B-96163, AUGUST 1, 1950, 30 COMP. GEN. 56

B-96163: Aug 1, 1950

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - INDIRECT ROUTE - TRAVEL FROM PLACE OF LEAVE AN EMPLOYEE WHO WAS AUTHORIZED. WHOSE ITINERARY WAS CHANGED PURSUANT TO SPECIFIC ORDERS WHILE AT HIS PLACE OF LEAVE. IS ENTITLED TO BE PAID TRAVELING EXPENSES. EVEN THOUGH SUCH INDIRECT TRAVEL WAS OCCASIONED BY A PREMATURE DEPARTURE FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS FOR LEAVE PURPOSES. 1950: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 14. THE EMPLOYEE WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION. THAT AUTHORIZATION WAS AMENDED APRIL 7. HE WAS AUTHORIZED TO TAKE ANNUAL LEAVE AT CHICAGO. HE WAS TO BE AVAILABLE FOR DUTY IN LITTLE ROCK. WHILE THE EMPLOYEE WAS ON ANNUAL LEAVE IN CHICAGO THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS IN WASHINGTON. THE EMPLOYEE WAS NOTIFIED THAT HE SHOULD PROCEED FROM CHICAGO TO CHARLESTON.

B-96163, AUGUST 1, 1950, 30 COMP. GEN. 56

TRAVELING EXPENSES - INDIRECT ROUTE - TRAVEL FROM PLACE OF LEAVE AN EMPLOYEE WHO WAS AUTHORIZED, PRIOR TO DEPARTURE ON ANNUAL LEAVE FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS, TO PROCEED ON OFFICIAL TRAVEL FROM THE PLACE OF LEAVE TO PLACES OF TEMPORARY DUTY AND RETURN TO HEADQUARTERS, BUT WHOSE ITINERARY WAS CHANGED PURSUANT TO SPECIFIC ORDERS WHILE AT HIS PLACE OF LEAVE, IS ENTITLED TO BE PAID TRAVELING EXPENSES, INCLUDING PER DIEM, FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED FROM PLACE OR LEAVE TO THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATIONS AS CHANGED AND RETURN TO HEADQUARTERS, EVEN THOUGH SUCH INDIRECT TRAVEL WAS OCCASIONED BY A PREMATURE DEPARTURE FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS FOR LEAVE PURPOSES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO ELMER H. WALTER, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AUGUST 1, 1950:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 14, 1950, TRANSMITTING A VOUCHER STATED IN FAVOR OF GEORGE A. STARK FOR $46.15 REPRESENTING TRAVELING EXPENSES, INCLUDING PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE, INCURRED WHILE IN A TRAVEL STATUS DURING THE PERIOD APRIL 6 TO 15, 1950, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE RURAL ELECTRIFICATION ADMINISTRATION, AND REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE VOUCHER PROPERLY MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

BY TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION DATED APRIL 5, 1950, THE EMPLOYEE WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION, WASHINGTON, D.C., TO VARIOUS POINTS IN THE STATE OF ARKANSAS AND RETURN. THAT AUTHORIZATION WAS AMENDED APRIL 7, 1950, TO INCLUDE TRAVEL TO VARIOUS POINTS IN THE STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA. PRIOR TO THE TRAVELER'S DEPARTURE FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS, HE WAS AUTHORIZED TO TAKE ANNUAL LEAVE AT CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, EN ROUTE TO ARKANSAS, AND, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE OFFICIALLY PLANNED ITINERARY, HE WAS TO BE AVAILABLE FOR DUTY IN LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS, ON APRIL 10, 1950. HE DEPARTED FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION BY AIR ON APRIL 6 AND ARRIVED BY CHICAGO THAT SAME DATE, THE EXCESS FARE FOR TRAVEL VIA CHICAGO HAVING BEEN PAID FROM PERSONAL FUNDS. PRIOR TO HIS DEPARTURE FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION, IT HAD BEEN AGREED THAT HE WOULD LEAVE CHICAGO AT 8 A.M., APRIL 10, WITH ARRIVAL AT LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS, TO BE AT 11:43 A.M., THAT SAME DAY. HOWEVER, WHILE THE EMPLOYEE WAS ON ANNUAL LEAVE IN CHICAGO THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS IN WASHINGTON, D.C., DECIDED TO CANCEL THE ARKANSAS TRIP, AND THE EMPLOYEE WAS NOTIFIED THAT HE SHOULD PROCEED FROM CHICAGO TO CHARLESTON, WEST VIRGINIA, THENCE TO VARIOUS POINTS IN THAT STATE AND RETURN TO WASHINGTON, D.C. A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST IN THE AMOUNT OF $26.10 WAS ISSUED FOR AIR LINE TICKET FROM CHICAGO TO CHARLESTON AND THE EMPLOYEE DEPARTED FROM CHICAGO 12:05 P.M., APRIL 10, AND ARRIVED AT CHARLESTON :51 P.M., THAT SAME AFTERNOON. TRAVEL TO VARIOUS OTHER POINTS IN WEST VIRGINIA THENCE TO WASHINGTON, D.C., WAS ACCOMPLISHED BY AUTOMOBILE OF ANOTHER EMPLOYEE OF THE RURAL ELECTRIFICATION ADMINISTRATION AT NO ADDITIONAL EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT. HE RETURNED TO HIS HEADQUARTERS AT 7 P.M., APRIL 15, 1950. ON THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER, THE EMPLOYEE CLAIMS REIMBURSEMENT FOR TAXICAB FARES IN THE AMOUNT OF $2.15 AND PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE OF $44 FOR THE TRAVEL FROM CHICAGO TO THE TEMPORARY POINTS OF DUTY IN WEST VIRGINIA AND RETURN TO OFFICIAL STATION. THE UNUSED PORTION OF THE TICKET TO ARKANSAS, AND RETURN, HAS BEEN TURNED IN FOR REFUND PURPOSES.

WHILE IT IS NOT SO STATED, IT IS PRESUMED THAT HAD THE EMPLOYEE NOT BEEN ORDERED TO UNDERTAKE THE OFFICIAL TRIP TO ARKANSAS HE WOULD NOT HAVE TRAVELED TO CHICAGO AT PERSONAL EXPENSE AND THE CONCLUSIONS HEREINAFTER STATED ARE PREDICATED UPON THAT BASIS.

FROM THE ABOVE FACTS, IT IS EVIDENT THAT THE EMPLOYEE ACTUALLY HAS PAID FROM PERSONAL FUNDS SO MUCH OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSE AS SPECIFICALLY IS REQUIRED BY THE INDIRECT ROUTE PROVISIONS OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS--- THAT IS, THE EXCESS COST OCCASIONED BY TRAVEL VIA CHICAGO EN ROUTE TO ARKANSAS. THERE IS NO PROVISION IN THE ABOVE- MENTIONED REGULATIONS THAT REQUIRES, UNDER THE PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES HERE PRESENT, THAT THE GOVERNMENT'S OBLIGATION BE CONFINED TO THE COST OF TRAVEL BETWEEN THE OFFICIAL STATION AND THE TEMPORARY DUTY POINTS IN WEST VIRGINIA. IT IS TRUE THAT HAD THE EMPLOYEE NOT DEPARTED PREMATURELY FOR LEAVE PURPOSES NO EXPENSES OTHER THAN THOSE INVOLVED IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO VARIOUS POINTS IN WEST VIRGINIA, AND RETURN, WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED. BUT, ON THE OTHER HAND, THE EMPLOYEE PROCEEDED TO CHICAGO EN ROUTE TO HIS TEMPORARY DUTY POST IN ARKANSAS PURSUANT TO PROPER AUTHORIZATIONS-- TRAVEL AND LEAVE--- AND HIS TRIP FROM CHICAGO TO WEST VIRGINIA AND RETURN TO WASHINGTON LIKEWISE WAS UNDERTAKEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH SPECIFIC ORDERS. UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, IT IS NOT BELIEVED THAT THE EMPLOYEE SHOULD BE PENALIZED BY REASON OF THE SUBSEQUENT CANCELLATION OF THE PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED TEMPORARY DUTY AT LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.