B-141057, DEC. 4, 1959

B-141057: Dec 4, 1959

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

O-BRIEN IS ONE OF EIGHT INSPECTORS AT ROCHESTER. DRAWING REDUCED PER DIEM BECAUSE OF THE LENGTH OF TIME THEY HAVE BEEN AT THEIR TEMPORARY DUTY STATIONS. YOU FURTHER SAY THAT IF THE SAME PATTERN IS FOLLOWED WITH MR. HIS PER DIEM WILL BE REDUCED AT THE END OF 30 DAYS. FURTHER AMENDMENTS TO THE TRAVEL ORDER WILL BE ISSUED AT THREE-MONTH INTERVALS PROLONGING HIS TOUR OF DUTY ANYWHERE FROM SIX MONTHS TO TWO YEARS. NO DETAILED EXPLANATION IS BEFORE US CONCERNING THE FUNCTIONS OF INSPECTORS OR THE REASONS FOR DESIGNATING WASHINGTON AS THEIR HEADQUARTERS IN ALL CASES. O-BRIEN WAS TRANSFERRED FROM OKLAHOMA CITY TO WASHINGTON. WHICH WAS DESIGNATED AS HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION. THE EMPLOYEE WAS INFORMED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE THAT HIS IMMEDIATE ASSIGNMENT WOULD BE AT ROCHESTER.

B-141057, DEC. 4, 1959

TO MISS ELISE BUNNELL:

YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 19, 1959, REQUESTS OUR DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER SUBMITTED BY MR. EDWARD G. O -BRIEN FOR $333.00 COVERING PER DIEM FOR THE MONTH OF JULY 1959.

YOU SAY THAT MR. O-BRIEN IS ONE OF EIGHT INSPECTORS AT ROCHESTER, NEW YORK. YOU ALSO SAY THAT THE AGENCY HAS MANY MORE SCATTERED THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES--- ALL WITH HEADQUARTERS AT WASHINGTON, D.C., AND DRAWING REDUCED PER DIEM BECAUSE OF THE LENGTH OF TIME THEY HAVE BEEN AT THEIR TEMPORARY DUTY STATIONS. YOU FURTHER SAY THAT IF THE SAME PATTERN IS FOLLOWED WITH MR. O-BRIEN AS WITH OTHER INSPECTORS, HIS PER DIEM WILL BE REDUCED AT THE END OF 30 DAYS, AND FURTHER AMENDMENTS TO THE TRAVEL ORDER WILL BE ISSUED AT THREE-MONTH INTERVALS PROLONGING HIS TOUR OF DUTY ANYWHERE FROM SIX MONTHS TO TWO YEARS. NO DETAILED EXPLANATION IS BEFORE US CONCERNING THE FUNCTIONS OF INSPECTORS OR THE REASONS FOR DESIGNATING WASHINGTON AS THEIR HEADQUARTERS IN ALL CASES.

MR. O-BRIEN WAS TRANSFERRED FROM OKLAHOMA CITY TO WASHINGTON, D.C., IN JUNE 1959. HE ARRIVED IN WASHINGTON, WHICH WAS DESIGNATED AS HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION, ON JUNE 16. THE EMPLOYEE WAS INFORMED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE THAT HIS IMMEDIATE ASSIGNMENT WOULD BE AT ROCHESTER, NEW YORK, WHERE HE WOULD RELIEVE ANOTHER EMPLOYEE WHO WAS TEMPORARILY ACTING AS THE RESIDENT ENGINEER. HE LEFT WASHINGTON ON JUNE 20, ARRIVED IN ROCHESTER ON JUNE 21, AND HAS REMAINED THERE EVER SINCE. THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE STATES THAT IT IS UNABLE TO DETERMINE HOW LONG MR. O -BRIEN'S SERVICES WILL BE REQUIRED THERE. NO INFORMATION HAS BEEN FURNISHED CLEARLY ESTABLISHING THAT THE INSPECTOR IS AN "ITINERANT" EMPLOYEE. SEE 23 COMP. GEN. 162.

PRIOR TO THIS DEPARTING FOR ROCHESTER MR. O-BRIEN ARRANGED TO HAVE HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPPED THERE INSTEAD OF WASHINGTON BECAUSE THE DURATION OF HIS ASSIGNMENT AT ROCHESTER WAS NOT KNOWN. THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS WIFE ARE LIVING AT PRESENT IN AN APARTMENT IN ROCHESTER. THE ORIGINAL TRAVEL ORDER AUTHORIZED TEMPORARY DUTY AND PER DIEM AT ROCHESTER FOR A PERIOD OF THREE MONTHS. THE ORIGINAL ORDER HAS BEEN AMENDED TO EXTEND THE PERIOD OF TEMPORARY DUTY, WITH PER DIEM, AT ROCHESTER TO DECEMBER 31, 1959.

SECTION 6.8 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE WILL NOT BE ALLOWED AN EMPLOYEE AT HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION.

THE OFFICIAL OR PERMANENT DUTY STATION OF AN EMPLOYEE IS A MATTER OF FACT AND NOT OF ADMINISTRATIVE DESIGNATION. WE CONSISTENTLY HAVE HELD THAT AN EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL DUTY STATION IS THE PLACE WHERE HE ACTUALLY IS STATIONED; THAT IS, THE PLACE AT WHICH HE EXPECTS, AND IS EXPECTED, TO SPEND THE GREATER PART OF HIS TIME. 31 COMP. GEN. 289; 32 COMP. GEN. 87.

IT APPEARS FROM THE FACTS STATED ABOVE THAT SINCE HIS ASSIGNMENT TO HIS NEW POSITION, MR. O-BRIEN HAS PERFORMED, AND IS EXPECTED BY HIS AGENCY TO PERFORM FOR AN INDEFINITE PERIOD OF TIME, MOST, IF NOT ALL, OF HIS ASSIGNED DUTIES AT ROCHESTER, NEW YORK, AND NOT AT WASHINGTON, D.C. MOREOVER, WHILE MR. O-BRIEN INDICATES HE EXPECTS TO LIVE IN WASHINGTON, D.C., THE RECORD BEFORE US DOES NOT INDICATE THAT THE AGENCY EXPECTS TO ASSIGN HIM TO WASHINGTON FOR EXTENDED DUTY, OR OTHERWISE. THEREFORE, UPON THE PRESENT RECORD, WE ARE OF THE VIEW THAT MR. O-BRIEN'S PERMANENT DUTY STATION FOR PER DIEM PURPOSES IS, IN FACT, ROCHESTER, NEW YORK, AND NOT WASHINGTON, D.C. IN THAT REGARD, WE HAVE RECOGNIZED THAT WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY STILL PROPERLY BE THE LOCATION OF THE HEADQUARTERS OF AN ACTIVITY FOR ADMINISTRATIVE OR FUNCTIONAL PURPOSES. 25 COMP. GEN. 136. SINCE AN EMPLOYEE MAY NOT BE ALLOWED PER DIEM AT HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION, THE VOUCHER MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.