B-28425, SEPTEMBER 8, 1942, 22 COMP. GEN. 199

B-28425: Sep 8, 1942

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

1942: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 25. AS FOLLOWS: PARAGRAPH 46 OF STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING: "UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE BE ALLOWED AN EMPLOYEE AT HIS OFFICIAL STATION.'. THE LIMITS OF WHICH WILL BE THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE CITY OR TOWN IN WHICH THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IS STATIONED. PARAGRAPH 48 (B) OF STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING: "THE TIME OF ARRIVAL AT AND DEPARTURE FROM A PLACE WILL BE CONSIDERED AS THE HOUR AT WHICH THE TRAIN. PARAGRAPH 51 OF STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING: "* * * NO PER DIEM WILL BE ALLOWED * * * FOR ANY ABSENCE NOT EXCEEDING THREE HOURS.'.

B-28425, SEPTEMBER 8, 1942, 22 COMP. GEN. 199

SUBSISTENCE - FRACTIONAL PER DIEMS - COMPUTATION OF TIME OF DEPARTURE AND ARRIVAL WHERE AN EMPLOYEE PERFORMS OFFICIAL TRAVEL BY A PRIVATELY OR GOVERNMENT- OWNED AUTOMOBILE--- RATHER THAN BY COMMON CARRIER--- THE MINIMUM OF THREE HOURS' ABSENCE FROM THE DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY REQUIRED AS A CONDITION TO PAYMENT OF A FRACTIONAL PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE UNDER PARAGRAPH 51 THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS MUST BE COMPUTED FROM THE TIME OF DEPARTURE FROM AND ARRIVAL AT THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY, AND NOT FROM THE TIME OF DEPARTURE FROM THE OFFICE LOCATED WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS, SEPTEMBER 8, 1942: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 25, 1942, AS FOLLOWS:

PARAGRAPH 46 OF STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING:

"UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE BE ALLOWED AN EMPLOYEE AT HIS OFFICIAL STATION.'

PARAGRAPH 3 OF STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING:

"DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY AND OFFICIAL STATION MEAN ONE AND THE SAME, THE LIMITS OF WHICH WILL BE THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE CITY OR TOWN IN WHICH THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IS STATIONED, * * *.'

PARAGRAPH 48 (B) OF STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING:

"THE TIME OF ARRIVAL AT AND DEPARTURE FROM A PLACE WILL BE CONSIDERED AS THE HOUR AT WHICH THE TRAIN, BOAT, OR OTHER CONVEYANCE USED BY THE TRAVELER ACTUALLY LEAVES OR ARRIVES AT ITS REGULAR TERMINAL.'

PARAGRAPH 51 OF STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING:

"* * * NO PER DIEM WILL BE ALLOWED * * * FOR ANY ABSENCE NOT EXCEEDING THREE HOURS.'

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING PROVISIONS OF STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS A QUESTION HAS ARISEN AS TO WHETHER AN EMPLOYEE OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FACILITY, BRONX, NEW YORK, WHO WAS REQUIRED TO PERFORM OFFICIAL TRAVEL IN A GOVERNMENT OWNED VEHICLE TO THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FACILITY, NORTHPORT, NEW YORK FOR THE PURPOSE OF ACCOMPANYING A VETERANS ADMINISTRATION PATIENT, UNDER A TRAVEL ORDER PROVIDING FOR PAYMENT OF PER DIEM ALLOWANCE AT THE RATE OF $6.00 PER DAY, MAY BE PAID $1.50 PER DIEM ALLOWANCE AS CLAIMED BY HIM FOR TRAVEL ACCORDING TO THE FOLLOWING SCHEDULE:

LEFT VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FACILITY, BRONX, NEW YORK,

4:00 P.M.

LEFT CORPORATE LIMITS OF NEW YORK CITY, 4:45 P.M.

ARRIVED VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FACILITY, NORTHPORT, NEW YORK,

5:50 P.M.

LEFT VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FACILITY, NORTHPORT, NEW YORK,

6:20 P.M.

ARRIVED CORPORATE LIMITS OF NEW YORK CITY, 7:00 P.M.

ARRIVED VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FACILITY, BRONX, NEW YORK,

7:45 P.M.

THE TIME ELAPSED WAS 3 HOURS 45 MINUTES.

TIME IN NEW YORK CITY WAS 1 HOUR 30 MINUTES.

TIME OUTSIDE OF NEW YORK CITY WAS 2 HOURS 15 MINUTES.

INFORMATION HAS BEEN RECEIVED FROM THE FACILITY TO THE EFFECT THAT IT IS FREQUENTLY NECESSARY FOR CHAUFFEURS TO BE SENT ON TRIPS IN EXCESS OF THREE HOURS DURATION, IN ORDER TO ACCOMPANY PSYCHOTIC PATIENTS TO OTHER FACILITIES.

IT IS RECOGNIZED THAT THE TIME CONSUMED BY AN EMPLOYEE IN TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER FROM THE CARRIER'S REGULAR TERMINAL TO THE LIMITS OF THE CITY IN WHICH HIS OFFICIAL STATION IS LOCATED, IS PROPERLY, UNDER PARAGRAPH 48 (B) OF THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS, TO BE INCLUDED IN THE PERIOD OF TIME FOR WHICH PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IS PAYABLE. IT IS ALSO UNDERSTOOD THAT THE CITED PROVISION OF PARAGRAPH 46 OF THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS INTENDED TO PROHIBIT PAYMENT OF PER DIEM ALLOWANCE FOR TIME CONSUMED BY AN EMPLOYEE IN PERFORMING OFFICIAL DUTIES AT HIS OFFICIAL STATION. HOWEVER, WITH REGARD TO AUTHORIZED TRAVEL OF AN EMPLOYEE IN GOVERNMENT OWNED MOTOR VEHICLE, IT IS NOT ENTIRELY CLEAR WHETHER THE CITED PROVISION OF PARAGRAPH 46 IS TO BE CONSTRUED AS PROHIBITING INCLUSION OF THE TIME CONSUMED IN TRAVEL FROM THE FACILITY GROUNDS TO THE CITY LIMITS IN THE COMPUTATION OF TRAVEL TIME FOR PER DIEM ALLOWANCE PURPOSES.

IT IS THEREFORE REQUESTED THAT I BE ADVISED IN THE PREMISES.

THE ACT OF JANUARY 30, 1942, PUBLIC LAW 424, 56 STAT. 39, 40, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THAT SECTION 3 OF THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926 (44 STAT. 688), AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932 (47 STAT. 405), IS HEREBY FURTHER AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:

"SEC. 3. CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS, WHILE TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND AWAY FROM THEIR DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY, SHALL BE ALLOWED, IN LIEU OF THEIR ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR SUBSISTENCE AND ALL FEES OR TIPS TO PORTERS AND STEWARDS, A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE TO BE PRESCRIBED BY THE HEADS OF THE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS CONCERNED AT A RATE NOT TO EXCEED $6 WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, AND NOT TO EXCEED AN AVERAGE OF $7 BEYOND THE LIMITS OF THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES.' ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

PARAGRAPH 3 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER--- WHICH MUST BE APPLIED BY THIS OFFICE AS WRITTEN--- SPECIFICALLY DEFINES THE TERM "DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY," APPEARING IN THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT, AS THE "CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE CITY OR TOWN IN WHICH THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IS STATIONED.' WHILE IT IS THE AUTHORIZED PRACTICE PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH 48 (B) OF THE REGULATIONS TO COMPUTE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FROM THE TIME AN EMPLOYEE DEPARTS FROM AND ARRIVES AT THE REGULAR TERMINAL IN A CITY OR TOWN (WHICH IS THE DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY OF THE EMPLOYEE) WHEN TRANSPORTATION IS BY A COMMON CARRIER, SUCH AS A TRAIN, BOAT, OR BUS WHICH HAS AN ESTABLISHED "REGULAR TERMINAL," NEVERTHELESS, PARAGRAPH 46 OF THE REGULATIONS PRECLUDES PAYMENT OF ANY PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FOR ANY TIME AN EMPLOYEE SPENDS AT HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY OR OFFICIAL STATION WHEN TRANSPORTATION IS BY MEANS OTHER THAN A COMMON CARRIER, SUCH AS BY A PRIVATELY-OWNED OR GOVERNMENT-OWNED AUTOMOBILE HAVING NO ,REGULAR TERMINAL.' COMPARE DECISIONS STATING THE RULE FOR PAYMENT OF MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE, WHICH RULE IS THAT MILEAGE BEGINS AT THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY OR OFFICIAL STATION. COMP. GEN. 453; 16 ID. 577; 17 ID. 574.

YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT WHEN TRANSPORTATION IS BY A PRIVATELY- OWNED OR GOVERNMENT-OWNED AUTOMOBILE, THE MINIMUM OF THREE HOURS' ABSENCE FROM THE DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY FOR WHICH A FRACTIONAL PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE IS AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID UNDER PARAGRAPH 51 OF THE REGULATIONS MUST BE COMPUTED FROM THE TIME OF DEPARTURE FROM AND ARRIVAL AT THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY, AND NOT FROM THE TIME A GOVERNMENT-OWNED AUTOMOBILE LEAVES THE OFFICE LOCATED WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY. THUS, IN THE ILLUSTRATION GIVEN, THE EMPLOYEE IS NOT ENTITLED TO ANY PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE.