Federal Employees' Use of Annual Leave While on Official Travel

FPCD-82-7: Published: Dec 16, 1981. Publicly Released: Dec 28, 1981.

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GAO was asked to review the extent to which Federal employees take annual leave while away from their duty station on official travel, excluding travel for relocation and entitlement purposes. Its objectives were to determine how often Federal employees took annual leave while on official travel and to gather descriptive information on trips during which employees used annual leave.

GAO found 96 instances in a voucher sample of about 10,000 trips where employees took 1 or more days of annual leave while in travel status. Thus, about 1 percent of the trips involved leave. The average trip on which an employee took annual leave in the sample included 9.5 official business days and 3.4 days of annual leave. GAO also noted that the Census Bureau may have authorized an excessive per diem rate for some of its employees. GAO found five instances where Census Bureau personnel were authorized a flat per diem rate of $35 for travel of 9 to 10 months' duration. During 1 month covered by their vouchers in the sample, these employees obtained lodgings for less than $11 per day and were paid $35 per day for per diem. Under the rules in effect at the time, travelers' per diem would be their average cost of lodgings plus $16, not to exceed $35 per day, or their actual and necessary costs. This matter has been brought to the attention of the Inspector General at the Department of Commerce and he plans to pursue the matter.

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