B-42277, JULY 4, 1944, 24 COMP. GEN. 7

B-42277: Jul 4, 1944

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IT IS PROPER TO DETERMINE THE NUMBER OF HOURS FOR WHICH PER DIEM IS ALLOWABLE FOR THE FRACTIONAL DAY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE USUAL SIX-HOUR RULE PRESCRIBED BY PARAGRAPH 51 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. WHICH WAS RECENTLY COMPILED BY PERSONNEL OF THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION AND DISTRIBUTED TO ITS TRAVELING PERSONNEL. CONTAINED THE FOLLOWING REGULATION WITH RESPECT TO THE COMPUTATION OF PER DIEM FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BETWEEN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES: "WHEN TWO OR MORE RATES OF PER DIEM ARE APPLICABLE IN ONE DAY FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BETWEEN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. THE PER DIEM IS FIGURED ON AN HOURLY BASIS IRRESPECTIVE OF SIX HOUR PERIODS.

B-42277, JULY 4, 1944, 24 COMP. GEN. 7

SUBSISTENCE - FRACTIONAL DAYS - CHANGES IN PER DIEM RATES WHERE, DURING A CONTINUOUS PERIOD OF TRAVEL OF MORE THAN 24 HOURS BETWEEN A POINT WITHIN THE UNITED STATES AND AN OUTSIDE POINT, THE CHANGE FROM OR TO THE PER DIEM RATE FOR TRAVEL WITHIN THE UNITED STATES TO OR FROM THE RATE FOR TRAVEL OUTSIDE OCCURS ON THE FRACTIONAL DAY AT THE COMMENCEMENT OR ENDING OF SUCH CONTINUOUS TRAVEL, IT IS PROPER TO DETERMINE THE NUMBER OF HOURS FOR WHICH PER DIEM IS ALLOWABLE FOR THE FRACTIONAL DAY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE USUAL SIX-HOUR RULE PRESCRIBED BY PARAGRAPH 51 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AND TO COMPUTE ON AN HOURLY BASIS THE AMOUNT OF PER DIEM ALLOWABLE AT EACH OF THE RATES, IRRESPECTIVE OF SIX-HOUR PERIODS.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, JULY 4, 1944:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF MAY 24, 1944, AS FOLLOWS:

A HANDBOOK ON OFFICIAL TRAVEL, WHICH WAS RECENTLY COMPILED BY PERSONNEL OF THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION AND DISTRIBUTED TO ITS TRAVELING PERSONNEL, CONTAINED THE FOLLOWING REGULATION WITH RESPECT TO THE COMPUTATION OF PER DIEM FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BETWEEN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES:

"WHEN TWO OR MORE RATES OF PER DIEM ARE APPLICABLE IN ONE DAY FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BETWEEN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, THE PER DIEM IS FIGURED ON AN HOURLY BASIS IRRESPECTIVE OF SIX HOUR PERIODS. THE HOURLY RATES WILL BE FOUND BY DIVIDING 24 INTO THE BASIC PER DIEM RATE.'

FOR THE PURPOSE OF CLARIFYING THIS REGULATION WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO THOSE CASES WHEREIN THE CHANGE IN STATUTORY PER DIEM RATE OCCURRED ON THE FRACTIONAL DAY AT THE COMMENCEMENT OR ENDING OF A PERIOD OF CONTINUOUS TRAVEL, THE FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS WERE ISSUED TO THE TRAVELING PERSONNEL OF THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION:

"IN THE EVENT THE CHANGE IN THE STATUTORY PER DIEM OCCURS ON THE FRACTIONAL DAY AT THE COMMENCEMENT OR ENDING OF A PERIOD OF CONTINUOUS TRAVEL, A PERIOD OF CONTINUOUS TRAVEL BEING DEFINED AS A PERIOD IN EXCESS OF 24 HOURS, THERE ARE TWO FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED. FIRST, THE NUMBER OF HOURS FOR WHICH PER DIEM IS ALLOWABLE, WHICH SHALL BE DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE USUAL SIX HOUR RULE AND SECOND, THE AMOUNT OF PER DIEM TO BE ALLOWED, WHICH SHALL BE DETERMINED BY APPLYING THE RULE SET FORTH IN THE PRECEDING PARAGRAPH.

"FOR THE PURPOSE OF ILLUSTRATING THIS SECOND POINT WE ASSUME A CASE WHEREIN THE TRAVELER DEPARTS FROM HIS OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, AT 9:00 A.M. AND TRAVELS TO NEW YORK, FROM WHICH POINT HE SAILS FOR A FOREIGN DESTINATION AT 1:50 P.M. ON THE SAME DAY. THE TRAVELER IN THIS CASE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO PER DIEM FOR EIGHTEEN HOURS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SIX HOUR RULE, OR IN OTHER WORDS PER DIEM WOULD ACCRUE FROM 6:00 A.M. THE AMOUNT ALLOWED THEREFOR WOULD BE COMPUTED AT THE CONTINENTAL RATE OF $6.00 FROM 6:00 A.M. TO 2:00 P.M. AND AT THE OUTSIDE CONTINENTAL RATE OF $4.00 OR OTHER APPLICABLE RATE FROM 2:00 P.M., THE HOUR FOLLOWING BOAT SAILING, TO MIDNIGHT.'

THE ABOVE INSTRUCTIONS WERE FOUNDED UPON THE TREATMENT ACCORDED TWO VOUCHERS WHICH HAD BEEN SUBMITTED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR PRE -AUDIT. THE TWO SPECIFIC VOUCHERS IN QUESTION WERE VOUCHER NO. 174006 IN FAVOR OF LEON CUDDEBACK, AND VOUCHER NO. 176798 IN FAVOR OF WILLIAM J. MADDEN. BOTH OF THESE VOUCHERS INVOLVED EMPLOYEES OF THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS BOARD AND PRE-AUDIT DIFFERENCE STATEMENTS WERE ISSUED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE ON DECEMBER 6, 1941 AND DECEMBER 11, 1941, RESPECTIVELY.

MORE RECENTLY OUR ATTENTION HAS BEEN DIRECTED TO YOUR OPINION NO. B 33894, DATED JUNE 12, 1943, WHEREIN IT WAS HELD THAT IN ANY CASE WHERE TWO STATUTORY RATES OF PER DIEM APPLIED ON THE FRACTIONAL DAY AT THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE PERIOD OF CONTINUOUS TRAVEL, PER DIEM SHOULD BE CALCULATED ONLY FROM THE TIME OF ACTUAL DEPARTURE FROM THE POST OF DUTY. IN VIEW OF THIS OPINION, YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT FOR PER DIEM MAY PROPERLY BE MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE INSTRUCTIONS QUOTED ABOVE.

YOUR ATTENTION IS DIRECTED TO THE FACT THAT UNDER THE METHOD FOR CALCULATING PER DIEM DISCUSSED IN YOUR OPINION NO. B-33894, THE TREATMENT ACCORDED TO AN EMPLOYEE CROSSING THE BORDER ON THE SAME DAY ON WHICH HE DEPARTED FROM HIS POST OF DUTY, WOULD DIFFER FROM THAT ACCORDED TO AN EMPLOYEE WHO CROSSED THE BORDER ON THE DAY FOLLOWING HIS DEPARTURE FROM HIS POST OF DUTY.

THE REFERRED-TO BUREAU VOUCHERS 176798 AND 174006 ( D.O. NOS. 1155162 AND 1338163), PAID BY G. F. ALLEN, CHIEF DISBURSING OFFICER, DIVISION OF DISBURSEMENT, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, ON DECEMBER 18, 1941, AND JANUARY 16, 1942, RESPECTIVELY, COVER REIMBURSEMENT FOR PER DIEM AND OTHER EXPENSES INCURRED BY TWO EMPLOYEES OF THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS BOARD IN PERFORMING OFFICIAL TRAVEL FROM THEIR RESPECTIVE HEADQUARTERS IN THE UNITED STATES TO VARIOUS POINTS IN ALASKA AND CANADA DURING THE MONTHS OF AUGUST AND OCTOBER, 1941. THE PER DIEM CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IN THE PREAUDIT OF THOSE VOUCHERS WAS COMPUTED ACCORDING TO THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 51 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH READS IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

DAY DEFINED. IN COMPUTING PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FOR CONTINUOUS TRAVEL OF MORE THAN 24 HOURS THE CALENDAR DAY (MIDNIGHT TO MIDNIGHT) WILL BE THE UNIT, AND FOR FRACTIONAL PARTS OF A DAY AT THE COMMENCEMENT OR ENDING OF SUCH CONTINUOUS TRAVEL, CONSTITUTING A TRAVEL PERIOD, ONE-FOURTH OF THE RATE FOR A CALENDAR DAY WILL BE ALLOWED FOR EACH PERIOD OF SIX HOURS OR FRACTION THEREOF. * * * (ITALICS SUPPLIED.) AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH 12 COMP. GEN. 429, WHICH HELD THAT WHEN TWO RATES OF PER DIEM ARE AUTHORIZED THE CHANGE IN PER DIEM RATES, IN THE ABSENCE OF ORDERS REQUIRING OTHERWISE, WILL BE MADE ON AN HOURLY BASIS.

PARAGRAPH 51 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES, IN SUBSTANCE, THAT WHERE A CONTINUOUS TRAVEL STATUS OF MORE THAN 24 HOURS IS INVOLVED, AS IN THE EXAMPLE STATED, A CALENDAR DAY (MIDNIGHT TO MIDNIGHT) WILL BE THE BASIC UNIT OF COMPUTATION, AND FOR FRACTIONAL PARTS THEREOF--- AT THE COMMENCEMENT OR ENDING OF THAT CONTINUOUS TRAVEL--- ONE- FOURTH OF THE RATE FOR A CALENDAR DAY WILL BE ALLOWED FOR EACH PERIOD OF SIX HOURS OR FRACTION THEREOF.

THE PRACTICAL EFFECT OF THAT PROVISION OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS THE ALLOWANCE OF ONE-FOURTH OF ONE DAY'S PER DIEM FOR EACH ONE-FOURTH OF ONE DAY'S TRAVEL (SIX-HOUR PERIOD) DURING A CONTINUOUS TRAVEL PERIOD IN EXCESS OF 24 HOURS; AND THE FACT THAT THE RATE OF PER DIEM MAY CHANGE DURING THE DAY OF COMMENCING OR ENDING SUCH CONTINUOUS TRAVEL, NECESSITATING A COMPUTATION OF THE AMOUNT DUE FOR ANY ONE-FOURTH DAY PERIOD ON THE BASIS OF TWO DISTINCT RATES APPLICABLE DURING SUCH UNIT OF TIME, CANNOT OPERATE TO REDUCE THE TOTAL NUMBER OF HOURS FOR WHICH PER DIEM IS AUTHORIZED TO BE CREDITED.

IN THE LIGHT OF WHAT HERETOFORE HAS BEEN STATED RELATIVE TO THE MATTER, IT IS APPARENT THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE INSTRUCTIONS REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER ARE CONSISTENT WITH THE INTENT OF THE APPLICABLE PROVISIONS OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND PAYMENT OF PER DIEM WHEN TWO OR MORE RATES ARE AUTHORIZED PROPERLY MAY BE MADE IN ACCORDANCE THEREWITH.

THE DECISION OF JUNE 12, 1943, B-33894, REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER, IS NOT FOR FOLLOWING HEREAFTER SO FAR AS IT MAY CONFLICT WITH THIS DECISION.