B-161887, AUG. 14, 1967

B-161887: Aug 14, 1967

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

MAY NOT HAVE THE DELAY REGARDED AS WARRANTED FOR ADDITIONAL PER DIEM. IF HE HAD ACTUALLY PROCEEDED TO THE NEW STATION HE WOULD HAVE INCURRED EXPENSES FOR LODGING AND SUBSISTENCE PRIOR TO OCCUPYING PERMANENT QUARTERS AND THEREFORE IF ACTUAL EXPENSES WERE PROPERLY ITEMIZED HE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT. ON REVIEW OF VOUCHER IT WAS FOUND THAT HE HAD BEEN OVERPAID. YOU SAY THE CHANGE OF STATION TRAVEL WAS DIRECTED BY TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION DATED JULY 8. A COPY OF THAT AUTHORIZATION WAS NOT FURNISHED WITH THE ENCLOSURES. THE EMPLOYEE CLAIMS $76 FOR ADDITIONAL PER DIEM WHICH APPARENTLY IS BASED ON A DELAY EN ROUTE ON AUGUST 9. BECAUSE HE WAS AWARE THAT HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WOULD NOT ARRIVE AT HIS NEW DUTY STATION UNTIL THE NEXT DAY.

B-161887, AUG. 14, 1967

EMPLOYEES - TRANSFERS - PUBLIC LAW 89-516 - DELAYED TRAVEL DECISION TO CERTIFYING OFFICER OF DEFENSE LOGISTICS SERVICES CENTER RE TRAVEL INCIDENT TO CHANGE OF STATION. EMPLOYEE WHO INCIDENT TO TRANSFER FROM COLUMBUS, OHIO TO BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN, DELAYED TRAVEL BY PRIVATE AUTOMOBILE ENROUTE BECAUSE HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WOULD NOT ARRIVE AT NEW DUTY STATION UNTIL FOLLOWING DAY, AUG. 9, 1966, MAY NOT HAVE THE DELAY REGARDED AS WARRANTED FOR ADDITIONAL PER DIEM. HOWEVER, IF HE HAD ACTUALLY PROCEEDED TO THE NEW STATION HE WOULD HAVE INCURRED EXPENSES FOR LODGING AND SUBSISTENCE PRIOR TO OCCUPYING PERMANENT QUARTERS AND THEREFORE IF ACTUAL EXPENSES WERE PROPERLY ITEMIZED HE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT. HOWEVER, ON REVIEW OF VOUCHER IT WAS FOUND THAT HE HAD BEEN OVERPAID.

TO MR. JOHN H. GREVE, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER:

YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 22, 1967, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTS OUR DECISION AS TO THE PROPER REIMBURSEMENT OF MR. ROBERT D. GHEARING UNDER PUB. L. 89- 516, ENACTED JULY 21, 1966, 80 STAT. 323, FOR THE TRAVEL PERFORMED BY HIM WITH HIS FAMILY IN CONNECTION WITH THE CHANGE OF HIS OFFICIAL STATION FROM COLUMBUS, OHIO, TO BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN.

YOU SAY THE CHANGE OF STATION TRAVEL WAS DIRECTED BY TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION DATED JULY 8, 1966, TO BEGIN ON OR ABOUT AUGUST 14, 1966. A COPY OF THAT AUTHORIZATION WAS NOT FURNISHED WITH THE ENCLOSURES.

WE ASSUME THAT THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION PROVIDED FOR THE BASIC MAXIMUM $16 PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FOR THE NECESSARY TRAVEL TIME BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FROM COLUMBUS TO BATTLE CREEK FOR THE PURPOSE OF REPORTING FOR DUTY AT THE NEW STATION. THE EMPLOYEE CLAIMS $76 FOR ADDITIONAL PER DIEM WHICH APPARENTLY IS BASED ON A DELAY EN ROUTE ON AUGUST 9, 1966, BECAUSE HE WAS AWARE THAT HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WOULD NOT ARRIVE AT HIS NEW DUTY STATION UNTIL THE NEXT DAY. WE DO NOT REGARD SUCH DELAY IN EFFECTING A CHANGE OF STATION AS WARRANTED TO ENTITLE THE EMPLOYEE TO ADDITIONAL PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE. HOWEVER, IT SEEMS REASONABLE TO CONCLUDE THAT HAD MR. GHEARING PROCEEDED ON TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION AT BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN ON AUGUST 9, HE WOULD HAVE INCURRED EXPENSES FOR LODGING AND SUBSISTENCE PRIOR TO OCCUPYING HIS PERMANENT QUARTERS.

THEREFORE, THE EXPENSES HE INCURRED ON AUGUST 9 AND 10 MAY BE REGARDED AS FALLING WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SUBSECTION 23 (3) OF PUB. L. 89-516 AND SECTION 2.5 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56. BOTH OF THESE PROVISIONS RELATE TO ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR WHICH SUBSECTION 2.5D (1) REQUIRES ITEMIZATION AS PROVIDED IN SUBSECTION 6.12F OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. THE ONLY ITEMIZATION CONTAINED IN THE PRESENT RECORD IS THE MOTEL BILL, $18.44 (INCLUDING FOOD, $1.80), FOR AUGUST 9, 1966. IT MAY BE THAT MR. GHEARING INCURRED OTHER SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHICH MAY BE ALLOWABLE UPON ITEMIZATION THEREOF. IN ANY EVENT THE $18.44 APPEARS PROPER FOR ALLOWANCE AT THIS TIME. IN THAT CONNECTION WE ENCLOSE COPIES OF OUR DECISIONS OF MAY 31, 1967, B-161348, AND JULY 21, 1967, B-161878, WHICH MAY BE HELPFUL IN THE MATTER.

WE NOTE THAT FOR THE TRIP ON AUGUST 9 AND 10, 1966, MR. GHEARING HAS BEEN ALLOWED PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FOR CONSTRUCTIVE TIME WHILE IN A TRAVEL STATUS TO THE EXTENT OF $38 COVERING ONE-HALF DAY. UNDER THE PROVISION OF SECTION 2.2 OF CIRCULAR A-56, THE PER DIEM RATE FOR THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS FAMILY WAS $64 PER DAY. THEREFORE, HE WAS ONLY ENTITLED TO $32 FOR SUCH TRIP AND THUS HAS BEEN OVERPAID ON THIS ITEM IN THE AMOUNT OF $6.

CONCERNING THE AMOUNT PAID TO THE EMPLOYEE TO COVER A HOUSE HUNTING TRIP DURING THE PERIOD JULY 15-17, 1966, WE POINT OUT THAT THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET ISSUED INTERIM GUIDANCE ON JULY 26, 1966 (TRANSMITTAL MEMORANDUM NO. 6 AND ATTACHMENT B THERETO), ADVISING THE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS CONCERNED, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT THE ALLOWANCE FOR A ROUND-TRIP UNDER SUBSECTION 23 (2) OF PUB. L. 89-516 DOES NOT APPLY TO TRIPS BEGUN PRIOR TO JULY 21, 1966. THAT RESTRICTIVE DATE RELATES TO THE DATE OF ENACTMENT OF PUB. L. 89-516 WHEREIN ONLY SECTION 25 IS RETROACTIVE, WITH REGARD TO CERTAIN STORAGE EXPENSES. FURTHER, PARAGRAPH 5 OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED, DATED OCTOBER 12, 1966, READS IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"EFFECTIVE DATES. * * *

"THE PORTIONS OF THE REGULATIONS WHICH IMPLEMENT PROVISIONS OF P.L. 89- 516 ARE EFFECTIVE RETROACTIVELY TO JULY 21, 1966, EXCEPT FOR A SPECIAL RETROACTIVE FEATURE SET FORTH IN SUBSECTION 6.5C OF THE REGULATIONS (ATTACHMENT A) PERTAINING TO NON-TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WHICH MAY APPLY WHEN TRAVEL ORDERS ARE ISSUED ON OR AFTER MAY 22, 1966. ENTITLEMENT TO THE ALLOWANCES PROVIDED UNDER P.L. 89-516 IS CONDITIONED UPON (A) AN EMPLOYEE OR NEW APPOINTEE REPORTING FOR DUTY AT HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION (WHICH CONSTITUTES THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRANSFER OR APPOINTMENT) ON OR AFTER JULY 21, 1966, AND (B) EXPENSES THAT ARE REIMBURSABLE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE STATUTE AND IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS BEING INCURRED ON OR AFTER JULY 21, 1966.'

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE PROVISIONS, MR. GHEARING WAS NOT ENTITLED TO THE $121.76 PAID TO HIM ON MARCH 27, 1967, TO COVER THE EXPENSE OF A ROUND TRIP PERFORMED BY HIM AND HIS WIFE ON JULY 15-17, 1966, TO LOCATE PERMANENT QUARTERS AT HIS NEW DUTY STATION. THAT AMOUNT PLUS THE $6 OVERPAYMENT OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE PREVIOUSLY REFERRED TO IS FOR COLLECTION FROM MR. GHEARING. WE ASSUME THE $18.44 OTHERWISE DUE HIM FOR LODGINGS AND FOOD COSTS WILL BE APPLIED TO SUCH INDEBTEDNESS.

THE SUBMITTED SUPPLEMENTAL VOUCHER, WITH ATTACHMENTS, IS RETURNED HEREWITH FOR ACTION AS INDICATED ABOVE.