B-127538, MAY 9, 1956

B-127538: May 9, 1956

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED UPON THE VOUCHER THEREWITH TRANSMITTED IN FAVOR OF LINDLEY R. D.C.NO CLAIM IS MADE FOR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FOR THE RETURN TRIP TO SEATTLE. DURKEE TOOK TWO DAYS' LEAVE AND ATTENDED TO PERSONAL BUSINESS WHICH FACT EVIDENTLY CREATES SOME DOUBT IN YOUR MIND WHETHER THE TRIP WAS PRIMARILY FOR PERSONAL REASONS WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE DECISION IN 19 COMP. - "WHERE THE PURPOSE OF A JOURNEY IS PRIMARILY PERSONAL TO THE TRAVELER. THE EMPLOYEE WAS AUTHORIZED TO PERFORM THE TRIP BY TRAVEL ORDER DATED FEBRUARY 7. WAS ON ANNUAL LEAVE FEBRUARY 16 AND 17. DURING WHICH HE ATTENDED THE NATIONAL DIRECTORS' MEETING OF THE NATIONAL SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS OF WHICH HE IS VICE-PRESIDENT.

B-127538, MAY 9, 1956

TO MR. H. H. HAYS, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, OFFICE OF THE REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR, REGION VI, HOUSING AND HOME FINANCE AGENCY:

YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 4, 1956, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED UPON THE VOUCHER THEREWITH TRANSMITTED IN FAVOR OF LINDLEY R. DURKEE FOR $86.94, REPRESENTING TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO TEMPORARY DUTY AT WASHINGTON, D.C. THE TRAVELER USED A GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST FOR ONE-HALF OF THE COST OF A ROUND TRIP TICKET BETWEEN SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, HIS HEADQUARTERS, AND WASHINGTON, D.C.NO CLAIM IS MADE FOR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FOR THE RETURN TRIP TO SEATTLE. WHILE IN WASHINGTON MR. DURKEE TOOK TWO DAYS' LEAVE AND ATTENDED TO PERSONAL BUSINESS WHICH FACT EVIDENTLY CREATES SOME DOUBT IN YOUR MIND WHETHER THE TRIP WAS PRIMARILY FOR PERSONAL REASONS WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE DECISION IN 19 COMP. GEN. 658 IN WHICH WE HELD (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS/---

"WHERE THE PURPOSE OF A JOURNEY IS PRIMARILY PERSONAL TO THE TRAVELER, ONLY SUCH ADDITIONAL EXPENSES AS MAY BE INCURRED ON BONA FIDE GOVERNMENT BUSINESS CAUSING DELAY OR STOP-OVER AND ADDITIONAL TRAVEL MAY BE PAID FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS.'

THE EMPLOYEE WAS AUTHORIZED TO PERFORM THE TRIP BY TRAVEL ORDER DATED FEBRUARY 7, 1956, FOR THE PURPOSE OF REPORTING IN CONNECTION WITH FINAL REPORT AND DETERMINING THE ELIGIBILITY OF CERTAIN ELEMENTS OF COST UNDER THE DISASTER RELIEF PROGRAM AND SPECIFICALLY PROJECT DSP 46 8-1, MONTANA FLOOD. IT APPEARS FROM THE VOUCHER THAT THE CLAIMANT SPENT FEBRUARY 13, 14, AND 15 ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS IN WASHINGTON, D.C., WAS ON ANNUAL LEAVE FEBRUARY 16 AND 17, DURING WHICH HE ATTENDED THE NATIONAL DIRECTORS' MEETING OF THE NATIONAL SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS OF WHICH HE IS VICE-PRESIDENT. HE RESUMED OFFICIAL BUSINESS FEBRUARY 20 AND 21, LEAVING WASHINGTON, D.C. 11:30 P.M. ON THAT DATE FOR THE RETURN TRIP TO SEATTLE.

IN HIS MEMORANDUM OF MARCH 9, 1956, TO YOU, THE EMPLOYEE STATES:

"DURING MY VISIT TO THE REGIONAL OFFICE, THE REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR RECEIVED A MEMORANDUM ON FEBRUARY 1ST FROM THE DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF COMMUNITY FACILITIES, TO THE EFFECT THAT MY PRESENCE IN THE CENTRAL OFFICE WAS REQUIRED "AT MY CONVENIENCE.' A COPY WAS HANDED ME AND I ADVISED THE REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR THAT I WOULD DELAY THE TRIP UNTIL SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12TH, AND SAVE ONE-HALF OF THE ROUND TRIP TRANSPORTATION EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT, SINCE I COULD THEREBY, ON THE SAME TRIP, ATTEND THE NATIONAL DIRECTORS' MEETING OF THE NATIONAL SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS IN WASHINGTON ON FEBRUARY 16, 17 AND 18. I AM WESTERN VICE-PRESIDENT OF THIS ORGANIZATION.

"WITH REGARD TO THE DIRECTORS' MEETING, I HAVE BEEN TAKING LEAVE TO ATTEND SUCH MEETINGS IN THE PAST WHEN MY ABSENCE DID NOT INTERFERE WITH MY DUTIES FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. I HAD ACCORDINGLY MADE HOTEL RESERVATIONS IN WASHINGTON SOME WEEKS BEFORE. WHETHER I ACTUALLY WOULD HAVE ATTENDED IS SOMEWHAT HYPOTHETICAL. I CERTAINLY WOULD HAVE, HAD NOTHING IN THE WAY OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS PREVENTED IT. * * *

"* * * AN IMPORTANT MEETING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON ON URBAN RENEWAL LEGISLATION WAS CALLED FOR FEBRUARY 15 DURING THE WEEK PRECEDING MY TRIP. I ARRANGED TO BE REPRESENTED BY A MEMBER OF MY STAFF SINCE I HAD ALREADY ADVISED THE COMMISSIONER OF COMMUNITY FACILITIES, THROUGH CHANNELS, THAT I WOULD BE IN WASHINGTON ON THAT DATE. I RECALL THINKING THAT THIS MEETING MIGHT HAVE CAUSED ME TO CANCEL OUT ON THE ENGINEERING SOCIETY'S MEETING IN WASHINGTON. HOWEVER, I DID NOT HAVE TO MAKE THE DECISION SINCE EQUALLY IMPORTANT GOVERNMENTAL MATTERS NECESSITATED MY PRESENCE IN WASHINGTON.'

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE CONCLUDE THAT THE TRIP NEED NOT BE CONSIDERED AS HAVING BEEN PERFORMED PRIMARILY FOR PERSONAL REASONS. ACCORDINGLY, THE DECISION IN 19 COMP. GEN. 658 IS NOT FOR APPLICATION. THE VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT. THE VOUCHER AND ACCOMPANYING PAPERS ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.