B-166082, MAR. 27, 1969

B-166082: Mar 27, 1969

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SPERLING: THIS IS IN REPLY TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 31. OFFICE FROM HIS HOME AND WAS INFORMED THAT HIS FLIGHT WOULD BE LEAVING AS SCHEDULED. WHEN HE ARRIVED AT THE AIRPORT BY TAXICAB HE WAS ADVISED THAT DUE TO FOG THE AIRPORT HAD BEEN CLOSED SINCE 8 P.M. THE PREVIOUS DAY AND THE POSSIBILITIES WERE THAT IT WOULD NOT BE OPEN AGAIN UNTIL LATE THAT DAY. MOFFETT'S HOME WAS NOT PAID FOR THE FOLLOWING REASON: "SUSPENDED IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 1:1 S.G.T.R . EMPLOYEES ARE EXPECTED TO EXERCISE THE SAME CARE IN INCURRING EXPENSES THAT A PRUDENT PERSON WOULD EXERCISE IF TRAVELING ON PERSONAL BUSINESS. PER DIEM WOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWABLE FROM 9:40 A.M. YOU ASK WHETHER THE ROUND-TRIP TAXICAB FARE MAY BE PAID AS WELL AS THE FARE FROM HIS HOME TO THE AIRPORT WHEN THE FIELD WAS OPERATING LATER IN THE DAY.

B-166082, MAR. 27, 1969

TO MISS ROSE M. SPERLING:

THIS IS IN REPLY TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 31, 1969, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER FOR $20 IN FAVOR OF MR. KENNETH E. MOFFETT, AN EMPLOYEE OF YOUR AGENCY.

MR. MOFFETT, WHO HAD A RESERVATION FOR A FLIGHT FROM FRIENDSHIP AIRPORT AT 9:40 A.M., OCTOBER 16, 1968, CALLED THE AIRLINE'S WASHINGTON, D.C. OFFICE FROM HIS HOME AND WAS INFORMED THAT HIS FLIGHT WOULD BE LEAVING AS SCHEDULED. HOWEVER, WHEN HE ARRIVED AT THE AIRPORT BY TAXICAB HE WAS ADVISED THAT DUE TO FOG THE AIRPORT HAD BEEN CLOSED SINCE 8 P.M. THE PREVIOUS DAY AND THE POSSIBILITIES WERE THAT IT WOULD NOT BE OPEN AGAIN UNTIL LATE THAT DAY. MR. MOFFETT THEN ARRANGED WITH THE AIRLINE AGENT TO CALL HIM AT HIS HOME WHENEVER ANY FLIGHT WOULD BE AVAILABLE FROM EITHER FRIENDSHIP, NATIONAL OR DULLES AIRPORTS AND TOOK A TAXICAB HOM. AT 1:45 P.M. THE AIRLINE AGENT CALLED AND STATED A FLIGHT WOULD DEPART AT 2:30 P.M. MR. MOFFETT RETURNED TO FRIENDSHIP AIRPORT BY TAXICAB AND TRAVELED BY THAT FLIGHT. THE ROUND-TRIP TAXICAB FARE OF $20 TO AND FROM MR. MOFFETT'S HOME WAS NOT PAID FOR THE FOLLOWING REASON:

"SUSPENDED IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 1:1 S.G.T.R -- WHICH STATES IN PART -- EMPLOYEES ARE EXPECTED TO EXERCISE THE SAME CARE IN INCURRING EXPENSES THAT A PRUDENT PERSON WOULD EXERCISE IF TRAVELING ON PERSONAL BUSINESS. HAD TRAVELER REMAINED AT AIRPORT, PER DIEM WOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWABLE FROM 9:40 A.M. CG 39-875.' YOU ASK WHETHER THE ROUND-TRIP TAXICAB FARE MAY BE PAID AS WELL AS THE FARE FROM HIS HOME TO THE AIRPORT WHEN THE FIELD WAS OPERATING LATER IN THE DAY.

WE RECOGNIZE UNDER THE SITUATION HERE INVOLVED THAT SOME TRAVELERS WOULD HAVE DEEMED IT PRUDENT TO RETURN HOME WHILE OTHERS MAY HAVE THOUGHT IT MORE PRUDENT TO REMAIN AT THE AIRPORT. IN VIEW THEREOF AND ASSUMING THAT THE SUSPENSION REFERRED TO ABOVE IS NOT AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION SUCH AS ORDINARILY WOULD BE MADE BY OTHER OFFICIALS OF THE AGENCY WE SUGGEST THAT THE MATTER BE SUBMITTED FOR SUCH A DETERMINATION. IN THAT CONNECTION WE NOTE THAT NEITHER THE RECLAIM VOUCHER NOR THE ORIGINAL APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN APPROVED BY ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS.

IF A DETERMINATION IS MADE THAT MR. MOFFETT ACTED PRUDENTLY IN THE MATTER WE WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT THERETO AND THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, COULD THEN BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.