B-142747, JUNE 23, 1960, 39 COMP. GEN. 875

B-142747: Jun 23, 1960

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

IF IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT AN EMPLOYEE EXERCISED SOUND JUDGMENT AND REASON IN REMAINING AT THE AIRPORT UNTIL THE ACTUAL DEPARTURE OF THE PLANE. IN THE CASE OF AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS DIRECTED TO TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS FROM HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION IN PANAMA TO BOGOTA. PROVIDED THAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES WERE SUCH AS TO WARRANT A PRUDENT TRAVELER GOING TO AND WAITING AT THE AIRPORT FOR THAT PERIOD OF TIME. IN WHICH EVENT PER DIEM SHOULD BE ALLOWED ONLY FOR THE QUARTER IN WHICH DEPARTURE WAS SCHEDULED ON MONDAY. ON MONDAY WHEN THE SCHEDULED TIME OF DEPARTURE IS 12:00 P.M. WHERE THE DEPARTURE OF AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS TRANSFERRED FROM NEW YORK TO PARIS IS DELAYED FROM :00 P.M. THE QUESTIONS PRESENTED WILL BE CONSIDERED IN THAT LIGHT.

B-142747, JUNE 23, 1960, 39 COMP. GEN. 875

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - COMPUTATION OF PER DIEM - DELAYS AT TERMINALS THE TERM "PLACE" AS USED IN THE TIME OF DEPARTURE AND ARRIVAL PROVISIONS OF SECTION 6.9C OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS CONNOTES ANY POINT AT WHICH PER DIEM COMMENCES OR CEASES OR AT WHICH A CHANGE IN THE PER DIEM RATE MAY OCCUR AND, THEREFORE, INCLUDES THE OFFICIAL STATION OR OTHER POINT AT WHICH TRAVEL BEGINS AS WELL AS A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION. ALTHOUGH THE TIME FOR THE COMMENCEMENT OF PER DIEM FOR PERIODS OF DELAY EXPERIENCED BY EMPLOYEES AT AIR TERMINALS DUE TO FLIGHT SCHEDULE CHANGES MAY NOT BE ESTABLISHED BY AN INFLEXIBLE RULE, IF IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT AN EMPLOYEE EXERCISED SOUND JUDGMENT AND REASON IN REMAINING AT THE AIRPORT UNTIL THE ACTUAL DEPARTURE OF THE PLANE, PER DIEM MAY BE ALLOWED FROM THE SCHEDULED TIME OF DEPARTURE. IN THE CASE OF AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS DIRECTED TO TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS FROM HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION IN PANAMA TO BOGOTA, COLUMBIA, AND WHO, BECAUSE OF A FLIGHT CHANGE, REMAINS AT THE AIRPORT FROM 7:20 A.M. ON MONDAY UNTIL 4:00 A.M. ON TUESDAY, THERE WOULD BE NO OBJECTION TO THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM FROM 6:00 A.M. MONDAY TO MIDNIGHT TUESDAY AT THE PANAMA RATE, PROVIDED THAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES WERE SUCH AS TO WARRANT A PRUDENT TRAVELER GOING TO AND WAITING AT THE AIRPORT FOR THAT PERIOD OF TIME; HOWEVER, IT WOULD APPEAR DOUBTFUL THAT THE WAITING PERIOD COULD BE JUSTIFIED, IN WHICH EVENT PER DIEM SHOULD BE ALLOWED ONLY FOR THE QUARTER IN WHICH DEPARTURE WAS SCHEDULED ON MONDAY, COMMENCING AGAIN WITH THE FIRST QUARTER ON TUESDAY. IN THE COMPUTATION OF PER DIEM WHEN THE ACTUAL TIME OF DEPARTURE FROM A TERMINAL PRECEDES THE SCHEDULED TIME, THE ACTUAL TIME, WITHIN REASONABLE LIMITS, MAY BE REGARDED AS THE SCHEDULED TIME FOR COMMENCEMENT OF PER DIEM; FOR EXAMPLE, AN EMPLOYEE WHO IN THE COMPUTATION OF THE APPLICABLE PER DIEM RATE ACTUALLY DEPARTS PANAMA AT 11:50 A.M. ON MONDAY WHEN THE SCHEDULED TIME OF DEPARTURE IS 12:00 P.M. ON MONDAY AND ARRIVES AT THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION IN CARACAS, VENEZUELA, AT 6:10 P.M. THE SAME DAY AND DEPARTS ON WEDNESDAY AT 6:15 A.M.--- THE SCHEDULED TIMES SHOULD BE USED AT CARACAS AND AT PANAMA. WHERE THE DEPARTURE OF AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS TRANSFERRED FROM NEW YORK TO PARIS IS DELAYED FROM :00 P.M., MARCH 6, 1960, TO 7:00 P.M., MARCH 10, DUE TO A DOCK STRIKE, NO PER DIEM SHOULD BE ALLOWED FOR THE PERIOD PRIOR TO 6:00 P.M. ON MARCH 10.

TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, JUNE 23, 1960:

ON APRIL 25, 1960, YOUR ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR ADMINISTRATION REQUESTED OUR DECISION ON SEVERAL QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE ALLOWABLE UNDER CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AS AMENDED BY BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-7. THE LETTER SPECIFICALLY REFERS TO THE AMENDMENTS CONTAINED IN TRANSMITTAL MEMORANDUM NO. 10 EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 1959. THE QUESTIONS PRESENTED WILL BE CONSIDERED IN THAT LIGHT.

QUESTION 1 IS AS FOLLOWS:

THE OPENING SENTENCE OF SECTION 6.9C PROVIDES " THE TIME OF DEPARTURE FROM, OR ARRIVAL AT, A PLACE SHALL BE REGARDED AS THE HOUR AT WHICH THE TRAIN, AIRPLANE, BOAT OR OTHER CONVEYANCE USED BY THE EMPLOYEE IS SCHEDULED TO LEAVE FROM, OR ACTUALLY ARRIVES AT, ITS TERMINAL, WHETHER LOCATED WITHIN OR BEYOND THE OFFICIAL STATION . . .' NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROHIBITION CONTAINED IN STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, SECTION 6.8 AGAINST THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM AT PERMANENT DUTY STATION, DOES THE WORD "PLACE" AS USED IN SECTION 6.9C ABOVE, IN SO FAR AS IT PERTAINS TO DEPARTURE, APPLY TO DEPARTURE FROM OFFICIAL DUTY STATION AND/OR OTHER PLACE WHERE TRAVEL COMMENCES BUT NOT TO DEPARTURE FROM TEMPORARY DUTY PLACES ENROUTE?

THE TERM "PLACE" AS USED IN SECTION 6.9C OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS INCLUDES, WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THAT SECTION, ANY POINT AT WHICH PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE COMMENCES OR CEASES OR AT WHICH A CHANGE IN PER DIEM RATE MAY OCCUR. THEREFORE, IT MAY INCLUDE OFFICIAL STATION OR OTHER POINT AT WHICH TRAVEL COMMENCES, AS WELL AS A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION. IN LIGHT OF THAT CONCLUSION THE DISCUSSIONS TRAVEL REGULATIONS IN GOING TO THE AIRPORT AND REMAINING THERE DURING THE PERIOD OF DELAY, THERE WOULD BE NO OBJECTION TO THE ALLOWANCE OF PER DIEM BEGINNING WITH THE SCHEDULED TIME OF DEPARTURE. WE ARE UNABLE FROM THE FACTS PRESENTED TO FURNISH CATEGORICAL ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS PRESENTED UNDER 2.

QUESTION 3

AN EMPLOYEE HAS ORDERS TO TRAVEL BY AIR FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION PANAMA, PANAMA, FOR TEMPORARY DUTY IN BOGOTA, COLUMBIA AND RETURN WITHIN THE SAME CALENDAR DAY TO OFFICIAL STATION. DUE TO A DELAY, THE SCHEDULED AND ACTUAL DEPARTURE AND ARRIVAL TIMES ARE AS FOLLOWS:

CHART

SCHEDULED ACTUAL LEAVE PANAMA MONDAY 7:20 A.M.---------- TUESDAY 4:00 A.M. ARRIVE BOGOTA MONDAY 1:00 P.M.---------- TUESDAY 10:20 A.M. LEAVE BOGOTA MONDAY 3:00 P.M.-- ------- TUESDAY 3:00 P.M. ARRIVE PANAMA MONDAY 9:00 P.M.---------- TUESDAY 9:00 P.M.

QUESTION. WOULD THE EMPLOYEE BE ENTITLED TO PER DIEM FROM 6:00 A.M. MONDAY TO MIDNIGHT TUESDAY AT THE PANAMA RATE?

IF THE CIRCUMSTANCES WERE SUCH AS TO WARRANT A PRUDENT TRAVELER WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SECTION 1.1, STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, IN GOING TO AND WAITING AT THE AIRPORT FROM 7:20 A.M. MONDAY UNTIL 4:00 A.M. TUESDAY, THE QUESTION IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE. HOWEVER, IT WOULD APPEAR DOUBTFUL THAT WAITING AT THE AIRPORT COULD BE JUSTIFIED AND IT MAY BE THAT PER DIEM SHOULD BE ALLOWED ONLY FOR THE QUARTER IN WHICH DEPARTURE WAS SCHEDULED ON MONDAY, COMMENCING AGAIN WITH THE FIRST QUARTER OF TUESDAY.

QUESTION 4

AN EMPLOYEE IS SCHEDULED TO LEAVE FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION PANAMA, PANAMA, FOR TEMPORARY DUTY IN CARACAS, VENEZUELA AND RETURN. THE SCHEDULED AND ACTUAL DEPARTURE AND ARRIVAL TIMES ARE AS FOLLOWS:

CHART

SCHEDULED ACTUAL LEAVE PANAMA MONDAY 12:20 P.M.-------- MONDAY 11:50 A.M. ARRIVE CARACAS MONDAY 6:10 P.M.-------- MONDAY 6:10 P.M. LEAVE CARACAS WEDNESDAY 5:45 A.M.------1WEDNESDAY 6:15 A.M. ARRIVE PANAMA WEDNESDAY 11:15 A.M.------1WEDNESDAY 12:10 P.M.

QUESTION. WHAT ARE THE MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE RATES OF PER DIEM IN THIS CASE AND HOW WOULD PER DIEM BE COMPUTED?

WHEN ACTUAL TIMES OF DEPARTURE PRECEDE THE SCHEDULED TIME, THE ACTUAL TIME, WITHIN REASONABLE LIMITS, MAY BE REGARDED AS THE SCHEDULED TIME. THUS, IN THE CASE PRESENTED THE TRAVELER MAY BE REGARDED AS DEPARTING PANAMA AT 11:50 A.M. MONDAY AND DEPARTING CARACAS AT 5:45 A.M. WEDNESDAY. THE ACTUAL ARRIVAL TIMES SHOULD BE USED AT CARACAS AND AT PANAMA AS REQUIRED BY REGULATIONS. THE APPLICABLE RATES SHOULD BE DETERMINED AND THE COMPUTATION MADE ACCORDINGLY.

QUESTION 5

AN EMPLOYEE COMMENCING TRAVEL FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNDER TRANSFER ORDERS TO PARIS, FRANCE, HAS RESERVATIONS ON THE S.S.' UNITED STATES" SCHEDULED TO SAIL AT 7:00 P.M. MARCH 6, 1960. HOWEVER, DUE TO A DOCK STRIKE HE IS UNABLE TO BOARD THE VESSEL UNTIL THE AFTERNOON OF MARCH 10, THE DAY THE VESSEL IS RESCHEDULED TO SAIL AT 7:00 P.M.

QUESTION. UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES WOULD THE EMPLOYEE BE ENTITLED TO PER DIEM AT THE $6 RATE FROM 6:00 P.M. MARCH 6 TO MIDNIGHT MARCH 10, 1960, UNLESS THE DEPARTMENT AUTHORIZED A DIFFERENT RATE OF PER DIEM UNDER STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, SECTION 6.2C (3) (B/?

SINCE NEW YORK IS SAID TO BE THE OFFICIAL STATION OF THE EMPLOYEE, WE SHOULD BE INCLINED TO RULE UNDER THE BARE FACTS PRESENTED THAT THE RESCHEDULED SAILING TIME AND DATE IS THE TIME OF DEPARTURE. IN THAT VIEW, IT FOLLOWS THAT NO PER DIEM IS ALLOWABLE FOR THE PERIOD PRIOR TO 6:00 P.M. MARCH 10, 1960.