Entitlement to Per Diem Allowances

B-178607: Published: Aug 31, 1973. Publicly Released: Aug 31, 1973.

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This document concerns a decision regarding the entitlement to per diem allowances in the case of Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) cadet James K. Boyd. ROTC cadets have no military status not are they employees of the Government, and in the absence of indication that in the present circumstances they are utilized as consultants or experts, they must be considered as persons serving without pay. Section 5703(c) of Title 5, United States Code, provides that an individual serving without pay or at $1 a year may be allowed transportation expenses and a per diem allowance while en route and at his place of service or employment away from his home or regular place of business. Paragraph C5000, volume II, of the Joint Travel Regulations, provides for transportation allowances and expense reimbursement for persons other than Government employees who perform travel in connection with official activities of the Department of Defense.

While in the circumstances before us an ROTC cadet receives no compensation for his services, the purpose of the per diem allowances is to reimburse persons for additional subsistence expenses and a cadet who remails within the city where he resides or attends is not likely to incur additional subsistence expenses. The University of Detroit, where he is a student, and the two high schools visited by him are all located in Detroit. Since he was furnished Government transportation to both high schools and spent two hours one morning and three hours another morning at each school, it is our view that in the absence of a showing that he incurred additional subsistence expenses in compliance with the invitational orders, he may not be considered as being away from his home or regular place of business within the meaning of 5 U.S.C. 5703(c) and implementing regulations so as to be in a travel status for per diem purposes.

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