B-151277, MAY 13, 1963

B-151277: May 13, 1963

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THE FACTS GIVING RISE TO YOUR SUBMISSION ARE AS FOLLOWS: MR. IS ASSIGNED TO THE EXAMINATION OF BANKING ASSOCIATIONS IN THE SECOND FARM CREDIT DISTRICT. HIS HEADQUARTERS ARE IN BALTIMORE. HE DEPARTED WASHINGTON FOR HIS NEXT ASSIGNMENT WHICH WAS IN COUDERSPORT. THE MILEAGE CLAIMED FROM MEADVILLE TO WASHINGTON WAS SUSPENDED FROM HIS DECEMBER VOUCHER BECAUSE SUCH TRAVEL WAS VIEWED AS HAVING BEEN PERFORMED FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING ANNUAL LEAVE AFTER THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS AND ONLY THE MILEAGE FROM HIS LAST DUTY POST (MEADVILLE) TO HIS NEXT DUTY POST (COUDERSPORT) COULD BE ALLOWED. IF NO HOLIDAYS WERE INVOLVED. SECTION 6.4 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS: "AT THE DISCRETION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS A TRAVELER MAY BE REQUIRED TO RETURN TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION FOR NONWORK DAYS. * * *" THE AUTHORITY GRANTED BY THE ABOVE SECTION OF THE REGULATIONS IS DISCRETIONARY AND.

B-151277, MAY 13, 1963

TO MISS LEONA M. HOLLAND, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION:

BY LETTER DATED APRIL 3, 1963, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION ON A MATTER INVOLVING THE CERTIFICATION OF A RECLAIM VOUCHER SUBMITTED BY MR. JOHN M. GODWIN.

THE FACTS GIVING RISE TO YOUR SUBMISSION ARE AS FOLLOWS: MR. GODWIN, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE EXAMINATION DIVISION OF THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION, IS ASSIGNED TO THE EXAMINATION OF BANKING ASSOCIATIONS IN THE SECOND FARM CREDIT DISTRICT. WHILE--- AS THE WORKLOAD DEMANDS- - MR. GODWIN MAY BE ASSIGNED TO ANYWHERE IN THE UNITED STATES, HIS HEADQUARTERS ARE IN BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, AND EXCEPT FOR INFREQUENT ASSIGNMENTS OF SHORT DURATION IN BALTIMORE HE PERFORMS HIS DUTIES IN THE FIELD. THE PERFORMANCE OF SUCH DUTIES INVOLVES AN ALMOST CONTINUOUS TRAVEL STATUS IN THE STATES OF PENNSYLVANIA, DELAWARE, MARYLAND, VIRGINIA AND WEST VIRGINIA. PRESUMABLY, WHEN PERFORMING DUTIES IN BALTIMORE HE COMMUTES FROM HIS RESIDENCE IN THE SUBURBS OF WASHINGTON, D.C.

MR. GODWIN COMPLETED HIS ASSIGNMENT AT MEADVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA, ON FRIDAY, DECEMBER 21, 1962. BASED ON INSTRUCTIONS FROM HIS SUPERVISOR HE RETURNED TO HIS RESIDENCE ON SATURDAY MORNING, DECEMBER 22, AND CLAIMED MILEAGE FROM MEADVILLE TO WASHINGTON. HE ENTERED AN ANNUAL LEAVE STATUS AFTER THE FOUR NONWORKDAY CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY. ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 6, 1963, HE DEPARTED WASHINGTON FOR HIS NEXT ASSIGNMENT WHICH WAS IN COUDERSPORT, PENNSYLVANIA, CLAIMING PER DIEM FOR SUNDAY, JANUARY 6, AND MILEAGE FROM MEADVILLE TO COUDERSPORT, A DISTANCE OF 160 MILES.

THE MILEAGE CLAIMED FROM MEADVILLE TO WASHINGTON WAS SUSPENDED FROM HIS DECEMBER VOUCHER BECAUSE SUCH TRAVEL WAS VIEWED AS HAVING BEEN PERFORMED FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING ANNUAL LEAVE AFTER THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS AND ONLY THE MILEAGE FROM HIS LAST DUTY POST (MEADVILLE) TO HIS NEXT DUTY POST (COUDERSPORT) COULD BE ALLOWED.

IN HIS RECLAIM VOUCHER, MR. GODWIN CLAIMS PER DIEM FOR THE TIME SPENT IN TRAVELING FROM MEADVILLE TO WASHINGTON PLUS REIMBURSEMENT FOR MILEAGE BETWEEN MEADVILLE AND WASHINGTON AND BETWEEN WASHINGTON AND COUDERSPORT LESS THE DIRECT MILEAGE BETWEEN COUDERSPORT AND MEADVILLE.

YOU ASK IF YOU MAY CERTIFY THE RECLAIM VOUCHER AS SUBMITTED AND, IF NO HOLIDAYS WERE INVOLVED, WOULD OUR DECISION BE THE SAME.

SECTION 6.4 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"AT THE DISCRETION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS A TRAVELER MAY BE REQUIRED TO RETURN TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION FOR NONWORK DAYS. * * *"

THE AUTHORITY GRANTED BY THE ABOVE SECTION OF THE REGULATIONS IS DISCRETIONARY AND, EXCEPT WHERE THE USE OF SUCH DISCRETION IS UNREASONABLE, WE WILL NOT QUESTION THE DECISIONS MADE UNDER SUCH AUTHORITY. THE FACT THAT HOLIDAYS MAY OR MAY NOT BE INVOLVED IS NOT MATERIAL. HERE THE EMPLOYEE WAS INSTRUCTED BY HIS SUPERVISOR TO RETURN TO HIS HOME (NEAR OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS) FROM A LOCATION STATED TO BE 298 MILES DISTANT. HE TRAVELED ON SATURDAY, A NONWORKDAY, LEAVING AT 7 A.M. AND ARRIVING AT 4 P.M. THEREAFTER, UPON EXPIRATION OF THE NONWORKDAYS AND AUTHORIZED ANNUAL LEAVE HE TRAVELED TO A NEW LOCATION TO RESUME HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES. UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES WE DO NOT REGARD THE ACTION OF THE SUPERVISOR IN ORDERING THE EMPLOYEE TO RETURN TO HIS HOME OR HEADQUARTERS AS UNREASONABLE. WE ASSUME THE DISTANCE AND TIME INVOLVED TO THE EMPLOYEE'S HOME IN THE SUBURBS OF WASHINGTON APPROXIMATES THE DISTANCE AND TIME THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN INVOLVED HAD THE TRAVEL BEEN TO HIS HEADQUARTERS IN BALTIMORE, MARYLAND.

THE VOUCHER, TOGETHER WITH ACCOMPANYING PAPERS, IS RETURNED HEREWITH AND MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.

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