B-117356, MARCH 4, 1954, 33 COMP. GEN. 379

B-117356: Mar 4, 1954

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THEREFORE A NAVAL OFFICER WHO PERFORMED OFFICIAL TRAVEL BY RAIL AND WHO WAS PAID PER DIEM BASED ON SCHEDULE WHICH MOST NEARLY COINCIDED WITH TIME OF DEPARTURE AND ARRIVAL ACTUALLY REQUIRED TO CARRY OUT PURPOSES OF THE TRAVEL ORDERS (AS DISTINGUISHED FROM SCHEDULE IN FACT FOLLOWED BY OFFICER) IS NOT ENTITLED TO ANY ADDITIONAL PER DIEM PAYMENT. WAS ISSUED ON APRIL 13. THE DUTY AT CAMDEN WAS COMPLETED AT 2:30 P.M. YOU STATE THAT IN SETTLING COMMANDER DENTON'S CLAIM ON VOUCHER NO. 16980 A DEDUCTION OF $2.25 WAS MADE FOR PER DIEM CLAIMED FOR THE FOURTH QUARTER OF APRIL 15 ON THE BASIS THAT THE OFFICER COULD HAVE DEPARTED FROM WASHINGTON AT 2:10 A.M. ON APRIL 16 ON A TRAIN THAT HE COULD HAVE BOARDED AT 10 P.M.

B-117356, MARCH 4, 1954, 33 COMP. GEN. 379

SUBSISTENCE - PER DIEMS - MILITARY, NAVAL, ETC., PERSONNEL - PAYMENT BASED ON SCHEDULE NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT PURPOSES OF TRAVEL ORDERS PARAGRAPH 4204-3, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROVIDES THAT THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM INCIDENT TO THE PERFORMANCE OF TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER SHALL BE BASED UPON ACTUAL AND NECESSARY SCHEDULES OF THE MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION USED, AND THEREFORE A NAVAL OFFICER WHO PERFORMED OFFICIAL TRAVEL BY RAIL AND WHO WAS PAID PER DIEM BASED ON SCHEDULE WHICH MOST NEARLY COINCIDED WITH TIME OF DEPARTURE AND ARRIVAL ACTUALLY REQUIRED TO CARRY OUT PURPOSES OF THE TRAVEL ORDERS (AS DISTINGUISHED FROM SCHEDULE IN FACT FOLLOWED BY OFFICER) IS NOT ENTITLED TO ANY ADDITIONAL PER DIEM PAYMENT.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL WEITZEL TO T. F. MAGGARD, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, MARCH 4, 1954:

WITH LETTER DATED OCTOBER 12, 1953, THE ACTING JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL OF THE NAVY FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 24, 1953, SUBMITTING FOR ADVANCE DECISION A VOUCHER STATED IN FAVOR OF COMMANDER JAMES B. DENTON, USN, FOR $2.25 FOR PER DIEM TRAVEL ALLOWANCE AT THE RATE OF $9 FOR THE FOURTH QUARTER OF APRIL 15, 1953, IN ADDITION TO THE $4.50 PREVIOUSLY PAID HIM ON YOUR VOUCHER NO. 16980, DATED APRIL 22, 1953, INCIDENT TO TRAVEL PERFORMED FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY, AND RETURN, UNDER REPEATED TRAVEL ORDERS DATED DECEMBER 30, 1952.

APPROVAL FOR TRAVEL OF COMMANDER DENTON TO CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY, ON OR ABOUT APRIL 16, 1953, UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE REPEATED TRAVEL ORDERS OF DECEMBER 30, 1952, WAS ISSUED ON APRIL 13, 1953. FROM THE ITINERARY FURNISHED IT APPEARS THAT THE OFFICER LEFT WASHINGTON, D.C., BY RAIL AT 9:30 P.M., APRIL 15, AND ARRIVED AT CAMDEN AT 12:15 A.M., ON APRIL 16, AND THAT HE COMMENCED DUTY AT CAMDEN AT 8:30 A.M. THE DUTY AT CAMDEN WAS COMPLETED AT 2:30 P.M., AND HE RETURNED TO WASHINGTON AT 5:30 M., ON APRIL 16. YOU STATE THAT IN SETTLING COMMANDER DENTON'S CLAIM ON VOUCHER NO. 16980 A DEDUCTION OF $2.25 WAS MADE FOR PER DIEM CLAIMED FOR THE FOURTH QUARTER OF APRIL 15 ON THE BASIS THAT THE OFFICER COULD HAVE DEPARTED FROM WASHINGTON AT 2:10 A.M., ON APRIL 16 ON A TRAIN THAT HE COULD HAVE BOARDED AT 10 P.M., OR LATER ON APRIL 15, THUS MAKING UNNECESSARY THE BOARDING OF A TRAIN BETWEEN THE HOURS OF MIDNIGHT AND 6 A.M.

PARAGRAPH 4204-3 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM INCIDENT TO THE PERFORMANCE OF TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER SHALL BE BASED UPON ACTUAL AND NECESSARY SCHEDULES OF THE MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION USED, SUCH SCHEDULES BEING INTERPRETED AS THOSE "WHICH MOST NEARLY COINCIDE WITH THE POSSIBLE TIME OF DEPARTURE AND ARRIVAL REQUIRED TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSES OF THE TRAVEL ORDERS.' ALSO, IT IS PROVIDED THAT WHERE A CHOICE OF TRANSPORTATION SCHEDULES EXISTS THE TRAVELER IS NOT NORMALLY EXPECTED TO SELECT A SCHEDULE WHICH REQUIRES BOARDING OR LEAVING THE CARRIER BETWEEN THE HOURS OF MIDNIGHT AND 6 A.M.

THE APPROVAL FOR TRAVEL DATED APRIL 13, 1953, STATES AS THE REASON FOR TRAVEL: "TO INSPECT SHIPBUILDERS MODEL OF CAG," AND DEPARTURE WAS DIRECTED ON OR ABOUT APRIL 16. THERE IS NO INDICATION IN SUCH APPROVAL OF A NECESSITY FOR THE OFFICER'S ARRIVAL AT CAMDEN AT THE OPENING OF BUSINESS ON APRIL 16. CONSIDERING THE INDICATED NATURE OF THE DUTY ASSIGNMENT AND THAT ITS PERFORMANCE IS SHOWN TO HAVE TAKEN PLACE WITHIN A SIX-HOUR PERIOD, TOGETHER WITH THE FACT THAT ACTUAL TRAVEL TIME FROM WASHINGTON TO PHILADELPHIA BY RAIL PLUS THAT FROM PHILADELPHIA TO CAMDEN BY TAXI WOULD TOTAL LESS THAN THREE HOURS, IT APPEARS THAT A SCHEDULE WHICH WOULD MOST NEARLY COINCIDE WITH THE TIME OF DEPARTURE AND ARRIVAL ACTUALLY REQUIRED TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSES OF THE OFFICER'S TRAVEL ORDERS, WITHIN THE CONTEMPLATION OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, WOULD HAVE BEEN BY RAIL LEAVING WASHINGTON AT 7 A.M., ON APRIL 16, WHICH WOULD HAVE PERMITTED HIM TO REACH THE CAMDEN DUTY STATION AT OR BEFORE 10 A.M., AND WOULD HAVE ENABLED HIM TO RETURN TO WASHINGTON DURING THE EVENING HOURS OF THE SAME DAY. UNDER SUCH SCHEDULE, WHICH, IN THE ABSENCE OF A SHOWING OF NECESSITY FOR THE OFFICER'S ARRIVAL AT CAMDEN PRIOR TO 10 A.M., ON APRIL 16, PROPERLY IS TO BE CONSIDERED AS THAT UPON WHICH PAYMENT OF PER DIEM IS AUTHORIZED UNDER THE REGULATIONS, COMMANDER DENTON WAS ENTITLED UNDER PARAGRAPH 4205 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO PER DIEM ONLY FOR THE SECOND, THIRD, AND FOURTH SIX-HOUR PERIODS ON APRIL 16, LESS A DEDUCTION OF $2.25 FOR QUARTERS, OR A TOTAL OF $4.50. SINCE IT APPEARS THAT THE OFFICER HAS BEEN PAID THAT AMOUNT, FURTHER PAYMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED AND THE PRESENTED VOUCHER WILL BE RETAINED IN THIS OFFICE.