B-176650, FEB 28, 1973

B-176650: Feb 28, 1973

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FAA REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT LOCAL TRAVEL IS ANY TRAVEL WITHIN 50 MILES OF THE PLACE FROM WHICH AN EMPLOYEE COMMUTES TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION AND THAT PER DIEM IS NOT ALLOWABLE FOR LOCAL TRAVEL TO TEMPORARY DUTY STATIONS. A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE MAY ONLY BE PAID IF THE SPECIFIC POINTS OF DEPARTURE ARE SPECIFIED ON THE TRAVEL VOUCHER. AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE WAS FOR THE EMPLOYEE'S PERSONAL PREFERENCE AND WAS NOT DEEMED ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT SO A LOWER MILEAGE RATE SHOULD BE PAID IS IN ACCORDANCE WITH SGTR. WHENEVER A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE IS USED FOR OFFICIAL PURPOSES AS A MATTER OF PERSONAL PREFERENCE IN LIEU OF COMMON CARRIER TRANSPORTATION.

B-176650, FEB 28, 1973

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVEL - PER DIEM - MILEAGE - LOCAL TRAVEL - USE OF PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE DECISION AFFIRMING THE PRIOR DENIAL OF THE CLAIM OF FRANK ANGELO FOR ADDITIONAL PER DIEM AND MILEAGE ALLOWANCES ALLEGEDLY DUE INCIDENT TO VARIOUS TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENTS PERFORMED AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION (FAA). FAA REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT LOCAL TRAVEL IS ANY TRAVEL WITHIN 50 MILES OF THE PLACE FROM WHICH AN EMPLOYEE COMMUTES TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION AND THAT PER DIEM IS NOT ALLOWABLE FOR LOCAL TRAVEL TO TEMPORARY DUTY STATIONS. ALSO, A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE MAY ONLY BE PAID IF THE SPECIFIC POINTS OF DEPARTURE ARE SPECIFIED ON THE TRAVEL VOUCHER. SGTR, SECTION 12.2C. MOREOVER, PER DIEM MAY NOT BE PAID FOR NONWORK DAYS PRECEDED AND FOLLOWED BY A LEAVE OF ABSENCE OF ANY DURATION. SEE 38 COMP. GEN. 384 (1958). AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT THE USE OF A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE WAS FOR THE EMPLOYEE'S PERSONAL PREFERENCE AND WAS NOT DEEMED ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT SO A LOWER MILEAGE RATE SHOULD BE PAID IS IN ACCORDANCE WITH SGTR, SECTION 3.5B(1). ALSO, FAA REGULATIONS PROVIDE FOR USING 60 PERCENT OF THE COST OF ROOM AND BOARD FOR COMPUTING PER DIEM. FINALLY, WHENEVER A PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE IS USED FOR OFFICIAL PURPOSES AS A MATTER OF PERSONAL PREFERENCE IN LIEU OF COMMON CARRIER TRANSPORTATION, PAYMENT FOR SUCH TRAVEL SHALL BE MADE ON THE BASIS OF THE ACTUAL TRAVEL PERFORMED, BUT THE TOTAL AMOUNT ALLOWABLE WILL BE LIMITED TO THE TOTAL CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF APPROPRIATE COMMON CARRIER TRANSPORTATION. SGTR, SECTIONS 3.5C(2) AND 4.3.

TO MR. FRANK ANGELO:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 1, 1972, WITH ENCLOSURES, IN WHICH YOU REQUESTED RECONSIDERATION OF OUR SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE DATED JUNE 13, 1972, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL PER DIEM AND MILEAGE ALLOWANCES ALLEGEDLY DUE INCIDENT TO VARIOUS TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENTS PERFORMED BY YOU DURING THE PERIOD MARCH 1, 1968, THROUGH OCTOBER 31, 1971, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION (FAA), DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT DURING THE ENTIRE PERIOD INVOLVED, YOUR OFFICIAL DUTY STATION WAS FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA. WE NOTE THAT ON THE VOUCHERS SUBMITTED YOU STATE THAT YOUR RESIDENCE IS CLAIRTON, PENNSYLVANIA, AND THAT YOU ADVISED FAA TO DISCONTINUE DEDUCTING MARYLAND INCOME TAXES FROM YOUR SALARY. HOWEVER, THE FACT THAT YOUR DOMICILE MAY BE CLAIRTON IS IMMATERIAL SINCE UNDER THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (SGTR) AN EMPLOYEE'S ENTITLEMENT TO MILEAGE AND PER DIEM ALLOWANCES IS BASED ON TRAVEL TO AND FROM HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION OR PLACE OF ABODE. THE TERM "PLACE OF ABODE" WHEN USED IN SGTR MEANS THE PLACE FROM WHICH THE EMPLOYEE COMMUTES DAILY TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION. SEE B-157760, NOVEMBER 16, 1965, COPY ENCLOSED. YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 7, 1968, CONCERNING TRAVEL VOUCHERS SUBMITTED ON APRIL 1, 1968, AND MAY 1, 1968, INDICATES YOUR RESIDENCE FOR TRAVEL PURPOSES WAS LANDOVER HILLS, MARYLAND. THE PERTINENT FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES DURING EACH OF THE PERIODS OF TEMPORARY DUTY INVOLVED ARE AS FOLLOWS:

MARCH 1 THROUGH APRIL 23, 1968

THE TRAVEL VOUCHERS SUBMITTED BY YOU COVER TRAVEL TO LEESBURG, VIRGINIA, AND BALTIMORE, MARYLAND. YOU CLAIM PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $12 PER DAY INCIDENT TO YOUR TEMPORARY DUTY AT BALTIMORE AND MILEAGE AT THE RATE OF $0.06 PER MILE WHILE OPERATING YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE (POV). YOUR CLAIM IS APPARENTLY MADE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF FAA MEMORANDUM DCA-422, OCTOBER 18, 1967. WE NOTE THAT THE CITED MEMORANDUM SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED PER DIEM AUTHORIZATION FOR THREE COMMUNICATIONS UNIT FIELD MEN LIVING IN THE NORTHERN VIRGINIA AREA WHO WERE TEMPORARILY ASSIGNED TO PERFORM DUTY AT THE BALTIMORE TOWER INSTALLATION PROJECT. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT DURING THE PERIOD OF YOUR ASSIGNMENT "LOCAL TRAVEL" WAS DEFINED AS ANY TRAVEL WITHIN 50 MILES OF THE OFFICIAL STATION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S DOMICILE FROM WHICH HE COMMUTES TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION AND THAT NO PER DIEM IS NORMALLY ALLOWABLE EVEN THOUGH THE EMPLOYEE IS ASSIGNED TO DUTY AT SOME OTHER POINT IN THE LOCAL TRAVEL AREA. IT APPEARS THAT FAA EMPLOYEES LIVING IN THE NORTHERN VIRGINIA AREA MORE THAN 50 MILES FROM FRIENDSHIP AIRPORT WERE IN A REGULAR TRAVEL STATUS AND WERE, THEREFORE, ENTITLED TO PER DIEM. HOWEVER, SINCE THE PLACE OF ABODE FROM WHICH YOU COMMUTED TO YOUR PERMANENT DUTY STATION WAS APPROXIMATELY 28 MILES FROM BALTIMORE, THE DEFINITION OF "LOCAL TRAVEL" PRECLUDES YOUR ENTITLEMENT TO PER DIEM.

WITH RESPECT TO YOUR ENTITLEMENT TO MILEAGE ALLOWANCE DURING THIS PERIOD, SECTION 3.5B(1) OF SGTR, EFFECTIVE MARCH 1, 1965, PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, THAT THE MILEAGE RATE AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED MAY BE PAID FROM WHATEVER POINT THE EMPLOYEE BEGINS HIS JOURNEY. SECTION 12.2C STATES THAT THE TRAVEL VOUCHER MUST SHOW THE DATES OF TRAVEL AND THE POINTS OF DEPARTURE AND DESTINATION. YOUR VOUCHERS SHOW THE POINTS OF DEPARTURE AS THE WASHINGTON AREA RATHER THAN THE SPECIFIC POINTS OF DEPARTURE. ACCORDINGLY, ON THE PRESENT RECORD THERE IS NO BASIS FOR ALLOWANCE OF MILEAGE.

MAY 1 THROUGH MAY 31, 1970

YOU CLAIM THE SUM OF $157.50, WHICH REPRESENTS THE EXPENSES YOU WOULD HAVE INCURRED HAD YOU RETURNED FROM YOUR TEMPORARY DUTY STATION, LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY, TO YOUR PERMANENT DUTY STATION ON WEEKENDS. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT YOU WERE ON ANNUAL LEAVE ON THE FRIDAY AFTERNOONS PRECEDING THE WEEKENDS AND THE MONDAY MORNINGS FOLLOWING SUCH WEEKENDS. WE ARE NOT AWARE OF ANY STATUTORY AUTHORITY WHICH WOULD ALLOW PAYMENT OF CONSTRUCTIVE COSTS UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES. FURTHER, IN INTERPRETING SGTR IN EFFECT DURING THE PERIOD IN QUESTION, THIS OFFICE HAS CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT PER DIEM MAY NOT BE PAID FOR NONWORKDAYS PRECEDED AND FOLLOWED BY A LEAVE OF ABSENCE OF ANY DURATION. SEE 38 COMP. GEN. 384 (1958). ACCORDINGLY, THIS ITEM MAY NOT BE ALLOWED.

APRIL 1 THROUGH APRIL 30, 1971

ON THE TRAVEL VOUCHER FOR THIS PERIOD, YOUR CLAIM IS FOR MILEAGE ALLOWANCE AT THE RATE OF $0.07 PER MILE. YOU STATE THAT A GOVERNMENT OWNED VEHICLE WAS NOT AVAILABLE AND, THEREFORE, YOU WERE ENTITLED TO MILEAGE AT THE RATE OF $0.10 OR $0.07 PER MILE. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU WERE PAID SUCH ALLOWANCE AT THE RATE OF $0.06 PER MILE AS IT WAS DETERMINED THAT USE OF YOUR POV WAS YOUR PERSONAL PREFERENCE AND THAT SUCH USE WAS NOT DEEMED ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. THIS WAS A VALID ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH SGTR, SECTION 3.5B(1), THE PROVISIONS OF WHICH WERE STATED IN OUR SETTLEMENT OF JUNE 13, 1972. THEREFORE, THIS ITEM IS FOR DISALLOWANCE.

JUNE 1 THROUGH JUNE 18, 1971;

JUNE 21 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 13, 1971

THE TRAVEL VOUCHERS COVERING THESE PERIODS REPRESENT CLAIMS FOR PER DIEM ALLOWANCES INCIDENT TO DUTY AT LOCATIONS IN THE VICINITY OF YOUR OFFICIAL DUTY STATION AND/OR YOUR PLACE OF ABODE. YOU APPARENTLY BASE YOUR CLAIM ON MEMORANDUM DATED OCTOBER 29, 1970, REFERENCE EA-402, ISSUED BY THE EASTERN REGION, FAA, WHICH DEFINES, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THE TERM "LOCAL TRAVEL AREA" AS TRAVEL WITHIN 50 MILES OF THE EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION OR PLACE OF ABODE. HOWEVER, YOU CONTEND THAT YOU HAD NO PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN THE LOCAL TRAVEL AREA AND CONSEQUENTLY THAT PART OF THE MEMORANDUM REFERRING TO PLACE OF ABODE HAS NO BEARING ON THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM OR MILEAGE. YOU FEEL THAT THE LOCATION OF THE OFFICIAL DUTY STATION IS THE SOLE DETERMINING FACTOR IN THE AUTHORIZATION OF PER DIEM. IN THIS CONNECTION WE NOTE THAT YOU STATED IN LETTER OF AUGUST 23, 1971, THAT YOU NORMALLY COMMUTED TO YOUR OFFICIAL DUTY STATION FROM PAEONEON SPRINGS, VIRGINIA; CLAIRTON, PENNSYLVANIA; SEABROOK, MARYLAND; AND ADDITIONAL UNSPECIFIED DOMICILES.

THE MEMORANDUM PRECLUDES THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM INCIDENT TO LOCAL TRAVEL, EXCEPT UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES NOT HERE PERTINENT. IN VIEW THEREOF AND SINCE THERE IS NOTHING IN THE RECORD THAT INDICATES YOUR PLACE OF ABODE AT ANY TIME WAS MORE THAN 50 MILES FROM YOUR PLACE OF DUTY, THERE IS NO BASIS TO ALLOW ANY PER DIEM.

FOUR OF THE TRAVEL VOUCHERS SUBMITTED DURING THIS PERIOD CLAIM MILEAGE ALLOWANCES. YOUR AGENCY APPARENTLY DID NOT AUTHORIZE MILEAGE TO ANY OF THE LOCALITIES WHERE YOU PERFORMED DUTY DURING THIS PERIOD ON THE BASIS THAT YOU COULD HAVE PROCEEDED TO SUCH LOCALITIES DIRECTLY FROM YOUR PLACE OF ABODE WHICH WAS WITHIN 50 MILES. SINCE THERE IS NOTHING IN THE RECORD TO INDICATE THAT YOUR PLACE OF ABODE WAS MORE THAN 50 MILES FROM ANY OF YOUR PLACES OF DUTY, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR ALLOWING YOUR MILEAGE CLAIMS.

OCTOBER 1 THROUGH OCTOBER 31, 1971

ON THE VOUCHER COVERING THIS PERIOD YOU RECLAIM $47 OF AN AMOUNT OF $104 PER DIEM DISALLOWED BY FAA INCIDENT TO TEMPORARY DUTY AT PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT YOU WERE ALLOWED PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $20 PER DAY BASED ON AN AVERAGE DAILY LODGING COST OF $7.10. THE DAILY AVERAGE WAS DERIVED FROM TOTALING THE AMOUNTS OF $144, LODGING COSTS FROM OCTOBER 1 THROUGH OCTOBER 25, AND $76.32, LODGING COSTS FROM OCTOBER 26 THROUGH OCTOBER 31, AND DIVIDING BY 31. IN ONE OF YOUR CONTACTS WITH THIS OFFICE YOU STATED THAT YOUR LODGING EXPENSES FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER TOTALED $316.32 WHICH AVERAGED $10.30 PER DAY THEREBY ENTITLING YOU TO $24 PER DAY FOR PER DIEM EXPENSES. HOWEVER, IN ARRIVING AT THE $316.32 AMOUNT, IT APPEARS THAT YOU UTILIZED THE AMOUNT OF $240, TOTAL COSTS FOR ROOM AND BOARD FROM OCTOBER 1 THROUGH OCTOBER 25. FAA REGULATIONS PROVIDE FOR USING ONLY 60 PERCENT OF THE COST OF ROOM AND BOARD IN COMPUTING PER DIEM. THEREFORE, THE AMOUNT OF $144, 60 PERCENT OF THE COST OF ROOM AND BOARD FOR SUCH PERIOD, WAS CORRECTLY USED IN DETERMINING THE PER DIEM ALLOWABLE. ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE NOT DUE ANY ADDITIONAL PER DIEM FOR THE PERIOD INVOLVED.

YOU ALSO CLAIM ADDITIONAL MILEAGE FOR USE OF YOUR POV WHILE ON TEMPORARY DUTY AT PITTSBURGH. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT WHILE ON DUTY AT THAT CITY, YOU LIVED AT A PLACE 82 MILES ROUND TRIP FROM YOUR JOB SITE. FAA CONSIDERED THIS DISTANCE TO BE EXCESSIVE AND REIMBURSED YOU FOR THE COST OF LOCAL TRANSPORTATION FROM MID-TOWN PITTSBURGH TO THE JOB SITE. FAA REPORTS THAT THE USE OF YOUR POV WAS AT YOUR PERSONAL PREFERENCE AND NOT AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AS BEING ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. SECTION 3.5C(2), SGTR, IN EFFECT DURING THE FIRST 9 DAYS OF YOUR TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT TO PITTSBURGH, AND SECTION 4.3, SGTR, EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 10, 1971, PROVIDE THAT WHENEVER A PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE IS USED FOR OFFICIAL PURPOSES AS A MATTER OF PERSONAL PREFERENCE IN LIEU OF COMMON CARRIER TRANSPORTATION, PAYMENT FOR SUCH TRAVEL SHALL BE MADE ON THE BASIS OF THE ACTUAL TRAVEL PERFORMED BUT THAT THE TOTAL AMOUNT ALLOWABLE WILL BE LIMITED TO THE TOTAL CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF APPROPRIATE COMMON CARRIER TRANSPORTATION. PAYMENT BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY OF $4 ROUND TRIP BY AIRLINE LIMOUSINE FOR EACH OF THE 14 DAYS YOU TRAVELED TO YOUR TEMPORARY JOB SITE WAS REASONABLE UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CITED REGULATORY PROVISIONS. ACCORDINGLY, NO ADDITIONAL MILEAGE IS DUE.

AS TO MILEAGE ALLOWANCE FOR TRAVEL AT ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA, DURING OCTOBER 1971, YOU CLAIM REIMBURSEMENT AT THE RATE OF $0.10 PER MILE WHEREAS PAYMENT WAS MADE AT THE RATE OF $0.07 PER MILE. FAA REGULATIONS IN EFFECT AT THAT TIME AUTHORIZED PAYMENT FOR MILEAGE AT THE RATE OF $0.10 A MILE WHEN THE AGENCY DEEMED IT ADVANTAGEOUS TO USE A POV AND A GOVERNMENT OWNED VEHICLE WAS NOT AVAILABLE. SINCE NO DETERMINATION WAS MADE THAT TRAVEL BY POV WAS ADVANTAGEOUS, THERE IS NO BASIS TO ALLOW ADDITIONAL MILEAGE.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE WE MUST SUSTAIN THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM.