B-168225, FEB. 25, 1970

B-168225: Feb 25, 1970

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$3 FOR LUNCH AND $6 FOR DINNER WITHOUT VALUATION SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN REIMBURSED ON SUCH BASIS. THIS METHOD OF SHOWING ACTUAL EXPENSES IS NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 6.12F. AN EMPLOYEE WHO CLAIMS AN ADDITIONAL $15.70 ON BASIS OF DIVIDING $440 CHARGED FOR RENT OF COTTAGE FOR 4 WEEKS BY 27 DAYS RATHER THAN 28 DAYS MAY NOT HAVE SUCH CLAIM CERTIFIED SINCE THERE IS NO SHOWING THAT HE WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO PAY $440 FOR 27 SINGLE DAYS' LODGING. KESTERMAN WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM WASHINGTON. THE TRAVEL WAS TO BEGIN ON OR ABOUT JUNE 29 AND END ON OR ABOUT JULY 26. ACTUAL EXPENSES NOT TO EXCEED $30 PER DAY WERE AUTHORIZED. YOUR AGENCY DIVIDED BY 28 AND HE WAS REIMBURSED FOR LODGING ON THAT BASIS.

B-168225, FEB. 25, 1970

CIVIL PAY--PER DIEM DECISION TO CERTIFYING OFFICER OF MARITIME ADMINISTRATION CONCERNING EMPLOYEE'S ENTITLEMENT TO ADDITIONAL PER DIEM INCIDENT TO TEMPORARY DUTY. EMPLOYEE WHO, INCIDENT TO TEMPORARY DUTY ORDERS AUTHORIZING ACTUAL EXPENSES NOT IN EXCESS OF $30 PER DAY, SUBMITS VOUCHER SHOWING $2 FOR BREAKFAST, $3 FOR LUNCH AND $6 FOR DINNER WITHOUT VALUATION SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN REIMBURSED ON SUCH BASIS. THIS METHOD OF SHOWING ACTUAL EXPENSES IS NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 6.12F, STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. AN EMPLOYEE WHO CLAIMS AN ADDITIONAL $15.70 ON BASIS OF DIVIDING $440 CHARGED FOR RENT OF COTTAGE FOR 4 WEEKS BY 27 DAYS RATHER THAN 28 DAYS MAY NOT HAVE SUCH CLAIM CERTIFIED SINCE THERE IS NO SHOWING THAT HE WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO PAY $440 FOR 27 SINGLE DAYS' LODGING. HOWEVER WITH RESPECT TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES IN NEW YORK ON RETURN TRAVEL EMPLOYEE MAY BE REIMBURSED DIFFERENCE OF $3.29 BETWEEN PAYMENT MADE AND MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE FOR DAY.

TO MRS. M. B. ARDEESER:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 22, 1969, REFERENCE 575, ENCLOSING A COPY OF A VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $15.70 IN FAVOR OF MR. FRANK R. KESTERMAN, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE MARITIME ADMINISTRATION, AND REQUESTING A DECISION FROM OUR OFFICE AS TO WHETHER THE VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

BY TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION DATED JUNE 24, 1969, MR. KESTERMAN WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM WASHINGTON, D. C; TO WOODS HOLE, MASSACHUSETTS, AND RETURN. THE TRAVEL WAS TO BEGIN ON OR ABOUT JUNE 29 AND END ON OR ABOUT JULY 26, 1969. ACTUAL EXPENSES NOT TO EXCEED $30 PER DAY WERE AUTHORIZED.

THE INFORMATION FURNISHED SHOWS THAT MR. KESTERMAN, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS WIFE, ARRIVED AT WOODS HOLE ON JUNE 28, 1969. A RECEIPT DATED JULY 19, 1969, SHOWS THAT HE PAID $440 FOR RENT OF A ONE BEDROOM COTTAGE FOR 4 WEEKS (PRESUMABLY COVERING THE PERIOD JUNE 28 THROUGH JULY 25, 1969, OR 28 DAYS). MR. KESTERMAN USED THE COTTAGE ONLY 27 DAYS AND IN COMPUTING THE ACTUAL COST PER DAY FOR A ROOM HE DIVIDED THE $440 BY 27. YOUR AGENCY DIVIDED BY 28 AND HE WAS REIMBURSED FOR LODGING ON THAT BASIS. RETURNING TO WASHINGTON, D. C; MR. KESTERMAN LEFT WOODS HOLE ON JULY 25, 1969, AND SPENT THE NIGHT IN NEW YORK, NEW YORK, AT A COST OF $27.30 FOR A MOTEL ROOM FOR HIMSELF AND HIS WIFE. HE WAS REIMBURSED ONLY $26.71 FOR THAT DAY WHICH INCLUDED THE PRORATED COTTAGE COST OF $15.71 PLUS $11 FOR MEALS. APPARENTLY, HE WAS NOT REGARDED AS ENTITLED TO ANY ADDITIONAL AMOUNT FOR THE MOTEL ROOM.

YOU DO NOT SHOW WHAT THE COST OF A ROOM FOR A SINGLE PERSON WOULD HAVE BEEN AT THE MOTEL WHERE HE STOPPED ON THE NIGHT OF JULY 25, 1969. HOWEVER, YOU DO STATE THAT A SURVEY OF GOING RATES IN WOODS HOLE AT THE TIME INDICATES THAT IT IS UNLIKELY THAT LODGING FOR ONE PERSON FOR 28 DAYS WOULD HAVE BEEN OBTAINED FOR LESS THAN THE AMOUNT ACTUALLY PAID.

WE NOTE THAT WITHOUT VARIATION FOR THE DURATION OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY AND THE TRAVEL TO AND FROM THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION MR. KESTERMAN HAS CLAIMED $2 FOR BREAKFAST, $3 FOR LUNCH AND $6 FOR DINNER. WE DO NOT SANCTION THIS METHOD OF SHOWING SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES AS A GENERAL PRACTICE. HOWEVER, IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE WE WILL RAISE NO OBJECTION SINCE YOU SAY THAT YOU ARE SATISFIED THAT THE AMOUNTS CLAIMED REPRESENT A REASONABLE AVERAGE OF THE ACTUAL COSTS IN THAT AREA. IN FUTURE CASES SECTION 6.12F OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS SHOULD BE FOLLOWED.

APPARENTLY, THE BASIS FOR THE $15.70 THAT MR. KESTERMAN IS NOW CLAIMING IS THAT HE STILL FEELS THE $440 SHOULD BE DIVIDED BY 27 INSTEAD OF 28. THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT RECORD WE CANNOT AGREE WITH THAT VIEW SINCE THERE IS NO SHOWING THAT MR. KESTERMAN WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO SPEND $440 FOR 27 DAYS SINGLE LODGING AT WOODS HOLE. HOWEVER, SINCE MR. KESTERMAN HAS ONLY BEEN REIMBURSED $26.71 FOR JULY 25, 1969, WHEREAS HIS EXPENDITURES FOR THAT DAY WERE IN EXCESS OF $30 HE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO THE DIFFERENCE OF $3.29. ACTION ON THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH SHOULD BE TAKEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING.