B-153069, JAN. 22, 1964

B-153069: Jan 22, 1964

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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 12. PORTER WAS AUTHORIZED TRAVEL TO VARIOUS FOREIGN COUNTRIES AND RETURN DURING THE PERIOD MAY 14 TO ABOUT JUNE 23. WERE AUTHORIZED FOR MR. HE WAS SCHEDULED TO LEAVE NEW YORK AT 3:35 P.M. HIS DEPARTURE WAS DELAYED. PER DIEM FOR JUNE 20 WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED AS FOLLOWS: 1ST AND 2ND QUARTERS AT MANCHESTER AND LONDON RATES OF $17. 3RD QUARTER AT INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL RATE OF $6. 4TH QUARTER AT UNITED STATES DOMESTIC RATE OF $16. THE $6 RATE ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED FOR THE THIRD QUARTER WAS DEEMED APPLICABLE SINCE AT NOON. PORTER WAS EN ROUTE FROM LONDON TO NEW YORK BY AIR. THE TOTAL ELAPSED TIME FOR TRAVEL BETWEEN THE TWO POINTS WAS MORE THAN 6 HOURS.

B-153069, JAN. 22, 1964

TO MR. M. M. JONES, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 12, 1963, TRANSMITTING A RECLAIM TRAVEL VOUCHER FOR $2.50 IN FAVOR OF HORACE G. PORTER TOGETHER WITH HIS MEMORANDUM OF NOVEMBER 14, 1963, AND REQUESTING A DECISION WHETHER SAID VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

BY TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. 836-63, DATED APRIL 12, 1963, AMENDED MAY 3, 1963, MR. PORTER WAS AUTHORIZED TRAVEL TO VARIOUS FOREIGN COUNTRIES AND RETURN DURING THE PERIOD MAY 14 TO ABOUT JUNE 23, 1963, IN CONNECTION WITH THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. THE MAXIMUM APPLICABLE PER DIEM RATES, AS PRESCRIBED BY THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET, WERE AUTHORIZED FOR MR. PORTER'S TRAVEL.

THE CLAIMANT DEPARTED MANCHESTER, ENGLAND AT 7:50 A.M. ON JUNE 20, 1963, AND ARRIVED IN LONDON AT 8:40 A.M.; DEPARTED THEREFROM AT 11 A.M. AND ARRIVED IN NEW YORK AT 2:35 P.M. HE WAS SCHEDULED TO LEAVE NEW YORK AT 3:35 P.M. BUT DUE TO ENGINE TROUBLE, HIS DEPARTURE WAS DELAYED, AND HE DID NOT ARRIVE IN WASHINGTON, D.C. UNTIL 7:50 P.M.

PER DIEM FOR JUNE 20 WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED AS FOLLOWS:

1ST AND 2ND QUARTERS AT MANCHESTER AND LONDON RATES OF $17.

3RD QUARTER AT INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL RATE OF $6.

4TH QUARTER AT UNITED STATES DOMESTIC RATE OF $16.

THE $6 RATE ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED FOR THE THIRD QUARTER WAS DEEMED APPLICABLE SINCE AT NOON, MR. PORTER WAS EN ROUTE FROM LONDON TO NEW YORK BY AIR, AND THE TOTAL ELAPSED TIME FOR TRAVEL BETWEEN THE TWO POINTS WAS MORE THAN 6 HOURS. THE CLAIMANT CONTENDS THAT THE $6 RATE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN APPLIED SINCE THE "CLOCK TIME" BETWEEN THE TWO POINTS WAS ONLY 3 HOURS AND 35 MINUTES.

SECTION 6.2C OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-7, REVISED, EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 1956, WAS AMENDED BY TRANSMITTAL MEMORANDUM NO. 10, EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 1959, TO PROVIDE A PER DIEM RATE OF $6, APPLICABLE OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, WHEN THE TRAVEL TIME BETWEEN A DUTY POINT IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND A DUTY POINT IN A LOCALITY BEYOND THE LIMITS OF THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES IS 6 HOURS OR MORE. WHERE THE TRAVEL TIME BETWEEN SUCH DUTY POINTS IS LESS THAN 6 HOURS, THE PER DIEM RATE OF THE DESTINATION DUTY POINT WOULD BE APPLIED.

THE EXPRESS LANGUAGE "6 HOURS OR MORE" MUST BE READ AND APPLIED IN LIGHT OF THE BASIC PURPOSE FOR WHICH PER DIEM IS AUTHORIZED IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE. SPECIFICALLY, THE PURPOSE OF SECTION 6.2C IS TO PROVIDE A PER DIEM RATE COMMENSURATE WITH A TRAVELER'S SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHEN HE IS INVOLVED IN TRAVEL OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. WHEN SUCH TRAVEL IS PERFORMED BY AIRPLANE, TRAIN OR BOAT, THE TRAVELER NORMALLY INCURS NO EXPENSE FOR SHELTER AND IN THE CASE OF AIRPLANE OR BOAT, NO EXPENSE FOR FOOD. CONSEQUENTLY, WHEN TRAVEL IS PERFORMED BY ONE OF THOSE MODES AND BETWEEN DUTY POINTS AS DESCRIBED ABOVE, THE APPLICATION OF A REDUCED PER DIEM RATE IS DEEMED JUSTIFIED WHERE THE TRAVEL TIME BETWEEN SUCH POINTS IS 6 HOURS OR MORE. FOR SHORTER PERIODS THERE WOULD BE NO APPRECIABLE REDUCTION IN SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED BY A TRAVELER.

TO ALLOW A TRAVELER THE HIGHER RATE OF THE DESTINATION DUTY POINT WHEN HE ACTUALLY IS INVOLVED IN TRAVEL OF 6 HOURS OR MORE (ELAPSED TIME) BY AIRPLANE, TRAIN OR BOAT, MERELY BECAUSE THE INTERPLAY OF DIFFERENT TIME ZONES HAS RESULTED IN A "CLOCK TIME" FOR THE TRIP OF LESS THAN 6 HOURS, WOULD ONLY DEFEAT THE PURPOSE OF SECTION 6.2C. THEREFORE, OUR DECISION OF APRIL 26, 1960, B-142491, 39 COMP. GEN. 728, IS FOUND TO BE CORRECT, AND THE AMOUNT SAID TO HAVE BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY ALLOWED IN ACCORDANCE THEREWITH IS ALL TO WHICH MR. PORTER IS ENTITLED.

THE VOUCHER TRANSMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER IS RETURNED HEREWITH BUT MAY NOT PROPERLY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.