B-129671, NOV. 28, 1956

B-129671: Nov 28, 1956

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BUREAU OF FOREIGN COMMERCE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 15. WHILE YOU WERE IN A TRAVEL STATUS EN ROUTE FROM NEW DELHI TO BANGALORE. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE DURATION OF YOUR ASSIGNMENT IN INDIA WAS FOR APPROXIMATELY 25 DAYS. FOR SUCH PERIOD YOU HAVE BEEN ALLOWED PER DIEM AT THE MAXIMUM RATE OF $9 PER DAY. THE SUM ALLOWED WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. 6- 3090. YOU EXPRESS THE VIEW THAT SINCE THE INVOLVED AIR TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED WITHIN THE BORDERS OF INDIA. YOU WOULD HAVE RECEIVED THE $9 RATE. AT THE TIME THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED. IT WAS THE CLEAR LANGUAGE OF YOUR TRAVEL ORDER WHICH IMPOSED THE LIMITATION. YOUR PER DIEM WAS REQUIRED TO BE REDUCED TO AUTHORIZED AIR RATE OF $6.

B-129671, NOV. 28, 1956

TO MR. EUGENE M. BRADERMAN, DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF FOREIGN COMMERCE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 15, 1956, REQUESTING A REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED SEPTEMBER 25, 1956, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM IN THE AMOUNT OF $0.75, REPRESENTING PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FOR JANUARY 23, 1956, WHILE YOU WERE IN A TRAVEL STATUS EN ROUTE FROM NEW DELHI TO BANGALORE, INDIA, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE DURATION OF YOUR ASSIGNMENT IN INDIA WAS FOR APPROXIMATELY 25 DAYS, FROM JANUARY 21, TO FEBRUARY 15, 1956. FOR SUCH PERIOD YOU HAVE BEEN ALLOWED PER DIEM AT THE MAXIMUM RATE OF $9 PER DAY, EXCEPT FOR ONE-FOURTH DAY JANUARY 23, WHILE EN ROUTE TO BANGALORE FROM NEW DELHI BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT, FOR WHICH YOU RECEIVED PAYMENT AT THE $6 RATE. THE SUM ALLOWED WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. 6- 3090, DATED JANUARY 9, 1956, WHICH AUTHORIZED $6 PER DIEM WHILE TRAVELING BY AIR OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. YOUR ORDERS AUTHORIZED $7 WHILE TRAVELING OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES BY MEANS OTHER THAN AIR.

YOU EXPRESS THE VIEW THAT SINCE THE INVOLVED AIR TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED WITHIN THE BORDERS OF INDIA, AND BY THE MODE MOST ECONOMICAL TO THE GOVERNMENT, YOU SHOULD BE ENTITLED TO THE MAXIMUM RATE--- $9--- THEN IN EFFECT FOR INDIA. ALSO, YOU STATE THAT HAD YOU PERFORMED SUCH TRAVEL BY ANY MEANS OTHER THAN BY AIR, YOU WOULD HAVE RECEIVED THE $9 RATE.

NEITHER THE APPLICABLE STATUTES NOR THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS RESTRICTED THE PER DIEM RATE TO $6 FOR TRAVEL BY AIR BETWEEN NEW DELHI AND BANGALORE, INDIA, AT THE TIME THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED. RATHER, IT WAS THE CLEAR LANGUAGE OF YOUR TRAVEL ORDER WHICH IMPOSED THE LIMITATION. THE ORDER IN PERTINENT PART PROVIDES "$6 WHILE TRAVELING BY AIR OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES; MAXIMUM PER DIEM UNDER SGTR WHILE ON DUTY IN NEW DELHI AND IN BANGALORE.' THUS, AT NOON OF THE DAY YOU DEPARTED FROM NEW DELHI FOR BALGALORE, YOUR PER DIEM WAS REQUIRED TO BE REDUCED TO AUTHORIZED AIR RATE OF $6.

SINCE THE FIXING OF PER DIEM RATES WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE STATUTES AND REGULATIONS IS AN ADMINISTRATIVE FUNCTION, WE ARE WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO CHANGE THE TERMS OF THE TRAVEL ORDER. MOREOVER, CONTRARY TO YOUR CONTENTION, IT IS APPARENT THAT YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $7 INSTEAD OF $9 PER DAY HAD YOU TRAVELED FROM NEW DELHI TO BANGALORE BY ANY MEANS OTHER THAN AIR.

ACCORDINGLY, THE CONCLUSION IN THE SETTLEMENT OF SEPTEMBER 25, 1956, IS FOUND TO BE CORRECT AND MUST BE SUSTAINED.