A-28346, AUGUST 23, 1929, 9 COMP. GEN. 87

A-28346: Aug 23, 1929

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PER DIEMS - LEAVES OF ABSENCE DURING TRAVEL STATUS AN EMPLOYEE TAKING LEAVE OF ABSENCE WHILE IN A TRAVEL STATUS ON A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE BASIS AND WHO RETURNS TO HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION BEFORE THE PRESCRIBED HOURS OF DUTY ON A SPECIFIED DATE IS ENTITLED TO A FULL PER DIEM FOR THAT DAY UNDER PARAGRAPH 45 (B) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. PARAGRAPH 4 OF THE SAID REGULATIONS IS NOT INCONSISTENT THEREWITH. THE LAST SENTENCE OF PARAGRAPH 45 (B) APPLIES ONLY TO CASES IN WHICH THE BEGINNING AND ENDING OF THE LEAVE OF ABSENCE ARE BOTH IN THE SAME CALENDAR DAY. WITH THE REQUEST THAT YOU LET ME HAVE A DECISION AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE COVERING THE POINTS INVOLVED. THE ACCOUNT IS THAT OF CHARLES A.

A-28346, AUGUST 23, 1929, 9 COMP. GEN. 87

SUBSISTENCE, PER DIEMS - LEAVES OF ABSENCE DURING TRAVEL STATUS AN EMPLOYEE TAKING LEAVE OF ABSENCE WHILE IN A TRAVEL STATUS ON A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE BASIS AND WHO RETURNS TO HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION BEFORE THE PRESCRIBED HOURS OF DUTY ON A SPECIFIED DATE IS ENTITLED TO A FULL PER DIEM FOR THAT DAY UNDER PARAGRAPH 45 (B) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. PARAGRAPH 4 OF THE SAID REGULATIONS IS NOT INCONSISTENT THEREWITH. THE LAST SENTENCE OF PARAGRAPH 45 (B) APPLIES ONLY TO CASES IN WHICH THE BEGINNING AND ENDING OF THE LEAVE OF ABSENCE ARE BOTH IN THE SAME CALENDAR DAY.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO GUY L. SEAMAN, DISBURSING CLERK, INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION, AUGUST 23, 1929:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 9, 1929, AS FOLLOWS:

I AM SUBMITTING HEREWITH AN ACCOUNT COVERING TRAVELING EXPENSES CLAIMED BY AN EMPLOYEE OF THIS COMMISSION, WITH THE REQUEST THAT YOU LET ME HAVE A DECISION AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE COVERING THE POINTS INVOLVED.

THE ACCOUNT IS THAT OF CHARLES A. SEVERS, IN THE AMOUNT OF $3.00 FOR PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE COVERING TWO QUARTER-DAYS, WHERE DUTY WAS RESUMED AT 8.00 A.M. AFTER A TERM OF LEAVE.

THE FACTS ARE AS FOLLOWS: MR. SEVERS WAS STATIONED TEMPORARILY AT LOS ANGELES, ON COMPETENT TRAVEL ORDERS, HIS HEADQUARTERS BEING SAN FRANCISCO. ON APRIL 1 HE WENT OFF DUTY AT 9.30 A.M., CLAIMING NO PER DIEM FOR THAT DAY AS PER THE LAST SENTENCE OF PARAGRAPH NO. 45-B. HOWEVER, HE RESUMED DUTY AT 8.00 A.M. ON APRIL 6, AND IS CLAIMING A FULL DAY'S PER DIEM, HAVING BEEN ALLOWED THREE-FOURTH DAY ON VOUCHER 8400, JUNE QUARTER, 1929, AND CLAIMING ONE-FOURTH DAY ON THE ACCOUNT HEREWITH. MR. SEVERS BASES HIS CLAIM ON THE FACT THAT ALTHOUGH HE RESUMED DUTY AT 8.00 A.M. ON THAT DAY, HE PERFORMED A FULL DAY'S WORK, AND SO SHOULD HAVE A FULL DAY'S PER DIEM. HE ALSO CLAIMS AN ADDITIONAL ONE-FOURTH DAY FOR APRIL 18, HAVING GONE OFF DUTY AT 5.00 P.M. ON APRIL 16 AND RESUMED DUTY AT 8.00 A.M. ON APRIL 18.

THE DIFFICULTY IN THIS CASE SEEMS TO ARISE FROM AN APPARENT CONFLICT IN THE REGULATIONS AS CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPH NO. 4, WHICH READS IN PART: "WHEN LEAVE OF ABSENCE OF ANY KIND IS TAKEN WHILE IN A TRAVEL STATUS * * * THE EXACT HOUR OF DEPARTURE FROM AND OF RETURN TO DUTY STATION OR DUTY STATUS MUST BE SHOWN IN THE EXPENSE ACCOUNT," AND PARAGRAPH 45-B, WHICH IN PART IS AS OLLOWS: "IF LEAVE OF ABSENCE OF ANY KIND BEGINS OR TERMINATES WITHIN THE TRAVELER'S PRESCRIBED HOURS OF DUTY, SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE WILL TERMINATE OR BEGIN AT THE SAME TIME. IF THE LEAVE OF ABSENCE DOES NOT BEGIN OR TERMINATE WITHIN THE TRAVELER'S PRESCRIBED HOURS OF DUTY, THE TRAVELER WILL BE REGARDED AS BEING IN A SUBSISTENCE STATUS UNTIL MIDNIGHT OF THE LAST DAY ON WHICH ACTUAL SERVICE IS RENDERED PRECEDING THE LEAVE OF ABSENCE AND FROM 12.01 A.M. ON THE DAY ON WHICH ACTUAL SERVICE IS RESUMED.'

IN THE INSTANT CASE MR. SEVERS' LEAVE DID NOT TERMINATE DURING HIS PRESCRIBED HOURS OF DUTY. IN OTHER WORDS, HE WAS AT HIS DUTY STATION AND WENT TO WORK AT 8.00 A.M. ON EACH OF THE DAYS INVOLVED, WHICH HOUR WAS THE BEGINNING OF THE PRESCRIBED HOURS OF DUTY AT THAT POINT.

THE DISALLOWANCE WAS MADE IN THIS OFFICE ON THE THEORY THAT NO SUBSISTENCE COULD BE ALLOWED DURING A PERIOD THE TRAVELER SHOWED HIMSELF IN AN OFF DUTY STATUS, REGARDLESS OF THE FACT THAT HE PERFORMED A FULL DAY'S WORK.

THIS IS AN IMPORTANT QUESTION BECAUSE EMPLOYEES OF THE COMMISSION, WHILE IN A TRAVEL STATUS, FREQUENTLY TAKE LEAVE FOR ONE OR MORE DAYS, USUALLY NOT REMAINING AT THEIR POINT OF TEMPORARY DUTY WHILE ON LEAVE. THEY ARE NOW CLAIMING THAT UNDER PARAGRAPH NO. 45-B THEY ARE ENTITLED TO A FULL DAY'S PER DIEM, EVEN IF ABSENT FROM SUCH DUTY STATION ALTHOUGH THEY SHOW DEPARTURE FROM DUTY STATUS PRIOR TO 6.00 P.M. AND RESUMPTION OF SUCH STATUS SUBSEQUENT TO 6.00 A.M.

AS NUMEROUS SUSPENSIONS ARE BEING MADE FROM EMPLOYEES' ACCOUNTS, INVOLVING THIS SAME QUESTION, YOUR EARLY CONSIDERATION IS MOST RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED.

THE REQUIREMENT OF PARAGRAPH 4 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS THAT, WHEN LEAVE IS TAKEN WHILE IN A TRAVEL STATUS THE EXACT HOUR OF DEPARTURE FROM AND RETURN TO DUTY STATION MUST BE SHOWN IN THE EXPENSE ACCOUNT, IS NOT CONSIDERED INCONSISTENT WITH, BUT RATHER IN AID OF, THE PROVISIONS IN PARAGRAPH 45 (B) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS QUOTED IN YOUR SUBMISSION. THE HOUR OF DEPARTURE FROM AND RETURN TO TEMPORARY DUTY STATION IS NECESSARY TO BE SHOWN UPON THE EXPENSE VOUCHER IN ORDER THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE AND THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS MAY DETERMINE WHETHER THE DEPARTURE AND RETURN COME WITHIN THE PRESCRIBED HOURS OF DUTY. THE LAST SENTENCE OF PARAGRAPH 45 (B) APPLIES ONLY TO CASES IN WHICH THE BEGINNING AND THE ENDING OF THE LEAVE OF ABSENCE ARE BOTH WITHIN THE SAME CALENDAR DAY.

PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER FORWARDED WITH YOUR SUBMISSION IS AUTHORIZED, IN THE ABSENCE OF OTHER OBJECTION.