B-129185, MAR. 28, 1957

B-129185: Mar 28, 1957

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CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM OF $10.26 FOR ADDITIONAL TRAVEL ALLOWANCE WHICH WAS DISALLOWED BY CLAIMS SETTLEMENT DATED OCTOBER 18. THE BASIS FOR THE DISALLOWANCE WAS PARAGRAPH 45B OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AS AMENDED EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1. IN CASES OF VOLUNTARY RETURN OF EMPLOYEES TO OFFICIAL STATION FOR NONWORK DAYS THE MAXIMUM REIMBURSEMENT ALLOWABLE FOR TRAVEL COST TO AND FROM HEADQUARTERS AND TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AND PER DIEM EN ROUTE SHALL BE TRAVEL EXPENSE WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWABLE HAD EMPLOYEE REMAINED AT TEMPORARY DUTY STATION.'. IS CLEAR THAT IN THE FIXING OF A "MAXIMUM REIMBURSEMENT" ALLOWANCE. OTHERWISE THE REGULATIONS SIMPLY WOULD HAVE AUTHORIZED A STRAIGHT PER DIEM ALLOWANCE WITHOUT ANY REFERENCE TO TRAVEL COSTS.

B-129185, MAR. 28, 1957

TO MR. H. CROWN ROLL:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER DATED JANUARY 14, 1957, TO OUR CLAIMS DIVISION, CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM OF $10.26 FOR ADDITIONAL TRAVEL ALLOWANCE WHICH WAS DISALLOWED BY CLAIMS SETTLEMENT DATED OCTOBER 18, 1956. THE BASIS FOR THE DISALLOWANCE WAS PARAGRAPH 45B OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AS AMENDED EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 1952, WHICH PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"AT THE DISCRETION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS AN EMPLOYEE MAY BE REQUIRED TO RETURN TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION FOR NONWORK DAYS. IN CASES OF VOLUNTARY RETURN OF EMPLOYEES TO OFFICIAL STATION FOR NONWORK DAYS THE MAXIMUM REIMBURSEMENT ALLOWABLE FOR TRAVEL COST TO AND FROM HEADQUARTERS AND TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AND PER DIEM EN ROUTE SHALL BE TRAVEL EXPENSE WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWABLE HAD EMPLOYEE REMAINED AT TEMPORARY DUTY STATION.'

IT APPEARS TO BE YOUR VIEW THAT YOU SHOULD BE ALLOWED THE PER DIEM OTHERWISE ALLOWABLE HAD YOU REMAINED AT YOUR TEMPORARY DUTY STATION WITHOUT ANY CONSIDERATION BEING GIVEN TO THE ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED BY YOU IN RETURNING TO YOUR HEADQUARTERS ON THE NONWORK DAYS IN QUESTION. IS CLEAR THAT IN THE FIXING OF A "MAXIMUM REIMBURSEMENT" ALLOWANCE, THE REGULATIONS CONTEMPLATE THAT IN SOME CASES THE TRAVEL COSTS WOULD BE GREATER WHILE IN OTHER CASES THE TRAVEL COSTS WOULD BE LESS THAN THE MAXIMUM AUTHORIZED REIMBURSEMENT, OTHERWISE THE REGULATIONS SIMPLY WOULD HAVE AUTHORIZED A STRAIGHT PER DIEM ALLOWANCE WITHOUT ANY REFERENCE TO TRAVEL COSTS.

THE ABOVE-QUOTED PARAGRAPH OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS ALLOWS A REASONABLE DEGREE OF ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION REGARDING THE TRAVEL EXPENSES TO BE BORNE BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR NONWORK DAYS AND SETS A FAIR AND PROPER CEILING OF THE EXPENSES ALLOWABLE TO AN EMPLOYEE WHO RETURNS TO HIS HEADQUARTERS FOR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE ON NONWORK DAYS. ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ENTITLED ONLY TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE ACTUAL TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED FOR YOUR VOLUNTARY RETURN TO HEADQUARTERS ON THE NONWORK DAYS IN QUESTION NOTWITHSTANDING THESE EXPENSES WERE $10.26 LESS THAN THE PER DIEM WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWED HAD YOU REMAINED AT YOUR TEMPORARY DUTY STATION. IT WILL THEREFORE BE NECESSARY FOR YOU TO ITEMIZE YOUR ACTUAL TRAVEL EXPENSES IN ALL CASES WHERE YOU VOLUNTARILY RETURN TO HEADQUARTERS ON NONWORK DAYS.