B-165713, JAN. 27, 1969

B-165713: Jan 27, 1969

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HARRELSON WAS APPOINTED AS SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE SUPERINTENDENT. LIEUTENANT HARRELSON WAS INFORMED BY THE ACTING SUPERINTENDENT THAT IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT HE LIVED WITHIN THREE MINUTES COMMUTING TIME OF THE ACADEMY. HE MIGHT NOT HAVE TO LIVE ABROAD BUT THAT SUCH A DECISION WOULD BE UP TO THE SUPERINTENDENT. HE ELECTED NOT TO MOVE ABOARD BECAUSE HE WAS THEN PAYING COMPARATIVELY LESS RENT THAN THE CHARGE FOR RENTAL OF THE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS. HE ALSO REQUESTED THE ACADEMY FINANCE AND SUPPLY OFFICER TO TAKE WHATEVER ACTION WAS NECESSARY TO ASSIST HIM IN MOVING. AT THE TIME HE WAS RESIDING AT 15 BEACH ROAD. WAS APPOINTED ON JULY 8. HE WAS ORALLY ADVISED IN ADVANCE OF HIS APPOINTMENT THAT HE WOULD BE REQUIRED TO LIVE ON THE STATION.

B-165713, JAN. 27, 1969

TO MR. RAYMOND V. BOYAN:

YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 26, 1968, REFERENCE 57302, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER THE COSTS OF MOVING HOUSEHOLD GOODS OF TWO EMPLOYEES OF THE MERCHANT MARINE ACADEMY MAY BE PAID UNDER THE FOLLOWING FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES AS REPORTED BY YOU.

"1. LT. THOMAS W. HARRELSON WAS APPOINTED AS SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE SUPERINTENDENT, GS-9, ON JUNE 28, 1968. PRIOR TO THE DATE HE ENTERED ON DUTY, LIEUTENANT HARRELSON WAS INFORMED BY THE ACTING SUPERINTENDENT THAT IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT HE LIVED WITHIN THREE MINUTES COMMUTING TIME OF THE ACADEMY, HE MIGHT NOT HAVE TO LIVE ABROAD BUT THAT SUCH A DECISION WOULD BE UP TO THE SUPERINTENDENT. HE ELECTED NOT TO MOVE ABOARD BECAUSE HE WAS THEN PAYING COMPARATIVELY LESS RENT THAN THE CHARGE FOR RENTAL OF THE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS. ON JULY 12, 1968 THE SUPERINTENDENT DIRECTED THAT LIEUTENANT HARRELSON OCCUPY GOVERNMENT QUARTERS BECAUSE HIS PRESENCE ON THE STATION WOULD BE REQUIRED FOR A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF TIME OUTSIDE THE REGULAR WORKWEEK. HE ALSO REQUESTED THE ACADEMY FINANCE AND SUPPLY OFFICER TO TAKE WHATEVER ACTION WAS NECESSARY TO ASSIST HIM IN MOVING. THE AGENCY, BY GOVERNMENT PURCHASE ORDER DATED JULY 24, 1968 WITH LEVI TRUCKING SERVICE, AUTHORIZED MOVEMENT OF LIEUTENANT HARRELSON'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, INCIDENT TO OCCUPANCY OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS. AT THE TIME HE WAS RESIDING AT 15 BEACH ROAD, GREAT NECK, NEW YORK. THE MOVER HAS NOT BEEN PAID $110.00 BILLED TO US FOR HIS SERVICES.

"2. CAPT. ROBERT J. WALL, REGIMENTAL OFFICER, GS-14, WAS APPOINTED ON JULY 8, 1968. HE WAS ORALLY ADVISED IN ADVANCE OF HIS APPOINTMENT THAT HE WOULD BE REQUIRED TO LIVE ON THE STATION. THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE ACADEMY DETERMINED THAT THIS REQUIREMENT IS FOR THE GOOD OF THE SERVICE FOR THE REASON THAT CAPT. WALL IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SUPERVISION OF CADETS RECEIVING TRAINING AT THE ACADEMY. ON SEPT. 3RD, 1968, THE SUPERINTENDENT AUTHORIZED PAYMENT OF MOVING EXPENSES INCIDENT TO CAPT. WALL'S OCCUPATION OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS. HOWEVER, CAPT. WALL'S RESIDENCE ON THE ACADEMY GROUNDS WAS NOT AVAILABLE AT THE TIME OF HIS APPOINTMENT AND WHILE HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE MOVED ON AUGUST 20TH, 1968, HE OCCUPIED THE PREMISES ON SEPT. 4TH AND SALARY DEDUCTIONS FOR QUARTERS COMMENCED ON THAT DATE.'

IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE, YOU POINT OUT THAT THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO NECESSITY FOR EITHER EMPLOYEE TO MOVE BUT FOR THE FACT THAT HE WAS REQUIRED TO OCCUPY GOVERNMENT QUARTERS ON THE ACADEMY GROUNDS DUE TO THE NATURE OF HIS WORK.

IT IS A WELL-ESTABLISHED RULE THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF A STATUTE PROVIDING OTHERWISE, SUCH AS 5 U.S.C. 5722 AND 5723 WHICH ARE NOT APPLICABLE TO THIS CASE, A NEWLY APPOINTED EMPLOYEE MUST BEAR THE EXPENSE OF REPORTING TO HIS FIRST OFFICIAL DUTY STATION. 22 COMP. GEN. 885; 30 ID. 373. HOWEVER, IN THE PRESENT CASE IT IS EVIDENT THAT NEITHER EMPLOYEE WOULD HAVE INCURRED ANY EXPENSE IN REPORTING FOR DUTY AT THE ACADEMY BUT FOR THE REQUIREMENT THAT HE OCCUPY THE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS. UNQUESTIONABLY, THE EMPLOYEES' OCCUPANCY OF THE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WAS SOLELY FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT.

UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES WE HAVE HELD THAT EXPENSES OF MOVING HOUSEHOLD GOODS BETWEEN QUARTERS LOCALLY, WHEN DIRECTED BY AN OFFICIAL RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF AN INSTALLATION, ARE PROPERLY FOR CONSIDERATION AS AN ADMINISTRATIVE COST OF OPERATING THE INSTALLATION. SEE B-138678, APRIL 22, 1959; B-163088, FEBRUARY 28, 1968, COPIES HEREWITH. WE BELIEVE THAT THE RATIONALE OF THOSE DECISIONS IS APPLICABLE TO THE PARTICULAR FACTS OF THIS CASE. THEREFORE, IF OTHERWISE PROPER, THE MOVING COSTS DISCUSSED HEREIN MAY BE PAID AS AN ADMINISTRATIVE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSE OF THE ACADEMY.