B-78759, SEPTEMBER 8, 1948, 28 COMP. GEN. 151

B-78759: Sep 8, 1948

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THE DENVER FEDERAL CENTER IS PERFORMED DAILY BY GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES IN GOING TO AND FROM WORK. EVEN THOUGH TWO FARES ARE REQUIRED EACH WAY AND THE CENTER IS LOCATED OUTSIDE THE CITY OF DENVER WHERE THE NEAREST LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS ARE AVAILABLE. 1948: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 22. IN WHICH IT IS STATED THAT MR. DAVIS WAS INSTRUCTED BY SPECIAL TRAVEL ORDER DATED DECEMBER 29. THAT THE CLAIM IS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSE OF 37 ROUND TRIPS. THAT THE CLAIM IS BASED UPON THE FACTS THAT THE DENVER FEDERAL CENTER IS LOCATED OUTSIDE OF THE DENVER CITY LIMITS AND IN ANOTHER COUNTY. THAT THERE ARE NO SUITABLE LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS NEARER THAN DOWNTOWN DENVER. IT IS EXPLAINED THAT TRANSPORTATION TOKENS OR TICKETS WERE OBTAINABLE AT REDUCED RATES.

B-78759, SEPTEMBER 8, 1948, 28 COMP. GEN. 151

TRAVELING EXPENSES - TRAVEL BETWEEN PLACE OF LODGING AND TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AS THE TRAVEL BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN DENVER, COLO., OR VICINITY, AND THE DENVER FEDERAL CENTER IS PERFORMED DAILY BY GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES IN GOING TO AND FROM WORK, THE EXPENSE OF SUCH TRAVEL INCURRED BY AN EMPLOYEE WHILE ON TEMPORARY DUTY AT THE CENTER CONSTITUTES AN ITEM OF SUBSISTENCE AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH 44 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, RATHER THAN A TRANSPORTATION EXPENSE REIMBURSABLE UNDER PARAGRAPH 8 (B) OF SAID REGULATIONS, EVEN THOUGH TWO FARES ARE REQUIRED EACH WAY AND THE CENTER IS LOCATED OUTSIDE THE CITY OF DENVER WHERE THE NEAREST LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS ARE AVAILABLE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO FRANK H. SHINER, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, SEPTEMBER 8, 1948:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 22, 1948 (REFERENCE 375), REQUESTING ADVANCE DECISION, UNDER SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF DECEMBER 29, 1941, 55 STAT. 876, AS TO WHETHER A VOUCHER COVERING THE CLAIM OF DEAN W. DAVIS, ENGINEER, TRACY, CALIF., FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF CERTAIN LOCAL TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES WHILE ON TEMPORARY DUTY AT THE DENVER, COLO., FEDERAL CENTER, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT. YOU ENCLOSED WITH YOUR LETTER, TOGETHER WITH THE VOUCHER, A COPY OF A LETTER DATED MAY 3, 1948, FROM E. O. BOUDREAUX, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, LOWER SAN JOAQUIN DISTRICT, REGION II, ANTIOCH, CALIF., IN WHICH IT IS STATED THAT MR. DAVIS WAS INSTRUCTED BY SPECIAL TRAVEL ORDER DATED DECEMBER 29, 1947, TO PROCEED FROM TRACY, CALIF., TO DENVER, COLO., UPON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AS DIRECTED; THAT THE CLAIM IS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSE OF 37 ROUND TRIPS, AT 40 CENTS CASH FARE PER TRIP, BY PUBLIC CARRIER BETWEEN PLACE OF LODGING IN DOWNTOWN DENVER AND THE DENVER FEDERAL CENTER, DURING THE PERIODS JANUARY 1 THROUGH FEBRUARY 27, 1948; AND THAT THE CLAIM IS BASED UPON THE FACTS THAT THE DENVER FEDERAL CENTER IS LOCATED OUTSIDE OF THE DENVER CITY LIMITS AND IN ANOTHER COUNTY; THAT IT REQUIRES TWO SEPARATE FARES EACH WAY, AND THAT THERE ARE NO SUITABLE LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS NEARER THAN DOWNTOWN DENVER. ALSO, IT IS EXPLAINED THAT TRANSPORTATION TOKENS OR TICKETS WERE OBTAINABLE AT REDUCED RATES.

THE SPECIAL TRAVEL ORDER OF DECEMBER 29, 1947, REFERRED TO ABOVE PROVIDES, SUBJECT TO THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, FOR A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE OF $6 IN LIEU OF REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL AND NECESSARY PERSONAL EXPENSES, AND FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES, INCLUDING STREETCAR AND BUS FARES.

PARAGRAPHS 8 (B) AND 44, RESPECTIVELY, OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS ROVIDE:

(B) WHERE THE NATURE AND LOCATION OF THE WORK WHERE TEMPORARILY STATIONED ARE SUCH THAT MEALS AND LODGING CANNOT BE PROCURED THERE, AND THE DAILY TRAVEL REQUIRED TO PROCURE SUBSISTENCE AT THE NEAREST AVAILABLE PLACE IS NOT SUCH AS MADE BY THE PUBLIC GENERALLY FOR THAT PURPOSE, NOR PERFORMED FOR THE PERSONAL CONVENIENCE OF THE TRAVELER, THE EXPENSE THEREOF WILL BE CONSIDERED AS NECESSARY TRANSPORTATION NOT INCIDENTAL TO SUBSISTENCE. FULL STATEMENT OF THE NECESSITY FOR SUCH DAILY TRAVEL SHOULD ACCOMPANY THE EXPENSE ACCOUNT.

44. DEFINITION.--- THE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WILL BE HELD TO INCLUDE ALL CHARGES FOR * * * TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN PLACES OF LODGINGS OR WHERE MEALS ARE TAKEN AND PLACES OF DUTY. (SEE PARS. 4, 8 (B).

THUS, IT CAN BE SEEN FROM A COMPARISON OF THE TWO PROVISIONS OF THE REGULATIONS JUST QUOTED THAT THE EXPENSE OF TRANSPORTATION OF EMPLOYEES IN A TRAVEL STATUS BETWEEN PLACE OF DUTY AND PLACE OF LODGING OR WHERE MEALS ARE TAKEN ORDINARILY IS TO BE REGARDED AS INCLUDED IN THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE. AS POINTED OUT IN DECISION OF MARCH 28, 1944, B-40834, THE ABOVE REGULATIONS FOLLOW PRECISELY THE RULES LAID DOWN IN 3 COMP. GEN. 284, IN WHICH IT WAS STATED:

* * * THE FOLLOWING ARE GENERAL RULES TO BE FOLLOWED IN DETERMINING WHETHER TRAVEL PERFORMED BY EMPLOYEES AWAY FROM THEIR PERMANENT STATIONS, IN GOING TO AND FROM THEIR PLACES OF ABODE AND THEIR WORK SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN THEIR ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE. WHERE THE TRAVEL IS SUCH AS IS REQUIRED OF THE PUBLIC GENERALLY IN GOING TO AND FROM ITS WORK IT IS INCIDENTAL TO SUBSISTENCE. IN THIS CLASS THERE IS EMBRACED STREET CAR FARE, BUS FARE, FERRY FARE, AND TAXICAB HIRE, WHEN USED IN LIEU OF THE THREE PRECEDING MODES OF CONVEYANCE. WHERE LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS CAN BE SECURED NEAR THE WORK OR AT A PLACE FROM WHICH IT MAY BE REACHED BY LOCAL PUBLIC TRANSIT COMPANIES AND THE EMPLOYEE FOR HIS OWN CONVENIENCE RESIDES ELSEWHERE, MAKING DAILY TRIPS TO AND FROM HIS WORK, SUCH TRIPS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED AS AN ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSE AND REIMBURSEMENT WILL BE DENIED THEREFOR.

WHERE THE NATURE AND LOCATION OF THE WORK IS SUCH THAT MEALS AND LODGING CAN NOT BE SECURED THERE, THE DAILY TRAVEL FROM THE NEAREST PLACE AT WHICH LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS CAN BE SECURED TO AND FROM THE WORK WILL BE CONSIDERED AS INCLUDED TRIPS FROM TOWNS OR CITIES WHERE THERE ARE HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS TO FARMS AND TO SUCH PLACES AS THE NATURE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S WORK REQUIRES HIM TO VISIT WHICH ARE INACCESSIBLE EXCEPT BY MEANS OF SPECIAL CONVEYANCE. IN NO CASE WILL THE DAILY TRAVEL TO AND FROM WORK BE CONSIDERED AS TRANSPORTATION NOT INCIDENTAL TO SUBSISTENCE WHEN IT IS SIMILAR TO THAT MADE BY THE PUBLIC GENERALLY OR IS ONLY MADE FOR THE EMPLOYEE'S CONVENIENCE.

WHILE THE EMPLOYEE, IN SUPPORT OF HIS CLAIM, APPARENTLY PLACES PARTICULAR RELIANCE UPON THE FACTS THAT TWO FARES ARE REQUIRED EACH WAY AND THAT THE PLACE OF TEMPORARY DUTY IS OUTSIDE THE CITY OF DENVER WHERE THE NEAREST LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS ARE AVAILABLE, IT SEEMS CLEAR FROM THE INFORMATION SUBMITTED THAT THE BUS FARES CLAIMED REPRESENT NOTHING MORE THAN THE DAILY EXPENSE OF TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM WORK INCURRED BY GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES STATIONED AT THE DENVER FEDERAL CENTER WHO RESIDE IN DENVER OR VICINITY AND, AS SUCH, CONSTITUTE AN ITEM OF SUBSISTENCE AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH 44 OF THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS RATHER THAN A TRANSPORTATION EXPENSE REIMBURSABLE UNDER PARAGRAPH 8 (B) OF SAID REGULATION. COMPARE 11 COMP. GEN. 126; 16 ID. 562; 17 ID. 711; AND 26 ID. 286.

ACCORDINGLY, UPON THE PRESENT RECORD, THE VOUCHER MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT. THE VOUCHER IS HEREWITH RETURNED.