B-130272, MAR. 4, 1957

B-130272: Mar 4, 1957

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UNITED STATES COAST GUARD: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 4. IT IS REPORTED THAT CAPTAIN H. IN WHICH IT WAS HELD THAT ONE-HALF DAY'S PER DIEM WAS PAYABLE FOR TRAVEL FROM WASHINGTON TO NEW YORK ON THE DAY BEFORE REPORTING FOR TEMPORARY DUTY AT THAT PLACE. WAS DISALLOWED ADMINISTRATIVELY ON THE VOUCHER ON WHICH HE WAS REIMBURSED FOR HIS EXPENSES OF TRAVEL FOR THE REASON THAT THE SCHEDULE FOR THE RAIL CARRIER UTILIZED SHOWS A TRAIN DEPARTING FROM WASHINGTON FOR NEW YORK AT 1 P.M. WHICH COULD HAVE BEEN BOARDED AT 10 P.M. NOVEMBER 2 AND ON WHICH OCCUPANCY OF THE SLEEPER WAS PERMITTED UNTIL 7 A.M. WHILE THE CRITERION FOR INCURRING EXPENSES OF TRAVEL PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPHS 1 AND 2 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS THAT THE TRAVELER SHOULD USE THE CARE OF A PRUDENT PERSON IN INCURRING TRAVELING EXPENSES ESSENTIAL TO THE TRANSACTION OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS.

B-130272, MAR. 4, 1957

TO O. D. MILLER, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, UNITED STATES COAST GUARD:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 4, 1957, REQUESTING ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE RIGHT OF A COAST GUARD OFFICER AND A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES COAST GUARD TO AN ADDITIONAL ONE-HALF DAY'S PER DIEM IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL AND TEMPORARY DUTY PERFORMED BY THEM UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES DISCUSSED BELOW.

IT IS REPORTED THAT CAPTAIN H. A. LOUGHLIN, USCG, ATTENDED THE RESERVE PROGRAM SEMINAR MEETING AT NEW YORK, NEW YORK, COMMENCING AT 8 A.M. NOVEMBER 3, 1956, PURSUANT TO ORDERS DIRECTING HIM TO PROCEED FROM HIS STATION AT WASHINGTON, D.C. TO NEW YORK, NEW YORK, ON TEMPORARY OFFICIAL BUSINESS, AND THAT HE DEPARTED FROM WASHINGTON BY RAIL AT 3:30 P.M. ON NOVEMBER 2, 1956, WHICH, ACCORDING TO HIS STATEMENT, ENABLED HIM TO ARRIVE IN NEW YORK "IN TIME TO OBTAIN HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS AND A GOOD NIGHT'S REST.' IN SUPPORT OF HIS CLAIM HE HAS CITED OUR DECISION OF NOVEMBER 16, 1953, 33 COMP. GEN. 221, A SOMEWHAT SIMILAR CASE INVOLVING TRAVEL BY A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT, IN WHICH IT WAS HELD THAT ONE-HALF DAY'S PER DIEM WAS PAYABLE FOR TRAVEL FROM WASHINGTON TO NEW YORK ON THE DAY BEFORE REPORTING FOR TEMPORARY DUTY AT THAT PLACE.

PAYMENT OF ONE-HALF DAY'S PER DIEM FOR NOVEMBER 2, 1956, WAS DISALLOWED ADMINISTRATIVELY ON THE VOUCHER ON WHICH HE WAS REIMBURSED FOR HIS EXPENSES OF TRAVEL FOR THE REASON THAT THE SCHEDULE FOR THE RAIL CARRIER UTILIZED SHOWS A TRAIN DEPARTING FROM WASHINGTON FOR NEW YORK AT 1 P.M. NOVEMBER 3, WHICH COULD HAVE BEEN BOARDED AT 10 P.M. NOVEMBER 2 AND ON WHICH OCCUPANCY OF THE SLEEPER WAS PERMITTED UNTIL 7 A.M. NOVEMBER 3.

WHILE THE CRITERION FOR INCURRING EXPENSES OF TRAVEL PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPHS 1 AND 2 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS THAT THE TRAVELER SHOULD USE THE CARE OF A PRUDENT PERSON IN INCURRING TRAVELING EXPENSES ESSENTIAL TO THE TRANSACTION OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS, PARAGRAPH 4204-3, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROVIDES THAT PER DIEM ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES BY COMMON CARRIER WILL BE BASED UPON ACTUAL AND NECESSARY SCHEDULES, DEFINED AS SCHEDULES "WHICH MOST NEARLY COINCIDE WITH THE POSSIBLE TIME OF DEPARTURE AND ARRIVAL REQUIRED TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSES OF THE TRAVEL ORDERS.' AN EXCEPTION TO THAT REQUIREMENT THE LATTER REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT THE MEMBER WOULD NOT NORMALLY BE EXPECTED TO SELECT A SCHEDULE WHICH WOULD REQUIRE BOARDING OR LEAVING A TRAIN BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND 6 A.M. SUCH REGULATIONS GOVERN CAPTAIN LOUGHLIN'S RIGHTS AND THE CIVILIAN RULE DISCUSSED IN 33 COMP. GEN. 221 IS NOT FOR APPLICATION HERE. THE OFFICER COULD HAVE TRAVELED ON THE TRAIN, LEAVING WASHINGTON AT 1 A.M. NOVEMBER 3 AND SINCE THAT TRAIN WAS OPEN FOR OCCUPANCY AT 10 P.M. NOVEMBER 2, IT IS CLEAR THAT HE COULD HAVE BOARDED IT BEFORE MIDNIGHT. IF HE HAD DONE SO HE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO BOARD OR LEAVE THE TRAIN BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 12:01 A.M. AND 6 A.M. IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, NO RIGHT TO PER DIEM ACCRUED TO HIM FOR THE TRAVEL TO NEW YORK ON NOVEMBER 2, 1956.

MR. JAMES A. NEWTON, A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT, WAS DIRECTED TO TRAVEL TO NEW YORK FOR TEMPORARY DUTY BY EITHER COMMERCIAL CARRIER OR COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT. HE TRAVELED BY COMMERCIAL PLANE, LEAVING WASHINGTON ON THE MORNING OF SEPTEMBER 17 AND WOULD HAVE PERMITTED ARRIVAL NEW YORK ONE AND ONE-HALF HOURS LATER. HE STATES THAT DEPARTURE WAS MADE ON THE LATEST FLIGHT FOR WHICH SPACE WAS AVAILABLE TO ALLOW ARRIVAL IN NEW YORK IN SUFFICIENT TIME TO SECURE HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS, RETIRE AT A REASONABLE HOUR AND BE READY FOR BUSINESS AT 8 A.M. SEPTEMBER 17. IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, IT APPEARS THAT HE USED THE CARE OF A REASONABLY PRUDENT PERSON IN LEAVING WASHINGTON AT THAT TIME AND A FRACTIONAL PER DIEM IS PAYABLE FOR SEPTEMBER 16. 33 COMP. GEN. 221. YOUR LETTER DIRECTS OUR ATTENTION TO FLIGHTS BY DIFFERENT AIR LINES WHICH, IT IS STATED, LEFT WASHINGTON ON THE MORNING OF SEPTEMBER 17 AND WOULD HAVE PERMITTED ARRIVAL IN NEW YORK ON OR BEFORE 9 A.M. HOWEVER, THE EMPLOYEE'S STATEMENT INDICATING THAT HE WAS TO BE READY FOR DUTY AT 8 A.M. IS NOT DENIED AND IF ALLOWANCE IS MADE FOR THE TIME NECESSARY TO SECURE THE MORNING MEAL, TRAVEL TO THE AIRPORT IN WASHINGTON REASONABLY IN ADVANCE OF THE PLANE'S DEPARTURE AND TRAVEL FROM THE AIRPORT IN NEW YORK TO HIS PLACE OF DUTY, IT WOULD SEEM THAT HE WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO ARISE AT AN UNREASONABLY EARLY HOUR IN ORDER TO TRAVEL ON A PLANE WHICH WOULD HAVE PERMITTED HIM TO REPORT FOR WORK IN NEW YORK AT OR NEAR THE HOUR OF 8 A.M.

ACCORDINGLY, PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER STATED IN FAVOR OF MR. NEWTON IS AUTHORIZED, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, AND SUCH VOUCHER IS RETURNED HEREWITH. THE OTHER VOUCHER IS BEING RETAINED HERE.