B-162531, APR. 27, 1970

B-162531: Apr 27, 1970

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WHOSE BASE HOUSING ASSIGNMENT WAS DELAYED TO JUNE ALTHOUGH POSITION OFFER STATED AVAILABILITY IN 3 MONTHS. MAY RECEIVE TEMPORARY QUARTERS ALLOWANCE AFTER DEC. 13 TO COMPLETE FULL-TIME PERIOD AUTHORIZED IN TRAVEL ORDERS SINCE GREAT WEIGHT IS GIVEN IN CONSTRUING SEC. 2.5. ALLOWANCE IS PAYABLE NOTWITHSTANDING LATER CIRCUMSTANCES MAY RENDER SAME QUARTERS PERMANENT. A. GIBNEY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 19. LEWIS ACCEPTED THE POSITION IN THE CANAL ZONE HE WAS ADVISED THAT ON-BASE HOUSING WOULD NOT BE IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE. AT THE TIME OF ARRIVAL HE REGISTERED WITH BASE HOUSING AND WAS ADVISED THAT A HEAVY PERSONNEL ROTATION WOULD OCCUR IN FEBRUARY AND MARCH OF 1970. HE MOVED INTO AN APARTMENT WITH FURNITURE RENTED FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE WHICH APARTMENT WAS ADJACENT TO THAT OF HIS SUPERVISOR WHO WAS ALSO AWAITING ON-BASE HOUSING.

B-162531, APR. 27, 1970

OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES--TRANSFERS--RELOCATION EXPENSES--TEMPORARY QUARTERS--WHAT CONSTITUTES EMPLOYEE TRANSFERRING TO CANAL ZONE ON DEC. 1, WHOSE BASE HOUSING ASSIGNMENT WAS DELAYED TO JUNE ALTHOUGH POSITION OFFER STATED AVAILABILITY IN 3 MONTHS, AND WHO MOVED FROM GUEST HOUSE TO APARTMENT ON DEC. 13 BECAUSE OF TRANSPORTATION PROBLEM, MAY RECEIVE TEMPORARY QUARTERS ALLOWANCE AFTER DEC. 13 TO COMPLETE FULL-TIME PERIOD AUTHORIZED IN TRAVEL ORDERS SINCE GREAT WEIGHT IS GIVEN IN CONSTRUING SEC. 2.5, BOB CIR. NO. A- 56, TO MATTER OF INTENT AND WHERE EMPLOYEES DEMONSTRATE, AT TIME OF INITIAL OCCUPANCY, INTENT TO USE QUARTERS ON TEMPORARY BASIS, ALLOWANCE IS PAYABLE NOTWITHSTANDING LATER CIRCUMSTANCES MAY RENDER SAME QUARTERS PERMANENT. SEE COMP. GEN. DECS. CITED.

TO CAPTAIN D. A. GIBNEY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 19, 1970, REFERENCE AF, FORWARDED HERE BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE ON MARCH 20, 1970, PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 70-17, FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION WHETHER A TEMPORARY QUARTERS ALLOWANCE ON AND AFTER DECEMBER 13, 1969, MAY BE ALLOWED TO MR. WILLIAM H. LEWIS INCIDENT TO HIS TRANSFER TO ALBROOK AIR FORCE BASE, CANAL ZONE.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT AT THE TIME MR. LEWIS ACCEPTED THE POSITION IN THE CANAL ZONE HE WAS ADVISED THAT ON-BASE HOUSING WOULD NOT BE IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE. HOWEVER, THE POSITION OFFER CONTAINED A STATEMENT OF AVAILABLE QUARTERS THREE MONTHS AFTER ARRIVAL. MR. LEWIS ARRIVED IN THE CANAL ZONE WITH HIS DEPENDENTS ON DECEMBER 1, 1969, AND OBTAINED LODGING IN THE TIVOLI GUEST HOUSE. AT THE TIME OF ARRIVAL HE REGISTERED WITH BASE HOUSING AND WAS ADVISED THAT A HEAVY PERSONNEL ROTATION WOULD OCCUR IN FEBRUARY AND MARCH OF 1970. AFTER A SHORT TIME, MR. LEWIS FOUND THAT BEING WITHOUT HIS AUTOMOBILE AND RESIDING AT THE GUEST HOUSE CREATED A TRANSPORTATION PROBLEM SO HE STARTED LOOKING FOR OTHER TEMPORARY QUARTERS. ON DECEMBER 13, 1969, HE MOVED INTO AN APARTMENT WITH FURNITURE RENTED FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE WHICH APARTMENT WAS ADJACENT TO THAT OF HIS SUPERVISOR WHO WAS ALSO AWAITING ON-BASE HOUSING. AS A RESULT OF THIS MOVE, MR. LEWIS WAS ABLE TO TRAVEL TO WORK WITH HIS SUPERVISOR AND HIS SON WAS ABLE TO USE THE SCHOOL BUS SERVICE. ON JANUARY 21, 1970, MR. LEWIS RECEIVED A CALL THAT HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS HAD ARRIVED. NOT HAVING HEARD FROM THE ON BASE HOUSING AUTHORITY CONCERNING ON-BASE QUARTERS HE CALLED TO DETERMINE HIS STANDING ON THE WAITING LIST. AT THAT TIME HE WAS ADVISED THAT THE FEBRUARY-MARCH PERSONNEL ROTATION HAD BEEN DELAYED UNTIL MAY AND JUNE AND HIS REVISED PROJECTED ON-BASE HOUSING ASSIGNMENT WOULD BE JUNE. IT WAS AT THIS TIME THAT MR. LEWIS DECIDED TO REMAIN IN THE APARTMENT UNTIL ON-BASE HOUSING BECAME AVAILABLE.

SECTION 2.5 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED JUNE 26, 1969, PROVIDES FOR THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OF THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS, WHEN AN EMPLOYEE IS TRANSFERRED TO A NEW OFFICIAL STATION. IN CONSTRUING THIS SECTION WE HAVE GIVEN GREAT WEIGHT TO THE INTENT OF THE EMPLOYEE. IN THOSE CASES WHERE EMPLOYEES HAVE DEMONSTRATED AT THE TIME THEY OCCUPIED QUARTERS IT WAS THEIR INTENT TO USE SUCH QUARTERS ON A TEMPORARY BASIS WE HAVE CONSIDERED THE ALLOWANCE PAYABLE EVEN THOUGH CIRCUMSTANCES MADE IT NECESSARY AT A LATER DATE TO UTILIZE THE SAME QUARTERS ON A PERMANENT BASIS. SEE B- 163893, MAY 9, 1968, AND B-163307, FEBRUARY 7, 1968, COPIES ENCLOSED.

UPON THE FACTS IN THIS CASE, OUR OPINION IS THAT THE EMPLOYEE HAS REASONABLY DEMONSTRATED HE INTENDED TO USE THE QUARTERS TEMPORARILY. THEREFORE, THE EMPLOYEE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO A CONTINUATION OF THE TEMPORARY QUARTERS ALLOWANCE ON AND AFTER DECEMBER 13, 1969, SO AS TO COMPLETE THE FULL-TIME PERIOD AUTHORIZED BY HIS TRAVEL ORDERS.

ACTION ON THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, SHOULD BE TAKEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING.