B-157980, NOV. 29, 1965

B-157980: Nov 29, 1965

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WAS ASSIGNED A VEHICLE OF THE CARRYALL TYPE TO CARRY TOOLS. TANKERSLEY WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM CHEYENNE. THE PURPOSE OF THE TRAVEL WAS TO ESTABLISH. TRAVEL WAS AUTHORIZED BY GOVERNMENT-OWNED VEHICLE. OUR OFFICE HAS HELD THAT OVERTIME IS PAYABLE TO PER ANNUM EMPLOYEES FOR TRAVEL TIME WHERE THE TRAVEL INVOLVES THE ACTUAL PERFORMANCE OF WORK OR IS CARRIED OUT UNDER ARDUOUS CONDITIONS MAKING THE TRAVEL INSEPARABLE FROM WORK. THAT RULE MUST BE APPLIED EVEN THOUGH THE JOB DESCRIPTION OF THE EMPLOYEE INVOLVED REQUIRES THAT HE DRIVE A GOVERNMENT-OWNED VEHICLE IF THE DRIVING IS MERELY INCIDENT TO THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTY AT VARIOUS LOCATIONS. IN THE INSTANT CASE IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT ACTUAL WORK WAS PERFORMED WHILE TRAVELING OR THAT THE TRAVEL WAS CARRIED OUT UNDER ARDUOUS CONDITIONS.

B-157980, NOV. 29, 1965

TO MR. ERNEST W. VOGT, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, WEATHER BUREAU REGIONAL OFFICE:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 2, 1965, REFERENCE C/A-1.2, AND PRIOR CORRESPONDENCE, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF OREN A. TANKERSLEY AN EMPLOYEE OF THE WEATHER BUREAU, FOR OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR DRIVING A GOVERNMENT-OWNED VEHICLE OUTSIDE OF HIS NORMAL WORKDAY IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES SET OUT BELOW.

MR. TANKERSLEY, A FIELD AIDE, WAS ASSIGNED A VEHICLE OF THE CARRYALL TYPE TO CARRY TOOLS, SUPPLIES, TEST EQUIPMENT AND OTHER EQUIPMENT FOR USE IN REPAIR, MAINTENANCE AND INSTALLATION OF WEATHER BUREAU INSTRUMENTAL EQUIPMENT. A FIELD AIDE ORDINARILY TRAVELS IN ONE OR TWO STATES AND SERVICES THREE OR FOUR HUNDRED SUBSTATIONS. BY TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. KC-65-28, MR. TANKERSLEY WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM CHEYENNE, WYOMING, TO POINTS IN WYOMING AND ADJOINING STATES AND RETURN. THE PURPOSE OF THE TRAVEL WAS TO ESTABLISH, INSPECT, AND MAINTAIN HYDROCLIMATIC SUBSTATIONS AND TO PERFORM RELATED DUTIES. TRAVEL WAS AUTHORIZED BY GOVERNMENT-OWNED VEHICLE.

YOU EXPRESS THE VIEW THAT THE RULING THAT COMPENSATION CANNOT BE CLAIMED FOR DRIVING A GOVERNMENT VEHICLE UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES HAS LONG BEEN REGARDED AS AN INEQUITY BY THOSE CONCERNED AND BY OTHERS KNOWLEDGEABLE OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES.

OUR OFFICE HAS HELD THAT OVERTIME IS PAYABLE TO PER ANNUM EMPLOYEES FOR TRAVEL TIME WHERE THE TRAVEL INVOLVES THE ACTUAL PERFORMANCE OF WORK OR IS CARRIED OUT UNDER ARDUOUS CONDITIONS MAKING THE TRAVEL INSEPARABLE FROM WORK. SECTION 204 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, APPROVED JUNE 30, 1945, AS ADDED BY SECTION 205 (B) OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1954, 68 STAT. 1110, 5 U.S.C. 912B, RECOGNIZES THIS RESTRICTED BASIS OF PAYMENT. THAT RULE MUST BE APPLIED EVEN THOUGH THE JOB DESCRIPTION OF THE EMPLOYEE INVOLVED REQUIRES THAT HE DRIVE A GOVERNMENT-OWNED VEHICLE IF THE DRIVING IS MERELY INCIDENT TO THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTY AT VARIOUS LOCATIONS. SEE B -145587, MAY 17, 1961 (COPY ENCLOSED). IN THE INSTANT CASE IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT ACTUAL WORK WAS PERFORMED WHILE TRAVELING OR THAT THE TRAVEL WAS CARRIED OUT UNDER ARDUOUS CONDITIONS.

THEREFORE, IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THIS CASE, THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED WITH RELATED PAPERS, MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.