B-154646, JUL. 23, 1964

B-154646: Jul 23, 1964

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

WHO ARE EMPLOYEES OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE AND ARE STATIONED IN NEW YORK AND BROOKLYN. THE ESSENTIAL FACTS ARE SET FORTH IN THE LETTER AS FOLLOWS: "PURSUANT TO OFFICIAL DIRECTION TO TRAVEL ON GOVERNMENT BUSINESS. IT WAS CONSIDERED ADVISABLE FOR MESSRS. ARE ENCLOSED FOR YOUR INFORMATION.'. THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SECRETARY POINTS OUT THAT THE OFFICIALS WHO APPROVED THE VOUCHERS HAVE. IN VIEW THEREOF HE ASKS WHETHER THE EMPLOYEES MAY BE ALLOWED TO RETAIN THE AMOUNTS REIMBURSED TO THEM ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS OR WHETHER THEY ARE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT ON A PER DIEM BASIS. WE ARE IN AGREEMENT WITH THE APPROVING OFFICIALS THAT THE OVERNIGHT STAY IN NEW YORK CITY WAS JUSTIFIED BY THE CONDITIONS PRESCRIBED AND THAT THE TRAVELLERS ACTED IN A PRUDENT MANNER.

B-154646, JUL. 23, 1964

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY:

BY LETTER OF JUNE 29, 1964, THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SECRETARY REFERRED HERE FOR OUR DECISION A MATTER PERTAINING TO REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES TO ALFRED L. WHINSTON AND E. J. NUNEZ, JR., WHO ARE EMPLOYEES OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE AND ARE STATIONED IN NEW YORK AND BROOKLYN. MR. WHINSTON RESIDES IN WEST ORANGE, NEW JERSEY, WHILE MR. NUNEZ RESIDES IN HUNTINGTON STATION, NEW YORK.

THE ESSENTIAL FACTS ARE SET FORTH IN THE LETTER AS FOLLOWS:

"PURSUANT TO OFFICIAL DIRECTION TO TRAVEL ON GOVERNMENT BUSINESS, THESE TWO EMPLOYEES REPORTED AT THE NEWARK AIRPORT, NEW JERSEY, ON JANUARY 13, 1964, TO TAKE A FLIGHT SCHEDULED FOR DEPARTURE AT 12 O CLOCK NOON. HOWEVER, A SEVERE SNOWSTORM DISRUPTED ALL FORMS OF TRANSPORTATION, AND FORCED CANCELLATION OF THE FLIGHT. THE EMPLOYEES THEN OBTAINED PASSAGE ON A FLIGHT SCHEDULED TO LEAVE THE JOHN F. KENNEDY AIRPORT AT 7:45 A.M. THE NEXT DAY, JANUARY 14. THE STORM ALSO FORCED CANCELLATION OF THIS FLIGHT, BUT THE EMPLOYEES FINALLY LEFT FROM THE JOHN F. KENNEDY AIRPORT AT 9 P.M. ON JANUARY 14.

"IN VIEW OF THE POOR CONDITION OF GROUND TRANSPORTATION, IT WAS CONSIDERED ADVISABLE FOR MESSRS. WHINSTON AND NUNEZ TO STAY IN NEW YORK CITY OVER THE NIGHT OF JANUARY 13 TO 14, TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY COULD REACH THE AIRPORT FOR THE ANTICIPATED 7:45 A.M. FLIGHT. THEY EACH INCURRED EXPENSES OF $4.70 FOR DINNER ON JANUARY 13 AND $8.40 FOR HOTEL LODGING OVERNIGHT; IN ADDITION, MR. WHINSTON PAID ?85 FOR BREAKFAST ON JANUARY 14. MR. H. D. TAYLOR, THE REGIONAL COMMISSIONER, APPROVED THE OVERNIGHT STAY AND AUTHORIZED REIMBURSEMENT OF THE ACTUAL EXPENSES CITED ABOVE. COPIES OF THE TRAVEL VOUCHERS COVERING PAYMENT OF THESE AMOUNTS, AND AN EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM OF MAY 26, 1964, FROM THE ASSISTANT REGIONAL COMMISSIONER (ADMINISTRATION), NEW YORK REGION, ARE ENCLOSED FOR YOUR INFORMATION.'

THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SECRETARY POINTS OUT THAT THE OFFICIALS WHO APPROVED THE VOUCHERS HAVE, IN EFFECT, DETERMINED THAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES JUSTIFIED THE ADDITIONAL EXPENSES INCURRED BY THESE EMPLOYEES IN REMAINING REASONABLY NEAR THE AIRPORT IN ORDER TO TAKE THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE FLIGHT. IN VIEW THEREOF HE ASKS WHETHER THE EMPLOYEES MAY BE ALLOWED TO RETAIN THE AMOUNTS REIMBURSED TO THEM ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS OR WHETHER THEY ARE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT ON A PER DIEM BASIS.

WE ARE IN AGREEMENT WITH THE APPROVING OFFICIALS THAT THE OVERNIGHT STAY IN NEW YORK CITY WAS JUSTIFIED BY THE CONDITIONS PRESCRIBED AND THAT THE TRAVELLERS ACTED IN A PRUDENT MANNER. HOWEVER, OUR VIEW IS THAT ANY RECOUPMENT BECAUSE OF THE EXPENSES INCURRED IS REQUIRED TO BE BASED ON THE APPLICABLE PER DIEM RATE AS SET FORTH IN THE TRAVEL ORDER. 39 COMP. GEN. 875.

IN COMPUTING THE PER DIEM THERE SHOULD BE DEDUCTED THE QUARTER-DAYS, IF ANY, WHICH ELAPSED BETWEEN THE RETURN OF THE EMPLOYEES TO THEIR RESPECTIVE OFFICES FOLLOWING THE CANCELLATION OF THE FLIGHT SCHEDULED FOR THE MORNING OF JANUARY 14 AND THEIR DEPARTURE FROM THE TERMINAL TO BOARD THE FLIGHT SCHEDULED FOR 6:45 P.M. THE SAME DAY.