B-159183, JUN. 29, 1966, 45 COMP. GEN. 840

B-159183: Jun 29, 1966

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

OR 1 HOUR IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE TIME A CARRIER IS SCHEDULED TO DEPART. WHICHEVER IS THE LESSER PER DIEM. ENTITLEMENT TO THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED BY 37 U.S.C. 404 AND IMPLEMENTING PARAGRAPH M3050 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS ACCRUING ONLY WHILE A MEMBER IS IN AN ACTUAL TRAVEL STATUS. THE INTRASTATION TRAVEL FROM HOME OR DUTY TO CARRIER TERMINAL TO COMPLETE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS IS NOT CONSIDERED TRAVEL AWAY FROM A DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYING A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE. 1966: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF MAY 3. OR 1 HOUR IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE TIME THE CARRIER USED IS SCHEDULED TO DEPART. THE REQUEST WAS ASSIGNED PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 66-19 BY THE PER DIEM.

B-159183, JUN. 29, 1966, 45 COMP. GEN. 840

SUBSISTENCE - PER DIEM - MILITARY PERSONNEL - TIME COMPLETING TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS TO COMMENCE PAYMENT OF A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE FROM THE TIME A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES DEPARTS FROM HOME OR DUTY, OR 1 HOUR IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE TIME A CARRIER IS SCHEDULED TO DEPART, WHICHEVER IS THE LESSER PER DIEM, TIME REQUIRED TO COMPLETE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS, GENERALLY AT AN AIRPORT, MAY NOT BE AUTHORIZED, ENTITLEMENT TO THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED BY 37 U.S.C. 404 AND IMPLEMENTING PARAGRAPH M3050 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS ACCRUING ONLY WHILE A MEMBER IS IN AN ACTUAL TRAVEL STATUS; THEREFORE, A MEMBER AT HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION UNTIL THE DEPARTURE OF THE CARRIER, THE INTRASTATION TRAVEL FROM HOME OR DUTY TO CARRIER TERMINAL TO COMPLETE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS IS NOT CONSIDERED TRAVEL AWAY FROM A DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYING A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE, NOTWITHSTANDING IT MAY TAKE A TRAVELER DEPARTING FROM A "LOCAL TERMINAL" LESS TIME TO COMPLETE THE REQUIRED TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS.

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY, JUNE 29, 1966:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF MAY 3, 1966, AND ENCLOSURE, FROM THE UNDER SECRETARY OF THE ARMY REQUESTING A DECISION WHETHER PARAGRAPH M4204-3 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS MAY BE REVISED TO PROVIDE FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF PER DIEM FROM THE TIME OF DEPARTURE OF A MEMBER FROM HOME OR DUTY, OR 1 HOUR IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE TIME THE CARRIER USED IS SCHEDULED TO DEPART, WHICHEVER RESULTS IN THE LESSER PER DIEM. THE REQUEST WAS ASSIGNED PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 66-19 BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE.

PARAGRAPH M4204-3 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS CURRENTLY PROVIDES IN CONNECTION WITH INTERSTATION TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER, THAT PER DIEM ALLOWANCES WILL BE BASED ON ACTUAL AND NECESSARY SCHEDULES OF THE CARRIER DEPENDING UPON WHICH MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION IS USED. UNDER SUCH PROVISIONS PER DIEM DOES NOT ACCRUE PRIOR TO SCHEDULED TIME OF DEPARTURE OF THE CARRIER FROM THE TERMINAL.

THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY SAYS THAT TO COMPLETE THE NORMALLY REQUIRED TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS PRIOR TO BOARDING THE CARRIER, A PRUDENT TRAVELER WOULD ARRIVE AT A TERMINAL SUFFICIENTLY IN ADVANCE OF THE SCHEDULED DEPARTURE TO PERMIT TICKETING, WEIGHING AND CHECKING OF BAGGAGE, PROCURING OF TRAVELER'S INSURANCE, ETC. IN THIS REGARD THE UNDER SECRETARY POINTS OUT THAT WHEN TRAVELING BY COMMERCIAL AIR, WHICH IS SAID TO BE THE PREDOMINANT MODE OF TRAVEL USED, IT IS INCUMBENT UPON THE TRAVELER TO ARRIVE AT THE TERMINAL BY THE TIME ESTABLISHED BY THE CARRIER AS THE CHECK -IN TIME. THE PROPOSED REVISION IS BASED ON THE PREMISE THAT THE TIME A PRUDENT PERSON WOULD ARRIVE AT A TERMINAL SHOULD BE THE TIME WHICH GOVERNS THE COMMENCEMENT OF ALLOWABLE PER DIEM AND IT IS URGED THAT DUE TO THE VOLUME OF TRAFFIC AT THE AIRLINE TERMINALS AND THE NECESSITY OF COMPLETING CERTAIN AIR FLIGHT TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS SHORTLY PRIOR TO DEPARTURE OF THE CARRIER, DEPARTURE FROM HOME OR DUTY STATION 1 HOUR PRIOR TO SCHEDULED DEPARTURE IS, UNDER NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES, A REASONABLE BASIS ON WHICH TO COMMENCE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM.

AS A PRECEDENT FOR FAVORABLE CONSIDERATION OF THIS PROPOSAL THE UNDER SECRETARY POINTS OUT THAT UNDER THE PRESENT PROVISIONS WHEN AIRPORT BUS OR LIMOUSINE SERVICE IS USED FROM A LOCAL TERMINAL TO AN AIRPORT LOCATED OUTSIDE THE DUTY STATION, THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IS BASED ON DEPARTURE FROM THE LOCAL TERMINAL, AND HE EXPRESSES THE VIEW THAT, WHILE THIS IS PREMISED ON TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER AWAY FROM A PERMANENT DUTY STATION SUCH TRAVEL IS COMPARABLE TO TRAVEL BY NONSCHEDULED CONVEYANCE IN THAT IT PROVIDES TIMELY ARRIVAL AT THE AIRPORT PRIOR TO BOARDING THE PLANE. IT IS CONTENDED THAT IT IS INEQUITABLE TO THE TRAVELER MAKING A TIMELY DEPARTURE BY MEANS OTHER THAN A SCHEDULED CONVEYANCE TO THE SAME AIRPORT TO COMPUTE HIS PER DIEM ON TIME OF SCHEDULED DEPARTURE FROM THE AIRPORT.

SECTION 404, TITLE 37, U.S. CODE, AUTHORIZES, UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES, THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES TO MEMBERS WHILE TRAVELING "AWAY" FROM THEIR DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY. IN LINE WITH SUCH STATUTORY AUTHORITY PARAGRAPH M3050 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT MEMBERS ARE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES, AS AUTHORIZED UNDER EXISTING REGULATIONS, ONLY FOR PERIODS WHILE ACTUALLY IN A TRAVEL STATUS, SUCH STATUS COMMENCING WITH DEPARTURE FROM THEIR PERMANENT DUTY STATION AND TERMINATING WITH RETURN TO THAT STATION. PARAGRAPH M1150-10 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS DEFINES A PERMANENT DUTY STATION AS THE POST OF DUTY TO WHICH A MEMBER IS ASSIGNED OR ATTACHED FOR DUTY OTHER THAN "TEMPORARY UTY" OR TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY, THE LIMITS OF WHICH WILL BE THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE CITY OR TOWN IN WHICH THE MEMBER IS STATIONED, BUT IF NOT STATIONED IN AN INCORPORATED CITY OR TOWN, THE OFFICIAL STATION IS THE RESERVATION, STATION, OR ESTABLISHED AREA, OR IN THE CASE OF LARGE RESERVATIONS, THE ESTABLISHED SUBDIVISION THEREOF HAVING DEFINITE BOUNDARIES WITHIN WHICH THE DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY IS LOCATED. FOR THE PURPOSES OF TRAVEL "AWAY" FROM A MEMBER'S DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY, HIS PERMANENT STATION HAS BEEN HELD TO INCLUDE THE PLACE FROM WHICH HE COMMUTES DAILY TO HIS STATION (34 COMP. GEN. 549) AS WELL AS COMMON CARRIER TERMINALS OUTSIDE THE DEFINITE BOUNDARIES OF HIS DUTY STATION BUT SITUATED IN A NEARBY AREA READILY AND EASILY ACCESSIBLE BY PUBLIC CARRIER. 40 COMP. GEN. 7.

IN THAT VIEW OF THE MATTER IT IS OUR OPINION THAT IN THE USUAL CASE, THE TRAVEL FROM HOME OR DUTY TO CARRIER'S TERMINAL MUST BE VIEWED AS INTRASTATION TRAVEL AND THE TRAVEL ALLOWANCES WHICH MAY BE PROVIDED PURSUANT TO 37 U.S.C. 404, ARE NOT LEGALLY PAYABLE WHILE THE MEMBER IS AT HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY. SINCE THE TIME SPENT BY THE MEMBERS IN MAKING NECESSARY TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS, EITHER PRIOR TO, OR AFTER ARRIVAL AT THE TERMINAL, INCLUDING TICKETING, WEIGHING AND CHECKING OF BAGGAGE, PROCURING OF TRAVELER'S INSURANCE, ETC., IS SPENT IN PREPARING FOR DEPARTURE FROM THE PERMANENT STATION WE SEE NO REASONABLE BASIS FOR CONCLUDING THAT A MEMBER IS TO BE VIEWED AS AWAY FROM HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY DURING ANY OF THAT TIME.

AS TO THE "LOCAL TERMINAL" DEPARTURE PROVISIONS CITED AS A PRECEDENT FOR THIS PROPOSAL, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT AIRLINE TRAVELERS WHO DEPART FROM SUCH LOCAL TERMINAL ARE SUBJECT TO THE SAME TRAVEL ARRANGEMENT COMPLETION REQUIREMENTS AT THE LOCAL TERMINAL AS TRAVELERS WHO PROCEED FROM HOME OR DUTY DIRECTLY TO THE AIRPORT. THE FACT, IF SUCH BE THE FACT, THAT THE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS MAY BE COMPLETED MORE EXPEDITIOUSLY AT THE LOCAL TERMINAL THAN AT THE AIRPORT AFFORDS NO BASIS FOR CONCLUSION THAT THE EXCESS TIME AT THE AIRPORT MAY BE VIEWED AS TRAVEL AWAY FROM THE DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY.