B-167074, JUN. 25, 1969

B-167074: Jun 25, 1969

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YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER EXISTS AS TO WHETHER THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED THE AMOUNT OF $122.90. REPRESENTING ADVANCE PAYMENT FOR LODGING WHICH WAS NOT USED. CROWN WAS ORDERED TO REPORT TO THE FAA ACADEMY AT OKLAHOMA CITY. WAS SCHEDULED TO END ON APRIL 23. CROWN'S GRADES AT THE ACADEMY WERE UNSATISFACTORY TO HIS EMPLOYING OFFICE AND ON MARCH 5. HE WAS ORDERED TO RETURN TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION AT AMARILLO. AFTER 30 DAYS THE PER DIEM IS REDUCED TO COST OF LODGING PLUS $7. YOU INDICATE THAT AN EMPLOYEE ATTENDING THE SCHOOL BY OBTAINING LODGING ON A MONTHLY BASIS RATHER THAN ON A DAILY OR WEEKLY BASIS OFTEN IS ABLE TO OBTAIN A REDUCED LODGING RATE WHICH RESULTS IN A REDUCED PER DIEM RATE AND A SAVING TO THE GOVERNMENT.

B-167074, JUN. 25, 1969

TO MR. ROBERT J. SCHULLERY:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 27, 1969, WITH ENCLOSURES, WHEREIN YOU REQUEST A DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER FOR $199.10 IN FAVOR OF MR. RONALD L. CROWN, AN EMPLOYEE OF YOUR AGENCY. YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER EXISTS AS TO WHETHER THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED THE AMOUNT OF $122.90, REPRESENTING ADVANCE PAYMENT FOR LODGING WHICH WAS NOT USED.

THE INFORMATION FURNISHED SHOWS THAT MR. CROWN WAS ORDERED TO REPORT TO THE FAA ACADEMY AT OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA, FOR TEMPORARY DUTY FOR THE PURPOSE OF ATTENDING A COURSE OF INSTRUCTION IN BASIC RADAR. THE COURSE BEGAN ON FEBRUARY 4, 1969, AND WAS SCHEDULED TO END ON APRIL 23, 1969. MR. CROWN'S GRADES AT THE ACADEMY WERE UNSATISFACTORY TO HIS EMPLOYING OFFICE AND ON MARCH 5, 1969, HE WAS ORDERED TO RETURN TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION AT AMARILLO, TEXAS.

THE EMPLOYEE, EXPECTING TO BE AT THE ACADEMY FOR A PERIOD OF 79 CALENDAR DAYS, ACQUIRED LODGING ON A MONTHLY RATHER THAN A WEEKLY OR DAILY BASIS. FAA TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT FOR THE FIRST 30 DAYS AT THE ACADEMY THE PER DIEM RATE SHALL BE THE COST OF LODGING PLUS $7, NOT TO EXCEED $16. AFTER 30 DAYS THE PER DIEM IS REDUCED TO COST OF LODGING PLUS $7, NOT TO EXCEED $12. YOU INDICATE THAT AN EMPLOYEE ATTENDING THE SCHOOL BY OBTAINING LODGING ON A MONTHLY BASIS RATHER THAN ON A DAILY OR WEEKLY BASIS OFTEN IS ABLE TO OBTAIN A REDUCED LODGING RATE WHICH RESULTS IN A REDUCED PER DIEM RATE AND A SAVING TO THE GOVERNMENT.

PRIOR TO THE RECEIPT OF THE ORDER TO RETURN TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION, MR. CROWN MADE AN ADVANCE PAYMENT OF $146.50 COVERING COST OF LODGING FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH 1969. WHEN MR. CROWN WAS ORDERED BACK TO HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION, THE LANDLORD REFUSED TO REFUND HIM THE ADVANCE LODGING PAYMENT FROM MARCH 6 THROUGH MARCH 31, 1969, IN THE AMOUNT OF $122.90.

WE ASSUME THAT THE AGENCY WAS AWARE THAT MR. CROWN WAS RENTING ON A MONTHLY BASIS. OBVIOUSLY, IF HE HAD BEEN NOTIFIED PRIOR TO MARCH 1, 1969, THAT CONSIDERATION WAS BEING GIVEN TO THE TERMINATION OF HIS TRAINING HE WOULD NOT HAVE PAID HIS RENT IN ADVANCE FOR THE ENTIRE MONTH OF MARCH.

WE NOTE THAT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 49 U.S.C. 1354 THE ATTENDANCE OF THE EMPLOYEE AT THE FAA ACADEMY WAS APPARENTLY SUBJECT TO THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES TRAINING ACT. THAT ACT NOW CODIFIED IN 5 U.S.C. 4101-4118 AUTHORIZES PAYMENT OR REIMBURSEMENT TO AN EMPLOYEE OF ALL OR A PART OF THE NECESSARY EXPENSES OF TRAINING. ALSO, SECTION 410.601 OF THE REGULATIONS ISSUED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"THE HEAD OF EACH DEPARTMENT SHALL DETERMINE WHICH EXPENSES CONSTITUTE NECESSARY TRAINING EXPENSES UNDER SECTION 4109 OF TITLE 5, UNITED STATES CODE.'

IF THE HEAD OF YOUR DEPARTMENT SHOULD DETERMINE THAT THE $122.90 HERE IN QUESTION COVERS NECESSARY TRAINING EXPENSES WE WILL NOT OBJECT TO CERTIFICATION OF THE VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT. 39 COMP. GEN. 119.

THE VOUCHER IS RETURNED HEREWITH FOR HANDLING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE.