B-147526, DEC. 6, 1961

B-147526: Dec 6, 1961

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YOUR LETTER WILL BE TREATED AS A REQUEST FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION IN THE MATTER. LIEUTENANT HUTCHINSON WAS DIRECTED TO TRAVEL TO KETCHIKAN. HE WAS AUTHORIZED FOUR DAYS PROCEED TIME. THE FIRST ENDORSEMENT SHOWS THAT THE ORDERS WERE DELIVERED MAY 21. HE HAD SPOKEN TO THE OFFICER WHO HE WAS TO RELIEVE AND WAS TOLD THAT IT WAS NOT NECESSARY FOR HIM TO REPORT ABOARD HIS STATION IN ORDER TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE. HE WAS ADVISED THAT HIS ENTITLEMENT STARTED ONLY AFTER HE REPORTED ABOARD THE STATION AND NOT WHILE HE WAS IN A LEAVE STATUS. "UPON INITIAL ARRIVAL (REPORTING) AT A PERMANENT DUTY STATION OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES" AND PENDING ASSIGNMENT OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS OR ARRANGEMENTS FOR OTHER PERMANENT LIVING QUARTERS WHEN GOVERNMENT QUARTERS ARE NOT AVAILABLE.

B-147526, DEC. 6, 1961

TO MR. T. C. CRABE, USCG, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER:

BY FIRST ENDORSEMENT DATED OCTOBER 26, 1961, THE COMMANDANT, UNITED STATES COAST GUARD, FORWARDED YOUR LETTER OF THE SAME DATE, WITH ENCLOSURES, ADDRESSED TO OUR CLAIMS DIVISION FOR DETERMINATION OF ENTITLEMENT OF LIEUTENANT EDGAR S. HUTCHINSON, USCG, TO TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE FOR THE PERIOD JUNE 9 THROUGH 17, 1961. YOUR LETTER WILL BE TREATED AS A REQUEST FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION IN THE MATTER.

BY ORDERS OF THE COMMANDANT, U.S. COAST GUARD, VIA THE COMMANDER, 13TH COAST GUARD DISTRICT, AS AMENDED BY FIRST ENDORSEMENT OF MAY 21, 1961, LIEUTENANT HUTCHINSON WAS DIRECTED TO TRAVEL TO KETCHIKAN, ALASKA, ON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ASSIGNMENT AND REPORT ON BOARD THE USCGC BALSAM, JUNE 19, 1961. HE WAS AUTHORIZED FOUR DAYS PROCEED TIME, 1 DAY TRAVEL TIME AND SUCH LEAVE EN ROUTE AS WOULD ENABLE HIM TO REPORT JUNE 19, 1961. THE FIRST ENDORSEMENT SHOWS THAT THE ORDERS WERE DELIVERED MAY 21, 1961, AND THE OFFICER DEPARTED THAT DAY. SECOND ENDORSEMENT DATED JUNE 19, 1961, SHOWS THAT HE REPORTED ON BOARD THE VESSEL AT 0800 THAT DATE, FOR ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY AS EXECUTIVE OFFICER.

IT APPEARS THAT THE OFFICER AND HIS DEPENDENTS ARRIVED AT KETCHIKAN, ALASKA, JUNE 9, 1961, BUT HE DID NOT REPORT FOR DUTY UNTIL JUNE 19,1961. AT THE TIME OF ARRIVAL, LIEUTENANT HUTCHINSON OBTAINED HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS FOR HIMSELF AND HIS FAMILY WHICH THEY OCCUPIED UNTIL THEY MOVED TO A PRIVATE DWELLING ON JUNE 18, 1961. THE OFFICER STATED THAT UPON ARRIVAL, HE HAD SPOKEN TO THE OFFICER WHO HE WAS TO RELIEVE AND WAS TOLD THAT IT WAS NOT NECESSARY FOR HIM TO REPORT ABOARD HIS STATION IN ORDER TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE. SUBSEQUENTLY, UPON PRESENTING HIS CERTIFICATE AND VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT, HE WAS ADVISED THAT HIS ENTITLEMENT STARTED ONLY AFTER HE REPORTED ABOARD THE STATION AND NOT WHILE HE WAS IN A LEAVE STATUS.

PARAGRAPH 4303 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO SECTION 303 (B) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 253 (B), PROVIDES FOR TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCES FOR THE PURPOSE OF PARTIALLY REIMBURSING A MEMBER FOR THE MORE THAN NORMAL EXPENSES INCURRED AT HOTELS OR HOTEL-LIKE ACCOMMODATIONS AND PUBLIC RESTAURANTS,"UPON INITIAL ARRIVAL (REPORTING) AT A PERMANENT DUTY STATION OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES" AND PENDING ASSIGNMENT OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS OR ARRANGEMENTS FOR OTHER PERMANENT LIVING QUARTERS WHEN GOVERNMENT QUARTERS ARE NOT AVAILABLE. PARAGRAPH 4303-2B THEREOF PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"B. ALLOWANCE UPON INITIAL ASSIGNMENT. THE PERIOD OF ENTITLEMENT, UPON INITIAL ASSIGNMENT TO A PERMANENT DUTY STATION OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES OR UPON TRANSFER BETWEEN PERMANENT STATIONS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES REQUIRING A CHANGE IN RESIDENCE, WILL NOT EXCEED 60 DAYS, THE RULES GOVERNING THE DAYS OF COMMENCEMENT OF ALLOWANCE IN PAR. 4301 ARE ALSO APPLICABLE TO THE TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE.'

PARAGRAPH 4301-3A PROVIDES THAT IN THE CASE OF A MEMBER WITH DEPENDENTS ENTITLEMENT TO THAT ALLOWANCE BEGINS ON DAY OF ARRIVAL OF THE MEMBER OF HIS DEPENDENTS AS PRESCRIBED IN THE PARAGRAPH. THE WORDS "DAY OF ARRIVAL" IN THAT PARAGRAPH WOULD APPEAR TO HAVE THE SAME MEANING (DAY OF REPORTING) AS USED IN PARAGRAPH 4303 (1), SINCE THE RULES GOVERNING THE DAY OF COMMENCEMENT FOR BOTH ALLOWANCES ARE THE SAME. ACCORDINGLY, THE DAY OF ARRIVAL (REPORTING) IS CONSIDERED AS THE DAY ON WHICH A MEMBER'S ENTITLEMENT TO TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCES COMMENCES IF OTHER REQUIREMENTS ARE MET.

WE HELD IN DECISION DATED SEPTEMBER 4, 1956, B-128835, THAT A MEMBER OF THE NAVAL SERVICE IS NOT REQUIRED TO USE ALL THE LEAVE GRANTED IN PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS AND, IF HE REPORTS FOR DUTY AT A NEW DUTY STATION PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF THE LEAVE GRANTED, HIS DUTY STATUS COMMENCES ON THE DAY HE REPORTS AND HE IS CHARGEABLE ONLY WITH THE AMOUNT OF LEAVE ACTUALLY USED. UPON ARRIVAL AT KETCHIKAN, LIEUTENANT HUTCHINSON COULD HAVE REPORTED AT HIS NEW DUTY STATION AND, AFTER DETERMINING THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE NOT AVAILABLE, HE COULD HAVE REQUESTED ADDITIONAL LEAVE IF HE HAD SO DESIRED WHILE COMPLETING ARRANGEMENTS FOR PERMANENT ACCOMMODATIONS. HOWEVER, HE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO A TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE UNTIL HE REPORTED AT HIS DUTY STATION AND SINCE HE DID NOT REPORT UNTIL JUNE 19, 1961, AFTER HE AND HIS DEPENDENTS HAD VACATED HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS, HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO A TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE. PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER IS NOT AUTHORIZED AND THE VOUCHER WILL BE RETAINED HERE.