B-141243, JUL. 8, 1960

B-141243: Jul 8, 1960

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WAS FORWARDED TO OUR OFFICE UNDER COVER OF A LETTER DATED JUNE 1. ADMINISTRATIVELY WAS DETERMINED AS IN EXCESS OF PER DIEM ALLOWABLE. SINCE THE CONFERENCE HAD ENDED ON SEPTEMBER 4 AND THE RETURN TO SEATTLE COULD HAVE BEEN COMPLETED THE SAME DAY. THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION WAS SUSTAINED IN OUR CERTIFICATE OF SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 19. THERE IS NO NEED TO REPEAT THE REASONS STATED THEREIN OTHER THAN TO SAY THAT THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS CONSISTENTLY HAVE BEEN INTERPRETED AS REQUIRING THAT AN EMPLOYEE RETURN TO HIS STATION AT THE EARLIEST PRACTICABLE TIME UPON COMPLETION OF A PERIOD OF TEMPORARY DUTY. YOU ARE NOW CLAIMING ADDITIONAL REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED BY YOU IN RETURNING TO YOUR OFFICIAL STATION BY A CIRCUITOUS ROUTE WHICH COMPREHENDED A TRIP TO SALT LAKE CITY.

B-141243, JUL. 8, 1960

TO MR. JAMES E. WESTIN:

YOUR VOUCHER CLAIMING ADDITIONAL REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED BY YOU DURING SEPTEMBER 1959, ALLEGEDLY IN THE DISCHARGE OF OFFICIAL DUTY IN RETURNING TO YOUR OFFICIAL STATION (SEATTLE, WASHINGTON) AFTER ATTENDING A CONFERENCE IN SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, WAS FORWARDED TO OUR OFFICE UNDER COVER OF A LETTER DATED JUNE 1, 1960,FROM MR. E. B. KELBAUGH, CHIEF, ACCOUNTING BRANCH, FISCAL MANAGEMENT DIVISION, OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT.

BY SETTLEMENT DATED FEBRUARY 19, 1960, OUR OFFICE DISALLOWED A CLAIM FILED BY YOU IN THE AMOUNT OF $33.50 FOR ADDITIONAL PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE COVERING TRAVEL DURING THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 5, 1959, TO SEPTEMBER 7, 1959, INCIDENT TO ATTENDING THE CONFERENCE IN SAN FRANCISCO. THAT AMOUNT, ADMINISTRATIVELY WAS DETERMINED AS IN EXCESS OF PER DIEM ALLOWABLE, SINCE THE CONFERENCE HAD ENDED ON SEPTEMBER 4 AND THE RETURN TO SEATTLE COULD HAVE BEEN COMPLETED THE SAME DAY. THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION WAS SUSTAINED IN OUR CERTIFICATE OF SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 19. THERE IS NO NEED TO REPEAT THE REASONS STATED THEREIN OTHER THAN TO SAY THAT THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS CONSISTENTLY HAVE BEEN INTERPRETED AS REQUIRING THAT AN EMPLOYEE RETURN TO HIS STATION AT THE EARLIEST PRACTICABLE TIME UPON COMPLETION OF A PERIOD OF TEMPORARY DUTY.

YOU ARE NOW CLAIMING ADDITIONAL REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED BY YOU IN RETURNING TO YOUR OFFICIAL STATION BY A CIRCUITOUS ROUTE WHICH COMPREHENDED A TRIP TO SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT WHEN YOU PRESENTED YOUR FIRST VOUCHER FOR REIMBURSEMENT COVERING YOUR TRIP TO SAN FRANCISCO AND RETURN TO SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, NO TRAVEL EXPENSE OR PER DIEM WAS THEN CLAIMED OTHER THAN THAT WHICH YOU BELIEVED WAS INCIDENT TO A DIRECT RETURN TRIP TO SEATTLE, WASHINGTON. YOU NOW SAY THAT AT THAT TIME "I WAS WILLING TO WAIVE THAT PORTION OF THE TIME AND EXPENSE INVOLVED IN MY TRIP WHEREBY I RETURNED FROM SAN FRANCISCO VIA SALT LAKE CITY AS I HAD PLANNED TO TAKE A SIDE TRIP INTO THAT AREA ANYWAY FOR A FEW DAYS OF VACATION.'

IN SUPPORT OF YOUR CURRENT CLAIM YOU SAY THAT YOU ATTENDED TO GOVERNMENT BUSINESS AT SALT LAKE CITY IN LINE WITH YOUR DUTIES AS ASSISTANT CHIEF OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION; THAT IT IS YOUR DUTY TO DETERMINE WHAT TRAVEL MAY BE NECESSARY; AND THAT THE TRIP TO SALT LAKE CITY WAS, IN YOUR OPINION, FULLY WARRANTED BECAUSE OF THE COMPLEXITIES INVOLVED IN THE HANDLING OF CERTAIN CASES DOCKETED WITH THE TAX COURT.

SECTION 1.2 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT TRAVELING EXPENSES WHICH WILL BE REIMBURSED ARE CONFINED TO THOSE EXPENSES ESSENTIAL TO THE TRANSACTING OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS. SECTION 2.1 OF THOSE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT ALL TRAVEL SHALL BE EITHER AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY THE HEAD OF THE AGENCY OR BY AN OFFICIAL TO WHOM SUCH AUTHORITY HAS BEEN DELEGATED. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOUR TRIP TO SALT LAKE CITY WAS NEITHER SO AUTHORIZED NOR APPROVED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY WHICH NOW RECOMMENDS THAT YOUR CLAIM BE DISALLOWED AND BRINGS TO THE RECORD, BY REFERENCE, A COPY OF A LETTER DATED APRIL 5, 1960, TO YOU, FROM MR. G. B. WILLMARTH, ASSISTANT REGIONAL COMMISSIONER, APPELLATE, IN WHICH HE SETS FORTH THE REASONS FOR HIS DISAPPROVAL OF YOUR CLAIM, STATING HIS CONCLUSION THAT "I AM UNABLE TO CONCLUDE THAT YOUR TRIP TO SALT LAKE CITY ON SEPTEMBER 7, AT A CLAIMED EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT IN EXCESS OF $100, MET THE REQUIREMENT OF HAVING BEEN OFFICIALLY NECESSARY.'

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES WE FIND NO PROPER BASIS FOR ALLOWING YOUR CURRENT CLAIM, AND UPON REVIEW OF YOUR CASE OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 19, 1960, IS SUSTAINED.