B-174325, JAN 7, 1972

B-174325: Jan 7, 1972

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CAMPBELL: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 30 AND LETTER POSTMARKED OCTOBER 18. YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM WASHINGTON. WAS CANCELED DUE TO LIGHT HOLIDAY TRAVEL WITH THE NEXT EARLIEST FLIGHT TO NEWCASTLE ON JANUARY 1. IN THE INTERIM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY WAS NOTIFIED THAT THE USNS BOWDITCH'S DEPARTURE HAD BEEN ADVANCED TO DECEMBER 31. THIS WAS TOO LATE FOR YOUR NOTIFICATION. YOU WERE TOLD TO MEET THE SHIP IN THURSO. PROVIDE THAT EMPLOYEES TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS ARE EXPECTED TO EXERCISE THE SAME CARE IN INCURRING EXPENSES THAT A PRUDENT PERSON WOULD EXERCISE IF TRAVELING ON PERSONAL BUSINESS. TO NOT EXCEED THAT WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED FOR UNINTERRUPTED TRAVEL BY A USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE.

B-174325, JAN 7, 1972

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - TRAVEL PAY - REIMBURSEMENT DENIED DECISION SUSTAINING DISALLOWANCE OF CLAIM BY HARRY T. CAMPBELL FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE U.S. NAVAL OCEANOGRAPHIC OFFICE. JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS REQUIRE EMPLOYEES TO EXERCISE PRUDENCE IN INCURRING TRAVEL EXPENSES. SINCE THE DISBURSING OFFICER DETERMINED THAT THE CONDITIONS OF THE JOURNEY DID NOT JUSTIFY A STOPOVER IN LONDON, THE DISALLOWANCE OF THE CLAIM MUST BE SUSTAINED.

TO MR. HARRY T. CAMPBELL:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 30 AND LETTER POSTMARKED OCTOBER 18, 1971, APPEALING FROM THE ACTION OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IN DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL PER DIEM ALLOWANCE AND OTHER TRAVEL EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVEL AS A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, U.S. NAVAL OCEANOGRAPHIC OFFICE, WASHINGTON, D.C.

BY TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. T-1477-70, DATED DECEMBER 5, 1969, YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO NORTH SHIELDS, ENGLAND, FOR APPROXIMATELY 70 DAYS BEGINNING ON DECEMBER 30, 1969. YOUR TRAVEL ORDERS AUTHORIZED A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE.

YOU STATE THAT YOUR OFFICIAL ORDERS SCHEDULED YOU TO BE ON BOARD THE USNS BOWDITCH BY JANUARY 2, 1970, TO PARTICIPATE IN SEA TRIALS. THE ORDERS INDICATED THAT YOUR TRAVEL WOULD BEGIN AT 3 P.M. ON DECEMBER 30, 1969, BUT TO INSURE YOURSELF ENOUGH TIME TO ARRIVE IN NEWCASTLE, ENGLAND, BY JANUARY 2, 1970, YOU OBTAINED PERMISSION FROM YOUR IMMEDIATE SUPERVISOR TO LEAVE ON DECEMBER 29, 1969 (ANNUAL LEAVE USED FOR THIS DAY). AFTER APPROXIMATELY 15 HOURS ABOARD AN AIRPLANE, YOU ARRIVED IN LONDON AND BECAUSE OF EXHAUSTION YOU DECIDED TO STOP OVER TO BECOME ORIENTED TO THE CHANGE OF TIME. YOUR FLIGHT BK 444 DEPARTING LONDON FOR NEWCASTLE ON DECEMBER 31, 1969, AT 12:50 P.M. WAS CANCELED DUE TO LIGHT HOLIDAY TRAVEL WITH THE NEXT EARLIEST FLIGHT TO NEWCASTLE ON JANUARY 1, 1970, AT 9:50 A.M. IN THE INTERIM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY WAS NOTIFIED THAT THE USNS BOWDITCH'S DEPARTURE HAD BEEN ADVANCED TO DECEMBER 31, 1969, BUT THIS WAS TOO LATE FOR YOUR NOTIFICATION. DUE TO UNCONTROLLABLE AND UNSCHEDULED EVENTS THE MASTER HAD MADE THE DECISION TO SAIL ON DECEMBER 31, 1969, IN ORDER TO MAKE THE SEA TRIAL. ON JANUARY 1, 1970, YOU ARRIVED AT YOUR TEMPORARY DUTY STATION SUBSEQUENT TO THE DEPARTURE OF THE SHIP. JANUARY 2, 1970, YOU WERE TOLD TO MEET THE SHIP IN THURSO, SCOTLAND, AND COMMENCE YOUR TEMPORARY DUTY WHICH YOU IN FACT STARTED ON JANUARY 4, 1970.

YOU CONTEND THAT AS A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE TRAVELING A LENGTHY TRANSATLANTIC FLIGHT IN EXCESS OF THE NORMAL 8-HOUR WORKDAY, ACTUAL TIME OR CONSTRUCTIVE, THE LAW DOES NOT REQUIRE YOU TO TRAVEL WITHOUT A STOPOVER.

JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (JTR), VOLUME 2, SECTION C1051, AND STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (1965, SGTR), SUBSECTION 1.2, PROVIDE THAT EMPLOYEES TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS ARE EXPECTED TO EXERCISE THE SAME CARE IN INCURRING EXPENSES THAT A PRUDENT PERSON WOULD EXERCISE IF TRAVELING ON PERSONAL BUSINESS. SEE B-123715, AUGUST 12, 1955. JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, SECTION C6000, AND SGTR, SUBSECTIONS 3.3 AND 6.10, LIMIT PER DIEM ALLOWANCE AND TRAVEL EXPENSES, WHERE A DELAY FOR CLAIMANT'S PERSONAL CONVENIENCE OCCURS, TO NOT EXCEED THAT WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED FOR UNINTERRUPTED TRAVEL BY A USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE. SEE 46 COMP. GEN. 425, 426 (1966); 39 ID. 250, 251 (1959). IT WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED BY THE DISBURSING OFFICER ON MAY 5, 1970, THAT YOUR ENTIRE JOURNEY WAS UNDER CONDITIONS NOT SUFFICIENTLY ARDUOUS TO JUSTIFY A STOPOVER IN LONDON.

IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE, WE POINT OUT THAT WHILE FLIGHT BK444, PREVIOUSLY REFERRED TO, MAY HAVE BEEN CANCELED OUR INFORMATION SHOWS THERE WERE TWO EARLIER FLIGHTS ON DECEMBER 31, 1969, FROM LONDON TO NEWCASTLE LEAVING AT 0750 AND 1005 HOURS. ALSO, WE CAN ONLY ASSUME FROM THE FACT THAT YOUR AGENCY INITIALLY MADE RESERVATIONS PURSUANT TO WHICH YOUR ARRIVAL WOULD HAVE BEEN AT NEWCASTLE ON DECEMBER 31, AND YOUR EFFORTS TO OBTAIN A FLIGHT FROM LONDON WITH ARRIVAL IN NEWCASTLE ON THE SAME DAY, THAT THE UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN YOUR AGENCY AND YOURSELF WAS THAT YOU WOULD BE IN NEWCASTLE ON THAT DATE.

ACCORDINGLY, THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL PER DIEM AND OTHER EXPENSES BECAUSE OF YOUR FAILURE TO ARRIVE IN NEWCASTLE BEFORE 1800 HOURS ON DECEMBER 31, 1969, MUST BE SUSTAINED.