A-19308, AUGUST 30, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 165

A-19308: Aug 30, 1927

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THIS AMOUNT WAS COMPOSED OF A $1 CHARGE FOR LODGING AT ADEL. FOR WHICH NO RECEIPT WAS FURNISHED WHEN ORIGINALLY PRESENTED ON HIS REGULAR MONTHLY VOUCHER FOR THE PERIOD IN QUESTION. THESE ITEMS WERE INCLUDED IN HIS REGULAR MONTHLY EXPENSE VOUCHER. WERE ELIMINATED THEREFROM BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE. WHICH WILL ACCORDINGLY BE ALLOWED. AS YOU HAVE SUGGESTED. HE WOULD HAVE BEEN IN COUNCIL BLUFFS AT 9 A.M. IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE FACTS THIS AGENT IS ENTITLED TO $3.00 PER DIEM FOR MARCH 28. IT IS A WELL-ESTABLISHED RULE THAT ABSENCES FROM HEADQUARTERS CONFINED BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 8 A.M. DO NOT CONSTITUTE A TRAVEL STATUS AND THAT SUCH A STATUS DOES NOT EXIST WHERE IT IS NOT SHOWN TO HAVE BEEN OFFICIALLY NECESSARY TO BE ABSENT IN EXCESS OF THOSE HOURS. 5 COMP.

A-19308, AUGUST 30, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 165

SUBSISTENCE - HEADQUARTERS - TRAVEL STATUS AN ABSENCE FROM HEADQUARTERS, PERFORMING DUTY IN AN ADJACENT CITY 4 MILES DISTANT, THE CAR FARE BEING 10 CENTS PER TRIP AND REQUIRING 30 MINUTES OR LESS TO MAKE THE TRIP BETWEEN THE TWO POINTS, DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A TRAVEL STATUS TO ENTITLE AN EMPLOYEE TO REIMBURSEMENT OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OR PER DIEM IN LIEU THEREOF.

DECISION BY ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL GINN, AUGUST 30, 1927:

REVIEW HAS BEEN REQUESTED OF SETTLEMENT OF JUNE 9, 1927, DISALLOWING CLAIM NO. 0189342 OF CHARLES GRIFFEN FOR $11.90 EXPENSES OF TRAVEL AND PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FROM MARCH 1 TO APRIL 1, 1927. THIS AMOUNT WAS COMPOSED OF A $1 CHARGE FOR LODGING AT ADEL, IOWA, MARCH 10, 1927, FOR WHICH NO RECEIPT WAS FURNISHED WHEN ORIGINALLY PRESENTED ON HIS REGULAR MONTHLY VOUCHER FOR THE PERIOD IN QUESTION, AND $10.90 CONSISTING OF TIPS TO HOTEL PORTERS, TAXICAB HIRE AND TWO AND ONE-HALF DAYS' PER DIEM FROM 5:30 P.M., MARCH 26, TO AND INCLUDING MARCH 28, 1927, WHILE AT COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA, HIS OFFICIAL STATION BEING OMAHA, NEBR. THESE ITEMS WERE INCLUDED IN HIS REGULAR MONTHLY EXPENSE VOUCHER, BUT WERE ELIMINATED THEREFROM BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE--- THE $1 FOR FAILURE TO FURNISH A RECEIPT AND THE REMAINDER FOR LACK OF EXPLANATION OF THE NECESSITY OF REMAINING IN COUNCIL BLUFFS INSTEAD OF RETURNING TO OMAHA EACH EVENING AT A COST OF 10 CENTS PER TRIP.

THE CLAIMANT HAS NOW FURNISHED A RECEIPT FOR THE $1 LODGING CHARGE, WHICH WILL ACCORDINGLY BE ALLOWED.

WITH REFERENCE TO THE REMAINING ITEMS, CLAIMANT MAKES THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT:

IF AGENT HAD RETURNED TO OMAHA EVERY NIGHT, AS YOU HAVE SUGGESTED, HE WOULD HAVE BEEN IN COUNCIL BLUFFS AT 9 A.M. MARCH 28, 1927, AS HE ACTUALLY WORKED THERE ALL DAY ON THE 28TH AND LEFT THERE AT 6:55 P.M. ON THE 28TH FOR RED OAK, IOWA, ON THE C.B. AND Q. R.R., AND DID NOT AGAIN RETURN TO HEADQUARTERS UNTIL MARCH 31, 1927, AT 4:40 P.M.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE FACTS THIS AGENT IS ENTITLED TO $3.00 PER DIEM FOR MARCH 28, 1927 * * *.

AN EMPLOYEE MUST BE TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND AWAY FROM HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY TO ENTITLE HIM TO REIMBURSEMENT OF TIPS TO HOTEL PORTERS AND TO PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE. SEE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1875, 18 STAT. 452, AND THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF JUNE 3, 1926, 44 STAT. 688. IT IS A WELL-ESTABLISHED RULE THAT ABSENCES FROM HEADQUARTERS CONFINED BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 8 A.M. AND 6 P.M. DO NOT CONSTITUTE A TRAVEL STATUS AND THAT SUCH A STATUS DOES NOT EXIST WHERE IT IS NOT SHOWN TO HAVE BEEN OFFICIALLY NECESSARY TO BE ABSENT IN EXCESS OF THOSE HOURS. 5 COMP. GEN. 215, 449; A-17461, MARCH 19, 1927. THE RAILROAD STATION AT COUNCIL BLUFFS IS APPROXIMATELY 4 MILES FROM THE RAILROAD STATION AT OMAHA. THE TRIP REQUIRES FROM 25 TO 30 MINUTES AND COSTS 10 CENTS EACH WAY ON THE TRAIN. THERE THUS APPEARS NO NECESSITY FOR LEAVING OMAHA AT 5:30 P.M. ON MARCH 26, WHEN HE COULD HAVE LEFT AFTER 8 A.M. THE NEXT DAY AND ARRIVED IN COUNCIL BLUFFS IN TIME FOR DUTY. IT WAS ALSO POSSIBLE TO HAVE RETURNED TO OMAHA EACH EVENING BEFORE 6 P.M. NO DISTINCTION CAN BE MADE BETWEEN MARCH 27 AND MARCH 28, AS THE EMPLOYEE WAS APPARENTLY ENGAGED ON SIMILAR DUTIES EACH DAY AT THE SAME PLACE, AND COULD HAVE TAKEN THE TRAIN FROM OMAHA, SO FAR AS OFFICIAL BUSINESS WAS CONCERNED, AS WELL AS FROM COUNCIL BLUFFS. SO FAR AS SHOWN BY THE RECORD, THERE WAS NO NECESSITY FOR THE EMPLOYEE REMAINING AT COUNCIL BLUFFS OVERNIGHT OR BEING ABSENT FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS AT OMAHA AT ANY TIME BEFORE 8 A.M. OR OF REMAINING AWAY FOR ANY TIME AFTER 6 P.M. ON EITHER OF THE DAYS IN QUESTION. FURTHERMORE, THE TWO CITIES ARE SO CLOSE TO EACH OTHER THAT DUTY IN COUNCIL BLUFFS IS, IN SO FAR AS TRAVEL STATUS IS CONCERNED, DUTY AT HEADQUARTERS, AND THE LEAVING COUNCIL BLUFFS FOR RED OAK DID NOT MAKE THE DAY OF LEAVING A TRAVEL DAY AT COUNCIL BLUFFS. THAT DAY WAS NO DIFFERENT AS TO TRAVEL STATUS THAN IF DEPARTURE HAD BEEN FROM OMAHA THAT EVENING. IT MUST BE HELD, THEREFORE, THAT THE CLAIMANT WAS NOT IN A TRAVEL STATUS ON MARCH 28, PRIOR TO HIS DEPARTURE FROM COUNCIL BLUFFS FOR RED OAK, AND WAS NOT ENTITLED TO PER DIEM FOR ANY OF THE TIME SPENT AT COUNCIL BLUFFS NOR TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR AMOUNTS EXPENDED AS TIPS WHICH WERE DUE TO HIS STOPPING AT A HOTEL AT COUNCIL BLUFFS INSTEAD OF RETURNING TO HIS HOME EACH EVENING. HIS TRAVEL VOUCHER, HOWEVER, SHOWS THAT HE WAS IN A TRAVEL STATUS ON MARCH 26 UP UNTIL 3:15 P.M., WHEN HE REACHED OMAHA. THIS ENTITLED HIM TO A FRACTIONAL PER DIEM FOR THAT DAY AS FOR 15 HOURS, OR $3, UNDER PARAGRAPH 66 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. WAS ALSO IN A TRAVEL STATUS BEGINNING 6:55 P.M. MARCH 28, WHEN HE LEFT COUNCIL BLUFFS, WHICH ENTITLED HIM TO A FRACTIONAL PER DIEM FOR THAT DAY AS FOR FIVE AND ONE-TWELFTH HOURS, OR $1. HE WAS ALLOWED AND PAID ON THE VOUCHER, AS ORIGINALLY SUBMITTED, $2 FOR MARCH 26, LEAVING AN ADDITIONAL $2 DUE HIM.

THE CHARGE FOR TAXICAB HIRE FROM HOTEL TO STATION UPON LEAVING COUNCIL BLUFFS FOR OTHER POINTS APPEARS TO BE AUTHORIZED UNDER PARAGRAPH 8A OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AS BEING INCIDENT TO THE BEGINNING OF OFFICIAL TRAVEL.

UPON REVIEW $3.40 IS CERTIFIED DUE CLAIMANT, THE SETTLEMENT AS TO THE REMAINING ITEMS BEING SUSTAINED.