B-169998, JUL 20, 1970, 50 COMP GEN 44

B-169998: Jul 20, 1970

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TRAVEL EXPENSES - TEMPORARY DUTY - RETURN TO OFFICIAL STATION ON WORKDAYS AN EMPLOYEE ORDERED TO TEMPORARY DUTY AT A POINT 100 MILES FROM HIS RESIDENCE WHICH IS LOCATED NEAR HIS PERMANENT HEADQUARTERS WHO. AS THERE IS NO REASON WHY THE RULE APPLICABLE TO NONWORKDAYS MAY NOT BE EXTENDED TO VOLUNTARY RETURNS ON WORKDAYS AFTER THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS IF NOT SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED. LAWSON WAS ORDERED ON TEMPORARY DUTY FOR APPROXIMATELY 77 DAYS AT A POINT 100 MILES FROM HIS RESIDENCE WHICH WAS NEAR HIS PERMANENT HEADQUARTERS. HIS ORDERS WERE SILENT WITH RESPECT TO HIS RETURN TO HEADQUARTERS ON NONWORKDAYS OR ON WORKDAYS. LAWSON TO THE EFFECT THAT DAILY COMMUTING BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE BETWEEN HEADQUARTERS AREA AND THE TEMPORARY DUTY AREA COULD BE AUTHORIZED ON A MILEAGE BASIS IF APPROVED IN ADVANCE IN WRITING BY THE PROPER OFFICIAL WHO WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR CAR POOLING TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT POSSIBLE (TWO OTHER EMPLOYEES WERE ASSIGNED TO SIMILAR TEMPORARY DUTY).

B-169998, JUL 20, 1970, 50 COMP GEN 44

TRAVEL EXPENSES - TEMPORARY DUTY - RETURN TO OFFICIAL STATION ON WORKDAYS AN EMPLOYEE ORDERED TO TEMPORARY DUTY AT A POINT 100 MILES FROM HIS RESIDENCE WHICH IS LOCATED NEAR HIS PERMANENT HEADQUARTERS WHO, ALTHOUGH HIS ORDERS DO NOT SO PROVIDE, VOLUNTARILY RETURNS TO HIS RESIDENCE ON WORKDAYS AFTER THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS, AS WELL AS ON NONWORKDAYS, MAY BE REIMBURSED TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR THE DAYS HE RETURNS TO HIS HOME IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED THE EXPENSES ALLOWABLE HAD HE REMAINED AT HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION, EVEN THOUGH SECTION 6.4 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS MAKES NO REFERENCE TO RETURN TO HEADQUARTERS ON WORKDAYS WHILE ON TEMPORARY DUTY, AS THERE IS NO REASON WHY THE RULE APPLICABLE TO NONWORKDAYS MAY NOT BE EXTENDED TO VOLUNTARY RETURNS ON WORKDAYS AFTER THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS IF NOT SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED.

TO LIEUTENANT W. E. KENNEDY, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, JULY 20, 1970:

YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 4, 1970, REFERENCES MT:WEK:AB, CONCERNS THE PROPER COMPUTATION OF TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR MR. RICHARD K. LAWSON WHILE ON TEMPORARY DUTY DURING THE PERIOD JULY 22 THROUGH OCTOBER 10, 1969.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT MR. LAWSON WAS ORDERED ON TEMPORARY DUTY FOR APPROXIMATELY 77 DAYS AT A POINT 100 MILES FROM HIS RESIDENCE WHICH WAS NEAR HIS PERMANENT HEADQUARTERS. HIS ORDERS WERE SILENT WITH RESPECT TO HIS RETURN TO HEADQUARTERS ON NONWORKDAYS OR ON WORKDAYS. HOWEVER, THE RECORD DOES CONTAIN A COPY OF A LETTER ADDRESSED TO MR. LAWSON TO THE EFFECT THAT DAILY COMMUTING BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE BETWEEN HEADQUARTERS AREA AND THE TEMPORARY DUTY AREA COULD BE AUTHORIZED ON A MILEAGE BASIS IF APPROVED IN ADVANCE IN WRITING BY THE PROPER OFFICIAL WHO WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR CAR POOLING TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT POSSIBLE (TWO OTHER EMPLOYEES WERE ASSIGNED TO SIMILAR TEMPORARY DUTY).

SECTION 6.4, STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

RETURN TO OFFICIAL STATION. - AT THE DISCRETION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS A TRAVELER MAY BE REQUIRED TO RETURN TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION FOR NONWORKDAYS. IN CASES OF VOLUNTARY RETURN OF A TRAVELER FOR NONWORKDAYS TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION, OR HIS PLACE OF ABODE FROM WHICH HE COMMUTES DAILY TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION, THE MAXIMUM REIMBURSEMENT ALLOWABLE FOR THE ROUND-TRIP TRANSPORTATION AND PER DIEM EN ROUTE WILL BE THE TRAVEL EXPENSE WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWABLE HAD THE TRAVELER REMAINED AT HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION.

PARAGRAPH C10158 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS CONCERNING VOLUNTARY RETURN TO PERMANENT DUTY STATION WHICH APPARENTLY WAS BASED UPON THE FOREGOING REGULATION DOES NOT CONTAIN THE PHRASE "NONWORKDAYS." HOWEVER, THE EXAMPLES GIVEN IN CONNECTION THEREWITH INVOLVE NONWORKDAYS.

IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE REGULATION AN EMPLOYEE WHO VOLUNTARILY RETURNS TO HIS RESIDENCE ON NONWORKDAYS IS ENTITLED TO MILEAGE AND PER DIEM WHILE TRAVELING, NOT TO EXCEED THE PER DIEM TO WHICH HE WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED HAD HE REMAINED AT HIS TEMPORARY DUTY POINT, WHICHEVER IS LESS. SEE B-151837, JULY 22, 1963; B-129185, MARCH 28, 1957.

WITH RESPECT TO MR. LAWSON'S RETURN TO HIS RESIDENCE ON VARIOUS WORKDAYS AFTER THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS WE NOTE THAT THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS MAKE NO MENTION THEREOF. WHILE THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (C10158) COULD BE INTERPRETED TO EMBRACE WORKDAYS AS WELL AS NONWORKDAYS IT MAY BE THAT SUCH WAS NOT INTENDED. IN ANY EVENT AND SINCE MR. LAWSON WAS NOT SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED FROM RECEIVING ANY FORM OF REIMBURSEMENT BECAUSE OF HIS VOLUNTARY RETURN TO HIS RESIDENCE ON WORKDAYS WE SEE NO REASON WHY THE RULE APPLICABLE TO VOLUNTARY RETURN ON NONWORKDAYS MAY NOT BE EXTENDED TO VOLUNTARY RETURN ON WORKDAYS AFTER THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS.

THE VOUCHER AND RELATED PAPERS ARE RETURNED HEREWITH FOR HANDLING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING. IN THE COMPUTATION OF THE AMOUNT DUE, EACH ROUND TRIP TO THE EMPLOYEES' RESIDENCE SHOULD BE COMPUTED AS A SEPARATE ITEM.