B-154533, JUL. 27, 1964

B-154533: Jul 27, 1964

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THE EMPLOYEE WAS AUTHORIZED TRAVEL FROM CHICAGO. THE EMPLOYEE WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER OR PRIVATELY-OWNED VEHICLE WITH REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE LATTER MODE LIMITED TO COST BY COMMON CARRIER. SAID TRAVEL WAS TO COMMENCE ON OR ABOUT MARCH 14. THE MAXIMUM PER DIEM RATE AUTHORIZED BY CPR T3 WAS PRESCRIBED FOR THE PERIOD OF TRAVEL EXCEPT THAT A RATE OF $9 WAS PRESCRIBED WHILE THE EMPLOYEE WAS AT FORT LEE. PRESUMABLY THE EMPLOYEE WAS TO OCCUPY GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WHILE AT FORT LEE. THE DEVIATION TO GREENVILLE WAS EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE EMPLOYEE'S PERSONAL CONVENIENCE. 158 MILES FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT AT THE RATE OF 10 CENTS PER MILE IS REQUESTED. IN YOUR LETTER YOU STATE THAT THE EMPLOYEE COULD HAVE DEPARTED CHICAGO.

B-154533, JUL. 27, 1964

TO MAJOR H. L. NEVENZEL, FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING OFFICER, DEFENSE SUBSISTENCE SUPPLY CENTER:

YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 27, 1964, REQUESTS OUR DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER TRANSMITTED THEREWITH IN FAVOR OF RUSSELL E. PALMER FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF PER DIEM AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO TRAVEL PERFORMED AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY.

BY TRAVEL ORDER DP-399, DATED MARCH 9, 1964, THE EMPLOYEE WAS AUTHORIZED TRAVEL FROM CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, TO FORT LEE, VIRGINIA, FOR THREE WEEKS OF TEMPORARY DUTY. THE EMPLOYEE WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER OR PRIVATELY-OWNED VEHICLE WITH REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE LATTER MODE LIMITED TO COST BY COMMON CARRIER. SAID TRAVEL WAS TO COMMENCE ON OR ABOUT MARCH 14, 1964. THE MAXIMUM PER DIEM RATE AUTHORIZED BY CPR T3 WAS PRESCRIBED FOR THE PERIOD OF TRAVEL EXCEPT THAT A RATE OF $9 WAS PRESCRIBED WHILE THE EMPLOYEE WAS AT FORT LEE. PRESUMABLY THE EMPLOYEE WAS TO OCCUPY GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WHILE AT FORT LEE.

THE TRAVELER STATES THAT HE DEPARTED GLENWOOD, ILLINOIS (SUBURB OF CHICAGO), HIS RESIDENCE, ON MARCH 13, 1964, AND PROCEEDED BY PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE EN ROUTE TO FORT LEE VIA GREENVILLE, TENNESSEE. THE DEVIATION TO GREENVILLE WAS EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE EMPLOYEE'S PERSONAL CONVENIENCE. WHILE EN ROUTE TO GREENVILLE, THE EMPLOYEE BECAME ILL AND UPON HIS ARRIVAL IN GREENVILLE ON MARCH 14 HE IMMEDIATELY CONTACTED A DOCTOR WHO DIAGNOSED HIS ILLNESS AS BEING THE MUMPS. THE EMPLOYEE REMAINED IN GREENVILLE UNTIL MARCH 27 ON WHICH DATE HE RETURNED BY AUTOMOBILE TO GLENWOOD, ILLINOIS. MR. PALMER STATES THAT HE DROVE A TOTAL OF 1,158 MILES FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT AT THE RATE OF 10 CENTS PER MILE IS REQUESTED, TOGETHER WITH THE APPLICABLE PER DIEM.

IN YOUR LETTER YOU STATE THAT THE EMPLOYEE COULD HAVE DEPARTED CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, BY AIR ON MARCH 15, 1964, AND ARRIVED AT FORT LEE ON THE SAME DAY IN TIME FOR REGISTRATION AS REQUIRED. IN VIEW THEREOF, YOU EXPRESS DOUBT AS TO WHETHER ANY REIMBURSEMENT IS DUE THE TRAVELER SINCE HE BECAME ILL PRIOR TO THE TIME NECESSARY TO DEPART CHICAGO BY COMMON CARRIER. THE EVENT PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED YOU INQUIRE AS TO THE PROPER RATE OF PER DIEM PAYABLE FOR THE 12 DAYS THE EMPLOYEE WAS INCAPACITATED IN GREENVILLE AND ALSO THE PROPER CONSTRUCTIVE COST BASIS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EMPLOYEE'S ROUND TRIP TRAVEL EXPENSES BETWEEN CHICAGO AND GREENVILLE.

PARAGRAPHS 6.5A AND B OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDE, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"ILLNESS OR INJURY.--- A. WHENEVER A TRAVELER TAKES LEAVE OF ABSENCE OF ANY KIND BECAUSE OF BEING INCAPACITATED DUE TO HIS ILLNESS OR INJURY, NOT DUE TO HIS OWN MISCONDUCT, THE PRESCRIBED PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE, IF ANY, SHALL BE CONTINUED FOR PERIODS NOT TO EXCEED 14 CALENDAR DAYS (INCLUDING FRACTIONAL DAYS) IN ANY ONE PERIOD OF ABSENCE * * *

"B. TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES TO EMPLOYEE'S DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY AND PER DIEM EN ROUTE SHALL BE ALLOWED WHENEVER THE EMPLOYEE BECOMES INCAPACITATED DUE TO ILLNESS OR INJURY, NOT DUE TO HIS OWN MISCONDUCT, WHILE EN ROUTE TO OR WHILE AT TEMPORARY DUTY STATION PRIOR TO COMPLETION OF TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT WHEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED.'

IN PRIOR CASES INVOLVING CIRCUMSTANCES SIMILAR TO THE PRESENT CASE, WE HAVE HELD THAT IF THE EXPENSES FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS SOUGHT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN INCURRED BUT FOR THE FACT OF THE PREMATURE TRAVEL FOR THE EMPLOYEE'S CONVENIENCE, THE EMPLOYEE IS NOT ENTITLED TO PAYMENT UNDER PARAGRAPHS 6.5A AND B QUOTED ABOVE. SEE B-109295, MAY 9, 1952, AND B- 105995, NOVEMBER 19, 1951 (COPIES ENCLOSED).

WHILE YOU HAVE STATED THAT THE EMPLOYEE COULD HAVE DEPARTED CHICAGO BY AIR ON MARCH 15 INSTEAD OF LEAVING FOR GREENVILLE ON MARCH 13 BY AUTOMOBILE, WE NEVERTHELESS ARE NOT CONVINCED THAT THE EMPLOYEE'S DEPARTURE ON MARCH 13 BY PRIVATELY-OWNED VEHICLE WAS PREMATURE.

MR. PALMER WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY-OWNED VEHICLE FROM CHICAGO TO FORT LEE, A DISTANCE OF APPROXIMATELY 725 MILES. PARAGRAPH T3.3-4B OF THE ARMY'S CIVILIAN PERSONNEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT MILEAGE AT THE RATE OF 300 MILES PER DAY WILL BE CONSIDERED REASONABLE TRAVEL TIME. SINCE THE EMPLOYEE WAS REQUIRED TO BE AT FORT LEE ON MARCH 15 IN TIME FOR REGISTRATION, IT APPEARS THAT HAD HE DEPARTED CHICAGO BY AUTOMOBILE ON MARCH 13 AND PROCEEDED DIRECTLY TO FORT LEE, RATHER THAN TRAVELING VIA GREENVILLE, TENNESSEE, THE TRAVEL TIME CONSUMED WOULD HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED REASONABLE UNDER THE DEPARTMENT'S REGULATIONS. THEREFORE, IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO SAY IN THIS CASE THAT THE EXPENSES FOR WHICH THE EMPLOYEE SEEKS REIMBURSEMENT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN INCURRED BUT FOR HIS DEPARTURE ON MARCH 13 FOR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE. ACCORDINGLY, WE HAVE NO OBJECTION TO REIMBURSING THE EMPLOYEE UNDER PARAGRAPHS 6.5A AND B OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

CONCERNING THE PROPER RATE OF PER DIEM PAYABLE FOR THE EMPLOYEE'S PERIOD OF INCAPACITY IN GREENVILLE, WE INVITE YOUR ATTENTION TO CPR T3.7-2A (1) WHICH PROVIDES THAT AN EMPLOYEE WHO BECOMES INCAPACITATED DURING TRAVEL STATUS BECAUSE OF ILLNESS IS ENTITLED TO THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE FOR WHICH HE IS OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE. WHILE TRAVELING, MR. PALMER WAS ELIGIBLE FOR THE MAXIMUM RATE OF PER DIEM AUTHORIZED BY CPR T3. THE $9 RATE OF PER DIEM WAS PRESCRIBED ONLY WHILE THE EMPLOYEE WAS AT FORT LEE, PRESUMABLY BECAUSE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE TO BE UTILIZED. ALTHOUGH CPR T3.4-5A (1) AUTHORIZES A MAXIMUM PER DIEM RATE OF $16 FOR THE PERIOD OF ACTUAL TRAVEL, IT APPEARS THAT UNDER CPR T3.4 5A (4) PAYMENT OF THE LOCALITY PER DIEM RATE ($14) WOULD BE MORE APPROPRIATE FOR THE PERIOD OF INCAPACITY IN GREENVILLE.

WITH RESPECT TO YOUR QUESTION CONCERNING THE PROPER CONSTRUCTIVE COST BASIS TO USE AS A LIMITATION ON THE AMOUNT OF MILEAGE PAYABLE, WE HAVE DETERMINED THAT THE COST OF ROUND TRIP TRAVEL BY RAIL (INCLUDING PER DIEM) FOR A DISTANCE EQUAL TO THAT ACTUALLY TRAVELED BY MR. PALMER WOULD VERY NEARLY APPROXIMATE THE MILEAGE REQUESTED BY THE EMPLOYEE. IN VIEW THEREOF, THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE PAID THE FULL AMOUNT OF MILEAGE REQUESTED.

ACTION ON THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, SHOULD BE TAKEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE.