B-144431, DEC. 13, 1960

B-144431: Dec 13, 1960

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FOR TRAVEL BY CHARTERED AIRPLANE WHEN NO SUPERVISION OF PRISONERS IS INVOLVED. IN THAT CONNECTION A VOUCHER WAS SUBMITTED PROPOSING PAYMENT OF OVERTIME TO MR. GREEN WHILE THEY WERE RETURNING FROM PORTLAND. GREEN WAS SCHEDULED TO WORK THAT DAY. REGULATIONS OF THE BUREAU OF PRISONS SPECIFY THAT TRAVEL IS CONSIDERED DUTY TIME AS LONG AS PRISONERS ARE IN CUSTODY. GOVERNMENT-OWNED VEHICLE WHICH SHOW THAT TRAVEL BY CHARTERED AIRPLANE WAS THE LEAST EXPENSIVE MEANS OF TRAVEL. PROVIDED THAT THE ROUND TRIP IS ACCOMPLISHED IN TWO DAYS. HE SAYS THAT CHARTERED PLANES HAVE BEEN USED BY THE INSTITUTION SINCE SEPTEMBER 1958. EVEN THOUGH NO ACTUAL WORK WAS PERFORMED BY THEM DURING THAT TRAVEL. BECAUSE THE CONDITIONS OF TRAVEL WERE SO UNUSUAL OR ARDUOUS AS TO MAKE SUCH TRAVEL INSEPARABLE FROM WORK.

B-144431, DEC. 13, 1960

TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL:

ON NOVEMBER 10, 1960, THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL REQUESTED OUR DECISION WHETHER OVERTIME COMPENSATION MAY BE AUTHORIZED CERTAIN EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OF PRISONS, MEDICAL CENTER FOR FEDERAL PRISONERS, SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI, FOR TRAVEL BY CHARTERED AIRPLANE WHEN NO SUPERVISION OF PRISONERS IS INVOLVED. IN THAT CONNECTION A VOUCHER WAS SUBMITTED PROPOSING PAYMENT OF OVERTIME TO MR. MARVIN GENTRY AND MR. KENNETH L. GREEN WHILE THEY WERE RETURNING FROM PORTLAND, OREGON, TO SPRINGFIELD AFTER ESCORTING A PRISONER TO PORTLAND.

MR. GENTRY AND MR. GREEN LEFT SPRINGFIELD WITH THE PRISONER BY CHARTERED AIRPLANE AT 5:30 A.M., AUGUST 25, 1960--- HAVING ASSUMED CUSTODY OF THE PRISONER AT THE INSTITUTION AT 4:30 A.M. THEY ARRIVED IN PORTLAND AT 10:00 P.M. THAT DAY AND DISCHARGED THE PRISONER TO THE LOCAL COUNTY SHERIFF. ENABLE RELEASE OF THE CHARTERED AIRPLANE ON THE 26TH OF AUGUST THEY DEPARTED PORTLAND AT 5:30 A.M. ON THAT DAY, ARRIVING AT THE MEDICAL CENTER IN SPRINGFIELD AT 8:00 P.M. MR. GENTRY'S SCHEDULED DAY OFF FELL ON THE 26TH ALTHOUGH MR. GREEN WAS SCHEDULED TO WORK THAT DAY. REGULATIONS OF THE BUREAU OF PRISONS SPECIFY THAT TRAVEL IS CONSIDERED DUTY TIME AS LONG AS PRISONERS ARE IN CUSTODY; THEREFORE PAYMENT HAS BEEN MADE FOR ALL OVERTIME ON AUGUST 25.

THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL SUBMITTED COMPUTATIONS OF THE COMPARATIVE COST OF THAT TRAVEL BY CHARTERED AIRPLANE, TRAIN, AND GOVERNMENT-OWNED VEHICLE WHICH SHOW THAT TRAVEL BY CHARTERED AIRPLANE WAS THE LEAST EXPENSIVE MEANS OF TRAVEL, PROVIDED THAT THE ROUND TRIP IS ACCOMPLISHED IN TWO DAYS. HE SAYS THAT CHARTERED PLANES HAVE BEEN USED BY THE INSTITUTION SINCE SEPTEMBER 1958, BECAUSE OF THE FINANCIAL SAVINGS AND THE MORE EXPEDITIOUS HANDLING OF THE WORK. HE CONTENDS THAT THE EMPLOYEES CONCERNED SHOULD BE ALLOWED OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR THE HOURS OUTSIDE THEIR REGULARLY SCHEDULED HOURS OF DUTY WHEN RETURNING FROM ESCORTING THE PRISONER, EVEN THOUGH NO ACTUAL WORK WAS PERFORMED BY THEM DURING THAT TRAVEL, BECAUSE THE CONDITIONS OF TRAVEL WERE SO UNUSUAL OR ARDUOUS AS TO MAKE SUCH TRAVEL INSEPARABLE FROM WORK.

SECTION 204 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, AS ADDED BY SECTION 205 (B) OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT AMENDMENTS OF 1954, 68 STAT. 1110, 5 U.S.C. 912B, PROVIDES:

"FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS CHAPTER, TIME SPENT IN A TRAVEL STATUS AWAY FROM THE OFFICIAL-DUTY STATION OF ANY OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE SHALL BE CONSIDERED AS HOURS OF EMPLOYMENT ONLY WHEN (1) WITHIN THE DAYS AND HOURS OF SUCH OFFICER'S OR EMPLOYEE'S REGULARLY SCHEDULED ADMINISTRATIVE WORKWEEK, INCLUDING REGULARLY SCHEDULED OVERTIME HOURS, OR (2) WHEN THE TRAVEL INVOLVES THE PERFORMANCE OF WORK WHILE TRAVELING OR IS CARRIED OUT UNDER ARDUOUS CONDITIONS.'

UNDER THAT PROVISION THE EMPLOYEES CONCERNED ARE ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION WHILE THE PRISONER WAS IN THEIR CUSTODY; HOWEVER, COMPENSATION FOR THE RETURN TRIP ON THE 26TH OF AUGUST IS DUE MR. GREEN ONLY DURING THE HOURS OF HIS REGULARLY SCHEDULED TOUR OF DUTY, AND NO COMPENSATION IS DUE MR. GENTRY FOR THAT DAY UNLESS IT CAN BE HELD THAT THE RETURN TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED UNDER ARDUOUS CONDITIONS, IN WHICH CASE THE EMPLOYEES ARE ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION, STRAIGHT TIME, OR OVERTIME AS THE CASE MAY BE FOR ALL HOURS OF RETURN TRAVEL.

IN PERFORMING TRAVEL NECESSARY TO HIS WORK A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE IS REQUIRED TO PROCEED AS EXPEDITIOUSLY AS HE WOULD IF TRAVELING ON HIS PERSONAL BUSINESS AND, EVEN THOUGH OVERTIME COMPENSATION IS NOT AUTHORIZED, HE MAY BE REQUIRED TO TRAVEL ON NONWORKDAYS OR DURING HOURS HE WOULD NOT BE ON DUTY. 31 COMP. GEN. 278.

THE EMPLOYEES HERE INVOLVED TRAVELED FOR ABOUT 16 1/2 HOURS WITH THE PRISONER ON AUGUST 25, AND AFTER A LAYOVER OF 7 1/2 HOURS THEY BEGAN THEIR RETURN TRIP WHICH TOOK ABOUT 14 HOURS. OUR VIEW IS THAT THE PERIOD OF TIME AT PORTLAND BETWEEN THE OUTGOING AND THE RETURN PORTIONS OF THE TRIP NECESSITATES CONSIDERATION OF THE TWO PORTIONS OF THE TRIP SEPARATELY FOR TRAVEL TIME COMPENSATION PURPOSES. THEREFORE, AND SINCE THE LENGTH OF THE RETURN TRIP IN ITSELF IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO JUSTIFY A HOLDING THAT THE RETURN TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED UNDER ARDUOUS CONDITIONS, OVERTIME COMPENSATION IS NOT PAYABLE FOR AUGUST 26. SEE, GENERALLY, 30 COMP. GEN. 72. CF. 33 ID. 274.