B-158442, FEB. 15, 1966

B-158442: Feb 15, 1966

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

LANDIS WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM JACKSON. SHORTLY AFTER HIS ARRIVAL IN WASHINGTON THE EMPLOYEE WAS NOTIFIED THAT HIS FATHER HAD DIED IN JACKSON. THE SUSPENDED ITEMS WERE: ONE QUARTER DAY'S PER DIEM ($2.75). THE EMPLOYEE ALSO WAS REQUIRED TO REMIT TO THE GOVERNMENT THE SUM OF $55.49. THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE IN THIS MATTER WAS CORRECT. THE COST OF RETURNING SUCH AN EMPLOYEE FROM THE PLACE HE ABANDONS HIS TRAVEL TO HIS HEADQUARTERS WILL NOT BE PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT UNLESS HE HAS SUBSTANTIALLY COMPLETED THE PURPOSE OF THE TRAVEL OR THE DUTIES HE WAS TO PERFORM ARE COMPLETED AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT. THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS TO CHARGE THE GOVERNMENT WITH THE EXPENSES RELATED TO THE EMPLOYEE'S RETURN TRAVEL TO JACKSON.

B-158442, FEB. 15, 1966

TO MR. B. R. JOHNSON, INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE:

YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 11, 1966, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE SUPPLEMENTAL TRAVEL VOUCHER TRANSMITTED THEREWITH IN FAVOR OF ROBERT J. LANDIS FOR $7.25, REPRESENTING PER DIEM AND RELATED TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED BY MR. LANDIS ON OCTOBER 10, 1965, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, U.S. TREASURY DEPARTMENT. YOU ALSO ASK WHETHER MR. LANDIS MAY BE REIMBURSED THE COST OF RETURN TRAVEL BY AIR FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES HEREINAFTER SET FORTH.

MR. LANDIS WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI, HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., FOR THE PURPOSE OF ATTENDING A WRITING INSTRUCTOR WORKSHOP TO BE HELD DURING THE PERIOD OCTOBER 11 THROUGH OCTOBER 13, 1965. THE EMPLOYEE DEPARTED BY AIR FROM JACKSON AT 8:19 A.M. ON OCTOBER 10, 1965, AND ARRIVED IN WASHINGTON AT 3:05 P.M. THE SAME DAY. SHORTLY AFTER HIS ARRIVAL IN WASHINGTON THE EMPLOYEE WAS NOTIFIED THAT HIS FATHER HAD DIED IN JACKSON. AT 5:55 P.M. ON THE SAME AFTERNOON, MR. LANDIS DEPARTED WASHINGTON BY AIR AND ARRIVED IN JACKSON AT 9:14 P.M.--- UTILIZING FOR SUCH TRAVEL THE RETURN PORTION OF THE ROUND- TRIP TICKET PURCHASED BY GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST. THE EMPLOYEE PERFORMED ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE BETWEEN HIS RESIDENCE AND THE AIRPORT IN JACKSON AND ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL BY TAXI BETWEEN HIS MOTEL AND THE AIRPORT IN WASHINGTON.

ON THE EMPLOYEE'S ORIGINAL TRAVEL VOUCHER THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE ALLOWED ALL EXPENSES INCURRED BY MR. LANDIS IN TRAVELING TO WASHINGTON BUT DISALLOWED THOSE EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO HIS RETURN TO JACKSON PRIOR TO COMPLETING HIS TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT. THE SUSPENDED ITEMS WERE: ONE QUARTER DAY'S PER DIEM ($2.75), TAXI FARE BETWEEN MOTEL AND AIRPORT IN WASHINGTON ($1.10), AND MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL BETWEEN AIRPORT AND RESIDENCE IN JACKSON ($3.40). THE EMPLOYEE ALSO WAS REQUIRED TO REMIT TO THE GOVERNMENT THE SUM OF $55.49, REPRESENTING THE COST (INCLUDING FEDERAL TAX) OF THE AIRPLANE TICKET USED BY HIM IN RETURNING TO JACKSON.

THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE IN THIS MATTER WAS CORRECT. GENERALLY, AN EMPLOYEE WHO ABANDONS OFFICIAL TRAVEL BECAUSE OF THE DEATH OR ILLNESS OF A MEMBER OF HIS FAMILY MAY BE REIMBURSED ONLY THE COST OF HIS TRAVEL TO THE POINT OF ABANDONMENT. SEE 23 COMP. GEN.237 AND B-149317, JULY 25, 1962 (COPY ENCLOSED). THE COST OF RETURNING SUCH AN EMPLOYEE FROM THE PLACE HE ABANDONS HIS TRAVEL TO HIS HEADQUARTERS WILL NOT BE PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT UNLESS HE HAS SUBSTANTIALLY COMPLETED THE PURPOSE OF THE TRAVEL OR THE DUTIES HE WAS TO PERFORM ARE COMPLETED AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT. SEE B-155977, FEBRUARY 18, 1965, AND B -144865, FEBRUARY 16, 1961 (COPIES ENCLOSED).

SINCE THE RECORD HERE INDICATES THAT THE EMPLOYEE PERFORMED NO OFFICIAL DUTIES WHILE IN WASHINGTON AND RETURNED TO JACKSON SOLELY FOR PERSONAL REASONS, THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS TO CHARGE THE GOVERNMENT WITH THE EXPENSES RELATED TO THE EMPLOYEE'S RETURN TRAVEL TO JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI. THEREFORE, THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.