A-9737, SEPTEMBER 23, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 215

A-9737: Sep 23, 1925

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WERE NECESSARY IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES. WAS FOR SUCH PERIODS OF ABSENCE IN A TRAVEL STATUS ENTITLING HIM TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED FOR MEALS. 1925: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 21. IS AUTHORIZED. TRAVEL ORDER NO. 4541 WAS ISSUED TO MR. YOU ARE INSTRUCTED TO PROCEED FROM YSLETA. WHILE AWAY FROM YOUR DESIGNATED HEADQUARTERS YOU WILL BE COMPENSATED FOR PERSONAL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES AS SHOWN IN SECTIONS (B) AND (. ) FOLLOWING: (B) YOU WILL BE REIMBURSED FOR ACTUAL AND NECESSARY PERSONAL EXPENSES FOR MEALS. WHOSE OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS AND DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY WERE AT YSLETA. THIS EMPLOYMENT WAS MADE UNDER THE REGULAR CIVIL SERVICE REGULATIONS AND HIS EMPLOYMENT CARDS DESIGNATING THE ABOVE AS HIS OFFICIAL STATION ARE SIGNED BY THE PROJECT SUPERINTENDENT.

A-9737, SEPTEMBER 23, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 215

SUBSISTENCE - FRACTIONAL DAYS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE RECLAMATION SERVICE, UNDER AUTHORITY OF A TRAVEL ORDER SPECIFICALLY DIRECTING DAILY TRIPS FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS TO CERTAIN OUTSIDE POINTS AND RETURN, WHO DEPARTED FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS BEFORE 8 A.M. AND RETURNED THERETO AFTER 6 P.M. EACH DAY, IT BEING SHOWN THAT THE DEPARTURE BEFORE 8 A.M. AND THE RETURN AFTER 6 P.M. WERE NECESSARY IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES, WAS FOR SUCH PERIODS OF ABSENCE IN A TRAVEL STATUS ENTITLING HIM TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED FOR MEALS, AS PROVIDED IN HIS TRAVEL ORDER.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL GINN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, SEPTEMBER 23, 1925:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 21, 1925, TRANSMITTING TWO VOUCHERS IN FAVOR OF F. J. MCLAUGHLIN, FOREMAN, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES (SUBSISTENCE FOR FRACTIONAL PARTS OF DAYS) INCURRED DURING THE MONTHS OF JANUARY, FEBRUARY, AND MARCH, 1925, WITH REQUEST FOR DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT THEREOF BY L. S. KENNICOTT, SPECIAL FISCAL AGENT, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, EL PASO, TEX., IS AUTHORIZED.

ON JANUARY 9, 1925, TRAVEL ORDER NO. 4541 WAS ISSUED TO MR. MCLAUGHLIN BY THE PROJECT SUPERINTENDENT, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, AS FOLLOWS:

NO. 4541

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,

BUREAU OF RECLAMATION,

EL PASO, TEXAS, JANUARY 9TH, 1925. MR. F. J. MCLAUGHLIN,

YSLETA, TEXAS.

SIR: UNDER AUTHORITY FROM THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, DATED SEPTEMBER 30, 1914, AND IN PURSUANCE OF GENERAL TRAVEL ORDER NO. 44, DATED DECEMBER 1ST, 1919, YOU ARE INSTRUCTED TO PROCEED FROM YSLETA, TEX., TO FABENS, AND TORNILLO, TEX., AND RETURN ON RIO GRANDE PROJECT DURING THE MONTH OF JANUARY, 1925, AND FEBRUARY, 1925, UPON OFFICIAL BUSINESS, AS DIRECTED IN DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS DATED THIS DATE.

WHILE AWAY FROM YOUR DESIGNATED HEADQUARTERS YOU WILL BE COMPENSATED FOR PERSONAL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES AS SHOWN IN SECTIONS (B) AND (------- --) FOLLOWING:

(B) YOU WILL BE REIMBURSED FOR ACTUAL AND NECESSARY PERSONAL EXPENSES FOR MEALS, WAITERS' FEES, LODGING, LAUNDRY, AND BATHS, THE TOTAL CHARGES FOR WHICH SHALL NOT EXCEED $3.00 PER DAY.

IT APPEARS THAT PURSUANT TO THIS TRAVEL ORDER MR. MCLAUGHLIN, WHOSE OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS AND DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY WERE AT YSLETA, TEX., MADE DAILY TRIPS (EXCEPT ON ONE HOLIDAY AND FOUR SUNDAYS) FROM JANUARY 11 TO 31, 1925, INCLUSIVE, TO FABENS, TEX., AND FROM FEBRUARY 1 TO 28, 1925, INCLUSIVE, TO TORNILLO, TEX., AND AGAIN FROM MARCH 1 TO 19, 1925, INCLUSIVE, TO FABENS, TEX. IT ALSO APPEARS THAT HE DEPARTED FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS EACH MORNING BEFORE 8 O-CLOCK, THE TIME OF DEPARTURE VARYING FROM 7.30 TO 7.45 A.M., AND RETURNED TO HIS HEADQUARTERS EACH DAY AFTER 6 M., THE TIME OF RETURN VARYING FROM 6.10 TO 7 P.M. HE HAS CHARGED FOR DINNER ON EACH OF THESE DAYS AND FOR SUPPER ON MOST OF THE DAYS, 50 CENTS PER MEAL, AMOUNTING TO $34.50, ON VOUCHER COVERING SUCH EXPENSES FOR THE JANUARY AND FEBRUARY PERIOD, AND TO $8.50 ON VOUCHER FOR THE MARCH PERIOD.

IN LETTER DATED EL PASO, JUNE 15, 1925, THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE RIO GRANDE PROJECT ADVISED THE COMMISSIONER, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, AS FOLLOWS:

2. MR. MCLAUGHLIN HAS BEEN EMPLOYED AS A FOREMAN, STATIONED ATYSLETA, TEXAS, DURING THE PERIOD APRIL 1ST, 1921, TO MARCH 19TH, 1925. THIS EMPLOYMENT WAS MADE UNDER THE REGULAR CIVIL SERVICE REGULATIONS AND HIS EMPLOYMENT CARDS DESIGNATING THE ABOVE AS HIS OFFICIAL STATION ARE SIGNED BY THE PROJECT SUPERINTENDENT. YSLETA WAS DESIGNATED AS THE STATION OF THIS EMPLOYEE BECAUSE IT IS MORE NEARLY CENTRALIZED TO THE WORK HE IS REQUIRED TO COVER THAN ANY OTHER POINT. THIS PLACE IS THE LOCATION OF THE CONSTRUCTION OFFICE, WAREHOUSE, AND SHOPS SERVING THE TERRITORY WHICH MR. MCLAUGHLIN IS REQUIRED TO COVER. THE DISTANCE FROM YSLETA, TEXAS, TO FABENS, TEXAS, IS 17.2 MILES, AND THE DISTANCE FROM YSLETA, TEXAS, TO TORNILLO, TEXAS, IS 23.0 MILES.

3. MR. MCLAUGHLIN IS EMPLOYED AS A FOREMAN AND HIS DUTIES REQUIRE HIM TO SUPERVISE THE WORK OF A NUMBER OF SUBFOREMEN. HE TRAVELS BY GOVERNMENT AUTO AND DURING THE TIME COVERED BY THE VOUCHERS UNDER CONSIDERATION HE WAS REQUIRED TO GIVE CONSIDERABLE OVERTIME TO THE WORK OF SUPERVISING THESE SUBFOREMEN WHO WERE ENGAGED IN PRIMING CANALS IN THE FABENS AND TORNILLO TERRITORY. HIS REGULAR WORKING HOURS WERE FROM 8.00 A.M. TO 5.00 P.M.

THE RELEVANT PROVISIONS OF THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS OF THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT READ AS FOLLOWS:

1. PRIOR AUTHORITY.--- EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 2 FOLLOWING, THE AUTHORITY SHALL BE ISSUED PRIOR TO THE INCURRENCE OF THE EXPENSE. SHALL SPECIFY THE TRAVEL TO BE PERFORMED AS DEFINITELY AS CIRCUMSTANCES WILL PERMIT, AND SHALL BE ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF (IF ON FILE IN THE AUDITOR'S OFFICE) BE REFERRED TO THEREIN.

3. HOW SELECTED.--- (HEADQUARTERS) THE SELECTION OF OFFICIAL STATIONS, WHEN NOT PROVIDED BY LAW, DEPARTMENTAL REGULATIONS, A COMMISSION OF APPOINTMENT, OR A CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT, AND THE ASSIGNMENT OF TEMPORARY HEADQUARTERS ARE PLACED UNDER THE CONTROL OF CHIEFS OF BUREAUS AND OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES, SUBJECT TO REVISION BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT UPON HIS OWN INITIATIVE OR UPON APPLICATION OF AN INTERESTED PARTY. EACH CHIEF IS EXPECTED TO SELECT OFFICIAL STATIONS AND TO ASSIGN TEMPORARY HEADQUARTERS WITH JUSTICE AND EQUITY TO EMPLOYEES AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE BEST INTEREST OF THE SERVICE. * * *

IN DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 30, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 331, IT WAS STATED GENERALLY THAT IN NO CASE CAN AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE BE REGARDED AS IN A TRAVEL STATUS AND ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHEN THE ABSENCE FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION IS ONLY FOR A PERIOD OF 10 HOURS OR LESS BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 8 A.M. AND 6 P.M.

THE DAILY TRAVEL IN THE INSTANT CASE WAS PERFORMED UNDER AUTHORITY OF SPECIFIC ORDERS, AND THE LAPSE OF TIME EACH DAY BETWEEN DEPARTURE FROM HEADQUARTERS AND RETURN THERETO BEING IN EXCESS OF 10 HOURS THE TRAVELER WAS FOR SUCH PERIODS IN A TRAVEL STATUS ENTITLING HIM TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED FOR THE MEALS IN QUESTION.

IT IS NOTED THAT THE TRAVEL WAS MADE IN A GOVERNMENT AUTOMOBILE AND THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE RIO GRANDE PROJECT STATES THAT DURING THE TIME COVERED BY THE VOUCHERS MR. MCLAUGHLIN WAS REQUIRED TO GIVE CONSIDERABLE OVERTIME TO THE WORK OF SUPERVISION. IT MAY BE STATED IN THIS CONNECTION THAT ANY PRACTICE OF EMPLOYEES DEPARTING FROM HEADQUARTERS SHORTLY BEFORE 8 A.M. AND RETURNING THERETO SHORTLY AFTER 6 P.M. ON THE SAME DAY FOR THE PURPOSE OF ESTABLISHING A TRAVEL STATUS ENTITLING TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES IS A MATTER FOR CORRECTION BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS CONCERNED; AND IN ANY CASE WHERE IT IS APPARENT THAT THE DEPARTURE BEFORE 8 A.M. OR THE RETURN AFTER 6 P.M. WAS NOT NECESSARY IN THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL DUTY NO RIGHT TO ACTUAL EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE, OR PER DIEM IN LIEU THEREOF, CAN ARISE THEREFROM.