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A certifying officer with the Environmental Protection Agency requested an advance decision on the claim of an employee for reimbursement for the cost of dinner and taxi fare incurred incident to a temporary duty assignment. The employee delayed his return from a temporary duty station in order to eat dinner and, because of the delay, he also took a taxicab to the airport instead of using a less expensive common carrier. Whether an employee should be reimbursed for meal and taxi costs depends upon the agency determination as to whether it was unreasonable to expect the employee to eat dinner at home rather than before departure from a temporary duty station. GAO concurred with the certifying officer's determination to withhold the claimed amount pending an administrative determination of the prudence of the employee's actions.


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