B-176863, OCT 4, 1972

B-176863: Oct 4, 1972

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FEES RECEIVED BY A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE FOR JURY DUTY ARE REQUIRED BY 5 U.S.C. 5515 TO BE CREDITED AGAINST THE AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION PAYABLE TO THE EMPLOYEE BY THE GOVERNMENT DURING THIS PERIOD. NO PROVISION IS MADE FOR PAYMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES INCIDENT TO JURY DUTY OR FOR REDUCTION IN THE AMOUNT OF JURY FEES CREDITED AGAINST PAY ABSENT SOME EVIDENCE THAT A PORTION OF THE FEE IS SPECIFICALLY SET ASIDE FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES. TRAVEL EXPENSES ARE ONLY AUTHORIZED FOR OFFICIAL BUSINESS. TAUBEN WAS REQUIRED TO TRAVEL FROM HER HOME IN CHEVY CHASE. WHEN A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO LEAVE FOR JURY DUTY UNDER 5 U.S.C. 6322. THE AMOUNT RECEIVED FROM A STATE AS FEES FOR JURY SERVICE ARE REQUIRED BY 5 U.S.C. 5515 TO BE CREDITED AGAINST THE AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION PAYABLE TO THE EMPLOYEE BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR THIS PERIOD.

B-176863, OCT 4, 1972

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - JURY DUTY - TRAVEL EXPENSES DECISION DENYING THE RETENTION BY BARBARA TAUBEN, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE OFFICE OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY, OF A PORTION OF THE FEE PAID TO HER BY THE STATE OF MARYLAND AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES INCIDENT TO JURY DUTY, AND ALSO DENYING CERTIFICATION OF A VOUCHER FOR SIMILAR REIMBURSEMENT. FEES RECEIVED BY A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE FOR JURY DUTY ARE REQUIRED BY 5 U.S.C. 5515 TO BE CREDITED AGAINST THE AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION PAYABLE TO THE EMPLOYEE BY THE GOVERNMENT DURING THIS PERIOD; NO PROVISION IS MADE FOR PAYMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES INCIDENT TO JURY DUTY OR FOR REDUCTION IN THE AMOUNT OF JURY FEES CREDITED AGAINST PAY ABSENT SOME EVIDENCE THAT A PORTION OF THE FEE IS SPECIFICALLY SET ASIDE FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES. SEE 20 COMP. GEN. 550 (1941). TRAVEL EXPENSES ARE ONLY AUTHORIZED FOR OFFICIAL BUSINESS, NOT FOR EXPENDITURES INCIDENT TO ONE'S DUTY AS A CITIZEN.

TO MR. REGINALD J. WHITE:

IN YOUR LETTER RECEIVED HERE AUGUST 25, 1972, WITH ENCLOSURE, YOU REQUESTED AN ADVANCE DECISION WHETHER A PORTION OF THE FEE PAID BY THE STATE OF MARYLAND TO MS. BARBARA TAUBEN, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE OFFICE OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY (OEO), FOR JURY DUTY MAY BE RETAINED BY HER AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES ASSOCIATED WITH JURY DUTY. THE ALTERNATIVE YOU REQUEST A DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY THE VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MS. TAUBEN FOR REIMBURSEMENT UNDER SECTION 2.3E OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (SGTR) FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES ON DAYS WHEN THE LENGTH OF HER JURY DUTY EXCEEDS THAT OF HER REGULARLY SCHEDULED WORKDAY.

AS A JUROR ON THE MONTGOMERY COUNTY MARYLAND CIRCUIT COURT GRAND JURY, MS. TAUBEN WAS REQUIRED TO TRAVEL FROM HER HOME IN CHEVY CHASE, MARYLAND, TO ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND, BY MEANS OF PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. ARTICLE 51, SECTION 19, OF THE ANNOTATED CODE OF MARYLAND PROVIDES THAT JURORS IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY SHALL RECEIVE $15 PER DAY AND "*** NO EXTRA ALLOWANCE SHALL BE GIVEN EITHER FOR MILEAGE OR OVERTIME." MS. TAUBEN DESIRES TO RETAIN A PORTION OF THE FEES PAID BY THE STATE OF MARYLAND FOR JURY DUTY TO PROVIDE FOR THE TRAVEL EXPENSES ASSOCIATED WITH HER JURY DUTY.

WHEN A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO LEAVE FOR JURY DUTY UNDER 5 U.S.C. 6322, THE AMOUNT RECEIVED FROM A STATE AS FEES FOR JURY SERVICE ARE REQUIRED BY 5 U.S.C. 5515 TO BE CREDITED AGAINST THE AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION PAYABLE TO THE EMPLOYEE BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR THIS PERIOD. SINCE THIS STATUTE MAKES NO PROVISION FOR PAYMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES ASSOCIATED WITH STATE JURY DUTY, IT WOULD ALSO PRECLUDE A REDUCTION IN THE AMOUNT OF JURY FEES TO BE CREDITED AGAINST THE EMPLOYEE'S PAY TO PROVIDE FOR SUCH EXPENSES. SEE 20 COMP. GEN. 550 (1941), 21 ID. 1148 (1942), AND B-165205, OCTOBER 1, 1968, COPY ENCLOSED. ABSENT EVIDENCE THAT SOME SPECIFIC PORTION OF AMOUNTS PAID BY THE STATE FOR JURY SERVICE WAS INTENDED BY THE STATE TO BE COMPENSATION FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES, AN EMPLOYEE IS REQUIRED TO REMIT ALL JURY FEES TO THE GOVERNMENT.

CONCERNING YOUR ALTERNATIVE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER MS. TAUBEN MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES ASSOCIATED WITH JURY DUTY PURSUANT TO SECTION 2.3E OF SGTR, SECTION 1.1 OF SGTR STATES THAT THESE REGULATIONS ARE APPLICABLE ONLY TO GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES WHOSE TRAVEL EXPENSES ARE AUTHORIZED UNDER 5 U.S.C. 5701-5708. UNDER THIS STATUTORY AUTHORITY PAYMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT OF EMPLOYEES' TRAVEL EXPENSES IS AUTHORIZED ONLY WHILE THE EMPLOYEE IS TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS. THE COURT'S SELECTION OF MS. TAUBEN TO SERVE AS A JUROR WAS BASED ON HER STATUS AS A CITIZEN OF MARYLAND AND A RESIDENT OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY AND WAS IN NO WAY RELATED TO HER OFFICIAL DUTIES AS AN EMPLOYEE OF OEO. DURING THE PERIODS OF HER SERVICE AS A JUROR MS. TAUBEN WAS PARTICIPATING IN THE OFFICIAL BUSINESS OF THE MONTGOMERY COUNTY MARYLAND CIRCUIT COURT GRAND JURY WHICH CANNOT BE REGARDED AS OFFICIAL BUSINESS OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE PURPOSES OF SGTR. IF THE STATE HAS MADE NO PROVISION FOR THE PAYMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES AN EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD REGARD THEM AS EXPENDITURES INCIDENT TO DUTY AS A CITIZEN. CF. B-136319, JULY 29, 1958, COPY ENCLOSED.

ACCORDINGLY, THE FULL AMOUNT OF JURY FEES RECEIVED FROM THE STATE OF MARYLAND BY MS. TAUBEN IS REQUIRED TO BE CREDITED AGAINST HER PAY AND OEO MAY NOT REIMBURSE HER FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES. THE VOUCHER IS RETURNED HEREWITH.

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