B-130574, MAY 16, 1957

B-130574: May 16, 1957

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ARE INTENDED FOR USE THROUGHOUT THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. WE HAVE NO OBJECTION TO THEIR BEING ADMINISTRATIVELY ADOPTED. WHICH NO DOUBT WILL BE INFREQUENT. - IF THE RESULT REACHED BY THE APPLICATION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE STANDARDS IS NOT DEEMED TO BE WARRANTED UNDER THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS OUR OFFICE WOULD CONSIDER THE LATTER AS CONTROLLING. ARE VIEWED AS IN CONFLICT WITH SECTION 6.9C OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH STATES THAT THE TIME OF ARRIVAL AT AND THE DEPARTURE FROM A PLACE WILL BE CONSIDERED AS THE HOUR AT WHICH THE TRAIN. SECTION 6.9C APPLIES IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER THE TERMINAL IS WITHIN OR OUTSIDE THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE EMPLOYEE.

B-130574, MAY 16, 1957

TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE:

ON FEBRUARY 1, 1957, THE HONORABLE RALPH S. ROBERTS, ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SECRETARY, SUBMITTED FOR OUR CONSIDERATION, TOGETHER WITH RELATED TRAVEL SITUATIONS PENDING IN THE DEPARTMENT, THE PROPOSED ADMINISTRATIVE STANDARDS FOR THE APPLICATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (AS AMENDED EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 1956) RELATING TO REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES OF AN OFFICIAL TRAVELER IN GOING FROM HIS PLACE OF ABODE OR PLACE OF BUSINESS TO A COMMON CARRIER TERMINAL AND FROM A TERMINAL TO HIS PLACE OF ABODE OR PLACE OF BUSINESS.

THE PROPOSED STANDARDS, WHICH NEED NOT BE SET FORTH HEREIN, ARE INTENDED FOR USE THROUGHOUT THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. EXCEPT AS INDICATED BELOW, WE HAVE NO OBJECTION TO THEIR BEING ADMINISTRATIVELY ADOPTED. SHOULD LIKE TO MENTION, HOWEVER, THAT IN INDIVIDUAL CASES -- WHICH NO DOUBT WILL BE INFREQUENT--- IF THE RESULT REACHED BY THE APPLICATION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE STANDARDS IS NOT DEEMED TO BE WARRANTED UNDER THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS OUR OFFICE WOULD CONSIDER THE LATTER AS CONTROLLING.

ITEMS 5 AND 7 OF THE PROPOSED STANDARDS, IN PROVIDING FOR THE COMMENCEMENT OR TERMINATION OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE OTHER THAN AT THE TIME OF ACTUAL DEPARTURE FROM OR ARRIVAL AT THE TERMINAL OF THE COMMON CARRIER SELECTED FOR USE, ARE VIEWED AS IN CONFLICT WITH SECTION 6.9C OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH STATES THAT THE TIME OF ARRIVAL AT AND THE 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. SECTION 6.9C APPLIES IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER THE TERMINAL IS WITHIN OR OUTSIDE THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE EMPLOYEE. BOTH ITEMS, THEREFORE, SHOULD BE MODIFIED TO CONFORM WITH THE REFERRED-TO SECTION OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

WE SUGGEST THAT ITEM 3 OF THE PROPOSED STANDARDS, UNDERSTOOD TO BE PREDICATED UPON SECTION 3.5B/1), SECOND PARAGRAPH, STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AUTHORIZING MILEAGE FOR THE ROUND TRIP OF A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE USED IN LIEU OF A TAXICAB IN GOING FROM A TRAVELER'S PLACE OF ABODE TO A TERMINAL OR FROM A TERMINAL TO HIS PLACE OF ABODE, BE MODIFIED TO MAKE IT MORE DESCRIPTIVE OF THE SITUATION INTENDED TO BE COVERED. CLARIFICATION OF THE SCOPE OF THE ITEM MAY PERHAPS BE ACHIEVED BY MAKING IT A SUBPARAGRAPH OF ITEM 2 WHICH SPECIFICALLY REFERS TO SECTION 3.5B/1), SECOND PARAGRAPH, STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

IN CONNECTION WITH THE PROVISION OF ITEM 4 OF THE STANDARDS, FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF PARKING FEES, IN ADDITION TO MILEAGE, WHEN A TRAVELER LEAVES HIS CAR AT A TERMINAL FOR USE IN THE RETURN TRAVEL, YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO OUR DECISION OF FEBRUARY 26, 1952, 31 COMP. GEN. 424, WHEREIN SUCH FEES WERE ALLOWED. NO OBJECTION IS RAISED TO THE PROVISION FOR THE PAYMENT OF PARKING FEES UPON THE UNDERSTANDING THAT IT WILL BE LIMITED IN APPLICATION TO THE SITUATION INVOLVED IN OUR DECISION OF FEBRUARY 26, 1952. SEE 32 COMP. GEN. 74; 34 ID. 139; B-126453, FEBRUARY 13, 1956, WHEREIN PARKING FEES WERE DISALLOWED.

WE ALSO SUGGEST THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL REQUIRED BY ITEM 6 OF THE STANDARDS IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OF A PRIVATE VEHICLE, UNDER SECTION 3.5B/1), OR SPECIAL CONVEYANCE, UNDER SECTION 3.4 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, BE FURTHER QUALIFIED BY THE ADDITION OF THE PHRASE "AS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT," WHICH LANGUAGE APPEARS IN THOSE SECTIONS OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

AFTER SETTING OUT FOUR CASES ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE PROBLEM AREAS WHICH WOULD BE RESOLVED BY APPROVAL OF THE PROPOSED STANDARDS, THE LETTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SECRETARY SUBMITS FOR DECISION THE FOLLOWING CASES NOW PENDING IN THE DEPARTMENT:

"CASE 5: THE TRAVELER LEFT RALEIGH, N.C., HIS OFFICIAL STATION AT 5:15 P.M., TRAVELING BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE TO THE RALEIGH DURHAM AIRPORT, LOCATED 15 MILES FROM RALEIGH, FOR DEPARTURE ON A FLIGHT LEAVING THE AIRPORT AT 6:05 P.M.

"IN THIS CASE THE TRAVELER CLAIMED ONE-HALF DAY'S PER DIEM, HOWEVER, ONE- QUARTER DAY'S PER DIEM WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY SUSPENDED. THE TRAVELER HAS RECLAIMED THE AMOUNT SUSPENDED (VOUCHER MAKING RECLAIM IS ATTACHED). UNDER THE DEPARTMENT'S PROPOSED ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS ESTABLISHING STANDARDS THE AMOUNT RECLAIMED WOULD NOT BE ALLOWABLE. SINCE THIS CLAIM RELATES TO TRAVEL PERFORMED PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF THE AUGUST 1956 AMENDMENT, WOULD THE AMOUNT BE ALLOWABLE UNDER THE APPLICABLE PRIOR SGTR? WOULD THE PER DIEM BE PAYABLE IF THE CASE OCCURRED AFTER AUGUST 1956 AND PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT?

BOTH QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE IN THE LIGHT OF OUR REMARKS IN CONNECTION WITH ITEMS 5 AND 7 OF THE PROPOSED STANDARDS.

"CASE 6: THE TRAVELER LEFT SUNDERLAND, MASS., HIS OFFICIAL STATION AT 5:45 P.M., APRIL 1, 1956, TRAVELING BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE TO NORTHAMPTON, MASS., A DISTANCE OF 12 MILES, FOR THE PURPOSE OF BOARDING A TRAIN TO NEW YORK, N.Y.

"AGAIN IN THIS CASE THE TRAVELER CLAIMED ONE-HALF DAY'S PER DIEM OF WHICH ONE-QUARTER DAY'S PER DIEM WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY SUSPENDED. THE TRAVELER HAS RECLAIMED THE AMOUNT SUSPENDED (VOUCHER ATTACHED). OBVIOUSLY, UNDER THE DEPARTMENT'S PROPOSED ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS ESTABLISHING STANDARDS FOR APPLYING THE SGTR ISSUED EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 1956, THIS CLAIM WOULD BE DISALLOWED, BUT THIS RECLAIM INVOLVES TRAVEL PERFORMED PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF THE AUGUST 1956 AMENDMENT. WOULD IT BE PROPER TO PAY UNDER PRIOR SGTR THE RECLAIMED ONE-QUARTER DAY'S PER DIEM PREVIOUSLY SUSPENDED? " THE QUESTION IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.

"CASE 7: THE TRAVELER LEFT HIS HOME, MALLERY FARMS, N.Y., WHICH IS ALSO HIS OFFICIAL STATION, AT 5:35 A.M., DST ON MARCH 26, 1956, TRAVELING BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE TO BINGHAMTON, N.Y., A DISTANCE OF 21 MILES, FOR THE PURPOSE OF BOARDING A TRAIN FOR ITHACA, N.Y. AS THE DEPARTURE FROM BINGHAMTON WAS AT 7:20 A.M., DST - 6:20 A.M., EST, THE TRAVELERS CLAIM FOR PER DIEM FROM 2:01 A.M. TO 6:00 A.M. OR ONE-QUARTER DAY'S PER DIEM WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY SUSPENDED. ON ANOTHER TRIP THIS TRAVELER ARRIVED IN BINGHAMTON, N.Y. FROM HOBOKEN, N.J. AT 6:00 A.M. DST AND LEFT BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AT 6:50 A.M. DST, ARRIVING AT MALLERY FARMS, N.Y., AT 7:30 A.M. DST - :30 A.M. EST. THE TRAVELER'S CLAIM FOR ONE-QUARTER DAY'S PER DIEM FOR TRAVEL AFTER 6:00 A.M. WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY SUSPENDED.

"THE TRAVELER HAS RECLAIMED THE $5.25 ($2.25 IN THE FIRST INSTANCE AND $3.00 FOR LAST TRIP) ADMINISTRATIVELY SUSPENDED. IS THE AMOUNT RECLAIMED PAYABLE UNDER THE SGTR IN EFFECT PRIOR TO AUGUST 1, 1956? * * *"

THE QUESTION IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.

"CASE 8: THE TRAVELER LEFT BROCKTON, MASS., HIS OFFICIAL STATION, AT 9:30 P.M. (SHOWN AS 11:00 P.M. ON RECLAIM VOUCHER) APRIL 1, 1956, TRAVELING BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE TO BOSTON, MASS., A DISTANCE OF 22 MILES, FOR THE PURPOSE OF BOARDING A TRAIN FOR NEW YORK, N.Y. SINCE DEPARTURE FROM BOSTON WAS AT 12:30 A.M., APRIL 2, PER DIEM OF ONE QUARTER DAY'S PER DIEM ON APRIL 1, WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY SUSPENDED.

"THE TRAVELER HAS RECLAIMED THE ONE-QUARTER OF A DAY'S PER DIEM ADMINISTRATIVELY SUSPENDED (VOUCHER ATTACHED). IT IS ASSUMED THAT IT WOULD BE CORRECT TO ALLOW THE CLAIM UNDER THE OLD SGTR, BUT IT WOULD BE FOR DISALLOWANCE UNDER THE PROPOSED ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS.'

THE ONE-QUARTER OF A DAY'S PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE RECLAIMED IS FOR DISALLOWANCE.

THE LETTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SECRETARY CONCLUDES WITH THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

"STILL ANOTHER QUESTION HAS BEEN RAISED REGARDING PAYMENT OF MILEAGE AND PER DIEM EXPENSES. WHERE TRAVEL HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED BY THE ISSUANCE OF A LETTER OF AUTHORIZATION OR THE VOUCHER HAS BEEN APPROVED BY AN OFFICIAL HAVING AUTHORITY TO AUTHORIZE OR APPROVE TRAVEL, IS IT NECESSARY TO SPECIFICALLY STATE THAT THE TRAVELER SHALL BE REIMBURSED FOR LOCAL MILEAGE AT 10 CENTS PER MILE (3.5B/1) SECOND PARAGRAPH/? ALSO, UNLESS IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DESIRED TO CHANGE THE RATE OF PER DIEM IS IT NECESSARY TO STATE IN THE LETTER OF AUTHORIZATION OR ON THE VOUCHER THAT THE TRAVELER SHALL BE REIMBURSED FOR PER DIEM AT $6.00 FOR TRAVEL BEYOND THE LIMITS OF THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES WHEN TRANSPORTATION IS BY AIRPLANE, TRAIN, OR BOAT?

THE FIRST QUESTION, UNDERSTOOD TO REFER TO A TRAVEL SITUATION WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SECTION 3.5B/1), SECOND PARAGRAPH, STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE, THE SUBSECTION SPECIFICALLY PROVIDING FOR A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE "AT THE RATE OF 10 CENTS PER MILE" NOT TO EXCEED THE USUAL TAXICAB FARE. THE SECOND QUESTION IS ALSO ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE. SEE SEC. 6.2C SGTR.