B-234692, Oct 3, 1989

B-234692: Oct 3, 1989

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CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - Travel - Temporary duty - Travel expenses - Return travel - Reimbursement CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - Travel - Travel expenses - Reimbursement - Amount determination - Administrative discretion DIGEST: This summary letter decision addresses well established rules which have been discussed in previous Comptroller General decisions. Norbert Schnelle: This decision is in response to a request from the Defense Logistics Agency concerning a claim for lodging and subsistence expenses. Could have returned home upon completion of his temporary duty assignment instead of traveling to another location for a period of leave and claiming lodging and subsistence expenses. An employee is entitled to reimbursement for only reasonable expenses incurred incident to a temporary duty assignment since travelers are required to act prudently in incurring expenses.

B-234692, Oct 3, 1989

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - Travel - Temporary duty - Travel expenses - Return travel - Reimbursement CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - Travel - Travel expenses - Reimbursement - Amount determination - Administrative discretion DIGEST: This summary letter decision addresses well established rules which have been discussed in previous Comptroller General decisions. To locate substantive decisions addressing this issue, refer to decisions indexed under the above listed index entry.

Norbert Schnelle:

This decision is in response to a request from the Defense Logistics Agency concerning a claim for lodging and subsistence expenses. The agency asserts that, for purposes of computing his travel expenses, the employee, Mr. Norbert Schnelle, could have returned home upon completion of his temporary duty assignment instead of traveling to another location for a period of leave and claiming lodging and subsistence expenses. The agency denied his claim for additional travel expenses.

Under the Federal Travel Regulations, an employee is entitled to reimbursement for only reasonable expenses incurred incident to a temporary duty assignment since travelers are required to act prudently in incurring expenses. In applying this requirement to claims for reimbursement of travel expenses, our Office has held that an employee is required to proceed on official travel as expeditiously as the employee would on personal business, even though the employee may be required to travel on nonworkdays or during nonduty hours. Jess D. Todd, B-190163, Feb. 13, 1978. However, we have held that it is reasonable for an employee who has completed temporary duty at the end of the business day to delay return travel until the following day so as to avoid extensive travel during nonduty hours. 51 Comp.Gen. 364 (1971); Talmon R. Perkins, B-199432, June 16, 1981.

In this case, Mr. Schnelle completed his temporary duty assignment at approximately 3:10 p.m., and return travel to his residence would have involved about a 4-hour drive. We agree with the agency's determination that return travel to his residence would not have required travel extending well beyond normal duty hours and that his travel expenses should be computed as if he had performed this return travel to his residence. Accordingly, we deny the claim for additional travel expenses.