B-148735, MAY 15, 1962

B-148735: May 15, 1962

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CARTER WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM SANTIAGO TO GRAND JUNCTION. HIS FAMILY WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL DIRECT FROM SANTIAGO TO GRAND JUNCTION. OF HIS SECURING FIRST CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS FOR DIRECT TRAVEL INCIDENT TO HOME LEAVE TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WERE USED TO PURCHASE LESS THAN FIRST CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS FOR MR. CARTER'S CLAIM IS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF MILEAGE AND INCIDENTAL EXPENSES FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WITHIN THE UNITED STATES AND FOR PER DIEM. IS TO BE APPLIED AGAINST MR. THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS WHETHER THE TRAVEL OF MR. THE COST OF AUTHORIZED TRAVEL WAS LIMITED TO THE LOWEST FIRST CLASS RATE BY DIRECT ROUTING OVER A USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE. SO FAR AS TRAVEL EXPENSES ARE CONCERNED MR.

B-148735, MAY 15, 1962

TO AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR:

ON APRIL 20, 1962, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE TRAVEL VOUCHER WHICH YOU ENCLOSED FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF MR. WILLIAM D. CARTER, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, STATIONED IN SANTIAGO, CHILE, FOR HIS EXPENSES INCIDENT TO HOME LEAVE BETWEEN JUNE 1 AND SEPTEMBER 24, 1960.

MR. CARTER WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM SANTIAGO TO GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO, VIA WASHINGTON, D.C., AND HIS FAMILY WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL DIRECT FROM SANTIAGO TO GRAND JUNCTION. WHILE A COPY OF HIS TRAVEL ORDERS HAS NOT BEEN FURNISHED US, WE ASSUME THE ORDERS AUTHORIZED THE USE OF FIRST CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS.

THE CARTERS TRAVELED BY COMMERCIAL AIR, TOURIST CLASS, AND BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE. THEY SPENT PARTS OF THEIR HOME LEAVE IN ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, GRAND JUNCTION AND IN HANOVER, NEW HAMPSHIRE. ON AUGUST 1 THEY LEFT HANOVER AND TRAVELED BY AIR TO COPENHAGEN, DENMARK, AND OTHER PLACES IN EUROPE RETURNING TO HANOVER ON SEPTEMBER 1 TO COMPLETE THEIR HOME LEAVE. WHILE IN COPENHAGEN MR. CARTER ATTENDED AN INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC CONVENTION FOR WHICH PURPOSE HE HAD BEEN ALLOWED 30 DAYS WITHOUT CHARGE TO LEAVE ALTHOUGH HE HAD NOT BEEN AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO ATTEND THAT CONVENTION.

INSTEAD OF HIS SECURING FIRST CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS FOR DIRECT TRAVEL INCIDENT TO HOME LEAVE TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WERE USED TO PURCHASE LESS THAN FIRST CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS FOR MR. CARTER AND HIS FAMILY FOR TRAVEL FROM SANTIAGO TO MIAMI, FLORIDA, AND RETURN AND FROM MIAMI TO ATHENS, GREECE, AND RETURN VIA WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, STOCKHOLM, COPENHAGEN, VIENNA, ATHENS, ROME, PARIS, COPENHAGEN, AND NEW YORK.

MR. CARTER'S CLAIM IS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF MILEAGE AND INCIDENTAL EXPENSES FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WITHIN THE UNITED STATES AND FOR PER DIEM. ANY AMOUNT ALLOWED, UP TO $1,000, IS TO BE APPLIED AGAINST MR. CARTER'S INDEBTEDNESS FOR A TRAVEL ADVANCE.

THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS WHETHER THE TRAVEL OF MR. CARTER AND HIS FAMILY FROM HANOVER THROUGH EUROPE AND RETURN TO HANOVER MAY BE CONSIDERED CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL INCIDENT TO AUTHORIZED HOME LEAVE OR WHETHER SUCH TRAVEL MUST BE CONSIDERED A SIDE TRIP THE COSTS OF WHICH WOULD BE AT PERSONAL EXPENSE EVEN THOUGH THE TOTAL COST OF THE TRAVEL INVOLVED DOES NOT EXCEED THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF AUTHORIZED DIRECT TRAVEL.

UNDER APPLICABLE ICA (NOW AID) REGULATIONS, IN CASES OF INDIRECT TRAVEL FOR PERSONAL REASONS, THE COST OF AUTHORIZED TRAVEL WAS LIMITED TO THE LOWEST FIRST CLASS RATE BY DIRECT ROUTING OVER A USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE. ICA MANUAL ORDER NO. 560.2, III, G, 12, APRIL 25, 1957.

SO FAR AS TRAVEL EXPENSES ARE CONCERNED MR. CARTER'S TRIP TO EUROPE MUST BE CONSIDERED AS BEING FOR PERSONAL REASONS BECAUSE HE WAS NOT AUTHORIZED TO PERFORM THAT TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. FURTHERMORE, THAT TRAVEL MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF ICA MANUAL ORDER 560.2, ABOVE, BECAUSE MR. CARTER RETURNED TO HOME LEAVE AT HANOVER THE PLACE FROM WHICH HE BEGAN HIS EUROPEAN TOUR. IN THAT REGARD THE RECORD SHOWS HE WAS IN A HOME LEAVE STATUS AT HANOVER A TOTAL OF APPROXIMATELY 29 DAYS IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING AND FOLLOWING THE EUROPEAN TRIP. THE TRAVEL, THEREFORE, WAS A SIDE TRIP FOR PERSONAL REASONS WHICH CANNOT BE CONSIDERED A PART OF THE HOME LEAVE TRAVEL AND NO COST THEREOF MAY BE PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT EVEN IF THE COSTS ARE WITHIN THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF DIRECT TRAVEL.

TRAVEL COSTS PAYABLE BY THE GOVERNMENT ARE THOSE INCURRED FOR TRAVEL TO GRAND JUNCTION AND RETURN BY THE CIRCUITOUS ROUTE USED, EXCLUDING THE EUROPEAN SIDE TRIP, UNDER THE USUAL RULE AND REGULATIONS APPLICABLE TO CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL AT THE TIME. WE ARE UNABLE TO DETERMINE THE AMOUNT ALLOWABLE BECAUSE THE VOUCHER DOES NOT CONTAIN ALL THE NECESSARY INFORMATION FOR SUCH A DETERMINATION.

ACTION ON THE VOUCHER SHOULD BE TAKEN IN CONFORMITY WITH THE HOLDING HEREIN.

THE VOUCHER TOGETHER WITH THE ASSOCIATED TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS IS RETURNED.