B-152646, OCT. 16, 1963

B-152646: Oct 16, 1963

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THE COSTS THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD THE TRAVELER REMAINED AT THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION ARE $36.54. YOU INFORM US THAT THE VOUCHER WAS APPROVED BY THE INSPECTOR IN CHARGE UNDER WHOSE DIRECTION THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED. INCLUDES HIS ENDORSEMENT "RETURN TO CLEVELAND ON 7/26/63 WAS AUTHORIZED BECAUSE OF FAMILY CONDITIONS WHICH ARE CONSIDERED IMPORTANT.'. YOU STATE THAT YOUR QUESTION IS WHETHER THE AUTHORIZATION BY THE INSPECTOR IN CHARGE CAN BE CONSIDERED AS COMPLYING WITH SECTION 6.4 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. OR IF THE BASIS IS LIMITED TO THE NEED FOR THE EMPLOYEE'S SERVICES AT THE OFFICIAL STATION OR SAVINGS TO THE GOVERNMENT BY THE RETURN TO THE OFFICIAL STATION.

B-152646, OCT. 16, 1963

TO MISS JULIA T. MORAN, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE:

ON OCTOBER 7, 1963, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION WHETHER A VOUCHER FOR DR. PHILIP TELISHEWSKY MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT WITHOUT REDUCTION FOR THE EXCESS IN COST INCURRED BY RETURNING TO HIS RESIDENCE FROM THE TEMPORARY DUTY POINT FOR THE WEEKEND OF JULY 27, 28, OVER THE COSTS HAD HE REMAINED AT THE TEMPORARY DUTY POINT.

THE COSTS INCURRED FOR JULY 26, 27, AND 28 AS A RESULT OF THE RETURN TO HIS RESIDENCE TOTAL $48.89. THE COSTS THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD THE TRAVELER REMAINED AT THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION ARE $36.54.

YOU INFORM US THAT THE VOUCHER WAS APPROVED BY THE INSPECTOR IN CHARGE UNDER WHOSE DIRECTION THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED, AND INCLUDES HIS ENDORSEMENT "RETURN TO CLEVELAND ON 7/26/63 WAS AUTHORIZED BECAUSE OF FAMILY CONDITIONS WHICH ARE CONSIDERED IMPORTANT.' YOU STATE THAT YOUR QUESTION IS WHETHER THE AUTHORIZATION BY THE INSPECTOR IN CHARGE CAN BE CONSIDERED AS COMPLYING WITH SECTION 6.4 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, OR WHETHER THE RETURN MUST BE CONSIDERED VOLUNTARY. YOU WISH TO KNOW WHETHER THE DISCRETION EXTENDED TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIAL DIRECTING THE TRAVEL PERMITS CONSIDERATIONS SUCH AS FAMILY CONDITIONS IN DETERMINING WHETHER TO REQUIRE (OR AUTHORIZE) THE TRAVELER TO RETURN TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION FOR NONWORKDAYS, OR IF THE BASIS IS LIMITED TO THE NEED FOR THE EMPLOYEE'S SERVICES AT THE OFFICIAL STATION OR SAVINGS TO THE GOVERNMENT BY THE RETURN TO THE OFFICIAL STATION.

YOU ALSO INFORM US THAT DR. TELISHEWSKY IS A VETERINARIAN MEAT INSPECTOR WITH HEADQUARTERS AT CLEVELAND, OHIO. THE TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT WAS NECESSARY TO RELIEVE THE VETERINARIAN MEAT INSPECTOR AT ARCHBOLD, OHIO, A SUBSTATION UNDER THE SUPERVISION AND DIRECTION OF THE INSPECTOR IN CHARGE IN CLEVELAND. THE ARCHBOLD INSPECTOR WAS ON ANNUAL LEAVE DURING THE PERIOD. DURING THE PRECEDING FISCAL YEAR DR. TELISHEWSKY SERVED 6 ONE- WEEK AND 4 TWO-WEEK RELIEF ASSIGNMENTS AT VARIOUS SUBSTATIONS TO HIS CLEVELAND HEADQUARTERS AND THE INSPECTOR IN CHARGE, THEREFORE, AUTHORIZED THE RETURN TO HEADQUARTERS FOR THE INTERVENING WEEKEND ON THE BASIS OF THE TRAVELER'S FAMILY CONSIDERATIONS.

SECTION 6.4 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT:

"* * * AT THE DISCRETION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS A TRAVELER MAY BE REQUIRED TO RETURN TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION FOR NONWORK DAYS. 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 PER DIEM EN ROUTE SHALL BE THE TRAVEL EXPENSE WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWABLE HAD THE TRAVELER REMAINED AT HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION.'

WE VIEW THE FIRST SENTENCE OF THE ABOVE REGULATION AS BEING APPLICABLE ONLY WHEN THE TRAVELER IS REQUIRED TO RETURN FOR OFFICIAL BUSINESS OR FOR REASONS OF ECONOMY. DR. TELISHEWSKY'S RETURN TO HIS HOME FOR FAMILY REASONS WAS A PERSONAL ONE. HIS RETURN MUST THEREFORE BE CONSIDERED VOLUNTARY WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE SECOND SENTENCE OF SUCH REGULATION. THE FACT THAT HE WAS AUTHORIZED TO RETURN BECAUSE OF FAMILY CONSIDERATIONS CONFERS NO RIGHT TO PAYMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES OVER AND ABOVE THAT OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED IN SECTION 6.4. THE VOUCHER, THEREFORE, MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $48.89, BUT MAY ONLY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT FOR THE EXPENSES THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD DR. TELISHEWSKY REMAINED AT HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION, OR, $36.54, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT. THE VOUCHER AND ATTACHED PAPERS ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.