B-126799, MAR. 2, 1956

B-126799: Mar 2, 1956

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UNITED STATES ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 24. TOGETHER WITH OTHER EMPLOYEES ON COURIER DUTY GUARDING A CARLOAD SHIPMENT OF CLASSIFIED MATERIAL WHICH WAS MOVING VIA PASSENGER TRAIN. WAS ORDERED TO TRAVEL AS OFTEN AS NECESSARY FROM ALBUQUERQUE. AT WHICH TIME THE TRIP WAS COMPLETED. BIENEK IS ALBUQUERQUE. YOU SAY THAT SANDIA BASE IS ADJACENT TO ALBUQUERQUE BUT IS OUTSIDE THE CITY LIMITS. TRAVEL FROM THE ALBUQUERQUE RAILROAD TERMINAL TO SANDIA BASE BY RAIL IS UNDERSTOOD TO BE OVER A SPUR TRACK SOME 13 MILES IN LENGTH. THE MAJOR PORTION OF WHICH IS OUTSIDE THE LIMITS OF BOTH THE CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE AND SANDIA BASE. WAS NOT PERMITTED TO DEBARK FROM THE TRAIN UPON ARRIVALS AT ALBUQUERQUE OR SANDIA BASE.

B-126799, MAR. 2, 1956

TO MRS. ZORA F. SAWYER, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, UNITED STATES ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 24, 1956, WITH ENCLOSURES, REFERENCE AF:MCN, REQUESTING OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT A TRANSMITTED VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. FRANK BIENEK, REPRESENTING PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FOR OFFICIAL TRAVEL PERFORMED DURING THE PERIOD OCTOBER 29 THROUGH NOVEMBER 3, 1955.

MR. BIENEK, A SHIPMENT SECURITY SPECIALIST, TOGETHER WITH OTHER EMPLOYEES ON COURIER DUTY GUARDING A CARLOAD SHIPMENT OF CLASSIFIED MATERIAL WHICH WAS MOVING VIA PASSENGER TRAIN, WAS ORDERED TO TRAVEL AS OFTEN AS NECESSARY FROM ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, TO DENVER, COLORADO, AND SUCH OTHER POINTS WITHIN CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AS MIGHT BE NECESSARY AND RETURN. WHILE ACCOMPANYING THE SHIPMENT, THE EMPLOYEES PREPARED THEIR OWN MEALS, ATE AND SLEPT IN A GOVERNMENT-OWNED DROVER CAR ATTACHED TO THE PASSENGER AND SWITCH TRAINS. THE CAR DEPARTED ALBUQUERQUE EN ROUTE TO DENVER ON OCTOBER 29 AT 9:30 P.M. AND RETURNED TO ALBUQUERQUE ON OCTOBER 31, ARRIVING AT 6:00 P.M. IT REMAINED IN THE RAILROAD TERMINAL AT ALBUQUERQUE FOR 40 MINUTES AND THEN CONTINUED ON TO SANDIA BASE, NEW MEXICO, ARRIVING AT 7:40 P.M. THE CAR REMAINED AT SANDIA BASE UNTIL 1:45 P.M. OF NOVEMBER 1 AND THEN RETURNED TO ALBUQUERQUE ARRIVING AT 3:30 P.M. IT DEPARTED ALBUQUERQUE AT 9:45 P.M., THE SAME DAY EN ROUTE TO DENVER. THE CAR RETURNED TO ALBUQUERQUE AT 6:05 P.M. ON NOVEMBER 3 AND REMAINED AT THE RAILROAD TERMINAL THERE FOR 30 MINUTES. IT THEN CONTINUED ON TO SANDIA BASE, ARRIVING AT 7:40 P.M. AT WHICH TIME THE TRIP WAS COMPLETED.

THE OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS OF MR. BIENEK IS ALBUQUERQUE. YOU SAY THAT SANDIA BASE IS ADJACENT TO ALBUQUERQUE BUT IS OUTSIDE THE CITY LIMITS. TRAVEL FROM THE ALBUQUERQUE RAILROAD TERMINAL TO SANDIA BASE BY RAIL IS UNDERSTOOD TO BE OVER A SPUR TRACK SOME 13 MILES IN LENGTH, THE MAJOR PORTION OF WHICH IS OUTSIDE THE LIMITS OF BOTH THE CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE AND SANDIA BASE.

MR. BIENEK, WHO REMAINED WITH THE SHIPMENT CONTINUOUSLY UNTIL RELEASED FROM CUSTODY UPON HIS RETURN TO SANDIA BASE ON NOVEMBER 3, WAS NOT PERMITTED TO DEBARK FROM THE TRAIN UPON ARRIVALS AT ALBUQUERQUE OR SANDIA BASE. HE CONTINUED ON DUTY AT SUCH TIMES AND INCURRED SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES IN THE SAME MANNER AS ON OTHER PORTIONS OF THE TRIP.

YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER IS EXPLAINED IN YOUR LETTER AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * THE CLAIM AS PRESENTED INCLUDES PER DIEM FOR TIME (ONE DAY) SPENT WITHIN, OR WHILE PASSING THROUGH, EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION. IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 46 OF STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, THE UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES CONNECTED WITH THIS TRAVEL, AND THE PROBABILITY OF RECURRENCE, THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER IS TRANSMITTED FOR ADVANCE DECISION AS TO PROPRIETY OF PAYMENT IN AMOUNT CLAIMED. * * *"

PARAGRAPH 46 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT "UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE BE ALLOWED AN EMPLOYEE AT HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION.' SECTION 3 OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 166, AUTHORIZES THE PAYMENT OF A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE TO EMPLOYEES ONLY "WHILE TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS" AND "AWAY FROM THEIR DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY.'

YOUR STATEMENT THAT THE EMPLOYEE IS CLAIMING PER DIEM FOR ONE DAY IN EXCESS OF THAT WHICH HE WOULD HAVE CLAIMED HAD HE BEEN ALLOWED TO RETURN TO HIS HOME UPON ARRIVAL IN ALBUQUERQUE APPARENTLY IS PREDICATED UPON THE VIEW THAT SANDIA BASE IS CONSIDERED FOR PER DIEM PURPOSES AS BEING A PART OF THE EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION. UNDER PARAGRAPH 3 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS THE LIMITS OF AN EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION ARE THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE CITY OR TOWN IN WHICH STATIONED. THE TRAVEL ORDERS ISSUED IN THIS CASE SHOW ALBUQUERQUE AS THE OFFICIAL STATION. SINCE SANDIA BASE IS OUTSIDE THE LIMITS OF THE CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE, IT IS NOT TO BE CONSIDERED AS A PART OF MR. BIENEK'S OFFICIAL STATION FOR PER DIEM PURPOSES. FURTHERMORE, IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT WHERE ADDITIONAL COSTS OF SUBSISTENCE ARE INCURRED BY A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE BY REASON OF TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS, HIS PER DIEM ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED BY THE TRAVEL ORDERS MAY NOT BE DENIED SOLELY BECAUSE THE TEMPORARY DUTY IS PERFORMED AT A PLACE NEAR HIS OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS. SEE 24 COMP. GEN. 179 AND 28 ID. 192.

THUS, MR. BIENEK IS TO BE CREDITED UNDER HIS TRAVEL ORDERS WITH THE TIME SPENT AT SANDIA BASE.

THE COMPUTATION OF MR. BIENEK'S PER DIEM ON SUCH BASIS AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 51 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS DISCLOSES THAT HE IS ENTITLED TO THE ONE DAY'S SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE IN QUESTION. ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.