B-45020, NOVEMBER 6, 1944, 24 COMP. GEN. 355

B-45020: Nov 6, 1944

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

IS A PERSONAL EXPENSE. WHERE AN OFFICIAL TRAVELER PURCHASED FIRST-CLASS RAIL AND PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS FOR A JOURNEY THE SCHEDULED RUNNING TIME FOR WHICH WAS IN EXCESS OF THE TIME (MORE THAN 2 HOURS) REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH 13 (A) (2) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO AUTHORIZE THE USE OF PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS. THE FACT THAT THE ACTUAL RUNNING TIME WAS LESS THAN 2 HOURS DOES NOT OPERATE TO RENDER THE TRAVELER LIABLE FOR THE EXCESS COST OF SUCH ACCOMMODATIONS OVER THE COST OF TRAVEL BY COACH. 1944: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 4. A COPY OF THE BASIC VOUCHER AND TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION ARE A PART OF THIS FILE. THE ACTUAL RUNNING TIME CONSUMED WAS ONE HOUR AND FORTY-TWO MINUTES.

B-45020, NOVEMBER 6, 1944, 24 COMP. GEN. 355

TRAVELING EXPENSES - FARES - FIRST-CLASS; PULLMAN - DURATION OF JOURNEY REQUIREMENT WHERE AN OFFICIAL TRAVELER PROCURES A FIRST-CLASS TICKET FOR A JOURNEY, OR A LEG OF A JOURNEY, FOR WHICH THE SCHEDULED RUNNING TIME (MORE THAN 2 HOURS) REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH 13 (A) (2) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO AUTHORIZE THE USE OF PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS EXCESS COST OF SUCH ACCOMMODATIONS OVER THE COST OF TRAVEL BY WELL AS THE COST OF ANY PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS SECURED IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, IS A PERSONAL EXPENSE. WHERE AN OFFICIAL TRAVELER PURCHASED FIRST-CLASS RAIL AND PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS FOR A JOURNEY THE SCHEDULED RUNNING TIME FOR WHICH WAS IN EXCESS OF THE TIME (MORE THAN 2 HOURS) REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH 13 (A) (2) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO AUTHORIZE THE USE OF PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS, THE FACT THAT THE ACTUAL RUNNING TIME WAS LESS THAN 2 HOURS DOES NOT OPERATE TO RENDER THE TRAVELER LIABLE FOR THE EXCESS COST OF SUCH ACCOMMODATIONS OVER THE COST OF TRAVEL BY COACH.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO W. R. FRANCE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, NOVEMBER 6, 1944:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 4, 1944, AS FOLLOWS:

THE ATTACHED STANDARD FORM 1012 FOR $3.30 PRESENTED TO ME FOR CERTIFICATION REPRESENTS A CLAIM OF DR. T. S. BUIE FOR AN AMOUNT ADMINISTRATIVELY DISALLOWED FROM A PREVIOUS VOUCHER. A COPY OF THE BASIC VOUCHER AND TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION ARE A PART OF THIS FILE.

THE ORIGINAL VOUCHER SHOWS DR. BUIE LEAVING CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA ON AUGUST 12, 1944 AT 0:28 A.M. ( SOUTHERN RAILWAY, TRAIN NO. 29) ENROUTE TO HIS OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS AT SPARTANBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA, ARRIVING AT SPARTANBURG 12:10 P.M. THE ACTUAL RUNNING TIME CONSUMED WAS ONE HOUR AND FORTY-TWO MINUTES. THE SCHEDULED TIME FOR THIS TRAIN IS TWO HOURS AND SIXTEEN MINUTES. FIRST-CLASS TRANSPORTATION WAS PURCHASED USING TRANSPORTATION REQUEST NO. A 676,050 AT A COST OF $2.48, AND PULLMAN SEAT WAS PAID FOR WITH CASH AT A COST OF 75 CENTS. AN ADMINISTRATIVE DISALLOWANCE OF $1.58 WAS MADE FOR THE REASON THAT THE TRAVEL TIME CONSUMED WAS LESS THAN TWO HOURS, THE AMOUNT BEING DETERMINED BY TAKING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE FIRST CLASS FARE PLUS PULLMAN, $3.23, AND SECOND-CLASS TRANSPORTATION OF $1.65 ( PARAGRAPH 13, STANDARD GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AS AMENDED).

ON AUGUST 21, 1944, THE TRAVELER LEFT CHERAW, SOUTH CAROLINA ( SEABOARD AIR LINE RAILWAY, TRAIN NO. 191) ENROUTE TO COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA, LEAVING CHERAW AT 12:37 P.M. AND ARRIVING AT COLUMBIA AT 2:35 P.M., RUNNING TIME BEING ONE HOUR AND FIFTY-EIGHT MINUTES. THE SCHEDULED TIME FOR THIS TRAIN IS TWO HOURS AND FIFTEEN MINUTES. IN THIS INSTANCE, TRANSPORTATION REQUEST NO. A-968,818 FOR $2.92 WAS USED AND PULLMAN FARE AMOUNTING TO 75 CENTS WAS PURCHASED FOR CASH. HERE AGAIN AN ADMINISTRATIVE DISALLOWANCE OF $1.72 WAS MADE BECAUSE THE TIME CONSUMED IN THE TRAVEL WAS LESS THAN TWO HOURS. THE AMOUNT DISALLOWED WAS DETERMINED BY TAKING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE FIRST CLASS FARE PLUS PULLMAN, $3.68, AND SECOND-CLASS TRANSPORTATION $1.95.

TRAIN SCHEDULES SHOW THAT IN BOTH INSTANCES THE SCHEDULED TIME WAS MORE THAN TWO HOURS BUT THE TRAVELER SHOWS THE ACTUAL RUNNING TIME CONSUMED WAS LESS THAN TWO HOURS. WHILE WE BELIEVE THAT THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER AN EMPLOYEE MAY PURCHASE FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AND PERSONALLY PAY FOR THE PULLMAN WHERE THE TRIP IS OF A DURATION LESS THAN TWO HOURS IS NEGATIVELY ANSWERED IN DECISION 23, COMP. GEN. 352, THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN SCHEDULED TIME AND RUNNING TIME IS NOT DISCUSSED.

IN VIEW OF THE FACTS STATED ABOVE, PLEASE ADVISE ME WHETHER OR NOT THIS CLAIM MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

VOUCHER NO. 6-96948, IN FAVOR OF MR. BUIE, COVERING REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL AND OTHER EXPENSES FOR THE PERIOD AUGUST 1 TO SEPTEMBER 2, 1944, SHOWS THAT THE EMPLOYEE, WHOSE OFFICIAL STATION IS SPARTANBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA, PROCURED ON TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS FIRST-CLASS RAIL TICKETS FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED ON AUGUST 12 FROM CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA, TO SPARTANBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA, AND ON AUGUST 21 FROM CHERAW, SOUTH CAROLINA, TO COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINE, AT A COST OF $2.48 AND $2.92, RESPECTIVELY. IN EACH INSTANCE, THE TRAVELER PAID 75 CENTS IN CASH FOR THE COST OF PULLMAN SEATS BETWEEN THE POINTS INVOLVED, AS EVIDENCED BY RECEIPTS FURNISHED, AND FOR WHICH HE CLAIMS REIMBURSEMENT. AS STATED BY YOU, HE LEFT CHARLOTTE AT 10:38 A.M. ON AUGUST 12 AND ARRIVED AT SPARTANBURG, 12:10 P.M., AND ON AUGUST 21 HE LEFT CHERAW AT 12:37 P.M. AND ARRIVED AT COLUMBIA AT :35 P.M. THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED UNDER AUTHORITY OF TRAVEL ORDER DATED JULY 1, 1944, WHICH AUTHORIZED TRAVEL TO "POINTS WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES," AND ON THE TRIPS COVERED BY THE VOUCHER THE EMPLOYEE TRAVELED BY BUS, GOVERNMENT AUTOMOBILE, AND RAIL.

IT IS STATED ON THE RECLAIM VOUCHER THAT FIRST-CLASS TRANSPORTATION WAS AUTHORIZED REGARDLESS OF THE DISTANCE AND THE DISALLOWANCE IN NO CASE SHOULD HAVE BEEN MORE THAN THE COST OF PULLMAN SEATS, AND THAT THE SCHEDULED TIME FOR TRAVEL BETWEEN CHARLOTTE AND SPARTANBURG WAS 2 HOURS AND 16 MINUTES AND FOR TRAVEL BETWEEN CHERAW AND COLUMBIA 2 HOURS AND 15 MINUTES. THE TRAVELER ALSO STATES THERE WAS NO WAY OF DETERMINING IN ADVANCE THAT THE SPEED OF THE TRAINS WOULD BE INCREASED SO AS TO REDUCE THE TRAVEL TIME TO LESS THAN 2 HOURS.

THE TRAINS ON WHICH THE EMPLOYEE TRAVELED BETWEEN THE POINTS HERE INVOLVED WERE SCHEDULED TO LEAVE CHARLOTTE AT 9:50 A.M. AND ARRIVE SPARTANBURG AT 12:01 P.M. AND TO LEAVE CHERAW AT 10:55 A.M. AND ARRIVE AT COLUMBIA AT 1:10 P.M., OR SCHEDULED RUNNING TIME OF 2 HOURS AND 11 MINUTES AND 2 HOURS AND 15 MINUTES, RESPECTIVELY.

PARAGRAPH 13 (A) (2) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AS AMENDED BY BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. 401, EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 15, 1942, PROVIDES:

PARLOR-CAR ACCOMMODATIONS: ONE SEAT IN A SLEEPING OR PARLOR-CAR WHEN THE CONTINUOUS RAIL JOURNEY IS MORE THAN TWO HOURS IN DURATION AND WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, PROVIDED HOWEVER THAT A STOP FOR THE PURPOSE OF CHANGING TRAINS SHALL NOT BE CONSIDERED AN INTERRUPTION IN THE JOURNEY. IF UNDER EMERGENCY OR SIMILAR UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES THE USE OF SUCH A SEAT IS NECESSARY FOR A JOURNEY OF TWO HOURS OR LESS, IT MUST BE SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED IN WRITING IN EACH CASE BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT OR BY AN OFFICIAL TO WHOM SUCH AUTHORITY HAS BEEN PROPERLY DELEGATED. IF THE JOURNEY IS OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, LOWEST-RATE (FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS MAY BE ALLOWED WITHOUT REGARD TO THE LENGTH OF THE JOURNEY. (SEE PAR. 28.)

AS WAS STATED IN LETTER OF JANUARY 7, 1943, B-31425, QUOTED IN PART IN 23 COMP. GEN. 352, AT PAGE 358, THE REGULATION APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN INTENDED TO AFFORD COMFORT TO A TRAVELING EMPLOYEE, AND THAT THE LIMITATION THEREIN APPEARS TO CONSTITUTE A DETERMINATION THAT A CONTINUOUS JOURNEY BY RAIL OF 2 HOURS OR LESS IN A DAY COACH WOULD NOT CONSTITUTE AN UNDUE HARDSHIP UPON AN EMPLOYEE WHO MAY BE DIRECTED TO TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS. WHERE A TRAVELER PROCURES A FIRST-CLASS TICKET FOR A JOURNEY, OR A LEG OF A JOURNEY, FOR WHICH THE SCHEDULED TRAVEL TIME IS 2 HOURS OR LESS THE EXCESS COST OF SUCH ACCOMMODATIONS OVER THE COST OF TRAVEL BY COACH IS A PERSONAL EXPENSE, AS WELL AS THE COST OF ANY PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS SECURED IN CONNECTION THEREWITH. HOWEVER, WHERE A TRAVELER PURCHASES FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS FOR TRAVEL BETWEEN POINTS WHERE THE DURATION OF THE TRIP IS SCHEDULED TO BE MORE THAN 2 HOURS BUT THE TIME ACTUALLY CONSUMED IN SUCH TRAVEL IS 2 HOURS OR LESS, THE EMPLOYEE MAY NOT BE DENIED THE RIGHT TO THE USE OF FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS AS PROCURED, IT BEING IMPOSSIBLE FOR HIM TO DETERMINE IN ADVANCE WHAT THE ACTUAL RUNNING TIME OF THE TRAIN ON WHICH HE IS TO TRAVEL WILL BE, THE HOURS OF DEPARTURE AND ARRIVAL OF THE TRAIN BEING A MATTER OVER WHICH HE HAS NO CONTROL.

INASMUCH AS THE SCHEDULED RUNNING TIME OF THE TRAINS ON WHICH MR. BUIE TRAVELED BETWEEN THE POINTS HERE IN QUESTION IS IN EXCESS OF 2 HOURS, AS INDICATED ABOVE, HE IS ENTITLED TO FIRST-CLASS RAIL AND PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS AS USED.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.