B-167567, AUG. 18, 1969

B-167567: Aug 18, 1969

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EMPLOYEE WHO DEPARTED EARLIER AND RETURNED LATER IN ORDER TO UTILIZE AN EXCURSION FARE RATE AIRPLANE AT A SAVINGS OF $48 MAY BE REGARDED AS EXERCISING PRUDENCE IN INCURRING EXPENSES AND SINCE ORDER CONTEMPLATED EXTRA PER DIEM PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED. WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM ST. SINCE THE SAVINGS IN TRAVEL COSTS WILL MORE THAN OFFSET INCREASED COSTS OF TDY PER DIEM.'. BY LEAVING AT AN EARLIER TIME AND RETURNING AT A LATER TIME HE WAS ABLE TO UTILIZE AN EXCURSION FARE RATE AT A SAVINGS OF $48. ZIMMERMAN WAS REIMBURSED $144. A TRAVELER ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS IS REQUIRED TO EXERCISE THE SAME CARE IN INCURRING EXPENSES THAT A PRUDENT PERSON WOULD EXERCISE IF TRAVELING ON PERSONAL BUSINESS. SECTION 3.9 OF THE REGULATIONS REQUIRES THE PURCHASE OF EXCURSION AND REDUCED-RATE ROUND-TRIP FARES WHEN SUCH TYPE OF SERVICE IS PRACTICABLE AND ECONOMICAL TO THE GOVERNMENT.

B-167567, AUG. 18, 1969

CIVIL PAY - PER DIEM - EXCURSION FARE RATE DECISION TO MAJOR W. W. SPEAR, USA, DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY, FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING OFFICER, AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF THE VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $24 REPRESENTING ADDITIONAL PER DIEM TO EMPLOYEE WHO DEPARTED EARLIER AND RETURNED LATER THAN NECESSARY INCIDENT TO TRAVEL FROM ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI TO LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA. EMPLOYEE WHO DEPARTED EARLIER AND RETURNED LATER IN ORDER TO UTILIZE AN EXCURSION FARE RATE AIRPLANE AT A SAVINGS OF $48 MAY BE REGARDED AS EXERCISING PRUDENCE IN INCURRING EXPENSES AND SINCE ORDER CONTEMPLATED EXTRA PER DIEM PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED.

TO MAJOR W. W. SPEAR, USA:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 9, 1969, REFERENCE DCRS-FO, WITH ENCLOSURES, FORWARDED HERE BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE ON JULY 24, 1969, PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 69-30, REQUESTING OUR DECISION WHETHER THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. RALPH G. ZIMMERMAN IN THE AMOUNT OF $24 REPRESENTING PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE MAY BE PAID.

BY TRAVEL ORDER DATED JANUARY 29, 1969, MR. ZIMMERMAN, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEFENSE CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION SERVICES, WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, TO LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, AND RETURN. BLOCK 16 OF THE TRAVEL ORDER PROVIDED THAT: "TRAVELER AUTHORIZED TO LEAVE EARLY FOR HIS CONVENIENCE AND AT HIS EXPENSE IN TDY. TRAVELER REQUIRED TO BE AT DCASR, LOS ANGELES AT 0830 HOURS ON 3 FEB. 69. TRAVELER ALSO AUTHORIZED TDY REQUIRED TO SECURE EXCURSION TRAVEL RATES, SINCE THE SAVINGS IN TRAVEL COSTS WILL MORE THAN OFFSET INCREASED COSTS OF TDY PER DIEM.'

MR. ZIMMERMAN DEPARTED ST. LOUIS AT 11:30 A.M. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 1969, AND RETURNED AT 2:55 P.M. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 1969. BY LEAVING AT AN EARLIER TIME AND RETURNING AT A LATER TIME HE WAS ABLE TO UTILIZE AN EXCURSION FARE RATE AT A SAVINGS OF $48. THE TRAVEL BY AN EXCURSION FARE TOOK 7-1/2 DAYS, USING THE LATEST SCHEDULED FLIGHT TO TEMPORARY DUTY POINT AND EARLIEST SCHEDULED FLIGHT FOR RETURN TRAVEL TO WHICH EXCURSION RATE APPLIED. MR. ZIMMERMAN WAS REIMBURSED $144, THE EXCURSION FARE ACTUALLY USED, AND $96 PER DIEM FOR 6 DAYS AT $16 PER DAY, AS IF HE HAD USED DIRECT TRAVEL LEAVING ST. LOUIS SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 1969, AT 6:05 P.M. AND RETRUNING 2:27 P.M. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 1969. THE EMPLOYEE STATES THAT TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE EXCURSION RATE FARE HE HAD TO TRAVEL AT THE TIME HE DID.

A TRAVELER ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS IS REQUIRED TO EXERCISE THE SAME CARE IN INCURRING EXPENSES THAT A PRUDENT PERSON WOULD EXERCISE IF TRAVELING ON PERSONAL BUSINESS. SEE SECTION 1.2 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. ALSO, SECTION 3.9 OF THE REGULATIONS REQUIRES THE PURCHASE OF EXCURSION AND REDUCED-RATE ROUND-TRIP FARES WHEN SUCH TYPE OF SERVICE IS PRACTICABLE AND ECONOMICAL TO THE GOVERNMENT.

WE NOTE THAT THE TRAVEL ORDER APPARENTLY CONTEMPLATED THAT THE EMPLOYEE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO EXTRA PER DIEM BY REASON OF USING THE EXCURSION RATE. IN VIEW THEREOF, AND AS THE EMPLOYEE APPEARS TO HAVE ACTED IN A PRUDENT MANNER, THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH MAY BE PAID.