B-162620, OCT. 31, 1967

B-162620: Oct 31, 1967

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BEFORE TRANSFER TO BRAZIL IS NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT UNDER BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR A-56 WHICH AUTHORIZES SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FOR TEMPORARY QUARTERS WHEN THE NEW STATION IS IN THE U.S. NOR IS THE EMPLOYEE ENTITLED TO TEMPORARY QUARTERS ALLOWANCE UNDER 5 U.S.C. 5923. REGULATIONS ARE SILENT AS TO REIMBURSING MR. BERRY'S COMPENSATION WAS FIXED AT ONE OF THE RATES ESTABLISHED FOR FOREIGN SERVICE RESERVE OFFICERS AS AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 625 (D) (1) OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 4. 22 U.S.C. 2385 (D) (1) AND THAT HE IS ENTITLED UNDER THAT SECTION TO THE ALLOWANCES AND BENEFITS PROVIDED BY THE FOREIGN SERVICE ACT OF 1946. IT IS CLEAR THAT REIMBURSEMENT WOULD NOT BE AUTHORIZED UNDER BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO.

B-162620, OCT. 31, 1967

EMPLOYEES - TRANSFERS - PUBLIC LAW 89-516 - TEMPORARY LODGING DECISION TO CERTIFYING OFFICER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR CONCERNING PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT TEMPORARY LODGING EXPENSES INCURRED BY FOREIGN SERVICE RESERVE OFFICER AT OLD DUTY STATION IN WASHINGTON, D.C. BEFORE DEPARTURE FOR NEW STATION IN RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL. FOREIGN SERVICE RESERVE OFFICER WHO INCURRED EXPENSES FOR TEMPORARY LODGING AT OLD STATION (WASHINGTON, D.C.) BEFORE TRANSFER TO BRAZIL IS NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT UNDER BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR A-56 WHICH AUTHORIZES SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FOR TEMPORARY QUARTERS WHEN THE NEW STATION IS IN THE U.S. OR ITS POSSESSIONS. NOR IS THE EMPLOYEE ENTITLED TO TEMPORARY QUARTERS ALLOWANCE UNDER 5 U.S.C. 5923, APPLICABLE TO FOREIGN SERVICE PERSONNEL, SINCE THE STATUTE SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZES SUCH ALLOWANCE AFTER ARRIVAL AT THE NEW FOREIGN DUTY STATION. THEREFORE, PAYMENT MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED.

TO MR. DALE L. ROTHROCK:

YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 29, 1967, REQUESTS OUR DECISION CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER TRANSMITTED THEREWITH IN FAVOR OF MR. WILLIAM H. BERRY, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, ASSIGNED TO RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL, PURSUANT TO AID/INTERIOR AGREEMENT NO. PASA LA/IF/4867, JUNE 16, 1967.

THE AMOUNT CLAIMED ON THE VOUCHER ($60.92) REPRESENTS THE COST OF FOUR DAYS TEMPORARY LODGING (DAILY COST OF $15.23) PROCURED BY MR. BERRY AT HIS OLD DUTY STATION (WASHINGTON, D.C.) PRIOR TO HIS DEPARTURE FOR RIO DE JANEIRO. YOU POINT OUT THAT A.I.D. REGULATIONS ARE SILENT AS TO REIMBURSING MR. BERRY FOR THE EXPENSE IN QUESTION.

WE UNDERSTAND THAT MR. BERRY'S COMPENSATION WAS FIXED AT ONE OF THE RATES ESTABLISHED FOR FOREIGN SERVICE RESERVE OFFICERS AS AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 625 (D) (1) OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 4, 1961, AS AMENDED, 22 U.S.C. 2385 (D) (1) AND THAT HE IS ENTITLED UNDER THAT SECTION TO THE ALLOWANCES AND BENEFITS PROVIDED BY THE FOREIGN SERVICE ACT OF 1946, AS AMENDED.

SPECIFICALLY YOU REQUEST A DECISION WHETHER REIMBURSEMENT OF THE TEMPORARY LODGING COSTS MAY BE MADE UNDER AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS OR UNDER BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A 56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966.

IT IS CLEAR THAT REIMBURSEMENT WOULD NOT BE AUTHORIZED UNDER BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, SINCE SECTION 2.5B (1) OF THOSE REGULATIONS, AS WELL AS THE CONTROLLING STATUTE 5 U.S.C. 5724A (A) (3), AUTHORIZES SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS ONLY WHEN THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION IS LOCATED IN THE UNITED STATES, ITS TERRITORIES OR POSSESSIONS, THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO OR THE CANAL ZONE. MR. BERRY'S NEW STATION (RIO DE JANEIRO) IS NOT LOCATED IN ANY OF SUCH AREAS.

THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY TO PAY A TEMPORARY QUARTERS ALLOWANCE TO EMPLOYEES ASSIGNED OR TRANSFERRED TO POSTS IN FOREIGN AREAS IS THAT CONTAINED IN 5 U.S.C. 5923. SUCH AUTHORITY APPLIES TO PERSONNEL ENTITLED TO THE BENEFITS OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE ACT OF 1946, AS AMENDED, AS WELL AS OTHER GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES WHO ARE TRANSFERRED OR ASSIGNED TO DUTY STATIONS LOCATED IN FOREIGN AREAS. UNDER THE EXPRESS LANGUAGE OF THAT STATUTE THE ALLOWANCE IS PAYABLE ONLY AFTER ARRIVAL OF THE EMPLOYEE AT HIS NEW STATION IN A FOREIGN AREA. THUS, IT WOULD HAVE NO APPLICATION IN MR. BERRY'S CASE.

WE NOTE ALSO THAT THERE MAY BE PAID UNDER 5 U.S.C. 5924 (2) A TRANSFER ALLOWANCE TO COVER EXTRAORDINARY, NECESSARY AND REASONABLE EXPENSES NOT OTHERWISE COMPENSATED WHEN INCURRED BY AN EMPLOYEE INCIDENT TO ESTABLISHING HIMSELF AT A POST OF ASSIGNMENT IN A FOREIGN AREA OR IN THE UNITED STATES BETWEEN ASSIGNMENTS TO POSTS IN FOREIGN AREAS. WHEN THE POST OF ASSIGNMENT IS IN THE UNITED STATES THE STANDARD REGULATIONS (GOVERNMENT CIVILIAN FOREIGN AREAS) DESIGNATE THE ALLOWANCE AS A HOME SERVICE TRANSFER ALLOWANCE (SECTION 250) WHICH IS COMPOSED IN PART OF AN ALLOWANCE FOR TEMPORARY LODGING. SINCE THE AUTHORITY TO PAY THIS ALLOWANCE IS LIMITED TO CASES IN WHICH AN EMPLOYEE IS ESTABLISHING HIMSELF AT A POST IN THE UNITED STATES BETWEEN ASSIGNMENTS ABROAD IT WOULD NOT CONSTITUTE AUTHORITY TO REIMBURSE MR. BERRY FOR THE TEMPORARY QUARTERS HE PROCURED PRIOR TO HIS DEPARTURE FROM WASHINGTON, D.C. FOR HIS STATION IN A FOREIGN AREA.

WE ARE AWARE OF NO OTHER STATUTORY AUTHORITY UNDER WHICH MR. BERRY MIGHT BE REIMBURSED FOR THE TEMPORARY LODGING COST CLAIMED. ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.