B-132327, FEB. 20, 1958

B-132327: Feb 20, 1958

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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF NOVEMBER 27. ARE AS FOLLOWS: "C. THE MEMBER'S ENTITLEMENT PRIOR TO ARRIVAL OF DEPENDENTS SHALL BE DETERMINED UNDER SUBPAR (1) AS THOUGH HE WERE A MEMBER WITHOUT DEPENDENTS. WHICHEVER IS EARLIER. "/C) ALLOWANCES WHEN DEPENDENTS PRECEDE THE MEMBER. WHICHEVER IS LATER. THE PERIOD OF ENTITLEMENT WILL TERMINATE ON THE DATE THAT PERMANENT LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS BECOME AVAILABLE FOR OCCUPANCY OR ON THE SIXTIETH DAY. WHICHEVER IS EARLIER. SUBSEQUENT REPORTING OF THE MEMBER AT HIS DUTY STATION WILL NOT OPERATE TO EXTEND THE PERIOD OF ENTITLEMENT.'. HAVE BEEN CONSTRUED AS AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT TO SUCH MEMBERS OF A TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE AS CURRENTLY PUBLISHED IN THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

B-132327, FEB. 20, 1958

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF NOVEMBER 27, 1957, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE, SUBMITTING FOR OUR CONSIDERATION PROPOSED CHANGES IN PARAGRAPH 4303-2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, RELATING TO PAYMENT OF A TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE TO MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ASSIGNED TO DUTY OVERSEAS.

SECTION 303 (B) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 814, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"WITHOUT REGARD TO THE MONETARY LIMITATIONS IN THIS ACT, THE SECRETARIES OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES MAY AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT TO MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ON DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES OR IN ALASKA, WHETHER OR NOT IN A TRAVEL STATUS, OF A PER DIEM CONSIDERING ALL ELEMENTS OF COST OF LIVING TO MEMBERS AND THEIR DEPENDENTS, INCLUDING THE COST OF QUARTERS, SUBSISTENCE, AND OTHER NECESSARY INCIDENTAL EXPENSES: *

PARAGRAPH 4304 AS PRESENTLY PUBLISHED IN THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, ISSUED UNDER THE ABOVE PROVISION OF LAW, AUTHORIZES THE PAYMENT OF A TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE, IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES AND WITHIN THE LIMITATIONS THERE PRESCRIBED, TO MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES FOR A MAXIMUM PERIOD OF 60 DAYS. THE PROPOSED CHANGES IN PARAGRAPH 4303-2B OF THE REGULATIONS, DESIGNATED AS PARAGRAPH 4303-2C, ARE AS FOLLOWS:

"C. PERIOD OF ENTITLEMENT UPON ARRIVAL.

"/1) MEMBER WITHOUT DEPENDENTS. THE PERIOD OF ENTITLEMENT UPON ARRIVAL SHALL NOT EXCEED 20 DAYS.

"/2) MEMBER WITH DEPENDENTS

"/A) GENERAL. WHEN A MEMBER AND HIS DEPENDENTS ARRIVE AT HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES ON THE SAME DAY, THE PERIOD OF ENTITLEMENT SHALL NOT EXCEED 60 DAYS.

"/B) ALLOWANCE WHEN MEMBER PRECEDES DEPENDENTS. WHEN A MEMBER ARRIVES AT HIS DUTY STATION IN ADVANCE OF THE ARRIVAL OF HIS DEPENDENTS, THE MEMBER'S ENTITLEMENT PRIOR TO ARRIVAL OF DEPENDENTS SHALL BE DETERMINED UNDER SUBPAR (1) AS THOUGH HE WERE A MEMBER WITHOUT DEPENDENTS. UPON ARRIVAL OF HIS DEPENDENTS AT OR IN THE VICINITY OF THE MEMBER'S PERMANENT DUTY STATION, HE SHALL BE ENTITLED TO TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCES FOR AN ADDITIONAL PERIOD COMMENCING ON THE DAY OF ARRIVAL OF THE DEPENDENTS AND TERMINATING ON THE DAY THAT PERMANENT LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS BECOME AVAILABLE FOR OCCUPANCY, OR ON THE SIXTIETH DAY, WHICHEVER IS EARLIER.

"/C) ALLOWANCES WHEN DEPENDENTS PRECEDE THE MEMBER. WHEN A MEMBER'S DEPENDENTS ARRIVE AT OR IN THE VICINITY OF HIS DUTY STATION PRIOR TO THE DATE THE MEMBER REPORTS THEREAT, THE PERIOD OF ENTITLEMENT SHALL COMMENCE ON THE DAY OF INITIAL ARRIVAL OF THE DEPENDENTS OR ON THE DATE OF THE MEMBER'S DEPARTURE FROM THE UNITED STATES, WHICHEVER IS LATER. THE PERIOD OF ENTITLEMENT WILL TERMINATE ON THE DATE THAT PERMANENT LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS BECOME AVAILABLE FOR OCCUPANCY OR ON THE SIXTIETH DAY, WHICHEVER IS EARLIER. SUBSEQUENT REPORTING OF THE MEMBER AT HIS DUTY STATION WILL NOT OPERATE TO EXTEND THE PERIOD OF ENTITLEMENT.'

THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 303 (B) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, WHICH VEST IN THE SECRETARIES THE AUTHORITY TO AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT TO MEMBERS NOT IN A TRAVEL STATUS ON DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES OR IN ALASKA OF A PER DIEM CONSIDERING ALL ELEMENTS OF COST OF LIVING TO MEMBERS AND THEIR DEPENDENTS, INCLUDING THE COST OF QUARTERS, SUBSISTENCE, AND OTHER NECESSARY INCIDENTAL EXPENSES, HAVE BEEN CONSTRUED AS AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT TO SUCH MEMBERS OF A TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE AS CURRENTLY PUBLISHED IN THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. WHILE WE BELIEVE THAT AN INCREASE IN ADMINISTRATIVE DIFFICULTIES IN PREVENTING ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS OF THE TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE WILL RESULT, WE PERCEIVE NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO THE PROPOSED CHANGES. YOUR QUESTION IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.

THE CHANGES NOW PROPOSED AS WELL AS THE CURRENT PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 4303 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS ARE UNDERSTOOD TO RELATE TO PERIODS DURING WHICH MEMBERS ACTUALLY OCCUPY COMMERCIAL HOTEL OR HOTEL LIKE ACCOMMODATIONS. SOME QUESTION HAS ARISEN AS TO WHETHER THE HIGHER ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED DURING A PERIOD SUCH ACCOMMODATIONS ARE UTILIZED WOULD BE PAYABLE DURING A PERIOD A MEMBER OCCUPIES AN UNFURNISHED APARTMENT (USING BORROWED BASIC NECESSITIES) AND EATS HIS MEALS IN A PUBLIC RESTAURANT. IT IS OUR VIEW THAT SUCH LIVING ARRANGEMENTS DO NOT COME WITHIN THE SCOPE OF EITHER THE CURRENT REGULATIONS OR THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT.