B-165417, NOV. 7, 1968

B-165417: Nov 7, 1968

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STALEY: THIS IS IN REPLY TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 4. HEIM WAS DETAILED TO THE HURON OFFICE TO PERFORM SURVEY WORK IN SOUTH DAKOTA AND NEBRASKA WITH TRAVEL TO BEGIN ON OR ABOUT JANUARY 15. HEIM'S WORK WAS SUBSTANTIALLY COMPLETE AT FORT SMITH AND HE KNEW IT WOULD BE NECESSARY FOR HIM TO TRANSFER TO A NEW LOCATION AND MOVE HIS FAMILY AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AT FORT SMITH. HIS FAMILY AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE TRANSPORTED FROM FOR SMITH TO ELGIN. WHICH IS THE HOME OF MRS. WAS ISSUED SUBSEQUENT TO AN OFFER OF TRANSFER MADE ON JUNE 19. HEIM WAS PAID MILEAGE AND PER DIEM FOR ONLY HIS OWN TRAVEL TO HURON. HEIM COULD HAVE ANTICIPATED A TRANSFER TO HURON ON JANUARY 15. HEIM'S RESIDENCE WAS NOT DISCONTINUED AT THE TIME OF HIS TRANSFER.

B-165417, NOV. 7, 1968

TO MR. WILLIS H. STALEY:

THIS IS IN REPLY TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 4, 1968, REFERENCE 300, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. WILLIAM HEIM, JR., FOR $581.93. THE VOUCHER COVERS REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES FOR DEPENDENTS AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FOR MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS, AND A MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES ALLOWANCE, INCIDENT TO MR. HEIM'S TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION FROM FORT SMITH, MONTANA, TO HURON, SOUTH DAKOTA, BY TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION OF JULY 10, 1967.

ON JANUARY 5, 1967, MR. HEIM WAS DETAILED TO THE HURON OFFICE TO PERFORM SURVEY WORK IN SOUTH DAKOTA AND NEBRASKA WITH TRAVEL TO BEGIN ON OR ABOUT JANUARY 15, 1967, AND END ON OR ABOUT JUNE 30, 1967. MR. HEIM'S WORK WAS SUBSTANTIALLY COMPLETE AT FORT SMITH AND HE KNEW IT WOULD BE NECESSARY FOR HIM TO TRANSFER TO A NEW LOCATION AND MOVE HIS FAMILY AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AT FORT SMITH. ON JANUARY 16, 1967, HIS FAMILY AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE TRANSPORTED FROM FOR SMITH TO ELGIN, NORTH DAKOTA, WHICH IS THE HOME OF MRS. HEIM'S RELATIVES. THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION OF JULY 10, 1967, WHICH AUTHORIZED TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS, WAS ISSUED SUBSEQUENT TO AN OFFER OF TRANSFER MADE ON JUNE 19, 1967. MR. HEIM WAS PAID MILEAGE AND PER DIEM FOR ONLY HIS OWN TRAVEL TO HURON.

YOU ASK WHETHER MR. HEIM COULD HAVE ANTICIPATED A TRANSFER TO HURON ON JANUARY 15, 1967, SO AS TO PERMIT PAYMENT FOR MOVEMENT OF FAMILY AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN ACCORDANCE WITH OUR DECISION 27 COMP. GEN. 97 WHICH STATES THAT PAYMENT CAN BE MADE FOR SUCH MOVEMENT PRIOR TO, BUT IN ANTICIPATION OF, CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS WHICH CONTAIN THE AUTHORIZATION FOR SUCH MOVEMENT. YOU ALSO STATE THAT NO MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES ALLOWANCE HAS BEEN PAID SINCE MR. HEIM'S RESIDENCE WAS NOT DISCONTINUED AT THE TIME OF HIS TRANSFER. YOU ASK WHAT ALLOWANCE, IF ANY, IS PAYABLE UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES.

THERE IS NO EXISTING AUTHORITY OF LAW UNDER WHICH AN AGENCY MAY BEAR THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF THE FAMILY OR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF AN EMPLOYEE INCIDENT TO A TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT. MOREOVER, IN ORDER THAT TRANSPORTATION MAY BE DEEMED TO BE INCIDENT TO A CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION -- IN CASES WHERE IT OCCURS PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF THE FORMAL WRITTEN TRANSFER -- THERE MUST HAVE BEEN COMMUNICATED TO THE EMPLOYEE VERBAL INSTRUCTIONS TO PERFORM TRAVEL OR, AT THE VERY LEAST, A CLEARLY EXPRESSED ADMINISTRATIVE INTENTION TO EFFECT SUCH TRANSFER. WHEN SUCH CONDITIONS EXIST AND THE TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEE THEREAFTER TAKES PLACE, THE EXPENSES OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION ARE REIMBURSABLE IF AUTHORIZED IN THE TRANSFER ORDER. 41 COMP. GEN. 582; B 159861, AUGUST 31, 1966.

IN THE INSTANT CASE THERE IS NOTHING IN THE RECORD INDICATING THAT MR. HEIM WAS ADVISED BEFORE JUNE 1967 BY AN ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIAL, VERBALLY OR OTHERWISE, THAT HE WAS TO BE TRANSFERRED. THE TEMPORARY DUTY AUTHORIZATION STATED HE WAS TO TRAVEL TO LOCATION SURVEYS IN SOUTH DAKOTA AND NEBRASKA AND RETURN TO FORT SMITH. MOREOVER, THE DEPENDENTS TRAVELED, NOT TO HURON, BUT TO ELGIN WHICH IS APPROXIMATELY 300 MILES FROM HURON AND THE HOME OF MRS. HEIM'S FAMILY. ON THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT RECORD, IT APPEARS THAT THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES TO ELGIN WERE INCURRED FOR THE PERSONAL CONVENIENCE OF THE DEPENDENTS, NOT FOR THE PURPOSE OF EFFECTING A PERMANENT CHANGE OF RESIDENCE INCIDENT TO THE EMPLOYEE'S TRANSFER. ACCORDINGLY, THERE IS NO GROUND FOR REIMBURSING THE EMPLOYEE FOR THE EXPENSES.

WITH RESPECT TO THE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES ALLOWANCE, SECTION 3.1 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"A. THE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES ALLOWANCE IS FOR THE PURPOSE OF DEFRAYING VARIOUS CONTINGENT COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH DISCONTINUING RESIDENCE AT ONE LOCATION AND ESTABLISHING RESIDENCE AT A NEW LOCATION IN CONNECTION WITH AN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION.'

SINCE THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT A RESIDENCE WAS ESTABLISHED AT A NEW LOCATION IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSFER, THERE IS NO ENTITLEMENT TO THE ALLOWANCE. CF. B-164948, OCTOBER 18, 1968.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE, THE VOUCHER RETURNED HEREWITH MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.