B-176243, AUG 7, 1972

B-176243: Aug 7, 1972

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SECTION 6.2E OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS RECOGNIZES THAT PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE IS AUTHORIZED WHEN AN EMPLOYEE USES A TRAVEL TRAILER OR CAMPING VEHICLE. GREENE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 12. RANDALL WAS TRAVELING UNDER ORDERS NO. 7-72 35. FROM WHICH THE ITEM IN QUESTION WAS SUSPENDED. WHICH IS BASED ON AVERAGE COST OF LODGING AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 6.3C OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. YOU HAD DOUBT AS TO WHETHER SUCH RENTAL WAS PROPER FOR INCLUSION IN THE COMPUTATION OF THE AVERAGE LODGING COST AND SUSPENSION ACTION WAS TAKEN. YOU ASK THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS: "(1) IS MR. SUCH PLAN REPRESENTED LESS COST TO THE GOVERNMENT THAN TO HAVE DRIVEN HOME AND RETURN - A DISTANCE OF APPROX. 300 MILES EACH WAY.).

B-176243, AUG 7, 1972

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - LODGING COSTS - CAMPING IN NATIONAL FOREST DECISION REGARDING THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE FEDERAL MEDIATION AND CONCILIATION SERVICE IN SUSPENDING AN AMOUNT RELATING TO THE COST TO ROGER L. RANDALL OF PARKING A CAMPER VEHICLE IN A NATIONAL FOREST AREA AND LODGING THERE FOR THREE NIGHTS. SECTION 6.2E OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS RECOGNIZES THAT PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE IS AUTHORIZED WHEN AN EMPLOYEE USES A TRAVEL TRAILER OR CAMPING VEHICLE. IN VIEW THEREOF, GAO SEES NO REASON WHY RENTAL FOR A CAMPER OR TRAILER SPACE SHOULD NOT BE INCLUDED IN COMPUTING AVERAGE LODGING COST.

TO MISS WINNIE C. GREENE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 12, 1972, ENCLOSING CERTAIN PAPERS CONCERNING THE TRAVEL OF MR. ROGER L. RANDALL, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE FEDERAL MEDIATION AND CONCILIATION SERVICE, AND ASKING FOR OUR ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TAKEN IN SUSPENDING AN AMOUNT RELATING TO THE COST OF PARKING A CAMPER VEHICLE IN A NATIONAL FOREST AREA AND LODGING THERE FOR THREE NIGHTS.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT MR. RANDALL WAS TRAVELING UNDER ORDERS NO. 7-72 35, DATED MARCH 31, 1972, AND PRESENTED TRAVEL VOUCHER NO. 7-72-522 FOR THE PERIOD FROM MAY 1, 1972, TO MAY 31, 1972, FROM WHICH THE ITEM IN QUESTION WAS SUSPENDED.

IN CALCULATING HIS PER DIEM, WHICH IS BASED ON AVERAGE COST OF LODGING AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 6.3C OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, MR. RANDALL INCLUDED 3 NIGHTS, MAY 19, 20 AND 21 AT $3 EACH REPRESENTING RENT ON SPACE FOR HIS CAMPER IN A NATIONAL FOREST AREA NEAR HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AT DUNSMUIR, CALIFORNIA. HOWEVER, YOU HAD DOUBT AS TO WHETHER SUCH RENTAL WAS PROPER FOR INCLUSION IN THE COMPUTATION OF THE AVERAGE LODGING COST AND SUSPENSION ACTION WAS TAKEN.

YOU ASK THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

"(1) IS MR. RANDALL CORRECT IN INCLUDING THE $9.00 CHARGE FOR PARKING HIS CAMPER VEHICLE AS A LODGING COST, OR

"(2) WOULD IT BE MORE APPROPRIATELY CONSIDERED A PARKING CHARGE FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE ALLOWED."

IN HIS "SCHEDULE OF EXPENSES AND AMOUNTS CLAIMED," MR. RANDALL STATES AS FOLLOWS:

"(I WENT 'OFF-DUTY' AT 9:00 PM ON 5-19-72 IN DUNSMUIR; BUT REAMINED (REMAINED) IN THE AREA FOR THE WEEK-END DUE TO RESUMPTION OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS IN DUNSMUIR THE FOLLOWING MONDAY MORNING. SUCH PLAN REPRESENTED LESS COST TO THE GOVERNMENT THAN TO HAVE DRIVEN HOME AND RETURN - A DISTANCE OF APPROX. 300 MILES EACH WAY.) I STAYED IN NATIONAL FOREST CAMPS (USING OWN CAMPER VEHICLE) IN THE VICINITY AT A RATE OF $3 PER NIGHT, BY PERSONAL CHOICE, RATHER THAN A MOTEL; AND THERE WAS NO CHARGE TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR PERSONAL USE OF AUTO OVER THE WEEK-END)"

SECTION 6.2E OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS RECOGNIZES THAT A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE IS AUTHORIZED WHEN AN EMPLOYEE USES A TRAVEL TRAILER OR CAMPING VEHICLE. IN VIEW THEREOF, WE SEE NO REASON WHY RENTAL FOR A CAMPER OR TRAILER SPACE SHOULD NOT BE INCLUDED IN COMPUTING AVERAGE LODGING COST.

IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE, QUESTION 1 IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE AND QUESTION 2 IN THE NEGATIVE.

THE VOUCHER AND THE ACCOMPANYING PAPERS ARE RETURNED HEREWITH FOR HANDLING AS INDICATED ABOVE.