B-143038, JUNE 24, 1960, 39 COMP. GEN. 880

B-143038: Jun 24, 1960

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ARE AUTHORIZED TO USE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES FROM THEIR HOMES IN WASHINGTON. - ARE NOT ENTITLED TO HAVE THEIR PER DIEM ALLOWANCE COMPUTED FROM THE TIME OF DEPARTURE FOR THE AIRPORT BUT ARE LIMITED BY SECTION 6.9C (1) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO PER DIEM FROM THE TIME THE AIRPLANE IS SCHEDULED TO DEPART. LAVALLEE AND THREE OTHER EMPLOYEES OF THE FEDERAL PRISON INDUSTRIES STAFF WERE AUTHORIZED TO ATTEND A REGIONAL CONFERENCE OF PRISON SERVICE PERSONNEL HELD AT THE FEDERAL PENAL INSTITUTION OF LOMPOC. FOR THE USE OF HIS AUTOMOBILE HE CLAIMED AND WAS PAID $7.60. IN THE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WAS TANTAMOUNT TO THEIR DEPARTURE BY THE SHUTTLE BUS. WAS SUSPENDED.

B-143038, JUNE 24, 1960, 39 COMP. GEN. 880

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - PER DIEM - HOURS OF DEPARTURE - HOME V. PLANE DEPARTURE EMPLOYEES WHO, INCIDENT TO THE COMMENCEMENT OF OFFICIAL TRAVEL, ARE AUTHORIZED TO USE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES FROM THEIR HOMES IN WASHINGTON, D.C., TO THE FRIENDSHIP INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT--- DISTANCE OF LESS THAN 50 MILES--- ARE NOT ENTITLED TO HAVE THEIR PER DIEM ALLOWANCE COMPUTED FROM THE TIME OF DEPARTURE FOR THE AIRPORT BUT ARE LIMITED BY SECTION 6.9C (1) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO PER DIEM FROM THE TIME THE AIRPLANE IS SCHEDULED TO DEPART.

TO E. L. BARTEET, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, JUNE 24, 1960:

ON MAY 20, 1960, YOU TRANSMITTED TO OUR OFFICE A RECLAIM VOUCHER, WITH ENCLOSURES, IN FAVOR OF MR. RALPH A. LAVALLEE, FOR $3, COVERING ONE FOURTH DAY'S PER DIEM ADMINISTRATIVELY DISALLOWED FOR MAY 10, 1960, AND REQUESTED OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY THE VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT MR. LAVALLEE AND THREE OTHER EMPLOYEES OF THE FEDERAL PRISON INDUSTRIES STAFF WERE AUTHORIZED TO ATTEND A REGIONAL CONFERENCE OF PRISON SERVICE PERSONNEL HELD AT THE FEDERAL PENAL INSTITUTION OF LOMPOC, CALIFORNIA. ALL FOUR EMPLOYEES TRAVELED TO THE WEST COAST TOGETHER LEAVING FRIENDSHIP AIRPORT BY JET PLANE, TOURIST CLASS, AT 12 NOON ON MAY 10, 1960. MR. LAVALLEE AND TWO OF THE OTHER EMPLOYEES RETURNED TO THE FRIENDSHIP INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AT 7:45 A.M. ON MAY 14, 1960.

TO GET TO AND FROM THE FRIENDSHIP AIRPORT MR. LAVALLEE USED HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE. BESIDES HIMSELF HE TRANSPORTED THE OTHER THREE EMPLOYEES FROM THE WASHINGTON, D.C., AREA TO THE AIRPORT. HE STORED HIS AUTOMOBILE THERE AND UPON RETURN HE TOOK THE TWO EMPLOYEES WHO RETURNED WITH HIM TO THEIR HOMES. FOR THE USE OF HIS AUTOMOBILE HE CLAIMED AND WAS PAID $7.60, 76 MILES AT $0.10 PER MILE, PRESUMABLY ON THE BASIS OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL FOR USE OF THE AUTOMOBILE AT THAT RATE.

IN ADDITION TO THE MILEAGE OF $7.60 MR. LAVALLEE ALSO CLAIMED 4 1/4- DAYS' PER DIEM. THE TWO EMPLOYEES WHO CAME BACK WITH HIM ALSO CLAIMED 4 1/4 DAYS' PER DIEM. ALL THREE COMPUTED THE PER DIEM ON THE THEORY DEPARTURE FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., ABOUT 10 A.M. ON MAY 10, 1960, IN THE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WAS TANTAMOUNT TO THEIR DEPARTURE BY THE SHUTTLE BUS--- DEPARTURE TIME 10:30 A.M.--- WHICH HAULS PASSENGERS BETWEEN WASHINGTON, D.C., AND THE FRIENDSHIP AIRPORT, A DISTANCE OF LESS THAN 50 MILES. ADMINISTRATIVELY, THE 1/4-DAY PER DIEM, 6 A.M. TO 12 NOON, MAY 10, 1960, WAS SUSPENDED.

MR. LAVALLEE FURTHER JUSTIFIES THE RECLAIM BY SHOWING THAT THE USE OF HIS AUTOMOBILE INSTEAD OF THE SHUTTLE BUS SERVICE RESULTED IN A SAVINGS TO THE GOVERNMENT. ON THE RETURN TRIP MR. LAVALLEE TRANSPORTED ONE OF THE EMPLOYEES TO HIS RESIDENCE IN BETHESDA, MARYLAND, A TOTAL OF 10 MILES MORE THAN WOULD HAVE BEEN TRAVELED HAD HE NOT TAKEN THE EMPLOYEE HOME. THE EMPLOYEE HAD USED A TAXICAB TO REACH MR. LAVALLEE'S RESIDENCE AT A COST OF $2.50 ON THE DAY OF DEPARTURE ON MAY 10, 1960. DEVIATION FROM THE DIRECT ROUTE TO AND FROM FRIENDSHIP AIRPORT WAS INSIGNIFICANT SO FAR AS IT CONCERNED TRANSPORTING THE OTHER TWO EMPLOYEES BETWEEN THEIR HOMES AND THE AIRPORT.

SECTION 6.9C OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AS AMENDED EFFECTIVE MAY 1, 1960, PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

GENERALLY FOR COMPUTING PER DIEM ALLOWANCES OFFICIAL TRAVEL BEGINS WHEN THE TRAIN, AIRPLANE, BOAT, OR OTHER CONVEYANCE IS SCHEDULED TO DEPART FROM ITS DEPOT, AIRPORT, OR DOCK AND ENDS WHEN THE TRAIN, AIRPLANE, BOAT, OR OTHER CONVEYANCE ACTUALLY ARRIVES AT ITS DEPOT, AIRPORT, OR DOCK AT THE CONCLUSION OF A TRIP. HOWEVER, THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTIONS ARE AUTHORIZED:

(1) WHEN A TRAVELER USES AN AUTOMOBILE OR OTHER NONSCHEDULED MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN HIS OFFICE, HOME, OR OTHER POINT OF DEPARTURE AND A DEPOT, AIRPORT, OR DOCK LOCATED MORE THAN FIFTY MILES DISTANT (DETERMINED BY USUALLY TRAVELED MOTOR ROUTE), OFFICIAL TRAVEL FOR COMPUTING PER DIEM ALLOWANCES BEGINS WHEN THE EMPLOYEE ACTUALLY LEAVES HIS HOME, OFFICE, OR OTHER POINT OF DEPARTURE AND ENDS WHEN HE RETURNS FROM SUCH DEPOT, AIRPORT, OR DOCK TO HIS HOME, OFFICE, OR OTHER POINT AT THE CONCLUSION OF HIS TRIP.

THE ABOVE-QUOTED REGULATION AS APPLICABLE TO THE CASE SUBMITTED LIMITS THE ALLOWABLE PER DIEM TO BEGIN AT THE TIME THE AIRPLANE IS SCHEDULED TO DEPART FROM THE FRIENDSHIP AIRPORT, SINCE THE RECORD SHOWS THAT MR. LAVALLEE DID NOT TRAVEL MORE THAN FIFTY MILES BY AUTOMOBILE FROM HIS HOME TO THE AIRPORT. THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS ARE ISSUED PURSUANT TO SECTION 7OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949, OF PUBLIC LAW 92, 63 STAT. 167, 5 U.S.C. 843, AND, THEREFORE, HAVE THE FULL FORCE AND EFFECT OF LAW. CONSEQUENTLY, OUR OFFICE HAS NO AUTHORITY TO WAIVE THESE REGULATIONS.

THEREFORE, THE VOUCHER WHICH, TOGETHER WITH ENCLOSURES, IS RETURNED MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.