B-176197, JUL 27, 1972

B-176197: Jul 27, 1972

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SINCE THE PAYMENT WAS COMPUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS THEN IN EFFECT. THERE IS NO BASIS FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF THE CLAIM. YOU WERE FURNISHED LODGING (CONTRACT QUARTERS) BY THE GOVERNMENT AT NO COST. YOU WERE ONLY ALLOWED $18 PER DAY FOR THOSE DAYS BY YOUR AGENCY. WHICH AUTHORIZES THE TRAVEL FOR WHICH ADDITIONAL PER DIEM IS CLAIMED BY YOU PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS: "3. WHILE PERFORMING OFFICIAL TRAVEL PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WILL BE ALLOWED AT THE RATES PRESCRIBED IN OR IN ACCORDANCE WITH IRM 1763. IF HE IS IN A PER DIEM STATUS. PER DIEM FOR THE NONWORK DAYS) SHALL CONTINUE AT THE RATE THAT HE WAS RECEIVING. THE RATE YOU WERE RECEIVING WAS $18. A DEDUCTION OF $8 FROM THIS AMOUNT WAS MADE FOR WORKDAYS WHEN YOU OCCUPIED CONTRACT QUARTERS.

B-176197, JUL 27, 1972

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - PER DIEM - WEEKEND PERIODS DENIAL OF A REQUEST BY JOHN CASH IN FOR RECONSIDERATION OF A SETTLEMENT OF APRIL 4, 1972, WHICH DISALLOWED HIS CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL PER DIEM WHILE ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS DURING THE WEEKEND OF MARCH 13-14, 1971, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE. SINCE THE PAYMENT WAS COMPUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS THEN IN EFFECT, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF THE CLAIM. SUBSEQUENT REVISION OF THE REGULATIONS MAY NOT BE USED RETROACTIVELY TO INCREASE OR DECREASE BENEFITS ALREADY ACCRUED.

TO MR. JOHN CASH IN:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTERS OF APRIL 17 AND MAY 26, 1972, IN EFFECT REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF APRIL 4, 1972, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL PER DIEM WHILE ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS DURING THE WEEKEND OF MARCH 13 AND 14, 1971, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE.

INCIDENT TO PERFORMING TEMPORARY DUTY DURING THE PERIOD MARCH 7-19, 1971, YOU WERE FURNISHED LODGING (CONTRACT QUARTERS) BY THE GOVERNMENT AT NO COST. DURING THE WEEKEND OF MARCH 13 AND 14, 1971, YOU DID NOT OCCUPY GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND CLAIMED $25 PER DIEM FOR EACH DAY. HOWEVER, YOU WERE ONLY ALLOWED $18 PER DAY FOR THOSE DAYS BY YOUR AGENCY.

CONSOLIDATED TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. 71, DATED JUNE 1, 1970, WHICH AUTHORIZES THE TRAVEL FOR WHICH ADDITIONAL PER DIEM IS CLAIMED BY YOU PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"3. WHILE PERFORMING OFFICIAL TRAVEL PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WILL BE ALLOWED AT THE RATES PRESCRIBED IN OR IN ACCORDANCE WITH IRM 1763, TRAVEL HANDBOOK, EXCEPT WHEN REIMBURSEMENT ON THE BASIS OF ACTUAL EXPENSES AS PROVIDED IN THESE REGULATIONS, HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY PROPER AUTHORITY."

MANUAL SUPPLEMENT 17G-159 DATED JUNE 10, 1968, SUPERSEDES SUBSECTIONS 323 AND 324 OF IRM 1763, TRAVEL HANDBOOK. THIS MANUAL SUPPLEMENT CLARIFIES AND ENLARGES REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE DETERMINATION OF REIMBURSABLE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES IN CASES WHERE A TRAVELER LEAVES HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION FOR PERSONAL REASONS ON NONWORKDAYS, OR SHARES LODGING ACCOMMODATIONS WITH OTHERS.

MANUAL SUPPLEMENT 17G-159 PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"SECTION 2. WEEKENDS AND HOLIDAYS

".01 AN EMPLOYEE IN A CONTINUOUS TRAVEL STATUS MAY LEAVE A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION OVER A WEEKEND OR HOLIDAY FOR PERSONAL REASONS OTHER THAN TRAVEL TO HIS PLACE OF ABODE OR POST OF DUTY, RETURNING TO THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION FOR THE FOLLOWING WORKDAY.

"1. IF HE IS IN A PER DIEM STATUS, PER DIEM FOR THE NONWORK DAYS) SHALL CONTINUE AT THE RATE THAT HE WAS RECEIVING, BASED ON LODGING COST, IMMEDIATELY BEFORE HIS DEPARTURE."

THE RATE YOU WERE RECEIVING WAS $18. A DEDUCTION OF $8 FROM THIS AMOUNT WAS MADE FOR WORKDAYS WHEN YOU OCCUPIED CONTRACT QUARTERS. SINCE YOUR PER DIEM WAS COMPUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS IN EFFECT DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED THERE IS NO BASIS FOR ALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM. THE FACT THAT THE ABOVE REGULATION WAS CHANGED ON JUNE 24, 1971, TO AUTHORIZE THOSE EMPLOYEES WHO VOLUNTARILY LEAVE THE CONTRACT HOUSING FOR THE WEEKEND AND DO NOT RETURN TO THEIR PLACE OF ABODE OR POST OF DUTY TO CLAIM PER DIEM FOR THE NON-WORKDAYS ON A SLIDING SCALE NOT TO EXCEED $25 BASED ON THEIR LODGING COSTS, DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR ENTITLEMENT. IT LONG HAS BEEN THE RULE OF OUR OFFICE THAT TRAVEL ORDERS OR ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS MAY NOT BE CHANGED RETROACTIVELY SO AS TO INCREASE OR DECREASE BENEFITS OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED BY SUCH TRAVEL ORDERS OR REGULATIONS.

THEREFORE, THE SETTLEMENT OF APRIL 4, 1972, IS SUSTAINED.

IN RESPONSE TO YOUR QUESTION AS TO ANY APPEAL RIGHTS YOU MIGHT HAVE YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE DECISIONS OF OUR OFFICE ARE FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE UPON THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT. IF YOU CARE TO PURSUE THE MATTER IN THE COURTS SEE 28 U.S.C. 1346, ID. 1491, CONCERNING MATTERS COGNIZABLE IN THE DISTRICT COURTS OF THE UNITED STATES AND IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF CLAIMS.