Request for Transportation Expenses
B-204286, Aug 19, 1981
GAO was requested to provide information regarding a Federal Aviation Administration employee's request for transportation expenses. The employee requested that his household effects be transported from Panama, his place of employment, to Costa Rica, rather than to Guam, his actual place of residence. According to his letter, the employee was planning to return to Guam incident to his separation from employment and wanted his adopted daughter to have his household effects in Costa Rica. GAO interpretation of applicable statutes has always held that the law does not authorize payments for such expenses between points outside the continental United States where the employee, upon separation from employment, elects not to return to the country of his place of actual residence at the time of employment. Since the employee stated that he was transferred to Panama from Guam and was entitled to return transportation to Guam, GAO assumed that Guam was his actual place of residence and that he was returning to that location. GAO was not aware of any rule which disallows payment for the transportation of household goods to an alternate location when the employee in fact returns to his actual residence, even when such an alternate location is a foreign country. Accordingly, based on the information presented, GAO saw no reason why the employee would not be allowed to send his household effects to Costa Rica when he returns to Guam.