B-143631, AUG. 12, 1960

B-143631: Aug 12, 1960

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DONOVAN IS EMPLOYED ON A WHEN-ACTUALLY-EMPLOYED BASIS. WHICH IS APPROXIMATELY TWELVE MILES FROM THE CENTER OF MANHATTAN. IS HIS DUTY STATION. DONOVAN WAS ASSIGNED BY THE BUREAU OF INTERNATIONAL LABOR AFFAIRS. DONOVAN IS REQUIRED TO TRAVEL TO NUMEROUS TEMPORARY PLACES OF DUTY IN MANY PARTS OF THE UNITED STATES. PER DIEM WAS SUSPENDED FROM THE ORIGINAL VOUCHERS FOR THE DAYS OF FEBRUARY 22 TO 28. DONOVAN WAS IN THE METROPOLITAN AREA OF NEW YORK. WHICH PROVIDES THAT PER DIEM WILL NOT BE ALLOWED AT AN EMPLOYEE'S PERMANENT DUTY STATION OR AT HIS PLACE OF ABODE FROM WHICH HE COMMUTES DAILY TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION. LOCAL TRANSPORTATION COSTS FOR THOSE DAYS WERE SUSPENDED ON THE BASIS THAT TRANSPORTATION COSTS FROM PLACE OF RESIDENCE TO A TEMPORARY PLACE OF DUTY AND RETURN TO PLACE OF RESIDENCE THEREFROM ARE NORMALLY NOT REIMBURSABLE WITHIN A COMMUTING AREA.

B-143631, AUG. 12, 1960

TO MR. PAUL K. PASCHKE, ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER, BUREAU OF

INTERNATIONAL LABOR AFFAIRS:

ON JULY 13, 1960, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER A RECLAIM VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. JEREMIAH J. DONOVAN, FOR THE AMOUNT OF $49.85, REPRESENTING LOCAL TRANSPORTATION COSTS AND PER DIEM SUSPENDED FROM VOUCHERS COVERING THE PERIODS DECEMBER 1 TO 24, 1958, AND JANUARY 21 TO FEBRUARY 28, 1959, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

MR. DONOVAN IS EMPLOYED ON A WHEN-ACTUALLY-EMPLOYED BASIS, WITH NO REGULAR TOUR OF DUTY, AT A DAILY RATE OF $35. PALISADES PARK, NEW JERSEY, HIS HOME, WHICH IS APPROXIMATELY TWELVE MILES FROM THE CENTER OF MANHATTAN, NEW YORK, IS HIS DUTY STATION. DURING THE PERIODS IN QUESTION MR. DONOVAN WAS ASSIGNED BY THE BUREAU OF INTERNATIONAL LABOR AFFAIRS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, AS TEAM MANAGER, TO ACCOMPANY GROUPS OF FOREIGN NATIONALS DURING THEIR PROGRAM IN THE UNITED STATES. IN HIS CAPACITY AS A TEAM MANAGER, MR. DONOVAN IS REQUIRED TO TRAVEL TO NUMEROUS TEMPORARY PLACES OF DUTY IN MANY PARTS OF THE UNITED STATES, AND IN MANY INSTANCES TO VARIOUS LOCATIONS IN THE METROPOLITAN AREA OF NEW YORK.

PER DIEM WAS SUSPENDED FROM THE ORIGINAL VOUCHERS FOR THE DAYS OF FEBRUARY 22 TO 28, 1959, ON WHICH MR. DONOVAN WAS IN THE METROPOLITAN AREA OF NEW YORK, ON THE BASIS OF THE POSSIBLE APPLICATION OF SECTION 6.8 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, WHICH PROVIDES THAT PER DIEM WILL NOT BE ALLOWED AT AN EMPLOYEE'S PERMANENT DUTY STATION OR AT HIS PLACE OF ABODE FROM WHICH HE COMMUTES DAILY TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION. LOCAL TRANSPORTATION COSTS FOR THOSE DAYS WERE SUSPENDED ON THE BASIS THAT TRANSPORTATION COSTS FROM PLACE OF RESIDENCE TO A TEMPORARY PLACE OF DUTY AND RETURN TO PLACE OF RESIDENCE THEREFROM ARE NORMALLY NOT REIMBURSABLE WITHIN A COMMUTING AREA.

MR. DONOVAN STATES ON THE RECLAIM VOUCHER THAT:

"IT WAS NECESSARY AND ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT THAT I BE ON HAND, AT THE HOTEL WHERE THE TEAM RESIDED, WELL BEFORE THE HOUR OF OUR APPOINTMENTS ON PROGRAMMED DAYS, IN ORDER TO MAKE CERTAIN ALL WERE ALERTED AND THEREFORE IT WAS NECESSARY FOR ME TO HAVE BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL. AFTER THE DAY'S PROGRAM WAS COMPLETED, THE GROUP RETURNED TO THE HOTEL AND WE HAD DINNER AND DISCUSSED THEIR PROGRAMS AND PLANNED FOR THE FOLLOWING DAY. ON THOSE DAYS WHEN NO PROGRAM WAS PLANNED, I FELT IT WAS UNWISE TO RISK LEAVING THEM ON THEIR OWN IN SUCH AN INVOLVED COMMUNITY AS NEW YORK CITY. SINCE I AM A NATIVE OF NEW YORK, I WAS IN A POSITION TO PROVIDE THEM DIRECTIONS THAT AMPLY FILLED THEIR FREE TIME AND THE GROUP APPRECIATED THIS INTEREST.

"ALL OUR APPOINTMENTS WERE COVERED AS PROGRAMMED AND ON TIME. ALL TEN PARTICIPANTS WERE PRESENT ON ALL OCCASIONS. I FELT THAT THIS SUPERVISION WAS WARRANTED AND OF ADVANTAGE TO THE SUCCESS OF THE PROGRAM.'

YOU STATE THAT MR. DONOVAN WAS REQUIRED BY HIS SUPERVISORS TO BE AT THE VARIOUS LOCATIONS IN NEW YORK AT THE TIMES INDICATED, AND THAT UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES IT IS APPARENT THAT MR. DONOVAN DID INCUR EXPENSES, BOTH LOCAL TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE, BEYOND THOSE WHICH MIGHT BE NORMAL FOR AN EMPLOYEE COMPLETING OFFICIAL ASSIGNMENTS WITH A REGULAR TOUR OF DUTY AT VARIOUS TEMPORARY PLACES OF DUTY WITHIN A COMMUTING AREA.

SECTION 5 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, 60 STAT. 808, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 73B-2, PROVIDES THAT:

"PERSONS IN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE EMPLOYED INTERMITTENTLY AS CONSULTANTS OR EXPERTS AND RECEIVING COMPENSATION ON A PER DIEM WHEN ACTUALLY EMPLOYED BASIS MAY BE ALLOWED TRAVEL EXPENSES WHILE AWAY FROM THEIR HOMES OR REGULAR PLACES OF BUSINESS, INCLUDING PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE WHILE AT PLACE OF SUCH EMPLOYMENT, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, SECTIONS 73A, 821-823 AND 827-833 OF THIS TITLE * * *.'

THE SECTIONS REFERRED TO WERE REPEALED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 9, 1949, 63 STAT. 167, AND ARE NOW COVERED BY SECTIONS 835-842 OF TITLE 5.

SECTION 3 OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1940, 63 STAT. 166, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 836, PROVIDES A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE FOR CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AWAY FROM THEIR DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY IN LIEU OF ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR SUBSISTENCE AND ALL FEES AND TIPS TO PORTERS AND STEWARDS.

THE BASIS FOR PAYMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES AND FOR PROVIDING A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IS TO REIMBURSE AN EMPLOYEE FOR ADDITIONAL EXPENSES WHICH HE MAY INCUR BY REASON OF TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE TO PREVENT THE FIXING OF A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE WHICH EXCEEDS THAT REQUIRED TO MEET THE NECESSARY AUTHORIZED EXPENSES. WHEN THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE TRAVEL ARE SUCH THAT AN EMPLOYEE INCURS NO ADDITIONAL COSTS FOR SUBSISTENCE OVER AND ABOVE THOSE HE WOULD INCUR WHEN AT HIS HOME OR PLACE OF BUSINESS THERE WOULD BE NO BASIS FOR PAYMENT OF A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE. 31 COMP. GEN. 264. SIMILARLY, IF AN EMPLOYEE ORDINARILY COMMUTES FROM HIS HOME TO PERFORM BUSINESS IN THE AREA IN WHICH THE TRAVEL IS PERFORMED, THERE WOULD BE NO AUTHORITY FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COSTS OF COMMUTING. HOWEVER, THE FACT THAT THE TRAVEL IS PERFORMED AT A PLACE WITHIN COMMUTING DISTANCE AT WHICH HE ORDINARILY WOULD NOT INCUR ANY ADDITIONAL TRANSPORTATION OR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WOULD NOT PRECLUDE REIMBURSEMENT OF TRANSPORTATION COSTS OR PAYMENT OF PER DIEM WHERE ADDITIONAL COSTS FOR TRANSPORTATION OR SUBSISTENCE ARE NECESSARILY INCURRED. 28 COMP. GEN. 192.

SINCE MR. DONOVAN INCURRED SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OVER AND ABOVE THE USUAL EXPENSES WHICH WOULD BE INCURRED BY AN EMPLOYEE AT A PLACE OF DUTY WITHIN A COMMUTING AREA BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF HIS DUTIES AS A TEAM MANAGER, HE IS ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF PER DIEM FOR THE PERIOD FEBRUARY 22 TO 28, 1958. THEREFORE, THE AMOUNT REPRESENTING CORRECT PER DIEM RATE MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

MR. DONOVAN IS PRIVATELY EMPLOYED BY THE ALUMINUM COMPANY OF AMERICA AT EDGEWATER, NEW JERSEY. HE ALSO SPENDS PART OF HIS TIME AT THE C.I.O. COUNCIL IN BERGEN COUNTY, NEW JERSEY. BOTH PLACES ARE WITHIN COMMUTING DISTANCE OF HIS HOME. THEREFORE, THE COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION FROM HIS RESIDENCE TO HIS TEMPORARY PLACE OF DUTY IN NEW YORK AND RETURN MAY NOT BE ALLOWED SINCE SUCH COSTS DO NOT REPRESENT AN ADDITIONAL EXPENSE WHICH MR. DONOVAN WOULD NOT ORDINARILY INCUR IN PROCEEDING FROM HIS HOME TO HIS PLACE OF PRIVATE BUSINESS.

THE AMOUNT OF 85 CENTS REPRESENTING CAB FARE TO THE BUS TERMINAL AND BUS FARE FROM THE TERMINAL TO MR. DONOVAN'S HOME UPON HIS RETURN FROM ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND, ON FEBRUARY 21, 1959, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT SINCE MR. DONOVAN WAS IN A TRAVEL STATUS UNTIL HE REACHED HIS HOME.