B-132769, AUG. 15, 1957

B-132769: Aug 15, 1957

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REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER THEREWITH ENCLOSED FOR $62.10. IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TRAIN DEPARTED UNION STATION HE WAS TAKEN SUDDENLY ILL AND ON ARRIVAL OF THE TRAIN IN ALEXANDRIA. EST HE WAS REMOVED FROM THE TRAIN TO THE ALEXANDRIA HOSPITAL WHERE HE REMAINED UNTIL 1:00 P.M. WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS STRICKEN WITH A BACK AILMENT. THE CLAIM IS FOR 5 DAYS PER DIEM AT $12. EVEN THOUGH HE WAS OUTSIDE THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF HIS HEADQUARTERS. CHARGES OR TIPS AT TRANSPORTATION TERMINALS WILL BE ALLOWED FOR HANDLING GOVERNMENT PROPERTY CARRIED BY THE TRAVELER.'. LIGHTSEY WAS IN A PER DIEM STATUS FROM THE TIME OF THE DEPARTURE OF THE TRAIN FROM THE TERMINAL AT UNION STATION.

B-132769, AUG. 15, 1957

TO MR. J. A. SMALLWOOD, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE:

YOUR LETTER OF JULY 17, 1957, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER THEREWITH ENCLOSED FOR $62.10.

THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT MR. LIGHTSEY, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, DEPARTED FROM UNION STATION, WASHINGTON, D.C., HIS OFFICIAL STATION, JUNE 17, 1957, AT 6:45 P.M. EST, EN ROUTE TO DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA, FOR A PERIOD OF TEMPORARY DUTY. IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TRAIN DEPARTED UNION STATION HE WAS TAKEN SUDDENLY ILL AND ON ARRIVAL OF THE TRAIN IN ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA, AT 7:05 P.M. EST HE WAS REMOVED FROM THE TRAIN TO THE ALEXANDRIA HOSPITAL WHERE HE REMAINED UNTIL 1:00 P.M. EST, JUNE 22, 1957. WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS STRICKEN WITH A BACK AILMENT, REQUIRING IMMEDIATE HOSPITALIZATION. THE CLAIM IS FOR 5 DAYS PER DIEM AT $12, PLUS $1.50 TAXICAB FARE, AND A $0.60 CHARGE FOR HANDLING OFFICIAL BAGGAGE. YOUR DOUBT CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF THE PAYMENT ARISES FROM THE FACT THAT MR. LIGHTSEY HAD NOT DEPARTED FROM THE METROPOLITAN AREA OF HIS OFFICIAL STATION, EVEN THOUGH HE WAS OUTSIDE THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF HIS HEADQUARTERS; ALSO, THE FACT THAT MR. LIGHTSEY RESIDES IN ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, FROM WHICH POINT HE COMMUTES DAILY TO HIS OFFICIAL POST OF DUTY IN WASHINGTON, D.C. THE VOUCHER HAS BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED.

PARAGRAPHS 6.5A, 6.5B AND 5.6 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDE IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"6.5. ILLNESS OR INJURY.--- A. WHENEVER A TRAVELER TAKES LEAVE OF ABSENCE OF ANY KIND BECAUSE OF BEING INCAPACITATED DUE TO HIS ILLNESS OR INJURY, NOT DUE TO HIS OWN MISCONDUCT, THE PRESCRIBED PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE, IF ANY, SHALL BE CONTINUED FOR PERIODS NOT TO EXCEED 14 CALENDAR DAYS (INCLUDING FRACTIONAL DAYS) IN ANY ONE PERIOD OF ABSENCE * *

"6.5B. TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES TO EMPLOYEE'S DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY AND PER DIEM EN ROUTE SHALL BE ALLOWED WHENEVER THE EMPLOYEE BECOMES INCAPACITATED DUE TO ILLNESS OR INJURY, NOT DUE TO HIS OWN MISCONDUCT, WHILE EN ROUTE TO * * * TEMPORARY DUTY STATION * * * WHEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED.

"5.6. CHECKING AND HANDLING OF BAGGAGE.--- * * *. CHARGES OR TIPS AT TRANSPORTATION TERMINALS WILL BE ALLOWED FOR HANDLING GOVERNMENT PROPERTY CARRIED BY THE TRAVELER.'

MR. LIGHTSEY WAS IN A PER DIEM STATUS FROM THE TIME OF THE DEPARTURE OF THE TRAIN FROM THE TERMINAL AT UNION STATION. AS THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL STATUS WAS INTERRUPTED WHILE TRAVELING TO A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION BECAUSE OF ILLNESS, AND ASSUMING THE ILLNESS WAS NOT DUE TO HIS OWN MISCONDUCT, HE WAS WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE ABOVE-QUOTED REGULATIONS. THEREFORE, PAYMENT OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE, CHARGES FOR HANDLING OFFICIAL BAGGAGE, AND PAYMENT OF TAXICAB FARE WOULD BE PROPER, NOTWITHSTANDING THAT THE PERIOD OF ILLNESS WAS SPENT AT A HOSPITAL CLOSE TO HIS RESIDENCE AND OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS. SEE 30 COMP. GEN. 511.

THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.