B-115617, JUNE 23, 1953, 32 COMP. GEN. 571

B-115617: Jun 23, 1953

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WAS ISSUED TRAVEL ORDERS AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING RETURN TO PLACE OF RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES AND WHO WHILE EN ROUTE. WAS NOTIFIED OF THE ILLNESS OF DAUGHTER. ABANDONED JOURNEY AND PROCEEDED TO THE DAUGHTER'S HOME IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED TO THE POINT OF ABANDONMENT INCLUDING PER DIEM AND TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD OR PERSONAL EFFECTS. 1953: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 14. SHE WAS ISSUED TRAVEL ORDERS OCTOBER 17. SHE WAS NOTIFIED OF THE ILLNESS OF HER DAUGHTER AT KETCHIKAN. IT WAS NECESSARY FOR HER DAUGHTER WHO WAS RESIDING AT THAT PLACE TO MAKE A TRIP TO SEATTLE FOR MEDICAL TREATMENT AND THE CLAIMANT REMAINED IN KETCHIKAN TO TAKE CARE OF THE DAUGHTER'S CHILDREN.

B-115617, JUNE 23, 1953, 32 COMP. GEN. 571

TRAVELING EXPENSES - ABANDONMENT OF TRAVEL PRIOR TO COMPLETION DUE TO ILLNESS OF RELATIVE AN EMPLOYEE WHO, UPON COMPLETION OF REQUIRED TOUR OF DUTY IN ALASKA, WAS ISSUED TRAVEL ORDERS AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING RETURN TO PLACE OF RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES AND WHO WHILE EN ROUTE, WAS NOTIFIED OF THE ILLNESS OF DAUGHTER, ABANDONED JOURNEY AND PROCEEDED TO THE DAUGHTER'S HOME IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED TO THE POINT OF ABANDONMENT INCLUDING PER DIEM AND TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD OR PERSONAL EFFECTS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO W. K. CHAMBARD, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, JUNE 23, 1953:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 14, 1953, FORWARDED HERE BY LETTER OF JUNE 4, FROM THE CHIEF, ACCOUNTING DIVISION, CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE VOUCHER THEREWITH ENCLOSED IN FAVOR OF FLORENCE A. WEBER IN THE AMOUNT OF $109.78, REPRESENTING REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES, PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION OF PERSONAL EFFECTS FROM ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, TO KETCHIKAN, ALASKA.

UPON COMPLETION BY THE CLAIMANT OF HER REQUIRED TOUR OF DUTY IN ALASKA, SHE WAS ISSUED TRAVEL ORDERS OCTOBER 17, 1952, AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING HER RETURN TO PLACE OF RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES AND SPECIFICALLY FROM ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, TO SEATTLE, WASHINGTON. EN ROUTE TO SEATTLE THE CLAIMANT MADE A STOPOVER AT SITKA, ALASKA, AND WHILE THERE A SHIPPING STRIKE OCCURRED, AND SHE WAS NOTIFIED OF THE ILLNESS OF HER DAUGHTER AT KETCHIKAN, ALASKA. SHE PROCEEDED TO KETCHIKAN--- A PORT CALL EN ROUTE TO SEATTLE--- BY AIR. THE CLAIMANT EXPLAINS THAT UPON ARRIVAL AT KETCHIKAN, IT WAS NECESSARY FOR HER DAUGHTER WHO WAS RESIDING AT THAT PLACE TO MAKE A TRIP TO SEATTLE FOR MEDICAL TREATMENT AND THE CLAIMANT REMAINED IN KETCHIKAN TO TAKE CARE OF THE DAUGHTER'S CHILDREN, AND LIMITS HER CLAIM TO EXPENSES INCURRED UP TO THAT POINT. THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE RAISED A CHARGE AGAINST THE CLAIMANT FOR THE VALUE OF TRANSPORTATION PROCURED BETWEEN SEWARD AND KETCHIKAN, ALASKA, UPON GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS BASING SUCH ACTION UPON TWO DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE, 28 COMP. GEN. 285, 31 ID. 389. HOWEVER, THE ONE CASE INVOLVED A REQUEST FOR PAYMENT OF COST OF RETURN TO UNITED STATES WHERE, FOR PERSONAL REASONS, NO PART OF THE TRAVEL HAD BEEN MADE WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME AFTER TERMINATION OF THE ASSIGNMENT. THE OTHER DECISION INVOLVED A CLAIM FOR PAYMENT OF CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF RETURNING TO THE UNITED STATES FROM OVERSEAS STATION WHEN THE CLAIMANT DID NOT ACTUALLY INTEND TO RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES. IN THE PRESENT CASE, THE EMPLOYEE ACTUALLY BEGAN HER RETURN JOURNEY IN COMPLIANCE WITH HER TRAVEL ORDERS BUT ABANDONED IT BEFORE COMPLETION.

IT HAS BEEN REPEATEDLY HELD BY THIS OFFICE THAT AN EMPLOYEE WHO, WHILE EN ROUTE ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS OR AUTHORIZED TRAVEL, ABANDONS THE OFFICIAL ROUTING ON ACCOUNT OF ILLNESS OF A RELATIVE OR OTHER GOOD REASON, HE OR SHE MAY BE REIMBURSED THE NECESSARY EXPENSES INCURRED UP TO THE POINT OF ABANDONMENT. 23 COMP. GEN. 237, AND 864; B-42223, JUNE 12, 1944; B-45895, MARCH 13, 1945; B-110533, AUGUST 11, 1952. IN THE LIGHT OF THE ABOVE- CITED DECISIONS, THE CLAIMANT APPEARS TO BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR OTHERWISE PROPER TRAVEL EXPENSES, INCLUDING PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE, BETWEEN ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, AND KETCHIKAN, ALASKA, TOGETHER WITH THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD OR PERSONAL EFFECTS BETWEEN SUCH POINTS.

ACTION ON THE VOUCHER, WHICH TOGETHER WITH ACCOMPANYING PAPERS IS RETURNED HEREWITH, SHOULD BE TAKEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING.