B-129960, DEC. 21, 1956

B-129960: Dec 21, 1956

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THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND MESSING FACILITIES WERE NOT AVAILABLE. COLONEL CALL IS STATED TO HAVE ARRIVED AT THE SAME STATION WITH HIS DEPENDENTS ON SEPTEMBER 5. TO HAVE OCCUPIED TEMPORARY HOUSING IN THE SAME HOTEL UNTIL SEPTEMBER 11. YOU REPORT THAT BOTH OFFICERS REGARD THEIR PRESENT LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS AS TEMPORARY PENDING ASSIGNMENT TO GOVERNMENT HOUSING WHICH THEY HAVE BEEN ADVISED PROBABLY WILL BE AVAILABLE BY MARCH 1. IF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS ARE NOT AVAILABLE AND HE IS REQUIRED TO SECURE TEMPORARY LODGING FOR HIMSELF AND HIS FAMILY. A MEMBER'S INTENT TO OCCUPY PRIVATE HOUSING FOR A TEMPORARY PERIOD IS NOT A DECISIVE FACTOR IN DETERMINING WHETHER SUCH HOUSING SHOULD BE REGARDED AS TEMPORARY LODGING WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE REGULATIONS.

B-129960, DEC. 21, 1956

TO MR. S. F. LEADER, DISBURSING OFFICER:

BY FIRST ENDORSEMENT OF NOVEMBER 30, 1956, THE COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS FORWARDED YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 21, 1956, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE LEGALITY OF CREDITING LIEUTENANT COLONEL STANLEY V. TITTERUD, USMC, AND LIEUTENANT COLONEL CHARLES E. CALL, JR., USMC. STATION PER DIEM ALLOWANCE AT THE TRAVEL RATE FOR THE PERIODS AUGUST 28 TO SEPTEMBER 26, 1956, AND SEPTEMBER 6 TO OCTOBER 20, 1956, RESPECTIVELY.

YOU STATE THAT COLONEL TITTERUD ARRIVED AT HIS NEW STATION IN HAWAII WITH HIS DEPENDENTS ON AUGUST 12, 1956; THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND MESSING FACILITIES WERE NOT AVAILABLE; AND THAT THEY OCCUPIED TEMPORARY HOUSING AT A HOTEL IN KAILUA, OAHU, T. H., UNTIL OCTOBER 28, 1956, WHEN THEY MOVED INTO THE PRIVATE DWELLING THEY NOW OCCUPY. IT APPEARS THAT HE HAS BEEN PAID STATION PER DIEM ALLOWANCE AT THE TRAVEL RATE PRESCRIBED FOR THAT AREA FOR THE PERIOD AUGUST 13 TO 27, 1956. COLONEL CALL IS STATED TO HAVE ARRIVED AT THE SAME STATION WITH HIS DEPENDENTS ON SEPTEMBER 5, 1956, AND TO HAVE OCCUPIED TEMPORARY HOUSING IN THE SAME HOTEL UNTIL SEPTEMBER 11, 1956, WHEN HE MOVED INTO HIS PRESENT QUARTERS IN A PERMANENT TYPE DWELLING. YOU REPORT THAT BOTH OFFICERS REGARD THEIR PRESENT LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS AS TEMPORARY PENDING ASSIGNMENT TO GOVERNMENT HOUSING WHICH THEY HAVE BEEN ADVISED PROBABLY WILL BE AVAILABLE BY MARCH 1, 1957.

PARAGRAPH 4303-2A, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AUTHORIZES PAYMENT OF A STATION PER DIEM ALLOWANCE AT THE TRAVEL RATE PRESCRIBED FOR THE AREA INVOLVED TO A MEMBER UPON HIS INITIAL ASSIGNMENT TO A PERMANENT STATION OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES, FOR PERIODS OF UP TO 45 DAYS AFTER HIS ARRIVAL, IF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS ARE NOT AVAILABLE AND HE IS REQUIRED TO SECURE TEMPORARY LODGING FOR HIMSELF AND HIS FAMILY. HOWEVER, A MEMBER'S INTENT TO OCCUPY PRIVATE HOUSING FOR A TEMPORARY PERIOD IS NOT A DECISIVE FACTOR IN DETERMINING WHETHER SUCH HOUSING SHOULD BE REGARDED AS TEMPORARY LODGING WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE REGULATIONS. IF SUCH HOUSING, WHEN COMPARED WITH OTHER HOUSING IN THE SAME LOCALITY, PROVIDES QUARTERS AND REASONABLE FACILITIES TO PREPARE FOOD FOR THE MEMBER AND HIS DEPENDENTS, IF ANY, THE FACT THAT HE INTENDS TO RESIDE IN THE HOUSING TEMPORARILY IS NOT MATERIAL. HOUSING OCCUPIED UNDER THOSE CIRCUMSTANCES MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED TEMPORARY LODGING WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE REGULATIONS.

ALTHOUGH IT APPEARS THAT BOTH OFFICERS WOULD PREFER TO LIVE IN THE EXISTING, BUT NOT PRESENTLY AVAILABLE, GOVERNMENT QUARTERS, THE PRIVATE QUARTERS NOW OCCUPIED APPEAR TO BE REASONABLY SUITABLE FOR PERMANENT OCCUPANCY AND, HENCE, MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS TEMPORARY LODGING WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE CITED REGULATIONS. ACCORDINGLY, PAYMENT ON THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER STATED IN FAVOR OF COLONEL TITTERUD IS NOT AUTHORIZED AND SUCH VOUCHER AND ATTACHED PAPERS WILL BE RETAINED HERE. THE OTHER VOUCHER IS RETURNED AND, IF AMENDED TO PROVIDE FOR PAYMENT TO COLONEL CALL FOR THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 6 TO 10, 1956, PAYMENT THEREON IS AUTHORIZED, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.

WITH RESPECT TO YOUR REQUEST FOR A DECISION ON THE QUESTION OF WHETHER A STATION PER DIEM ALLOWANCE AT THE TRAVEL RATE MAY BE PAID TO A MEMBER DURING THE FIRST 45 DAYS AFTER HIS ARRIVAL AT HIS NEW PERMANENT STATION OVERSEAS, WHILE JOINTLY OCCUPYING A SINGLE FAMILY PERMANENT TYPE CIVILIAN DWELLING WITH FRIENDS, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT A DISBURSING OFFICER IS ENTITLED TO A DECISION ONLY ON A QUESTION INVOLVED IN A VOUCHER WHICH IS PROPERLY BEFORE HIM FOR PAYMENT. 22 COMP. GEN. 588. THE QUESTION STATED IS NOT INVOLVED IN THE VOUCHERS SUBMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER. HOWEVER, THERE IS ENCLOSED FOR YOUR INFORMATION A COPY OF A DECISION DATED MARCH 13, 1956, B-126656, WHICH DISCUSSED A SIMILAR QUESTION.