B-130553, MAR. 1, 1957

B-130553: Mar 1, 1957

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ALTHOUGH YOUR LETTER IS NOT SIGNED IN THE CAPACITY OF AN AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER. IT IS APPARENT THAT YOU OFFICIATE AS SUCH. WE ASSUME THAT YOUR REQUEST FOR A DECISION IS SUBMITTED IN THAT CAPACITY. ANY SEEMING DELAY IN ANSWERING YOUR LETTER IS ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE FACT THAT YOUR REQUEST WAS ADDRESSED TO "GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. WAS BASED UPON THE BELIEF. THAT PER DIEM SHOULD HAVE COMMENCED AT 6:40 P.M. SUCH ACTION WAS PREDICATED UPON THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. AS FOLLOWS: "THE TIME OF ARRIVAL AT AND DEPARTURE FROM A PLACE WILL BE CONSIDERED AS THE HOUR AT WHICH THE TRAIN. IT IS ESPECIALLY NOTED THAT THE TOWN OF NORRIS IS LOCATED APPROXIMATELY 25 MILES NORTH OF KNOXVILLE.

B-130553, MAR. 1, 1957

TO MR. W. F. OWEN JR., CHIEF, BRANCH OF FINANCE, REGION 5, BUREAU OF MINES:

ON DECEMBER 14, 1956, YOU TRANSMITTED TO OUR OFFICE A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. JOHN KOSTER, FOR $3, COVERING ONE-FOURTH DAY'S PER DIEM ADMINISTRATIVELY DISALLOWED FOR JUNE 25, 1956, AND REQUESTED OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE VOUCHER LEGALLY COULD BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT. ALTHOUGH YOUR LETTER IS NOT SIGNED IN THE CAPACITY OF AN AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, IT IS APPARENT THAT YOU OFFICIATE AS SUCH; THEREFORE, WE ASSUME THAT YOUR REQUEST FOR A DECISION IS SUBMITTED IN THAT CAPACITY. ANY SEEMING DELAY IN ANSWERING YOUR LETTER IS ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE FACT THAT YOUR REQUEST WAS ADDRESSED TO "GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, CLAIMS DIVISION" INSTEAD OF TO "COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES.' THAT CONNECTION, SEE CONCLUDING PARAGRAPH OF 22 COMP. GEN. 725--- BEGINNING AT FOOT OF PAGE 729.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT IN COMPLIANCE WITH ORDERS, THE CLAIMANT, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF MINES, PERFORMED ROUND TRIP TRAVEL FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION AT NORRIS, TENNESSEE, TO PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, JUNE 25-27, 1956. HE DEPARTED FROM NORRIS BY GOVERNMENT-OWNED CAR AT 5:30 P.M., ARRIVED AT KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE, AT 6:20 P.M., DEPARTED FROM DOWNTOWN KNOXVILLE (AIRPORT LIMOUSINE SERVICE) FOR THE KNOXVILLE AIRPORT 6:40 P.M., AND TRAVELED TO PITTSBURGH VIA CAPITOL AIRLINES DEPARTING FROM KNOXVILLE AT 7:40 P.M., JUNE 25, 1956. HE RETURNED TO THE KNOXVILLE AIRPORT AT :10 P.M., THENCE PROCEEDED BY AIRPORT LIMOUSINE TO DOWNTOWN KNOXVILLE WHERE HE PICKED UP THE GOVERNMENT CAR AND COMPLETED TO RETURN JOURNEY TO NORRIS, ARRIVING THERE AT 9:45 P.M. JUNE 27, 1956. THE $3 EXCEPTION INVOLVING ONE-FOURTH DAY FOR THE PERIOD PRIOR TO 6:00 P.M., JUNE 25, WAS BASED UPON THE BELIEF, THAT PER DIEM SHOULD HAVE COMMENCED AT 6:40 P.M., THE TIME WHEN THE CLAIMANT DEPARTED FOR THE AIRPORT FROM THE DOWNTOWN AIRPORT LIMOUSINE TERMINAL IN KNOXVILLE. SUCH ACTION WAS PREDICATED UPON THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PARAGRAPH 48B, WHICH PROVIDES, AS FOLLOWS:

"THE TIME OF ARRIVAL AT AND DEPARTURE FROM A PLACE WILL BE CONSIDERED AS THE HOUR AT WHICH THE TRAIN, BOAT, OR OTHER CONVEYANCE USED BY THE TRAVELER ACTUALLY LEAVES OR ARRIVES AT ITS REGULAR TERMINAL.'

IT IS ESPECIALLY NOTED THAT THE TOWN OF NORRIS IS LOCATED APPROXIMATELY 25 MILES NORTH OF KNOXVILLE, REQUIRING AN AVERAGE OF FROM 40 TO 60 MINUTES TRAVEL TIME, DEPENDING UPON THE CONDITION OF HIGHWAY TRAFFIC, AND THAT THE INVOLVED AIRPORT IS LOCATED APPROXIMATELY 15 MILES SOUTH OF DOWNTOWN KNOXVILLE. IN DEPARTING FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION FOR KNOXVILLE AT 5:30 P.M., THE EMPLOYEE HAD A LEEWAY OF FROM 10 TO 30 MINUTES TO STORE HIS CAR AND PROCURE LIMOUSINE PASSAGE TO THE AIRPORT FROM DOWNTOWN KNOXVILLE TERMINAL. THUS, IT REASONABLY MAY BE CONCLUDED THAT THE TRAVEL AS PERFORMED WAS NECESSARY TO ENABLE HIM TO ACCOMPLISH HIS TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT, AND THAT HE EXERCISED THAT DEGREE OF CARE CONTEMPLATED BY PARAGRAPH 1 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. 32 COMP. GEN. 442; 33 ID. 221.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF CORRECT IN OTHER RESPECTS.