B-123715, AUG. 12, 1955

B-123715: Aug 12, 1955

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WHICH WAS LATER APPROVED BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER AND DIRECTOR. HE EXPLAINS HIS DELAY AS FOLLOWS: "THE TRAVELER WAS DIRECTED TO REPORT TO THE GOVERNMENT AIR TERMINAL. DURING THESE LAY OVERS HE WAS REQUIRED TO HANG AROUND AIR TERMINALS FOR UPWARDS OF TWO HOUR PERIODS. WAS AT 1000. TO MAKE THIS THE TRAVELER WOULD HAVE HAD LESS THAN FIVE HOURS OF SLEEP SINCE TWO HOURS WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO CLEAR THE HOTEL. THE TRAVELER FELT THAT HE WAS ENTITLED TO MORE SLEEP THAN FIVE HOURS SO HE MISSED THE 1000 TRAIN. EACH TRAIN WAS DUE TO ARRIVE IN NEW LONDON. "THE TAXI RIDE WAS SHARED WITH R. PERSONAL BAGGAGE AND GOVERNMENT PROPERTY WAS CARRIED. THE TAXI FEE IS CLAIMED BECAUSE USL TRAVEL MANUAL SPECIFICALLY STATES THAT SUCH FEES ARE CLAIMABLE FROM PLACE OF LODGING TO STATION.

B-123715, AUG. 12, 1955

TO MR. WILLIAM J. DUGGAN, ENS/SC/USNR, DISBURSING OFFICER, U.S. NAVY UNDERWATER SOUND ABORATORY:

YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 10, 1955 (NP24/L20 WJD:ZPO SERIAL: 128-34), REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT MAY BE MADE UPON THE RECLAIM VOUCHER THEREWITH ENCLOSED IN FAVOR OF FRANK S. WHITE, JR., FOR $3.25 REPRESENTING PER DIEM ($2.25) AND TAXICAB FARE ($1.00) RESULTING FROM A LAYOVER IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

THE TRAVELER ON HIS RETURN TRIP UNDER ORDERS FROM GUANTANAMO, CUBA, VIA GOVERNMENT AIR TRANSPORATION, DEPARTED FROM GUANTANAMO AT NOON JUNE 12, 1954, AND ARRIVED AT PATUXENT RIVER, MARYLAND, AT 0130 ON JUNE 13, 1954. HE TRAVELED FROM PATUXENT RIVER TO WASHINGTON, D.C.,BY SPECIAL CONVEYANCE, WHICH WAS LATER APPROVED BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER AND DIRECTOR, ARRIVING IN WASHINGTON, D.C. AT 0300 JUNE 13. ON THE SAME DAY HE INCURRED $1.00 TAXICAB FARE FROM HOTEL TO RAILROAD STATION IN WASHINGTON. HE DEPARTED FROM WASHINGTON, D.C. AT 1500 JUNE 13 ARRIVING IN NEW LONDON, CONNECTICUT, AT 2215 THAT DAY. HE EXPLAINS HIS DELAY AS FOLLOWS:

"THE TRAVELER WAS DIRECTED TO REPORT TO THE GOVERNMENT AIR TERMINAL, GUANTANAMO BAY CUBA AT 1000 ON 12 JUNE. HE TRAVELED ON A HOT, CROWDED PLANE THAT PUT DOWN TWICE ENROUTE TO PATUXENT RIVER, MD. DURING THESE LAY OVERS HE WAS REQUIRED TO HANG AROUND AIR TERMINALS FOR UPWARDS OF TWO HOUR PERIODS. HE TRAVELED FROM PATUXENT TO WASH. D.C. VIA TAXI AND ARRIVED IN WASH. D.C. AT 0300 13 JUNE. THE FIRST TRAIN OUT OF WASH. D.C. WAS AT 1000; TO MAKE THIS THE TRAVELER WOULD HAVE HAD LESS THAN FIVE HOURS OF SLEEP SINCE TWO HOURS WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO CLEAR THE HOTEL, EAT BREAKFAST, TRAVEL TO THE STATION AND PICK UP THE TRAIN RESERVATIONS WHICH HAD BEEN MADE BY PHONE. THE TRAVELER FELT THAT HE WAS ENTITLED TO MORE SLEEP THAN FIVE HOURS SO HE MISSED THE 1000 TRAIN. HE MISSED THE 1200 TRAIN BECAUSE HE KNEW THE PER DIEM CLAIM WOULD BE THE SAME REGARDLESS WHETHER HE TOOK THE 1200 OR THE 1500 TRAIN, EACH TRAIN WAS DUE TO ARRIVE IN NEW LONDON, AFTER 1800 AND BEFORE 2400.

"THE TAXI RIDE WAS SHARED WITH R. E. BALINE AND G. T. ADKINS; PERSONAL BAGGAGE AND GOVERNMENT PROPERTY WAS CARRIED. THE TAXI FEE IS CLAIMED BECAUSE USL TRAVEL MANUAL SPECIFICALLY STATES THAT SUCH FEES ARE CLAIMABLE FROM PLACE OF LODGING TO STATION. EVEN IF THE TRAVELER HAD MADE THE 1000 TRAIN HE WAS ENTITLED TO SLEEP IN COMFORTABLE QUARTERS DURING THE WAIT FROM 0300 TO 1000.'

THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXCEPTION TO THE RECLAIMED ITEMS IS STATED TO HAVE BEEN BASED ON NCP1 240.9-2B, WHILE THE TRAVELER INVOKES THE SAME REGULATION FOR ITS ALLOWANCE.

THE NCP1 240.9-2B, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"/B) DELAYS.--- DELAYS THAT INCREASE THE EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT MUST BE CAREFULLY EXPLAINED. GENERALLY SPEAKING, DELAYS ENROUTE INVOLVING ADDITIONAL EXPENSE WILL NOT BE REIMBURSED UNLESS THE CIRCUMSTANCES ARE FULLY JUSTIFIED IN THE CLAIM VOUCHER. INABILITY TO OBTAIN TRAIN ACCOMMODATIONS, LATE ARRIVAL OF TRAIN, DELAYED SAILING OF VESSEL AFTER REPORTING ABOARD IN RESPONSE TO ORDERS, UNUSUAL HOURS OF DUTY REQUIRING LATE DEPARTURE, ARE INSTANCES WHERE THE ADDITIONAL EXPENSE INCURRED WILL BE CONSIDERED. ADDITIONAL EXPENSE CAUSED BY DELAY FOR PERSONAL REASONS WILL NOT BE PAID.'

PARAGRAPH 1 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT EMPLOYEES TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS ARE EXPECTED TO EXERCISE THE SAME CARE IN INCURRING EXPENSES THAT A PRUDENT PERSON PERSON WOULD EXERCISE IF TRAVELING ON PERSONAL BUSINESS. PARAGRAPH 8A. OF THOSE REGULATIONS AUTHORIZES REIMBURSEMENT OF TAXICAB FARES INCURRED BETWEEN PLACE OF ABODE AND RAILROAD TERMINAL WHERE INCURRED INCIDENT TO OFFICIAL BUSINESS. PARAGRAPH 44 OF THE SAME REGULATIONS, HOWEVER, PROHIBITS PAYMENT OF ADDITIONAL PER DIEM RESULTING FROM INTERRUPTION OF TRAVEL FOR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE OF THE TRAVELER.

WE ARE OF THE VIEW THAT THE TRAVELER'S EXPLANATION OF THE NECESSITY FOR THE DELAY IN WASHINGTON, D.C., IS REASONABLE AND JUSTIFIES PAYMENT OF THE ADDITIONAL EXPENSE UNDER THE STATED PROVISIONS OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATION. SEE GENERALLY 33 COMP. GEN. 221. ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER IS RETURNED AND PAYMENT THEREON IS AUTHORIZED IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.