B-157431, SEP. 21, 1965

B-157431: Sep 21, 1965

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REPRESENTING MILEAGE PLUS PER DIEM AND OTHER EXPENSES WHICH HE CLAIMS TO HAVE INCURRED UNDER TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. THE VOUCHER (COPY) SHOWS THE EMPLOYEE WAS ADVANCED $350 TO BE USED TO DEFRAY HIS AUTHORIZED TRAVEL EXPENSES. HAVE BEEN NOTED BY US RELATIVE TO THE DISCUSSIONS OF THE ALTERNATIVE ITINERARY PROPOSED BY MR. HE IS NOT CLAIMING EXPENSES INCIDENT TO REPORTING TO HIS "FIRST OFFICIAL DUTY STATION" ON APRIL 19. THAT IS. CONCERNING THE EMPLOYEE'S INQUIRY AS TO WHY HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO MOVE HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND DEPENDENTS TO FORT VANNOY. IS NOT ONE OF A SHORTAGE CATEGORY DESIGNATED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION SUCH AS IS CONSIDERED TO COME WITHIN THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION BENEFITS OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 25.

B-157431, SEP. 21, 1965

TO MISS LILA D. BECK, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT:

YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 3, 1965, WITH ENCLOSURES, REFERENCE JC-AP 36 720- 141 (3.21), REQUESTS OUR DECISION AS TO THE PROPER AMOUNT YOU MAY CERTIFY ON THE TRAVEL VOUCHER SUBMITTED BY DONALD A. BUCHANNON FOR $318.25, REPRESENTING MILEAGE PLUS PER DIEM AND OTHER EXPENSES WHICH HE CLAIMS TO HAVE INCURRED UNDER TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. YC-41 DATED MARCH 30, 1965. THE VOUCHER (COPY) SHOWS THE EMPLOYEE WAS ADVANCED $350 TO BE USED TO DEFRAY HIS AUTHORIZED TRAVEL EXPENSES.

THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION DIRECTED MR. BUCHANNON TO PROCEED BY COMMON CARRIER ON OR ABOUT APRIL 4, 1965, FROM LANSING, MICHIGAN, TO THE JOB CORPS TRAINING CENTER AT TILLAMOCK, OREGON, FOR 10 DAYS "STAFF TRAINING" AND TO RETURN TO LANSING. THE CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED IN YOUR LETTER AND IN THE LETTER OF JUNE 25, 1965, FROM THE CHIEF, DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATION --- PORTLAND, HAVE BEEN NOTED BY US RELATIVE TO THE DISCUSSIONS OF THE ALTERNATIVE ITINERARY PROPOSED BY MR. BUCHANNON PRIOR TO HIS DEPARTURE FROM LANSING, IN LIEU OF THE AUTHORIZED "COMMON CARRIER" ROUND TRIP TO TILLAMOOK AND RETURN TO LANSING.

MR. BUCHANNON TRAVELED BY PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE DEPARTING FOR THAT PART OF HIS TRAVEL HE CLAIMS MILEAGE OF $174.32. FROM RENO HETRAVELED BY CASH PURCHASE OF A TICKET ($46.83) ON THE UNITED AIR LINES VIA SAN FRANCISCO TO PORTLAND, OREGON; THENCE BY GOVERNMENT VEHICLE (APPARENTLY) TO TILLAMOOK, ARRIVING THERE APRIL 5, 1965. UPON COMPLETING HIS TRAINING DUTY, HE PROCURED A UNITED AIR LINES TICKET (USING A GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST, $29.45 VALUE) FROM PORTLAND DIRECT TO RENO, ARRIVING THERE ON APRIL 16. BASED ON HIS ACTUAL TRAVEL AND TRAINING TIME HE CLAIMS PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FROM 7 A.M., APRIL 1, TO 4:07 P.M., APRIL 16, AT THE RATES (MINUS THE DEDUCTIONS) SPECIFIED IN THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION. ON THE VOUCHER AND IN HIS LETTER OF JUNE 22, 1965, MR. BUCHANNON EXPLAINS WHY HE USED SUCH MODES OF TRAVEL AND WHY HE DID NOT RETURN TO LANSING.

AS YOU INDICATE, HE IS NOT CLAIMING EXPENSES INCIDENT TO REPORTING TO HIS "FIRST OFFICIAL DUTY STATION" ON APRIL 19, 1965, AT FORT VANNOY JOB CORPS CONSERVATION CENTER, GRANTS PASS, OREGON, THAT IS, FROM RENO, NEVADA. CONCERNING THE EMPLOYEE'S INQUIRY AS TO WHY HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO MOVE HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND DEPENDENTS TO FORT VANNOY, GRANTS PASS, OREGON, WE POINT OUT THAT HIS POSITION DESCRIBED ON THE STANDARD FORM 50 DATED APRIL 1, 1965, AS COUNSELOR, OCCUPATION CODE GS 0187, GRADE 9, IS NOT ONE OF A SHORTAGE CATEGORY DESIGNATED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION SUCH AS IS CONSIDERED TO COME WITHIN THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION BENEFITS OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 25, 1958, 72 STAT. 843, 5 U.S.C. 73B-3/B), UNDER WHICH SUCH EXPENSES MAY BE CHARGED TO THE GOVERNMENT.

WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE SPECIFIC DATE, ON WHICH MR. BUCHANNON WOULD BE SCHEDULED TO REPORT FOR DUTY AT THE FORT VANNOY CENTER, WAS NOT KNOWN WHEN HE DEPARTED LANSING AND WAS NOT DETERMINED UNTIL AFTER HE ARRIVED AT TILLAMOOK; BUT IT WAS INFORMALLY KNOWN AT LEAST BEFORE HE DEPARTED TILLAMOOK ON APRIL 16. HENCE, ON THAT DATE ANY PRIOR OFFICIAL BASIS--- OR ANY APPARENT PERSONAL REASON--- CEASED TO EXIST FOR HIS RETURN TO LANSING. THEREFORE, IN OUR VIEW, THE SUGGESTED CONSTRUCTIVE COST FROM PORTLAND TO LANSING AND RETURN TO LANSING IS INAPPLICABLE. HOWEVER, AS MR. BUCHANNON'S DEPENDENTS THEN WERE TEMPORARILY RESIDING IN RENO AWAITING HIS RETURN THERETO AND AS UNDOUBTEDLY HE WOULD HAVE CARRIED HIS FAMILY WITH HIM TO THE TRAINING SITE OR LEFT THEM AT GRANTS PASS, OREGON, IFHE HAD BEEN PROPERLY ADVISED IN REGARD TO THE REQUIREMENT FOR REPORTING TO HIS FIRST PERMANENT DUTY AT HIS OWN EXPENSE (30 COMP. GEN. 373), WE WILL INTERPOSE NO OBJECTION IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE TO THE ALLOWANCE OF TRAVEL EXPENSES FROM LANSING TO TILLAMOOK AND THENCE TO RENO.

WE NOTE THAT THE TOTAL COST OF THE ALTERNATIVE MODES CLAIMED BY MR. BUCHANNON WOULD NOT RESULT IN A SAVING OR OTHER APPARENT ADVANTAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT WITHIN THE MEANING OF SUBSECTION 3.5B/1) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. THEREFORE, THE MILEAGE AND CASH AIR FARE, AND THE PER DIEM TOTALING $318.25 AS STATED ON THE VOUCHER MAY NOT BE APPROVED ON THE BASIS PROPOSED BY HIM. RATHER, HE MAY BE ALLOWED ONLY CONSTRUCTIVE FARES AND OTHER AMOUNTS AS FOLLOWS: ONE-WAY AIR FARE $121.90 PLUS $8 (ONE-HALF DAY'S PER DIEM AT $16) FROM LANSING TO PORTLAND, PLUS ESTIMATED TAXI COST TO LANSING AIRPORT ($3.50) AND TAXI COST FROM PORTLAND AIRPORT TO THE BUREAU'S PORTLAND STATE OFFICE ($1.50); PLUS $37.10 REPRESENTING NET PER DIEM FOR TIME AT TILLAMOOK ( 10 3/4 DAYS AT $14, OR $150.50, MINUS $118.40 FOR 32 MEALS AND 11 NIGHTS LODGING FURNISHED), PLUS $4 ( 1/4 DAY'S PER DIEM) FROM THE TIME THE TRAVELER DEPARTED TILLAMOOK TO PORTLAND AND INCLUDING THE AIR TRAVEL TIME TO RENO, OR A TOTAL OF $176. THAT AMOUNT SHOULD BE CREDITED AGAINST THE $350 ADVANCE WHICH WILL LEAVE A BALANCE OF $174 TO BE REFUNDED BY MR. BUCHANNON OR OTHERWISE TO BE ACCOUNTED FOR AS OUTSTANDING TRAVEL FUNDS.

EXCESS TRAVEL TIME AND SALARY MATTERS, SUCH AS YOU MENTION, ARE LARGELY FOR ADMINISTRATIVE CONSIDERATION. MR. BUCHANNON'S APPOINTMENT FOR TRAVEL PURPOSES BECAME EFFECTIVE ON APRIL 1, 1965, AND AS TO HIS ASSIGNED TRAINING STATUS, THAT DATE MAY BE CONSIDERED PROPER FOR PURPOSES OF BEGINNING HIS PAY. HOWEVER, CONSIDERING THAT HE WAS LED TO BELIEVE THAT HE COULD TRAVEL TO AND FROM RENO AND TILLAMOOK BY THE MODES HE PROPOSED PRIOR TO DEPARTING LANSING, WE WOULD NOT OBJECT TO A DETERMINATION BY THE APPROPRIATE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER NOT TO REQUIRE A SALARY REFUND FROM MR. BUCHANNON BECAUSE OF THE CONSTRUCTIVE EXCESS TRAVEL TIME YOU MENTION. SECTIONS 3.2, 3.3 AND 6.10 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS POINT TO SITUATIONS WHICH ARE DISTINGUISHABLE FROM THAT WHICH, BY COLOR OF AUTHORITY, AROSE INCIDENT TO MR. BUCHANNON'S TILLAMOOK TRAINING ASSIGNMENT.