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THE DISALLOWANCE IS PREDICATED UPON THE LEGAL CONCLUSION THAT PHILADELPHIA. WAS YOUR OFFICIAL STATION DURING THAT PERIOD. THAT OFFICER IN IMPLEMENTING THE ACT HAS PROMULGATED THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH ARE CONTROLLING. THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO WHICH YOU REFER ARE APPLICABLE ONLY TO THE UNIFORMED SERVICES AND DO NOT GOVERN YOUR RIGHTS. THE NAVY CIVILIAN PERSONNEL INSTRUCTIONS SO FAR AS THEY ARE CONSISTENT WITH OR NECESSARY TO FURTHER IMPLEMENT THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS ALSO AFFECT YOUR ENTITLEMENT. THE LIMITS OF WHICH WILL BE THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE CITY OR TOWN IN WHICH THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IS STATIONED. THE OFFICIAL STATION IS THE RESERVATION.

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B-145963, MAR. 6, 1963

TO MR. WALTER C. HELMS, JR.:

YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 8, 1963, REQUESTS REVIEW OF THAT PART OF OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF JUNE 21, 1962, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE DURING THE PERIOD JULY 21 THOUGH 27, 1961. THE DISALLOWANCE IS PREDICATED UPON THE LEGAL CONCLUSION THAT PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, WAS YOUR OFFICIAL STATION DURING THAT PERIOD.

IN YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW YOU TAKE ISSUE WITH THAT CONCLUSION, DIRECTING OUR ATTENTION TO CERTAIN SECTIONS OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND NAVY CIVILIAN PERSONNEL INSTRUCTIONS CITED IN YOUR CLAIM LETTER OF JANUARY 16, 1961. ALSO, YOU REFER TO TRAVEL AUTHORITY DATED JUNE 21, 1961, AND TO ITS POSSIBLE EFFECT ON THE ORDER DATED JUNE 13, 1961, DIRECTING THE TRANSFER OF YOUR OFFICIAL STATION FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA. IN REGARD TO THE LATTER YOU SAY THAT YOUR ACTIVITY MOVED TO PHILADELPHIA ON JUNE 26, 1961, A FACT OF WHICH YOU HAD KNOWLEDGE OR NOTICE.

THE AUTHORITY TO ALLOW PAYMENT OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT, GENERALLY, STEMS FROM SECTION 3 OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 166, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 836. SECTION 7 OF THAT ACT, 63 STAT. 167, 5 U.S.C. 840, VESTS THE REGULATORY AUTHORITY IN THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET. THAT OFFICER IN IMPLEMENTING THE ACT HAS PROMULGATED THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH ARE CONTROLLING. THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO WHICH YOU REFER ARE APPLICABLE ONLY TO THE UNIFORMED SERVICES AND DO NOT GOVERN YOUR RIGHTS. THE NAVY CIVILIAN PERSONNEL INSTRUCTIONS SO FAR AS THEY ARE CONSISTENT WITH OR NECESSARY TO FURTHER IMPLEMENT THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS ALSO AFFECT YOUR ENTITLEMENT.

SECTION 1.3 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS DEFINES THE TERM "OFFICIAL STATION," AS FOLLOWS:

"DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY AND OFFICIAL STATION MEAN ONE AND THE SAME, THE LIMITS OF WHICH WILL BE THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE CITY OR TOWN IN WHICH THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IS STATIONED, BUT IF NOT STATIONED IN AN INCORPORATED CITY OR TOWN, THE OFFICIAL STATION IS THE RESERVATION, STATION, OR ESTABLISHED AREA, OR, IN THE CASE OF LARGE RESERVATIONS, THE ESTABLISHED SUBDIVISION THEREOF HAVING DEFINITE BOUNDARIES WITHIN WHICH THE DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY IS LOCATED.'

SECTION 6.8 OF THOSE REGULATIONS PROHIBITS THE ALLOWANCE OF PER DIEM TO AN EMPLOYEE AT HIS OFFICIAL STATION.

IT IS APPARENT FROM THE DEFINITION IN SECTION 1.3 THAT AN OFFICIAL STATION IS A GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION AND NOT AN ORGANIZATION, ACTIVITY, OR ASSIGNMENT UPON WHICH AN EMPLOYEE MAY BE ENGAGED. YOUR TRANSFER WAS DIRECTED ON JUNE 13, 1961, AND THE ORGANIZATION OR ACTIVITY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY BY WHICH YOU WERE EMPLOYED ACTUALLY MOVED TO PHILADELPHIA ON JUNE 26, 1961.

BY TRAVEL ORDER DATED JUNE 21, 1961, WHICH IMPROPERLY SHOWS YOUR OFFICIAL STATION AS "NAVPECO," YOU WERE DIRECTED TO TRAVEL FROM PHILADELPHIA TO WASHINGTON, D.C., AND RETURN, THE TRAVEL TO COVER THE PERIOD JUNE 26 THROUGH JULY 7, 1961. THE ORDER BEARS THE NOTATION "NO PER DIEM OR TRAVEL IS TO BE PAID ON THESE ORDERS. THIS IS A DELAY IN REPORTING TO NEW DUTY STATION IN PHILADELPHIA TO COMPLETE PROJECT IN WASHINGTON.' THE EVIDENCE PURPOSE OF THE NOTATION ON THE TRAVEL ORDER WAS TO DEFER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF YOUR TRANSFER UNTIL AT LEAST JULY 8, 1961, AND WE MAY ACCEPT THE ORDER AS POSTPONING YOUR TRANSFER DATE. WE NOTE THAT IN LETTER DATED OCTOBER 4, 1961, FROM THE DIRECTOR, PASSENGER DIVISION, TO YOU, THE NOTATION ON ORDER OF JUNE 21, 1961, WAS CONSTRUED AS DEFERRING YOUR REPORTING DATE IN PHILADELPHIA UNTIL JULY 7, 1961.

TRAVEL AUTHORITY DATED JUNE 27, 1961, INSTRUCTED YOU TO LEAVE WASHINGTON ON JULY 8 AND PROCEED TO BOSTON; THENCE TO NEW YORK, TO PHILADELPHIA (FOR THE PERIOD JULY 21 TO JULY 28, 1961), TO NORFOLK AND RETURN TO PHILADELPHIA ON AUGUST 4, 1961. AGAIN THE OFFICIAL DESIGNATION ON THE ORDER IS IMPROPERLY SHOWN AS "NAVPECO," RATHER THAN AS A GEOGRAPHICAL POINT. YOUR TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT VOUCHER SHOWS THAT YOUR TRAVEL UNDER THE ORDER OF JUNE 27 FOLLOWED THE PRESCRIBED TIME SCHEDULE CLOSELY AND THAT YOU WERE IN PHILADELPHIA FROM 1005 HOURS, JULY 21, THROUGH 1600 HOURS, JULY 27, 1961. THERE IS NOTHING IN THE TRAVEL ORDER OF JUNE 27, 1961, WHICH INDICATES THAT THE TRANSFER OF YOUR OFFICIAL STATION TO PHILADELPHIA AGAIN WAS POSTPONED. NEITHER DOES THERE APPEAR TO BE ANYTHING IN YOUR ASSIGNMENT OTHER THAN THAT YOU WERE TRAVELING TO VARIOUS POINTS INCLUDING PHILADELPHIA THAT WOULD REQUIRE THE DEFERMENT OF THE TRANSFER OF YOUR OFFICIAL STATION TO THAT CITY BEYOND THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF JULY 8, 1961.

THE QUESTION OF WHEN A LOCALITY BECOMES AN EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION HAS BEEN CONSIDERED IN NUMEROUS DECISIONS. GENERALLY, SEE 39 COMP. GEN. 753; 32 ID. 493; 30 ID. 94; 24 ID. 593; 23 ID. 342; 22 ID. 1. THE RULE APPLICABLE TO YOUR CASE IS THAT WHEN AN EMPLOYEE RECEIVES NOTICE OR ACQUIRES ACTUAL KNOWLEDGE THAT A GIVEN LOCALITY WHERE HE MAY BE ON DUTY IS TO BE HIS OFFICIAL STATION, HIS ENTITLEMENT TO PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE AT THAT PLACE CEASES.

WE CANNOT BUT CONCLUDE FROM THE EVIDENCE OF RECORD THAT YOU WERE AWARE NOT LATER THAN JULY 7, 1961, THAT PHILADELPHIA WAS TO BE YOUR OFFICIAL STATION. THEREFORE, WHEN YOU RETURNED TO THAT POINT ON JULY 21, 1961, YOU NO LONGER WERE ENTITLED TO PER DIEM DURING PERIODS OF DUTY IN PHILADELPHIA.

IT FOLLOWS THAT YOUR APPEAL MUST BE DISALLOWED AND THAT THE CONCLUSION REACHED IN OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF JUNE 21, 1962, MUST BE SUSTAINED.

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