B-80425, JANUARY 4, 1949, 28 COMP. GEN. 399

B-80425: Jan 4, 1949

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ARE TO BE REGARDED AS THE LOWEST FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE COST LIMITATION OF PARAGRAPHS 13 AND 29 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. SO THAT THE USE OF MINIMUM FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS ( CLASS C) ON SUCH VESSELS MAY NOT BE AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UNLESS CLASS M ACCOMMODATIONS ARE UNAVAILABLE WHEN RESERVATIONS ARE MADE. 1949: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 24. IT IS STATED THAT THE MATTER OF ACCOMMODATIONS AVAILABLE TO CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION EMPLOYEES BEING TRANSFERRED OVERSEAS HAS BEEN THE SUBJECT OF A LENGTHY STUDY BY THE SAID STAFF OFFICER. THAT WITH RESPECT TO ACCOMMODATIONS ON BOARD AMERICAN PRESIDENT LINES' VESSELS THE FOLLOWING FACTS HAVE BEEN OBTAINED: 1.

B-80425, JANUARY 4, 1949, 28 COMP. GEN. 399

TRANSPORTATION - VESSELS - LOWEST FIRST-CLASS LIMITATION THE MINIMUM TOURIST CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS ( CLASS M) ON THE VESSELS S.S. PRESIDENT WILSON AND S.S. PRESIDENT CLEVELAND, HAVING BEEN DESIGNATED AS FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS BY THE STEAMSHIP LINE, AS REFLECTED BY ITS PUBLISHED TARIFFS, ARE TO BE REGARDED AS THE LOWEST FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE COST LIMITATION OF PARAGRAPHS 13 AND 29 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AS AMENDED, SO THAT THE USE OF MINIMUM FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS ( CLASS C) ON SUCH VESSELS MAY NOT BE AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UNLESS CLASS M ACCOMMODATIONS ARE UNAVAILABLE WHEN RESERVATIONS ARE MADE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, JANUARY 4, 1949:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 24, 1948, RELATIVE TO THE TYPE OF ACCOMMODATIONS BEING FURNISHED EMPLOYEES ON THE S.S. PRESIDENT WILSON AND THE S.S. PRESIDENT CLEVELAND, OWNED BY THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT LINES, AND REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO "WHETHER OR NOT THE USE OF MINIMUM CLASS C ACCOMMODATIONS ON THESE VESSELS MAY BE AUTHORIZED.'

IN MEMORANDUM OF AUGUST 5, 1948, FROM THE REGIONAL FOREIGN STAFF OFFICER TO THE ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR FOR AVIATION SAFETY, CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION, COPY OF WHICH YOU FORWARDED HERE WITH YOUR LETTER, IT IS STATED THAT THE MATTER OF ACCOMMODATIONS AVAILABLE TO CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION EMPLOYEES BEING TRANSFERRED OVERSEAS HAS BEEN THE SUBJECT OF A LENGTHY STUDY BY THE SAID STAFF OFFICER, AND THAT WITH RESPECT TO ACCOMMODATIONS ON BOARD AMERICAN PRESIDENT LINES' VESSELS THE FOLLOWING FACTS HAVE BEEN OBTAINED:

1. THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT LINES HAVE CONSOLIDATED FIRST CLASS AND TOURIST CLASS INTO AN ALLEGED " FIRST CLASS" ON THE VESSELS SS PRESIDENT WILSON AND SS PRESIDENT CLEVELAND.

2. THE CLASSIFICATIONS ARE CLEARLY IDENTIFIED--- FIRST CLASS BEING C-1-2- 3-4-5 AND THE TOURIST CLASS BEING M-1-2-3. THE VESSELS ALSO CARRY A THIRD CLASS, BUT ALL OF THE SECOND CLASS, OR TOURIST CLASS, HAVE BEEN CONSOLIDATED INTO AN ALLEGED FIRST CLASS.

3. CAA EMPLOYEES HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED SPACE IN M-1 WHICH IS THE LOWEST TOURIST CLASS AVAILABLE, THIS ON THE THEORY THAT THE CONSOLIDATION CONSTITUTES FIRST CLASS PASSAGE AS OUTLINED UNDER GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

4. IT IS THE CONSENSUS OF ALL PERSONNEL, BOTH OF THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT LINES AND CAA WITH WHOM THIS MATTER HAS BEEN DISCUSSED, THAT THE VESSEL IS IN FACT A THREE-CLASS VESSEL AND THAT IN LIEU OF REQUESTING LOWEST FIRST CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS, ALL REQUESTS FOR TRANSPORTATION OF CAA EMPLOYEES SHOULD BE WORDED " LOWEST C CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS.'

5. THERE ARE ONLY FOUR STATEROOMS IN THE ENTIRE M CLASSIFICATION THAT EVEN HAVE TOILETS. NONE OF THEM HAVE SHOWER OR BATH FACILITIES. THE LOWEST ACTUAL FIRST CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS ABOARD THE SS PRESIDENT CLEVELAND AND THE SS PRESIDENT WILSON ARE C-1.

6. PASSENGERS TRAVELING IN M CLASSIFICATION ARE NOT ALLOWED TO EAT IN THE FIRST CLASS DINING ROOM, BUT ARE ASSIGNED TO A TOURIST CLASS DINING ROOM.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION HAS BEEN OBTAINED FROM THE LOCAL OFFICE OF THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT LINES TO THE EFFECT THAT PASSENGERS OCCUPYING M ACCOMMODATIONS HAVE FULL RUN OF THE SHIPS, INCLUDING THE USE OF THE FIRST- CLASS LOUNGES; THAT THEIR STATEROOMS HAVE RUNNING WATER; THAT THE MEALS AND SERVICE IN BOTH DINING ROOMS (EACH SHIP HAS TWO DINING ROOMS) ARE IDENTICAL; AND THAT THE ONLY REASON FOR THE REQUIREMENT THAT M PASSENGERS USE A DIFFERENT DINING ROOM FROM THE C PASSENGERS IS THE INADEQUACY OF THE SPACE IN THE LARGER DINING ROOM TO ACCOMMODATE ALL OF THE C AND M PASSENGERS.

PARAGRAPHS 13 AND 29 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AS AMENDED BY BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-7, REVISED, DATED JULY 6, 1948, AND PROMULGATED UNDER SECTION 10 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 6 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 808, PROVIDE, IN MATERIAL PART, AS FOLLOWS:

13. ACCOMMODATIONS ON TRAINS AND STEAMERS. A TRAVELER WILL BE ALLOWED THE FOLLOWING ACCOMMODATIONS ON TRAINS AND STEAMERS. (SEE PAR. 57):

(B) STEAMER ACCOMMODATIONS

(1) STATEROOMS: MINIMUM FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATION WHEN STATEROOM IS INCLUDED IN COST OF PASSAGE, OR WHERE THE STATEROOM IS A SEPARATE CHARGE, EXCEPT THAT THE LOWEST FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATION AVAILABLE WILL BE ALLOWED WHEN NOTATION IS MADE ON THE TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHER THAT THE ACCOMMODATION SUPERIOR TO MINIMUM FIRST-CLASS WAS THE LOWEST AVAILABLE AT THE RESERVATION WAS MADE. THE NOTATION WILL BE ACCEPTED AS PRIMA FACIE EVIDENCE AND BECOMES A PART OF THE CERTIFICATE SIGNED BY THE PAYEE ON THE FACE OF HIS TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHER. (SEE PAR. 29 AND 95.)

29. STATEROOMS

(2) STATEROOMS INCLUDED IN COST OF PASSAGE: WHEN A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST IS ISSUED FOR STEAMSHIP PASSAGE THE COST OF WHICH AT A FIXED RATE INCLUDES STATEROOM BUT THE AMOUNT DEPENDS ON THE KIND OF STATEROOM USED, MINIMUM FIRST-CLASS MUST BE SECURED IF AVAILABLE. WHEN MINIMUM FIRST-CLASS IS NOT AVAILABLE, THE LOWEST FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATION THAT IS AVAILABLE SHOULD BE SECURED AND THE SPECIFIC VALUE THEREOF INSERTED ON THE REQUEST.

IN APPLYING THE LOWEST FIRST-CLASS LIMITATION OF THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS FOR VESSEL TRANSPORTATION, THIS OFFICE CONSISTENTLY HAS ACCEPTED THE DETERMINATIONS OF THE VARIOUS STEAMSHIP COMPANIES AS TO WHETHER PARTICULAR PASSENGER ACCOMMODATIONS ARE FIRST-CLASS, AS REFLECTED BY THEIR PUBLISHED TARIFFS. NO DEVIATION FROM THAT POSITION IS DEEMED TO BE EITHER PROPER OR ADVISABLE EXCEPT IN THOSE INSTANCES IN WHICH IT IS ABUNDANTLY CLEAR THAT THE ACCOMMODATIONS OFFERED TO THE PUBLIC AS FIRST-CLASS ARE NOT IN FACT FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE APPLICABLE PROVISIONS OF THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS, SUPRA. SEE, GENERALLY, 27 COMP. GEN. 55. IT IS THE VIEW OF THIS OFFICE THAT THE FACTUAL PICTURE OUTLINED ABOVE IS NOT SUCH AS TO WARRANT THE CONCLUSION THAT THE M ACCOMMODATIONS ON THE S.S. PRESIDENT WILSON AND THE S.S. PRESIDENT CLEVELAND ARE OTHER THAN FIRST- CLASS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT TERM AS USED IN THE REGULATIONS.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT CLASS C ACCOMMODATIONS ON THOSE VESSELS MAY NOT BE AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UNLESS M ACCOMMODATIONS ARE UNAVAILABLE AT THE TIME RESERVATIONS ARE MADE.