B-6042, OCTOBER 2, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 414

B-6042: Oct 2, 1939

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THE STANDARDIZED TRAVEL REGULATIONS ISSUED THEREUNDER IS NOT PRECLUDED SOLELY BECAUSE THE EMPLOYEE IS ASSIGNED TO TEMPORARY DUTY AT A PLACE WHICH HAPPENS TO BE HIS HOME. WHERE THE REGULATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT INVOLVED MERELY PROVIDE THAT AN EMPLOYEE TRAVELING FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS TO A NEARBY CITY WHERE HE MAINTAINS HIS HOME MAY BE REIMBURSED THE COST OF MEALS NECESSARILY TAKEN APART FROM HIS FAMILY AND DO NOT RELATE TO OR PROHIBIT THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM WHILE THE EMPLOYEE WAS AT HIS HOME. SUCH PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED. THERE WAS FORWARDED HERE FOR CONSIDERATION YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 25. THERE IS ATTACHED APPROVED TRAVEL VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $13.50 IN FAVOR OF WESLEY A. AN ALLOWANCE OF $3.00 PER DIEM IS AUTHORIZED FOR TRAVEL AND TEMPORARY DUTY OF LESS THAN THIRTY DAYS' DURATION AT ONE STATION.

B-6042, OCTOBER 2, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 414

SUBSISTENCE - PER DIEMS - TEMPORARY DUTY AT LOCATION OF EMPLOYEE'S HOME PAYMENT OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE TO AN EMPLOYEE IN AN AUTHORIZED TRAVEL STATUS AND OTHERWISE ENTITLED THERETO UNDER THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926, AS AMENDED, AND THE STANDARDIZED TRAVEL REGULATIONS ISSUED THEREUNDER IS NOT PRECLUDED SOLELY BECAUSE THE EMPLOYEE IS ASSIGNED TO TEMPORARY DUTY AT A PLACE WHICH HAPPENS TO BE HIS HOME, AND WHERE THE REGULATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT INVOLVED MERELY PROVIDE THAT AN EMPLOYEE TRAVELING FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS TO A NEARBY CITY WHERE HE MAINTAINS HIS HOME MAY BE REIMBURSED THE COST OF MEALS NECESSARILY TAKEN APART FROM HIS FAMILY AND DO NOT RELATE TO OR PROHIBIT THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM WHILE THE EMPLOYEE WAS AT HIS HOME, SUCH PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED. COMP. GEN. 251, DISTINGUISHED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL BROWN TO CAPT. R. WHITAKER, UNITED STATES ARMY, OCTOBER 2, 1939:

BY SECOND ENDORSEMENT DATED SEPTEMBER 13, 1939, FROM THE OFFICE, CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, THERE WAS FORWARDED HERE FOR CONSIDERATION YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 25, 1939, REF. AV 40/16 AFW, AS FOLLOWS:

1. UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PAR. 804.1 (N) O. AND R. THERE IS ATTACHED APPROVED TRAVEL VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $13.50 IN FAVOR OF WESLEY A. KIMBLE FOR PER DIEM CLAIMED DURING THE PERIOD JULY 11 TO JULY 15, 1939,FOR A DECISION AS TO THE LEGAL AUTHORITY FOR PAYING THE ACCOUNT.

2. COMPETENT TRAVEL ORDERS DATED JULY 10, 1939, DIRECTED THIS EMPLOYEE TO PROCEED FROM CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, TO MICHIGAN CITY, INDIANA, A DISTANCE OF APPROXIMATELY 54 MILES, ON TEMPORARY DUTY CONNECTED WITH RIVER AND HARBOR WORK, AND UPON COMPLETION THEREOF RETURN TO HIS STATION AT CHICAGO, ILLINOIS. SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AN ALLOWANCE OF $3.00 PER DIEM IS AUTHORIZED FOR TRAVEL AND TEMPORARY DUTY OF LESS THAN THIRTY DAYS' DURATION AT ONE STATION, OR FOR THE FIRST THIRTY DAYS OF LONGER PERIODS OF TEMPORARY DUTY AT ONE STATION, EXCEPT WHEN PERIOD IS 18 HOURS OR LESS WHEN $2.40 PER DIEM IS AUTHORIZED. FOR PERIODS OF TEMPORARY DUTY AFTER FIRST THIRTY DAYS AT ONE STATION, AN ALLOWANCE OF $2.40 IS AUTHORIZED.

3. SUBSEQUENT TO THE DATE OF TRAVEL ORDERS, IT WAS LEARNED BY THE APPROVING AUTHORITY THAT MR. KIMBLE MAINTAINS HIS RESIDENCE AT MICHIGAN CITY, INDIANA, AND COMMUTES TO AND FROM HIS PERMANENT STATION AT CHICAGO, ILLINOIS.

4. IT IS NOT BELIEVED THAT THE PROVISIONS OF PAR. 622, O. AND R., AND THE DECISION REFERRED TO, APPLY IN THIS CASE AS THE EMPLOYEE WAS TRAVELING UNDER ORDERS WHICH AUTHORIZED A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IN ACCORDANCE WITH PAR. 44, STANDARD GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AND DOES NOT COVER ACTUAL EXPENSES.

5. I AM THE DISBURSING OFFICER AND THE ABOVE VOUCHER HAS BEEN PRESENTED TO ME FOR PAYMENT.

PARAGRAPH 622 (A), ORDERS AND REGULATIONS, CORPS OF ENGINEERS, UNITED STATES ARMY, CITED IN YOUR LETTER, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OR PER DIEM IN LIEU THEREOF BE ALLOWED AN EMPLOYEE AT HIS OFFICIAL STATION ( STANDARDIZED TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PAR. 46). HOWEVER, AN EMPLOYEE WHO TRAVELS UNDERCOMPETENT ORDERS FROM HIS OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS TO A NEARBY CITY WHERE HE MAINTAINS HIS HOME IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF MEALS NECESSARILY TAKEN APART FROM HIS FAMILY WHILE ON OFFICIAL DUTY AT THE LATTER PLACE. (4 COMP. GEN. 251.)

THE SECOND SENTENCE OF THE ABOVE-QUOTED REGULATION--- THE ONLY PART FOR CONSIDERATION HERE--- AS WELL AS THE DECISION OF THIS OFFICE THEREIN CITED, REFERS TO CASES IN WHICH SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WERE AUTHORIZED UPON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS AND HAS NO APPLICATION TO THE INSTANT CASE WHEREIN THERE WAS AUTHORIZED A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE. THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926, AS AMENDED, AND THE STANDARDIZED TRAVEL REGULATIONS ISSUED THEREUNDER, AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE TO AN EMPLOYEE TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AWAY FROM HIS DESIGNATED PLACE OF DUTY OR OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS, WHICH IN THIS CASE IS CHICAGO. THERE IS NO PROVISION OF THE LAW OR THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PRECLUDING PAYMENT OF A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE TO AN EMPLOYEE IN AN AUTHORIZED TRAVEL STATUS SIMPLY BECAUSE HE IS ASSIGNED AT A PLACE WHICH HAPPENS TO BE HIS HOME.

IN DECISION OF AUGUST 19, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 130, 133, IT WAS STATED AS FOLLOWS:

* * * EVIDENCE OF ACTUAL EXPENDITURES IS NOT A CONDITION PRECEDENT TO THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE TO AN EMPLOYEE SHOWN TO BE IN A BONA FIDE TRAVEL STATUS. ACCORDINGLY, WHERE NOT PROHIBITED BY REGULATION OF THE PARTICULAR DEPARTMENT, AN EMPLOYEE WITH HEADQUARTERS PROPERLY DESIGNATED ELSEWHERE, TEMPORARILY ENGAGED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL DUTIES AT OR NEAR HIS HOME, IS ENTITLED TO PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IN A PROPER CASE WHILE SO ENGAGED. 21 COMP. DEC. 785; 25 ID. 240; 1 COMP.GEN. 120. SEE, ALSO, DECISION OF NOVEMBER 2, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 313, WHEREIN IT WAS HELD (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS):

THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE TO AN EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT DEPENDENT UPON THE NECESSITY OF INCURRING EXPENSES IF THE EMPLOYEE IS IN A BONA FIDE TRAVEL STATUS, AND THE FACT THAT HE MAY BE TAKING HIS MEALS WITH HIS FAMILY WHILE IN SUCH STATUS DOES NOT PRECLUDE THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, AND IT APPEARING THAT THE DEPARTMENTAL REGULATIONS DO NOT PROHIBIT THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE IN CASES SUCH AS HERE INVOLVED, YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO PAY THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH.