B-96176, AUGUST 9, 1950, 30 COMP. GEN. 72

B-96176: Aug 9, 1950

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1950: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 12. REQUESTING ADVICE AS TO WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO PAY OVERTIME COMPENSATION TO AN EMPLOYEE FOR TRAVEL TIME AFTER HIS REGULAR HOURS OF EMPLOYMENT IN CONNECTION WITH THE OFFICIAL INSPECTION OF A SHIP. YOU HAVE FAILED TO SUBMIT A VOUCHER WITH YOUR LETTER WHICH VOUCHER ORDINARILY IS REQUIRED IN CONNECTION WITH REQUESTS OF CERTIFYING OFFICERS FOR ADVANCE DECISIONS. THE SUBMISSION OF A VOUCHER WILL BE WAIVED IN THIS PARTICULAR INSTANCE. IT IS REPORTED THAT MR. IT IS ASSUMED THAT MR. NELSON WAS A PER ANNUM EMPLOYEE AND THAT THE TEN HOURS' OVERTIME CLAIMED BY HIM WERE IN EXCESS OF 40 HOURS FOR THE PARTICULAR WORKWEEK INVOLVED. FOR ALL HOURS OF EMPLOYMENT IN EXCESS OF 40 HOURS IN ANY ADMINISTRATIVE WORKWEEK WAS NOT INTENDED TO INCLUDE TRAVEL TIME OUTSIDE THE BASIC WORKWEEK OR THE REGULARLY ORDERED OVERTIME HOURS UNLESS THE TRAVEL BE PERFORMED UNDER CONDITIONS SO UNUSUAL AS TO WARRANT A CONCLUSION THAT SUCH TRAVEL WAS INSEPARABLE FROM WORK OR EMPLOYMENT WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT STATUTE. 27 COMP.

B-96176, AUGUST 9, 1950, 30 COMP. GEN. 72

COMPENSATION - OVERTIME - TRAVEL TIME - GOVERNMENT-OWNED VEHICLE; SUBSISTENCE - TRAVEL STATUS THE TIME CONSUMED BY A PER ANNUM EMPLOYEE, OUTSIDE HIS REGULARLY ORDERED OVERTIME HOURS, IN TRAVELING IN A GOVERNMENT-OWNED VEHICLE TO AND FROM A PORT IN CONNECTION WITH THE OFFICIAL INSPECTION OF A SHIP MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS WORK SO AS TO ENTITLE THE EMPLOYEE TO OVERTIME COMPENSATION, UNDER THE PROVISION OF SECTION 201 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, FOR ALL SUCH TIME IN EXCESS OF 40 HOURS IN ANY ONE WORKWEEK; HOWEVER, AN AUTHORIZED PER DIEM ALLOWANCE MAY BE PAID AN EMPLOYEE WHILE IN A TRAVEL STATUS WITHOUT REGARD TO WHETHER HE RECEIVES REGULAR OR OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR SUCH PERIOD.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO ALAN G. WEBB, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AUGUST 9, 1950:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 12, 1950, REQUESTING ADVICE AS TO WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO PAY OVERTIME COMPENSATION TO AN EMPLOYEE FOR TRAVEL TIME AFTER HIS REGULAR HOURS OF EMPLOYMENT IN CONNECTION WITH THE OFFICIAL INSPECTION OF A SHIP; ALSO, YOU DESIRE TO KNOW WHETHER PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE MAY BE ALLOWED IN ADDITION TO OVERTIME COMPENSATION.

YOU HAVE FAILED TO SUBMIT A VOUCHER WITH YOUR LETTER WHICH VOUCHER ORDINARILY IS REQUIRED IN CONNECTION WITH REQUESTS OF CERTIFYING OFFICERS FOR ADVANCE DECISIONS. HOWEVER, SINCE IT APPEARS THAT THE EMPLOYEE ACTUALLY HAS MADE CLAIM FOR OVERTIME COMPENSATION TO THE EXTENT INDICATED ABOVE AND IN ORDER TO AVOID ANY DELAY IN THE MATTER, THE SUBMISSION OF A VOUCHER WILL BE WAIVED IN THIS PARTICULAR INSTANCE.

IT IS REPORTED THAT MR. HOWARD C. NELSON, THE EMPLOYEE HERE INVOLVED, TRAVELED FROM SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, TO RAYMOND, WASHINGTON, A DISTANCE OF 135 MILES, WITH TWO UNITED STATES PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE INSPECTORS IN AN AUTOMOBILE BELONGING TO THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, TO INSPECT A SHIP ARRIVING FROM A FOREIGN PORT; THAT MR. NELSON LEFT SEATTLE AT 2:30 P.M. AND BOARDED THE SHIP AT 7 P.M., WHERE HE PERFORMED INSPECTION DUTIES UNTIL 9:30 P.M.; AND THAT UNDER THE ARRANGEMENT WITH THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE INSPECTORS HE HAD TO RETURN WHEN THEY DID WHICH REQUIRED THAT HE DEPART FOR SEATTLE THE SAME NIGHT AT 10 P.M., ARRIVING THERE AT 2:30 A.M. THE NEXT MORNING.

IT APPEARS THAT THE EMPLOYEE CLAIMS OVERTIME COMPENSATION FROM THE END OF HIS REGULAR TOUR OF DUTY, 4:30 P.M., UNTIL HE RETURNED TO HIS OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS AT 2:30 A.M. THE NEXT DAY, OR A TOTAL OF TEN HOURS, INSTEAD OF THE TWO AND ONE-HALF HOURS ACTUALLY SPENT IN INSPECTING THE SHIP.

IT IS ASSUMED THAT MR. NELSON WAS A PER ANNUM EMPLOYEE AND THAT THE TEN HOURS' OVERTIME CLAIMED BY HIM WERE IN EXCESS OF 40 HOURS FOR THE PARTICULAR WORKWEEK INVOLVED. IN THAT CONNECTION, IT HAS BEEN HELD BY THIS OFFICE THAT THE OVERTIME COMPENSATION AUTHORIZED FOR PER ANNUM EMPLOYEES BY THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 201 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, 59 STAT. 296, FOR ALL HOURS OF EMPLOYMENT IN EXCESS OF 40 HOURS IN ANY ADMINISTRATIVE WORKWEEK WAS NOT INTENDED TO INCLUDE TRAVEL TIME OUTSIDE THE BASIC WORKWEEK OR THE REGULARLY ORDERED OVERTIME HOURS UNLESS THE TRAVEL BE PERFORMED UNDER CONDITIONS SO UNUSUAL AS TO WARRANT A CONCLUSION THAT SUCH TRAVEL WAS INSEPARABLE FROM WORK OR EMPLOYMENT WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT STATUTE. 27 COMP. GEN. 613; 28 ID. 183, 547.

UNDER THE ABOVE RULINGS, IT IS APPARENT THAT MR. NELSON WOULD BE ENTITLED TO OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR THE TIME SPENT IN TRAVELING ONLY IF SUCH TRAVEL BE REGARDED AS THE EQUIVALENT OF WORK OR EMPLOYMENT. IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT TRAVEL IN A GOVERNMENT AUTOMOBILE UNDER THE CONDITIONS AND CIRCUMSTANCES HERE INVOLVED, EVEN THOUGH RETURN TO HEADQUARTERS OCCURRED AT A LATE HOUR, IS EQUIVALENT TO OR INSEPARABLE FROM WORK OR EMPLOYMENT. ACCORDINGLY, THE PAYMENT OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION TO MR. NELSON IS REQUIRED TO BE LIMITED TO THE TIME ACTUALLY SPENT AT WORK IN EXCESS OF HIS 40-HOUR WORKWEEK, WHICH IS UNDERSTOOD TO BE TWO AND ONE-HALF HOURS.

WITH RESPECT TO THE PAYMENT OF A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IN ADDITION TO OVERTIME COMPENSATION, YOU MAY BE ADVISED THAT PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE PROPERLY AUTHORIZED TO AN EMPLOYEE IN A TRAVEL STATUS IS PAYABLE FOR THE ENTIRE PERIOD THEREOF, IF OTHERWISE PROPER, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE EMPLOYEE RECEIVES REGULAR OR OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR SUCH PERIOD.