B-45765, DECEMBER 9, 1944, 24 COMP. GEN. 443

B-45765: Dec 9, 1944

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - INDIRECT TRAVEL - TRAVEL FROM PLACE OF LEAVE AN EMPLOYEE WHO WAS AUTHORIZED. TO PROCEED ON OFFICIAL TRAVEL FROM THE PLACE OF LEAVE TO A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AND RETURN TO HIS HEADQUARTERS IS ENTITLED. TO BE PAID TRAVELING EXPENSES NOT TO EXCEED WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD HE TRAVELED DIRECTLY FROM HEADQUARTERS TO THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION. WITHOUT REGARD TO WHAT IT WOULD HAVE COST TO RETURN TO HIS HEADQUARTERS FROM THE PLACE OF LEAVE. 11 COMP. 944: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 14. AS FOLLOWS: THERE IS FORWARDED HEREWITH VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF HAROLD A. THERE IS ALSO SUBMITTED WITH THIS RECLAIM VOUCHER MEMORANDUM FROM MR. THE ORIGINAL DISALLOWANCE WAS MADE ON THE BASIS OF AN EMPLOYEE WHO ABSENCES HIMSELF FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION FOR PERSONAL REASONS MUST RETURN HIMSELF TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION AT HIS OWN EXPENSE.

B-45765, DECEMBER 9, 1944, 24 COMP. GEN. 443

TRAVELING EXPENSES - INDIRECT TRAVEL - TRAVEL FROM PLACE OF LEAVE AN EMPLOYEE WHO WAS AUTHORIZED, PRIOR TO DEPARTURE ON ANNUAL LEAVE FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS, TO PROCEED ON OFFICIAL TRAVEL FROM THE PLACE OF LEAVE TO A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AND RETURN TO HIS HEADQUARTERS IS ENTITLED, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE "INDIRECT-ROUTE" PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPHS 10 AND 49 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, TO BE PAID TRAVELING EXPENSES NOT TO EXCEED WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD HE TRAVELED DIRECTLY FROM HEADQUARTERS TO THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION, WITHOUT REGARD TO WHAT IT WOULD HAVE COST TO RETURN TO HIS HEADQUARTERS FROM THE PLACE OF LEAVE. 11 COMP. GEN. 336 AND 16 ID. 481, DISTINGUISHED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO CLAUDE B. CALKIN, NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, DECEMBER 9, 944:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 14, 1944, AS FOLLOWS:

THERE IS FORWARDED HEREWITH VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF HAROLD A. CRANEFIELD REPRESENTING RECLAIM IN THE AMOUNT OF $15.20 PREVIOUSLY DISALLOWED ON G. F. ALLEN'S VOUCHER NUMBER 614474, PAID SEPTEMBER 26, 1944, SYMBOL 100- 5170. THERE IS ALSO SUBMITTED WITH THIS RECLAIM VOUCHER MEMORANDUM FROM MR. CRANEFIELD SUPPORTING THE CONTENTION OF HIS RECLAIM.

THE ORIGINAL DISALLOWANCE WAS MADE ON THE BASIS OF AN EMPLOYEE WHO ABSENCES HIMSELF FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION FOR PERSONAL REASONS MUST RETURN HIMSELF TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION AT HIS OWN EXPENSE. THE ORIGINAL VOUCHER STATED MR. CRANEFIELD WAS IN A LEAVE STATUS WHEN HE BEGAN OFFICIAL TRAVEL FOR THE GOVERNMENT. FROM THE RECLAIM VOUCHER AND THE MEMORANDUM ATTACHED IT APPEARS THAT MR. CRANEFIELD KNEW PRIOR TO HIS DEPARTURE FROM HIS OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS, DETROIT, THAT HE WOULD PERFORM THE OFFICIAL TRAVEL CONTAINED IN THE VOUCHER IN QUESTION. IT APPEARS FROM THIS FACT THERE MAY BE ANOTHER BASIS FOR ALLOWING MR. CRANEFIELD'S CLAIM, THAT IS, THE CLAIM MAY BE ALLOWED IN FULL OR CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL MIGHT BE ALLOWED WHICH WOULD COST MR. CRANEFIELD ONLY THE EXCESS OF COMING TO WASHINGTON FROM CHICAGO OVER THE COST OF COMING TO WASHINGTON DIRECT FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS DETROIT OR THE DISALLOWANCE AS MADE MAY STAND.

YOUR DECISION IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED AS TO WHAT BASIS I MAY PROPERLY CERTIFY THE RECLAIM ATTACHED.

THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF HAROLD A. CRANEFIELD, REGIONAL ATTORNEY, NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, COVERS A RECLAIM OF $15.20 REPRESENTING THE COST OF FIRST-CLASS RAIL FARE AND PULLMAN SEAT FROM CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, TO DETROIT, MICHIGAN, PER DIEM FOR TRAVEL TIME BETWEEN THE POINTS, AND TAXI FARES AT BOTH PLACES, THE DEDUCTION HAVING BEEN MADE FOR THE REASON THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS IN A LEAVE STATUS AT CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, WHEN HE BEGAN TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS TO WASHINGTON, D.C., IT BEING STATED THAT WHEN AN EMPLOYEE ABSENTS HIMSELF FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION FOR PERSONAL REASONS THE COST OF RETURNING THERETO IS A PERSONAL EXPENSE. 11 COMP. GEN. 336, ID. 481 (APPARENTLY 16 COMP. GEN. 481) WERE CITED AS THE AUTHORITY FOR MAKING SUCH DEDUCTION. THE RECORD SHOWS THE EMPLOYEE ENTERED A LEAVE STATUS AT NOON ON AUGUST 15, 1944, AT DETROIT, MICHIGAN, HIS OFFICIAL STATION, AND THAT IN THE AFTERNOON OF THAT DAY HE WAS INSTRUCTED BY HIS IMMEDIATE SUPERIOR TO REPORT AT HIS OFFICE IN WASHINGTON, D.C., ON THE MORNING OF AUGUST 17. UPON ADVISING HIM OF HIS PURPOSE TO GO TO CHICAGO ON ANNUAL LEAVE THAT DATE HIS IMMEDIATE SUPERIOR CONSENTED AND DIRECTED THAT HE PROCEED FROM CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, TO WASHINGTON, D.C. TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WERE ISSUED FOR FIRST-CLASS TICKET CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., $25.30, UPPER BERTH $4.85, A FIRST-CLASS TICKET WASHINGTON, D.C., TO DETROIT, MICHIGAN, $19.53, LOWER BERTH $4.95. HE LEFT CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, AT 3:50 P.M. ON AUGUST 16 AND ARRIVED AT WASHINGTON, D.C., 8:45 A.M. ON AUGUST 17, LEFT WASHINGTON D.C., AT 5:40 P.M. ON SEPTEMBER 2 AND ARRIVED AT DETROIT, MICHIGAN, 8:10 A.M. ON SEPTEMBER 3. PER DIEM FOR 18 DAYS AT $6 WAS CLAIMED PLUS $3.70 TAXI FARES, TOTAL EXPENSE $166.33. IT IS STATED ON THE VOUCHER:

INSTRUCTION TO PROCEED TO WASHINGTON, D.C., RECEIVED FROM DAVID C. SHAW, ASSISTANT GENERAL COUNSEL, AUGUST 15, 1944, WHILE ENROUTE TO CHICAGO, ILL., ON ANNUAL LEAVE.

TRAVEL ORDER NO. 45-69 DATED JULY 1, 1944, CITED ON THE VOUCHER WAS NOT SUBMITTED WITH THE RECLAIM VOUCHER; HOWEVER, IT IS ASSUMED THAT SUCH TRAVEL ORDER AUTHORIZED TRAVEL TO WASHINGTON, C., AND THIS DECISION IS RENDERED UPON THAT BASIS.

PARAGRAPH 10 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AS AMENDED JANUARY 30, 1942, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

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.)

PARAGRAPH 49 PROVIDES:

INDIRECT-ROUTE OR INTERRUPTED TRAVEL.--- WHERE FOR TRAVELER'S PERSONAL CONVENIENCE OR THROUGH THE TAKING OF LEAVE THERE IS INTERRUPTION OF TRAVEL OR DEVIATION FROM THE DIRECT ROUTE, THE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE ALLOWED WILL NOT EXCEED THAT WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED ON UNINTERRUPTED TRAVEL BY THE MOST ECONOMICAL USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE. (SEE PARS. 9, 10, 27, 45 (A), 87.)

THE EMPLOYEE CONTENDS THAT THE AMOUNT DEDUCTED SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN GREATER THAN THE EXCESS OF EXPENSE ACTUALLY INCURRED IN TRAVELING CHICAGO, WASHINGTON, DETROIT OVER WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED IN TRAVELING FROM HIS OFFICIAL POST OF DUTY, I.E., DETROIT, WASHINGTON, DETROIT. HE ALSO STATES THAT HE WOULD NOT HAVE USED FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS, THE BASIS USED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE IN COMPUTING THE PERSONAL EXPENSE; THAT IN ALL PROBABILITY THE TRAVEL FROM CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, TO DETROIT, MICHIGAN, WOULD HAVE BEEN AT NO EXPENSE HAD HE BEEN PERMITTED TO PURSUE HIS ORIGINAL PLANS FOR LEAVE; AND THAT THE ANNUAL LEAVE WAS AUTHORIZED BY HIS SUPERIORS AND INTERRUPTED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE GOVERNMENT.

IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OF FIRST-CLASS RAIL FARE INSTEAD OF COACH FARE AS A BASIS OF TRANSPORTATION CHARGEABLE TO AN EMPLOYEE IT MAY BE STATED THAT THE LOWEST FIRST-CLASS RAIL FARE IS USED AS A BASIS FOR COMPUTING AMOUNTS DUE FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL ON GOVERNMENT BUSINESS, AND THERE IS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW OR REGULATION TO USE ANY OTHER BASIS. IN OTHER WORDS, THE LOWEST FIRST-CLASS TRANSPORTATION OVER THE USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BETWEEN THE POINTS INVOLVED HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED AS A BASIS FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF GOVERNMENT OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES FOR EXPENSES INCURRED ON OFFICIAL TRAVEL AND WHILE IT MAY BE THAT AN EMPLOYEE UPON RETURNING FROM LEAVE WOULD HAVE TRAVELED AT AN EXPENSE LESS THAN FIRST-CLASS FARE THAT FACT IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO AUTHORIZE A CHANGE IN THE ACCOUNTING RULE OR TO ESTABLISH THE LIABILITY OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE MATTER.

THE DECISIONS CITED AS AUTHORITY FOR THE ADMINISTRATIVE DEDUCTION, 11 COMP. GEN. 336 AND 16 ID. 481, COVER CASES OF EMPLOYEES BEING CALLED UPON WHILE IN A LEAVE STATUS AWAY FROM OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS TO PERFORM TEMPORARY DUTY. HOWEVER, IN THE INSTANT CASE THE EMPLOYEE WAS AUTHORIZED PRIOR TO DEPARTURE FROM OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS, TO PROCEED FROM THE POINT OF LEAVE TO THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AND UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS MAY BE REIMBURSED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPHS 10 AND 49 OF ABOVE-QUOTED REGULATIONS.

HAD THE TRAVEL BEEN MADE FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT WOULD HAVE BEEN FOR ROUND-TRIP TICKET AND PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS $45.35 (RAIL FARE $36.65, UPPER BERTH DETROIT TO WASHINGTON $3.75, LOWER BERTH WASHINGTON TO DETROIT $4.95), PER DIEM OF $108 AS CLAIMED, AND TAXI FARES $3.50 AS SHOWN IN COMPARATIVE COST SUBMITTED BY TRAVELER, A TOTAL OF $156.85. THE COST OF THE TRIP AS MADE WAS $166.33, AN EXCESS OF $9.48 OVER CONSTRUCTIVE COST; THEREFORE, THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE EXCESS OF $9.43 AND THE AMOUNT OF $15.20 ADMINISTRATIVELY DEDUCTED LESS $1.39 REPRESENTING 15 PERCENT FEDERAL TAX ON $9.28, EXCESS RAIL COSTS ($54.63 ACTUAL COST LESS $45.35 CONSTRUCTIVE COST). 23 COMP. GEN. 199.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED IN THE AMOUNT OF $5.72, IF IT BE OTHERWISE CORRECT, WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT $1.39 OF SAID AMOUNT REPRESENTING THE FEDERAL TAX CHARGEABLE TO THE CLAIMANT WILL BE REMITTED TO THE COLLECTOR OF INTERNAL REVENUE.