B-129436, NOV. 19, 1956

B-129436: Nov 19, 1956

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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF OCTOBER 4. COMMANDER HUGHES WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED FROM HIS DUTY STATION AT CHESAPEAKE BAY ANNEX. IT IS SHOWN THAT HE REPORTED AS DIRECTED FOR TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY ON APRIL 3. THAT SUCH DUTY WAS COMPLETED ON MAY 23. IT APPEARS THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE NOT AVAILABLE AT ARLINGTON. THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE NAVY EXPRESSES THE OPINION THAT PER DIEM IS PAYABLE IN THIS CASE UNDER THE RULING IN OUR DECISION B 115272. HE ALSO EXPRESSES THE BELIEF THAT THE MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO MILEAGE ONLY FOR ONE ROUND TRIP BETWEEN THE DUTY POINTS INVOLVED. THE FACTS INVOLVED ARE SIMILAR IN MANY RESPECTS TO THOSE CONSIDERED IN 34 COMP.

B-129436, NOV. 19, 1956

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF OCTOBER 4, 1956, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE NAVY (FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT), SUBMITTING FOR ADVANCE DECISION A VOUCHER STATED IN FAVOR OF COMMANDER RICHARD Z. HUGHES, USN, FOR PER DIEM AND MILEAGE INCIDENT TO TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY PERFORMED BY HIM IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED BELOW.

BY ORDERS DATED MARCH 28, 1956, COMMANDER HUGHES WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED FROM HIS DUTY STATION AT CHESAPEAKE BAY ANNEX, NAVAL RESEARCH LABORATORY, RANDLE CLIFF, MARYLAND, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., AND REPORT ON APRIL 3, 1956, FOR TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY AT THE BUREAU OF NAVAL PERSONNEL, ARLINGTON ANNEX, ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, AND UPON COMPLETION TO RETURN TO HIS STATION AND RESUME HIS REGULAR DUTIES. IT IS SHOWN THAT HE REPORTED AS DIRECTED FOR TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY ON APRIL 3, 1956, AND THAT SUCH DUTY WAS COMPLETED ON MAY 23, 1956. IT APPEARS THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE NOT AVAILABLE AT ARLINGTON. THE OFFICER STATES THAT HE TRAVELED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FROMRANDLE CLIFF, MARYLAND, TO ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, AND RETURN, EACH DAY (A ROUND TRIP DISTANCE OF 70 MILES) FROM APRIL 3 TO MAY 18, 1956, EXCEPT SATURDAYS AND SUNDAYS, AND THAT THE DAILY TRAVEL COMMENCED AT 6:45 A.M. AND ENDED AT 5:15 P.M.; AND THAT ON MAY 23, 1956, HE LEFT RANDLE CLIFF AT 11:00 A.M. AND RETURNED AT 4:00 P.M. THE VOUCHER COVERS PER DIEM AT ONE-HALF OF THE $9 PER DIEM RATE, OR $4.50 PER DAY FOR 34 DAYS, AND ALSO MILEAGE FOR 35 ROUND TRIPS OF 70 MILES EACH AT FIVE CENTS PER MILE. THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE NAVY EXPRESSES THE OPINION THAT PER DIEM IS PAYABLE IN THIS CASE UNDER THE RULING IN OUR DECISION B 115272, DATED APRIL 27, 1955, 34 COMP. GEN. 549, BUT STATES THAT DOUBT ARISES AS TO THE RATE OF PER DIEM PAYABLE, CITING PARAGRAPH 4205-5 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. HE ALSO EXPRESSES THE BELIEF THAT THE MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO MILEAGE ONLY FOR ONE ROUND TRIP BETWEEN THE DUTY POINTS INVOLVED.

THE FACTS INVOLVED ARE SIMILAR IN MANY RESPECTS TO THOSE CONSIDERED IN 34 COMP. GEN. 549 AND THE SAME 10-HOUR RULE IS APPLICABLE HERE FOR THE DAYS TEMPORARY DUTY WAS PERFORMED BY THE MEMBER AT ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA. RIGHT TO PER DIEM ACCRUED FOR THE DAYS SPENT AT OR IN THE VICINITY OF HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION, NOR FOR MAY 23, 1956, SINCE HE WAS ABSENT FROM HIS STATION OR HOME LESS THAN 10 HOURS ON THAT DAY. SEE PARAGRAPH 4205-4, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. THE $12 RATE OF PER DIEM PRESCRIBED BY PARAGRAPH 4205-5 OF SUCH REGULATIONS FOR THE DAY OF ARRIVAL AT A POINT OF TEMPORARY DUTY IS NOT APPLICABLE WHEN A MEMBER DEPARTS FROM AND RETURNS TO HIS STATION ON THE SAME DAY. ON SUCH DAYS "ONE-FOURTH OF THE AUTHORIZED PER DIEM RATE WILL BE ALLOWED FOR EACH QUARTER OF THE CALENDAR DAY OR FRACTION THEREOF DURING WHICH A TRAVEL STATUS EXISTS" (PARAGRAPH 4205-2, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS), PROVIDED, OF COURSE, THAT THE MEMBER IS ABSENT FROM HIS STATION MORE THAN 10 HOURS. SEE B-127628, DATED JUNE 25, 1956.

ACCORDINGLY, THE OFFICER IS ENTITLED TO ONE-HALF OF THE $9 PER DIEM RATE PRESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH 4205-2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS FOR EACH DAY OF TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY PERFORMED IN ARLINGTON, NOT INCLUDING MAY 23, 1956.

SECTION 303 (A) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 813, PROVIDES THAT UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES SHALL BE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS, WHICH PRESUPPOSES TRAVEL ON PUBLIC BUSINESS. PARAGRAPH 3050-1, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, ISSUED PURSUANT TO THAT ACT, PROVIDES THAT MEMBERS ARE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES AS AUTHORIZED IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXISTING REGULATIONS ONLY WHILE ACTUALLY IN A "TRAVEL STATUS" AND THAT THEY SHALL BE DEEMED TO BE IN A TRAVEL STATUS WHILE PERFORMING TRAVEL UPON PUBLIC BUSINESS, PURSUANT TO COMPETENT TRAVEL ORDERS. PARAGRAPH 3000-1 OF THE SAME REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT NO REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL IS AUTHORIZED UNLESS ORDERS BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY HAVE BEEN ISSUED THEREFOR.

THE SPECIFIC DUTY DIRECTED IN THE ORDERS OF MARCH 28, 1956, TO BE PERFORMED BY THE MEMBER WAS THE TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY HE WAS DIRECTED TO PERFORM AT ARLINGTON, AND ONE ROUND TRIP INCIDENT THERETO FROM RANDLE CLIFF TO ARLINGTON AND RETURN TO RANDLE CLIFF. NO OTHER OFFICIAL TRAVEL UPON PUBLIC BUSINESS WAS DIRECTED OR REQUIRED UNDER THOSE ORDERS. IT IS CLEAR, THEREFORE, THAT THE DAILY TRAVEL WHICH COMMANDER HUGHES PERFORMED, EXCEPT FOR ONE ROUND TRIP BETWEEN THE DUTY POINTS INVOLVED, WAS NOT TRAVEL ON PUBLIC BUSINESS UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS, BUT WAS TRAVEL FOR HIS OWN CONVENIENCE. HENCE, HE IS ENTITLED TO MILEAGE ONLY FOR ONE ROUND TRIP FROM RANDLE CLIFF TO ARLINGTON AND RETURN TO RANDLE CLIFF.

IF THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER, RETURNED HEREWITH, IS AMENDED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING, PAYMENT THEREON IS AUTHORIZED, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.