B-164982, SEPT. 18, 1968

B-164982: Sep 18, 1968

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GEMMELL: THIS IS IN REPLY TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 30. OF WHICH YOU HAVE ALLOWED HIM THE SUM OF $309.25. HART IS INCORRECTLY APPLYING THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 6.11 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (SGTR) IN DETERMINING WHEN A CHANGE IN PER DIEM RATE TAKES EFFECT. HART WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL IN THE UNITED STATES AND ALASKA AND OTHER POINTS WITH RATES OF PER DIEM ALLOWED IN ACCORDANCE WITH PART 190 OF THE CUSTOMS ACCOUNTING MANUAL. HART'S ITINERARY ARE AS FOLLOWS: 5/1 DEPARTED DULLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT NEAR WASHINGTON. 1967: 1/4 $16 4.00 2 $25 50.00 16 $16 256.00 1/4 $11 2.75 TOTAL $312.75" YOU HAVE ALLOWED PER DIEM AT THE FOLLOWING RATES: "PER DIEM ALLOWED: 1/2 $16 8.00 1 3/4 $25 43.75 15 3/4 $16 252.00 1/2 $11 5.50 TOTAL $309.25 DIFFERENCE $3.50" YOU INDICATE THAT YOUR CALCULATIONS ARE BASED UPON SECTION 190.13 (B) OF CUSTOMS' REGULATIONS WHICH PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS: "/B) DEFINITION OF DAY FOR PER DIEM PURPOSES. (1) FOR PURPOSES OF COMPUTING PER DIEM FOR CONTINUOUS TRAVEL OF MORE THAN 24 HOURS.

B-164982, SEPT. 18, 1968

TO MR. HARRY B. GEMMELL:

THIS IS IN REPLY TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 30, 1968, REFERENCE FP 146.8 G, SUBMITTING FOR ADVANCE DECISION THE RECLAIM VOUCHER OF RAYMOND A. HART, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF CUSTOMS.

MR. HART CLAIMED PER DIEM TOTALING $312.75 FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BETWEEN MAY 1 AND MAY 19, 1967, OF WHICH YOU HAVE ALLOWED HIM THE SUM OF $309.25. YOU BELIEVE THAT MR. HART IS INCORRECTLY APPLYING THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 6.11 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (SGTR) IN DETERMINING WHEN A CHANGE IN PER DIEM RATE TAKES EFFECT. MR. HART WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL IN THE UNITED STATES AND ALASKA AND OTHER POINTS WITH RATES OF PER DIEM ALLOWED IN ACCORDANCE WITH PART 190 OF THE CUSTOMS ACCOUNTING MANUAL.

PERTINENT PORTIONS OF MR. HART'S ITINERARY ARE AS FOLLOWS:

5/1 DEPARTED DULLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT NEAR

WASHINGTON, D.C., 8:45 A.M., E.S.T. NORTHWEST

AIRLINES FOR ANCHORAGE, ALASKA.

5/1 12:15 P.M., C.S.T. DEPARTED CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, FOR

ANCHORAGE, ARRIVING IN ANCHORAGE AT 12:45 P.M., E.S.T.

5/3 11:00 A.M., A.S.T. DEPARTED ANCHORAGE FOR SEATTLE.

5/3 4:45 P.M., P.S.T. ARRIVED SEATTLE.

5/3 5:20 P.M., P.S.T. DEPARTED SEATTLE FOR LOS ANGELES.

5/3 8:00 P.M., P.S.T. ARRIVED LOS ANGELES.

5/4 - 5/18 OFFICIAL DUTY IN CALIFORNIA.

5/19 DEPARTED LOS ANGELES 9:15 A.M., P.S.T. ARRIVED

WASHINGTON, D.C., AT 5:00 P.M., E.S.T. MR. HART HAS CLAIMED PER DIEM AT THE FOLLOWING RATES:

"PER DIEM CLAIMED ON JUNE 1, 1967:

1/4 $16 4.00

2 $25 50.00

16 $16 256.00

1/4 $11 2.75

TOTAL $312.75" YOU HAVE ALLOWED PER DIEM AT THE FOLLOWING RATES:

"PER DIEM ALLOWED:

1/2 $16 8.00

1 3/4 $25 43.75 15 3/4 $16 252.00

1/2 $11 5.50

TOTAL $309.25

DIFFERENCE $3.50"

YOU INDICATE THAT YOUR CALCULATIONS ARE BASED UPON SECTION 190.13 (B) OF CUSTOMS' REGULATIONS WHICH PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"/B) DEFINITION OF DAY FOR PER DIEM PURPOSES. (1) FOR PURPOSES OF COMPUTING PER DIEM FOR CONTINUOUS TRAVEL OF MORE THAN 24 HOURS, A CALENDAR DAY SHALL BE DIVIDED INTO QUARTERS BEGINNING WITH 12:01 A.M. AND ENDING WITH MIDNIGHT OF THE SAME CALENDAR DAY. ONE-FOURTH OF A DAY'S PER DIEM SHALL BE ALLOWED FOR EACH QUARTER OR FRACTION THEREOF.

"THE FIRST PER DIEM DAY SHALL BEGIN WITH THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE FIRST QUARTER IN WHICH TRAVEL IS STARTED AND SHALL END AFTER THE FOURTH QUARTER HAS ELAPSED. EACH SUCCEEDING FULL PER DIEM DAY SHALL BE COMPUTED ON THE SAME BASIS. THE PER DIEM RATE FOR EACH OF THE FOUR QUARTERS OF A FULL PER DIEM DAY SHALL BE BASED ON THE APPLICABLE RATE AS PROVIDED IN (C) (1) THROUGH (6) BELOW, EXCEPT THAT AT THE END OF CONTINUOUS TRAVEL OF MORE THAN 24 HOURS THE PER DIEM RATE SHALL BE ONE FOURTH OF $11 FOR EACH QUARTER OR FRACTION THEREOF OCCURRING AFTER THE CLOSE OF THE PREVIOUS FULL PER DIEM DAY.'

SECTION 6.2B (1) OF SGTR PROVIDES FOR TRAVEL WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES AT NOT IN EXCESS OF $16 PER DIEM AND DEFINES CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AS THE FORMER 48 STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

PART 190 OF CUSTOMS ACCOUNTING MANUAL LEAVES THE RATE OF PER DIEM IN CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO THE DISCRETION OF THE OFFICER ORDERING THE TRAVEL. A BUREAU NOTICE OF MARCH 22, 1967, PRESCRIBES PAYMENT OF THE MAXIMUM PER DIEM AUTHORIZED IN SGTR WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. PER DIEM IN ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, UNDER DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE REGULATIONS IS SET AT $25. SEE SGTR 6.2B (2) AND JTR, VOLUME 2, APPENDIX C.

SECTION 6.11 OF SGTR DEFINES A DAY FOR PER DIEM PURPOSES WHEN CONTINUOUS TRAVEL OF MORE THAN 24 HOURS IS INVOLVED AS FOLLOWS:

"6.11 DAY DEFINED. --- IN COMPUTING THE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FOR CONTINUOUS TRAVEL OF MORE THAN 24 HOURS, THE CALENDAR DAY (MIDNIGHT TO MIDNIGHT) WILL BE THE UNIT, AND FOR FRACTIONAL PARTS OF A DAY AT THE COMMENCEMENT OR ENDING OF SUCH CONTINUOUS TRAVE, CONSTITUTING A TRAVEL PERIOD, ONE-FOURTH OF THE RATE FOR A CALENDAR DAY WILL BE ALLOWED FOR EACH PERIOD OF 6 HOURS OR FRACTION THEREOF. WHEN CHANGE IN PER DIEM RATE IS MADE DURING A DAY, THE RATE OF PER DIEM IN EFFECT AT THE BEGINNING OF THE QUARTER IN WHICH THE CHANGE OCCURS SHALL CONTINUE TO THE END OF SUCH QUARTER.' THIS STATUTORY REGULATION HAS THE FORCE AND EFFECT OF A LAW AND MUST BE FOLLOWED BY THE AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT.

WITH RESPECT TO RATES OF PER DIEM SECTION 6.2 OF SGTR PROVIDES:

"C. FOR TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS BEYOND THE LIMITS OF THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES BY AIRPLANE, TRAIN, OR BOAT (REGARDLESS OF WHETHER COMMERCIALLY OR GOVERNMENT-OWNED), WHETHER EN ROUTE BETWEEN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND A LOCALITY BEYOND OR BETWEEN SUCH LOCALITIES, INCLUDING STOP-OVERS OF LESS THAN 6 HOURS, THE MAXIMUM PER DIEM THAT MAY BE AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED (EXCEPT FOR THE PROVISO IN SECTION 6.11) IS AS FOLLOWS:

"/2) FOR TRIPS OTHER THAN THOSE PRESCRIBED IN (1), THE MAXIMUM PER DIEM RATE ALLOWABLE BETWEEN DUTY POINTS WILL BE THAT OF THE DESTINATION DUTY POINT WHEN THE TRAVEL TIME BETWEEN A DUTY POINT IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND A DUTY POINT IN A LOCALITY BEYOND THE LIMITS OF THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES OR BETWEEN A DUTY POINT IN ONE SUCH LOCALITY AND A DUTY POINT IN ANOTHER IS LESS THAN 6 HOURS.'

INSOFAR AS THE CALCULATION OF TIME FOR PER DIEM PURPOSES IS CONCERNED WE LOOK TO SECTION 6.9 OF SGTR, AS AMENDED:

"A. THE DATE AND HOUR OF DEPARTURE FROM AND ARRIVAL AT THE OFFICIAL STATION OR OTHER PLACE AT WHICH OFFICIAL TRAVEL BEGINS OR ENDS, AND POINTS AT WHICH TEMPORARY DUTY IS PERFORMED WILL BE SHOWN ON THE TRAVEL VOUCHER WHEN SUCH ARRIVAL OR DEPARTURE AFFECTS THE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE OR OTHER TRAVEL EXPENSES. OTHER POINTS VISITED SHOULD ALSO BE SHOWN BUT THE TIME OF ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE NEED NOT BE ENTERED. THE HOURS OF DEPARTURE AND ARRIVAL WILL BE THOSE OF THE STANDARD TIME THEN CURRENTLY IN EFFECT AT EACH SUCH PLACE. (SEE SECTION 3 (A) OF THE UNIFORM TIME ACT OF 1966 AND 15 U.S.C. 262 AS AMENDED BY SECTION 4 (B) OF THAT ACT.)"

APPLYING THE FOREGOING REGULATIONS TO THE FACTS IN THE INSTANT CASE WE DETERMINE THAT MR. HART IS ENTITLED TO PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $16 FOR THE SECOND QUARTER OF MAY 1, 1967, AND SINCE HE WAS STILL IN CHICAGO AT THE START OF THE THIRD QUARTER ON MAY 1 THAT PER DIEM RATE WOULD REMAIN IN EFFECT UNTIL THE CHANGE TO THE LOCAL RATE IN ANCHORAGE OF $25 AT THE START OF THE FOURTH QUARTER ON THAT DAY. MR. HART WOULD BE ENTITLED TO PER DIEM AT THE $25 RATE THROUGH THE SECOND QUARTER OF MAY 3.

THEREAFTER, BEGINNING WITH THE THIRD QUARTER ON MAY 3, 1967, THROUGH MAY 18, 1967, HE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $16. UNDER SECTION 190.13 (B) OF THE CUSTOMS ACCOUNTING MANUAL PROVIDING FOR PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $11 FOR THAT PART OF A DAY AT THE END OF CONTINUOUS TRAVEL FOLLOWING THE LAST FULL PER DIEM DAY HE WOULD BE ENTITLED FOR MAY 19, 1967, TO THREE-FOURTHS OF A DAY AT THE $11 RATE. THIS WOULD COVER THE PERIOD FROM MIDNIGHT UNTIL HIS ARRIVAL IN WASHINGTON AT 5 P.M., E.S.T. ON THAT DATE.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FOREGOING THE PER DIEM PAYABLE WOULD BE AS FOLLOWS:

5-1-67 1/2 DAY $16 8.00

5-1-67 1/4 DAY $25 6.25

5-2-67 1 DAY $25 25.00

5-3-67 1/2 DAY $25 12.50

5-3-67 1/2 DAY $16 8.00

5-4-67

THROUGH

5-18-67 15 DAYS $16 240.00

5-19-67 3/4 DAY $11 8.25

TOTAL $308.00

ACCORDINGLY, IT APPEARS THAT MR. HART ALREADY HAS BEEN PAID EXCESS PER DIEM IN THE AMOUNT OF $1.25.

THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.