B-163112, MAR. 13, 1968

B-163112: Mar 13, 1968

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AN EMPLOYEE WHO AFTER ORDERS REQUIRING TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTO TO CONFERENCE WAS REQUIRED TO ATTEND MEETING AT ANOTHER PLACE AT END OF TEMPORARY DUTY MAY HAVE STOPOVER FOR 3-1/2 DAYS CONSIDERED TO BE FOR OFFICIAL REASONS IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVT. SINCE PER DIEM FOR ADDITIONAL DAYS WAS LESS THAN COST OF ROUND TRIP (AIR FARE PLUS PER DIEM EN ROUTE) THE STOPOVER WOULD JUSTIFY ALLOWANCE OF PER DIEM FOR WORKDAYS AND RECREDIT OF ANNUAL LEAVE. UNDER BOTH SUCH AUTHORIZATIONS TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE WAS TO BE PERFORMED AT THE MILEAGE RATE OF 10 CENTS NOT TO EXCEED COST BY COMMON CARRIER WITH A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE OF $16 PER DAY. IN THE APRIL 11 AUTHORIZATION THE PLACES OF TRAVEL AUTHORIZED WERE FROM GRAND FORKS TO NEW HAMPTON.

B-163112, MAR. 13, 1968

TRAVEL EXPENSES - STOPOVERS - JUSTIFICATION DECISION TO CERTIFYING OFFICER OF BUREAU OF MINES AUTHORIZING CERTIFICATION OF VOUCHER FOR PER DIEM FOR EXTENSION OF TRAVEL TIME TO PERMIT EMPLOYEE TO ATTEND OFFICIAL CONFERENCE WHILE ON TEMPORARY DUTY. AN EMPLOYEE WHO AFTER ORDERS REQUIRING TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTO TO CONFERENCE WAS REQUIRED TO ATTEND MEETING AT ANOTHER PLACE AT END OF TEMPORARY DUTY MAY HAVE STOPOVER FOR 3-1/2 DAYS CONSIDERED TO BE FOR OFFICIAL REASONS IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVT. AND SINCE PER DIEM FOR ADDITIONAL DAYS WAS LESS THAN COST OF ROUND TRIP (AIR FARE PLUS PER DIEM EN ROUTE) THE STOPOVER WOULD JUSTIFY ALLOWANCE OF PER DIEM FOR WORKDAYS AND RECREDIT OF ANNUAL LEAVE.

TO MRS. JEANNETTE B. WILBANKS:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 12, 1967, AND THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER CONCERNING THE TRAVEL WHICH CHARLES C. BOLEY PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE FROM GRAND FORKS, NORTH DAKOTA, TO BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, AND NEW HAMPTON, NEW HAMPSHIRE, AND RETURN TO GRAND FORKS, DURING THE PERIOD FROM JUNE 18 TO JULY 19, 1967, UNDER TRAVEL AUTHORIZATIONS NOS. GF-67-44 DATED APRIL 11, 1967, AND GF-67-48 DATED MAY 11, 1967. UNDER BOTH SUCH AUTHORIZATIONS TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE WAS TO BE PERFORMED AT THE MILEAGE RATE OF 10 CENTS NOT TO EXCEED COST BY COMMON CARRIER WITH A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE OF $16 PER DAY.

IN THE APRIL 11 AUTHORIZATION THE PLACES OF TRAVEL AUTHORIZED WERE FROM GRAND FORKS TO NEW HAMPTON, AND RETURN, TO ATTEND THE GORDON RESEARCH CONFERENCE ON COAL SCIENCE, JULY 3 TO 7, 67,"IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT," THE PERIOD OF TRAVEL AUTHORIZED BEGINNING ON OR ABOUT JUNE 28, ENDING ON OR ABOUT JULY 11, 1967. HOWEVER, THE PRIOR "TRIP" AUTHORIZATION DATED MAY 11, 1967, SPECIFIED THE PLACES OF TRAVEL AS GRAND FORKS TO BOSTON, AND RETURN, AND THE PERIOD OF TRAVEL AS BEGINNING ON OR ABOUT JUNE 23, ENDING ON OR ABOUT JUNE 30, 1967. THE PURPOSE OF THE LATTER AS STATED IN ITEM 10, IN PART, WAS AS FOLLOWS:

"TO ATTEND THE 1967 NATIONAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR TESTING AND MATERIALS TO BE HELD IN BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS JUNE 26 THROUGH JUNE 28. * * *

"MR. BOLEY EXPECTS TO BE ATTENDING THE GORDON CONFERENCE ON COAL SCIENCE AT NEW HAMPTON, NEW HAMPSHIRE, JULY 3-7, 1967. BOTH MEETINGS COULD BE ATTENDED IN ONE TRIP, MINIMIZING TRAVEL ENSE.' THE LAST QUOTED REMARK APPARENTLY WAS BASED UPON THE FACT THAT THE INTERVAL BETWEEN THE ASSIGNED MEETINGS WOULD BE ONLY 4 DAYS, PRESUMABLY INCLUDING APPROXIMATELY ONE-HALF DAY'S TRAVEL TIME FROM BOSTON TO NEW HAMPTON DURING ONE OF THE 2 WORKDAYS, JUNE 29 AND 30, OR DURING ONE OF THE 2 NONWORKDAYS (WEEKEND) JULY 1 AND 2, 1967.

THE COPIES OF PRIOR VOUCHER NO. 3550 AND RELATED PAPERS WHICH YOU FURNISHED US SUGGEST THAT THERE WAS NO UNUSUAL OFFICIAL NEED FOR MR. BOLEY TO HAVE RETURNED TO GRAND FORKS DURING THE ABOVE-MENTIONED 4 DAYS, SUCH AS WOULD HAVE JUSTIFIED THE EXTRA COST OF A ROUND-TRIP AIR FARE DIRECT FROM AND TO BOSTON, BEGINNING DURING THE AFTERNOON OF JUNE 28, RETURNING TO BOSTON ON JULY 2 AND THENCE BY HIS AUTOMOBILE TO THE NEXT DAY'S MEETING IN NEW HAMPTON. IN THAT LIGHT, MR. BOLEY'S STOPOVER IN BOSTON FOR 3-1/2 DAYS MAY BE CONSIDERED TO HAVE BEEN FOR OFFICIAL REASONS IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT. THAT IS TO SAY THE PER DIEM OF $16 FOR SUCH 4 DAYS, $64, BEING LESS THAN WHAT THE COST OF A ROUND-TRIP (AIR FARE PLUS PER DIEM EN ROUTE) WOULD HAVE BEEN, THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF MR. BOLEY'S STOPOVER WOULD SEEM TO JUSTIFY ALLOWANCE OF THE $32 RECLAIMED BY HIM FOR THE WORKDAYS OF JUNE 29 AND 30, AND THE RECREDIT OF ANNUAL LEAVE PREVIOUSLY CHARGED THEREFOR.

THE LAST PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER INDICATES THAT YOU HAVE VERIFIED THE CORRECTNESS OF THE FACTS STATED BY MR. BOLEY IN SUPPORT OF HIS RECLAIM OF $4.50 (ITEM 2) WHICH REPRESENTS THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE ONE-WAY AIR FARE, $88.35, USED BY YOU IN COMPUTING THE COMPARATIVE COST FOR HIS ALLOWABLE MILEAGE ON VOUCHER NO. 3550, AND THE ONE-WAY AIR FARE, $92.85, BY THE ROUTE WHICH HE SAYS WOULD HAVE BEEN THE ONLY AVAILABLE FLIGHT THAT HE COULD HAVE USED TO ACCOMPLISH HIS RETURN TRAVEL ON JULY 7 FROM BOSTON VIA CHICAGO, SO AS TO ARRIVE IN GRAND FORKS BEFORE MIDNIGHT OF JULY 7. ASSUMING THAT YOU HAVE VERIFIED HIS FACTUAL STATEMENT, THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNT OF $4.50 MAY BE ALLOWED HIM.

ACCORDINGLY THE VOUCHER FOR $36.50 WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.

THE COPIES YOU FURNISHED US OF VOUCHER NO. 3550 AND RELATED PAPERS ARE RETAINED IN OUR FILE.