B-177418, FEB 12, 1973

B-177418: Feb 12, 1973

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WHICH DECREASED THE PER DIEM RATE FROM $25 TO $18 FOR EMPLOYEES ATTENDING A TRAINING COURSE AT LOWRY AFB WHEN THE COURSE WAS FOR A DURATION OF 60 DAYS OR MORE. WAS IN EFFECT BY SEPTEMBER 1. PAYMENT OF PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $18 WAS PROPER AND THE CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL PER DIEM IS DISALLOWED. RAY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 11. INASMUCH AS YOUR CLAIM WAS FORWARDED TO OUR OFFICE AND DISALLOWED BY OUR TRANSPORTATION AND CLAIMS DIVISION. YOUR LETTER IS BEING TREATED AS A REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF SUCH DISALLOWANCE. YOU WERE AUTHORIZED PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $25 PER DAY WHILE ATTENDING THE TRAINING COURSE. YOUR TRAVEL ORDER WAS MODIFIED TO AUTHORIZE $18 PER DAY WHICH WAS THE RATE SPECIFIED IN THE ABOVE JTR CHANGE FOR ATTENDANCE AT A TRAINING COURSE AT LOWRY AIR FORCE BASE IN EXCESS OF 60 DAYS.

B-177418, FEB 12, 1973

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - DECREASED PER DIEM - EFFECTIVE DATE OF CHANGE DECISION DISALLOWING A CLAIM BY THOMAS RAY FOR ADDITIONAL PER DIEM INCIDENT TO ATTENDANCE AT A TRAINING COURSE AT LOWRY AFB, COLO., DURING SEPTEMBER 14 TO NOVEMBER 25, 1970. SINCE CHANGE 59 OF VOL. 2, JTR, PART III, APPENDIX C, WHICH DECREASED THE PER DIEM RATE FROM $25 TO $18 FOR EMPLOYEES ATTENDING A TRAINING COURSE AT LOWRY AFB WHEN THE COURSE WAS FOR A DURATION OF 60 DAYS OR MORE, WAS IN EFFECT BY SEPTEMBER 1, 1970, PAYMENT OF PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $18 WAS PROPER AND THE CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL PER DIEM IS DISALLOWED.

TO MR. THOMAS J. RAY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 11, 1972, CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL PER DIEM INCIDENT TO YOUR ATTENDANCE AT A TRAINING COURSE AT LOWRY AIR FORCE BASE, COLORADO, DURING THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 14, 1970, TO NOVEMBER 25, 1970, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE CHARLESTON NAVAL SHIPYARD, SOUTH CAROLINA. INASMUCH AS YOUR CLAIM WAS FORWARDED TO OUR OFFICE AND DISALLOWED BY OUR TRANSPORTATION AND CLAIMS DIVISION, YOUR LETTER IS BEING TREATED AS A REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF SUCH DISALLOWANCE.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT BY TRAVEL ORDER NO. T-000243/71, DATED SEPTEMBER 11, 1970, YOU WERE AUTHORIZED PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $25 PER DAY WHILE ATTENDING THE TRAINING COURSE. SUBSEQUENTLY YOUR INSTALLATION RECEIVED CHANGE 59, SEPTEMBER 1, 1970, REVISING THE RATES IN VOLUME 2, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (JTR), PART III, APPENDIX C, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1970. ON OCTOBER 29, 1970, YOUR TRAVEL ORDER WAS MODIFIED TO AUTHORIZE $18 PER DAY WHICH WAS THE RATE SPECIFIED IN THE ABOVE JTR CHANGE FOR ATTENDANCE AT A TRAINING COURSE AT LOWRY AIR FORCE BASE IN EXCESS OF 60 DAYS. YOU WERE PAID AT THE REDUCED RATE AND YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL PER DIEM WAS DISALLOWED. YOU REQUEST RECONSIDERATION ON THE GROUND THAT NO DECISION WAS BASED ON PARAGRAPHS C2053 AND C2054, JTR, VOLUME 2, WHICH PROHIBIT THE RETROACTIVE AMENDMENT OF TRAVEL ORDERS AND THE RESCISSION OF SUCH ORDERS WHEN TRAVEL HAS BEEN PERFORMED, RESPECTIVELY.

WE NOTE THAT ACTUALLY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE HAD AMENDED THE REGULATIONS UNDER DATE OF JUNE 17, 1970, BY FIXING A PER DIEM RATE OF $18 PER DAY (EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1970) FOR EMPLOYEES ATTENDING A TRAINING COURSE AT LOWRY AIR FORCE BASE WHEN THE DURATION OF THE TRAINING COURSE WAS 60 DAYS OR MORE AND GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE NOT USED. LATER THIS WAS ADDED TO THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS BY CHANGE 59, SEPTEMBER 1, 1970. ADVANCE NOTICE OF THE CHANGE WAS DISSEMINATED TO FIELD OFFICES. THERE IS NO INDICATION AS TO WHY YOUR PARTICULAR INSTALLATION DID NOT RECEIVE SUCH NOTICE. HOWEVER, THE FACT THAT YOU OR YOUR INSTALLATION DID NOT RECEIVE NOTICE OF THE CHANGE IS IMMATERIAL. WE POINT OUT THAT THE SAME RULE WOULD HAVE BEEN APPLICABLE HAD THERE BEEN AN INCREASE IN THE PER DIEM RATE UNDER SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES.

YOUR TRAVEL ORDER INDICATES THAT YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO TWO CONSECUTIVE TRAINING COURSES, THE SECOND BEGINNING ON THE DAY FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION OF THE FIRST. IN VIEW OF THIS AND SINCE THE DURATION OF THE COURSES WAS MORE THAN 60 DAYS, THEY ARE TO BE CONSIDERED ONE COURSE FOR APPLYING THE REGULATION. THEREFORE, THE $18 PER DIEM RATE IN APPENDIX C, PART III, SHOULD HAVE BEEN PRESCRIBED ON YOUR TRAVEL ORDER AND THE $25 RATE WAS UNAUTHORIZED.

IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT THE UNITED STATES IS NOT BOUND BY THE UNAUTHORIZED ACTS OF ITS OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES. SEE B-171592, FEBRUARY 26, 1971, COPY ENCLOSED, AND COURT CASES CITED THEREIN. INASMUCH AS THE RATE SPECIFIED ON YOUR TRAVEL ORDER WAS UNAUTHORIZED, IT FOLLOWS THAT THE IMPROPER RATE WAS REQUIRED TO BE CORRECTED AND THAT THE PROVISIONS IN C2053 AND C2054, JTR, VOLUME 2, HAVE NO APPLICATION TO YOUR CASE.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM WAS PROPER AND IS HEREBY SUSTAINED.