B-149868, OCT. 2, 1962

B-149868: Oct 2, 1962

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WHICH WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 15. YOUR CLAIM FOR ONE-HALF DAY'S PER DIEM FOR APRIL 22 WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY ALLOWED IN PART IN THE AMOUNT OF ONE-QUARTER DAY'S PER DIEM BASED UPON A CONSTRUCTIVE DEPARTURE FROM WASHINGTON AT SIX O-CLOCK AND ARRIVAL IN NEW YORK CITY APPROXIMATELY FOUR HOURS LATER. WHICH THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE HAS REPORTED IS THE PER DIEM NORMALLY ALLOWED UNDER SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES. THEREFORE IT WAS NECESSARY TO TAKE AN EARLIER TRAIN IN ORDER TO ARRIVE IN NEW YORK IN TIME TO HAVE DINNER THERE AND RETIRE AT A REASONABLE HOUR. YOU ASK RECONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM ON THE BASIS THAT SUCH WAS REASONABLE TRAVEL UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES. THE PROVISIONS OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS CONCERNING THE INCURRENCE OF TRAVEL EXPENSES ARE NOT REGARDED BY US AS REQUIRING THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL TRAVEL BY EMPLOYEES DURING UNREASONABLE HOURS AND UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS AS TO DENY THEM REASONABLE PERIODS OF REST.

B-149868, OCT. 2, 1962

TO MR. PAUL NIEDERMAN:

YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 29, 1962, REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR $4.00 REPRESENTING ADDITIONAL PER DIEM FOR TRAVEL ON APRIL 22, 1962, FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO NEW YORK, NEW YORK, WHICH WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 15, 1962.

YOU LEFT WASHINGTON FOR NEW YORK CITY ON APRIL 22, DEPARTING ON A FOUR O- CLOCK TRAIN. ADVANCE HOTEL RESERVATIONS HAD BEEN MADE. YOUR CLAIM FOR ONE-HALF DAY'S PER DIEM FOR APRIL 22 WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY ALLOWED IN PART IN THE AMOUNT OF ONE-QUARTER DAY'S PER DIEM BASED UPON A CONSTRUCTIVE DEPARTURE FROM WASHINGTON AT SIX O-CLOCK AND ARRIVAL IN NEW YORK CITY APPROXIMATELY FOUR HOURS LATER, WHICH THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE HAS REPORTED IS THE PER DIEM NORMALLY ALLOWED UNDER SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES.

YOU SAY YOU TOOK THE TRAIN LEAVING AT FOUR O-CLOCK RATHER THAN AT SIX O- CLOCK BECAUSE YOU DID NOT WISH TO EAT DINNER ON THE TRAIN, AND THEREFORE IT WAS NECESSARY TO TAKE AN EARLIER TRAIN IN ORDER TO ARRIVE IN NEW YORK IN TIME TO HAVE DINNER THERE AND RETIRE AT A REASONABLE HOUR. YOU ASK RECONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM ON THE BASIS THAT SUCH WAS REASONABLE TRAVEL UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES.

THE PROVISIONS OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS CONCERNING THE INCURRENCE OF TRAVEL EXPENSES ARE NOT REGARDED BY US AS REQUIRING THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL TRAVEL BY EMPLOYEES DURING UNREASONABLE HOURS AND UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS AS TO DENY THEM REASONABLE PERIODS OF REST. SEE B-93158, MARCH 27, 1950. HERE, THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE HAS ADOPTED A POLICY IN REGARD TO THE ALLOWANCE OF PER DIEM FOR TRAVEL BETWEEN WASHINGTON AND NEW YORK CITY WHICH, IN ITS JUDGMENT, RESULTS IN A REASONABLE AND ADEQUATE REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES NORMALLY INCURRED DURING SUCH TRAVEL, AND, IN REGARD TO THE TIME OF DEPARTURE AND ARRIVAL, GIVES DUE REGARD TO THE CONVENIENCE OF THE TRAVELER.

THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY FOR AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM TO A TRAVELER IS THAT OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT BY WHICH HE IS EMPLOYED. WE FEEL THAT THE STANDARD ADOPTED BY YOUR AGENCY CANNOT BE SAID TO BE SO UNREASONABLE OR UNJUSTIFIED AS A MATTER OF GENERAL POLICY AS TO WARRANT THE SUBSTITUTION OF OUR JUDGMENT FOR THAT OF THE AGENCY. ALSO, SINCE YOUR DEPARTURE ON THE EARLIER TRAIN WAS BASED ON A MATTER OF PERSONAL PREFERENCE, THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF YOUR TRAVEL WERE NOT SUCH AS TO REMOVE THE TRAVEL FROM THE SCOPE OF ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY OR TO WARRANT AN EXCEPTION BEING MADE TO THAT POLICY.