B-198827, AUG 3, 1981

B-198827: Aug 3, 1981

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DIGEST: EMPLOYEE WAS ON TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT AT ALBUQUERQUE. HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION IS DENVER. EMPLOYEE MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED ACTUAL TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES TO AND FROM TOPEKA SINCE SUCH TRAVEL IS NOT TO THE EMPLOYEE'S HEADQUARTERS OR PLACE OF ABODE UNDER FTR. WHO WAS STATIONED ON EXTENDED TEMPORARY DUTY IN ALBUQUERQUE. THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS WHETHER THE TRANSPORTATION COST FOR THE ROUND TRIP TRAVEL TO TOPEKA AND RETURN TO ALBUQUERQUE MAY BE PAID. AN EMPLOYEE ON TEMPORARY DUTY MAY VOLUNTARILY RETURN ON NONWORKDAYS TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION OR PLACE OF ABODE AND BE REIMBURSED FOR TRANSPORTATION AND PER DIEM NOT TO EXCEED THE PER DIEM AND TRAVEL EXPENSES WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWED HAD THE EMPLOYEE REMAINED AT HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION.

B-198827, AUG 3, 1981

DIGEST: EMPLOYEE WAS ON TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT AT ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO. TRAVELED TO TOPEKA, KANSAS, ON THE THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY WEEKEND FOR PERSONAL REASONS. HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION IS DENVER, COLORADO. EMPLOYEE MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED ACTUAL TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES TO AND FROM TOPEKA SINCE SUCH TRAVEL IS NOT TO THE EMPLOYEE'S HEADQUARTERS OR PLACE OF ABODE UNDER FTR, PARA. 1-8.4F.

LEWIS T. MOORE - WEEKEND RETURN TRAVEL:

THIS RESPONDS TO A REQUEST FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION BY JAMES L. PENDELL, AN AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. SEEKS AN OPINION ON THE PROPRIETY OF PAYING THE CLAIM OF LEWIS T. MOORE, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DENVER REGIONAL OFFICE, WHO WAS STATIONED ON EXTENDED TEMPORARY DUTY IN ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO.

ON THE THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY WEEKEND OF NOVEMBER 22-25, 1979, MR. MOORE ELECTED TO TRAVEL TO TOPEKA, KANSAS, FOR PERSONAL REASONS. THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS WHETHER THE TRANSPORTATION COST FOR THE ROUND TRIP TRAVEL TO TOPEKA AND RETURN TO ALBUQUERQUE MAY BE PAID.

UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE FEDERAL TRAVEL REGULATIONS (FTR) (FPMR 101-7, MAY 1973) PARAS. 1-7.5C AND 1-8.4F, AN EMPLOYEE ON TEMPORARY DUTY MAY VOLUNTARILY RETURN ON NONWORKDAYS TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION OR PLACE OF ABODE AND BE REIMBURSED FOR TRANSPORTATION AND PER DIEM NOT TO EXCEED THE PER DIEM AND TRAVEL EXPENSES WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWED HAD THE EMPLOYEE REMAINED AT HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION.

THE CERTIFYING OFFICER'S QUESTION CONCERNING WHETHER MR. MOORE MAY BE REIMBURSED THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES HE INCURRED IN TRAVELING ON THE WEEKEND TO AND FROM TOPEKA IS BASED ON HIS DOUBT AS TO WHETHER THE PARTICULAR TRAVEL SITUATION COMES WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF FTR, PARA. 1 8.4F. AS INDICATED ABOVE, THAT PARAGRAPH AUTHORIZES REIMBURSEMENT OF ROUND-TRIP TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES AND ACTUAL SUBSISTENCE EN ROUTE INCIDENT TO AN EMPLOYEE'S VOLUNTARY RETURN TO HIS RESIDENCE OR OFFICIAL STATION ON NONWORKDAYS, LIMITED TO THE NECESSARY TRAVEL AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWABLE IF THE TRAVELER HAD REMAINED AT HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION. BY ITS TERMS THAT PROVISION IS LIMITED IN APPLICATION TO INSTANCES IN WHICH THE EMPLOYEE RETURNS TO HIS "OFFICIAL STATION OR HIS PLACE OF ABODE FROM WHICH HE COMMUTES DAILY TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION." ITS INCLUSION IN THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE LONG-STANDING PRINCIPLE EXPRESSED AT FTR, PARA. 1 7.6A THAT NEITHER PER DIEM NOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES MAY BE ALLOWED AT THE EMPLOYEE'S PERMANENT STATION OR PLACE OF ABODE. WHERE AN EMPLOYEE ON TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVELS ON HIS NONWORKDAYS TO A LOCATION OTHER THAN HIS HEADQUARTERS OR RESIDENCE THE PROVISION IN FTR 1-8.4F FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF ROUND-TRIP TRANSPORTATION AND ACTUAL SUBSISTENCE ENROUTE DOES NOT COME INTO PLAY.

SINCE THE LOCATION AT WHICH AN EMPLOYEE CHOOSES TO SPEND HIS NONWORKDAYS WHILE IN A TRAVEL STATUS IS OF NO PARTICULAR CONCERN TO THE GOVERNMENT INSOFAR AS IT DOES NOT INTERFERE WITH THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS ASSIGNED DUTIES, HIS ENTITLEMENT TO PER DIEM OR ACTUAL SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES AS AUTHORIZED CONTINUES UNLESS OTHERWISE RESTRICTED UNDER FTR, PARA. 1-7.5C OR FTR, PARA. 1-8.4F. HOWEVER, THIS DOES NOT ENTITLE THE EMPLOYEE TO REIMBURSEMENT OF TRANSPORTATION COSTS INCURRED FOR PERSONAL REASONS.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, PAYMENT OF THE CLAIM IS NOT AUTHORIZED.