A-21909, MARCH 24, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 591

A-21909: Mar 24, 1928

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PER DIEM - CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES TRAVELING ON ARMY TRANSPORTS THERE IS NOTHING IN PAR. 47 OR ELSEWHERE IN THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH PRECLUDES PAYMENT OF A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES WHILE TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS ON AN ARMY TRANSPORT UNDER ORDERS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF A PER DIEM. UNDER WHICH THE TRAVEL IN QUESTION WAS PERFORMED. PROVIDED AS FOLLOWS: YOUR NECESSARY EXPENSES OF TRAVEL AND A PER DIEM OF $6.00 IN LIEU OF ACTUAL SUBSISTENCE WILL BE ALLOWED. ON THE ORIGINAL EXPENSE VOUCHER SUBMITTED BY CLAIMANT FOR THIS TRIP THE AMOUNT OF THE PER DIEM FOR TIME SPENT ON THE ARMY TRANSPORT WAS DEDUCTED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE.

A-21909, MARCH 24, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 591

SUBSISTENCE, PER DIEM - CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES TRAVELING ON ARMY TRANSPORTS THERE IS NOTHING IN PAR. 47 OR ELSEWHERE IN THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH PRECLUDES PAYMENT OF A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES WHILE TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS ON AN ARMY TRANSPORT UNDER ORDERS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF A PER DIEM.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, MARCH 24, 1928:

THERE HAS BEEN PRESENTED TO THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION AND SETTLEMENT THE CLAIM OF A. H. CONNER, SUPERINTENDENT OF PRISONS, FOR $73.50 PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE AT THE RATE OF $6 PER DIEM FOR TIME SPENT ON AN ARMY TRANSPORT GOING FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO HONOLULU AND RETURN ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS IN AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER, 1927.

TRAVEL ORDER OF JULY 26, 1927, UNDER WHICH THE TRAVEL IN QUESTION WAS PERFORMED, PROVIDED AS FOLLOWS:

YOUR NECESSARY EXPENSES OF TRAVEL AND A PER DIEM OF $6.00 IN LIEU OF ACTUAL SUBSISTENCE WILL BE ALLOWED, PAYABLE FROM THE APPROPRIATION "INSPECTION OF PRISONS AND PRISONERS.'

ON THE ORIGINAL EXPENSE VOUCHER SUBMITTED BY CLAIMANT FOR THIS TRIP THE AMOUNT OF THE PER DIEM FOR TIME SPENT ON THE ARMY TRANSPORT WAS DEDUCTED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE, APPARENTLY UNDER 2 COMP. GEN. 46, AND 4 ID. 896, WHICH DECISIONS CONSIDERED THE QUESTION OF REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES ON ARMY TRANSPORTS, AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE HAS REFERRED THE PRESENT CLAIM FOR THE AMOUNT THUS DEDUCTED TO THIS OFFICE FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT.

THE FIRST OF THE TWO DECISIONS UNDER WHICH THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE APPARENTLY ACTED WAS RENDERED UNDER DEPARTMENTAL REGULATIONS THEN IN FORCE PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1926, THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926, AND THE PROMULGATION OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. THE SECOND OF SAID DECISIONS WAS RENDERED WITH REFERENCE TO SPECIAL LAWS APPLICABLE TO OFFICERS OF THE MILITARY, NAVAL, AND SIMILAR FORCES. FOR THESE REASONS THE TWO DECISIONS ARE NOT APPLICABLE IN THE PRESENT CASE.

THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS DO NOT EXPRESSLY COVER TRAVEL OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES ON ARMY TRANSPORTS. TRAVEL ON VESSELS GENERALLY IS COVERED BY PARAGRAPH 47, WHICH PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

ON VESSELS WHERE THE PRICE OF PASSAGE INCLUDES MEALS, OR AT POINTS WHERE SUBSISTENCE IN KIND IS FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT, ONLY ACTUAL EXPENDITURES FOR OTHER SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES, AS AUTHORIZED HEREIN, WILL BE ALLOWED, EXCEPT WHEN PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE IS AUTHORIZED. (GRATUITIES TO GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES WILL NOT BE ALLOWED.)

ANALYZING THIS PARAGRAPH IT SEEMS REASONABLY CLEAR THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE RESTRICTION WAS TO PREVENT A POSSIBLE DOUBLE PAYMENT FOR MEALS ONCE IN THE PRICE OF THE PASSAGE AND ONCE IN THE FORM OF REIMBURSEMENT TO THE TRAVELER. IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THE RESTRICTION IS NOT APPLICABLE WHERE ,PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE IS AUTHORIZED.'

FURTHERMORE, MEALS ARE NOT FURNISHED FREE TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES WHILE TRAVELING ON ARMY TRANSPORTS, BUT THEY ARE REQUIRED TO PAY THE APPROXIMATE COST OF SAME. THE CLAIMANT IN THIS CASE SO REPORTS. HENCE, THE RESTRICTION IN THE ABOVE-QUOTED REGULATION DID NOT APPLY (1) BECAUSE THE TRAVELER DID NOT RECEIVE MEALS IN KIND FREE OF CHARGE ON THE ARMY TRANSPORT AND (2) BECAUSE HIS TRAVEL ORDER SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED PAYMENT OF A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE. NO OTHER PROVISION OF THE REGULATIONS WOULD PRECLUDE PAYMENT OF THE PER DIEM WHILE TRAVELING ON AN ARMY TRANSPORT.