B-175787, APR 22, 1975

B-175787: Apr 22, 1975

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THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO $10 FOR MEALS AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES PLUS THE DAILY AVERAGE LODGING COSTS TO DETERMINE THE PER DIEM RATE. JOHNSON - PER DIEM RATE: THIS ACTION IS IN RESPONSE TO A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 4. THE EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION IS ALBANY. THE CLAIM INVOLVES OCCUPANCY AT THE HOME OF A FELLOW EMPLOYEE WHILE THE EMPLOYEE WAS ON DETAIL AT A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION IN PLATTSBURGH. IT IS NOW THE EMPLOYEE'S CONTENTION THAT SINCE SHE WAS MISINFORMED AS TO THE PER DIEM ENTITLEMENT PRIOR TO ACCEPTING LODGING. SHE SHOULD NOT BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR PRIOR FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS WHICH ARE SUBSEQUENTLY DENIED BY THE GOVERNMENT. PROVIDES THAT IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EACH DEPARTMENT AND AGENCY TO PRESCRIBE INDIVIDUAL RATES FOR PER DIEM ALLOWANCES.

B-175787, APR 22, 1975

UNDER IRM 1763, TRAVEL HANDBOOK, PERTAINING TO TRAVEL OF EMPLOYEES OF THE IRS, IN THE ABSENCE OF A SPECIAL RATE OF PER DIEM ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED WHICH SHOULD APPEAR ON THE TRAVEL ORDER, THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO $10 FOR MEALS AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES PLUS THE DAILY AVERAGE LODGING COSTS TO DETERMINE THE PER DIEM RATE.

NANCY L. JOHNSON - PER DIEM RATE:

THIS ACTION IS IN RESPONSE TO A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 4, 1974, FROM BERNARD J. MADURI, CERTIFYING OFFICER OF THE NORTH-ATLANTIC REGION, INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE. MR. MADURI FORWARDED DOCUMENTS, WITH A REQUEST FOR A DECISION FROM THIS OFFICE AS TO THE RATE OF PER DIEM WHICH SHOULD BE PAID TO A TREASURY DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEE, NANCY L. JOHNSON, WHILE ON TEMPORARY DUTY AWAY FROM HER OFFICIAL STATION.

THE EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION IS ALBANY, NEW YORK. THE CLAIM INVOLVES OCCUPANCY AT THE HOME OF A FELLOW EMPLOYEE WHILE THE EMPLOYEE WAS ON DETAIL AT A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION IN PLATTSBURGH, NEW YORK, FROM APRIL 22, 1974, THROUGH MAY 6, 1974. THE EMPLOYEE, NANCY JOHNSON, SUBMITTED A STANDARD FORM 1012 WHEREIN SHE CLAIMED PER DIEM REIMBURSEMENT AT THE $25 RATE BASED ON AN ARRANGEMENT SHE MADE FOR LODGING AT THE HOME OF ANOTHER EMPLOYEE.

THE EMPLOYEE HAS INDICATED THAT SHE CONSULTED WITH TWO MEMBERS OF THE VOUCHER UNIT WITHIN HER AGENCY PRIOR TO INCURRING EXPENSE TO DETERMINE THE PROPRIETY OF PAYING ANOTHER EMPLOYEE AN AMOUNT COMPARABLE TO LODGING RATES AT A HOTEL IN THE VICINITY. IN RELIANCE UPON A GENERAL ASSENT, THE EMPLOYEE STATES THAT SHE PAID FOR HER LODGING AT THE RATE OF $14.50 PER NIGHT FOR 14 DAYS, TOTALING $203. IT IS NOW THE EMPLOYEE'S CONTENTION THAT SINCE SHE WAS MISINFORMED AS TO THE PER DIEM ENTITLEMENT PRIOR TO ACCEPTING LODGING, SHE SHOULD NOT BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR PRIOR FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS WHICH ARE SUBSEQUENTLY DENIED BY THE GOVERNMENT.

FTR PARA. 1-7.3 (MAY 1973), PROVIDES THAT IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EACH DEPARTMENT AND AGENCY TO PRESCRIBE INDIVIDUAL RATES FOR PER DIEM ALLOWANCES. FTR PARA. 1-7.3A (MAY 1973), PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"A. GENERAL. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EACH DEPARTMENT AND AGENCY TO AUTHORIZE ONLY SUCH PER DIEM ALLOWANCES AS ARE JUSTIFIED BY THE CIRCUMSTANCES AFFECTING THE TRAVEL. CARE SHOULD BE EXERCISED TO PREVENT FIXING PER DIEM RATES IN EXCESS OF THOSE REQUIRED TO MEET THE NECESSARY AUTHORIZED SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES. TO THIS END, CONSIDERATION SHOULD BE GIVEN TO FACTORS WHICH REDUCE THE EXPENSES OF THE EMPLOYEE SUCH AS: KNOWN ARRANGEMENTS AT TEMPORARY DUTY LOCATIONS WHERE LODGING AND MEALS MAY BE OBTAINED WITHOUT COST OR AT PRICES ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE TRAVELER; ESTABLISHED COST EXPERIENCE IN THE LOCALITIES WHERE LODGING AND MEALS ARE REQUIRED; SITUATIONS WHERE SPECIAL RATES FOR ACCOMMODATIONS HAVE BEEN MADE AVAILABLE FOR A PARTICULAR MEETING OR CONFERENCE; THE EXTENT TO WHICH THE TRAVELER IS FAMILIAR WITH ESTABLISHMENTS PROVIDING LODGING AND MEALS AT A LOWER COST IN CERTAIN LOCALITIES, PARTICULARLY WHERE REPEATED TRAVEL IS INVOLVED; AND THE USE OF METHODS OF TRAVEL WHERE SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS ARE PROVIDED AS PART OF THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES. ***"

IT HAS BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED BY THE EMPLOYEE'S AGENCY THAT A PER DIEM REIMBURSEMENT OF $10 IS EQUITABLE IN THE ABSENCE OF AN ITEMIZATION OF ADDITIONAL COSTS INCURRED BY EMPLOYEE'S FRIEND FOR HER LODGING.

THE APPLICABLE AGENCY ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS - CITED AS IRM 1763, TRAVEL HANDBOOK - PROVIDES FOR A PER DIEM RATE EQUAL TO THE AVERAGE DAILY LODGING COSTS PLUS $10 FOR MEALS AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES SUBJECT TO A MAXIMUM OF $25.

ADDITIONALLY THE REGULATIONS PROVIDE IN PART IN 312(F) OF THE IRM 1763 AS FOLLOWS:

"(F) ALL OTHER TRAVEL WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES *** THAT EXCEEDS 24 HOURS OR THAT REQUIRES A NIGHT'S LODGING, THE PER DIEM RATES ARE COMPUTED BY ADDING $10 (FOR MEALS AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES) TO THE AVERAGE LODGING COST FOR THE VOUCHER PERIOD, THEN ROUNDING THIS AMOUNT TO THE NEXT WHOLE DOLLAR, WITH A MAXIMUM OF $25. THE TRAVELER MUST STATE ON HIS VOUCHER THAT THE PER DIEM CLAIMED IS BASED ON THE AVERAGE COST TO HIM FOR LODGING DURING THE PERIOD COVERED BY THE VOUCHER. THE COMPUTATION OF AVERAGE LODGING COST NEED NOT BE SHOWN AND LODGING RECEIPTS WILL NOT BE FURNISHED WITH THE VOUCHER.

"SCHEDULE OF PER DIEM RATES BASED ON AVERAGE LODGING COSTS:

PER SCHEDULE OF PARTIAL

"AVERAGE LODGING DIEM DAY REIMBURSEMENTS

COST RATE 3/4 DAY 1/2 DAY 1/4 DAY

"NONE $10.00 $ 7.50 $ 5.00 $ 2.50

UP TO $1.00 11.00 8.25 5.50 2.75

$ 1.01 TO $ 2.00 12.00 9.00 6.00 3.00

2.01 TO 3.00 13.00 9.75 6.50 3.25

3.01 TO 4.00 14.00 10.50 7.00 3.50

4.01 TO 5.00 15.00 11.25 7.50 3.75

5.01 TO 6.00 16.00 12.00 8.00 4.00

6.01 TO 7.00 17.00 12.75 8.50 4.25

7.01 TO 8.00 18.00 13.50 9.00 4.50

8.01 TO 9.00 19.00 14.25 9.50 4.75

9.01 TO 10.00 20.00 15.00 10.00 5.00

10.01 TO 11.00 21.00 15.75 10.50 5.25

11.01 TO 12.00 22.00 16.50 11.00 5.50

12.01 TO 13.00 23.00 17.25 11.50 5.75

13.01 TO 14.00 24.00 18.00 12.00 6.00

14.01 OR MORE 25.00 18.75 12.50 6.25

"(2) TRAVELERS SHOULD INQUIRE DISCREETLY ABOUT LODGING DISCOUNTS OFFERED GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, WHEN THEY ARRANGE LODGING ACCOMMODATIONS. WHEN THE TRAVELER IS TO BE STATIONED AT A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION MORE THAN TWO MONTHS, CONSIDERATION SHOULD BE GIVEN EITHER TO A CHANGE IN HIS OFFICIAL STATION OR A REDUCTION IN HIS PER DIEM ALLOWANCE. WHEN A TRAVELER DOES NOT INCUR ANY ADDITIONAL EXPENSES FOR LODGING; E.G., LODGING ACCOMMODATIONS ON CARRIERS, STAYING WITH FRIENDS OR RELATIVES AT THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION, SUCH NIGHTS MUST BE INCLUDED IN THE AVERAGE LODGING COST COMPUTATION AT ZERO COST. WHEN SPECIAL RATES OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES ARE JUSTIFIED IN INDIVIDUAL CASES, SUCH RATES SHALL BE PRESCRIBED BY THE FISCAL MANAGEMENT OFFICER, NATIONAL OFFICE."

WHILE THE EMPLOYEE DID NOT FURNISH A RECEIPT SHOWING THE AMOUNT SHE PAID HER FRIEND FOR LODGING WHILE ON TEMPORARY DUTY AT PLATTSBURGH A STATEMENT WAS FURNISHED BY THE FRIEND SHOWING THAT SHE WOULD CHARGE THE EMPLOYEE $14.50 PER NIGHT RENT FOR THE PERIOD FROM APRIL 22, 1974, MONDAY, THROUGH AND INCLUDING MAY 5, 1974, SUNDAY. FURTHERMORE, THE LODGING RECEIPTS NEED NOT BE FURNISHED WITH THE VOUCHER, BUT SHE IS REQUIRED TO STATE ON THE VOUCHER THAT THE PER DIEM CLAIMED IS BASED ON THE AVERAGE COST TO HER FOR LODGING.

A COPY OF THE TRAVEL ORDER WAS NOT FURNISHED OUR OFFICE WITH THE REQUEST FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION. IN THE ABSENCE OF A SPECIAL RATE OF PER DIEM PRESCRIBED BY THE FISCAL MANAGEMENT OFFICER, NATIONAL OFFICE, WHICH RATE SHOULD BE LISTED ON THE TRAVEL ORDER, UNDER THE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS QUOTED ABOVE THE EMPLOYEE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO $10 PLUS THE AVERAGE DAILY LODGING COST OF $14.50 FOR A TOTAL OF $24.50. ROUNDING THIS OFF TO THE NEXT WHOLE DOLLAR THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO $25 PER DIEM.