B-126835, FEB. 23, 1956

B-126835: Feb 23, 1956

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" THERE WAS INSERTED "APPROX. 1 1/2.'. TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE. TWO DAYS' PER DIEM WERE DEDUCTED ADMINISTRATIVELY UPON THE THEORY THAT THE TRAVEL ORDERS LIMITED THE PER DIEM TO 1 1/2 DAYS IRRESPECTIVE OF THE MODE OF TRAVEL. WAS THAT THE TOTAL AMOUNT PAYABLE SHOULD NOT EXCEED THE COST BY COMMON CARRIER INCLUDING PER DIEM. RATHER IS CONCERNED WITH THE TOTAL TRAVEL COSTS BY COMMON CARRIERS. FRAZIER FOR THE USE OF HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WAS MUCH LESS THAN THE TRAVEL COST. WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD THE TRAVEL BEEN PERFORMED BY COMMON CARRIER.

B-126835, FEB. 23, 1956

TO MR. H. H. HAYS, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, HOUSING AND HOME FINANCE AGENCY:

YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 26, 1956, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE VOUCHER THEREWITH TRANSMITTED IN FAVOR OF MELVIN S. FRAZIER, AN EMPLOYEE OF YOUR AGENCY, FOR $18. THIS REPRESENTS A RECLAIM OF AN AMOUNT DEDUCTED FROM A PRIOR TRAVEL VOUCHER AS CONSTITUTING PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE IN EXCESS OF THAT AUTHORIZED BY HIS TRAVEL ORDERS.

TRAVEL ORDER, MARCH 31, 1955, DIRECTED MR. FRAZIER TO TRANSFER HIS HEADQUARTERS FROM SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, TO SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, AND AUTHORIZED HIM TO TRAVEL WITH HIS WIFE AND TWO CHILDREN, EITHER BY COMMON CARRIER OR BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AT 7 CENTS PER MILE "LIMITED TO NOT TO EXCEED THE COST OF TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER INCLUDING PER DIEM.' IN SPACE 14 ON THE TRAVEL ORDER DESIGNATED "NUMBER OF DAYS IN A TRAVEL STATUS," THERE WAS INSERTED "APPROX. 1 1/2.' SPACE 13 ON THE ORDER STATES THAT THE TRAVEL WOULD TERMINATE ON OR ABOUT APRIL 5, 1955. MR. FRAZIER AND HIS FAMILY LEFT SEATTLE AT 10:15 A.M., SATURDAY, APRIL 2, AND ARRIVED SAN FRANCISCO, :30 P.M., APRIL 5, 1955. TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE. MR. FRAZIER CLAIMED $61.60 AS MILEAGE AND $31.50 AS PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FOR 3 1/2 DAYS ON HIS ORIGINAL TRAVEL VOUCHER. TWO DAYS' PER DIEM WERE DEDUCTED ADMINISTRATIVELY UPON THE THEORY THAT THE TRAVEL ORDERS LIMITED THE PER DIEM TO 1 1/2 DAYS IRRESPECTIVE OF THE MODE OF TRAVEL.

OUR OFFICE VIEWS THE STATEMENT IN SPACE NO. 14 AS AN ESTIMATE ONLY. THE LIMITATION IN THE TRAVEL ORDER, WHEN USING A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE, WAS THAT THE TOTAL AMOUNT PAYABLE SHOULD NOT EXCEED THE COST BY COMMON CARRIER INCLUDING PER DIEM. THAT PROVISION DOES NOT LIMIT THE PER DIEM TO COMMON CARRIER TIME, BUT RATHER IS CONCERNED WITH THE TOTAL TRAVEL COSTS BY COMMON CARRIERS. ACCORDING TO BOTH THE TARIFFS ON FILE IN THIS OFFICE AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE STATEMENTS THE TOTAL CLAIMED BY MR. FRAZIER FOR THE USE OF HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WAS MUCH LESS THAN THE TRAVEL COST, INCLUDING PER DIEM, WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD THE TRAVEL BEEN PERFORMED BY COMMON CARRIER. ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER RECLAIMING $18 MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.