B-163122, FEB. 5, 1968

B-163122: Feb 5, 1968

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AN EMPLOYEE WHO WAS ACCOMPANIED BY HIS WIFE TO SEVERAL TEMPORARY DUTY POINTS ON CHANGE OF STATION FROM HAWAII TO SPAIN IS ONLY ENTITLED TO PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FOR HIS WIFE'S TRAVEL BASED ON THE TRAVEL TIME BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW STATIONS OVER THE USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE WITHOUT INTERRUPTION. COLLIER WAS DIRECTED BY APPROPRIATE TRAVEL ORDERS TO PERFORM. THE QUESTION RAISED BY YOUR LETTER IS WHETHER THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED ON ACCOUNT OF HIS SPOUSE'S PER DIEM AN ALLOWANCE FOR THE ENTIRE PERIOD OF THE TRAVEL INCLUDING THOSE PERIODS DURING WHICH THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL WAS INTERRUPTED FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF TEMPORARY DUTY. - WHERE FOR TRAVELER'S PERSONAL CONVENIENCE OR THROUGH THE TAKING OF LEAVE THERE IS INTERRUPTION OF TRAVEL OR DEVIATION FROM THE DIRECT ROUTE.

B-163122, FEB. 5, 1968

EMPLOYEES - TRANSFERS - PUBLIC LAW 89-516 - INTERRUPTION FOR TEMPORARY DUTY - SPOUSE'S TRAVEL DECISION TO DISBURSING OFFICER OF THE NAVY CONCERNING ENTITLEMENT OF OVERSEAS CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE TO MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE AND PER DIEM FOR DEPENDENT SPOUSE INCIDENT TO PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM HAWAII TO SPAIN WITH TEMPORARY DUTY EN ROUTE. AN EMPLOYEE WHO WAS ACCOMPANIED BY HIS WIFE TO SEVERAL TEMPORARY DUTY POINTS ON CHANGE OF STATION FROM HAWAII TO SPAIN IS ONLY ENTITLED TO PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FOR HIS WIFE'S TRAVEL BASED ON THE TRAVEL TIME BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW STATIONS OVER THE USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE WITHOUT INTERRUPTION.

TO LIEUTENANT S. RUSH:

YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 12, 1967, REFERENCE 13:PF 7200, ENCLOSES A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. JAMES R. COLLIER, A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, COVERING A MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE OF $200 AND PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FOR HIS DEPENDENT SPOUSE INCIDENT TO PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TRAVEL FROM KANEOHE, HAWAII, TO EL FERROL, SPAIN, WITH TEMPORARY DUTY EN ROUTE DURING THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 29, 1966, TO JANUARY 9, 1967.

MR. COLLIER WAS DIRECTED BY APPROPRIATE TRAVEL ORDERS TO PERFORM, EN ROUTE TO HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION AT EL FERROL, SPAIN, TEMPORARY DUTY AT SEATTLE, WASHINGTON; WASHINGTON, D.C.; NEW YORK, NEW YORK AND MADRID, SPAIN. HIS TRAVEL ORDERS AUTHORIZED CONCURRENT TRAVEL BY HIS WIFE AND SHE ACCOMPANIED HIM TO THE TEMPORARY DUTY POINTS EN ROUTE TO HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION. THE EMPLOYEE SPENT A LITTLE OVER 3 MONTHS EN ROUTE FROM HAWAII TO SPAIN.

THE QUESTION RAISED BY YOUR LETTER IS WHETHER THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED ON ACCOUNT OF HIS SPOUSE'S PER DIEM AN ALLOWANCE FOR THE ENTIRE PERIOD OF THE TRAVEL INCLUDING THOSE PERIODS DURING WHICH THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL WAS INTERRUPTED FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF TEMPORARY DUTY.

SECTION 6.10 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"INDIRECT-ROUTE OR INTERRUPTED TRAVEL.--- WHERE FOR TRAVELER'S PERSONAL CONVENIENCE OR THROUGH THE TAKING OF LEAVE THERE IS INTERRUPTION OF TRAVEL OR DEVIATION FROM THE DIRECT ROUTE, THE PER DIEM ALLOWED WILL NOT EXCEED THAT WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED ON UNINTERRUPTED TRAVEL BY A USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE. (SEE SEC. 3.2, 3.3, 6.3, 12.6.)"

AS EVIDENCED BY SUBSECTIONS (A) AND (B) OF SECTION 2.2B (1) OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966, THE REGULATIONS AND 5 U.S.C. 5724A (A) (1) CONTEMPLATE TRAVEL BY A SPOUSE EITHER ACCOMPANIED OR UNACCOMPANIED BY THE EMPLOYEE.

SECTION 2.2B OF THE CIRCULAR, ABOVE CITED, READS IN PART:

"WHEN AN EMPLOYEE IS TRANSFERRED, AN ALLOWANCE SHALL BE PAID FOR PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY WHILE TRAVELING BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW OFFICIAL STATIONS * * *"

CONSIDERING THE ABOVE REFERRED-TO REGULATORY AND STATUTORY PROVISIONS TOGETHER WE CONCLUDE THAT WHEN AN EMPLOYEE'S SPOUSE INTERRUPTS HIS OR HER CONTINUOUS TRAVEL BETWEEN AN OLD AND NEW OFFICIAL STATION SO THAT HE OR SHE CAN ACCOMPANY THE EMPLOYEE ON TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENTS THE RATIONALE OF SECTION 6.10 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS MUST BE APPLIED IN MEASURING AN EMPLOYEE'S ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE ON ACCOUNT OF THE SPOUSE'S TRAVEL.

THUS IN THE CASE PRESENTED BY YOUR LETTER THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED THE COST OF THE SPOUSE'S TRANSPORTATION BY A USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BETWEEN HAWAII AND EL FERROL, SPAIN, AND THE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE ALLOWABLE WOULD BE THAT PAYABLE HAD THE SPOUSE'S TRAVEL BETWEEN THOSE POINTS BEEN UNINTERRUPTED.

THE VOUCHER TRANSMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER SO FAR AS IT PERTAIN TO THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE MAY BE PAID ONLY IN ACCORD WITH THE FOREGOING. THE "MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE" ITEM OF $200 APPEARS TO BE FOR FAVORABLE CONSIDERATION BUT MR. COLLIER'S ENTIRE TRAVEL ACCOUNT MAY BE SUBJECT TO ADJUSTMENT BECAUSE OF EXCESS TRANSPORTATION COSTS WHICH MAY HAVE STEMMED FROM AN INDIRECT ROUTE TRAVELED BY HIS SPOUSE.