B-168853, FEBRUARY 27, 1970, 49 COMP. GEN. 525

B-168853: Feb 27, 1970

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PER DIEM WOULD HAVE BEGUN TO RUN FROM THE TIME OF DEPARTURE FROM HIS RESIDENCE. THE PER DIEM PAYABLE IS FOR COMPUTATION UNDER PARAGRAPH C8101- 2C OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AT THE $11.80 RATE PRESCRIBED FOR TRAVEL FOR A PERIOD OF LESS THAN 24 HOURS BUT MORE THAN 10 HOURS WHERE THE USE OF LODGINGS WAS NOT REQUIRED. ADMINISTRATIVE IMPLEMENTATION THE INCREASE IN THE MAXIMUM PER DIEM RATE FOR TRAVEL WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES FROM $16 TO $25 THAT IS AUTHORIZED BY PUBLIC LAW 91-114. PRESCRIBED BY PARAGRAPHS 8101- 1 AND 8101-2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS A MANDATORY INCREASE AND THE $25 RATE MAY ONLY BE REDUCED BY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION UNDER THE SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH C8051 OF THE REGULATIONS.

B-168853, FEBRUARY 27, 1970, 49 COMP. GEN. 525

SUBSISTENCE -- PER DIEM -- HOURS OF DEPARTURE, ETC. -- RENDEZVOUS LOCATION AN EMPLOYEE WHO DROVE HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE TO A RENDEZVOUS LOCATION FROM WHERE HE TRAVELED IN THE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE OF ANOTHER EMPLOYEE TO THEIR TEMPORARY DUTY STATION MAY BE PAID PER DIEM COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF TRAVEL FROM THE TIME OF DEPARTURE FROM HIS HOME TO HIS RETURN PURSUANT TO SECTION 6.9C(2) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, EVEN THOUGH THE SECTION DOES NOT PRECISELY APPLY TO THE SITUATION, FOR HAD THE EMPLOYEE DRIVEN HIS AUTOMOBILE THE ENTIRE DISTANCE TO THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION OR BEEN PICKED UP AT HIS RESIDENCE, PER DIEM WOULD HAVE BEGUN TO RUN FROM THE TIME OF DEPARTURE FROM HIS RESIDENCE. THE PER DIEM PAYABLE IS FOR COMPUTATION UNDER PARAGRAPH C8101- 2C OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AT THE $11.80 RATE PRESCRIBED FOR TRAVEL FOR A PERIOD OF LESS THAN 24 HOURS BUT MORE THAN 10 HOURS WHERE THE USE OF LODGINGS WAS NOT REQUIRED. SUBSISTENCE -- PER DIEM -- RATES -- INCREASES -- ADMINISTRATIVE IMPLEMENTATION THE INCREASE IN THE MAXIMUM PER DIEM RATE FOR TRAVEL WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES FROM $16 TO $25 THAT IS AUTHORIZED BY PUBLIC LAW 91-114, APPROVED NOVEMBER 10, 1969, AND PRESCRIBED BY PARAGRAPHS 8101- 1 AND 8101-2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS A MANDATORY INCREASE AND THE $25 RATE MAY ONLY BE REDUCED BY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION UNDER THE SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH C8051 OF THE REGULATIONS, AND, THEREFORE, AGENCY RATES OF PER DIEM THAT ARE IN CONTRAVENTION OF THOSE PRESCRIBED BY THE REGULATIONS ARE INEFFECTIVE.

TO LIEUTENANT E. C. CRAWFORD, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, FEBRUARY 27, 1970:

THIS IS IN REPLY TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 12, 1970, REFERENCE D50: ECC 4650, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE PROPER METHOD OF COMPUTING PER DIEM ON TRAVEL VOUCHERS SUBMITTED BY THREE EMPLOYEES OF YOUR AGENCY.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT EACH OF THE EMPLOYEES WAS ASSIGNED TO TEMPORARY DUTY AND AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM HIS HOME OR WASHINGTON, D. C., TO DAHLGREN, VIRGINIA, BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AS MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. EACH OF THE EMPLOYEES TRAVELED BY AUTOMOBILE FROM HIS HOME TO THE LANDMARK SHOPPING CENTER, VIRGINIA, WHERE HE MET ANOTHER EMPLOYEE AND RODE WITH THE LATTER TO AND FROM DAHLGREN. AT THE END OF THE DAY EACH DROVE FROM THE SHOPPING CENTER TO HIS HOME. YOU REQUEST OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER ALLOWABLE TRAVEL TIME FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYING PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE SHOULD BE COMPUTED FROM THE TIME EACH EMPLOYEE TRAVELED FROM HIS HOME UNTIL HE RETURNED THERETO OR FROM THE TIME HE TRAVELED FROM THE SHOPPING CENTER AND RETURNED THERETO.

SECTION 6.9 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

C. GENERALLY FOR COMPUTING PER DIEM ALLOWANCES OFFICIAL TRAVEL BEGINS WHEN THE TRAIN, AIRPLANE, BOAT, OR OTHER CONVEYANCE IS SCHEDULE TO DEPART FROM ITS DEPOT, AIRPORT, OR DOCK AND ENDS WHEN THE TRAIN, AIRPLANE, BOAT, OR OTHER CONVEYANCE ACTUALLY ARRIVES AT ITS DEPOT, AIRPORT, OR DOCK AT THE CONCLUSION OF A TRIP. HOWEVER, THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTIONS ARE AUTHORIZED:

"(2) WHEN A TRAVELER USES AN AUTOMOBILE OR OTHER NONSCHEDULED MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN HIS OFFICE, HOME, OR OTHER POINT OF DEPARTURE AND A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION, OFFICIAL TRAVEL BEGINS AT THE TIME THE TRAVELER LEAVES HIS HOME, OFFICE, OR OTHER POINT OF DEPARTURE AND ENDS WHEN THE TRAVELER RETURNES TO HIS HOME, OFFICE OR OTHER POINT BY AUTOMOBILE OR OTHER NONSCHEDULED CONVEYANCE AT THE CONCLUSION OF HIS TRIP. ***

PARAGRAPH C10157 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, VOLUME 2, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

1. ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. WHEN TRAVEL BY A PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE IS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT, REIMBURSEMENT WILL BE "OMPUTED AT THE AUTHORIZED MILEAGE RATE FOR THE AUTHORIZED HIGHWAY DISTANCE AND PER DIEM WILL BE COMPUTED FOR THE ACTUAL TRAVEL TIME AS PROVIDED BY PAR. C10155-1. ***

THE REGULATIONS DO NOT APPEAR TO APPLY PRECISELY TO THE SITUATION WHERE AN EMPLOYEE TRAVELS BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE TO A RENDEZVOUS LOCATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF TRAVELING TO A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION IN THE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE OF ANOTHER EMPLOYEE. HOWEVER, WE POINT OUT THAT HAD THE EMPLOYEES DRIVEN THEIR AUTOMOBILES FOR THE ENTIRE DISTANCE TO THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION OR HAD THE OTHER EMPLOYEE PICKED THEM UP AT THEIR RESIDENCES THE PER DIEM WOULD HAVE BEGUN TO RUN FROM THE TIME OF DEPARTURE FROM THE RESIDENCES. THEREFORE, OUR VIEW IS THAT THE ALLOWABLE TRAVEL TIME IN THESE CASES SHOULD BE COMPUTED FROM THE TIME EACH EMPLOYEE TRAVELED FROM HIS HOME TO THE TIME HE RETURNED THERETO.

WE NOTE THAT THE TRAVEL IN EACH INSTANCE WAS PERFORMED AFTER THE PASSAGE OF PUBLIC LAW 91-114, APPROVED NOVEMBER 10, 1969, 5 U.S.C. 5702, WHICH INCREASED THE MAXIMUM PER DIEM FOR TRAVEL WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THE "CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES" FROM $16 TO $25, AND THAT TWO EMPLOYEES WERE AUTHORIZED PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $22.00 PER DAY IN ACCORDANCE ALNAV 17 & CNM SPDLTR DTD 11/21/69." THE THIRD EMPLOYEE WAS AUTHORIZED PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $25 PER DAY. WE ALSO NOTE THAT IN EACH INSTANCE THE TRAVEL TIME WAS FOR A PERIOD OF LESS THAN 24 HOURS (BUT MORE THAN 10 HOURS) AND THE USE OF LODGING WAS NOT REQUIRED. IN OUR DECISION, 49 COMP. GEN. 493, FEBRUARY 12, 1970, WE HELD THAT AGENCY RATES OF PER DIEM, WHICH ARE IN CONTRAVENTION OF THOSE PRESCRIBED BY THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, ARE INEFFECTIVE. PARAGRAPH C8101-2C OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT WHEN TEMPORARY DUTY IS COMPLETED IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS FROM TIME OF DEPARTURE TO TIME OF RETURN TO THE PERMANENT STATION AND THE USE OF LODGING IS NOT REQUIRED, A PER DIEM RATE OF $11,80 IS PRESCRIBED. ACCORDINGLY, THE PER DIEM SHOULD BE COMPUTED AT THE RATE OF $11.80.

THE VOUCHERS WHICH ARE RETURNED HEREWITH SHOULD BE HANDLED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE.