B-80478, APR. 26, 1957

B-80478: Apr 26, 1957

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WAS DENIED. THE CLAIM WAS DENIED ON THE BASIS THAT REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXCESS BAGGAGE HAD NOT BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED. THE AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF EXCESS BAGGAGE COSTS IS CONTAINED IN SECTION 5.2. WHICH PROVIDES: "BAGGAGE IN EXCESS OF THE WEIGHT OR OF SIZE GREATER THAN CARRIED FREE BY TRANSPORTATION COMPANIES WILL BE CLASSED AS EXCESS BAGGAGE. WHERE AIR- COACH OR AIR-TOURIST ACCOMMODATIONS ARE USED. TRANSPORTATION OF BAGGAGE UP TO THE WEIGHT CARRIED FREE ON FIRST-CLASS SERVICE IS AUTHORIZED WITHOUT CHARGE TO THE TRAVELER. OTHERWISE EXCESS BAGGAGE CHARGES WILL BE ALLOWED WHEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED. IF THE AUTHORIZATION FOR EXCESS BAGGAGE IS NOT INCLUDED ON THE TRANSPORTATION REQUEST.

B-80478, APR. 26, 1957

TO MR. M. G. COSGROVE:

ON FEBRUARY 11, 1957, YOU REQUESTED A REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 6, 1957, IN WHICH YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXCESS BAGGAGE COSTS IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR TRAVEL FROM GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN, TO ALLENTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA, IN SEPTEMBER 1956, WAS DENIED. THE CLAIM WAS DENIED ON THE BASIS THAT REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXCESS BAGGAGE HAD NOT BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED.

THE AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF EXCESS BAGGAGE COSTS IS CONTAINED IN SECTION 5.2, STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, WHICH PROVIDES:

"BAGGAGE IN EXCESS OF THE WEIGHT OR OF SIZE GREATER THAN CARRIED FREE BY TRANSPORTATION COMPANIES WILL BE CLASSED AS EXCESS BAGGAGE. WHERE AIR- COACH OR AIR-TOURIST ACCOMMODATIONS ARE USED, TRANSPORTATION OF BAGGAGE UP TO THE WEIGHT CARRIED FREE ON FIRST-CLASS SERVICE IS AUTHORIZED WITHOUT CHARGE TO THE TRAVELER; OTHERWISE EXCESS BAGGAGE CHARGES WILL BE ALLOWED WHEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED. IF THE AUTHORIZATION FOR EXCESS BAGGAGE IS NOT INCLUDED ON THE TRANSPORTATION REQUEST, THE TRAVELER'S CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT SHOULD BE INCLUDED ON THE TRAVEL VOUCHER. (SEE SEC. 11.1A)"

AS YOU WILL NOTE, IT IS NECESSARY THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZE OR APPROVE THE PAYMENT OF EXCESS BAGGAGE CHARGES, EXCEPT IN THE ONE CIRCUMSTANCE INDICATED. ALTHOUGH YOUR TRAVEL ORDER CA- 7A, SEPTEMBER 4, 1956, AUTHORIZES YOU TO INCUR NECESSARY EXPENSES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, IT DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF EXCESS BAGGAGE CHARGES. MOREOVER, THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE SUSPENDED THE ITEM FROM YOUR SEPTEMBER TRAVEL VOUCHER, AND THE RECLAIM VOUCHER WAS FORWARDED HERE WITH THE SPECIFIC DISAPPROVAL OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE. IT APPEARS TO BE THE VIEW OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE THAT THE EXCESS BAGGAGE WAS SHIPPED FOR YOUR PRIVATE CONVENIENCE, AND THAT THE ITEMS SO SHIPPED WERE NOT REQUIRED FOR YOUR PERFORMANCE OF TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVEL; AND THE FACT THAT THE EXCESS BAGGAGE WAS SHIPPED FROM AN INTERMEDIATE POINT RATHER THAN FROM YOUR TEMPORARY DUTY STATION TENDS TO SUPPORT THAT VIEW. ALTHOUGH OUR OFFICE HAS, ON OCCASION, APPROVED EXCESS BAGGAGE COSTS ON SHIPMENTS ORIGINATING AT INTERMEDIATE POINTS, SUCH INSTANCES WERE BASED ON SPECIFIC ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVALS AND CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH CLEARLY SHOWED THAT THE SHIPMENTS INVOLVED WERE DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE OFFICIAL TRAVEL AND THAT SHIPMENT FOR ONLY A PORTION OF THE TRAVEL WAS FOR THE BENEFIT OF, OR RESULTED IN A SAVING TO, THE GOVERNMENT.

ACCORDINGLY, IN THE ABSENCE OF AN UNEQUIVOCAL EXPRESS APPROVAL BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE EXCESS BAGGAGE CHARGES HERE INVOLVED, WE CANNOT ALLOW YOUR CLAIM. THE SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 6, 1957, APPEARS CORRECT AND IS HEREBY AFFIRMED.