B-124261, AUG. 22, 1955

B-124261: Aug 22, 1955

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YOU SAY THE FACTS ARE AS FOLLOWS: "MR. BAKER WAS AUTHORIZED. "IT WAS DETERMINED THAT IT WAS TO THE GOVERNMENT'S ADVANTAGE FORMR. BAKER WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED DIRECTLY FROM HIS POINT OF LEAVE TO GAINESVILLE. FLORIDA. * * "* * * THE SECOND VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $13.78 IS A CLAIM FOR RETURN TO HEADQUARTERS IN ACCORDANCE WITH P.L. 482. HAVE BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED.'. GEN. 443 WE HELD THAT AN EMPLOYEE AUTHORIZED PRIOR TO DEPARTURE ON ANNUAL LEAVE TO PROCEED ON OFFICIAL TRAVEL FROM THE PLACE OF LEAVE TO A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AND RETURN TO HEADQUARTERS IS ENTITLED TO BE PAID TRAVELING EXPENSES NOT TO EXCEED WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD HE TRAVELED DIRECTLY FROM HEADQUARTERS TO THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION.

B-124261, AUG. 22, 1955

TO MISS BEULAH E. WATSON, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, FARMER COOPERATIVE SERVICE:

YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 3, 1955, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE TWO VOUCHERS THEREWITH ENCLOSED IN FAVOR OF CHARLES K. BAKER, IN THE AMOUNTS OF $54.57 AND $13.78, RESPECTIVELY. YOU SAY THE FACTS ARE AS FOLLOWS:

"MR. BAKER WAS AUTHORIZED, PRIOR TO DEPARTURE ON ANNUAL LEAVE FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS, WASHINGTON, D.C., TO INTERRUPT HIS LEAVE FOR 2 DAYS WHILE IN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, TO PERFORM DUTIES IN THAT VICINITY AND TO PROCEED ON OFFICIAL TRAVEL FROM THE LAST POINT OF LEAVE TO TEMPORARY DUTY AT GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA, AND OTHER POINTS IN FLORIDA, AND UPON COMPLETION OF HIS DUTIES, RETURN TO WASHINGTON, D.C.

"IT WAS DETERMINED THAT IT WAS TO THE GOVERNMENT'S ADVANTAGE FORMR. BAKER TO PROCEED FROM CALIFORNIA DIRECTLY TO TEMPORARY DUTY IN FLORIDA AND BE REIMBURSED AT 4 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE DISTANCE BETWEEN WASHINGTON D.C., AND GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA, AND RETURN, BUT THE COSTS NOT TO EXCEED COST BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. ACCORDINGLY, MR. BAKER WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED DIRECTLY FROM HIS POINT OF LEAVE TO GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA.

"ON OCTOBER 16, 1954, PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORIZATION, MR. BAKER LEFT NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA, HIS LAST POINT OF LEAVE, AND TRAVELED TOWARD GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA. ON OCTOBER 18, 1954, AT 11:50 A.M., HE HAD AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT ON U.S. HIGHWAY 290 NEAR FT. STOCKTON, TEXAS. CONSEQUENCE THEREOF, MR. BAKER HAS SUBMITTED A CLAIM IN THE AMOUNT OF $54.57 FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED FROM NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA, TO FT. STOCKTON, TEXAS, NOT EXCEEDING THE COST BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA. * *

"* * * THE SECOND VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $13.78 IS A CLAIM FOR RETURN TO HEADQUARTERS IN ACCORDANCE WITH P.L. 482, 81ST CONGRESS, AND PARAGRAPH 45 (D) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AS AMENDED. * *

"MR. BAKER'S TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES AND PER DIEM EN ROUTE FROM POINT HE BECAME INCAPACITATED, FT. STOCKTON, TEXAS, TO HEADQUARTERS, WASHINGTON, D.C., HAVE BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED.'

PARAGRAPH 45 (D) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AS AMENDED AUGUST 1, 1952, ISSUED PURSUANT TO THE ACT OF APRIL 26, 1950, PUBLIC LAW 482, 64 STAT. 89, PROVIDES---

"/D) TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES TO EMPLOYEE'S DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY AND PER DIEM EN ROUTE SHALL BE ALLOWED WHENEVER THE EMPLOYEE BECOMES INCAPACITATED DUE TO ILLNESS OR INJURY NOT DUE TO HIS OWN MISCONDUCT WHILE EN ROUTE TO OR WHILE AT TEMPORARY DUTY STATION PRIOR TO COMPLETION OF TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT WHEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED.'

IN 24 COMP. GEN. 443 WE HELD THAT AN EMPLOYEE AUTHORIZED PRIOR TO DEPARTURE ON ANNUAL LEAVE TO PROCEED ON OFFICIAL TRAVEL FROM THE PLACE OF LEAVE TO A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AND RETURN TO HEADQUARTERS IS ENTITLED TO BE PAID TRAVELING EXPENSES NOT TO EXCEED WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD HE TRAVELED DIRECTLY FROM HEADQUARTERS TO THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION, WITHOUT REGARD TO WHAT IT WOULD HAVE COST TO RETURN TO HIS HEADQUARTERS FROM THE PLACE OF LEAVE.

THE VOUCHER FOR $54.57 IS BASED ON THE ESTIMATED COST OF RAIL TRANSPORTATION FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA, PLUS 3/4 DAY PER DIEM ALLOWANCE, WHICH IS SHOWN TO BE LESS THAN MILEAGE AND PER DIEM FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE COMPUTED OVER THE ROUTE ACTUALLY USED FROM HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA, TO FORT STOCKTON, TEXAS, WHERE THE ACCIDENT OCCURRED. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE VOUCHER, IF OTHERWISE PROPER, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT SUBJECT TO THE CONDITION HEREINAFTER STATED.

THE VOUCHER FOR $13.78 IS BASED ON THE ESTIMATED COST ($114.12) OF RETURNING TO WASHINGTON, C., FROM MONAHANS, TEXAS, LESS THE VALUE OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS ($100.34) USED FOR TRAVEL BY WAY OF DALLAS, TEXAS, THE ROUTE ACTUALLY USED. THE ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL OF THE VOUCHER UNDER PUBLIC LAW 482 AND PARAGRAPH 45 (D) OF THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS VALID ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT IT WOULD PERMIT PAYMENT OF CONSTRUCTIVE COMMON CARRIER COSTS, INCLUDING PER DIEM, BETWEEN GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA, AND WASHINGTON, D.C. THERE IS NO BASIS OF LAW FOR AUTHORIZING ANY ADDITIONAL PAYMENT, THE TRAVEL TO THE WEST COAST HAVING BEEN PRIMARILY FOR PURPOSE OF LEAVE OF ABSENCE. IT FOLLOWS THAT THE VOUCHER MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT. FURTHER, THE EMPLOYEE IS INDEBTED TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE VALUE OF THE TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS USED IN RETURNING TO WASHINGTON, LESS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COST OF ROUND -TRIP TRAVEL, INCLUDING PER DIEM, BY COMMON CARRIER BETWEEN WASHINGTON AND GAINESVILLE AND THE SUM ALLOWABLE ON THE OTHER VOUCHER. THE INDEBTEDNESS SHOULD BE COLLECTED BY DEDUCTION FROM THE $54.57 VOUCHER.

ACTION ON THE TWO VOUCHERS, RETURNED HEREWITH, SHOULD BE TAKEN ACCORDINGLY.