B-36160, SEPTEMBER 18, 1943, 23 COMP. GEN. 199

B-36160: Sep 18, 1943

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THERE MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED THE FACT THAT THE TRAIN ON WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WOULD HAVE TRAVELED BY DIRECT ROUTE WAS LATE IN ARRIVING AT ITS DESTINATION. AN AMOUNT OF $1.50 WAS DEDUCTED AS AN OVERCLAIM FOR PER DIEM AND $3.50 WAS DEDUCTED ON ACCOUNT OF ERRONEOUS COMPUTATION FOR THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION. CASSIDY WAS DIRECTED TO GO TO SPRINGFIELD. CASSIDY WAS ENTITLED. IT WAS DETERMINED THAT SINCE THE SCHEDULED TIME OF ARRIVAL OF THE TRAIN ON WHICH HE WOULD HAVE TRAVELED DIRECT TO WASHINGTON WAS 5 P.M. HE WAS ALLOWED PER DIEM FOR ONLY 3/4 OF A DAY ($1.50 LESS THAN CLAIMED). A DEDUCTION OF $3.50 WAS MADE ON ACCOUNT OF EXCESS CLAIM FOR TRANSPORTATION. CASSIDY HAS SUBMITTED A RECLAIM FOR THE $5.00 DEDUCTED FROM HIS ACCOUNT INDICATING THAT HE FEELS THE ADMINISTRATIVE DEDUCTION OF $1.50 WAS IN ERROR AND THAT THE ACTUAL TIME OF ARRIVAL OF THE TRAIN ON WHICH HE WOULD HAVE TRAVELED IF HE HAD RETURNED DIRECTLY TO WASHINGTON.

B-36160, SEPTEMBER 18, 1943, 23 COMP. GEN. 199

SUBSISTENCE - PER DIEMS - BASIS OF COMPUTING COST OF CONSTRUCTIVE DIRECT TRAVEL WITH TRAVEL BY INDIRECT ROUTE IN DETERMINING UNDER PARAGRAPHS 10 AND 49 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS THE COMPARATIVE COST OF CONSTRUCTIVE DIRECT TRAVEL--- INCLUDING PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE--- AND THE COST OF CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL ACTUALLY PERFORMED BY AN EMPLOYEE FOR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE, THE COMPARISON BETWEEN SUCH COSTS MUST BE BASED UPON NORMAL TRAVELING CONDITIONS, AND, THEREFORE, THERE MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED THE FACT THAT THE TRAIN ON WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WOULD HAVE TRAVELED BY DIRECT ROUTE WAS LATE IN ARRIVING AT ITS DESTINATION.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE FEDERAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATOR, SEPTEMBER 18, 1943:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 3, 1943, AS FOLLOWS:

MR. THOMAS J. CASSIDY, PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT, U.S. OFFICE OF EDUCATION, SUBMITTED A CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL AND OTHER EXPENSES FOR THE PERIOD OF JANUARY 31 TO MARCH 1, 1943. AN AMOUNT OF $1.50 WAS DEDUCTED AS AN OVERCLAIM FOR PER DIEM AND $3.50 WAS DEDUCTED ON ACCOUNT OF ERRONEOUS COMPUTATION FOR THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION.

MR. CASSIDY WAS DIRECTED TO GO TO SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS OF THE OFFICE. FOR PERSONAL REASONS, HE RETURNED TO WASHINGTON, D.C., HIS OFFICIAL STATION, VIA BUFFALO, NEW YORK. IN COMPUTING THE AMOUNT OF PER DIEM TO WHICH MR. CASSIDY WAS ENTITLED, IT WAS DETERMINED THAT SINCE THE SCHEDULED TIME OF ARRIVAL OF THE TRAIN ON WHICH HE WOULD HAVE TRAVELED DIRECT TO WASHINGTON WAS 5 P.M., FEBRUARY 27, 1943, HE WAS ALLOWED PER DIEM FOR ONLY 3/4 OF A DAY ($1.50 LESS THAN CLAIMED).

A DEDUCTION OF $3.50 WAS MADE ON ACCOUNT OF EXCESS CLAIM FOR TRANSPORTATION, MR. CASSIDY ESTIMATING THE COST ON THE BASIS OF A ROUND- TRIP, FIRST CLASS TICKET FROM WASHINGTON TO CHICAGO, AND ROUND TRIP COACH TICKET FROM CHICAGO TO SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, AND THIS OFFICE COMPUTING IT ON THE BASIS OF A ROUND-TRIP COACH TICKET FROM WASHINGTON TO SPRINGFIELD AND A STEP-UP TO FIRST CLASS FROM WASHINGTON TO CHICAGO, AND A STEP-UP TO FIRST CLASS FROM CHICAGO TO WASHINGTON.

MR. CASSIDY HAS SUBMITTED A RECLAIM FOR THE $5.00 DEDUCTED FROM HIS ACCOUNT INDICATING THAT HE FEELS THE ADMINISTRATIVE DEDUCTION OF $1.50 WAS IN ERROR AND THAT THE ACTUAL TIME OF ARRIVAL OF THE TRAIN ON WHICH HE WOULD HAVE TRAVELED IF HE HAD RETURNED DIRECTLY TO WASHINGTON, D.C., SHOULD HAVE BEEN USED AS THE BASIS OF ALLOWANCE RATHER THAN THE SCHEDULED TIME OF ARRIVAL.

MR. CASSIDY ALSO CLAIMS THAT HE PURCHASED A PULLMAN TICKET BEFORE TRAVEL WAS BEGUN, FOR USE BETWEEN CHICAGO AND SPRINGFIELD, AND THEREFORE THIS OFFICE WAS IN ERROR IN COMPUTING THE COMPARATIVE COSTS ON THE BASIS OF A ROUND-TRIP COACH TICKET FROM WASHINGTON TO SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, PLUS STEP-UP TO FIRST CLASS BETWEEN WASHINGTON AND CHICAGO, AND CHICAGO AND WASHINGTON.

THE RECLAIM OF MR. CASSIDY IS FORWARDED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION AND ADVICE.

AS THERE WAS A DEVIATION FROM THE DIRECT ROUTE FOR PERSONAL REASONS, THE ENTIRE TRAVEL BY INDIRECT ROUTE IN RETURNING TO HEADQUARTERS BEING BETWEEN THE PLACE OF TEMPORARY DUTY AND THE EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION, THE AMOUNT OF THE EXCESS FARE AND PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE REQUIRED FOR THE CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL PROPERLY IS CHARGEABLE TO THE EMPLOYEE PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPHS 10 AND 49 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDING AS FOLLOWS:

10. INDIRECT-ROUTE TRAVEL.--- IN CASE A PERSON TRAVELS BY AN INDIRECT ROUTE FOR HIS OWN PERSONAL CONVENIENCE, THE EXTRA EXPENSE WILL BE BORNE BY HIMSELF AND REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES WILL BE BASED ONLY ON SUCH CHARGES AS WERE ACTUALLY INCURRED, NOT TO EXCEED WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY THE MOST ECONOMICAL USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE. (SEE PARS. 27, 49.)

49. INDIRECT-ROUTE OR INTERRUPTED TRAVEL.--- WHERE FOR TRAVELER'S PERSONAL CONVENIENCE OR THROUGH THE TAKING OF LEAVE THERE IS INTERRUPTION OF TRAVEL OR DEVIATION FROM THE DIRECT ROUTE, THE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE ALLOWED WILL NOT EXCEED THAT WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED ON UNINTERRUPTED TRAVEL BY THE MOST ECONOMICAL USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE. (SEE PARS. 9, 10, 27, 45 (A), 87.)

REFERRING TO THE SECOND PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER, THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION IN DEDUCTING $1.50, REPRESENTING ONE-FOURTH OF THE PER DIEM WAS CORRECT, FOR THE REASON THAT THE COMPARISON BETWEEN THE COST OF CONSTRUCTIVE DIRECT TRAVEL AND THE COST OF CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL ACTUALLY PERFORMED IN RETURNING FROM SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, TEMPORARY DUTY STATION, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., THE OFFICIAL STATION, MUST BE BASED UPON NORMAL TRAVELING CONDITIONS. CONSEQUENTLY, THERE MAY NOT BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION, AS CONTENDED FOR BY THE CLAIMANT, THE FACT THAT THE TRAIN ON WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WOULD HAVE RETURNED TO WASHINGTON BY DIRECT TRAVEL-- - BUT ON WHICH HE DID NOT RETURN--- WAS LATE IN ARRIVING AT WASHINGTON.

REFERRING TO THE THIRD PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT NEITHER THE COMPUTATION OF THE EMPLOYEE NOR THAT OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE IS ENTIRELY CORRECT. THE COMPARISON IN THE COST OF CONSTRUCTIVE DIRECT TRAVEL AND CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL ACTUALLY PERFORMED SHOULD BE BASED UPON THE THROUGH RATES OR ACCOMMODATIONS ACTUALLY USED. 22 COMP. GEN. 1109. HENCE, THE COMPARISON SHOULD BE CALCULATED AS FOLLOWS:

AS RENDERED: TRANSPORTATION REQUEST SAE-25525, JANUARY 31, 1943, WASHINGTON,

D.C., TO SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, AND RETURN----------------$60.35 TRANSPORTATION REQUEST SAE-25528, FEBRUARY 26, 1943, CHICAGO,

ILLINOIS, TO BUFFALO, NEW YORK, PULLMAN,

UPPER BERTH---------------------------------------------------$ 3.30 TRANSPORTATION REQUEST SAE-25529, FEBRUARY 28, 1943, BUFFALO TO

WASHINGTON, PULLMAN, UPPER BERTH---------------------------- 2.65 PER DIEM CLAIMED INCLUDING CONSTRUCTIVE TRAVEL BETWEEN CHICAGO

AND WASHINGTON, JANUARY 31, 5.25 P.M., TO FEBRUARY 27,

1943, 6.30 P.M., 27 1/2 DAYS AT $6--------------------------165.00

$231.30

ENTITLED TO: WASHINGTON TO CHICAGO, 60-DAY FIRST-CLASS ROUND TRIP---- --- ------- 46.45 CHICAGO TO SPRINGFIELD, THREE-MONTH COACH ROUND TRIP-- ----- ------- 7.45 CHICAGO TO WASHINGTON, PULLMAN, UPPER BERTH--------- -------- ----- 4.85 PER DIEM ALLOWABLE INCLUDING CONSTRUCTIVE TRAVEL BETWEEN CHICAGO AND

WASHINGTON, JANUARY 31, 5.25 P.M., TO FEBRUARY 27, 1943,

5.00 P.M., 27 1/4 DAYS AT $6-------------------------------- 163.50

222.25

RAIL SCHEDULE FOR CONSTRUCTIVE TRAVEL: LEAVE CHICAGO 8.00 P.M., FEBRUARY 26; ARRIVE WASHINGTON

5.00 P.M., FEBRUARY 27-----------------------------------$ 9.05 PLUS 10 PERCENT FEDERAL TAX ON EXCESS RAIL COST ($66.30 ACTUAL

COST LESS $58.75 CONSTRUCTIVE COST, $7.55/------------------ .76

$9.81 LESS ADMINISTRATIVE DEDUCTION ---------------------------------- $5.00

4.81 LESS DEDUCTION MADE BY TRAVELER--------------------------------- $6.45

------ NET AMOUNT DUE CLAIMANT------------------------- ---------------- $1.64 ..END :