B-142491, APRIL 26, 1960, 39 COMP. GEN. 728

B-142491: Apr 26, 1960

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CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - PER DIEM - OVERSEAS - RATES - STOPOVERS WHEN EMPLOYEES ARE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS TO PLACES OUTSIDE OF THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. ON THE SAME DAY IS ENTITLED TO THE $12 RATE PER DIEM APPLICABLE IN THE UNITED STATES THROUGH THE THIRD QUARTER OF THE DAY. THE LENGTH OF TIME OF THE STOPOVER IS CONTROLLING REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE STOPOVER IS MADE NECESSARY BY REASON OF OFFICIAL DUTY OR BY REASON OF THE CARRIER SCHEDULE. IF THE STOPOVER IS LESS THAN SIX HOURS. THE RATE PROVIDED IN SECTION 6.2C OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS FOR APPLICATION BUT. IF THE STOPOVER IS FOR MORE THAN SIX HOURS. THE PER DIEM RATE AUTHORIZED IN SECTION 6.2B OF THE REGULATION FOR THE STOPOVER POINT IS FOR APPLICATION FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE QUARTER FOLLOWING ARRIVAL AT THE STOPOVER POINT.

B-142491, APRIL 26, 1960, 39 COMP. GEN. 728

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - PER DIEM - OVERSEAS - RATES - STOPOVERS WHEN EMPLOYEES ARE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS TO PLACES OUTSIDE OF THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, THE RATE OF PER DIEM APPLICABLE IN THE UNITED STATES CONTINUOUS THROUGH THE QUARTER BEGINNING IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE ACTUAL HOUR OF DEPARTURE FROM THE POINT OF EXIT AND COMMENCES AT THE BEGINNING OF THE QUARTER IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE ACTUAL HOUR OF ARRIVAL AT THE POINT OF ENTRY IN THE UNITED STATES. AN EMPLOYEE WHO, INCIDENT TO OFFICIAL BUSINESS OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, LEAVES HIS HEADQUARTERS IN WASHINGTON AT 10:40 A.M., ARRIVES IN NEW YORK AT 11:33 A.M., AND DEPARTS FROM NEW YORK FOR THE OVERSEAS DUTY AT 3:30 P.M. ON THE SAME DAY IS ENTITLED TO THE $12 RATE PER DIEM APPLICABLE IN THE UNITED STATES THROUGH THE THIRD QUARTER OF THE DAY; AND, LIKEWISE, ON A RETURN TRIP, WHEN THE EMPLOYEE ARRIVES IN BOSTON AT 11:55 A.M. AND DEPARTS FROM WASHINGTON AT 1:00 P.M. THE SAME DAY, THE $12 RATE COMMENCES AT THE BEGINNING OF THE THIRD QUARTER. IN THE DETERMINATION OF THE APPLICABLE RATE OF PER DIEM FOR STOPOVERS AT INTERMEDIATE POINTS OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, THE LENGTH OF TIME OF THE STOPOVER IS CONTROLLING REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE STOPOVER IS MADE NECESSARY BY REASON OF OFFICIAL DUTY OR BY REASON OF THE CARRIER SCHEDULE; THEREFORE, IF THE STOPOVER IS LESS THAN SIX HOURS, THE RATE PROVIDED IN SECTION 6.2C OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS FOR APPLICATION BUT, IF THE STOPOVER IS FOR MORE THAN SIX HOURS, THE PER DIEM RATE AUTHORIZED IN SECTION 6.2B OF THE REGULATION FOR THE STOPOVER POINT IS FOR APPLICATION FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE QUARTER FOLLOWING ARRIVAL AT THE STOPOVER POINT. ACTUAL ELAPSED TRAVEL TIME OF SIX HOURS IS TO BE USED IN THE DETERMINATION OF THE APPLICATION OR NONAPPLICATION OF THE PER DIEM RATE AUTHORIZED UNDER SECTION 6.2C OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

TO E. L. STRUTTMAN, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, APRIL 26, 1960:

ON APRIL 1, 1960, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF RAYMOND W. SOOY FOR THE AMOUNT ADMINISTRATIVELY DISALLOWED ON HIS ORIGINAL VOUCHER FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF HIS EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH HIS TRAVEL ON TEMPORARY DUTY FROM WASHINGTON, .C., TO WARSAW, POLAND, BELGRADE, YUGOSLAVIA, AND RETURN.

THE FACTS INVOLVED ARE STATED AS FOLLOWS: MR. SOOY DEPARTED WASHINGTON AT 10:40 A.M., AND ARRIVED IN NEW YORK AT 11:33 A.M., OCTOBER 20, 1959. HIS ONWARD FLIGHT TO WARSAW VIA ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, DEPARTED NEW YORK AT 3:30 P.M. ON THAT DAY. ON HIS ORIGINAL VOUCHER HE CLAIMED PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $12 PER DAY--- THE RATE ALLOWABLE FOR TRAVEL WITHIN THE UNITED STATES-- - FOR THE THIRD QUARTER DAY OF OCTOBER 20, BUT WAS ALLOWED PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $6 PER DAY--- THE RATE APPLICABLE TO THE INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL HERE INVOLVED. ON THE RETURN JOURNEY FROM HIS LAST POINT OF DUTY, BELGRADE, MR. SOOY ARRIVED IN ZURICH AT 1 P.M. AND DEPARTED AT 9:45 P.M. ON OCTOBER 31, 1959. ON HIS ORIGINAL VOUCHER HE CLAIMED PER DIEM FOR THE FOURTH QUARTER DAY OF OCTOBER 31 AT THE RATE OF $12 PER DAY--- THE RATE APPLICABLE IN SWITZERLAND--- BUT WAS ALLOWED PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $6 PER DAY. MR. SOOY ARRIVED IN BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, AT 11:55 A.M. AND DEPARTED FOR WASHINGTON AT 1 P.M. NOVEMBER 1, 1959. HE CLAIMED PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $12 FOR THE THIRD QUARTER DAY OF NOVEMBER 1 BUT WAS ALLOWED THE RATE OF $6 FOR THAT QUARTER DAY. WHILE THE TRAVEL ORDER HAS NOT BEEN FURNISHED US, WE ASSUME THAT IT AUTHORIZED THE MAXIMUM PER DIEM OF $12 FOR TRAVEL IN THE UNITED STATES.

THE VOUCHER IN QUESTION IS A RECLAIM FOR $4.50, THE AMOUNT WHICH WAS DEDUCTED FROM THE ORIGINAL VOUCHER AS A RESULT OF THE THREE CHANGES IN PER DIEM RATES AS SET FORTH ABOVE.

THE FIRST QUESTION PRESENTED BY YOU IS:

ARE WE CORRECT IN ASSUMING THAT THE MAXIMUM PER DIEM RATE IS ALLOWABLE ONLY FOR THE TIME CONSUMED FOR THE PORTION OF TRAVEL BETWEEN THE DUTY POINT AND THE PLACE OF EXIT OR ENTRY, THEREBY PLACING THE TRAVELER IN THE LESSER RATE APPLICABLE TO TRAVEL OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, FOR THE PERIOD OF TIME SUBSEQUENT TO ARRIVAL AT THE PLACE OF EXIT AND PRIOR TO DEPARTURE FROM PLACE OF ENTRY?

THE QUESTION MUST BE ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE SINCE THE STOPOVERS IN NEW YORK AND BOSTON ARE NOT VIEWED AS BEING RESTRICTED BY SECTION 6.2C (3) TO THE $6 RATE SPECIFIED THEREIN AND SINCE SECTION 6.2C OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS MUST BE READ IN THE LIGHT OF SECTION 6.11. THE LATTER SECTION PROVIDES IN PART:

* * * WHEN CHANGE IN PER DIEM RATE IS MADE DURING A DAY, THE RATE OF PER DIEM IN EFFECT AT THE BEGINNING OF THE QUARTER IN WHICH THE CHANGE OCCURS SHALL CONTINUE TO THE END OF SUCH QUARTER.

THEREFORE THE RATE OF PER DIEM AUTHORIZED IN THE UNITED STATES CONTINUES THROUGH THE QUARTER BEGINNING IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE ACTUAL HOUR OF DEPARTURE FROM THE POINT OF EXIT. SIMILARLY, THE UNITED STATES RATE COMMENCES AT THE BEGINNING OF THE QUARTER IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE ACTUAL HOUR OF ARRIVAL AT THE POINT OF ENTRY. IT FOLLOWS THAT MR. SOOY IS ENTITLED TO THE $12 RATE THROUGHOUT THE THIRD QUARTER ON HIS DATE OF EXIT AND BEGINNING WITH THE THIRD QUARTER ON DATE OF ENTRY.

YOUR SECOND QUESTION CONCERNS THE RATE OF PER DIEM PAYABLE DURING A STOPOVER OF MORE THAN SIX HOURS AT AN INTERMEDIATE POINT IN THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL AT WHICH POINT HE PERFORMS NO OFFICIAL BUSINESS. YOU ASK WHETHER YOU WOULD BE CORRECT IN ALLOWING PER DIEM AT THE RATE APPLICABLE TO THE LOCALITY IN WHICH THE STOPOVER TOOK PLACE FOR A QUARTER DAY BEGINNING DURING SUCH A STOPOVER OR WHETHER THE $6 RATE UNDER SECTION 6.2C (3) OF THE SGTR IS APPLICABLE.

SECTION 6.2C OF THE SGTR PROVIDES:

FOR TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS BEYOND THE LIMITS OF THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES BY AIRPLANE, TRAIN, OR BOAT (REGARDLESS OF WHETHER COMMERCIALLY-OR GOVERNMENT-OWNED), WHETHER EN ROUTE BETWEEN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND A LOCALITY BEYOND OR BETWEEN SUCH LOCALITIES, INCLUDING STOPOVERS OF LESS THAN 6 HOURS THE MAXIMUM PER DIEM MAY BE AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED (EXCEPT FOR THE PROVISO IN SECTION 6.11) IS AS FOLLOWS:

THAT SECTION DOES NOT DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN STOPOVERS NECESSARY TO PERFORM OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND STOPOVERS MADE NECESSARY BY CARRIER SCHEDULES. THE ONLY STOPOVERS UNDER THAT SECTION ARE THOSE LESS THAN 6 HOURS. STOPOVERS OF LONGER DURATION ARE COVERED BY SECTION 6.2B AND THE RATE APPLICABLE TO, AND AUTHORIZED FOR, THE STOPOVER POINT APPLIES IN SUCH CASE FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE QUARTER FOLLOWING ARRIVAL AT THE STOPOVER POINT. THEREFORE, YOUR SECOND QUESTION IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE AND MR. SOOY MAY BE PAID PER DIEM AT THE RATE APPLICABLE TO ZURICH FOR THE FOURTH QUARTER DAY OF OCTOBER 31.

THE THIRD QUESTION YOU PRESENT IS:

IT IS TO BE NOTED THAT ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES ARE SHOWN ON THE BASIS OF LOCAL STANDARD TIME AND ARE USED TO DETERMINE THE QUARTER-DAY DEFINED IN SECTION 6.9, SGTR, WHILE ACTUAL ELAPSED TIME HAS BEEN USED TO DETERMINE THE LENGTH OF TIME INVOLVED IN TRAVEL BETWEEN POINTS FOR PURPOSES OF SECTION 6.2C. IS THIS METHOD PROPER UNDER THE REGULATIONS?

YOUR QUESTION IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE. THE ELAPSED TRAVEL TIME OF 6 HOURS IS USED IN SUBSECTION 6.2C ONLY, TO DETERMINE THE APPLICABILITY OR NONAPPLICABILITY OF THE SUBSECTION.

FOR THE REASONS STATED THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.