[Claim for Actual Subsistence Expenses for Personal Travel While on Temporary Duty]

B-208232: Dec 2, 1982

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Shirley Jones
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A question was raised as to whether a Federal employee may be reimbursed the constructive amount of actual subsistence expenses for a weekend spent away from his temporary duty station. While working at a temporary duty station, the employee took annual leave on a Thursday and Friday due to a death in the family; he returned on Sunday evening. The employee requested the constructive cost of subsistence expenses for Saturday and Sunday of that week to offset some of his travel expenses to the funeral. The claim was denied by his agency which cited cases denying travel expenses for personal travel. The employee stated that he was not claiming reimbursement of travel expenses, but the subsistence allowance he would have received had he remained at his temporary duty site over the weekend. Subsistence allowances are payable on weekends unless both Friday and Monday are spent in a leave status. The location at which an employee chooses to spend nonworkdays while in travel status is of no particular concern to the Government. Thus, the employee's entitlement to subsistence expenses continued. However, Federal Travel Regulations prohibit reimbursement of travel costs incurred for personal reasons. GAO found that since the employee did not claim subsistence expenses for the time spent on leave, and no lodging expenses were incurred, then subsistence expenses could not offset some of his travel expenses. Accordingly, the claim could not be allowed.