B-169024, MAY 5, 1970

B-169024: May 5, 1970

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EXCURSION FARES EMPLOYEE'S CLAIM FOR PER DIEM FOR 3 DAYS (SATURDAY THROUGH MONDAY) WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DENIED ON THEORY EMPLOYEE COULD HAVE RETURNED TO SEATTLE. ALTHOUGH EMPLOYEE STATES RETURN ON MONDAY WAS NECESSARY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EXCURSION FARE. COULD HAVE ASSURED ARRIVAL IN SEATTLE DURING THIRD PER DIEM QUARTER OF SUNDAY. EMPLOYEE MAY BE ALLOWED ONLY 1 3/4 DAYS OF PER DIEM BECAUSE HE IS UNDER OBLIGATION TO EXERCISE SAME DUE CARE IN INCURRING EXPENSES THAT PRUDENT PERSON WOULD IF TRAVELING ON PERSONAL BUSINESS. DAVIS WAS AUTHORIZED O TRAVEL FROM SEATTLE. DAVIS COULD HAVE RETURNED TO SEATTLE ON FRIDAY EVENING AT THE CONCLUSION OF HIS TEMPORARY DUTY. DAVIS STATES THAT IT WAS NECESSARY FOR HIM TO REMAIN IN WASHINGTON UNTIL MONDAY IN ORDER TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE EXCURSION FARE FOR TRAVEL BACK TO SEATTLE.

B-169024, MAY 5, 1970

SUBSISTENCE--PER DIEM--HOURS OF DEPARTURE, ETC.--EXCURSION FARES EMPLOYEE'S CLAIM FOR PER DIEM FOR 3 DAYS (SATURDAY THROUGH MONDAY) WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DENIED ON THEORY EMPLOYEE COULD HAVE RETURNED TO SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, FROM AUTHORIZED TRIP TO SILVER SPRING, MD; AT CONCLUSION OF TEMPORARY DUTY FRIDAY EVENING. ALTHOUGH EMPLOYEE STATES RETURN ON MONDAY WAS NECESSARY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EXCURSION FARE, FOUR OTHER FLIGHTS ON SUNDAY, UNDER EXCURSION RATE, COULD HAVE ASSURED ARRIVAL IN SEATTLE DURING THIRD PER DIEM QUARTER OF SUNDAY. ACCORDINGLY, EMPLOYEE MAY BE ALLOWED ONLY 1 3/4 DAYS OF PER DIEM BECAUSE HE IS UNDER OBLIGATION TO EXERCISE SAME DUE CARE IN INCURRING EXPENSES THAT PRUDENT PERSON WOULD IF TRAVELING ON PERSONAL BUSINESS.

TO MISS EDITH ALBRITTAIN:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 6, 1970, REFERENCE AD571X17, REQUESTING OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. VICTOR K. DAVIS FOR $48, REPRESENTING PER DIEM FOR 3 DAYS.

BY TRAVEL ORDER DATED OCTOBER 28, 1969, MR. DAVIS WAS AUTHORIZED O TRAVEL FROM SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, TO SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND, AND RETURN. FOR SUCH TRAVEL MR. DAVIS PURCHASED AN EXCURSION FARE TICKET COSTING $216. DEPARTED SEATTLE AT 9:10 A.M. ON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 1969, AND ARRIVED IN WASHINGTON, D. C. (DULLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT) THE SAME DAY. ON HIS RETURN HE DEPARTED WASHINGTON (DULLES) AT 6:30 P.M. ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 10, AND ARRIVED IN SEATTLE AT 8:50 P.M. THAT EVENING. ON HIS ORIGINAL TRAVEL VOUCHER MR. DAVIS CLAIMED PER DIEM OF $16 FOR 8 3/4 DAYS, A TOTAL OF $140. THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE ALLOWED PER DIEM FOR ONLY 5 3/4 DAYS ($92) ON THE THEORY THAT MR. DAVIS COULD HAVE RETURNED TO SEATTLE ON FRIDAY EVENING AT THE CONCLUSION OF HIS TEMPORARY DUTY.

MR. DAVIS STATES THAT IT WAS NECESSARY FOR HIM TO REMAIN IN WASHINGTON UNTIL MONDAY IN ORDER TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE EXCURSION FARE FOR TRAVEL BACK TO SEATTLE. HE POINTS OUT THAT THE EXCURSION FARE OF $216 PLUS THE ADDITIONAL 3 DAYS PER DIEM OF $48 AMOUNTS TO $6 LESS THAN THE REGULAR ECONOMY FARE ($270) BETWEEN SEATTLE AND WASHINGTON. (WE NOTE, HOWEVER, THAT MR. DAVIS FAILS TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE PRODUCTIVE TIME LOST ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 10.)

CONTRARY TO MR. DAVIS' BELIEF, THE RETURN FLIGHT WHICH HE USED ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 10, WAS NOT THE EARLIEST SCHEDULED RETURN FLIGHT TO WHICH THE EXCURSION FARE APPLIED. WE HAVE DETERMINED THAT HE COULD HAVE USED HIS EXCURSION TICKET FOR ANY ONE OF FOUR FLIGHTS WHICH DEPARTED WASHINGTON NATIONAL AIRPORT ON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9. FOR EXAMPLE, HE COULD HAVE DEPARTED WASHINGTON AT 8:25 A.M. ON UNITED AIRLINES FLIGHT NO. 421 WHICH ARRIVED IN CHICAGO AT 9:21 A.M.; DEPARTED CHICAGO ON UNITED FLIGHT NO. 143 AT 10:15 A.M.; AND ARRIVED IN SEATTLE AT 12:30 P.M. THE OTHER FLIGHTS (TWO ON AMERICAN AIRLINES AND ONE ON NORTHWEST AIRLINES) ALSO ARRIVED IN SEATTLE DURING THE 3RD PER DIEM QUARTER OF NOVEMBER 9.

SINCE MR. DAVIS WAS UNDER AN OBLIGATION 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), HIS PER DIEM MUST BE COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF RETURN TRAVEL ON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9, RATHER THAN ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 10. AS NOTED ABOVE, MR. DAVIS WOULD HAVE ARRIVED IN SEATTLE DURING THE 3RD QUARTER OF NOVEMBER 9 HAD HE USED ANY ONE OF THE FOUR AVAILABLE FLIGHTS. THEREFORE, HE IS ENTITLED TO AN ADDITIONAL PAYMENT OF PER DIEM FOR 1 3/4 DAYS OR $28. COMPARE, B-167567, AUGUST 18, 1969, COPY HEREWITH.

THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $28.