B-125654, DEC. 15, 1955

B-125654: Dec 15, 1955

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THE COSTS OF UNPACKING OF HIS EFFECTS WHICH ARE CLAIMED BY HIM INCIDENT TO HIS PERMANENT TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION FROM SAN JUAN. WE NOTE THE EMPLOYEE WAS FURNISHED A TRAVEL ADVANCE OF $200 AND THAT THE TRAVEL ORDER AUTHORIZED TRAVEL ON A MILEAGE BASIS AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE UNITED STATES. WE UNDERSTAND THE ENDING DATE OF SUCH TRAVEL WAS NOT SPECIFIED BECAUSE IT WAS ANTICIPATED THE EMPLOYEE WOULD USE ACCUMULATED ANNUAL LEAVE EN ROUTE TO HIS NEW STATION. THE EMPLOYEE STATES HE IS CLAIMING NO PER DIEM FOR THE AIR TRAVEL PERFORMED ON JUNE 21 AND HIS ITINERARY SHOWS HIS AUTHORIZED TRAVEL BY AUTOMOBILE WAS PERFORMED AFTER JULY 1. THAT IS. THE EMPLOYEE'S CLAIM OF $15 PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FOR HIS TRAVEL ON JULY 30 AND 31 AT THE RATE OF $10 IS NOT ALLOWABLE FOR THE REASON THAT THE RECORD SHOWS HE COULD HAVE PERFORMED THE NECESSARY TRAVEL PRIOR TO JULY 28.

B-125654, DEC. 15, 1955

TO MISS E. FULLER, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, WEATHER BUREAU:

YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 28, 1955, FILE NO. A.3-32, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE VOUCHER TRANSMITTED IN FAVOR OF EUGENE G. HARDING, REPRESENTING MILEAGE, PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE, AND THE COSTS OF UNPACKING OF HIS EFFECTS WHICH ARE CLAIMED BY HIM INCIDENT TO HIS PERMANENT TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION FROM SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO, TO ELY, NEVADA, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE WEATHER BUREAU UNDER TRAVEL ORDER DATED JUNE 20, 1955.

WE NOTE THE EMPLOYEE WAS FURNISHED A TRAVEL ADVANCE OF $200 AND THAT THE TRAVEL ORDER AUTHORIZED TRAVEL ON A MILEAGE BASIS AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE UNITED STATES, TO BEGIN ON OR ABOUT JUNE 20, 1955. ALSO, WE UNDERSTAND THE ENDING DATE OF SUCH TRAVEL WAS NOT SPECIFIED BECAUSE IT WAS ANTICIPATED THE EMPLOYEE WOULD USE ACCUMULATED ANNUAL LEAVE EN ROUTE TO HIS NEW STATION. IN CONFORMANCE WITH THE TRAVEL ORDER, THE EMPLOYEE BEGAN HIS TRAVEL ON JUNE 21 BY AIRPLANE FROM SAN JUAN TO JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, WHERE HE TOOK 17 DAYS' ANNUAL LEAVE DURING THE PERIOD JUNE 22 TO JULY 17. HE DEPARTED JACKSONVILLE ON JULY 18 BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FOR FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA, ARRIVING THERE AT 8:30 P.M. JULY 23, WHERE HE TOOK 5 MORE DAYS' ANNUAL LEAVE. HE DEPARTED FLAGSTAFF ON JULY 30 AND ARRIVED IN ELY AT 12:00 NOON JULY 31, 1955. THE EMPLOYEE STATES HE IS CLAIMING NO PER DIEM FOR THE AIR TRAVEL PERFORMED ON JUNE 21 AND HIS ITINERARY SHOWS HIS AUTHORIZED TRAVEL BY AUTOMOBILE WAS PERFORMED AFTER JULY 1, THAT IS, DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1956.

THE EMPLOYEE'S CLAIM OF $15 PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FOR HIS TRAVEL ON JULY 30 AND 31 AT THE RATE OF $10 IS NOT ALLOWABLE FOR THE REASON THAT THE RECORD SHOWS HE COULD HAVE PERFORMED THE NECESSARY TRAVEL PRIOR TO JULY 28, 1955--- THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF PUBLIC LAW 189, 69 STAT. 393--- HAD HE NOT TAKEN LEAVE DURING JUNE AND JULY. IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 49 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS THE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE ALLOWABLE FOR JULY 30 AND 31 AMOUNTS TO $12 (1 1/2 DAYS AT THE RATE OF $8 AS AUTHORIZED IN HIS TRAVEL ORDERS). THUS, THE TOTAL PER DIEM ALLOWABLE APPEARS TO BE $60, RATHER THAN $63 AS CLAIMED.

AS TO THE TOTAL MILEAGE ALLOWANCE, SUBPARAGRAPH 12B (1) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, (12A (1) PRIOR TO BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-7, JULY 28, 1955) PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART---

"* * * WHEN TRANSPORTATION IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY PRIVATELY OWNED MOTORCYCLES OR AUTOMOBILE, DISTANCES BETWEEN POINTS TRAVELED SHALL BE AS SHOWN IN STANDARD HIGHWAY MILEAGE GUIDES OR BY SPEEDOMETER READINGS. ANY SUBSTANTIAL DEVIATIONS FROM DISTANCES SHOWN IN THE STANDARD HIGHWAY MILEAGE GUIDES SHALL BE EXPLAINED. * * *"

THE RAND-MCNALLY STANDARD HIGHWAY MILEAGE GUIDE, 1949 EDITION, SHOWS 2,485 MILES AS THE DISTANCE OF THE USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE FROM ELY, NEVADA, TO JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA. IN VIEW OF THE QUOTED REGULATION, THE LESSER DISTANCE OF "2,438 MILES" SUGGESTED IN YOUR LETTER WOULD NOT APPEAR JUSTIFIED IN THE ABSENCE OF SOME ADMINISTRATIVE EXPLANATION THEREOF.

CONCERNING YOUR QUESTION AS TO THE FISCAL YEAR APPROPRIATION CHARGEABLE, YOU REFER TO 30 COMP. GEN. 147 AND SUGGEST ITS APPLICABILITY. IN THAT CASE THE COST OF MILEAGE, FOR WHICH PAYMENT WAS AUTHORIZED BY THE TRAVEL ORDER, WAS ACTUALLY INCURRED IN THE FISCAL YEAR 1950. HERE, WHILE YOU SAY THE EMPLOYEE WOULD HAVE ARRIVED IN ELY ON JUNE 29 HAD HE PERFORMED THE TRAVEL BY A DIRECT UNINTERRUPTED JOURNEY, THE MILEAGE, PER DIEM AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS EXPENSES FOR WHICH PAYMENT IS BEING ALLOWED ACTUALLY WERE INCURRED IN THE FISCAL YEAR 1956. HENCE, WE HOLD THAT 30 COMP. GEN. 147 DOES NOT CONTROL IN THIS CASE. COMPARE 5 COMP. GEN. 1.

THE FIRST-CLASS AIR TRAVEL PROCURED BY THE EMPLOYEE (TRANSPORTATION REQUEST NO. C 270,405) ON JUNE 21, 1955, IS CHARGEABLE TO FISCAL YEAR 1955 FUNDS. THE ALLOWABLE PER DIEM AND MILEAGE (2,485 MILES AT 7 CENTS PER MILE) PLUS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS EXPENSES--- EACH OF WHICH ACCRUED AFTER JULY 1, 1955--- ARE CHARGEABLE TO FISCAL YEAR 1956 FUNDS.

IF OTHERWISE PROPER, THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IN THE NET AMOUNT OF $103.95 ($173.95 PLUS $60 AND $70, MINUS THE $200 ADVANCE).