B-117360, NOVEMBER 16, 1953, 33 COMP. GEN. 221

B-117360: Nov 16, 1953

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WHICH WAS SCHEDULED FOR ARRIVAL AT 9:55 P.M. MAY BE CONSIDERED TO HAVE EXERCISED THE CARE OF A PRUDENT PERSON IN INCURRING ESSENTIAL EXPENSES WITHIN THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS SO AS TO BE ENTITLED TO AN ADDITIONAL QUARTER DAY'S PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE. 1953: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 9. WOULD HAVE BROUGHT THE TRAVELER INTO NEW YORK AT :55 P.M. ONLY A QUARTER DAY'S PER DIEM WAS ALLOWED. THERE IS INVOLVED HEREIN THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THE QUARTER DAY'S PER DIEM PREVIOUSLY DISALLOWED IS FOR PAYMENT IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPHS 1 AND 2 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDING THAT TRAVELERS SHOULD USE THE CARE OF A PRUDENT PERSON IN INCURRING TRAVELING EXPENSES.

B-117360, NOVEMBER 16, 1953, 33 COMP. GEN. 221

SUBSISTENCE - PER DIEMS - FRACTIONAL DAYS - HOURS OF DEPARTURE EMPLOYEE WHO DEPARTED FROM OFFICIAL STATION ON SUNDAY BY 4:00 P.M. TRAIN RATHER THAN BY 6:00 P.M. TRAIN, WHICH WAS SCHEDULED FOR ARRIVAL AT 9:55 P.M., IN ORDER TO SECURE HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS, RETIRE AT REASONABLE HOURS AND BE READY FOR OFFICIAL BUSINESS THE NEXT MORNING, MAY BE CONSIDERED TO HAVE EXERCISED THE CARE OF A PRUDENT PERSON IN INCURRING ESSENTIAL EXPENSES WITHIN THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS SO AS TO BE ENTITLED TO AN ADDITIONAL QUARTER DAY'S PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO RUTH M. ANDERSON, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, NOVEMBER 16, 1953:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 9, 1953, SUBMITTING FOR DECISION THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER THERE MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT A RECLAIM VOUCHER OF MR. W. C. THOMPSON, FOR THE SUM OF $2.25, REPRESENTING A QUARTER DAY'S PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE ADMINISTRATIVELY DEDUCTED FROM A PRIOR VOUCHER COVERING OFFICIAL TRAVEL FOR THE PERIOD AUGUST 30 TO SEPTEMBER 9, 1953.

UNDER A TRAVEL ORDER OF AUGUST 27, 1953, FOR TEMPORARY DUTY AT NEW YORK, NEW YORK, MR. THOMPSON DEPARTED FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION, WASHINGTON, D.C., ON SUNDAY AUGUST 30, 1953, BY 4 P.M. TRAIN, AND ARRIVED AT NEW YORK 7:35 THAT EVENING. FOR THAT DAY HE CLAIMED ONE HALF DAY'S PER DIEM. HOWEVER, AS A TRAIN LEAVING WASHINGTON AT 6 P.M. WOULD HAVE BROUGHT THE TRAVELER INTO NEW YORK AT :55 P.M., ONLY A QUARTER DAY'S PER DIEM WAS ALLOWED. THERE IS INVOLVED HEREIN THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THE QUARTER DAY'S PER DIEM PREVIOUSLY DISALLOWED IS FOR PAYMENT IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPHS 1 AND 2 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDING THAT TRAVELERS SHOULD USE THE CARE OF A PRUDENT PERSON IN INCURRING TRAVELING EXPENSES, AND DEFINING SUCH EXPENSES AS THOSE ESSENTIAL TO THE TRANSACTING OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS.

WHETHER A TRAVELER USED DUE CARE IN THE INCURRENCE OF AN EXPENSE AND WHETHER THE EXPENSE WAS ESSENTIAL TO THE TRANSACTING OF THE OFFICIAL BUSINESS ARE ESSENTIALLY FACTUAL MATTERS FOR DETERMINATION IN THE LIGHT OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE PARTICULAR CASE. IN THE PRESENT CASE THE TRAVELER STATES THAT, PRIOR TO HIS DEPARTURE FROM WASHINGTON HE WAS UNABLE TO OBTAIN A HOTEL RESERVATION IN NEW YORK, AND THAT HIS DEPARTURE BY THE 4 P.M. TRAIN WAS "IN ORDER THAT I MIGHT REACH MY DESTINATION, RETIRE AT A REASONABLE HOUR AND BE FULLY READY FOR OFFICIAL BUSINESS THE NEXT MORNING.'

UNDER THOSE FACTS, IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE REQUIREMENTS OF PARAGRAPHS 1 AND 2 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS HAVE BEEN SATISFIED. ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER, RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.