B-125348, SEPTEMBER 14, 1955, 35 COMP. GEN. 148

B-125348: Sep 14, 1955

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1955 ARE NOT AUTOMATIC BUT REQUIRE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION BEFORE THE HIGHER RATES ARE EFFECTIVE AND THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR RETROACTIVELY INCREASING RATES IN TRAVEL ORDERS ISSUED PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THE ACT. ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION INCREASING THE RATES FOR THE EMPLOYEES INVOLVED IS REQUIRED BEFORE THE HIGHER RATES BECOME EFFECTIVE. IT IS THE ESTABLISHED RULE THAT THE RATE OF PER DIEM OR MILEAGE FIXED BY TRAVEL ORDERS MAY NOT BE INCREASED RETROACTIVELY. 28 COMP. THE QUESTION SUBMITTED IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.

B-125348, SEPTEMBER 14, 1955, 35 COMP. GEN. 148

TRAVEL EXPENSES - INCREASES AUTHORIZED BY ACT OF JULY 28, 1955 - RETROACTIVE EFFECT THE PER DIEM AND MILEAGE INCREASES AUTHORIZED FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL BY THE ACT OF JULY 28, 1955 ARE NOT AUTOMATIC BUT REQUIRE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION BEFORE THE HIGHER RATES ARE EFFECTIVE AND THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR RETROACTIVELY INCREASING RATES IN TRAVEL ORDERS ISSUED PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THE ACT.

TO THE ADMINISTRATOR, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION, SEPTEMBER 14, 1955:

THE LETTER OF AUGUST 26, 1955, FROM THE ACTING ADMINISTRATOR, REQUESTS OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER A TRAVEL ORDER ISSUED PRIOR TO JULY 28, 1955, WHICH DIRECTS AN EMPLOYEE TO PERFORM TEMPORARY DUTY EXTENDING BEYOND THAT DATE, AND AUTHORIZES A $9 PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE OR MILEAGE FOR USE OF PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE AT THE RATE OF 7 CENTS PER MILE, OR BOTH, MAY BE AMENDED RETROACTIVELY TO INCREASE THE PER DIEM OR MILEAGE RATE THEREIN SPECIFIED, OR BOTH, EFFECTIVE JULY 28, 1955.

WHILE PUBLIC LAW 189, APPROVED JULY 28, 1955, 69 STAT. 393, AUTHORIZED AN INCREASE IN THE MAXIMUM RATE OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE ALLOWABLE FOR TRAVEL WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND IN THE MAXIMUM MILEAGE RATE FOR USE OF PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE, IT DID NOT MAKE SUCH CHANGES AUTOMATIC. ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION INCREASING THE RATES FOR THE EMPLOYEES INVOLVED IS REQUIRED BEFORE THE HIGHER RATES BECOME EFFECTIVE. MOREOVER, IT IS THE ESTABLISHED RULE THAT THE RATE OF PER DIEM OR MILEAGE FIXED BY TRAVEL ORDERS MAY NOT BE INCREASED RETROACTIVELY. 28 COMP. GEN. 732 AND DECISIONS CITED THEREIN. THE QUESTION SUBMITTED IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.