B-127828, MAY 22, 1956

B-127828: May 22, 1956

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

YOU REQUEST A DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED UPON THE VOUCHER THEREWITH ENCLOSED IN THE AMOUNT OF $3.25 IN FAVOR OF BERNARD L. THIS AMOUNT WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DEDUCTED FROM HIS TRAVEL VOUCHER AND REPRESENTS THE ADDITIONAL PER DIEM THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWABLE FOR THE TIME SPENT AT PORTLAND. WHICH IS OTHER THAN HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION. WILL BE REGARDED AS HAVING DUAL HEADQUARTERS AND THEREFORE IS NOT ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF PER DIEM WHILE ON DUTY AT HIS DOMICILE.'. FROM THE PAPERS ATTACHED TO YOUR SUBMISSION THERE APPEARS TO BE A DIFFERENCE OF OPINION WITHIN THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS WHETHER THE REGULATION IS APPLICABLE WHERE. THE TIME SPENT AT THE DOMICILE WAS TOO SHORT TO PERMIT THE EMPLOYEE TO VISIT HIS HOME.

B-127828, MAY 22, 1956

TO MR. J. F. SEELY, DISBURSING OFFICER:

BY 4TH INDORSEMENT OF APRIL 18, 1956, FORWARDED THROUGH THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, ENGCR (29 FEB 56), YOU REQUEST A DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED UPON THE VOUCHER THEREWITH ENCLOSED IN THE AMOUNT OF $3.25 IN FAVOR OF BERNARD L. SHERIDAN, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS. THIS AMOUNT WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DEDUCTED FROM HIS TRAVEL VOUCHER AND REPRESENTS THE ADDITIONAL PER DIEM THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWABLE FOR THE TIME SPENT AT PORTLAND, OREGON, ON TEMPORARY DUTY HAD IT NOT BEEN HIS PLACE OF DOMICILE.

DOUBT CONCERNING THIS PAYMENT ARISES FROM THE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATION CPRT3.8.2H WHICH TATES:

"AN EMPLOYEE WHO PERFORMS TDY AT THE PLACE OF HIS DOMICILE, WHICH IS OTHER THAN HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION, WILL BE REGARDED AS HAVING DUAL HEADQUARTERS AND THEREFORE IS NOT ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF PER DIEM WHILE ON DUTY AT HIS DOMICILE.'

FROM THE PAPERS ATTACHED TO YOUR SUBMISSION THERE APPEARS TO BE A DIFFERENCE OF OPINION WITHIN THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS WHETHER THE REGULATION IS APPLICABLE WHERE, AS IN THE PRESENT CASE, THE TIME SPENT AT THE DOMICILE WAS TOO SHORT TO PERMIT THE EMPLOYEE TO VISIT HIS HOME. THIS DIFFERENCE OF OPINION IN ITSELF SUGGESTS THE DESIRABILITY OF A CLARIFICATION OF THE REGULATION.

THE GENERAL RULE IS STATED IN 5 COMP. GEN. 313 AT PAGE 316 AS FOLLOWS:

" * * * WHEN AN EMPLOYEE IN AN AUTHORIZED TRAVEL STATUS ON A PER DIEM BASIS HAS OFFICIAL DUTY TO PERFORM AT THE PLACE WHERE HIS FAMILY RESIDES, HE MAY BE PAID THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCES NOTWITHSTANDING THAT HE MAY TAKE HIS MEALS AT HOME. * * *"

THE SAME RULE APPLIES WHERE THE TRAVELER LODGES IN HIS HOME PROVIDED THAT IN EACH CASE THE HOME IS NOT THE PLACE FROM WHICH HE COMMUTES TO WORK EACH DAY WHEN ON DUTY AT HEADQUARTERS. B-127329, APRIL 5, 1956, 35 COMP. GEN. 554. THERE IS NO MANDATORY REQUIREMENT THAT THE TRAVEL ORDERS AUTHORIZE PER DIEM AT THE MAXIMUM RATE, A LOWER RATE, OR ANY PER DIEM AT ALL. THAT IS A MATTER WITHIN THE ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION WHICH DISCRETION SHOULD BE EXERCISED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DIRECTIVE IN PARAGRAPH 45 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

MR. SHERIDAN'S TRAVEL ORDER DATED JANUARY 23, 1956, DIRECTED TRAVEL FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS AT WALLA WALLA, WASHINGTON, TO PORTLAND, OREGON, AND RETURN. THE ORDER AUTHORIZED PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE AT $11, EXCEPT $9 DURING ACTUAL TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER, AND FURTHER STATED "NO PER DIEM AUTHORIZED AT PLACE OF DOMICILE (PORTLAND, OREGON).' IN THE LIGHT OF THIS RESTRICTION IN THE TRAVEL ORDERS NO CONSTRUCTION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATION IS NECESSARY IN THIS CASE AS THE TRAVEL ORDERS CONSTITUTE A PROPER EXERCISE OF ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION AND THUS ESTABLISH THE BASIS FOR NONPAYMENT. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, PAYMENT UPON THE VOUCHER IS NOT AUTHORIZED AND IT WILL BE RETAINED IN THIS OFFICE.