B-163015, FEB. 16, 1968

B-163015: Feb 16, 1968

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COST OF TELEGRAM SENT BY EMPLOYEE TO REQUEST AND CONFIRM HOTEL RESERVATIONS FOR TWO OTHER EMPLOYEES AND HIMSELF INCIDENT TO OFFICIAL CONFERENCE IS A PERSONAL EXPENSE TO THE EMPLOYEE AND COMES WITHIN PAR. 6.1. THE FIVE TELEGRAMS SUBMITTED ARE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $13.25. THE ONLY TELEGRAM THAT YOU QUESTION IS THE ONE IN THE AMOUNT OF $19.53 PERTAINING TO HOTEL RESERVATIONS IN HONOLULU. SLICHTER WILL PROBABLY COME WITH ME. I HAVE ASKED ADMIRAL BOWEN'S STAFF TO ARRANGE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR ME AND MRS MCRAE. MCRAE WAS SENT FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING HOTEL RESERVATIONS FOR TWO OTHER MEMBERS OF HIS PARTY (WHO WE UNDERSTAND ARE ALSO EMPLOYEES) AND CONFIRMING HOTEL RESERVATIONS FOR HIMSELF AND WIFE TO TAKE ANNUAL LEAVE PRIOR TO ATTENDING THE CONFERENCE.

B-163015, FEB. 16, 1968

TRAVEL EXPENSES - TELEGRAMS, ETC. FOR ROOM RESERVATIONS DECISION TO CERTIFYING OFFICER NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL RE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFICATION FOR PAYMENT OF COST OF TELEGRAMS REQUESTING HOTEL RESERVATIONS FOR TWO EMPLOYEES AND CONFIRMING RESERVATION FOR EMPLOYEE AND WIFE. COST OF TELEGRAM SENT BY EMPLOYEE TO REQUEST AND CONFIRM HOTEL RESERVATIONS FOR TWO OTHER EMPLOYEES AND HIMSELF INCIDENT TO OFFICIAL CONFERENCE IS A PERSONAL EXPENSE TO THE EMPLOYEE AND COMES WITHIN PAR. 6.1, S.G.T.R. DEFINING PER DIEM TO INCLUDE SUCH TELEGRAMS FOR HOTEL RESERVATIONS AND, THEREFORE, THE EMPLOYEE MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED FOR SUCH COST IN ADDITION TO RECEIPT OF PER DIEM.

TO MR. CHARLES V. FEICHTNER:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 30, 1967, REQUESTING A DECISION CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF PAYING THE COST OF TELEGRAMS TRANSMITTED THEREWITH.

THE FIVE TELEGRAMS SUBMITTED ARE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $13.25, $19.53, $7.95, $12.81, $11.40, AND $7.95. THE ONLY TELEGRAM THAT YOU QUESTION IS THE ONE IN THE AMOUNT OF $19.53 PERTAINING TO HOTEL RESERVATIONS IN HONOLULU, HAWAII, SENT BY DR. VINCENT MCRAE, WHICH READS AS FOLLOWS:

"CINCPAC HEADQUARTERS HONOLULU (HAWAII) DR. SULLIVAN INVITED THREE MEMBERS PSAC TO ATTEND CONFERENCE THURSDAY, FRIDAY AS OBSERVERS. IT WOULD BE HELPFUL IF YOU COULD ARRANGE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR THEM. DR. TOWNES AND DR. SLICHTER WILL PROBABLY COME WITH ME. I HAVE ASKED ADMIRAL BOWEN'S STAFF TO ARRANGE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR ME AND MRS MCRAE, TUESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT. ARRIVING TWO FORTY PM TUESDAY. PLEASE CONFIRM MY RESERVATIONS FOR DOUBLE BED ROOM NEAR ELEVATOR WITH AIR CONDITIONING.

"DR VINCENT MCRAE.'

PARAGRAPH 6.1 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, TO WHICH YOU REFER, INCLUDES IN THE DEFINITION OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE "TELEGRAMS AND TELEPHONE CALLS RESERVING HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS.'

IT APPEARS THAT THE SUBJECT TELEGRAM SENT BY DR. MCRAE WAS SENT FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING HOTEL RESERVATIONS FOR TWO OTHER MEMBERS OF HIS PARTY (WHO WE UNDERSTAND ARE ALSO EMPLOYEES) AND CONFIRMING HOTEL RESERVATIONS FOR HIMSELF AND WIFE TO TAKE ANNUAL LEAVE PRIOR TO ATTENDING THE CONFERENCE. WE CONSISTENTLY HAVE HELD THAT WHERE THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF A TELEGRAM IS TO REQUEST OR CONFIRM ROOM RESERVATIONS FOR EMPLOYEES THE COST THEREOF IS A PERSONAL EXPENSE REQUIRED TO BE BORNE BY THE EMPLOYEE. COMP. GEN. 474; 30 ID. 389; 24 ID. 583. THE TELEGRAM HERE IN QUESTION APPEARS TO FALL WITHIN THAT CATEGORY.

THEREFORE, THE COST OF THE TELEGRAM ($19.53) WOULD COME WITHIN THE DEFINITION OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE AND MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED IN ADDITION TO THE PER DIEM. WE HAVE NO OBJECTION TO PAYMENT OF THE COST OF THE OTHER TELEGRAMS, COPIES OF WHICH WERE TRANSMITTED HERE, SINCE IT APPEARS THAT THEY INVOLVED OFFICIAL BUSINESS MATTERS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE.