B-120880, JUL. 22, 1955

B-120880: Jul 22, 1955

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THE FACTS SHOW THAT YOU WERE ABSENT FROM YOUR PERMANENT STATION ON ANNUAL LEAVE IN MINNEAPOLIS WHEN YOU WERE DIRECTED TO REPORT. EXCESS COSTS WERE ADMINISTRATIVELY DEDUCTED FOR TRANSPORTATION AND PER DIEM ON THE BASIS THAT THE COST OF RETURN TRAVEL FROM PLACE OF LEAVE TO HEADQUARTERS WAS YOUR OBLIGATION. AS STATED IN THE CITED DECISION THE GENERAL RULE IS THAT AN EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES. WHO IS ASSIGNED TO TEMPORARY DUTY WHILE ON LEAVE AWAY FROM HIS PERMANENT STATION. IS CHARGEABLE WITH THE EXPENSE THAT ORDINARILY WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD HE TRAVELED DIRECT FROM PLACE OF LEAVE TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION BY THE USUAL MEANS OF PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. THAT YOUR TRAVEL TO CHICAGO MIGHT HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE BY AUTOMOBILE WITHOUT CHARGE.

B-120880, JUL. 22, 1955

TO MR. DAVID M. LAIRD:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 30, 1955, MAKING FURTHER REFERENCE TO OUR DECISION TO YOU DATED OCTOBER 5, 1954, B 120880, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR AN AMOUNT ALLEGED TO BE DUE AS EXPENSES FOR TRAVEL, INCLUDING PER DIEM EN ROUTE, FROM MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, TO CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, MAY 27-28, 1953, WHILE AN EMPLOYEE OF THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION.

THE FACTS SHOW THAT YOU WERE ABSENT FROM YOUR PERMANENT STATION ON ANNUAL LEAVE IN MINNEAPOLIS WHEN YOU WERE DIRECTED TO REPORT--- AT THE EXPIRATION OF YOUR ANNUAL LEAVE--- FOR TEMPORARY DUTY AT THAT PLACE. UPON COMPLETING THE TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT YOU RETURNED TO YOUR HEADQUARTERS VIA FIRST-CLASS RAIL WITH ROOMETTE ACCOMMODATIONS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. IN THE SETTLEMENT OF YOUR CLAIM INVOLVING TRAVELING EXPENSES FOR MAY 1953, EXCESS COSTS WERE ADMINISTRATIVELY DEDUCTED FOR TRANSPORTATION AND PER DIEM ON THE BASIS THAT THE COST OF RETURN TRAVEL FROM PLACE OF LEAVE TO HEADQUARTERS WAS YOUR OBLIGATION. WE SUSTAINED THAT ACTION IN OUR DECISION OF OCTOBER 5.

AS STATED IN THE CITED DECISION THE GENERAL RULE IS THAT AN EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES, WHO IS ASSIGNED TO TEMPORARY DUTY WHILE ON LEAVE AWAY FROM HIS PERMANENT STATION, IS CHARGEABLE WITH THE EXPENSE THAT ORDINARILY WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD HE TRAVELED DIRECT FROM PLACE OF LEAVE TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION BY THE USUAL MEANS OF PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. YOU EXPRESS THE VIEW, HOWEVER, THAT YOUR TRAVEL TO CHICAGO MIGHT HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE BY AUTOMOBILE WITHOUT CHARGE, OR BY BUS OR RAILWAY COACH AT A LESSER COST THAN BY FIRST-CLASS TRANSPORTATION.

IN DETERMINING THE COST OF CONSTRUCTIVE TRAVEL IT LONG HAS BEEN THE PRACTICE TO COMPUTE SUCH COSTS UPON THE BASIS OF REGULAR FIRST-CLASS RAIL WITH PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS AS AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC GENERALLY. THUS, IT REASONABLY MAY BE CONCLUDED UPON THE EVIDENCE SUBMITTED THAT THE AMOUNTS TABULATED BELOW WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN CHARGEABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT BUT BORNE BY YOU HAD YOU NOT BEEN ORDERED TO RESUME A TEMPORARY DUTY STATUS AT PLACE OF LEAVE.

TABLE

FIRST-CLASS (ONE-WAY) RAIL FARE---

MINNEAPOLIS TO CHICAGO ON MAY 2

OR 3, 1953 $14.24

1 STANDARD LOWER BERTH 5.00

FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION TAX (15 PERCENT) 2.89

PER DIEM--- ONE-HALF DAY AT $9---

APPROXIMATELY NINE HOURS' TRAVEL TIME 4.50

$26.63

ACCORDINGLY, UPON REVIEW, THE DECISION OF OCTOBER 5, 1954, IS SUSTAINED.