B-130850, MAR. 22, 1957

B-130850: Mar 22, 1957

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THE AMOUNT IS A RECLAIM OF A DEDUCTION FROM A PREVIOUS TRAVEL VOUCHER. WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS GIVEN TRAVEL ORDERS DATED JANUARY 4. A COPY OF WHICH WAS NOT RECEIVED WITH YOUR LETTER. NO OFFICIAL DUTY WAS AUTHORIZED EN ROUTE TO WASHINGTON. 1956: 1 DAY AT $12 12.00 TOTAL $16.50 BY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION THE SUM OF $7.50 WAS DEDUCTED FROM THE CLAIM ON THE FOLLOWING BASIS: "MR. ASTLE COULD HAVE LEFT PORT-AU-PRINCE JANUARY 8. BEFORE MIDNIGHT ON THE SAME DAY FOR WHICH TRAVEL HE WAS ALLOWED PER DIEM FOR 1/2 DAY AT $6.00. PER DIEM FOR 1/2 DAY AT $12.00 WAS ALLOWED. CHART "TOTAL ALLOWED FOR JANUARY 8 AND 9: $9.00 DIFFERENCE 7.50" IT APPEARS THAT HAD THE TRAVELER FOLLOWED THE SCHEDULE UPON WHICH THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXCEPTION WAS BASED HE COULD HAVE ARRIVED IN MIAMI AT 2:55 P.M.

B-130850, MAR. 22, 1957

TO MR. GEORGE R. JENNINGS, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, UNITED STATES OPERATIONS MISSION TO HAITI:

YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 18, 1957, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE RECLAIM VOUCHER THEREWITH IN THE AMOUNT OF $7.50 IN FAVOR OF MR. EDWIN F. ASTLE, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ADMINISTRATION. THE AMOUNT IS A RECLAIM OF A DEDUCTION FROM A PREVIOUS TRAVEL VOUCHER.

WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS GIVEN TRAVEL ORDERS DATED JANUARY 4, 1956, WHICH AUTHORIZED TRAVEL FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION, PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., FOR TEMPORARY DUTY TO BEGIN APPROXIMATELY JANUARY 9, 1956, AND RETURN, A COPY OF WHICH WAS NOT RECEIVED WITH YOUR LETTER.

YOU REPORT THAT MR. ASTLE DEPARTED FROM PORT-AU-PRINCE, VIA PAN AMERICAN AIRWAYS, ON FRIDAY, JANUARY 6, 1956, AT 10:55 A.M., AND ARRIVED IN MIAMI, FLORIDA, AT 4:25 P.M.; THAT HE LEFT MIAMI FOR TAMPA, FLORIDA, RATHER THAN WASHINGTON, D.C., AT 5:45 P.M., AND ARRIVED IN TAMPA AT 7:15 .M., ON THE SAME DAY. ON MONDAY, JANUARY 9, 1956,HE LEFT TAMPA AT 9:40 A.M., AND ARRIVED IN WASHINGTON, D.C., AT 1:50 P.M. NO OFFICIAL DUTY WAS AUTHORIZED EN ROUTE TO WASHINGTON. MR. ASTLE CLAIMED PER DIEM FOR THE AIR TRAVEL INVOLVED AND IN CONNECTION WITH HIS TEMPORARY DUTY AT WASHINGTON ON JANUARY 9, 1956, AS FOLLOWS:

CHART

JANUARY 8, 1956: 1/4 DAY AT $6 $1.50

1/4 DAY AT $12 3.00

JANUARY 9, 1956: 1 DAY AT $12 12.00

TOTAL $16.50

BY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION THE SUM OF $7.50 WAS DEDUCTED FROM THE CLAIM ON THE FOLLOWING BASIS:

"MR. ASTLE COULD HAVE LEFT PORT-AU-PRINCE JANUARY 8, 1956 AT 12:15 P.M. VIA PAA AND ARRIVED IN WASHINGTON D.C. BEFORE MIDNIGHT ON THE SAME DAY FOR WHICH TRAVEL HE WAS ALLOWED PER DIEM FOR 1/2 DAY AT $6.00, OR $3.00. STOPOVER ENROUTE EXCEEDED SIX HOURS. SINCE MR. ASTLE DID NOT ARRIVE IN WASHINGTON D.C. UNTIL 1:40 P.M. JANUARY 9, PER DIEM FOR 1/2 DAY AT $12.00 WAS ALLOWED.

CHART

"TOTAL ALLOWED FOR JANUARY 8 AND 9: $9.00

DIFFERENCE 7.50"

IT APPEARS THAT HAD THE TRAVELER FOLLOWED THE SCHEDULE UPON WHICH THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXCEPTION WAS BASED HE COULD HAVE ARRIVED IN MIAMI AT 2:55 P.M. AND WASHINGTON, D.C., AT 8:25 P.M., ON JANUARY 8, 1956, OR SHORTLY THEREAFTER, WHICH IS NOT AN UNREASONABLE HOUR.

SO FAR AS DISCLOSED BY THE RECORD, THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL ORDERS DID NOT SPECIFY A DATE ON WHICH HE WAS REQUIRED TO DEPART FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION. IN THE LIGHT THEREOF, AND OF THE OTHER FACTUAL CIRCUMSTANCES APPEARING HEREIN, OUR VIEW IS THAT THE EMPLOYEE DID NOT ACT IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THIS MATTER; THAT, THEREFORE, THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION IN DEDUCTING THE EXCESS PER DIEM FOR JANUARY 9 WAS PROPER. CF. 31 COMP. GEN. 278.

CONCERNING THE $1.50 DEDUCTED FOR THE PERIOD 6 P.M. TO MIDNIGHT JANUARY 8, THE FACTS BEFORE US DO NOT PERMIT A CATEGORICAL ANSWER. IF THE TRAVEL ORDER RESTRICTED THE PER DIEM FOR ALL AIR TRAVEL TO A $6 RATE THE DEDUCTION WAS PROPER. IF, ON THE OTHER HAND, THE ORDER AUTHORIZED A $12 RATE WHILE IN THE UNITED STATES AND A $6 RATE FOR COMMERCIAL AIR TRAVEL IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 45 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AS AMENDED BY CIRCULAR A 7, TRANSMITTAL MEMORANDUM NO. 5, DATED JULY 28, 1955, THE $1.50 WOULD APPEAR TO BE FOR ALLOWANCE. CF. 31 COMP. GEN. 71.

ACTION ON THE RECLAIM VOUCHER SUBMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER SHOULD BE TAKEN ACCORDINGLY.