B-172206, MAY 24, 1971

B-172206: May 24, 1971

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THE REGULATIONS PROVIDING FOR PAYMENT OF PER DIEM OF LESS THAN THAT AMOUNT CANNOT BE GIVEN EFFECT SINCE THEY WERE NOT ISSUED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE JTR. D. PREETORIOUS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 26. IT IS NOTED THAT THE VOUCHERS ALSO COVER REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES BETWEEN THE RESIDENCE AND AIRPORT. YOU DO NOT QUESTION THIS AND OUR DECISION WILL BE LIMITED TO THE INCREASED PER DIEM RATE. THE INFORMATION OF RECORD SHOWS BY TRAVEL ORDERS ISSUED IN JANUARY 1971 THE TWO EMPLOYEES WERE TO PROCEED ON OR ABOUT JANUARY 31. THE EMPLOYEES ARE CLAIMING $25 PER DIEM. SPECIFIC PER DIEM RATES ARE PRESCRIBED IN APPENDIX C. WHICH ARE APPLICABLE WHILE ATTENDING TRAINING COURSES AT DESIGNATED LOCATIONS.

B-172206, MAY 24, 1971

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - PER DIEM - RATE LESS THAN $25 AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF PER DIEM AT $25 PER DAY RATHER THAN AT $20 ALLOWED BY TRAVEL ORDERS OF ERNEST O. ELLIS AND GORDON O. SIEKER, EMPLOYEES OF THE DSA INCIDENT TO ATTENDING A TRAINING SEMINAR AT THE ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS. PARAGRAPH C8101 OF THE JTR IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF TRAVEL AUTHORIZED A PER DIEM OF $25; THE REGULATIONS PROVIDING FOR PAYMENT OF PER DIEM OF LESS THAN THAT AMOUNT CANNOT BE GIVEN EFFECT SINCE THEY WERE NOT ISSUED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE JTR.

TO MAJOR C. D. PREETORIOUS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 26, 1971, REFERENCE DSASC- MF, FORWARDED HERE BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE ON MARCH 12, 1971, PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 71-17, FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION WHETHER VOUCHERS COVERING PER DIEM IN EXCESS OF THAT AUTHORIZED BY THE TRAVEL ORDER MAY BE PAID TO MR. ERNEST D. ELLIS AND MR. GORDON D. SIEKER, EMPLOYEES OF THE DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY INCIDENT TO ATTENDING A TRAINING SEMINAR AT THE UNITED STATES ARMY ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS.

IT IS NOTED THAT THE VOUCHERS ALSO COVER REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES BETWEEN THE RESIDENCE AND AIRPORT; HOWEVER, YOU DO NOT QUESTION THIS AND OUR DECISION WILL BE LIMITED TO THE INCREASED PER DIEM RATE. THE INFORMATION OF RECORD SHOWS BY TRAVEL ORDERS ISSUED IN JANUARY 1971 THE TWO EMPLOYEES WERE TO PROCEED ON OR ABOUT JANUARY 31, 1971, FROM THEIR HEADQUARTERS IN ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA, TO ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS, TO ATTEND A TRAINING COURSE (SEMINAR) FOR APPROXIMATELY 13 DAYS. BOTH TRAVEL ORDERS AUTHORIZED PER DIEM IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND $20 PER DAY WHILE ATTENDING SCHOOL. THE EMPLOYEES ARE CLAIMING $25 PER DIEM.

PARAGRAPH C 8101-2I OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, VOLUME 2, CHANGE 64, DATED FEBRUARY 1, 1971, IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF THE TRAVEL PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"I. PER DIEM RATES AT CERTAIN TRAINING COURSES. SPECIFIC PER DIEM RATES ARE PRESCRIBED IN APPENDIX C, PART III, WHICH ARE APPLICABLE WHILE ATTENDING TRAINING COURSES AT DESIGNATED LOCATIONS. THE RATES ARE ESTABLISHED IN ACCORDANCE WITH PAR. C-8051-2E AND AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN 5 U.S.C. 4109."

YOU SAY THAT THE DEFENSE MANAGEMENT EDUCATION AND TRAINING CATALOG (DOD 5010.16-C) DATED OCTOBER 1, 1970, STATES UNDER THE LISTING FOR AMETA ON PAGE 26 AS FOLLOWS:

"PER DIEM RATES FOR BOTH MILITARY AND CIVILIAN PERSONNEL ON TEMPORARY DUTY AT USAMETA FOR COURSE ATTENDANCE ARE GOVERNED BY THE JTR. TO ASSIST LOCAL COMMANDERS IN ESTIMATING THE COST OF PER DIEM A SURVEY IS FREQUENTLY MADE OF LOCAL NONGOVERNMENT FACILITIES TO DETERMINE ACTUAL COST. THERE ARE NO GOVERNMENT TRANSIENT QUARTERS AVAILABLE. ALL THE STUDENTS ARE QUARTERED ON THE LOCAL ECONOMY. A RECOMMENDED PER DIEM RATE OF TWENTY ($20) DOLLARS IS ADEQUATE TO COVER ALL NORMAL EXPENSES INCLUDED IN THE AUTHORIZED PER DIEM ALLOWANCES."

PARAGRAPH C 8051-2E, CHANGE 56, DATED JUNE 1, 1970, IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF THE TRAVEL PROVIDED THAT AN APPROPRIATE RATE OF PER DIEM NOT IN EXCESS OF THE MAXIMUM RATE WILL BE ESTABLISHED FOR THOSE EMPLOYEES ATTENDING A TRAINING COURSE. HOWEVER, THE RECOMMENDATION FOR THE APPROPRIATE PER DIEM RATE WAS REQUIRED TO BE SUBMITTED THROUGH THE APPROPRIATE HEADQUARTERS OFFICE TO THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE FOR APPROVAL AND INCLUSION IN APPENDIX C, PART III. THE INVITATIONS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, OR DIRECTIVES RELATING TO THE TRAINING COURSE WOULD INCLUDE INFORMATION AND INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING THE AVAILABILITY OF LOCAL FACILITIES AND ARRANGEMENTS MADE FOR THEIR USE. PARAGRAPH C 8051-2E DOES NOT PROVIDE AUTHORITY FOR THE LOCAL COMMANDING OFFICER TO INDEPENDENTLY ESTABLISH A REDUCED PER DIEM RATE INCIDENT TO ATTENDANCE AT A TRAINING COURSE. DURING THE PERIOD IN QUESTION, THERE WAS NO PRESCRIBED REDUCED RATE CITED IN APPENDIX C, PART III, PERTAINING TO THE AFOREMENTIONED TRAINING COURSE AT THE ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE IT APPEARS THAT PARAGRAPH C 8101 IN EFFECT DURING THE PERIOD COVERED BY THE VOUCHERS HERE INVOLVED PRESCRIBED A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE RATE OF $25 PER DAY FOR ALL TRAVEL AND TEMPORARY DUTY. IN OUR DECISION B-168758 OF FEBRUARY 12, 1970, 49 COMP. GEN. 493, WE HELD THAT REGULATIONS OF THE DEFENSE CONTRACT AUDIT AGENCY, DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY, PROVIDING FOR THE PAYMENT OF A PER DIEM LESS THAN $25 COULD NOT BE GIVEN EFFECT SINCE THEY WERE NOT ISSUED IN ACCORD WITH AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. WE SEE NO REASON WHY THAT CONCLUSION COULD NOT BE APPLICABLE HERE.

THEREFORE, THE VOUCHERS WHICH ARE RETURNED HEREWITH MAY BE PAID IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.