAILABLE OVER THE ROUTE CONTEMPLATED, INVOLVING RETURN FROM BROOKINGS, SOUTH DAKOTA, WHEN HE STARTED HIS TRIP FROM LINCOLN. ACCORDINGLY, HE WAS UNDER NO REQUIREMENT TO PURCHASE A ROUND-TRIP TICKET BY SOME OTHER ROUTE ON THE CHANCE THAT HIS ROUTE MIGHT BE CHANGED TO ENABLE HIM TO MAKE USE OF THE ROUND-TRIP TICKET. THE PRACTICABILITY AND ECONOMY OF PURCHASING A ROUND-TRIP TICKET IS TO BE JUDGED AS OF THE ROUTE CONTEMPLATED AT THE TIME THE TRAVELER LEAVES HIS HEADQUARTERS AND NOT BY CHANGES IN HIS ROUTING WHICH MAY BE MADE BEFORE HIS RETURN.

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