B-168875, APR. 1, 1970

B-168875: Apr 1, 1970

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EMPLOYEE WAS PERMANENTLY TRANSFERRED FROM CHICAGO. CLAIM OF PER DIEM FOR 6 1/2 DAYS TEMPORARY DUTY IN CHICAGO IS REJECTED SINCE EFFECTIVE DATE OF HEADQUARTERS CHANGE IS DATE EMPLOYEE ARRIVES AT NEW DUTY STATION AND EMPLOYEE'S SITUATION WAS NOT EXCEPTIONAL AS BEGINNING OF TRAVEL WAS NOT PREVENTED BECAUSE OF WEATHER CONDITIONS OR AIRLINE STRIKE. MITCHKA WAS TRANSFERRED ON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM CHICAGO. ON THAT BASIS CLAIMED PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FOR 6 1/2 DAYS OF TEMPORARY DUTY FOR WHICH HE WAS PAID $104. MITCHKA STATES THAT THERE WAS A CHANGE IN HIS LIVING ARRANGEMENTS AND EXTRA EXPENSES WERE INCURRED. HE WAS TOLD TO ATTEND A CONFERENCE IN CHICAGO DURING THE WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 12.

B-168875, APR. 1, 1970

SUBSISTENCE--PER DIEM--HEADQUARTERS--CHANGE OF STATION--CONTINUED TO SERVE AT OLD STATION WHEN, PRESUMABLY BY ORAL ORDERS LATER CONFIRMED, EMPLOYEE WAS PERMANENTLY TRANSFERRED FROM CHICAGO, ILL; TO WASHINGTON, D.C; EFFECTIVE SEPT. 12, 1965, BUT REQUESTED TO ATTEND CONFERENCE IN CHICAGO DURING WEEK OF SEPT. 12, CLAIM OF PER DIEM FOR 6 1/2 DAYS TEMPORARY DUTY IN CHICAGO IS REJECTED SINCE EFFECTIVE DATE OF HEADQUARTERS CHANGE IS DATE EMPLOYEE ARRIVES AT NEW DUTY STATION AND EMPLOYEE'S SITUATION WAS NOT EXCEPTIONAL AS BEGINNING OF TRAVEL WAS NOT PREVENTED BECAUSE OF WEATHER CONDITIONS OR AIRLINE STRIKE. SEE COMP. GEN. DECS. CITED.

TO MR. VLADIMIR OLEYNIK:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 23, 1970, WITH ENCLOSURES, CONCERNING THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM TO MR. JOHN C. MITCHKA, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, WHILE STATIONED AT CHICAGO, ILLINOIS.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BY TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION DATED SEPTEMBER 27, 1965 (PRESUMABLY CONFIRMATION OF PRIOR ORAL ORDERS), MR. MITCHKA WAS TRANSFERRED ON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, TO WASHINGTON, D. C; EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 12, 1965. THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION ALSO NOTED THAT MR. MITCHKA REMAINED ON DETAIL IN CHICAGO FROM SEPTEMBER 12 TO CLOSE OF BUSINESS SEPTEMBER 17, 1965. ALTHOUGH MR. MITCHKA DID NOT ARRIVE AT HIS NEW DUTY STATION TO CONSUMMATE THE TRANSFER UNTIL 10 P.M. SEPTEMBER 19, 1965, HE CONSIDERED THE CHANGE OF STATION TO WASHINGTON, D. C; TO BE EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 12, 1965, AND ON THAT BASIS CLAIMED PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FOR 6 1/2 DAYS OF TEMPORARY DUTY FOR WHICH HE WAS PAID $104. OUR AUDIT DIVISION ISSUED AN INFORMAL INQUIRY CONCERNING MR. MITCHKA'S ENTITLEMENT TO PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE IN THE AMOUNT OF $104 FOR THE 6 1/2 DAYS OF TEMPORARY DUTY AT HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION IN CHICAGO.

MR. MITCHKA STATES THAT THERE WAS A CHANGE IN HIS LIVING ARRANGEMENTS AND EXTRA EXPENSES WERE INCURRED, INASMUCH AS HE TERMINATED HIS APARTMENT RENTAL AGREEMENT ON SEPTEMBER 15, 1965, FULLY INTENDING TO REPORT FOR DUTY IN WASHINGTON, D. C; ON SEPTEMBER 12, 1965. HOWEVER, AT THE LAST MOMENT, HE WAS TOLD TO ATTEND A CONFERENCE IN CHICAGO DURING THE WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 12. HE CHECKED INTO A HOTEL AT WHICH OTHERS ATTENDING THE CONFERENCE WERE STAYING. MR. MITCHKA STATES THAT THERE WAS NO POINT IN HIS TRAVELING TO WASHINGTON, D. C; AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO MERELY REPORT AND THEN RETURN IMMEDIATELY TO CHICAGO.

THE ESTABLISHED RULE IS THAT THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF A CHANGE OF HEADQUARTERS IS THE DATE THE EMPLOYEE ARRIVES AT THE NEW DUTY STATION. COMP. GEN. 337, ID. 874; 23 ID. 342. SECTION 6.8 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PRECLUDES THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE TO AN EMPLOYEE AT HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION. IN EXCEPTIONAL SITUATIONS WE HAVE ALLOWED PER DIEM AT AN EMPLOYEE'S OLD HEADQUARTERS WHERE HE HAS INCURRED EXPENSES OF LODGING AND MEALS BECAUSE OF RELINQUISHMENT OF PERMANENT QUARTERS. HOWEVER, IN THOSE CASES THE EMPLOYEES WERE READY TO BEGIN TRAVEL TO THEIR NEW DUTY STATIONS BUT WERE PREVENTED FROM DOING SO BECAUSE OF WEATHER CONDITIONS OR BECAUSE OF AN AIRLINE STRIKE. B-160366, JANUARY 12, 1967; B-140423, SEPTEMBER 24, 1959. WE DO NOT BELIEVE THE SITUATION HERE INVOLVED FALLS WITHIN THE CATEGORY OF THOSE CASES.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE CHANGE OF HEADQUARTERS TO WASHINGTON, D. C; DID NOT OCCUR UNTIL SEPTEMBER 19, 1965, MR. MITCHKA WAS NOT ENTITLED TO PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE WHILE AT HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION IN CHICAGO.