[Claim for Reimbursement for Meals at Temporary Duty Site Near Family Domicile]

B-217629: May 13, 1986

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An Army Corps of Engineers employee requested a ruling on the agency's disallowance of expenses he incurred for several meals while performing official duty at a temporary duty site near his residence. The agency denied reimbursement of the claimed expenses based upon the Joint Travel Regulations (JTR) which disallow: (1) per diem for temporary duty travel when a travel period is 10 hours or less during the same calendar day; and (2) the cost of meals at an employee's permanent duty station or enroute to or from a nearby terminal. GAO noted that: (1) JTR provide for reimbursement of meal costs when an employee performs temporary duty at or near his place of residence which is other than the place from which he commutes to work each day while at his permanent duty station; and (2) statutes provide that an employee may be reimbursed for actual and necessary official travel expenses when he travels to a high-rate geographical area. Accordingly, since the employee performed temporary duty in a high-rate geographical area and was in a travel status, he was entitled to reimbursement of the claimed breakfast and lunch meals.

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