B-162863, DEC. 5, 1967

B-162863: Dec 5, 1967

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EMPLOYEE WHO WAS IN A LEAVE WITHOUT PAY STATUS AWAY FROM PERMANENT STATION (FORD FOUNDATION ASSIGNMENT) WHEN HE WAS REQUESTED TO RETURN TO HIS PERMANENT STATION IN CONNECTION WITH A RESEARCH PROJECT MAY BE REGARDED AS AN INDIVIDUAL SERVING WITHOUT COMPENSATION STATUS WITHIN THE MEANING OF 5 U.S.C. 5703 (C) FOR ENTITLEMENT TO PER DIEM AND EXPENSES AT FORMER PERMANENT STATION SINCE HE WAS NOT RESTORED TO AN ACTIVE DUTY STATUS FOR THE TEMPORARY DUTY PERIOD. DIXON'S CASE WERE SET FORTH IN A LETTER TO YOU DATED OCTOBER 13. DIXON WAS OFFICIALLY TRANSFERRED FROM MADISON. WAS PLACED ON EXTENDED LWOP BY US UNTIL 10/31/67. HE WAS EVACUATED. DIXON WAS STILL OFFICIALLY ON LWOP. AN AFFIRMATIVE REPLY WAS GIVEN AND THE TRAVEL PERFORMED BY DR.

B-162863, DEC. 5, 1967

PER DIEM - EMPLOYEE IN WITHOUT COMPENSATION STATUS DECISION TO CERTIFYING OFFICER OF AGRICULTURE RESEARCH SERVICE AUTHORIZING CERTIFICATION OF VOUCHER FOR DUTY PERFORMED AT FORMER PERMANENT STATION. EMPLOYEE WHO WAS IN A LEAVE WITHOUT PAY STATUS AWAY FROM PERMANENT STATION (FORD FOUNDATION ASSIGNMENT) WHEN HE WAS REQUESTED TO RETURN TO HIS PERMANENT STATION IN CONNECTION WITH A RESEARCH PROJECT MAY BE REGARDED AS AN INDIVIDUAL SERVING WITHOUT COMPENSATION STATUS WITHIN THE MEANING OF 5 U.S.C. 5703 (C) FOR ENTITLEMENT TO PER DIEM AND EXPENSES AT FORMER PERMANENT STATION SINCE HE WAS NOT RESTORED TO AN ACTIVE DUTY STATUS FOR THE TEMPORARY DUTY PERIOD.

TO MR. A. L. ROHAN:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 2, 1967, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING OUR ADVANCE DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE VOUCHER TRANSMITTED THEREWITH IN FAVOR OF DR. ROBERT M. DIXON, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DIVISION, MAY PROPERLY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

THE PERTINENT FACTS OF DR. DIXON'S CASE WERE SET FORTH IN A LETTER TO YOU DATED OCTOBER 13, 1967, FROM MR. WAYNE T. THRUSH, JR., ASSISTANT TO THE DIRECTOR FOR MANAGEMENT, AS FOLLOWS: "* * * DR. DIXON WAS OFFICIALLY TRANSFERRED FROM MADISON, WISCONSIN, TO SIDNEY, MONTANA, ON 1/30/66. THIS LOCATION COMES UNDER OUR NORTHERN PLAINS BRANCH. SUBSEQUENT TO THIS TRANSFER HE ACCEPTED A NINE-MONTH FORD FOUNDATION ASSIGNMENT IN THE U.A.R. AT CAIRO, EGYPT, AND WAS PLACED ON EXTENDED LWOP BY US UNTIL 10/31/67. AFTER ARRIVING IN EGYPT, HE WAS EVACUATED, PRIOR TO THE UPRISING IN THAT COUNTRY, AND RETURNED TO MADISON, WISCONSIN, REMAINING ON THE FORD ASSIGNMENT. HE DID NOT RETURN TO SIDNEY, MONTANA, SINCE HE RELINQUISHED HIS QUARTERS PRIOR TO THE FOREIGN ASSIGNMENT. ,AFTER LEARNING OF DR. DIXON'S STATUS, DR. EVANS, CHIEF OF THE NORTHERN PLAINS BRANCH, REQUESTED DR. DIXON TO TRAVEL TO SIDNEY, MONTANA, IN CONNECTION WITH RESEARCH HE HAD BEEN INVOLVED IN BEFORE ACCEPTING THE FOREIGN ASSIGNMENT. KNOWING THAT DR. DIXON WAS STILL OFFICIALLY ON LWOP, DR. EVANS FIRST CONTACTED NAD TO ASCERTAIN IF SUCH TRAVEL COULD BE PERFORMED BY DR. DIXON WHILE IN A LWOP STATUS. AN AFFIRMATIVE REPLY WAS GIVEN AND THE TRAVEL PERFORMED BY DR. DIXON. * * *"

THE TRAVEL VOUCHER SHOWS THAT THE MAJOR PORTION OF DR. DIXON'S ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL BETWEEN MADISON, WISCONSIN, AND SIDNEY, MONTANA, WAS PERFORMED BY COMMERCIAL AIR. THE TICKETS FOR SUCH TRAVEL WERE PROCURED ON GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS AT A TOTAL COST OF $119.05. THE REMAINING PORTION OF THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED BY GOVERNMENT AUTOMOBILE.

DR. DIXON HAS REQUESTED PAYMENT OF PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $15 FOR THE PERIOD FROM 10:15 A.M. ON JULY 24, TO 2:45 P.M. ON JULY 29, 1967- A TOTAL OF 5-1/2 DAYS. IN ADDITION, HE HAS CLAIMED REIMBURSEMENT OF $3.05 FOR ONE OFFICIAL LONG-DISTANCE TELEPHONE CALL.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE SERVICES RENDERED BY DR. DIXON WERE PERFORMED AT HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION, YOU QUESTION WHETHER ANY OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSES OF DR. DIXON MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

WE UNDERSTAND THAT DR. DIXON WAS NOT RESTORED TO AN ACTIVE DUTY STATUS FOR THE PERIOD OF HIS TEMPORARY DUTY AT SIDNEY AND THAT HE RECEIVED NO COMPENSATION FOR SUCH SERVICES. UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES AND ASSUMING THAT DR. DIXON'S ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE ACTUALLY HAD OFFICIAL NEED OF THE SERVICES WHICH HE PERFORMED, WE BELIEVE THAT FOR THE PERIOD IN QUESTION DR. DIXON MAY BE REGARDED AS AN "INDIVIDUAL SERVING WITHOUT PAY" WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 5703 (C) OF TITLE 5, U.S.C. WHICH PROVIDES, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"/C) AN INDIVIDUAL SERVING WITHOUT PAY OR AT $1 A YEAR MAY BE ALLOWED TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES UNDER THIS SUBCHAPTER AND A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE UNDER THIS SECTION WHILE EN ROUTE AND AT HIS PLACE OF SERVICE OR EMPLOYMENT AWAY FROM HIS HOME OR REGULAR PLACE OF BUSINESS. UNLESS A HIGHER RATE IS NAMED IN AN APPROPRIATION OR OTHER STATUTE, THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE MAY NOT EXCEED--

"/1) THE RATE OF $16 FOR TRAVEL INSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES; * *

THEREFORE, THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT. SEE 23 COMP. GEN. 447.