B-128079, AUG. 2, 1956

B-128079: Aug 2, 1956

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THE NEXT TWO DAYS WERE NORMAL DAYS OFF (I.E. HUNTER WAS ABSENT WITHOUT LEAVE. HE WAS IN A SICK LEAVE STATUS. YOU INQUIRE WHETHER ANY PER DIEM IS PAYABLE FROM JANUARY 16. 1956 TO THE COMPLETION OF THE JOURNEY AND WHETHER THE RETURN MILEAGE IS PAYABLE UNDER THE RELATED FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES. NO PER DIEM IS PAYABLE FOR PERIODS DURING WHICH AN EMPLOYEE IS ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE. HUNTER IS NOT ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF PER DIEM FOR ANY PART OF THE PERIOD FROM JANUARY 16 TO FEBRUARY 4. HE IS ENTITLED TO PER DIEM ALLOWANCE FOR WHICH HE IS OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE DURING THE PERIOD OF INCAPACITY AND RETURN TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION (30 COMP. THE DURATION OF SUCH INCAPACITY FOR WHICH PER DIEM MAY BE PAID NORMALLY WILL EXTEND ONLY TO THE PERIOD COVERED BY THE TRAVEL ORDERS.

B-128079, AUG. 2, 1956

TO MAJOR J. R. WILSON, FINANCE OFFICER, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY:

BY ENDORSEMENT THE CHIEF OF FINANCE TRANSMITTED HERE FOR CONSIDERATION YOUR LETTER OF MAY 10, 1956, AND ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING OUR DECISION ON CERTAIN QUESTIONS RELATING TO THE TRAVEL VOUCHER OF LOUIS J. HUNTER FOR THE PERIOD JANUARY 12, 1956, TO FEBRUARY 24, 1956.

TRAVEL ORDER SIGDD-420, DATED DECEMBER 27, 1955, DIRECTED MR. HUNTER TO PERFORM TRAVEL ON TEMPORARY DUTY FROM HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION IN DECATUR, ILLINOIS, TO VARIOUS POINTS OR INSTALLATIONS IN SOUTH DAKOTA, BEGINNING ON JANUARY 9, 1956, AND CONTINUING FOR APPROXIMATELY 20 DAYS, IN CONNECTION WITH SUPPLY LIAISON ACTIVITIES. MR. HUNTER ACTUALLY DEPARTED FROM HIS STATION ON JANUARY 12 AND PROCEEDED TO VERMILLION, SOUTH DAKOTA, ARRIVING THERE ON THE FOLLOWING DAY. THE NEXT TWO DAYS WERE NORMAL DAYS OFF (I.E. SATURDAY AND SUNDAY). FROM JANUARY 16, 1956, THROUGH FEBRUARY 4, 1956, MR. HUNTER WAS ABSENT WITHOUT LEAVE, AND FROM FEBRUARY 5 THROUGH FEBRUARY 22, 1956, HE WAS IN A SICK LEAVE STATUS, HOSPITALIZED IN VERMILLION. THE EMPLOYEE DEPARTED FROM VERMILLION, ON FEBRUARY 24 AND ARRIVED AT HIS PERMANENT STATION ON THE NEXT DAY. YOU INQUIRE WHETHER ANY PER DIEM IS PAYABLE FROM JANUARY 16, 1956 TO THE COMPLETION OF THE JOURNEY AND WHETHER THE RETURN MILEAGE IS PAYABLE UNDER THE RELATED FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES.

UNDER SECTION 45 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF THE INSTANT TRAVEL, NO PER DIEM IS PAYABLE FOR PERIODS DURING WHICH AN EMPLOYEE IS ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE, EXCEPT FOR PERIODS OF INCAPACITY DUE TO ILLNESS NOT CAUSED BY THE EMPLOYEE'S MISCONDUCT. THIS CLEARLY APPLIES TO PERIODS OF ABSENCE WITHOUT LEAVE; HENCE, MR. HUNTER IS NOT ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF PER DIEM FOR ANY PART OF THE PERIOD FROM JANUARY 16 TO FEBRUARY 4.

CONCERNING THE PERIOD FROM FEBRUARY 5 THROUGH FEBRUARY 22, WAR DEPARTMENT CIVILIAN PERSONNEL REGULATIONS T3.8-2D (1) PROVIDES:

WHEN AN EMPLOYEE BECOMES INCAPACITATED DURING TRAVEL STATUS BECAUSE OF ILLNESS OR INJURY NOT INDUCED BY MISCONDUCT, HE IS ENTITLED TO PER DIEM ALLOWANCE FOR WHICH HE IS OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE DURING THE PERIOD OF INCAPACITY AND RETURN TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION (30 COMP. GEN. 511). THE DURATION OF SUCH INCAPACITY FOR WHICH PER DIEM MAY BE PAID NORMALLY WILL EXTEND ONLY TO THE PERIOD COVERED BY THE TRAVEL ORDERS, OR 14 DAYS, WHICHEVER IS THE SHORTER PERIOD. IN DESERVING CASES, HOWEVER, A LONGER PERIOD MAY BE ALLOWED BY EXTENSION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL ORDERS. RETURN TRAVELING EXPENSES WILL BE PAID IN ADDITION TO THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCES.'

SINCE THE ENTIRE PERIOD OF MR. HUNTER'S ILLNESS OCCURRED AFTER THE PERIOD COVERED BY HIS TRAVEL ORDER, AND SINCE NO EXTENSION OF THE LATTER PERIOD WAS GRANTED, IT IS CLEAR THAT HE IS ENTITLED TO NO PER DIEM FOR THE PERIOD FROM FEBRUARY 5, 1956, THROUGH FEBRUARY 22.

AS TO WHETHER MR. HUNTER IS ENTITLED TO THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM FOR FEBRUARY 23 AND 24 AND TO MILEAGE INCIDENT TO HIS RETURN TO HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION, SECTION 1 OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 63 STAT. 166, 5 U.S.C. 836, PROVIDES THAT CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES WHO BECOME INCAPACITATED BECAUSE OF ILLNESS OR INJURY, NOT DUE TO THEIR OWN MISCONDUCT, WHILE TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND AWAY FROM THEIR DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY, SHALL BE ALLOWED PER DIEM AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES TO SUCH POSTS. SUBPARAGRAPHS 45 (C) AND (D) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, THEN IN EFFECT, REITERATES THE PROVISION THAT THE INCAPACITATING ILLNESS OR INJURY MUST NOT RESULT FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S OWN MISCONDUCT. SINCE THE VOUCHER BEARS THE APPROVAL OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL FRED J. HAYS, CHIEF, STATION LIAISON OFFICE, WE PRESUME THAT THIS EVIDENCES A DETERMINATION BY HIM THAT NO MISCONDUCT IS INVOLVED. UPON THAT BASIS WE WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO PAYMENT OF THE PER DIEM CLAIMED FOR FEBRUARY 23 AND 24, 1956, AND MILEAGE FOR THE RETURN TRIP. AS YOU POINT OUT, HOWEVER, THE SPEEDOMETER MILEAGE SHOWN ON THE VOUCHER EXCEEDS THE MILEAGE LISTED IN THE MILEAGE GUIDE BY ABOUT 40 MILES EACH WAY, AND APPROPRIATE ADJUSTMENT SHOULD BE MADE. WITH THAT ADJUSTMENT THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE PROCESSED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.