B-172029, JUL 7, 1971, 51 COMP GEN 12

B-172029: Jul 7, 1971

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SUBSISTENCE - PER DIEM - MILITARY PERSONNEL - TEMPORARY DUTY - RECALL TO PERMANENT DUTY STATION A NAVY OFFICER WHO WAS UNABLE TO FULFILL HIS TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT BECAUSE HE WAS RECALLED TO HIS PERMANENT STATION FOR EMERGENCY DUTIES A FEW HOURS AFTER ARRIVAL AT THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AND THE ADVANCE PAYMENT FOR THE RENTAL OF A HOTEL ROOM MAY BE REIMBURSED IN ADDITION TO TAXI FARE AND TIPS FOR HANDLING BAGGAGE AT THE AIR TERMINAL FOR THE ADVANCE PAYMENT. EVEN THOUGH THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM IS PRECLUDED BY PARAGRAPH M4253-3A OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS BECAUSE THE OFFICER'S ABSENCE FROM HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION WAS LESS THAN 10 HOURS SINCE THE OFFICER UNDER PROPER ORDERS RENTED THE HOTEL ROOM DUE TO THE UNAVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS.

B-172029, JUL 7, 1971, 51 COMP GEN 12

SUBSISTENCE - PER DIEM - MILITARY PERSONNEL - TEMPORARY DUTY - RECALL TO PERMANENT DUTY STATION A NAVY OFFICER WHO WAS UNABLE TO FULFILL HIS TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT BECAUSE HE WAS RECALLED TO HIS PERMANENT STATION FOR EMERGENCY DUTIES A FEW HOURS AFTER ARRIVAL AT THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AND THE ADVANCE PAYMENT FOR THE RENTAL OF A HOTEL ROOM MAY BE REIMBURSED IN ADDITION TO TAXI FARE AND TIPS FOR HANDLING BAGGAGE AT THE AIR TERMINAL FOR THE ADVANCE PAYMENT, EVEN THOUGH THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM IS PRECLUDED BY PARAGRAPH M4253-3A OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS BECAUSE THE OFFICER'S ABSENCE FROM HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION WAS LESS THAN 10 HOURS SINCE THE OFFICER UNDER PROPER ORDERS RENTED THE HOTEL ROOM DUE TO THE UNAVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS, AND THE REIMBURSABLE HOTEL CHARGE IS CONSIDERED AN ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE THAT IS CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE, NAVY.

TO CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER DAVID W. SHANNON, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, JULY 7, 1971:

BY LETTER DATED DECEMBER 29, 1970, FILE REFERENCE 0224 7220, FORWARDED HERE BY 3RD INDORSEMENT DATED FEBRUARY 25, 1971, OF THE PER DIEM TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE, YOU REQUEST A DECISION CONCERNING THE ENTITLEMENT OF LIEUTENANT COMMANDER ORLIN A. KOHL, 603928, USN, TO PER DIEM AND REIMBURSEMENT OF AMOUNTS PAID FOR LODGING, TAXI, AND TIPS ON SEPTEMBER 13, 1970, INCIDENT TO HIS TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT. YOUR REQUEST WAS ASSIGNED PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 71-9.

TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY ORDERS NO. T-264, DATED SEPTEMBER 15, 1970, DIRECTED COMMANDER KOHL TO PROCEED ON SEPTEMBER 13, 1970, FROM HIS DUTY STATION, NAVAL TORPEDO STATION, KEYPORT, WASHINGTON, TO NANOOSE RANGE, NANAIMO, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA, FOR ABOUT 4 DAYS' TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY. THESE ORDERS INDICATED THAT NO BERTHING OR MESSING FACILITIES WERE AVAILABLE AT THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION.

PURSUANT TO THOSE ORDERS, COMMANDER KOHL DEPARTED FROM HIS DUTY STATION AT 2:45 P.M., SEPTEMBER 13, 1970, BY GOVERNMENT PLANE AND ARRIVED AT RANCH POINT, BRITISH COLUMBIA, WHICH IS LOCATED IN THE VICINITY OF NANAIMO, AT 4:10 P.M., THAT DATE. UPON ARRIVAL IN NANAIMO, HE RENTED A HOTEL ROOM AND PAID THE ADVANCE CHARGE OF $9. SEVERAL HOURS LATER HE WAS RECALLED TO HIS DUTY STATION FOR EMERGENCY TREATMENT IN A "BENDS" CASE, SINCE, AS DIVING OFFICER, IT IS SAID THAT HE IS REQUIRED TO BE PRESENT FOR THE TREATMENT OF THE BENDS. ACCORDINGLY, HE DEPARTED FROM NANAIMO BY GOVERNMENT CHARTERED PLANE AT 7:20 P.M., AND ARRIVED AT HIS DUTY STATION AT 9:15 P.M. THE TOTAL ELAPSED TIME OF THE INVOLVED ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL AND TIME SPENT IN NANAIMO WAS LESS THAN 10 HOURS (ACTUALLY 6 1/2 HOURS).

IN SUPPORT OF HIS CLAIM INCIDENT TO THE INVOLVED TRAVEL, COMMANDER KOHL FURNISHED A RECEIPT FOR THE HOTEL ROOM RENTAL OF $9 AND ALSO A RECEIPT EVIDENCING THE USE OF A TAXICAB AT A COST OF $7.75. HE ALSO PAID $1.25 AS TIPS FOR BAGGAGE HANDLING. IT HAS BEEN REPORTED THAT COMMANDER KOHL WAS UNABLE TO OBTAIN A REFUND OF THE HOTEL ROOM CHARGE.

YOU SAY THAT, SINCE COMMANDER KOHL HAD NOT COMPLETED THE REQUIRED 10 HOURS OF TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY AND IN VIEW OF PARAGRAPHS M4205-3 AND 4 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, DOUBT ARISES AS TO WHETHER OR NOT HE IS ENTITLED TO PER DIEM. ALSO, YOU INQUIRE WHETHER ENTITLEMENT EXISTS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE AMOUNTS PAID FOR LODGING, TAXICAB, AND TIPS, SINCE COMMANDER KOHL HAD ANTICIPATED BEING ON TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY AT LEAST 4 DAYS IN CANADA.

THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE IN COMMENTING ON THIS CASE HAS EXPRESSED THE VIEW THAT WHILE THE TAXICAB FARE AND THE TIPS ARE PROPERLY REIMBURSABLE UNDER PARAGRAPHS M4401 AND M4402 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PARAGRAPH M4253-3A OF THE REGULATIONS PRECLUDES PAYMENT OF PER DIEM INASMUCH AS COMMANDER KOHL WAS IN A TRAVEL STATUS FOR A PERIOD OF LESS THAN 10 HOURS. THE COMMITTEE ALSO EXPRESSED THE VIEW THAT THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS CONTAIN NO AUTHORITY UNDER WHICH COMMANDER KOHL MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR THE HOTEL ROOM RENTAL CHARGE.

SECTION 404 OF TITLE 37, U.S.C. PROVIDES THAT UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES SHALL BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED UNDER COMPETENT ORDERS UPON A CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION, OR OTHERWISE, OR WHEN AWAY FROM THEIR DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY. SECTION 405 PROVIDES THAT THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED MAY AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF A PER DIEM, CONSIDERING ALL ELEMENTS OF THE COST OF LIVING TO MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES UNDER THEIR JURISDICTION AND THEIR DEPENDENTS, INCLUDING THE COST OF QUARTERS, SUBSISTENCE, AND OTHER NECESSARY INCIDENTAL EXPENSES, TO SUCH A MEMBER WHO IS ON DUTY OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES OR IN HAWAII OR ALASKA, WHETHER OR NOT HE IS IN A TRAVEL STATUS.

THE REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING THE ABOVE PROVISION OF LAW ARE CONTAINED IN THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, VOLUME 1. PARAGRAPH M3050-3 THEREOF SPECIFIES AMONG OTHER THINGS THAT A TRAVEL STATUS WILL TERMINATE WITH RETURN TO THE PERMANENT DUTY STATION. PARAGRAPH M4253-3A PRESCRIBES THAT NO TRAVEL PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IS PAYABLE FOR A ROUND TRIP FROM A PERMANENT DUTY STATION PERFORMED ENTIRELY WITHIN A 10-HOUR PERIOD OF THE SAME CALENDAR DAY, SUCH PERIOD TO BEGIN WITH THE HOUR OF DEPARTURE.

WHILE COMMANDER KOHL WAS UNABLE TO FULFILL HIS TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT BECAUSE HIS RETURN TO THE PERMANENT DUTY STATION A FEW HOURS AFTER ARRIVAL AT THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION WAS NECESSITATED BY REASON OF OFFICIAL REQUIREMENTS, THE FACT REMAINS THAT THE PERIOD OF HIS ABSENCE FROM THE PERMANENT DUTY STATION WAS LESS THAN 10 HOURS. IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES PAYMENT OF PER DIEM FOR SUCH PERIOD IS SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED BY THE PROVISIONS OF THE ABOVE-MENTIONED PARAGRAPH M4253-3A OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, REGARDLESS OF THE REASON FOR HIS RETURN TO THE PERMANENT DUTY STATION. SEE 35 COMP. GEN. 650 (1956); 45 ID. 300 (1965); AND 49 ID. 173 (1969).

HOWEVER, COMMANDER KOHL WAS DIRECTED BY PROPER ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY TO TRAVEL TO NANAIMO FOR TEMPORARY DUTY AND HE RENTED A HOTEL ROOM THERE IN EXPECTATION OF A 4-DAY STAY, GOVERNMENT QUARTERS BEING UNAVAILABLE. SINCE HIS RETURN TO HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION SHORTLY THEREAFTER WAS OCCASIONED BY OFFICIAL NEED FOR HIS SERVICES THERE, WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT THE HOTEL ROOM EXPENSE IS PROPERLY FOR CONSIDERATION AS A PART OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE COST OF OPERATING THAT INSTALLATION AND IS FOR REIMBURSEMENT ON THAT BASIS, CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE, NAVY.

WE CONCUR WITH THE VIEW OF THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE THAT PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH M4401 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS COMMANDER KOHL IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE TAXICAB FARE OF $7.75 AND PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH M4402, ITEM 2, OF THE REGULATIONS HE IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE TIPS OF $1.25 PAID FOR PERSONAL BAGGAGE HANDLING AT THE AIR TERMINAL.

THE TRAVEL VOUCHER AND SUPPORTING PAPERS ARE RETURNED FOR PAYMENT ON THE BASIS INDICATED ABOVE.