B-148643, MAY 7, 1962

B-148643: May 7, 1962

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WILLIAMS WAS BEING CLOSED. A MASS TRANSFER OF EXISTING PERSONNEL WAS EFFECTED TO THE NEW OFFICE LOCATED AT SEATTLE. A REDUCTION IN FORCE NOTICE WAS GIVE MRS. HER POSITION IN GRADE GS-9 WITH THE KODIAK OFFICE WAS ABOLISHED ON THAT DATE. SHE WAS APPOINTED THERETO AND ADMINISTRATIVELY TRANSFERRED. SHE WAS AUTHORIZED BY TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY ORDERS TO REMAIN AT LODIAK TO ASSIST IN CLOSING OUT THE OFFICER AND TRANSFERRING PERTINENT RECORDS TO THE SEATTLE OFFICE. THAT ACTION WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED TO BE MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT THAN TO ACTUALLY SEND HER TO SEATTLE. - SINCE NO CHANGE IN THE EMPLOYEE'S LIVING ARRANGEMENTS OCCURRED AND SINCE NO EXTRA EXPENSE WAS INCURRED FOR WHICH PER DIEM MIGHT BE APPROPRIATE.

B-148643, MAY 7, 1962

TO OFFICER IN CHARGE U.S. NAVY ACCOUNTS DISBURSING OFFICE, THIRTEENTH NAVAL DISTRICT:

BY FIRST INDORSEMENT DATED APRIL 11, 1961 (SHOULD BE 1962), REFERENCE NCA1411, THE COMPTROLLER OF THE NAVY FORWARDED YOUR REQUEST DATED APRIL 3, 1962, CODE PV 7240, FOR ADVANCE DECISION CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER PRESENTED BY MR. RUTH WILLIAMS CLAIMING PER DIEM UNDER THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES HEREINAFTER RELATED.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE KODIAK, ALASKA, OFFICE EMPLOYING MRS. WILLIAMS WAS BEING CLOSED. A MASS TRANSFER OF EXISTING PERSONNEL WAS EFFECTED TO THE NEW OFFICE LOCATED AT SEATTLE, WASHINGTON. A REDUCTION IN FORCE NOTICE WAS GIVE MRS. WILLIAMS EFFECTIVE JUNE 29, 1961. HER POSITION IN GRADE GS-9 WITH THE KODIAK OFFICE WAS ABOLISHED ON THAT DATE. SHE ACCEPTED A GRADE GS-5 POSITION LOCATED AT SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, AND EFFECTIVE JUNE 30, 1961, SHE WAS APPOINTED THERETO AND ADMINISTRATIVELY TRANSFERRED, ON PAPER, TO SEATTLE. ACTUALLY, HOWEVER, SHE WAS AUTHORIZED BY TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY ORDERS TO REMAIN AT LODIAK TO ASSIST IN CLOSING OUT THE OFFICER AND TRANSFERRING PERTINENT RECORDS TO THE SEATTLE OFFICE. THAT ACTION WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED TO BE MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT THAN TO ACTUALLY SEND HER TO SEATTLE, HER NEW DUTY STATION AND THEN TO REQUIRE HER TO RETURN TO KODIAK FOR SUCH TEMPORARY DUTY.

QUESTION ARISES WHETHER--- SINCE NO CHANGE IN THE EMPLOYEE'S LIVING ARRANGEMENTS OCCURRED AND SINCE NO EXTRA EXPENSE WAS INCURRED FOR WHICH PER DIEM MIGHT BE APPROPRIATE--- A BASIS EXISTS FOR PAYMENT OF THE PER DIEM CLAIMED, OR WHETHER, INSTEAD, THE COST OF LIVING ALLOWANCE IS PAYABLE FOR THE PERIOD INVOLVED, JUNE 30 THROUGH JULY 21, 1961, A TOTAL OF 21 3/4 DAYS.

IN THIS CASE THE PERMANENT DUTY STATION ADMINISTRATIVELY HAD BEEN CHANGED ON PAPER BUT THE EMPLOYEE WAS REQUIRED TO REMAIN AT THE OLD DUTY STATION TO PERFORM TEMPORARY SERVICE. HAD THE PAPER TRANSFER NOT TAKEN PLACE UNTIL THEN END OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY THE EMPLOYEE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO PER DIEM AND WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO THE APPLICABLE COST OF LIVING ALLOWANCE FOR THE PERIOD INVOLVED.

IN OUR DECISION OF OCTOBER 25, 1951, B-105754, WE CONSIDERED A SITUATION INVOLVING AN EMPLOYEE STATIONED IN HONOLULU, WHO WAS RECEIVING A COST OF LIVING ALLOWANCE AT THE TIME HE TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER AGENCY FOR DUTY IN GUAM, WHERE A COST OF LIVING ALLOWANCE WAS ALSO AUTHORIZED. THAT AGENCY KEPT THE EMPLOYEE IN HONOLULU FOR TEMPORARY DUTY WITHOUT PAYING HIM THE COST OF LIVING ALLOWANCE FOR THAT PERIOD. WE CONCLUDED THEREIN THAT WHILE SECTION 208 (A) (1) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10000, SEPTEMBER 16, 1948, DID NOT SPECIFICALLY COVER THE SITUATION, YET, VIEWED IN THE LIGHT OF ITS INTENDED PURPOSE, THAT SECTION REASONABLE COULD BE CONSTRUED AS NOT PRECLUDING PAYMENT OF THE COST OF LIVING ALLOWANCE FOR THE PERIOD OF TEMPORARY DUTY IN HONOLULU PRIOR TO THE COMMENCEMENT OF TRAVEL TO HIS NEW PERMANENT DUTY STATION. ALSO, SINCE THE EMPLOYEE DID NOT ENTER A TRAVEL STATUS UNTIL THE EXPIRATION OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY, PER DIEM FOR THE PERIOD OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY WAS HELD TO BE UNAUTHORIZED. THE PRINCIPLES THEREOF ARE APPLICABLE HERE.

THEREFORE, THE PER DIEM VOUCHER IS NOT FOR PAYMENT AND IS BEING RETAINED HERE. A VOUCHER REPRESENTING THE COST OF LIVING ALLOWANCE AT THE GS-5 POSITION RATE FOR THE TEMPORARY DUTY IN KODIAK, IF OTHERWISE PROPER, SHOULD BE PREPARED AND PROCESSED FOR PAYMENT IN DISPOSING OF THIS MATTER.