B-7869, JANUARY 19, 1940, 19 COMP. GEN. 658

B-7869: Jan 19, 1940

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - PERSONAL AND GOVERNMENT BUSINESS INTERMINGLED - REIMBURSEMENT BASIS WHERE THE PURPOSE OF A JOURNEY IS PRIMARILY PERSONAL TO THE TRAVELER. AS FOLLOWS: REVIEW IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED OF AN EXCEPTION TAKEN TO THE ACCOUNTS OF G. POST DISALLOWING TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES AND PER DIEM FOR TRAVEL TIME ON THE GROUNDS THAT SERVICES RENDERED FOR THE GOVERNMENT WERE INCIDENTAL TO PERSONAL BUSINESS OR LEAVE. THE FACTS IN THE CASE ARE AS FOLLOWS: DR. POST IS PROFESSOR OF CLINICAL OPHTHALMOLOGY AT THE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE. IT WAS DESIRED BY THE INDIAN OFFICE THAT HE BE PRESENT AT THE DEDICATION OF A NEW HOSPITAL AND LABORATORY AT FORT DEFIANCE. THE DEDICATION OF THE NEW HOSPITAL WAS SCHEDULED FOR JUNE 20.

B-7869, JANUARY 19, 1940, 19 COMP. GEN. 658

TRAVELING EXPENSES - PERSONAL AND GOVERNMENT BUSINESS INTERMINGLED - REIMBURSEMENT BASIS WHERE THE PURPOSE OF A JOURNEY IS PRIMARILY PERSONAL TO THE TRAVELER, ONLY SUCH ADDITIONAL EXPENSES AS MAY BE INCURRED ON BONA FIDE GOVERNMENT BUSINESS CAUSING DELAY OR STOPOVER AND ADDITIONAL TRAVEL MAY BE PAID FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, JANUARY 19, 1940:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 15, 1939, AS FOLLOWS:

REVIEW IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED OF AN EXCEPTION TAKEN TO THE ACCOUNTS OF G. F. ALLEN, SYMBOL 106-110, FOR AUGUST 1938, IN CONNECTION WITH VOUCHER NO. 10-20711 IN FAVOR OF DR. LAWRENCE T. POST DISALLOWING TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES AND PER DIEM FOR TRAVEL TIME ON THE GROUNDS THAT SERVICES RENDERED FOR THE GOVERNMENT WERE INCIDENTAL TO PERSONAL BUSINESS OR LEAVE.

THE FACTS IN THE CASE ARE AS FOLLOWS:

DR. POST IS PROFESSOR OF CLINICAL OPHTHALMOLOGY AT THE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, AND ENTERED ON DUTY AS CONSULTANT IN OPHTHALMOLOGY, SEPTEMBER 10, 1937, IN THE INDIAN SERVICE, AT $1 PER ANNUM AND HAS RENDERED VALUABLE SERVICE IN THAT CAPACITY IN CONNECTION WITH DISEASES OF THE EYE WITH PARTICULAR ATTENTION BEING PAID TO TRACHOMA AMONG THE INDIANS. DR. POST HAS A WELL-ESTABLISHED REPUTATION IN HIS SPECIALTY AND FINDS IT DIFFICULT TO SPARE MUCH TIME FROM HIS TEACHING ABOVE NOTED AND HIS PRIVATE PRACTICE.

IT WAS DESIRED BY THE INDIAN OFFICE THAT HE BE PRESENT AT THE DEDICATION OF A NEW HOSPITAL AND LABORATORY AT FORT DEFIANCE, ARIZONA, TO OBSERVE THE WORK BEING DONE ON EYE CONDITIONS AMONG THE INDIANS AND TO CONDUCT A CLINIC, DEMONSTRATE OPERATIVE PROCEDURES TO INDIAN SERVICE PHYSICIANS, AND GIVE THEM ADVICE AND INSTRUCTION PARTICULARLY IN CONNECTION WITH TRACHOMA TREATMENTS. THE DEDICATION OF THE NEW HOSPITAL WAS SCHEDULED FOR JUNE 20, 1938, WHICH HAPPENED TO BE IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING A CONVENTION OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION AT LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA.

COPIES OF THE SEVERAL LETTERS EXCHANGED IN ARRANGING THE PRESENCE OF DR. POST AT FORT DEFIANCE ARE ENCLOSED. THE NECESSARY TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED UNDER A GENERAL TRAVEL ORDER ISSUED AT THE TIME OF HIS APPOINTMENT AND THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED IN GOOD FAITH BOTH ON THE PART OF THIS OFFICE AND OF DR. POST. TO CONSERVE HIS TIME AND TO MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR HIM TO RENDER THE DESIRED SERVICE FOR THE INDIAN OFFICE, AIRPLANE TRANSPORTATION WAS USED AND IS HEREBY APPROVED.

THE INDIAN OFFICE DESIRED HIS SERVICES AND WOULD HAVE REQUESTED THEM WHETHER OR NOT PERSONAL BUSINESS WAS PERFORMED DURING HIS ABSENCE FROM HIS HOME AND HEADQUARTERS AT ST. LOUIS, AND THE INDIAN OFFICE WOULD HAVE BEEN OBLIGED TO MEET THE EXPENSE OF THE TRAVEL PERFORMED IN CONNECTION THEREWITH HAD NO PERSONAL OR UNIVERSITY BUSINESS BEEN INVOLVED.

IN VIEW OF THESE FACTS IT IS REQUESTED THAT THE CASE BE REVIEWED, THE EXCEPTION TO THE ACCOUNTS REMOVED, AND CREDIT ALLOWED IN THE ACCOUNTS OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER.

VOUCHER 10-20711, AUGUST 24, 1938, ACCOUNTS OF G. F. ALLEN, COVERS A CLAIM OF $13.75 FOR PER DIEM (ADMINISTRATIVELY REDUCED TO $12.50) AND OF 75 CENTS FOR TAXI FARE FOR TRAVEL, PURPORTED TO HAVE BEEN PERFORMED UNDER AUTHORITY NO. 31, DATED AUGUST 27, 1937, FROM ST. LOUIS, MO., TO ALBUQUERQUE, N.MEX., AND FORT DEFIANCE, ARIZ., AND RETURN BETWEEN JUNE 8 AND JUNE 21, 1938. THE ITINERARY ON THE VOUCHER SHOWS THAT THE TRAVELER, DR. LAWRENCE T. POST, CONSULTANT IN OPHTHALMOLOGY, LEFT ST. LOUIS VIA AIR AT 10:06 P.M. ON JUNE 8, 1938; ARRIVED AT ALBUQUERQUE, .MEX., AT 5 A.M. JUNE 9; WAS ON PERSONAL BUSINESS FROM JUNE 9 TO 19; ARRIVED AT ALBUQUERQUE AT 9:55 P.M. JUNE 19; LEFT ALBUQUERQUE AT 10 A.M. ON JUNE 20 IN GOVERNMENT CAR FOR FORT DEFIANCE, ARIZ.; LEFT FORT DEFIANCE, ARIZ., VIA GOVERNMENT CAR FOR GALLUP, N.MEX., PROCEEDED THENCE TO ALBUQUERQUE BY RAIL AND FROM ALBUQUERQUE VIA AIR AND RETURNED TO ST. LOUIS AT 10:45 P.M. ON JUNE 21, 1938. CREDIT WAS WITHHELD IN THE AUDIT FOR PAYMENT ON THIS VOUCHER FOR THE REASON, IN EFFECT, THAT THE TRAVEL TO ALBUQUERQUE, N.MEX., WAS PRIMARILY FOR THE PURPOSE OF PERFORMING PERSONAL BUSINESS OR TAKING LEAVE AND THAT, THEREFORE, THE PAYEE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION FROM ST. LOUIS TO ALBUQUERQUE AND RETURN, CITATION BEING MADE TO 11 COMP. GEN. 336 AND 16 COMP. GEN. 164.

THE TRAVEL AUTHORITY CITED, TRAVEL ORDER NO. 31 DATED AUGUST 27, 1937, ADDRESSED TO DR. LAWRENCE T. POST, 508 NORTH GRAND BOULEVARD, ST. LOUIS, MO., READS, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

YOU ARE HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM YOUR HEADQUARTERS LOCATED AT ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, TO AND FROM THE FOLLOWING-NAMED POINTS IN THE UNITED STATES, UPON OFFICIAL BUSINESS OF THIS DEPARTMENT, THE NATURE OF WHICH HAS BEEN COMMUNICATED TO YOU: INDIAN SERVICE ACTIVITIES, AND SUCH OTHER PLACES AS MAY BE NECESSARY.

TRAVEL MUST BE BY THE SHORTEST PRACTICABLE ROUTE AND WITHOUT UNNECESSARY DELAY, AND ROUND-TRIP TICKETS MUST BE OBTAINED WHEREVER PRACTICABLE.

WHILE TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL DUTY AWAY FROM YOUR DESIGNATED HEADQUARTERS YOU WILL BE COMPENSATED FOR PERSONAL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES AS SHOWN IN SECTIONS A AND C FOLLOWING:

A. IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES, NOT EXCEEDING $5.00 PER DIEM.

C. YOU WILL ALSO BE REIMBURSED FOR YOUR ACTUAL AND NECESSARY TRANSPORTATION AND OTHER MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES NOT PERSONAL, RAILROAD, STEAMBOAT, STAGE AND LIVERY FARES, TOLLS, FERRIAGE, ETC., INCLUDING NECESSARY SLEEPING AND PARLOR CAR ACCOMMODATIONS; STREETCAR, CAB, AND BUS FARES; BAGGAGE TRANSFERS, AND CHECKING PARCELS.

THE EXPENSE ARISING FROM THIS AUTHORIZATION WILL BE CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR " CONSERVATION OF HEALTH AMONG INDIANS, 1938.'

THIS ORDER DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZE OR DIRECT TRAVEL BETWEEN ST. LOUIS AND ALBUQUERQUE AND FORT DEFIANCE ON ACCOUNT OF WHICH EXPENSES ARE CLAIMED ON THE ABOVE VOUCHER AND DOES NOT SPECIFY THE DUTY ENJOINED. THE CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN THE DIRECTOR OF HEALTH, INDIAN SERVICE, AND DR. LAWRENCE T. POST, BETWEEN APRIL 19 AND MAY 2, 1938, RELATIVE TO THIS TRAVEL, COPIES OF WHICH WERE ENCLOSED WITH YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 15, 1938, SUPPLEMENTING THE ORDERS CITED, WAS NOT REFERRED TO ON THE VOUCHER, NOR WERE COPIES THEREOF FILED WITH SAID VOUCHER.

IT APPEARS FROM THE REFERRED-TO CORRESPONDENCE THAT DR. POST PLANNED TO ATTEND THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION MEETING AT SAN FRANCISCO IN JUNE 1938, AND THAT BECAUSE OF THE SAVING OF TIME HE PLANNED TO TRAVEL BY AIR TO AND FROM SAN FRANCISCO; THAT THE DIRECTOR OF HEALTH INVITED HIM UNDER DATE OF APRIL 19, 1938, TO ATTEND THE DEDICATION OF THE NEW HOSPITAL AT FORT DEFIANCE, ARIZ., AT 10 A.M. ON JUNE 20, 1938, ON HIS RETURN TRIP FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO ST. LOUIS AFTER THE CLOSE OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION MEETING; THAT UPON BEING INFORMED THAT THERE WOULD BE NO MEETING OF THE TRACHOMA COMMITTEE (OF WHICH IT APPEARS DR. POST IS A MEMBER) BUT THAT THE STOPOVER WOULD GIVE HIM AN OPPORTUNITY TO SEE "SOME OF OUR TRACHOMA PROBLEMS IN THE MORE HEAVILY INFECTED AREAS" AND THAT IT WOULD "BE POSSIBLE TO ARRANGE FOR YOUR TRANSPORTATION AND PER DIEM AS A MEMBER OF THE TRACHOMA COMMITTEE FROM YOUR HOME TO THE NAVAJO AGENCY AND RETURN," HE ACCEPTED THE INVITATION AND STATED HE WOULD PLAN TO LEAVE SAN FRANCISCO AT 1:50 P.M. BY AIR AND ARRIVE AT ALBUQUERQUE AT 9:25 P.M. ON JUNE 19, 1938.

WHEN THE CORRESPONDENCE NOW FURNISHED IS CONSIDERED IN CONNECTION WITH THE STATEMENT ON VOUCHER 10-20711, IT APPEARS THAT DR. POST TRAVELED TO THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION MEETING AT SAN FRANCISCO BY AIR FOR PERSONAL REASONS; THAT HE DID NOT STOP AT ALBUQUERQUE ON THE JOURNEY FROM ST. LOUIS TO SAN FRANCISCO ON JUNE 9, 1938, BUT PROCEEDED DIRECT TO SAN FRANCISCO; THAT HE LEFT SAN FRANCISCO BY AIR AT ABOUT 1:50 P.M. ON JUNE 19 AND ARRIVED AT ALBUQUERQUE, N.MEX., AT 9:55 P.M. ON THE SAME DAY; THAT HE REMAINED OVERNIGHT AT ALBUQUERQUE AND STARTED OVERLAND BY GOVERNMENT AUTOMOBILE TO FORT DEFIANCE AT 10 A.M. ON JUNE 20, 1938; THAT HE COULD NOT HAVE ARRIVED AT FORT DEFIANCE IN TIME FOR THE DEDICATION CEREMONIES TO WHICH HE HAD BEEN GIVEN A SPECIAL INVITATION; THAT HE RETURNED TO ALBUQUERQUE VIA GALLUP, N.MEX., ON JUNE 21 BY AUTOMOBILE AND TRAIN, THE TIME OF ARRIVAL AT AND DEPARTURE FROM THE POINTS MENTIONED NOT BEING INDICATED, AND ARRIVED AT ST. LOUIS AT 10:45 P.M. ON THE SAME DATE. THE TIME SPENT AT FORT DEFIANCE IS NOT SHOWN AND CANNOT BE DETERMINED FROM THE RECORD.

IF THE SUBMITTED CORRESPONDENCE REPRESENTS THE TRUE FACTS INVOLVED IN THIS CASE THEN, OBVIOUSLY, THE VOUCHER CONTAINED A MISREPRESENTATION OF FACTS. A VOUCHER SO CONSTRUCTED CONSTITUTES AN UNTRUE OR, IN EFFECT, A FALSE ACCOUNT.

UPON THE BASIS OF THE EVIDENCE NOW FURNISHED IT IS DISCLOSED THAT THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE TRAVEL PERFORMED BY DR. POST BETWEEN JUNE 8 AND JUNE 21, 1938, WAS NOT TO VISIT ALBUQUERQUE, .MEX., AND FORT DEFIANCE ON OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT BUSINESS BUT FOR THE PURPOSE OF ATTENDING THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION MEETING AT SAN FRANCISCO AND WAS ENTIRELY FOR PERSONAL REASONS.

THERE HAS BEEN CAREFULLY NOTED THE STATEMENT CONTAINED IN THE PENULTIMATE PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER BUT THE FACT REMAINS THAT NO PART OF THE EXPENSES OF A TRIP MADE FOR PERSONAL BUSINESS MAY BE SHIFTED TO OR SADDLED UPON THE GOVERNMENT SIMPLY BECAUSE SOME GOVERNMENT BUSINESS IS INCIDENTALLY INVOLVED IN SUCH TRIP--- THE RECORD FACTS NOW DISCLOSING THAT THE TRIP TO SAN FRANCISCO WAS DEFINITELY FOR PERSONAL REASONS, THE TRAVELER THUS BEING REQUIRED TO BEAR THE ENTIRE EXPENSES INVOLVED IN SUCH TRIP. IT HAS BEEN HELD REPEATEDLY THAT IN CASES OF TRAVEL OF THIS NATURE WHERE THE PURPOSE OF THE JOURNEY IS PRIMARILY PERSONAL, ONLY SUCH ADDITIONAL EXPENSES AS MAY HAVE BEEN INCURRED ON BONA FIDE GOVERNMENT BUSINESS CAUSING DELAY OR STOPOVER AND ADDITIONAL TRAVEL MAY BE PAID FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS. THE STATEMENT OF TRAVEL FROM ALBUQUERQUE TO FORT DEFIANCE AND RETURN DURING THE INTERRUPTION IN DR. POST'S CONTINUOUS JOURNEY WHILE RETURNING FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO ST. LOUIS IS VERY INDEFINITE AND IT IS NOT ENTIRELY CLEAR FROM THE RECORD THAT THE PURPORTED OBJECT OF THE VISIT TO FORT DEFIANCE WAS ACTUALLY ACCOMPLISHED. HOWEVER, FROM THE REPRESENTATIONS MADE BY THE DIRECTOR OF HEALTH IN THE CORRESPONDENCE REFERRED TO AND DR. POST'S UNDERSTANDING THEREOF AND THE TIME ACTUALLY DIVERTED FROM HIS PERSONAL AFFAIRS IT MUST BE HELD THAT HE IS ENTITLED TO ONLY THE EXPENSES INCURRED DURING THE PERIOD OF DELAY CAUSED BY THE STOPOVER AT ALBUQUERQUE FROM 9:55 P.M. JUNE 19 TO THE AFTERNOON OF JUNE 21, 1938, THE EXACT HOUR OF DEPARTURE FROM ALBUQUERQUE NOT BEING SHOWN. UPON THAT BASIS THE TRAVELER IS ENTITLED TO PER DIEM FOR 2 DAYS ($10) AND TO TAXI FARE AT ALBUQUERQUE ON JUNE 21, 1938 (75 CENTS), AND THE TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED FROM GALLUP TO ALBUQUERQUE ON TRANSPORTATION REQUEST I-232744 ($4.80) OR A TOTAL OF $15.55. HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION FROM ST. LOUIS TO ALBUQUERQUE FURNISHED ON TRANSPORTATION REQUEST I-232742 ON JUNE 8, 1938, AT A COST OF $48.03 NOR TO THE TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED FROM ALBUQUERQUE TO ST. LOUIS ON TRANSPORTATION REQUEST I-232743 ON JUNE 21, 1938, AT A COST OF $44.03 NOR TO ANY PER DIEM IN EXCESS OF $10 AS ABOVE INDICATED.

SINCE DR. POST WAS PAID TRAVEL EXPENSES AND FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION DURING THE PERIOD JUNE 8 TO JUNE 21, 1938, AT A TOTAL COST OF $110.11, THE UNAUTHORIZED EXPENSES CHARGED TO THE GOVERNMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $94.56 ($110.11 LESS $15.55) SHOULD BE REFUNDED PROMPTLY BY THE PAYEE IN ORDER THAT IT MAY NOT BE NECESSARY TO INSTITUTE THE USUAL COLLECTION PROCEEDINGS.

CREDIT FOR PAYMENT ON VOUCHER 10-20711 WILL CONTINUE TO BE WITHHELD PENDING COLLECTION OF THE INVOLVED AMOUNT FROM THE PAYEE.