B-181827, OCT 16, 1974, 54 COMP GEN 284

B-181827: Oct 16, 1974

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EMPLOYEES WHO WERE IN TRAVEL STATUS FOR PERIODS OF 12 HOURS AND 15 MINUTES TO 13 HOURS AND 15 MINUTES MAY BE PAID PER DIEM ALLOWANCES UNDER FEDERAL TRAVEL REGULATIONS 101-7. SINCE THAT REGULATION REQUIRES THE EMPLOYEES TO BEGIN OR END THE TRAVEL AT THE STATED TIMES ONLY WHEN TRAVEL OF 6 TO 10 HOURS IS INVOLVED. 1974: THIS ACTION IS IN RESPONSE TO A LETTER DATED JULY 12. THE VOUCHERS PRESENTED FOR CERTIFICATION SHOULD HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED WITH THE REQUEST FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION. ONE-FOURTH OF THE PER DIEM RATE FOR A CALENDAR DAY WILL BE ALLOWED. PER DIEM SHALL NOT BE ALLOWED WHEN THE TRAVEL PERIOD IS 10 HOURS OR LESS DURING THE SAME CALENDAR DAY. EXCEPT WHEN THE TRAVEL PERIOD IS 6 HOURS OR MORE AND BEGINS BEFORE 6 A.M.

B-181827, OCT 16, 1974, 54 COMP GEN 284

SUBSISTENCE - PER DIEM - FRACTIONAL DAYS - EXCESS OF TEN HOURS - BEGINNING OR ENDING HOURS NOT FOR CONSIDERATION ALTHOUGH THEY DID NOT BEGIN TRAVEL BEFORE 6 A.M. OR END TRAVEL AFTER 8 P.M., EMPLOYEES WHO WERE IN TRAVEL STATUS FOR PERIODS OF 12 HOURS AND 15 MINUTES TO 13 HOURS AND 15 MINUTES MAY BE PAID PER DIEM ALLOWANCES UNDER FEDERAL TRAVEL REGULATIONS 101-7, PARAGRAPH 1-7.6D(1), SINCE THAT REGULATION REQUIRES THE EMPLOYEES TO BEGIN OR END THE TRAVEL AT THE STATED TIMES ONLY WHEN TRAVEL OF 6 TO 10 HOURS IS INVOLVED.

IN THE MATTER OF PER DIEM ALLOWANCES, OCTOBER 16, 1974:

THIS ACTION IS IN RESPONSE TO A LETTER DATED JULY 12, 1974, FROM AN AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO WHETHER HE MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT FOUR VOUCHERS FOR PER DIEM ALLOWANCE COVERING PERIODS OF LESS THAN 24 HOURS.

THE VOUCHERS PRESENTED FOR CERTIFICATION SHOULD HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED WITH THE REQUEST FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION. SEE 7 GAO 23.5 (OCTOBER 1, 1967), 26 COMP. GEN. 797, 799 (1947) AND 21 ID. 1128 (1942) CITED THEREIN. HOWEVER, SINCE THE AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER HAS THE VOUCHERS BEFORE HIM FOR CERTIFICATION, WE SHALL RENDER A DECISION IN THIS INSTANCE IN ORDER TO SAVE TIME.

ALL OF THE VOUCHERS INVOLVE THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM ALLOWANCES UNDER FEDERAL TRAVEL REGULATIONS, FPMR 101-7, PARAGRAPH 1-7.6D(1) (MAY 1973) WHICH PROVIDES:

(1) TRAVEL OF 24 HOURS OR LESS. FOR CONTINUOUS TRAVEL OF 24 HOURS OR LESS, THE TRAVEL PERIOD SHALL BE REGARDED AS COMMENCING WITH THE BEGINNING OF THE TRAVEL AND ENDING WITH ITS COMPLETION, AND FOR EACH 6 HOUR PORTION OF THE PERIOD, OR FRACTION OF SUCH PORTION, ONE-FOURTH OF THE PER DIEM RATE FOR A CALENDAR DAY WILL BE ALLOWED. HOWEVER, PER DIEM SHALL NOT BE ALLOWED WHEN THE TRAVEL PERIOD IS 10 HOURS OR LESS DURING THE SAME CALENDAR DAY, EXCEPT WHEN THE TRAVEL PERIOD IS 6 HOURS OR MORE AND BEGINS BEFORE 6 A.M. OR TERMINATES AFTER 8 P.M. (THE PROVISO DOES NOT APPLY IN THE CASE OF TRAVEL INCIDENT TO A CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION.)

EACH OF THE FOUR VOUCHERS REPRESENTS A CLAIM OF PER DIEM ALLOWANCE FOR 3/4 DAY FOR TRAVEL DURING THE FOLLOWING TIME PERIODS:

(1) LEAVE AT 6:45 A.M. RETURN AT 7:00 P.M.

(2) LEAVE AT 6:00 A.M. RETURN AT 6:30 P.M.

(3) LEAVE AT 6:45 A.M. RETURN AT 7:00 P.M.

(4) LEAVE AT 6:30 A.M. RETURN AT 7:45 P.M.

THE SPECIFIC QUESTION SUBMITTED IS: "SINCE THE TRAVEL PERIOD IN EACH CASE IS IN EXCESS OF 10 HOURS, BUT DID NOT BEGIN BEFORE 6 A.M. OR TERMINATE AFTER 8 P.M., IS PAYMENT OF PER DIEM PROPER OR SHOULD IT BE DENIED?"

WHEN PER DIEM IS AUTHORIZED INCIDENT TO TEMPORARY DUTY UNDER THE QUOTED REGULATION, TRAVEL BEFORE 6 A.M. AND AFTER 8 P.M. IS ONLY RELEVANT WHEN THE TOTAL TRAVEL PERIOD IS BETWEEN 6 AND 10 HOURS. TRAVEL PERIODS OF LESS THAN 6 HOURS ON THE SAME CALENDAR DAY DO NOT QUALIFY FOR PER DIEM ALLOWANCES. TRAVEL PERIODS OF MORE THAN 10 HOURS ALWAYS QUALIFY FOR PER DIEM ALLOWANCES. THEREFORE, IT IS ONLY WHEN TRAVEL PERIODS OF 6 TO 10 HOURS ARE INVOLVED THAT THE TRAVEL MUST START BEFORE 6 A.M. OR END AFTER 8 P.M. IN THE INSTANT CASE, ALL OF THE TRAVEL PERIODS ARE GREATER THAN 10 HOURS AND THEREFORE ALL OF THE TRAVELERS QUALIFY FOR PER DIEM ALLOWANCES.

ACCORDINGLY THE VOUCHERS MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE PROPER.