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FAILS TO ANSWER YOUR SPECIFIC QUESTION WHETHER THE INVOLVED TELEPHONE CALL "WAS MADE ON GOVERNMENT BUSINESS.'. WHICH IS SET FORTH IN FULL IN OUR DECISION. PURSUANT TO THAT STATUTE IT IS CLEAR THAT A CERTIFICATE BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT. TO THE EFFECT THAT THE USE OF THE TELEPHONE WAS NECESSARY IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT IS PREREQUISITE TO ALLOWANCE. THE GENERAL CERTIFICATE OF ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL ON THE FACE OF THE VOUCHER IS NOT SUCH A CERTIFICATE. 18 COMP. " THAT THE TELEPHONE CALL SEEMS TO HAVE RESULTED IN A SAVINGS OF ALLOWABLE TAXI FARE AS CONTRASTED WITH THE MILEAGE APPARENTLY CLAIMED AND ALLOWED FROM THE LAS CRUCES AIRPORT. WE WOULD BE INCLINED NOT TO QUESTION AN ADMINISTRATIVE CERTIFICATE THAT THE USE OF THE TELEPHONE IN THIS CASE WAS NECESSARY IN THE GOVERNMENT'S INTEREST.

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B-132166, AUG. 19, 1957

TO MR. DAVID GREGG, PROGRAMMING OFFICE, IRB:

YOUR LETTER OF JULY 29, 1957, SAYS THAT OUR DECISION B-132166, DATED JULY 12, 1957, TO YOU, FAILS TO ANSWER YOUR SPECIFIC QUESTION WHETHER THE INVOLVED TELEPHONE CALL "WAS MADE ON GOVERNMENT BUSINESS.'

MAY WE DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION AGAIN TO SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF MAY 10, 1939, 53 STAT. 738, 31 U.S.C. 680A, WHICH IS SET FORTH IN FULL IN OUR DECISION. PURSUANT TO THAT STATUTE IT IS CLEAR THAT A CERTIFICATE BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT, ESTABLISHMENT OR AGENCY CONCERNED, OR SUCH SUBORDINATE AS HE MAY DESIGNATE, TO THE EFFECT THAT THE USE OF THE TELEPHONE WAS NECESSARY IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT IS PREREQUISITE TO ALLOWANCE, FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS, OF THE CHARGE FOR LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE CALLS. ALSO, THE GENERAL CERTIFICATE OF ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL ON THE FACE OF THE VOUCHER IS NOT SUCH A CERTIFICATE. 18 COMP. GEN. 1017.

CONSIDERING THAT PARAGRAPH 3.1 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AS AMENDED EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 1956, IN DEFINING ALLOWABLE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCLUDES "TELEPHONE * * * MESSAGES IN CONNECTION WITH ITEMS CLASSED AS TRANSPORTATION," THAT THE TELEPHONE CALL SEEMS TO HAVE RESULTED IN A SAVINGS OF ALLOWABLE TAXI FARE AS CONTRASTED WITH THE MILEAGE APPARENTLY CLAIMED AND ALLOWED FROM THE LAS CRUCES AIRPORT, AND THE SMALL AMOUNT INVOLVED, WE WOULD BE INCLINED NOT TO QUESTION AN ADMINISTRATIVE CERTIFICATE THAT THE USE OF THE TELEPHONE IN THIS CASE WAS NECESSARY IN THE GOVERNMENT'S INTEREST. WE WOULD BE SO INCLINED EVEN THOUGH WE RECOGNIZE THAT THERE IS CONSIDERABLE ROOM FOR THE VIEW THAT THE CALL MAY HAVE BEEN MADE PRIMARILY TO OBVIATE YOUR WIFE'S MAKING AN UNNECESSARY, AND WHAT WOULD BE POINTLESS, TRIP TO THE EL PASO, TEXAS AIRPORT, A PERSONAL MATTER.

HOWEVER, IT IS CLEAR THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF SUCH AN ADMINISTRATIVE CERTIFICATE WE HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO ALLOW THE AMOUNT CLAIMED FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS. ACCORDINGLY, AND ON THE PRESENT RECORD, OUR DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM IS AGAIN SUSTAINED.

HOWEVER, SHOULD YOU FURNISH AN APPROPRIATE CERTIFICATE OF AN AUTHORIZED DESIGNEE OF THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT, WHO SHOULD INDICATE HE HAS BEEN SO DESIGNATED, FURTHER CONSIDERATION WILL BE GIVEN YOUR CLAIM. AS TO THE FORM OF THE CERTIFICATE SEE 18 COMP. GEN. 1017 REFERRED TO ABOVE.

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