Claim for Additional Per Diem During Temporary Duty

B-200794: Jul 23, 1981

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A civilian employee of the Army Corps of Engineers appealed the decision of the Claims Group which denied his claim for reimbursement of travel expenses while on temporary duty. The claim was for per diem in excess of the per diem allowed by Federal regulations. The employee contended that the regulations pertaining to allowable per diem amounted to a subsistence allowance because it in effect required him to eat his meals at particular, noncommercial facilities and that this subsistence allowance was prohibited by U.S. codes. The per diem rate provided is much lower than the normal per diem rate because it is predicated upon Government quarters and meals being available to the traveler incident to his official assignment through noncommercial facilities at costs far below those prevailing commercially. The employee's travel voucher showed that he ate a considerable number of his meals at commercial restaurants, even though the less expensive facilities were generally available. Since the per diem prescribed is predicated on the less expensive noncommercial facilities, it would not cover the costs of eating at more expensive commercial restaurants. Accordingly, the disallowance of the claim was sustained.