B-150864, MARCH 28, 1963, 42 COMP. GEN. 549

B-150864: Mar 28, 1963

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UPON ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT HIS ATTENDANCE AT THE BANQUET WAS NECESSARY TO A FULL PARTICIPATION IN THE CONFERENCE. THE RECLAIM IS FOR ACTUAL EXPENSES IN LIEU OF PER DIEM. THE VOUCHER IS APPROVED ONLY BY THE CLAIMANT WHO SAYS THAT OFFICIAL BUSINESS ENDED AT MIDNIGHT ON FRIDAY. NO FACTS OR ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION TO THE CONTRARY ARE OF RECORD HERE. WAS AN OFFICIAL BUSINESS EXPENSE. MACCUTCHEON WAS AUTHORIZED BY ORDER NO. 900-B -78. REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED ON OFFICIAL TRAVEL ARE ALLOWABLE ONLY UNDER SECTION 3 OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949. REIMBURSEMENT ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS UNDER SECTION 3 OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949 IS NOT ORDINARILY APPROPRIATE FOR PAYMENT OF EXTRAORDINARY COSTS OF BANQUETS ATTENDED IN CONNECTION WITH OFFICIAL BUSINESS AS A PART OF A CONFERENCE OR MEETING.

B-150864, MARCH 28, 1963, 42 COMP. GEN. 549

MEETINGS - ACTUAL EXPENSES IN LIEU OF PER DIEM ALTHOUGH AN EMPLOYEE WHO INCIDENT TO ATTENDING A CONFERENCE ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS CLAIMS ACTUAL EXPENSES IN LIEU OF THE PER DIEM AUTHORIZED AND THE COST OF THE SOCIAL FUNCTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH THE CONFERENCE MAY NOT BE PAID ACTUAL EXPENSES IN THE ABSENCE OF THE AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL REQUIRED BY SECTION 3 OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 836, AND SECTION 6.12 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS FOR ALLOWANCE OF ACTUAL EXPENSES, HE MAY BE PAID THE EXPENSE OF A BANQUET AS A COST OF THE CONFERENCE WITH AN APPROPRIATE DEDUCTION FROM HIS PER DIEM, AS SPECIFIED IN SECTION 6.7 OF THE REGULATIONS, UPON ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT HIS ATTENDANCE AT THE BANQUET WAS NECESSARY TO A FULL PARTICIPATION IN THE CONFERENCE, THE REIMBURSEMENT ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS UNDER SECTION 3 OF THE 1949 ACT BEING INAPPROPRIATE FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE EXTRAORDINARY COSTS OF BANQUET ATTENDANCE AS A PART OF A CONFERENCE OR MEETING.

TO J. E. RITCHIE, JR., UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, MARCH 28, 1963:

YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 15, 1963, REFERENCE L6-2:423, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER A RECLAIM TRAVEL VOUCHER FOR $67.51 PAYABLE TO E. M. MACCUTCHEON, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

THE RECLAIM IS FOR ACTUAL EXPENSES IN LIEU OF PER DIEM, AND THE COST OF SOCIAL FUNCTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH A 3-DAY MEETING OF THE SOCIETY OF NAVAL ARCHITECTS AND MARINE ENGINEERS IN NEW YORK CITY, INCURRED OVER THE PERIOD THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 1962, THROUGH SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 1962. THE VOUCHER IS APPROVED ONLY BY THE CLAIMANT WHO SAYS THAT OFFICIAL BUSINESS ENDED AT MIDNIGHT ON FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, AFTER CONCLUSION OF A BANQUET WHICH COST $20. NO FACTS OR ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION TO THE CONTRARY ARE OF RECORD HERE, THUS WE FIND NO BASIS TO PERMIT A FINDING THAT THE SOCIAL FUNCTION ON SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 1962, WAS AN OFFICIAL BUSINESS EXPENSE.

THE TRAVEL PERFORMED BY MR. MACCUTCHEON WAS AUTHORIZED BY ORDER NO. 900-B -78, APPROVED NOVEMBER 26, 1962, WHICH PROVIDED ONLY FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES AND A COMMUTATED ALLOWANCE OF $16 PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE. HE HAS BEEN PAID FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ORDER.

REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED ON OFFICIAL TRAVEL ARE ALLOWABLE ONLY UNDER SECTION 3 OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 166, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 836, AND SECTION 6.12 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. BOTH THE STATUTE AND THE REGULATIONS REQUIRE THAT SUCH FORM OF REIMBURSEMENT BE SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED. HOWEVER, REIMBURSEMENT ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS UNDER SECTION 3 OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949 IS NOT ORDINARILY APPROPRIATE FOR PAYMENT OF EXTRAORDINARY COSTS OF BANQUETS ATTENDED IN CONNECTION WITH OFFICIAL BUSINESS AS A PART OF A CONFERENCE OR MEETING. THOSE COSTS MAY BE REIMBURSED AS PART OF THE COST OF THE CONFERENCE OR MEETING, WITH AN APPROPRIATE DEDUCTION BEING MADE FROM THE PER DIEM RATE AS SPECIFIED IN SECTION 6.7 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IN CASES WHERE MEALS ARE FURNISHED WITHOUT COST BY THE GOVERNMENT. B-95413, JUNE 7, 1950; B 66978, AUGUST 25, 1947.

THERE IS NOT A SUFFICIENT SHOWING IN THE PRESENT RECORD TO SUPPORT A FINDING BY US THAT ATTENDANCE AT THE BANQUET ON FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, WAS ESSENTIAL TO OFFICIAL BUSINESS. CONSEQUENTLY, PAYMENT FOR THE BANQUET AS A COST OF THE MEETING MAY NOT BE ALLOWED ON THE PRESENT RECORD. CF. B- 121334, OCTOBER 4, 1954, COPY HEREWITH. IF, HOWEVER, IT SHOULD BE ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT ATTENDANCE AT THE BANQUET WAS NECESSARY TO A FULL PARTICIPATION IN THE MEETING, WE WOULD HAVE NO OBJECTION TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE BANQUET EXPENSE AS A COST OF THE MEETING WITH AN APPROPRIATE DEDUCTION FROM PER DIEM.

THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED, MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT ON THE PRESENT RECORD IN ANY AMOUNT.