I worked for the Home Office in the late 80s and was sent of to Fire Service College in Moreton-in-March in the midlands for several months - I got to go home at weekends, but it was a twohour drive each way, so I got home late on Friday night and had to travel back down on Sunday afternoon. I could claim for the travel time, so no complaints there.
I was staying in a lovely little pub in the village - horse brasses, wood fires, good beer etc. Civil Service rules said that if you were working with somebody of a higher grade and having work discussions etc you could claim the expenses rate of the higher grade. This applied to me, as I was working with somebody two grades higher than me, so the difference was significant.
Several months later I put in my expenses claim and it was the highest one they'd ever seen from somebody on my grade and they baulked at paying it. They tried to say that I should have stayed in dormitory accommodation at the college, but I said that if I stayed on site I wouldeffectively be on duty 24 hours a day, andthere was no rule that stated that I had to stay on site, so they had to pay out.
A couple of months later they rolled out a new rule that if there was accommodation on site, you could either use that, or only be able to claim 50% of the usual rate if staying off site.