B-162641, NOV. 27, 1967

B-162641: Nov 27, 1967

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EMPLOYEE WHO DURING PERIODS OF ENTITLEMENT TO TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE WAS ORDERED TO TEMPORARY DUTY MAY NOT HAVE ABSENCE FROM OFFICIAL STATION FOR PERSONAL REASONS REGARDED AS INTERRUPTING PERIOD FOR WHICH SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY LODGINGS IS ALLOWED. EVEN THOUGH EMPLOYEE IS ON ANNUAL LEAVE HE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FOR HIMSELF AND FAMILY WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS INCIDENT TO CHANGE OF STATION. THE MATTER OF DETERMINING WHETHER AN EMPLOYEE TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR MORE THAN ONE ITEM OF EXPENSE FOR LODGINGS AT DIFFERENT LOCATIONS ON THE SAME DAY IS PRIMARILY AN ADMINISTRATIVE ONE. THE SUBMISSION IS UNDERSTOOD TO ARISE FROM QUESTIONS PRESENTED BY THE STATE DIRECTOR.

B-162641, NOV. 27, 1967

EMPLOYEES - TRANSFERS - PUBLIC LAW 89-516 - TEMPORARY LODGINGS DECISION TO CERTIFYING OFFICER OF BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT CONCERNING PAYMENT OF TEMPORARY LODGINGS INCIDENT TO CHANGE OF STATION FROM ROCK SPRINGS, WYO. TO SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH. EMPLOYEE WHO DURING PERIODS OF ENTITLEMENT TO TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE WAS ORDERED TO TEMPORARY DUTY MAY NOT HAVE ABSENCE FROM OFFICIAL STATION FOR PERSONAL REASONS REGARDED AS INTERRUPTING PERIOD FOR WHICH SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY LODGINGS IS ALLOWED. EVEN THOUGH EMPLOYEE IS ON ANNUAL LEAVE HE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FOR HIMSELF AND FAMILY WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS INCIDENT TO CHANGE OF STATION. THE MATTER OF DETERMINING WHETHER AN EMPLOYEE TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR MORE THAN ONE ITEM OF EXPENSE FOR LODGINGS AT DIFFERENT LOCATIONS ON THE SAME DAY IS PRIMARILY AN ADMINISTRATIVE ONE. SEE B-155144, OCT. 20, 1964.

TO MRS. MARY M. RYDQUIST:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 6, 1967, REFERENCE 1382/D-733B 2), ENCLOSING A RECLAIM VOUCHER FOR $23.20 IN FAVOR OF MR. JOEL E. VERNER, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT, AND RELATED CORRESPONDENCE, IN WHICH YOU REQUEST OUR DECISION WHETHER THE VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

THE SUBMISSION IS UNDERSTOOD TO ARISE FROM QUESTIONS PRESENTED BY THE STATE DIRECTOR, UTAH, A COPY OF WHOSE LETTER WAS ENCLOSED WITH YOURS, IN REGARD TO THE CORRECTNESS OF CERTAIN ITEMS AGGREGATING $23.20 DISALLOWED IN MR. VERNER'S ORIGINAL CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED BY HIM INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFER OF HIS OFFICIAL STATION FROM ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING, TO SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH.

THE QUESTIONED ITEMS ARE IDENTIFIED IN YOUR LETTER AS FOLLOWS:

"I RESPECTFULLY REQUEST YOUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER I MAY PROPERLY CERTIFY THE RECLAIM FOR $3.00 DISALLOWED FOR PER DIEM ENROUTE, $4.73 LODGING FOR THE FIRST TEN DAYS, $15.46 FOR THE SECOND TEN DAYS, ALLOWING TWO MORE DAYS ALLOWANCE AND THE ONE CENT ERROR ON THE FIRST TEN DAYS, A TOTAL OF $23.20.'

CONCERNING THE ITEM OF $3 REPRESENTING PER DIEM EN ROUTE, SECTION 2.3A (A) (2) OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 PROVIDES THAT THE PAYMENT FOR PER DIEM EN ROUTE "WILL NOT EXCEED AN AMOUNT COMPUTED IN THE MANNER PRESCRIBED IN SECTION 6.11 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, EXCLUDING THE PROVISO CONTAINED THEREIN.' FOR TRAVEL OF 24 HOURS OR LESS SECTION 6.11 PROVIDES FOR ALLOWANCE OF ONE FOURTH OF THE PER DIEM FOR EACH 6-HOUR PORTION OF THE PERIOD OR FRACTION OF SUCH PORTION. SINCE THE TRAVEL OF MR. VERNER'S FAMILY ON JUNE 12, 1967, INVOLVED BUT 3 1/2 HOURS ONLY ONE-FOURTH OF A DAY'S PER DIEM AT THE RATE APPLICABLE TO EACH MEMBER THEREOF WOULD BE ALLOWABLE. THE RATES ALLOWABLE ARE SET FORTH IN SECTION 2 OF CIRCULAR A-56. WE NOTE THAT FOR TRAVEL TIME THE EMPLOYEE HAS HAS BEEN ALLOWED A RATE OF $8. THE REGULATIONS (SECTION 2.2B (1) ( AUTHORIZE 3/4'S OF HIS RATE FOR THE SPOUSE, OR A $6 RATE IN THIS INSTANCE.

MR. VERNER, INCIDENT TO A PERIOD OF TEMPORARY DUTY AWAY FROM HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION, RECEIVED PER DIEM FROM 12 NOON OF MAY 23 UNTIL 6 P.M. OF MAY 26, 1967. THEREFORE, THE FIRST 10 DAYS OF HIS TEMPORARY LODGING STATUS WHICH BEGAN AT 6 P.M. ON MAY 14 WAS INTERRUPTED AFTER THE COMPLETION OF 8 3/4 DAYS UNTIL IT BEGAN TO RUN AGAIN AT 6 P.M. ON MAY 26. THE FIRST 10-DAY PERIOD WOULD, THEREFORE, NORMALLY CONTINUE THROUGH MIDNIGHT ON MAY 27. SEE B-161960, JULY 31, 1967, COPY HEREWITH. HOWEVER, WE NOTE THAT MR. VERNER WAS ALLOWED ACTUAL EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE INCURRED BY HIM ON MAY 26 AND 27 AND THAT ABSENCE FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION FROM ABOUT 12 NOON ON MAY 27 UNTIL ABOUT 6 P.M. ON MAY 30 WAS FOR PERSONAL REASONS. IN THAT REGARD WE DO NOT CONSIDER THAT ABSENCE FROM THE OFFICIAL STATION FOR PERSONAL REASONS AS INTERRUPTING THE RUNNING OF THE PERIOD FOR WHICH SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY LODGINGS MAY BE ALLOWED.

THE SECOND 10-DAY TEMPORARY LODGING PERIOD MUST BE VIEWED AS BEGINNING AT MIDNIGHT ON MAY 27, 1967. THAT PERIOD WAS INTERRUPTED AFTER 8 1/4 DAYS BY A FURTHER ASSIGNMENT TO TEMPORARY DUTY ENTITLING THE EMPLOYEE TO PER DIEM COMMENCING AT 6 A.M. ON JUNE 5 AND ENDING AT 6 P.M. ON JUNE 9. THUS, DISREGARDING THE EMPLOYEE'S SECOND ABSENCE FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION FOR PERSONAL REASONS FROM 6 P.M. JUNE 9 UNTIL 6 P.M. OF JUNE 12, THE SECOND 10 -DAY PERIOD CONTINUED UNTIL 12 NOON ON JUNE 11, 1967.

THE THIRD 10-DAY PERIOD BEGAN AT 12 NOON ON JUNE 11 AND CONTINUED UNTIL 4 P.M. ON JUNE 13 WHEN THE EMPLOYEE AND FAMILY MOVED INTO PERMANENT QUARTERS. WE NOTE THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS REIMBURSED SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FOR HIMSELF AND FAMILY INCURRED BETWEEN 4.30 P.M. ON JUNE 12 AND 4 P.M. ON JUNE 13 WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS IN SALT LAKE CITY EVEN THOUGH HE WAS IN AN ANNUAL LEAVE STATUS AT THAT TIME. WE CONCUR THAT UNDER THE REGULATION HE WAS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUCH PERIOD. ON THE OTHER HAND, WE NOTE THAT THE LIMITATION ON SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FOR HIS FAMILY SHOULD HAVE BEEN FIXED AT THE $4 RATE (APPLICABLE TO THE THIRD 10-DAY PERIOD) RATHER THAN THE $8 RATE AS SHOWN ON THE PAID VOUCHER. ALSO, THE LIMITATION ON SUBSISTENCE FOR THE EMPLOYEE AND FAMILY FOR JUNE 13, THE DAY OF INITIAL OCCUPANCY FOR PERMANENT QUARTERS AT HIS NEW STATION, SHOULD BE DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH OUR DECISION OF MAY 31, 1967, B-161348, COPY HEREWITH. SEE PARTICULARLY THE NEXT TO LAST PARAGRAPH OF THAT DECISION.

MR. VERNER'S ACCOUNT SHOULD BE RECOMPUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING AND ANY NECESSARY ADJUSTMENT SHOULD BE MADE IN THE AMOUNT TO WHICH HE IS ENTITLED. THE VOUCHER TRANSMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER IS RETURNED HEREWITH.

CONCERNING THE COMMENT OF THE STATE DIRECTOR IN THE FOURTH AND FIFTH PARAGRAPHS OF HIS LETTER, GENERALLY, LODGING EXPENSES INCURRED AT ONE POINT ONLY ON THE SAME DAY WOULD BE ALLOWABLE. HOWEVER, CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH AN EMPLOYEE TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS FOR THE GOVERNMENT MAY BE REIMBURSED MORE THAN ONE ITEM OF EXPENSE FOR LODGINGS AT DIFFERENT POINTS ON THE SAME DAY WERE CONSIDERED AND RECOGNIZED IN OUR DECISION OF OCTOBER 20, 1964, B-155141, COPY ENCLOSED. AS POINTED OUT IN THAT DECISION THE QUESTION OF WHETHER REIMBURSEMENT IS WARRANTED FOR TWO LODGINGS MAINTAINED CONCURRENTLY IS ONE PRIMARILY FOR ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION. HOWEVER, THE CONDITIONS WHICH WERE CONSIDERED AS SUFFICIENT TO JUSTIFY THE ALLOWANCE IN OUR DECISION B-155141 NORMALLY WOULD NOT BE ENCOUNTERED IN SALT LAKE CITY. IN THAT REGARD WE NOTE THAT THE EMPLOYEE DID NOT RETAIN THE QUARTERS AT HIS NEW STATION DURING THE PERIOD MAY 27 TO MAY 30 WHILE IN ROCK SPRINGS FOR PERSONAL REASONS.