B-150501, MAY 6, 1963

B-150501: May 6, 1963

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ALTHOUGH MY REGULAR POSITION WAS MOBILE SERVICES OFFICE WITH HEADQUARTERS AT WASHINGTON. I WAS DETAILED TO THE POSITION OF ACTING SENIOR FIELD SERVICES OFFICER AT CHARLESTON. THEN IT WAS DETAILED TO BE ACTING ASSOCIATE FIELD SERVICES OFFICER. I WAS ASSIGNED TO BE ACTING SENIOR FIELD SERVICES OFFICER ON DETAIL AT CHARLESTON. HAVE REMAINED IN THAT POSITION UNTIL THE PRESENT.'. IT ALSO APPEARS FROM YOUR LETTER THAT YOU WERE INFORMED BY THE REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT NOT TO MAKE CLAIM FOR PER DIEM WHILE IN CHARLESTON AND CLARKSBURG. YOU CLAIMED AND WERE PAID TRAVEL EXPENSES AND PER DIEM ONLY WHILE ON ASSIGNMENTS AWAY FROM THOSE STATIONS. UPON CLAIMING CREDIT ON YOUR INCOME TAX REPORT FOR EXPENSES AT CHARLESTON AND CLARKSBURG YOU WERE ADVISED BY THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN REIMBURSED BY THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT.

B-150501, MAY 6, 1963

TO MR. A. LEE STUTLER:

ON DECEMBER 12, 1962, AND JANUARY 14, 1963, YOU REQUESTED A REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF OCTOBER 10, 1962, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR PER DIEM INCIDENT TO YOUR SERVICE WITH THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT AT CHARLESTON AND CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA. SINCE YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 14 PRESENTED ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AS WELL AS A QUESTION RELATING TO A PERIOD SUBSEQUENT TO THAT OF YOUR ORIGINAL CLAIM WE FOUND IT NECESSARY TO OBTAIN A SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT FROM THE DEPARTMENT.

YOUR ORIGINAL CLAIM DATED NOVEMBER 6, 1961, CONTAINED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT WITH REFERENCE TO YOUR SERVICE AT CHARLESTON AND CLARKSBURG:

"DURING CALENDAR YEAR 1960 I HAD SEVERAL ASSIGNMENTS. ALTHOUGH MY REGULAR POSITION WAS MOBILE SERVICES OFFICE WITH HEADQUARTERS AT WASHINGTON, D.C., I WAS DETAILED TO THE POSITION OF ACTING SENIOR FIELD SERVICES OFFICER AT CHARLESTON, WEST VIRGINIA, EFFECTIVE MARCH 21, 1960. THEN IT WAS DETAILED TO BE ACTING ASSOCIATE FIELD SERVICES OFFICER, WITH HEADQUARTERS AT CLARKSBURG, W.VA., AND RECEIVED A REGULAR APPOINTMENT TO THAT POSITION ON SEPTEMBER 2, 1960. ON NOVEMBER 21, 1960, I WAS ASSIGNED TO BE ACTING SENIOR FIELD SERVICES OFFICER ON DETAIL AT CHARLESTON, WEST VIRGINIA, AND HAVE REMAINED IN THAT POSITION UNTIL THE PRESENT.'

IT ALSO APPEARS FROM YOUR LETTER THAT YOU WERE INFORMED BY THE REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT NOT TO MAKE CLAIM FOR PER DIEM WHILE IN CHARLESTON AND CLARKSBURG. CONSEQUENTLY, YOU CLAIMED AND WERE PAID TRAVEL EXPENSES AND PER DIEM ONLY WHILE ON ASSIGNMENTS AWAY FROM THOSE STATIONS. UPON CLAIMING CREDIT ON YOUR INCOME TAX REPORT FOR EXPENSES AT CHARLESTON AND CLARKSBURG YOU WERE ADVISED BY THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN REIMBURSED BY THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT. THEREAFTER YOU FILED CLAIM HERE FOR PER DIEM FOR SUCH SERVICES AND THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT OF OCTOBER 10, 1962, FOR THE REASON THAT CHARLESTON AND CLARKSBURG APPEARED TO BE YOUR PERMANENT DUTY STATIONS AND PER DIEM WHILE SERVING AT THOSE PLACES WAS NOT PAYABLE.

IN SUPPORT OF YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT YOU CONTEND THAT NEITHER CHARLESTON NOR CLARKSBURG WAS YOUR PERMANENT DUTY STATION PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 18, 1961, AND POINT OUT THAT YOU WERE PAID FULL PER DIEM FROM THAT DATE UNTIL NOVEMBER 24, 1962, WHEN YOUR OFFICIAL DUTY STATION WAS CHANGED TO CHARLESTON. THE PAYMENTS APPARENTLY RESULTED FROM YOUR REQUEST FOR A REAPPRAISAL OF THE MATTER FOLLOWING THE RETIREMENT OF THE OFFICER WHO HAD ADVISED YOU THAT NO PER DIEM WOULD BE PAID. HOWEVER, ON THE BASIS OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF OCTOBER 12, 1962, THE AGENCY REQUESTED REFUND OF THE AMOUNTS SO PAID.

IN ITS SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT OF APRIL 11, 1963, THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT STATES THAT THE MATTER OF PER DIEM ALLOWANCE FOR THE DUTY PERFORMED PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 18, 1961, WAS THE SUBJECT OF AN UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN YOU AND THE FORMER REGIONAL DIRECTOR, AND THAT PAYMENT THEREOF WAS NEITHER AUTHORIZED NOR APPROVED.

SUBJECT TO THE MAXIMUM RATE PRESCRIBED THEREIN SECTION 6 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PLACES THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR AUTHORIZING PER DIEM AND THE AMOUNTS THEREOF UPON THE SEPARATE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT. THEREFORE, THE MATTER OF WHETHER PER DIEM (IF ANY) WILL BE AUTHORIZED FOR A PARTICULAR TOUR OF DUTY AWAY FROM AN EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS (WITHIN THE PRESCRIBED LIMITS) IS FOR DETERMINATION BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY AND NOT THE TAXING AUTHORITIES.

FROM YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 6, 1961, AND FROM THE REPORT OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT IT IS APPARENT THAT BOTH YOU AND THE FORMER REGIONAL DIRECTOR CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD THAT NO PER DIEM WAS TO BE ALLOWED FOR DUTY PERFORMED AT CHARLESTON AND CLARKSBURG. HENCE, EVEN IF YOUR OFFICIAL STATION HAD BEEN PROPERLY DESIGNATED ELSEWHERE YOU WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO PER DIEM AT THOSE LOCATIONS BECAUSE SUCH PER DIEM WAS NOT AUTHORIZED BY THE OFFICIAL WHO HAD THE AUTHORITY TO DO SO. THEREFORE THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM MUST BE SUSTAINED.

CONCERNING PAYMENTS FOR SERVICE SUBSEQUENT TO SEPTEMBER 18, 1961, THE AGENCY HAS REPORTED THAT PER DIEM FOR SERVICE AT CHARLESTON WAS AUTHORIZED FROM THAT DATE UNTIL NOVEMBER 24, 1962, APPARENTLY UPON THE BASIS THAT YOUR OFFICIAL STATION WAS CLARKSBURG, AND THAT YOU WILL NOT BE REQUIRED TO MAKE REFUND THEREOF.