B-165838, JAN. 17, 1969

B-165838: Jan 17, 1969

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WAS PROPERLY PAID TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR HIMSELF AND FAMILY INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT TRANSFER OF STATION. FLEMING WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM LOS BANOS. FLEMING BEING REQUIRED TO GO BY WAY OF SALIDA WAS FOR ORIENTATION CONCERNING HIS NEW JOB. TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE INVOLVING A DISTANCE OF 1. HE WAS PAID APPLICABLE PER DIEM FOR 4-1/2 DAYS FOR HIMSELF AND DEPENDENTS. COLORADO IS 1103 MILES. COLORADO IS 1326 MILES. IF WE ARE LIMITED TO REIMBURSEMENT ON BASIS OF 1103 MILES. PROVIDES THAT THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY WILL NOT EXCEED THE ALLOWABLE COST BY THE USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BETWEEN THE EMPLOYEE'S OLD AND NEW OFFICIAL STATIONS.

B-165838, JAN. 17, 1969

TO MR. HAROLD J. FARRALL:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 17, 1968, WITH ENCLOSURES, REFERENCE 7-360, REQUESTING A DECISION FROM OUR OFFICE WHETHER MR. LEROY FLEMING, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, WAS PROPERLY PAID TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR HIMSELF AND FAMILY INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT TRANSFER OF STATION.

BY TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION DATED APRIL 3, 1967, MR. FLEMING WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM LOS BANOS, CALIFORNIA, TO MEREDITH, COLORADO, VIA SALIDA, COLORADO. THE REASON FOR MR. FLEMING BEING REQUIRED TO GO BY WAY OF SALIDA WAS FOR ORIENTATION CONCERNING HIS NEW JOB. HIS WIFE AND THREE CHILDREN, AGES 9, 8 AND 6, TRAVELED WITH HIM. TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE INVOLVING A DISTANCE OF 1,326 MILES FOR WHICH MR. FLEMING HAS BEEN REIMBURSED AT THE RATE OF 12 CENTS PER MILE. ALSO, HE WAS PAID APPLICABLE PER DIEM FOR 4-1/2 DAYS FOR HIMSELF AND DEPENDENTS.

IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRAVEL YOU SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

"1. THE SHORT-LINE DISTANCE FROM COALINGA, CALIFORNIA TO MEREDITH, COLORADO IS 1103 MILES. THE SHORT-LINE DISTANCE FROM COALINGA, CALIFORNIA VIA SALIDA TO MEREDITH, COLORADO IS 1326 MILES. CAN WE REIMBURSE MR. FLEMING ON THE BASIS OF 12 CENTS PER MILE FOR 1326 MILES; OR MUST WE LIMIT REIMBURSEMENT ON THE BASIS OF 12 CENTS PER MILE FOR 1103 MILES?

"2. IF WE ARE LIMITED TO REIMBURSEMENT ON BASIS OF 1103 MILES, SHOULD WE REIMBURSE MR. FLEMING ON BASIS OF ROUND TRIP MILEAGE FROM MEREDITH, COLORADO TO SALIDA, COLORADO -- 376 MILES AT 6 CENTS PER MILE; OR ON BASIS OF 223 MILES AT 6 CENTS PER MILE? THE 223 MILES REPRESENTS THE EXTRA SHORT-LINE MILEAGE ADDED BY GOING BY WAY OF SALIDA, COLORADO.

"3. SHOULD THE WIFE AND CHILDREN'S PER DIEM FOR THE MOVE BE BASED ON THE SHORT-LINE DISTANCE FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW STATION (1103 MILES); OR ON THE MILEAGE BY WAY OF SALIDA (1326 MILES/?

"4. IF PER DIEM FOR THE WIFE AND CHILDREN MUST BE BASED ON 1103 MILES, THE PER DIEM PERIOD WOULD END AT 6:00 P.M., MAY 10. CAN MR. FLEMING BE REIMBURSED FOR TEMPORARY LODGING AND SUBSISTENCE FOR HIS FAMILY, FROM 6:00 P.M., MAY 10 AND MAY 11, TOTALING $44.26 SHOWN ON ATTACHED FORM 7-1573 - TRAVEL DIARY AND EXPENSE CLAIM-? "

WE NOTE THAT SECTION 2.2A OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966, PROVIDES THAT THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY WILL NOT EXCEED THE ALLOWABLE COST BY THE USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BETWEEN THE EMPLOYEE'S OLD AND NEW OFFICIAL STATIONS; ALSO, THAT SECTION 2.2B PROVIDES THAT THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE WILL NOT EXCEED THE AMOUNT TO WHICH MEMBERS OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED IF THEY HAD TRAVELED BY THE USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW OFFICIAL STATIONS. OBVIOUSLY, THE ABOVE REFERRED TO REGULATORY PROVISIONS WERE NOT INTENDED TO BE APPLICABLE WHEN AN EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY ACCOMPANIES THE EMPLOYEE ON A TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT IN THE MANNER AND FOR THE PURPOSE HEREIN RELATED, PARTICULARLY WHERE THE OVERALL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT IS LESS THAN THE COST OF SEPARATE TRAVEL.

SINCE THE EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY WOULD HAVE HAD TO USE A COMMON CARRIER IF THEY HAD TRAVELED BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW OFFICIAL STATIONS BY THE USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE, IT IS APPARENT THAT THE TRAVEL COSTS INCLUDING THE APPLICABLE PER DIEM WOULD HAVE BEEN IN EXCESS OF WHAT HAS BEEN REIMBURSED FOR THE INDIRECT TRAVEL. ALSO, IT IS POSSIBLE THAT HAD THE FAMILY TRAVELED SEPARATELY AN ADDITIONAL COST WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED FOR TEMPORARY QUARTERS. THEREFORE, WE WILL NOT QUESTION THE PAYMENT MADE FOR THE TRAVEL IN QUESTION. IT FOLLOWS THAT NO SPECIFIC ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS ARE REQUIRED.