B-156592, MAY 13, 1965

B-156592: May 13, 1965

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WHICH WAS DISALLOWED BY THE SETTLEMENT OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION OF MARCH 24. YOU ALSO CLAIM REIMBURSEMENT OF THE $5.90 YOU WERE CHARGED FOR STORAGE OF YOUR BAGGAGE IN SAN JOSE. ON JULY 15 YOU WERE UNABLE TO SECURE THROUGH RAIL RESERVATIONS TO CALIFORNIA SO THAT YOUR DEPENDENTS COULD CONTINUE THEIR TRAVEL TO YOUR HOME LEAVE DESTINATION WITHOUT DELAY BECAUSE NO SPACE WAS AVAILABLE FOR RAIL TRAVEL BETWEEN CHICAGO. NO EXTRA FARE WAS ASSESSED FOR TRAVEL VIA WASHINGTON AND YOU PAID THE ADDITIONAL COST OF THE PARLOR CAR SEATS YOU USED DURING THAT TRAVEL. RESERVATIONS WERE LATER SECURED FOR THROUGH RAIL TRAVEL OF YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY AND YOU DEPARTED WASHINGTON ON OR ABOUT JULY 21. ALTHOUGH YOU ARE AWARE THAT THE GOVERNMENT WILL NOT PAY THE COST OF YOUR DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL TO ACCOMPANY YOU ON TEMPORARY DUTY YOU INDICATE THAT SINCE THE DELAY IN THEIR TRAVEL WAS CAUSED BY THE UNAVAILABILITY OF RAIL TRANSPORTATION YOU ARE ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF THE PER DIEM AND STORAGE COSTS INVOLVED. 6 FAM 114 AND 115 IN FORCE AT THE TIME IN QUESTION PROVIDED IN PERTINENT PART: "114 PAYMENT OF OFFICIAL TRAVEL EXPENSES "A.

B-156592, MAY 13, 1965

TO MR. SIDNEY L. WOOLLONS, UNITED STATES MISSION, BERLIN:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTERS OF MARCH 24, APRIL 8 AND APRIL 9, 1965, CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE AND REIMBURSEMENT OF BAGGAGE STORAGE CHARGES INCIDENT TO YOUR TRAVEL FOR HOME LEAVE AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE FROM BERLIN, GERMANY, TO CAPITOLA, CALIFORNIA, IN JULY 1964, WHICH WAS DISALLOWED BY THE SETTLEMENT OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION OF MARCH 24, 1965.

YOUR CLAIM PER DIEM FOR YOUR WIFE AND THREE DAUGHTERS AT THE RATE OF $16 PER DAY EACH FOR 5 FULL DAYS DURING THE PERIOD JULY 15 TO 21, 1964. YOU ALSO CLAIM REIMBURSEMENT OF THE $5.90 YOU WERE CHARGED FOR STORAGE OF YOUR BAGGAGE IN SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA, FOR THE PERIOD JULY 20 TO 24.

UPON ARRIVAL IN NEW YORK, NEW YORK, ON JULY 15 YOU WERE UNABLE TO SECURE THROUGH RAIL RESERVATIONS TO CALIFORNIA SO THAT YOUR DEPENDENTS COULD CONTINUE THEIR TRAVEL TO YOUR HOME LEAVE DESTINATION WITHOUT DELAY BECAUSE NO SPACE WAS AVAILABLE FOR RAIL TRAVEL BETWEEN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, AND SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, UNTIL A LATER DATE. YOUR DEPENDENTS, THEREFORE, ACCOMPANIED YOU TO WASHINGTON, D.C., WHERE YOU PERFORMED TEMPORARY DUTY FOR CONSULTATION AT THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE. NO EXTRA FARE WAS ASSESSED FOR TRAVEL VIA WASHINGTON AND YOU PAID THE ADDITIONAL COST OF THE PARLOR CAR SEATS YOU USED DURING THAT TRAVEL. RESERVATIONS WERE LATER SECURED FOR THROUGH RAIL TRAVEL OF YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY AND YOU DEPARTED WASHINGTON ON OR ABOUT JULY 21.

ALTHOUGH YOU ARE AWARE THAT THE GOVERNMENT WILL NOT PAY THE COST OF YOUR DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL TO ACCOMPANY YOU ON TEMPORARY DUTY YOU INDICATE THAT SINCE THE DELAY IN THEIR TRAVEL WAS CAUSED BY THE UNAVAILABILITY OF RAIL TRANSPORTATION YOU ARE ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF THE PER DIEM AND STORAGE COSTS INVOLVED. 6 FAM 114 AND 115 IN FORCE AT THE TIME IN QUESTION PROVIDED IN PERTINENT PART:

"114 PAYMENT OF OFFICIAL TRAVEL EXPENSES

"A. IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF LAW AND THESE REGULATIONS, FOREIGN SERVICE EMPLOYEES AND THE MEMBERS OF THEIR FAMILY ARE ONLY ENTITLED TO ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL TRAVEL. TRAVELERS ARE EXPECTED TO MAKE A CONSCIENTIOUS EFFORT TO MINIMIZE COSTS OF OFFICIAL TRAVEL AND TO ASSUME COSTS OF A PERSONAL NATURE AND ANY ADDITIONAL EXPENSES INCURRED * * * FOR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE.

"115 RESPONSIBILITY OF TRAVELER

"THE TRAVELER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CORRECT PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL TRAVEL AND FOR THE PAYMENT OF ANY CHARGES INCURRED THROUGH FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE GOVERNING REGULATIONS, REGARDLESS OF WHO MAY HAVE ASSISTED HIM IN MAKING HIS TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS AND FOR THE VALUE OF TICKETS IN HIS POSSESSION PURCHASED WITH GOVERNMENT FUNDS OR THROUGH THE EXCHANGE OF TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS.'

6 FAM 156.3 AND 156.4 REGARDING DELAYS AND INTERRUPTIONS OF TRAVEL PROVIDED:

"156.3 DELAYS AND INTERRUPTIONS EN ROUTE

"PER DIEM SHALL BE ALLOWED WHEN INTERRUPTIONS OCCUR ON AN OFFICIAL TRIP BECAUSE OF AUTHORIZED STOPOVER, OR BECAUSE OF CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE TRAVELER.

"156.4 AWAITING TRANSPORTATION

"PER DIEM IS ALLOWED FOR ONLY SUCH PERIODS AWAITING ONWARD TRANSPORTATION AS ARE REASONABLY NECESSARY UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES. THE TRAVEL VOUCHER SHOULD CONTAIN AN EXPLANATION OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES NECESSITATING WAITING PERIOD IN EXCESS OF 12 HOURS AT TRANSFER POINTS IN THE UNITED STATES AND 24 HOURS AT TRANSFER POINTS ABROAD.'

SECTION 131.1-1 OF THAT REGULATION WARNS THAT "ARRANGEMENTS SHOULD BE MADE AT THE EARLIEST PRACTICABLE DATE AFTER THE TRAVEL IS AUTHORIZED IN ORDER TO SECURE ACCOMMODATIONS ON DESIRED SCHEDULES.'

WHEN YOU REACHED NEW YORK YOU WERE NOT ABLE TO MAKE RESERVATIONS FOR THE TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS TO CALIFORNIA BY THE ROUTE AND MODE OF TRAVEL OF YOUR CHOICE. THERE IS NO INDICATION THAT YOU ATTEMPTED TO SECURE RESERVATIONS IN ADVANCE OR THAT YOU ATTEMPTED TO SECURE TRANSPORTATION FOR YOUR DEPENDENTS BY SOME ALTERNATE ROUTE OR MODE OF TRANSPORTATION. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THE DELAY OF YOUR DEPENDENTS IN WASHINGTON WAS CAUSED BY REASONS BEYOND YOUR CONTROL OR THAT SUCH DELAY WAS REASONABLY NECESSARY IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES.

THEREFORE, YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO ADDITIONAL PER DIEM OR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE ADDITIONAL BAGGAGE STORAGE EXPENSE INCURRED INCIDENT TO YOUR DEPENDENTS' 5 DAY DELAY EN ROUTE TO CAPITOLA, CALIFORNIA. THE SETTLEMENT OF MARCH 24, 1965, IS SUSTAINED.

THE LETTER ADDRESSED TO YOU FROM THE MANAGER, TICKET SALES AND SERVICE BUREAU OF THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD DATED JANUARY 15, 1965, IS RETURNED AS REQUESTED.