B-177555, FEB 22, 1973

B-177555: Feb 22, 1973

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MILEAGE MAY BE PAID FOR TRAVEL BETWEEN AN EMPLOYEE'S RESIDENCE AND A NEARLY TEMPORARY DUTY POST IF IT IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY THE EMPLOYING AGENCY AND IF THE DETERMINATION IS BASED ON THE PROVISIONS OF JTR. IF MILEAGE IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED. PARAGRAPH C6153 ARE APPLICABLE. CARLOS SANCHEZ: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 17. LAMPERT WAS DETAILED TO DELCO ELECTRONICS FOR A PERIOD OF NOT MORE THAN 29 DAYS. AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE DETAIL HE WAS TO REVERT TO HIS FORMER DUTY AT CUTLER-HAMMER. LAMPERT WAS LATER ADVISED THAT HIS TEMPORARY DETAIL TO A POSITION AT DELCO CHANGED HIS DUTY STATION TO THAT LOCATION FOR THE PERIOD OF THE DETAIL. INASMUCH AS HIS NEW DUTY STATION WAS WITHIN THE SAME COMMUTING AREA AS THE REGULAR DUTY STATION.

B-177555, FEB 22, 1973

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - TEMPORARY DETAILS - MILEAGE FROM RESIDENCE TO NEARBY DETAIL CONCERNING THE CLAIM OF FLORIAN T. LAMPERT, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY, FOR DAILY MILEAGE FROM HIS RESIDENCE TO HIS PLACE OF DETAIL FROM JULY 18 TO AUGUST 4, 1972. MILEAGE MAY BE PAID FOR TRAVEL BETWEEN AN EMPLOYEE'S RESIDENCE AND A NEARLY TEMPORARY DUTY POST IF IT IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY THE EMPLOYING AGENCY AND IF THE DETERMINATION IS BASED ON THE PROVISIONS OF JTR, VOL. 2, PARAGRAPH C3009. IF MILEAGE IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED, THE PROVISIONS OF JTR, VOL. 2, PARAGRAPH C6153 ARE APPLICABLE.

TO MAJ. CARLOS SANCHEZ:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 17, 1972, WITH ENCLOSURES, REFERENCE DCRI-FA-DM, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF PAYING CLAIMS FROM MR. FLORIAN T. LAMPERT, AN EMPLOYEE OF YOUR AGENCY, FOR DAILY MILEAGE FROM HIS RESIDENCE TO HIS PLACE OF DETAIL FROM JULY 18, 1972, TO AUGUST 4, 1972.

BY ORDERS DATED JULY 17, 1972, MR. LAMPERT WAS DETAILED TO DELCO ELECTRONICS FOR A PERIOD OF NOT MORE THAN 29 DAYS. AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE DETAIL HE WAS TO REVERT TO HIS FORMER DUTY AT CUTLER-HAMMER, INC. MR. LAMPERT WAS LATER ADVISED THAT HIS TEMPORARY DETAIL TO A POSITION AT DELCO CHANGED HIS DUTY STATION TO THAT LOCATION FOR THE PERIOD OF THE DETAIL. INASMUCH AS HIS NEW DUTY STATION WAS WITHIN THE SAME COMMUTING AREA AS THE REGULAR DUTY STATION, REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES BETWEEN HIS RESIDENCE AND DELCO WAS NOT AUTHORIZED. MR. LAMPERT SUBSEQUENTLY SUBMITTED CLAIMS FOR MILEAGE FROM HIS RESIDENCE TO AND FROM DELCO. THE CLAIMS WERE DISALLOWED ON THE GROUNDS THAT MR. LAMPERT WAS NOT PLACED ON OFFICIAL TRAVEL STATUS AND THAT THE CLAIMS WERE FOR NORMAL COMMUTING EXPENSES BETWEEN HIS HOME AND DUTY STATION. IN THIS CONNECTION YOU STATE THAT 35 MILES HAS BEEN HISTORICALLY ESTABLISHED FOR YOUR INSTALLATION AS THE NORMAL COMMUTING DISTANCE. THE MATTER HAS BECOME THE SUBJECT OF AN AGENCY GRIEVANCE. ALSO, THERE ARE SIMILAR DETAILS IN EFFECT. YOU REQUEST OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER A "DETAIL" (WITHIN COMMUTING DISTANCE OF A PERMANENT DUTY STATION) BECOMES A "TEMPORARY DUTY STATION" OR DOES THE "PLACE OF DETAIL" BECOME THE EMPLOYEE'S "OFFICIAL DUTY STATION" FOR A PREDETERMINED PERIOD OF TIME. YOU ALSO ASK, IF REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED, TO WHICH DATE YOU CAN ACCEPT REIMBURSEMENT CLAIMS ON TRAVEL PERFORMED IN PRIOR YEARS FOR SIMILAR DETAILS.

WE HAVE HELD THAT ASSIGNMENTS BY "DETAIL" ORDINARILY CONTEMPLATE PERIODS OF TEMPORARY DUTY WITHIN THE DEFINITIONS SPECIFIED IN PARAGRAPH C1100, VOLUME 2, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (JTR). IN THIS CONNECTION "TEMPORARY DUTY STATION" IS DEFINED AS THE LOCATION OF AN ACTIVITY, AREA, OR PLACE OF DUTY TO WHICH AN EMPLOYEE IS ASSIGNED TEMPORARILY IN CONNECTION WITH GOVERNMENT BUSINESS AND FROM WHICH HE WILL PROCEED OR RETURN TO HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION. THIS DEFINITION DOES NOT REQUIRE SUCH STATION TO BE BEYOND THE NORMAL COMMUTING DISTANCE OF AN EMPLOYEE. IT HAS ALSO BEEN OUR VIEW THAT THE QUESTION OF WHETHER A PARTICULAR DUTY STATION IS TEMPORARY IS ONE OF FACT TO BE DETERMINED FROM THE ORDERS DIRECTING PERFORMANCE OF THE SUBJECT DUTY. WHERE NECESSARY, RESOLUTION OF THE QUESTION WOULD DEPEND ON THE CHARACTER OF THE ASSIGNMENT, PARTICULARLY ITS DURATION AND THE NATURE OF THE DUTY. SEE B-174667, FEBRUARY 8, 1972, COPY ENCLOSED.

IN THE INSTANT CASE MR. LAMPERT WAS DETAILED TO DELCO FOR A PERIOD NOT TO EXCEED 29 DAYS AFTER WHICH HE WAS TO REVERT TO HIS FORMER DUTY STATION. THE RECORD INDICATES HE RETURNED TO HIS FORMER STATION WITHIN THE TIME SPECIFIED. UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES HIS ASSIGNMENT WAS CLEARLY A TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT. IN 32 COMP. GEN. 235 (1952) IT WAS HELD THAT AN EMPLOYEE, WHO IS ASSIGNED TO A NEARBY TEMPORARY DUTY POST, MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED FROM HIS RESIDENCE TO THE TEMPORARY PLACE OF DUTY. THE AMOUNT OF REIMBURSEMENT COULD BE FIXED AT THE DISCRETION OF THE AGENCY. IN 36 COMP. GEN. 795 (1957) IT WAS HELD, ON PAGE 797, THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS, IN EXERCISING THEIR DISCRETIONARY POWER IN THIS MATTER, ARE TO GIVE DUE CONSIDERATION TO THE INTERESTS OF BOTH THE GOVERNMENT AND THE EMPLOYEE. ACCORDINGLY, IN DETERMINING WHETHER MILEAGE IS TO BE AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED IN THIS AND SIMILAR CASES SUCH DETERMINATIONS SHOULD BE BASED ON THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH C3009, VOLUME 2, JTR. IF MILEAGE IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED, THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH C6153, VOLUME 2, JTR, ARE APPLICABLE.

REGARDING YOUR QUESTION AS TO THE TIME LIMITATIONS ON ACCEPTING REIMBURSEMENT CLAIMS FOR PER DIEM COVERING SIMILAR DETAILS IN PRIOR YEARS, THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, 31 U.S.C. 71A, PROVIDES THAT CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES COGNIZABLE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WILL BE BARRED IF NOT RECEIVED IN THAT OFFICE WITHIN 10 YEARS AFTER THE DATE THEY FIRST OCCURRED. THIS LIMITATION ALSO APPLIES TO CLAIMS PROCESSED BY A DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY. SEE PART 31 OF TITLE 4 OF THE CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS.

THE VOUCHERS, WITH ENCLOSURES, RETURNED HEREWITH ARE FOR HANDLING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE.