B-141159, JAN. 26, 1960

B-141159: Jan 26, 1960

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THE AMOUNTS INVOLVED ARE RECLAIMS OF AMOUNTS OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE PREVIOUSLY DEDUCTED BY YOU ON THE ORIGINAL TRAVEL VOUCHERS UPON THE BASIS OF INFORMAL EXCEPTIONS RAISED BY OUR OFFICE DURING THE CURRENT AUDIT OF THE VICKSBURG DISTRICT. BECAUSE THE EMPLOYEES CLAIMING PER DIEM HAD TEMPORARY DUTY STATIONS LOCATED AT THEIR DOMICILES (REGULAR PLACE OF RESIDENCE) OR THEY WERE COMMUTING DAILY BETWEEN THEIR DOMICILES (REGULAR PLACE OF RESIDENCE) AND THEIR TEMPORARY DUTY STATIONS. YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER ARISES FROM THE REFERRED-TO AUDIT EXCEPTIONS AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE CONTENTION THAT THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED IN GOOD FAITH IN RESPONSE TO OFFICIAL TRAVEL ORDERS AND UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE DISTRICT'S STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE (SOP) XXXV 4.1.

B-141159, JAN. 26, 1960

TO MR. T. L. TURNER, DISBURSING OFFICER, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY:

ON OCTOBER 29, 1959, THE ENGINEER COMPTROLLER, CORPS OF ENGINEERS, REFERENCE ENGCR 100, FORWARDED FOR OUR CONSIDERATION YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 7, 1959, REFERENCE LMKCF, IN WHICH YOU REQUEST A DECISION WHETHER THE ENCLOSED RECLAIM TRAVEL VOUCHERS, COVERING ADDITIONAL PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FOR MAY, 1959, TOTALING $1,718.64, MAY BE PAID. THE AMOUNTS INVOLVED ARE RECLAIMS OF AMOUNTS OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE PREVIOUSLY DEDUCTED BY YOU ON THE ORIGINAL TRAVEL VOUCHERS UPON THE BASIS OF INFORMAL EXCEPTIONS RAISED BY OUR OFFICE DURING THE CURRENT AUDIT OF THE VICKSBURG DISTRICT, CORPS OF ENGINEERS (CIVIL FUNCTIONS), BECAUSE THE EMPLOYEES CLAIMING PER DIEM HAD TEMPORARY DUTY STATIONS LOCATED AT THEIR DOMICILES (REGULAR PLACE OF RESIDENCE) OR THEY WERE COMMUTING DAILY BETWEEN THEIR DOMICILES (REGULAR PLACE OF RESIDENCE) AND THEIR TEMPORARY DUTY STATIONS.

YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER ARISES FROM THE REFERRED-TO AUDIT EXCEPTIONS AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE CONTENTION THAT THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED IN GOOD FAITH IN RESPONSE TO OFFICIAL TRAVEL ORDERS AND UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE DISTRICT'S STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE (SOP) XXXV 4.1, DATED NOVEMBER 10, 1958.

OUR AUDIT DISCLOSED THAT THE STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE (SOP) PRESCRIBED FOR TRAVEL IN THE DISTRICT WAS NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF ARMY CIVILIAN PERSONNEL REGULATIONS. THE FOREGOING PROCEDURE MANDATORILY PLACED AN EMPLOYEE'S DOMICILE "WITHIN THE CITY LIMITS OF AN INCORPORATED CITY OR TOWN OR WITHIN THE NORMALLY ACCEPTED LIMITS OF AN UNINCORPORATED TOWN.' THUS, THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE OF AN EMPLOYEE PROCEEDING DAILY FROM AND TO HIS DOMICILE NOT LOCATED WITHIN THE PRESCRIBED CONFINES IN WHICH HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION IS LOCATED, IS NOT AFFECTED PER SE BECAUSE OF THE TRAVEL FROM AND TO HIS DOMICILE. THIS ADMINISTRATIVE INTERPRETATION HAS PERMITTED EMPLOYEES ON TEMPORARY DUTY IN THE DISTRICT IN AN INCORPORATED TOWN OR CITY TO BE PAID PER DIEM EVEN THOUGH TRAVELING DAILY FROM AND TO THEIR HOMES LOCATED JUST OUTSIDE THE ENVIRONS OF THEIR TEMPORARY DUTY STATIONS. CPR T 3.4-C2, PARAGRAPH 4-1B, DATED MARCH 20, 1957, IN FORCE AND EFFECT DURING THE TIME COVERED BY THE VOUCHERS HERE INVOLVED, RESTRICTED THE PAYMENT CF PER DIEM TO INDIVIDUALS WHOSE TRAVEL STATUS PLACED THEM BEYOND NORMAL COMMUNICATING RANGE OF THEIR RESIDENCES OR PERMANENT DUTY STATIONS. THAT REGULATION ALSO PROVIDED THAT "WHEN AN EMPLOYEE INCURS NO ADDITIONAL SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES DURING A PERIOD IN WHICH HE COMMUNICATES BETWEEN HIS REGULAR PLACE OF RESIDENCE AND PLACE OF TEMPORARY DUTY, HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO PER DIEM.' ALSO, THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, SECTION 6.2, PROVIDES THAT IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EACH DEPARTMENT AND ESTABLISHMENT TO SEE THAT TRAVEL ORDERS AUTHORIZED ONLY SUCH PER DIEM ALLOWANCES AS ARE JUSTIFIED BY THE CIRCUMSTANCES AFFECTING THE TRAVEL. SEE 31 COMP. GEN. 264.

THEREFORE, NO BASIS EXISTS, UPON THE PRESENT RECORD AND THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED, FOR PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNTS RECLAIMED.

THE VOUCHERS, WITH ATTACHED PAPERS, AND THE SCHEDULE OF PAYMENTS ARE RETAINED HERE.