B-105337, OCT 1, 1951

B-105337: Oct 1, 1951

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ABNEY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 25. WHEREIN YOU WERE ADVISED THAT ALEXANDRIA AND BATON ROUGE. WERE IN ACTUAL FACT YOUR DUAL HEADQUARTERS FOR PURPOSES OF THE TRAVEL PERFORMED BY YOU AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE OFFICE OF PRICE ADMINISTRATION DURING THE PERIOD OF JUNE 1 TO 30. IN THE SETTLEMENT YOU WERE CERTIFIED TO BE INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE AMOUNT OF $87. YOU WERE ALLOWED AND PAID PER DIEM OF $115.50 FOR 19 1/4 DAYS. SUBSEQUENTLY DETERMINED THAT YOU LAWFULLY WERE ENTITLED TO ONLY 4-3/4 DAYS' PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $6 PER DAY. YOU WERE OVERPAID $87 ($115.50 MINUS $28.50). PARAGRAPH 46 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS OF 1942 PROVIDED THE "UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE BE ALLOWED AN EMPLOYEE AT HIS OFFICIAL STATION.".

B-105337, OCT 1, 1951

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

MR. WILEY B. ABNEY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 25, 1951, QUESTIONING THAT PORTION OF OFFICE SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE NO. US-65271 DATED JUNE 15, 1951, WHEREIN YOU WERE ADVISED THAT ALEXANDRIA AND BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA, WERE IN ACTUAL FACT YOUR DUAL HEADQUARTERS FOR PURPOSES OF THE TRAVEL PERFORMED BY YOU AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE OFFICE OF PRICE ADMINISTRATION DURING THE PERIOD OF JUNE 1 TO 30, 1943.

IN THE SETTLEMENT YOU WERE CERTIFIED TO BE INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE AMOUNT OF $87, BECAUSE OF AN OVERPAYMENT OF SUBSISTENCE PER DIEM TO YOU WHILE ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AT ALEXANDRIA DURING THAT MONTH. WHILE, ADMINISTRATIVELY, YOU WERE ALLOWED AND PAID PER DIEM OF $115.50 FOR 19 1/4 DAYS, THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN THE AUDIT OF THE ACCOUNTS INVOLVED, SUBSEQUENTLY DETERMINED THAT YOU LAWFULLY WERE ENTITLED TO ONLY 4-3/4 DAYS' PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $6 PER DAY, OR $28.50, OF THE AMOUNT CLAIMED FOR THE MONTH OF JUNE 1943. HENCE, YOU WERE OVERPAID $87 ($115.50 MINUS $28.50), AND THE CERTIFICATE OF INDEBTEDNESS MUST BE SUSTAINED FOR THE REASONS SET FORTH HEREINAFTER.

PARAGRAPH 46 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS OF 1942 PROVIDED THE "UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE BE ALLOWED AN EMPLOYEE AT HIS OFFICIAL STATION." PARAGRAPH 3 OF THAT REGULATION DEFINED "DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY AND OFFICIAL STATION" AS MEANING ONE AND THE SAME. ALSO, GENERALLY, THE DETERMINATION OF AN EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION OR HEADQUARTERS IS AN ADMINISTRATIVE RESPONSIBILITY. IN THE ABSENCE OF FACTS ESTABLISHING THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION IS ARBITRARY OR QUESTIONABLE, SUCH ACTION IS CONTROLLING. ALSO, IF THE EMPLOYEE'S DUTIES IN GREATER PART ARE PERFORMED IN ONE PLACE OR OUT OF ONE CITY OTHER THAN HIS PERMANENT HEADQUARTERS, IT IS WITHIN THE ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION TO CONSIDER THAT CITY AS THE EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION OR POST OF DUTY.

SUCH DIVISIONAL, OR DUAL, HEADQUARTERS DETERMINATIONS USUALLY ARE BASED UPON THE PRINCIPAL PLACES OF THE WORK PERFORMED AT REGULAR INTERVALS. EVIDENCED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE AUDIT DIFFERENCE STATEMENTS WITH YOUR TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHERS FOR APRIL AND MAY 1943, YOU WERE ADVISED, AS FOLLOWS:

"PER DIEM CLAIMED WHILE ON DUTY AT ALEXANDRIA SUSPENDED INASMUCH AS ALEXANDRIA, WHERE DUTY WAS PERFORMED FOR THE GREATER PORTION OF THE MONTH, IS YOUR DOMICILE AND EXPENSE OF SUBSISTENCE LESS THAN WOULD HAVE BEEN HAD DUTY BEEN PERFORMED ELSEWHERE. IT HAS LONG BEEN ESTABLISHED THAT AN EMPLOYEE ON DUTY AT HIS DOMICILE FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME IS CONSIDERED AS HAVING DUAL HEADQUARTERS AND, THEREFORE, NOT ENTITLED TO PER DIEM WHILE ON DUTY AT THAT POINT."

IN VIEW OF THAT ACTION WITH RESPECT TO YOUR PRIOR TRAVEL VOUCHERS, THE CONCLUSION WAS JUSTIFIED IN THE SETTLEMENT THAT ALEXANDRIA AND BATON ROUGE WERE YOUR DUAL HEADQUARTERS DURING THE MONTH OF JUNE 1943. THE CERTIFICATE OF INDEBTEDNESS UPON THAT BASIS WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.

UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, AGAIN IT IS REQUESTED THAT YOU PROMPTLY REMIT THE AMOUNT OF $87 BY CHECK OR MONEY ORDER MADE PAYABLE TO THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES, AND FORWARD SAME TO THE CLAIMS DIVISION, GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, WASHINGTON 25, D.C., IN ORDER TO AVOID THE INSTITUTION OF MORE FORMAL COLLECTION PROCEEDINGS IN THE MATTER.