B-114905, MAY 27, 1953

B-114905: May 27, 1953

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REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON A VOUCHER. THE OFFICER WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED ON OR ABOUT NOVEMBER 3. ON TEMPORARY DUTY OF APPROXIMATELY FOUR DAYS UPON COMPLETION OF WHICH HE WAS TO RETURN TO HIS STATION. PER DIEM IS CLAIMED AT THE RATE OF $5 FOR ONE DAY. THERE WAS CONSIDERED THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 4253-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AS REVISED BY INSTRUCTION MEMORANDUM 1-1. A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES "IS ENTITLED TO A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE NOT IN EXCESS OF $9" REGARDLESS OF THE TRAVEL PER DIEM ALLOWANCE ESTABLISHED FOR THE COUNTRIES OR PLACES IN WHICH THE TRAVEL BEGINS. IS DELAYED. THE PARAGRAPH FURTHER PROVIDED THAT WHEN DELAY IS INCURRED FOR 10 HOURS OR MORE FOR REASONS INCIDENT TO THE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION OR FOR PERIODS OF TEMPORARY DUTY.

B-114905, MAY 27, 1953

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

LIEUTENANT COLONEL E. C. ROGERS, FC, DISBURSING OFFICER:

BY FOURTH INDORSEMENT OF APRIL 21, 1953, THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 12, 1952, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON A VOUCHER, TRANSMITTED THEREWITH, COVERING PER DIEM ALLOWANCE TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL RICHARD E. BURCH FOR THE PERIOD NOVEMBER 3 TO 5, 1952.

IT APPEARS THAT BY ORDERS OF OCTOBER 31, 1952, ISSUED AT HEADQUARTERS, UNITED STATES ARMY, EUROPE, THE OFFICER WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED ON OR ABOUT NOVEMBER 3, 1952, FROM HEIDELBERG, GERMANY, TO BERLIN, GERMANY, ON TEMPORARY DUTY OF APPROXIMATELY FOUR DAYS UPON COMPLETION OF WHICH HE WAS TO RETURN TO HIS STATION. THE VOUCHER SHOWS THAT HE DEPARTED FROM HEIDELBERG AT 5:36 P.M., NOVEMBER 3, 1952, ARRIVING AT BERLIN THE FOLLOWING DAY AT 8:30 A.M., AND THAT HE DEPARTED FROM BERLIN AT 4:30 P.M., NOVEMBER 5, 1952, ARRIVING AT HEIDELBERG THE SAME DAY AT 9:30 P.M. PER DIEM IS CLAIMED AT THE RATE OF $5 FOR ONE DAY, NOVEMBER 4, AND AT THE RATE OF $9 FOR THE OTHER TWO DAYS, LESS APPROPRIATE DEDUCTIONS FOR QUARTERS FOR TWO DAYS AND TWO MEALS FURNISHED, LESS THE SUM OF $10 PAID FOR THE SAME PERIOD ON VOUCHER NO. 805,966, IN YOUR NOVEMBER 1952 ACCOUNTS, BASED ON THE RATE OF $5 PER DIEM LOSS APPROPRIATE DEDUCTIONS FOR THE MEALS AND QUARTERS FURNISHED.

IN DECISION OF MAY 2, 1952, B-107929 (31 COMP. GEN. 588), THERE WAS CONSIDERED THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 4253-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AS REVISED BY INSTRUCTION MEMORANDUM 1-1, DATED MARCH 2, 1951, COVERING THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM FOR TRAVEL AND TEMPORARY DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES. THAT REGULATION PROVIDED, WITH RESPECT TO LAND TRAVEL, THAT WHEN TRAVELING BY ANY MODE OF TRANSPORTATION, INCLUDING STOPS FOR TEMPORARY DUTY OF LESS THAN 10 HOURS, A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES "IS ENTITLED TO A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE NOT IN EXCESS OF $9" REGARDLESS OF THE TRAVEL PER DIEM ALLOWANCE ESTABLISHED FOR THE COUNTRIES OR PLACES IN WHICH THE TRAVEL BEGINS, IS DELAYED, OR ENDS. THE PARAGRAPH FURTHER PROVIDED THAT WHEN DELAY IS INCURRED FOR 10 HOURS OR MORE FOR REASONS INCIDENT TO THE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION OR FOR PERIODS OF TEMPORARY DUTY, THE LOCAL TRAVEL PER DIEM ALLOWANCE APPLIES FROM THE DAY OF ARRIVAL, THROUGH THE DAY PRIOR TO THE DAY OF DEPARTURE. THE PER DIEM RATES FOR TRAVEL IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES ARE PRESCRIBED GENERALLY IN APPENDIX B, TABLE 3, OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AND THE RATE OF $5 IS PRESCRIBED FOR TRAVEL IN GERMANY. IN THE SAID DECISION IT WAS CONCLUDED THAT THE WORDS "NOT IN EXCESS OF $9" WAS NOT AN AFFIRMATIVE AUTHORIZATION OF PER DIEM AT THAT RATE, BUT HAD THE EFFECT OF PLACING A CEILING OF $9 IN ANY COUNTRY FOR WHICH A HIGHER RATE OF PER DIEM IS ESTABLISHED IN THE SAID APPENDIX B AND, THEREFORE, DID NOT OPERATE TO INCREASE THE RATE TO $9 FOR A COUNTRY IN WHICH A LESSER RATE IS ESTABLISHED.

CHANGE 5 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, ISSUED ON NOVEMBER 1, 1952, MODIFIED THE SAID PARAGRAPH 4253-1 BY DELETING THE WORDS "NOT IN EXCESS." THE REGULATION, AS THUS MODIFIED, IS STATED TO BE EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1952. WHILE THE CHANGE IN THE REGULATION MAY NOT BE GIVEN A RETROACTIVE EFFECT (B-112849, JANUARY 8, 1953, COPY HEREWITH), THE DELECTION OF SUCH WORDS HAD THE EFFECT OF CHANGING THE REGULATION EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 1, 1952, INTO A POSITIVE PRESCRIPTION OF A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE OF $9 REGARDLESS OF THE TRAVEL PER DIEM ALLOWANCE FIXED IN TABLE 3, APPENDIX B, OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. CONSEQUENTLY, UNDER THE PRESENT REGULATIONS, THE PER DIEM RATE WHILE TRAVELING AND FOR DELAYS OF LESS THAN 10 HOURS FOR TEMPORARY DUTY OR FOR THE OTHER REASONS SPECIFIED IN THE REGULATION, IS $9 IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER THE PER DIEM TRAVEL ALLOWANCE FIXED IN THE SAID APPENDIX B FOR THE COUNTRY INVOLVED IS GREATER OR LESS THAN THAT AMOUNT.

THEREFORE, SINCE THE AMOUNT CLAIMED ON THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN COMPUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS NOW IN EFFECT, PAYMENT THEREOF IS AUTHORIZED IF CORRECT IN OTHER RESPECTS.