B-162617, DEC. 1, 1967

B-162617: Dec 1, 1967

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INCIDENT TO CHANGE OF STATION FROM NORFOLK TO TOLEDO HAD HIS FAMILY REMAIN AT OLD STATION UNTIL CLOSE OF SCHOOL YEAR WHILE HE OCCUPIED A MOTEL ROOM AND THEN AN EFFICIENCY APARTMENT UNTIL FAMILY MOVED TO NEW STATION MAY HAVE MOTEL ROOM AND APARTMENT REGARDED AS TEMPORARY QUARTERS. IN REVIEW OF MATTER IT WAS NOTED THAT EMPLOYEE WAS PAID FOR TRAVEL. PER DIEM AND TAXIFARES BACK TO OLD STATION FOR PURPOSE OF MOVING FAMILY AND THAT NO TEMPORARY DUTY WAS PERFORMED AT OLD STATION. WATSON WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM NORFOLK. WATSON WAS REIMBURSED THE SUM OF $33 FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS AT THE MOTEL DURING THE PERIOD MARCH 3 THROUGH MARCH 5. WE HAVE HELD THAT A DETERMINATION AS TO WHAT CONSTITUTES TEMPORARY QUARTERS IS NOT SUSCEPTIBLE OF ANY PRECISE DEFINITION.

B-162617, DEC. 1, 1967

EMPLOYEES - TRANSFERS - PUBLIC LAW 89-516 - TEMPORARY LODGING DECISION TO CERTIFYING OFFICER OF MARITIME ADMINISTRATION RE PROPRIETY OF PAYMENT OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHILE EMPLOYEE OCCUPIES TEMPORARY QUARTERS AT NEW STATION. EMPLOYEE WHO, INCIDENT TO CHANGE OF STATION FROM NORFOLK TO TOLEDO HAD HIS FAMILY REMAIN AT OLD STATION UNTIL CLOSE OF SCHOOL YEAR WHILE HE OCCUPIED A MOTEL ROOM AND THEN AN EFFICIENCY APARTMENT UNTIL FAMILY MOVED TO NEW STATION MAY HAVE MOTEL ROOM AND APARTMENT REGARDED AS TEMPORARY QUARTERS. HOWEVER, SINCE EMPLOYEE HAS NOT FURNISHED RECEIPTS FOR LODGING AND HAS NOT ITEMIZED ACTUAL EXPENSES CLAIM MAY NOT BE ALLOWED. IN REVIEW OF MATTER IT WAS NOTED THAT EMPLOYEE WAS PAID FOR TRAVEL, PER DIEM AND TAXIFARES BACK TO OLD STATION FOR PURPOSE OF MOVING FAMILY AND THAT NO TEMPORARY DUTY WAS PERFORMED AT OLD STATION. THEREFORE, SUCH TRAVEL ALLOWANCE MUST BE OFFSET AGAINST AMOUNT DUE FOR TEMPORATY SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES.

TO MR. JAMES E. RITCHIE, JR.:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 2, 1967, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT THE VOUCHER TRANSMITTED THEREWITH IN FAVOR OF MR. JOHN E. WATSON, WHICH INCLUDES AN ITEM FOR $227, REPRESENTING SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS AT A NEW OFFICIAL DUTY STATION.

BY TRAVEL ORDER DATED FEBRUARY 9, 1967, MR. WATSON WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, TO TOLEDO, OHIO, INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. MR. WATSON REPORTED TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION ON MARCH 3, 1967. HIS FAMILY DID NOT ACCOMPANY HIM TO TOLEDO BUT REMAINED AT THE OLD DUTY STATION UNTIL THE CLOSE OF THE SCHOOL YEAR IN JUNE.

DURING THE PERIOD MARCH 3 THROUGH MARCH 5, MR. WATSON OCCUPIED TEMPORARY QUARTERS AT A MOTEL IN TOLEDO. ON MARCH 6, HE MOVED INTO AN EFFICIENCY APARTMENT AND REMAINED THEREIN UNTIL HIS FAMILY AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ARRIVED IN JUNE.

MR. WATSON WAS REIMBURSED THE SUM OF $33 FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS AT THE MOTEL DURING THE PERIOD MARCH 3 THROUGH MARCH 5. HOWEVER, NO AMOUNT HAS BEEN ALLOWED FOR THE PERIOD MARCH 6 TO APRIL 2, 1967, APPARENTLY BECAUSE OF DOUBT AS TO WHETHER THE EFFICIENCY APARTMENT OCCUPIED BY MR. WATSON DURING SUCH PERIOD MAY BE REGARDED AS TEMPORARY QUARTERS WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 2.5 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR A-56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966.

WE HAVE HELD THAT A DETERMINATION AS TO WHAT CONSTITUTES TEMPORARY QUARTERS IS NOT SUSCEPTIBLE OF ANY PRECISE DEFINITION, AND THEREFORE, EACH CASE MUST BE DECIDED ON THE BASIS OF THE PARTICULAR FACTS INVOLVED. IN A CASE INVOLVING FACTS ALMOST IDENTICAL TO THOSE PRESENTED HERE, WE RULED AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * THE FACT THAT THE EMPLOYEE INTENDED TO REMAIN IN THE QUARTERS FOR A SPECIFIC PERIOD--FOUR MONTHS--AND THE FACT THAT HE OCCUPIED SUCH QUARTERS BECAUSE HIS FAMILY COULD NOT MOVE TO THE NEW DUTY STATION UNTIL THE END OF THE SCHOOL SESSION MAY BE CONSIDERED AS REFLECTING THAT HIS STAY IN THE APARTMENT WAS INTENDED TO BE TEMPORARY AND THAT HE WAS, THEREFORE, OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS DURING THE PERIOD IN QUESTION. * *" SEE B-161960, JULY 31, 1967 (COPY ENCLOSED).

THE RATIONALE OF THAT DECISION IS EQUALLY APPLICABLE TO THE FACTS OF THE PRESENT CASE, AND THEREFORE, MR. WATSON MAY BE REGARDED AS HAVING OCCUPIED TEMPORARY QUARTERS DURING THE PERIOD IN QUESTION.

IN SUPPORT OF HIS CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FOR THE PERIOD MARCH 6 TO APRIL 2, 1967, MR. WATSON FURNISHED A LIST OF EXPENSES WHICH HE DESCRIBED AS A "TYPICAL EXAMPLE OF DAILY EXPENSES". IN ADDITION HE CLAIMED ACTUAL EXPENSES OF $6.10 PER WEEK FOR CLEANING AND LAUNDRY. SECTION 2.5D (1) OF CIRCULAR A-56 PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART:

"REIMBURSEMENT SHALL BE ONLY FOR ACTUAL SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED PROVIDED THESE ARE DIRECTLY RELATED TO OCCUPANCY OF TEMPORARY QUARTERS AND ARE REASONABLE BOTH AS TO AMOUNT AND DURATION. ALLOWABLE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCLUDE ONLY CHARGES FOR MEALS, LODGING, FEES AND TIPS INCIDENT TO MEALS AND LODGING, LAUNDRY, CLEANING AND PRESSING OF CLOTHING. THE ACTUAL EXPENSES SHALL BE SUPPORTED AS PROVIDED IN SUBSECTION 6.12F OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. * * *"

SECTION 6.12F OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS REQUIRES THAT REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES BE ITEMIZED AND THAT RECEIPTS BE FURNISHED AT LEAST FOR THE COST OF LODGING. SINCE MR. WATSON HAS NOT FURNISHED RECEIPTS FOR LODGING AND HAS NOT ITEMIZED HIS ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR THE PERIOD MARCH 6 TO APRIL 2, 1967, HIS CLAIM FOR SUCH EXPENSES MAY NOT BE ALLOWED ON THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT RECORD. PRIOR TO CERTIFYING SUCH ITEM FOR PAYMENT, YOU SHOULD OBTAIN APPROPRIATE SUPPORT FOR THE EXPENDITURES CLAIMED BY MR. WATSON.

IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE, WE NOTE THAT ON PRIOR TRAVEL VOUCHERS MR. WATSON WAS ALLOWED AIRPLANE FARE FROM TOLEDO TO NORFOLK PLUS RELATED TAXI FARES AND PER DIEM (6 DAYS) FOR THE PERIOD JUNE 8-14, 1967. WE UNDERSTAND INFORMALLY THAT MR. WATSON'S RETURN TO NORFOLK WAS FOR THE PURPOSE OF MOVING HIS FAMILY TO TOLEDO AND THAT NO TEMPORARY DUTY WAS PERFORMED IN NORFOLK DURING THIS PERIOD. ACCORDINGLY, THE AMOUNT PREVIOUSLY ALLOWED FOR SUCH TRAVEL SHOULD BE OFFSET AGAINST THE AMOUNT DUE MR. WATSON FOR TEMPORARY SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES.

THE VOUCHER IS RETURNED HEREWITH FOR HANDLING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE.