B-152330, B-153361, JUL. 22, 1964

B-152330,B-153361: Jul 22, 1964

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PROVIDENCE (CLG-6) WERE NOT ENTITLED TO TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE FOR THE REASON THAT THE PERIOD INVOLVED WAS PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CHANGE OF HOME PORT OF THE U.S.S. HE QUOTED A PORTION OF ONE PARAGRAPH OF THAT DECISION WHICH STATED IN PERTINENT PART THAT TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE IS A PERMANENT STATION EMOLUMENT AND THERE WOULD SEEM TO BE NO BASIS FOR PAYMENT OF THE ALLOWANCE AT THE NEW STATION UNTIL THE CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS BECOME EFFECTIVE. IS A CONTINUATION OF THE TRAVEL PER DIEM. HE EXPRESSES THE VIEW THAT IF TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCES ARE RELATED TO THE TRAVEL TO A PERMANENT DUTY STATION RATHER THAN DUTY AT THAT STATION UPON COMPLETION OF TRAVEL. THEN SUCH ALLOWANCES SHOULD BE PAID ON THE SAME BASIS AS ARE OTHER TRAVEL-RELATED REIMBURSEMENTS.

B-152330, B-153361, JUL. 22, 1964

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY:

BY LETTER DATED JUNE 11, 1964, THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE FORWARDED LETTER OF JUNE 9, 1964, FROM THE UNDER SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF OUR DECISIONS, B- 152330, DATED JANUARY 10, 1964 (43 COMP. GEN. --), AND B-153361, DATED MARCH 5, 1964 (43 COMP. GEN. --), BECAUSE HE SAYS THERE APPEARS TO BE A CONFLICT BETWEEN THESE DECISIONS AS TO THE NATURE OF TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 4303 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. THE REQUEST HAS BEEN ASSIGNED PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 64- 22.

THE UNDER SECRETARY STATES THAT IN DECISION B-152330 OF JANUARY 10, 1964, WE HELD THAT CERTAIN MEMBERS OF THE CREW OF THE U.S.S. PROVIDENCE (CLG-6) WERE NOT ENTITLED TO TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE FOR THE REASON THAT THE PERIOD INVOLVED WAS PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CHANGE OF HOME PORT OF THE U.S.S. PROVIDENCE. HE QUOTED A PORTION OF ONE PARAGRAPH OF THAT DECISION WHICH STATED IN PERTINENT PART THAT TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE IS A PERMANENT STATION EMOLUMENT AND THERE WOULD SEEM TO BE NO BASIS FOR PAYMENT OF THE ALLOWANCE AT THE NEW STATION UNTIL THE CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS BECOME EFFECTIVE. THE UNDER SECRETARY THEN REFERRED TO OUR DECISION B-153361, DATED MARCH 5, 1964, IN WHICH WE SAID THAT TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE, IN SUBSTANCE, IS A CONTINUATION OF THE TRAVEL PER DIEM. HE EXPRESSES THE VIEW THAT IF TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCES ARE RELATED TO THE TRAVEL TO A PERMANENT DUTY STATION RATHER THAN DUTY AT THAT STATION UPON COMPLETION OF TRAVEL, THEN SUCH ALLOWANCES SHOULD BE PAID ON THE SAME BASIS AS ARE OTHER TRAVEL-RELATED REIMBURSEMENTS. IN THIS CONNECTION HE CITES PARAGRAPH 7101 OF THE NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS WHICH PROVIDES THAT THE AUTHORIZED TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS MAY BE PERFORMED SUBJECT TO REIMBURSEMENT AT ANY TIME AFTER DATE OF RECEIPT BY THE MEMBER OF A CERTIFICATE OF CHANGE OF HOME YARD OR HOME PORT. ON THAT BASIS HE SAYS THAT THE MEMBERS OF THE CREW OF THE U.S.S. PROVIDENCE CONSIDERED IN OUR DECISION OF JANUARY 10, 1964, WERE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS AND UNDER THE DECISION OF MARCH 5, 1964, APPARENTLY WOULD ALSO BE ENTITLED TO THE TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCES.

THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF STATION ALLOWANCES OUTSIDE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, 37 U.S.C. 405, EXPRESSLY PROVIDES THAT THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED MAY AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF A PER DIEM, CONSIDERING ALL ELEMENTS OF THE COST OF LIVING TO MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES UNDER THEIR JURISDICTION AND THEIR DEPENDENTS, INCLUDING A COST OF QUARTERS, SUBSISTENCE AND OTHER NECESSARY INCIDENTAL EXPENSES, TO SUCH A MEMBER WHO IS ON DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES OR IN HAWAII OR ALASKA, WHETHER OR NOT HE IS IN A TRAVEL STATUS. REGULATIONS PROMULGATED THEREUNDER ARE CONTAINED IN PART G, CHAPTER 4, OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. PARAGRAPH 4300 THEREOF CLEARLY AUTHORIZES THE PAYMENT OF STATION ALLOWANCES FOR MEMBERS WITH OR WITHOUT DEPENDENTS WHILE RESIDING AT OR IN THE VICINITY OF THE MEMBER'S PERMANENT DUTY STATION OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES, PARAGRAPH 4300-4 PROVIDES THAT THESE STATION ALLOWANCES INCLUDE HOUSING AND COST OF-LIVING ALLOWANCES, INTERIM HOUSING ALLOWANCES AND TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCES. IT PROVIDES FURTHER THAT, WHEN AUTHORIZED, THESE STATION ALLOWANCES ARE IN ADDITION TO BASIC ALLOWANCES FOR QUARTERS AND SUBSISTENCE.

IN DECISION B-152330, DATED JANUARY 10, 1964, WE CONSIDERED THE LEGALITY OF PAYMENT OF TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE TO MEMBERS WHOSE DEPENDENTS ARRIVED IN THE VICINITY OF THE DESIGNATED HOME PORT OF THE U.S.S. PROVIDENCE (CLG-6), LOCATED OVERSEAS, PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CHANGE OF THE HOME PORT OF THAT VESSEL TO SUCH DESIGNATED PLACE. POINTED OUT THAT TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE IS AUTHORIZED (PARAGRAPH 4304) FOR THE PURPOSE OF PARTIALLY REIMBURSING A MEMBER FOR THE MORE THAN NORMAL EXPENSES INCURRED AT HOTEL OR HOTEL-LIKE ACCOMMODATIONS AND PUBLIC RESTAURANTS UPON INITIAL ARRIVAL AT A PERMANENT DUTY STATION OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES AND PENDING ASSIGNMENT OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS OR PENDING COMPLETION OF ARRANGEMENTS FOR OTHER PERMANENT LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS. SINCE TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE IS AUTHORIZED BY THE REGULATIONS AS A PERMANENT STATION EMOLUMENT AND SINCE A CHANGE IN HOME PORT CONSTITUTES A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION INSOFAR AS TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS OF A MEMBER ATTACHED TO A VESSEL IS CONCERNED, WE HELD THAT INASMUCH AS THE DEPENDENTS ARRIVED AT THE NEW HOME PORT PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CHANGE OF HOME PORT ENTITLEMENT TO THE TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE DID NOT COMMENCE UNTIL THE CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS BECAME EFFECTIVE.

IN B-153361, DATED MARCH 5, 1964, THE QUESTION WAS WHETHER PERMISSIVE PERMANENT CHANGE-OF-STATION ORDERS HAVE ANY BEARING ON A MEMBER'S ENTITLEMENT TO HOUSING ALLOWANCE, COST-OF-LIVING ALLOWANCE AND TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE AT HIS NEW STATION. WE STATED THAT WHEN A MEMBER REPORTS TO HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES HIS TRAVEL STATUS TERMINATES AND HIS ENTITLEMENT TO STATION ALLOWANCES UNDER 37 U.S.C. 405 GENERALLY IS FOR DETERMINATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS AND AT THE RATES PRESCRIBED ON THE BASIS OF CONDITIONS THAT PREVAIL AT HIS PERMANENT STATION, CITING 40 COMP. GEN. 271. WE RECOGNIZED THAT PERMISSIVE ORDERS UNDER WHICH THE MEMBER REPORTS TO HIS NEW STATION ARE EFFECTIVE ORDERS FOR THE PURPOSE OF ASSIGNING HIM TO DUTY AT SUCH STATION, AND THEREFORE WE SAID THAT THERE APPEARS TO BE NO PROPER BASIS TO CONCLUDE THAT HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO THE HOUSING AND COST- OF-LIVING ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED TO DEFRAY THE AVERAGE EXCESS COSTS EXPERIENCED BY MEMBERS ON PERMANENT DUTY AT SUCH STATION.

WITH RESPECT TO THE TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE, HOWEVER, IT WAS POINTED OUT THAT IT IS PAID AT A SUBSTANTIALLY HIGHER RATE THAN THE COST-OF-LIVING ALLOWANCE, BEING BASED ON THE APPLICABLE TRAVEL PER DIEM RATE FOR THE STATION INVOLVED AND VARYING WITH THE NUMBER OF PERSONS CONCERNED. SAID THAT OBVIOUSLY IT IS PRESCRIBED ON THE BASIS THAT DURING THE PERIODS FOR WHICH IT IS PAYABLE THE MEMBER'S EXPENSES CORRESPOND MORE NEARLY TO THOSE WHICH WOULD PREVAIL IF HE WERE IN A TRAVEL STATUS RATHER THE NORMAL EXCESS COSTS INCIDENT TO PERMANENT DUTY AT THE STATION, AND,"IN SUBSTANCE, IT IS A CONTINUATION OF THE TRAVEL PER DIEM.' SUCH STATEMENT WAS NOT INTENDED TO INFER, HOWEVER, THAT THE ALLOWANCE IS A TRAVEL ALLOWANCE SINCE IT IS AUTHORIZED ONLY AFTER ARRIVAL AT THE PERMANENT DUTY STATION. RATHER, WE MERELY RECOGNIZE THAT THE ALLOWANCE IS AUTHORIZED AT THE HIGHER RATES BASED ON THE APPLICABLE TRAVEL PER DIEM TO PARTIALLY COVER THE HIGHER LIVING EXPENSES THAT ARE INCURRED AT HOTELS OR HOTEL-LIKE ACCOMMODATIONS--- SIMILAR TO THOSE WHICH MIGHT PREVAIL WHILE IN A TRAVEL STATUS--- AFTER ARRIVAL AT THE PERMANENT DUTY STATION, PENDING ARRANGEMENTS FOR PERMANENT LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS. THESE EXTRAORDINARY EXPENSES ARE DIRECTLY ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE MEMBER'S REQUEST FOR ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY AT THE DESIGNATED STATION AND HIS ELECTION TO TRAVEL THERE UNDER PERMISSIVE ORDERS. THEREFORE OUR HOLDING IN B-153361 OF MARCH 5, 1964, WAS NOT ON THE BASIS THAT TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCES ARE INCIDENT TO THE TRAVEL TO A PERMANENT DUTY STATION, BUT UPON THE PRINCIPLE THAT WHERE PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS ARE PERMISSIVE, NOT ONLY ARE MILEAGE AND OTHER TRAVEL ALLOWANCES INCIDENT TO SUCH CHANGE OF STATION NOT AUTHORIZED BUT PAYMENT OF TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE TO PARTIALLY COVER THE EXTRAORDINARY LIVING EXPENSES WHICH PREVAIL WHILE MAKING ARRANGEMENTS FOR PERMANENT LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS AT THE NEW STATION ALSO IS NOT AUTHORIZED. SEE IN THAT CONNECTION B 149067, DATED MAY 13, 1963, COPY ENCLOSED.

THEREFORE WE DO NOT CONSIDER THAT THERE IS ANY CONFLICT BETWEEN THE TWO DECISIONS REFERRED TO IN THE UNDER SECRETARY'S LETTER, AND THEY ARE AFFIRMED.