B-151410, JUN. 13, 1963

B-151410: Jun 13, 1963

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FRIDAY WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM CHICAGO. MAXIMUM PER DIEM WAS GRANTED AND HE WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL AS A PASSENGER IN THE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL BURWELL B. COLONEL JACKSON WAS REIMBURSED BY THE GOVERNMENT ON THESE WEEKEND TRIPS AT $0.05 PER MILE. THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED ON THE BASIS OF DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY CIVILIAN PERSONNEL REGULATIONS CPR T3-7-6B (5). NO DEDUCTION WILL BE MADE FROM HIS REIMBURSEMENT BY REASON OF OTHER PASSENGERS (WHETHER OR NOT THEY ARE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES) ACCOMPANYING HIM ON THE TRIP. THE MAXIMUM REIMBURSEMENT ALLOWABLE FOR THE ROUND-TRIP TRANSPORTATION AND ACTUAL SUBSISTENCE EN ROUTE SHALL BE NECESSARY SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWABLE HAD THE TRAVELER REMAINED AT HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION.'.

B-151410, JUN. 13, 1963

TO MAJOR H. L. NEVENSEL, FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING OFFICER:

ON APRIL 24, 1963, THE CHIEF, FIELD SERVICE DIVISION, FINANCE CENTER, U.S. ARMY, FINCY FRIDAY, HUBERT A., DAC, FORWARDED HERE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 27, 1963, DSSC-CHFE, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION UPON THE PROPRIETY FOR PAYMENT OF A TRANSMITTED VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. HUBERT A. FRIDAY FOR $30.

THE INFORMATION FURNISHED SHOWS THAT MR. FRIDAY WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, TO ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, FOR APPROXIMATELY 28 DAYS TO PERFORM TEMPORARY DUTY. MAXIMUM PER DIEM WAS GRANTED AND HE WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL AS A PASSENGER IN THE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL BURWELL B. JACKSON. MR. FRIDAY RETURNED TO HIS HOME ON THREE WEEKENDS DURING THE TEMPORARY DUTY PERIOD AS A PASSENGER IN COLONEL JACKSON'S AUTOMOBILE. COLONEL JACKSON WAS REIMBURSED BY THE GOVERNMENT ON THESE WEEKEND TRIPS AT $0.05 PER MILE. FOR EACH OF THE WEEKEND TRIPS MR. FRIDAY PAID COLONEL JACKSON $10, OR $30 FOR THE THREE WEEKEND TRIPS.

THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED ON THE BASIS OF DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY CIVILIAN PERSONNEL REGULATIONS CPR T3-7-6B (5), WHICH PROVIDE AS FOLLOWS:

"REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATE CONVEYANCE MAY BE PAID ONLY ONE OF TWO OR MORE EMPLOYEES TRAVELING TOGETHER. HOWEVER, NO DEDUCTION WILL BE MADE FROM HIS REIMBURSEMENT BY REASON OF OTHER PASSENGERS (WHETHER OR NOT THEY ARE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES) ACCOMPANYING HIM ON THE TRIP, AND CONTRIBUTING IN DEFRAYING THE OPERATING EXPENSES. THE NAMES OF THE EMPLOYEES AND THE EMPLOYING ORGANIZATION SHOULD BE STATED ON THE VOUCHER.'

THE QUOTED REGULATION STEMS FROM SECTION 3.5B (2) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS BUT IT HAS NOT BEEN CONSTRUED AS PRECLUDING REIMBURSEMENT OF AUTHORIZED EXPENSES TO A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE WHEN HE TRAVELS IN A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE, CONTROLLED AND OPERATED BY A MEMBER OF THE ARMED FORCES. SEE B 121595, DECEMBER 15, 1954 (THROUGH CHIEF OF FINANCE, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY); 21 COMP. GEN. 899, DISTINGUISHES 20 COMP. GEN. 512.

SECTION 6.12E OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS READS, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * IN CASES OF VOLUNTARY RETURN OF A TRAVELER FOR NONWORK DAYS TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION OR HIS PLACE OF ABODE FROM WHICH HE COMMUTES DAILY TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION, THE MAXIMUM REIMBURSEMENT ALLOWABLE FOR THE ROUND-TRIP TRANSPORTATION AND ACTUAL SUBSISTENCE EN ROUTE SHALL BE NECESSARY SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWABLE HAD THE TRAVELER REMAINED AT HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION.'

UNDER THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION IT APPEARS THAT MR. FRIDAY WOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWED PER DIEM OF $32 HAD HE REMAINED AT HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION DURING THE TWO NONWORKDAYS OF EACH WEEKEND. THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION DID NOT REQUIRE THAT HE RETURN TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION EACH WEEKEND AS A PASSENGER OF COLONEL JACKSON. THEREFORE, HE MAY BE REGARDED AS RETURNING VOLUNTARILY WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SECTION 6.12E AND AS TAKING THE COURSE OF A PRUDENT PERSON WITHIN THE INTENT OF SECTION 1.1 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. CONSEQUENTLY, HE MAY BE ALLOWED $10 FOR EACH TRIP USING HIS ACTUAL EXPENSE AS A MEASURE OF HIS TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES. HE DOES NOT CLAIM SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE EN ROUTE.