B-161048, APR. 11, 1967

B-161048: Apr 11, 1967

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

CANYON WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED FROM WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE (PRESUMABLY THE POST AREA) TO SALINAS PEAK. THE EMPLOYEE WAS DIRECTED TO TRAVEL AS A PASSENGER IN A CONTRACTOR-OWNED VEHICLE AND WAS AUTHORIZED THE MAXIMUM RATE OF PER DIEM PERMITTED UNDER ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS (VOLUME II. CANYON STATES THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE NOT UTILIZED AND MEALS WERE NOT FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT. HE IS CLAIMING PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $16 PER DAY OR A TOTAL OF $56 FOR THE PERIOD UNDER CONSIDERATION. - SHOWS THAT SALINAS PEAK IS LOCATED APPROXIMATELY 105 MILES NORTH OF THE WSMR POST AREA. NORTH OSCURO PEAK IS APPROXIMATELY 115 MILES NORTH OF THE POST AREA. NEW MEXICO) IS APPROXIMATELY 26 MILES SOUTHWEST OF THE POST AREA.

B-161048, APR. 11, 1967

TO FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING OFFICER:

YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 9, 1966, REFERENCE STEWS-CP-F, REQUESTS OUR DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT THE VOUCHER TRANSMITTED THEREWITH IN FAVOR OF MR. STEVE CANYON, A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, FOR PER DIEM COVERING THE PERIOD JULY 19 THROUGH 22, 1966.

ACCORDING TO TRAVEL ORDER NO. 242-67, APPROVED JULY 26, 1966, MR. CANYON WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED FROM WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE (PRESUMABLY THE POST AREA) TO SALINAS PEAK, NORTH OSCURO PEAK, AND VARIOUS OTHER SITES ON THE RANGE (WSMR) FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING ENGINEERING ASSISTANCE AND PERFORMING CHECKOUTS OF THE RADIO COMMAND GUIDANCE SYSTEMS AT SUCH POINTS. THE EMPLOYEE WAS DIRECTED TO TRAVEL AS A PASSENGER IN A CONTRACTOR-OWNED VEHICLE AND WAS AUTHORIZED THE MAXIMUM RATE OF PER DIEM PERMITTED UNDER ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS (VOLUME II, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS).

MR. CANYON'S TRAVEL VOUCHER SHOWS THAT HE PERFORMED TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVEL AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE

JULY 19 - DEPART WSMR (POST AREA) 8:00 A.M.

ARRIVE SALINAS PEAK 11:00 A.M.

DEPART SALINAS PEAK 4:15 P.M.

ARRIVE SOCORRO, NEW MEXICO 5:30 P.M.

JULY 20 - DEPART SOCORRO, NEW MEXICO 6:30 A.M.

ARRIVE SALINAS PEAK 7:45 A.M.

DEPART SALINAS PEAK 4:15 P.M.

ARRIVE SOCORRO, NEW MEXICO 5:30 P.M.

JULY 21 - DEPART SOCORRO, NEW MEXICO 6:15 A.M.

ARRIVE NORTH OSCURO PEAK 7:45 A.M.

DEPART NORTH OSCURO PEAK 5:15 P.M.

ARRIVE SOCORRO, NEW MEXICO 6:45 P.M.

JULY 22 - DEPART SOCORRO, NEW MEXICO 6:15 A.M.

ARRIVE SALINAS PEAK 7:45 A.M.

DEPART SALINAS PEAK 12:00 P.M.

ARRIVE WSMR (POST AREA) 3:00 P.M.

MR. CANYON STATES THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE NOT UTILIZED AND MEALS WERE NOT FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT. THEREFORE, HE IS CLAIMING PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $16 PER DAY OR A TOTAL OF $56 FOR THE PERIOD UNDER CONSIDERATION.

THE OFFICIAL ROAD MAP OF THE WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE--- ENCLOSED WITH THE VOUCHER--- SHOWS THAT SALINAS PEAK IS LOCATED APPROXIMATELY 105 MILES NORTH OF THE WSMR POST AREA; NORTH OSCURO PEAK IS APPROXIMATELY 115 MILES NORTH OF THE POST AREA; THE EMPLOYEE'S RESIDENCE (LAS CRUCES, NEW MEXICO) IS APPROXIMATELY 26 MILES SOUTHWEST OF THE POST AREA; SOCORRO, NEW MEXICO, THE PLACE AT WHICH MR. CANYON OBTAINED OVERNIGHT LODGINGS IS APPROXIMATELY 78 MILES AND 61 MILES NORTHWEST OF SALINAS PEAK AND NORTH OSCURO PEAK, RESPECTIVELY.

YOUR DOUBT IN CERTIFYING MR. CANYON'S CLAIM FOR PER DIEM ARISES FROM THE FACT THAT BOTH SALINAS PEAK AND NORTH OSCURO PEAK, THE EMPLOYEE'S TEMPORARY DUTY SITES, ARE LOCATED WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF THE WHITESANDS MISSILE RANGE AND, THEREFORE, MIGHT BE REGARDED AS WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF THE EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL DUTY STATION. YOU REPORT THAT WHILE THE DISTANCE BETWEEN POINTS ON THE RANGE MAY EXCEED 100 MILES THERE ARE NO ESTABLISHED SUBDIVISIONS HAVING DEFINITE BOUNDARIES. IN VIEW OF THE PROHIBITION AGAINST THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM TO AN EMPLOYEE WHILE HE IS AT HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION (SECTION 6.8, STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS) YOU REQUEST OUR DECISION IN THE MATTER.

SECTION 5702 (A) OF TITLE 5, U.S.C. REQUIRES THAT AN EMPLOYEE MUST BE TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AWAY FROM HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY TO BE ENTITLED TO PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE. SECTION 1.5 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS DEFINES "DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY" AS FOLLOWS:

"DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY AND OFFICIAL STATION MEAN ONE AND THE SAME, THE LIMITS OF WHICH WILL BE THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE CITY OR TOWN IN WHICH THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE 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.'

THE REASON FOR THE PROVISIONS FOR REIMBURSING EMPLOYEES WHO ARE REQUIRED TO TRAVEL AWAY FROM THEIR DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL DUTY IS THAT THE EMPLOYEE HAS BEEN PUT TO ADDITIONAL EXPENSE OVER WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN EXPENDED HAD THE EMPLOYEE REMAINED AT HIS DESIGNATED POST. SEE 24 COMP. GEN. 179; 28 ID. 192.

CLEARLY IN THIS CASE THE EMPLOYEE INCURRED ADDITIONAL SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE BY VIRTUE OF HIS TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT. TO HAVE REQUIRED HIM TO COMMUTE BETWEEN HIS HOME AND THE TEMPORARY DUTY SITES--- TRAVEL EXCEEDING 200 MILES EACH DAY--- WOULD HAVE BEEN AN UNREASONABLE DEMAND.

WE UNDERSTAND THAT NORMALLY MR. CANYON'S DUTIES ARE PERFORMED AT THE POST AREA OF THE RANGE. THAT APPEARS TO BE THE LOCATION FROM WHICH HE BEGAN THE TEMPORARY DUTY AND TO WHICH HE RETURNED UPON COMPLETION THEREOF. ALTHOUGH THERE APPARENTLY HAS BEEN NO FORMAL SUBDIVISION OF THE RANGE THERE SEEMS TO BE ONE, IN FACT, SINCE THE MAP OF THE POST AREA AND THE RANGE INDICATES THAT THE POST AREA IS WELL DEFINED BY THE LOCATION OF OFFICE BUILDINGS, SCHOOLS, HOUSING AREAS, GOLF COURSE, WAREHOUSES, ETC. THEREFORE, THE POST AREA, BEING AN ESTABLISHED AREA, IS TO BE REGARDED AS MR. CANYON'S PERMANENT DUTY STATION.

THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH MAY BE PROCESSED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.