B-70825, DECEMBER 8, 1947, 27 COMP. GEN. 319

B-70825: Dec 8, 1947

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ARE NOT REIMBURSABLE TRAVELING EXPENSES. COVERING TAXICAB FARES WHICH THE CLAIMANT PAID WHEN HE WAS REQUIRED TO MOVE FROM ONE HOTEL TO ANOTHER. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT DURING THE RECENT WAR HOTELS WERE REQUIRED TO LIMIT THE STAY OF THEIR GUESTS TO A SPECIFIED NUMBER OF DAYS AND IT IS STATED THAT THE PRACTICE OF LIMITING HOTEL RESERVATIONS HAS BEEN CONTINUED SINCE THE WAR IN SOME OF THE MORE CROWDED CITIES. BECAUSE OF THE LATER SITUATION THE TRAVELER IN THIS CASE WAS REQUIRED TO CHANGE HOTELS AT THE EXPIRATION OF THE PERIOD COVERED BY HIS ORIGINAL RESERVATION AND NOW CLAIMS REIMBURSEMENT FOR TAXI FARES INCIDENT THERETO. WAS INTERPRETED AS AUTHORIZING AN ADDITIONAL FARE TO A SECOND HOTEL WHERE ACCOMMODATIONS WERE NOT AVAILABLE AT THE FIRST.

B-70825, DECEMBER 8, 1947, 27 COMP. GEN. 319

TRAVELING EXPENSES - TAXICAB FARES - CHANGE OF TEMPORARY PLACE OF ABODE TAXICAB FARES INCURRED AT A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION BY AN OFFICIAL TRAVELER INCIDENT TO A NECESSARY CHANGE OF HOTELS AT THE EXPIRATION OF THE ORIGINAL HOTEL RESERVATION PERIOD, NOT BEING THE PURVIEW OF PARAGRAPH 8 (A) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS, PROVIDING FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TAXICAB FARES FROM STATION TO PLACE OF ABODE, OR AUTHORIZED AS AN EXPENSE BY ANY OTHER PROVISION OF SAID REGULATIONS, ARE NOT REIMBURSABLE TRAVELING EXPENSES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO M. W. SCHAUL, WAR ASSETS ADMINISTRATION, DECEMBER 8, 1947:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 30, 1947, REFERENCE FAC-E/AC, FORWARDING A VOUCHER FOR $1.50 IN FAVOR OF MR. JULIUS B. WELCHEL, A FIELD INSPECTOR OF THE WAR ASSETS ADMINISTRATION, COVERING TAXICAB FARES WHICH THE CLAIMANT PAID WHEN HE WAS REQUIRED TO MOVE FROM ONE HOTEL TO ANOTHER, AND REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER SAID VOUCHER SHOULD BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT AS AN ITEM OF TRANSPORTATION RATHER THAN ONE OF SUBSISTENCE.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT DURING THE RECENT WAR HOTELS WERE REQUIRED TO LIMIT THE STAY OF THEIR GUESTS TO A SPECIFIED NUMBER OF DAYS AND IT IS STATED THAT THE PRACTICE OF LIMITING HOTEL RESERVATIONS HAS BEEN CONTINUED SINCE THE WAR IN SOME OF THE MORE CROWDED CITIES. BECAUSE OF THE LATER SITUATION THE TRAVELER IN THIS CASE WAS REQUIRED TO CHANGE HOTELS AT THE EXPIRATION OF THE PERIOD COVERED BY HIS ORIGINAL RESERVATION AND NOW CLAIMS REIMBURSEMENT FOR TAXI FARES INCIDENT THERETO.

CONTRARY TO THE OPINION EXPRESSED IN YOUR LETTER, THE FACTS OF THE INSTANT CASE DO NOT APPEAR ANALOGOUS TO THOSE CONSIDERED IN DECISION OF JUNE 8, 1944, B-42025. IN THAT DECISION, PARAGRAPH 8 (A) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROVIDING FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TAXICAB FARES FROM STATION TO PLACE OF ABODE, WAS INTERPRETED AS AUTHORIZING AN ADDITIONAL FARE TO A SECOND HOTEL WHERE ACCOMMODATIONS WERE NOT AVAILABLE AT THE FIRST. IN OTHER WORDS, SUCH REGULATION REASONABLY MAY BE CONSTRUED AS IMPOSING AN OBLIGATION UPON THE GOVERNMENT TO PAY ANY TAXI FARE OR FARES NECESSARY IN TRANSPORTING A TRAVELER FROM STATION OR OTHER TERMINAL TO A PLACE WHERE HE IS ABLE TO OBTAIN LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS. HOWEVER, ONCE HAVING BEEN DISCHARGED BY THE PAYMENT OF NECESSARY TAXI FARES TO THE HOTEL WHERE ACCOMMODATIONS ARE FIRST OBTAINED, SUCH OBLIGATION MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS CONTINUING FOR THE PURPOSE OF AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF ADDITIONAL FARES INCIDENT TO A SUBSEQUENT CHANGE IN LIVING QUARTERS, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH CHANGE BE VOLUNTARY OR INVOLUNTARY.

IN THAT CONNECTION IT WAS STATED IN DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 24, 1943, 23 COMP. GEN. 212, 214:

* * * IN THE STANDARDIZED REGULATIONS, WHICH WERE APPROVED IN 1926, IN THE EFFORT TO MAKE TRAVEL EXPENSES UNIFORM THROUGHOUT THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE THE ITEMS TO BE REIMBURSED WERE LISTED WITH PARTICULARITY, AND IT WAS NOT LEFT TO THE DISCRETION OF THE EMPLOYEE TRAVELING, OR HIS DEPARTMENT HEAD, OR THIS OFFICE, TO ALLOW EVEN NECESSARY ITEMS NOT PROVIDED FOR BY REGULATION. * * *

THUS, IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY PROVISION IN THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF TAXI FARE INCIDENT TO CHANGING TEMPORARY PLACES OF ABODE, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY WHEREBY THE TRAVELER IN THE INSTANT CASE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR THE EXPENSES CLAIMED.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER WHICH IS BEING RETAINED IN THE FILES OF THIS OFFICE MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.