B-165020, SEPT. 9, 1968

B-165020: Sep 9, 1968

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WATERS MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR SUBSISTENCE IS LIMITED TO THE LESSOR OF EITHER HIS ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR EACH 10-DAY PERIOD OR PER DIEM COMPUTED AT THE RATES OF $12 FOR THE FIRST 10-DAY PERIOD. WHILE WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT AVERAGE FIGURES. ARE TOO GENERAL TO BE CONSIDERED AS COMPLIANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS CITED ABOVE. IT IS REASONABLE TO ASSUME IN THIS CASE THAT DURING THE FIRST 10-DAY PERIOD MR. THE QUESTION OF ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR MEALS DURING THE SECOND AND THIRD 10-DAY PERIODS IS ACADEMIC IN VIEW OF THE LODGING EXPENSE INCURRED AND THE PER DIEM RATES APPLICABLE TO EACH OF THOSE PERIODS ($8 AND $6. YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER RESULTS FROM THE FACT THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS NOT MARRIED UNTIL AFTER HE REPORTED FOR DUTY AT HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION.

B-165020, SEPT. 9, 1968

TO MR. R. P. HOGAN:

YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 6, 1968, WITH ENCLOSURES, REFERENCE AD571X12, REQUESTS OUR ADVANCE DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE VOUCHERS OF MR. DONALD M. WATERS, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, TO REIMBURSE HIM CERTAIN EXPENSES HE INCURRED INCIDENT TO HIS TRANSFER FROM BOULDER, COLORADO, TO MIAMI, FLORIDA, UNDER TRAVEL ORDER DATED APRIL 24, 1968.

YOUR FIRST QUESTION CONCERNS MR. WATERS' CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHICH HE INCURRED WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS DURING THE PERIOD MAY 22 THROUGH JUNE 20, 1968. IN SUPPORT OF HIS CLAIM FOR SUBSISTENCE MR. WATERS FURNISHED MOTEL RECEIPTS SHOWING DAILY CHARGES OF $8.32 FOR LODGING AND THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT AS TO THE ACTUAL EXPENSES HE INCURRED FOR MEALS:

BREAKFAST AVERAGE ?75/DAY

LUNCH AVERAGE $1.75/DAY

DINNER AVERAGE $3.00/DAY

TOTAL AVERAGE $5.50/DAY

YOU QUESTION WHETHER SUCH STATEMENT SUFFICIENTLY COMPLIES WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 2.5D OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, AND SUBSECTION 6.12F OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AS DISCUSSED IN OUR DECISION OF JUNE 5, 1968, B-164057, ADDRESSED TO YOU.

UNDER SECTION 2.5D (2) OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 THE AMOUNT WHICH MR. WATERS MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR SUBSISTENCE IS LIMITED TO THE LESSOR OF EITHER HIS ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR EACH 10-DAY PERIOD OR PER DIEM COMPUTED AT THE RATES OF $12 FOR THE FIRST 10-DAY PERIOD, $8 FOR THE SECOND 10 DAY PERIOD, AND $6 FOR THE THIRD 10-DAY PERIOD. AS NOTED ABOVE, MR. WATERS INCURRED MOTEL EXPENSES OF $8.32 PER DAY. WHILE WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT AVERAGE FIGURES, SUCH AS PRESENTED HERE, ARE TOO GENERAL TO BE CONSIDERED AS COMPLIANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS CITED ABOVE, IT IS REASONABLE TO ASSUME IN THIS CASE THAT DURING THE FIRST 10-DAY PERIOD MR. WATERS INCURRED EXPENSES OF AT LEAST $3.68 ($12 $8.32) EACH DAY FOR MEALS. THE QUESTION OF ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR MEALS DURING THE SECOND AND THIRD 10-DAY PERIODS IS ACADEMIC IN VIEW OF THE LODGING EXPENSE INCURRED AND THE PER DIEM RATES APPLICABLE TO EACH OF THOSE PERIODS ($8 AND $6, RESPECTIVELY).

THEREFORE, MR. WATERS' CLAIM FOR SUBSISTENCE MAY BE ALLOWED IF OTHERWISE PROPER.

YOU ALSO QUESTION WHETHER THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR THE TEMPORARY QUARTERS EXPENSES OF HIS WIFE AND WHETHER HE MAY BE PAID THE $200 ALLOWANCE FOR MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 3 OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56. YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER RESULTS FROM THE FACT THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS NOT MARRIED UNTIL AFTER HE REPORTED FOR DUTY AT HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION.

SUBSECTION 2.5B (1) OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 AUTHORIZES REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OF THE EMPLOYEE AND EACH MEMBER OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS, AND SUBSECTION 3.2A (1) (B) AUTHORIZES A MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE OF $200 FOR AN EMPLOYEE WITH IMMEDIATE FAMILY. UNDER SECTION 1.2D OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56, THE TERM "IMMEDIATE FAMILY" (SO FAR AS IS HERE PERTINENT) MEANS:

"* * * ANY OF THE FOLLOWING NAMED MEMBERS OF THE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD AT THE TIME HE REPORTS FOR DUTY AT HIS NEW PERMANENT DUTY STATION OR PERFORMS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED HOME LEAVE OR SEPARATION TRAVEL: SPOUSE * * *"

THE ABOVE DEFINITION IS CLEAR AND PRECISE AND, HAVING BEEN ISSUED PURSUANT TO STATUTORY AUTHORITY, MUST BE ACCORDED THE FORCE AND EFFECT OF LAW. SINCE MR. WATERS DID NOT HAVE A SPOUSE AT THE TIME HE REPORTED FOR DUTY AT MIAMI WE MUST HOLD THAT HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE AMOUNTS CLAIMED FOR SUBSISTENCE AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES UNDER THE REGULATIONS DISCUSSED ABOVE. HOWEVER, HE MAY QUALIFY FOR THE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED FOR AN EMPLOYEE WITHOUT IMMEDIATE FAMILY UNDER SUBSECTION 3.2A (1) (A) OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56.

THE VOUCHERS ARE RETURNED HEREWITH FOR HANDLING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING.