B-140423, SEP. 24, 1959

B-140423: Sep 24, 1959

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TWIGGS WAS ON PERMANENT DUTY AT ANCHORAGE. HE WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO ANNETTE ISLAND. WHEN A $21 RATE WAS PRESCRIBED. IT IS REPORTED THAT ON APRIL 17 MR. THE SCHEDULED TRIP WAS CANCELED BECAUSE OF MECHANICAL TROUBLE. THE VOUCHER IS FOR $21 COVERING PER DIEM FOR APRIL 17. - THE VOUCHER IS FOR $21 COVERING PER DIEM FOR APRIL 17. I WAS IN THE SAME POSITION AS IF THE AIRCRAFT HAD ACTUALLY DEPARTED AND WAS FORCED TO LAND AT SOME INTERMEDIATE POINT. I WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO PER DIEM. I WAS FORCED TO PAY FOR AN ADDITIONAL DAY'S MEALS AND LODGING DUE TO CANCELLATION OF THE ONLY AVAILABLE FLIGHT. READS: "THE TIME OF ARRIVAL AT AND DEPARTURE FROM A PLACE WILL BE CONSIDERED AS THE HOUR AT WHICH THE TRAIN.

B-140423, SEP. 24, 1959

TO MRS. JANET W. WHAYLAND, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, FEDERAL AVIATION AGENCY:

ON AUGUST 6, 1959, THE CHIEF, AUDIT BRANCH, ACCOUNTING DIVISION, FEDERAL AVIATION AGENCY, FORWARDED HERE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 31, 1959, WHEREIN YOU REQUEST OUR DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING THE VOUCHER ATTACHED THERETO STATED IN FAVOR OF MR. WARREN O. TWIGGS, EMPLOYEE OF YOUR AGENCY, REPRESENTING PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL PERFORMED ON APRIL 17-18, 1959.

THE FACTS DISCLOSE THAT MR. TWIGGS WAS ON PERMANENT DUTY AT ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, WHEN, BY TRAVEL ORDER DATED APRIL 10, 1959, HE WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO ANNETTE ISLAND, ALASKA, FOR THE PURPOSE OF EFFECTING A PERMANENT CHANGE IN HIS OFFICIAL STATION. THE ORDERS AUTHORIZED TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL OR GOVERNMENT PLANE WITH A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE OF $15 PER DAY, EXCEPT IN JUNEAU, ALASKA, WHEN A $21 RATE WAS PRESCRIBED. IT IS REPORTED THAT ON APRIL 17 MR. TWIGGS VACATED HIS APARTMENT IN ANCHORAGE, AND HE APPARENTLY PROCEEDED VIA TAXICAB AND LIMOUSINE TO THE AIRPORT. HE ARRIVED AT THE ANCHORAGE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AT 6 A.M., APRIL 17. AFTER GETTING ABOARD A PACIFIC NORTHERN AIRLINES PLANE (FLIGHT NO. 2), THE SCHEDULED TRIP WAS CANCELED BECAUSE OF MECHANICAL TROUBLE. UPON CANCELLATION OF THE ONLY DAILY SCHEDULED FLIGHT TO ANNETTE ISLAND, THE CARRIER FURNISHED THE TRAVELER TRANSPORTATION FROM THE AIRPORT TO THE "WESTWARD INN" WHERE HE PROCURED MEALS AND LODGING AT PERSONAL EXPENSE. THE REVERSE SIDE OF THE VOUCHER SHOWS DEPARTURE FROM ANCHORAGE AT 5:30 .M., AND ARRIVAL AT ANNETTE ISLAND AT 2:30 P.M., ON THE FOLLOWING DAY--- APRIL 18, 1959.

THE VOUCHER IS FOR $21 COVERING PER DIEM FOR APRIL 17, 1959---

THE VOUCHER IS FOR $21 COVERING PER DIEM FOR APRIL 17, 1959--- AUTHORIZED $15 AT OTHER THAN JUNEAU--- CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS:

"* * * AFTER CHECKING OUT OF MY APARTMENT IN THE MORNING, I NO LONGER HAD A RESIDENCE IN ANCHORAGE. ACTUALLY, I WAS IN THE SAME POSITION AS IF THE AIRCRAFT HAD ACTUALLY DEPARTED AND WAS FORCED TO LAND AT SOME INTERMEDIATE POINT. IN SUCH CASE, I WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO PER DIEM. SINCE, THROUGH NO FAULT OF MY OWN, I WAS FORCED TO PAY FOR AN ADDITIONAL DAY'S MEALS AND LODGING DUE TO CANCELLATION OF THE ONLY AVAILABLE FLIGHT, I FEEL THAT I AM ENTITLED TO PER DIEM FOR APRIL 17, 1959.'

THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROHIBIT THE ALLOWANCE OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE AT THE EMPLOYEE'S PERMANENT STATION OR PLACE OF ABODE FROM WHICH HE COMMUTES DAILY TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION. SECTION 6.9/C) OF THE CITED REGULATIONS, IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF THE TRAVEL IN QUESTION, READS:

"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.'

WE UNDERSTAND THAT NO FURTHER DUTY AT ANCHORAGE WAS CONTEMPLATED FOR THIS EMPLOYEE AS HIS ASSIGNMENT THERE HAD BEEN FULLY COMPLETED. HIS TRAVEL TO THE AIR TERMINAL ON APRIL 17, AFTER HAVING RELINQUISHED HIS RESIDENCE AND ARRANGED FOR AIR PASSAGE WAS IN GOOD FAITH AND IN COMPLIANCE WITH COMPETENT ORDERS WHICH DIRECTED THAT SUCH TRAVEL BEGIN ON OR ABOUT APRIL 12, 1959. MOREOVER, THE DELAY OF ONE DAY IN HIS DEPARTURE WAS NOT FOR PERSONAL REASONS BUT WAS DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES OVER WHICH HE HAD NO CONTROL. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE REGARDED AS IN A TRAVEL STATUS AFTER 6 A.M., APRIL 17, 1959, AND PER DIEM IN THE AMOUNT PROPERLY ALLOWABLE MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT. SEE B-135757, MAY 15, 1958, COMPARE B 130522, FEBRUARY 20, 1957. ALSO, IF 31 COMP. GEN. 442 IS APPLICABLE AND IT IS FOUND THAT ACTUAL DEPARTURE OF THE LIMOUSINE WAS PRIOR TO 6 A.M. ON APRIL 17, HE WOULD APPEAR TO BE ENTITLED TO PER DIEM FOR THE PERIOD 12:01 A.M., TO 5:59 A.M., APRIL 17.