B-149616, SEPTEMBER 11, 1962, 42 COMP. GEN. 163

B-149616: Sep 11, 1962

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

IS SILENT ABOUT RETURNING AN EMPLOYEE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION HE LEFT WHEN INCAPACITATED FOR DUTY. THERE IS NO BASIS TO REQUIRE THE EMPLOYEE TO PLACE HIMSELF BACK AT THE POINT OF INTERRUPTED TEMPORARY DUTY AT HIS OWN EXPENSE. AS IT IS IMMATERIAL WHETHER ANOTHER EMPLOYEE OR THE SAME EMPLOYEE COMPLETES THE TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS. YOU SAY HIS ILLNESS WAS SUCH THAT HIS OWN DOCTOR WAS FAMILIAR WITH HIS CASE SO HE RETURNED TO HIS HEADQUARTERS RATHER THAN REMAIN AT THE POINT OF TEMPORARY DUTY FOR THE PERIOD OF HIS INCAPACITY. THE RECORD SHOWS THE TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR SUCH RETURN WERE APPROVED AND ALLOWED ADMINISTRATIVELY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 6.5B.

B-149616, SEPTEMBER 11, 1962, 42 COMP. GEN. 163

TRAVEL EXPENSES - TEMPORARY DUTY - ASSIGNMENT INTERRUPTED - RETURN EXPENSE ALTHOUGH SECTION 6.5B, STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, IS SILENT ABOUT RETURNING AN EMPLOYEE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION HE LEFT WHEN INCAPACITATED FOR DUTY, THE FACT THAT THE REGULATION PERMITS THE ADMINISTRATIVE ALLOWANCE OF TRAVEL EXPENSES, WHEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED, FOR THE RETURN TO HEADQUARTERS OF AN EMPLOYEE INCAPACITATED BY ILLNESS OR INJURY NOT DUE TO HIS OWN MISCONDUCT, THERE IS NO BASIS TO REQUIRE THE EMPLOYEE TO PLACE HIMSELF BACK AT THE POINT OF INTERRUPTED TEMPORARY DUTY AT HIS OWN EXPENSE, AS IT IS IMMATERIAL WHETHER ANOTHER EMPLOYEE OR THE SAME EMPLOYEE COMPLETES THE TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT; THEREFORE, AN EMPLOYEE WHO HAD BEEN RETURNED TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FOR MEDICAL TREATMENT MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR THE COST OF RETURNING TO COMPLETE HIS TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT. 126546, MARCH 13, 1956, MODIFIED.

TO MISS LEONA M. HOLLAND, FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION, SEPTEMBER 11, 1962:

YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 1, 1962, SUBMITTING A RECLAIM VOUCHER FOR AN EMPLOYEE OF YOUR ADMINISTRATION IN THE AMOUNT OF $50.69 ASKS WHETHER YOU CAN CERTIFY THE VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT UNDER THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES HEREINAFTER RELATED.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS, WASHINGTON, D.C., TO ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, FOR TEMPORARY DUTY AND WHILE PERFORMING SUCH DUTY AND BEFORE COMPLETION THEREOF HE BECAME INCAPACITATED DUE TO ILLNESS. YOU SAY HIS ILLNESS WAS SUCH THAT HIS OWN DOCTOR WAS FAMILIAR WITH HIS CASE SO HE RETURNED TO HIS HEADQUARTERS RATHER THAN REMAIN AT THE POINT OF TEMPORARY DUTY FOR THE PERIOD OF HIS INCAPACITY. THE RECORD SHOWS THE TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR SUCH RETURN WERE APPROVED AND ALLOWED ADMINISTRATIVELY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 6.5B, STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. THAT SECTION READS AS FOLLOWS:

TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES TO EMPLOYEE'S DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY AND PER DIEM EN ROUTE SHALL BE ALLOWED WHENEVER THE EMPLOYEE BECOMES INCAPACITATED DUE TO ILLNESS OR INJURY, NOT DUE TO HIS OWN MISCONDUCT, WHILE EN ROUTE TO OR WHILE AT TEMPORARY DUTY STATION PRIOR TO COMPLETION OF TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT WHEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED.

WE NOTE THAT UNDER SECTION 6.5A OF SUCH REGULATIONS A TRAVELER WHO BECOMES INCAPACITATED BY ILLNESS MAY ALSO BE ALLOWED UP TO 14 DAYS OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE IF HE ELECTS TO STAY AT HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION. THE TRAVEL ORDER AUTHORIZED A PER DIEM RATE OF $15. THUS, IN THIS CASE HAD THE EMPLOYEE REMAINED AT HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION DURING THE PERIOD OF ILLNESS, 10 DAYS, HE COULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWED, UNDER SECTION 6.5A, STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, A PER DIEM OF $150.

SECTION 6.5 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WAS ISSUED PURSUANT TO PUBLIC LAW 482, APPROVED APRIL 26, 1950, 64 STAT. 89, 5 U.S.C. 836. THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THAT ACT, SENATE REPORT NO. 1364, 81ST CONGRESS, 2D SESSION, PAGES 1 AND 2, SHOWS THAT IT WAS DESIGNED TO OVERCOME HARDSHIPS TO EMPLOYEES RESULTING FROM INCAPACITATING ILLNESSES OR INJURIES WHILE ON TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENTS. PRIOR TO PUBLIC LAW 482 NO AUTHORITY EXISTED FOR ALLOWING SUCH EXPENSES. THE ENACTMENT OF PUBLIC LAW 482 OVERCAME OUR DECISIONS 27 COMP. GEN. 222 AND 23 ID. 864 CONCERNING SUCH EXPENSES.

THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER COVERS THE COST OF TRAVEL BY THE EMPLOYEE, UPON RECOVERY, FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO ST. LOUIS, FOR COMPLETION OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY. YOUR DOUBT AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING THE VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT ARISES BECAUSE THE ABOVE-QUOTED SECTION, WHICH CLEARLY PERMITS ADMINISTRATIVE ALLOWANCE OF TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR RETURN TO HEADQUARTERS UPON INCAPACITATING ILLNESS OR INJURY NOT DUE TO THE EMPLOYEE'S OWN MISCONDUCT, WHEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED, SAYS NOTHING ABOUT HIS RETURN TO THE TEMPORARY DUTY POINT, UPON RECOVERY, FOR THE COMPLETION OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT.

SINCE UNDER THE APPLICABLE LAW AND REGULATIONS AN EMPLOYEE WHO BECOMES ILL WHILE ON TEMPORARY DUTY MAY BE RETURNED TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, WE SEE NO BASIS FOR REQUIRING HIM TO PLACE HIMSELF BACK AT THE POINT OF THE INTERRUPTED TEMPORARY DUTY AT HIS OWN EXPENSE. IN OTHER WORDS, IT IS IMMATERIAL WHETHER ANOTHER EMPLOYEE OR THE SAME EMPLOYEE IS SELECTED TO COMPLETE THE TEMPORARY DUTY.

TO THE EXTENT THAT OUR DECISION B-126546, MARCH 13, 1956, IS INCONSISTENT WITH OUR CONCLUSION HEREIN IT IS HEREBY OVERRULED.

THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.