B-127109, APR. 6, 1956

B-127109: Apr 6, 1956

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GLENN WAS ON TEMPORARY DUTY AT GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK HE BECAME ILL ON NOVEMBER 29. HE WAS RELEASED FROM THE WILLIAMS HOSPITAL WITH EXPLICIT INSTRUCTIONS FROM HIS DOCTOR TO TRAVEL BY TRAIN TO ALBUQUERQUE. THE DOCTOR SAID HIS CONDITION WAS SUCH THAT HE REQUIRED THE SERVICES OF AN ATTENDANT ON THE TRIP AND THAT THE TRAIN ACCOMMODATIONS SHOULD BE SUCH THAT LAVATORY FACILITIES WOULD BE AVAILABLE WITH LITTLE EXERTION AND THAT HE COULD LIE DOWN FOR THE ENTIRE TRIP. WHICH MODE OF TRAVEL IS STATED TO HAVE BEEN ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. NO QUESTION IS RAISED REGARDING THE PROPRIETY OF THE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE ITEMS. CONSTITUTE "TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES" AS THOSE WORDS ARE USED IN PARAGRAPH 45D.

B-127109, APR. 6, 1956

TO MR. MANLEY W. ALLEN, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE:

YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 21, 1956, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE VOUCHER THEREWITH SUBMITTED FOR $259.04 IN FAVOR OF MARLOW GLENN, COVERING REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCIDENT TO HIS RETURN FROM HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION TO HIS OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS UPON BECOMING INCAPACITATED BECAUSE OF ILLNESS NOT DUE TO HIS OWN MISCONDUCT.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT WHILE MR. GLENN WAS ON TEMPORARY DUTY AT GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK HE BECAME ILL ON NOVEMBER 29, 1955. HE ENTERED THE NEARBY WILLIAMS, ARIZONA, HOSPITAL ON THAT DATE. ON DECEMBER 4, 1955, HE WAS RELEASED FROM THE WILLIAMS HOSPITAL WITH EXPLICIT INSTRUCTIONS FROM HIS DOCTOR TO TRAVEL BY TRAIN TO ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, FOR FURTHER MEDICAL ATTENTION TO DETERMINE THE CAUSE OF THE SEVERE ACUTE ANEMIA RESULTING FROM A MASSIVE INTERNAL HEMORRHAGE. THE DOCTOR SAID HIS CONDITION WAS SUCH THAT HE REQUIRED THE SERVICES OF AN ATTENDANT ON THE TRIP AND THAT THE TRAIN ACCOMMODATIONS SHOULD BE SUCH THAT LAVATORY FACILITIES WOULD BE AVAILABLE WITH LITTLE EXERTION AND THAT HE COULD LIE DOWN FOR THE ENTIRE TRIP. UPON HIS DISCHARGE FROM THE HOSPITAL AT ALBUQUERQUE DECEMBER 11, 1955, HE RETURNED TO HIS OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS, SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO, BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE, WHICH MODE OF TRAVEL IS STATED TO HAVE BEEN ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT.

THE VOUCHER COVERS PER DIEM FOR THE PERIOD NOVEMBER 15 TO 19, 1955, WHEN HE ACTUALLY PERFORMED HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES, NAMELY, 4 1/4 DAYS AT $12, A TOTAL OF $51; AND FOR THE PERIOD NOVEMBER 28 THROUGH DECEMBER 11, 13 1/4 DAYS AT $12, A TOTAL OF $159; PLUS AMBULANCE SERVICE FROM THE HOSPITAL AT WILLIAMS TO THE TRAIN, $10; AMBULANCE SERVICES FROM THE TRAIN TO HOSPITAL AT ALBUQUERQUE, $14.42; TRAIN FARE OF ATTENDANT (HIS WIFE), WILLIAMS, ARIZONA, TO ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, PLUS SEAT FOR ATTENDANT IN PULLMAN BEDROOM, $18.02; AND MILEAGE AT 10 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE TRIP FROM ALBUQUERQUE TO SANTA FE, 66 MILES, $6.60, MAKING AN OVERALL TOTAL OF $259.04.

NO QUESTION IS RAISED REGARDING THE PROPRIETY OF THE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE ITEMS; RATHER, YOUR DOUBT APPEARS TO BE WHETHER THOSE ITEMS INVOLVING AMBULANCE SERVICE, ATTENDANT EXPENSES, AND PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS (BEDROOM), SECURED UPON A GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST, CONSTITUTE "TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES" AS THOSE WORDS ARE USED IN PARAGRAPH 45D, STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. THAT PARAGRAPH READS AS FOLLOWS:

"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.'

THE REGULATION JUST QUOTED IMPLEMENTS THE ACT OF APRIL 26, 1950, 64 STAT. 89, WHICH WAS ENACTED, ACCORDING TO THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY, SENATE REPORT NO. 1364, PAGES 1 AND 2, TO OVERCOME IN SOME MEASURE INEQUITIES AND HARDSHIPS ARISING WHEN AN EMPLOYEE BECOMES ILL OR IS INJURED WHILE IN A TRAVEL STATUS AND COMPELLED TO PERSONALLY ASSUME ALL EXPENSES, INCLUDING SUBSISTENCE AND TRANSPORTATION COSTS.

UNDER THE FOREGOING FACTS WE CONCLUDE THAT THE AMBULANCE SERVICE, ATTENDANT EXPENSES, AND THE PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS (BEDROOM), WHICH HAVE BEEN APPROVED ADMINISTRATIVELY AND REPRESENT DIRECT TRAVEL FROM WILLIAMS THROUGH ALBUQUERQUE TO SANTA FE, EMPLOYEE'S DUTY STATION, ARE COVERED BY THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 45D AND SUCH EXPENSES ARE PROPERLY REIMBURSABLE TO THE EMPLOYEE UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THIS CASE.

YOUR QUESTION IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY AND THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.