B-166093, APRIL 29, 1969, 48 COMP. GEN. 716

B-166093: Apr 29, 1969

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

OCCUPIES HOTEL OR HOTEL-LIKE ACCOMMODATIONS WITH HIS FAMILY AT THE HOME PORT OR IS TEMPORARILY ASSIGNED TO THE OFF-SHIP CREW OF A TWO-CREW NUCLEAR-POWERED SUBMARINE. IS NOT ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE THE TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCES PRESCRIBED BY 37 U.S.C. 405 AS A PERMANENT STATION ALLOWANCE TO PARTIALLY REIMBURSE A MEMBER FOR THE MORE THAN NORMAL EXPENSES INCURRED UPON ARRIVAL AT A PERMANENT STATION OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES. AS A MEMBER IS NOT CONSIDERED TO BE AT A PERMANENT DUTY STATION FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE UNTIL HE REPORTS ABOARD THE VESSEL TO WHICH ASSIGNED. 1969: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED JANUARY 13. FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY (MANPOWER AND RESERVE AFFAIRS) REQUESTING A DECISION WHETHER THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS MAY BE AMENDED TO AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE TO A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ASSIGNED TO DUTY ON BOARD A SHIP WHEN HE IS REQUIRED TO OCCUPY HOTEL OR HOTEL-LIKE ACCOMMODATIONS AT THE HOME PORT IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED BELOW.

B-166093, APRIL 29, 1969, 48 COMP. GEN. 716

STATION ALLOWANCES--MILITARY PERSONNEL--TEMPORARY LODGINGS--AWAITING ARRIVAL OF VESSEL A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHO INCIDENT TO PERMANENT CHANGE OF- STATION ORDERS ASSIGNING HIM TO DUTY ON BOARD A SHIP, OCCUPIES HOTEL OR HOTEL-LIKE ACCOMMODATIONS WITH HIS FAMILY AT THE HOME PORT OR IS TEMPORARILY ASSIGNED TO THE OFF-SHIP CREW OF A TWO-CREW NUCLEAR-POWERED SUBMARINE, IS NOT ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE THE TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCES PRESCRIBED BY 37 U.S.C. 405 AS A PERMANENT STATION ALLOWANCE TO PARTIALLY REIMBURSE A MEMBER FOR THE MORE THAN NORMAL EXPENSES INCURRED UPON ARRIVAL AT A PERMANENT STATION OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES. THEREFORE, AS A MEMBER IS NOT CONSIDERED TO BE AT A PERMANENT DUTY STATION FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE UNTIL HE REPORTS ABOARD THE VESSEL TO WHICH ASSIGNED, THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS MAY NOT BE AMENDED TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF THE ALLOWANCE TO A MEMBER PRIOR TO REPORTING ABOARD SHIP.

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY, APRIL 29, 1969:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED JANUARY 13, 1969, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY (MANPOWER AND RESERVE AFFAIRS) REQUESTING A DECISION WHETHER THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS MAY BE AMENDED TO AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE TO A MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ASSIGNED TO DUTY ON BOARD A SHIP WHEN HE IS REQUIRED TO OCCUPY HOTEL OR HOTEL-LIKE ACCOMMODATIONS AT THE HOME PORT IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED BELOW. THE REQUEST FOR DECISION WAS ASSIGNED CONTROL NO. 69-2 BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE.

IN THE LETTER IT IS STATED THAT UNDER CURRENT REGULATIONS TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCES ARE ALLOWED ONLY FOR DEPENDENTS INCIDENT TO THE ARRIVAL OF THE MEMBER AND DEPENDENTS AT THE HOME PORT OF A VESSEL TO WHICH THE MEMBER IS ASSIGNED BECAUSE THE MEMBER IS CONSIDERED TO BE IN A TRAVEL STATUS UNTIL HE REPORTS ON BOARD THE VESSEL IN CASES WHERE THE VESSEL IS AWAY FROM THE HOME PORT AT THE TIME OF ARRIVAL. HOWEVER, THE MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO TRAVEL PER DIEM ALLOWANCE WHILE AT THE HOME PORT AWAITING ARRIVAL OF THE VESSEL, EXCEPT IN THE CASE OF A MEMBER ASSIGNED TO A TWO- CREW NUCLEAR POWERED SUBMARINE. IN SUCH CASE, IT IS STATED, PARAGRAPH 4061, NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS, APPEARS TO PROHIBIT PAYMENT OF PER DIEM FOR TEMPORARY DUTY WITH THE OFF-SHIP CREW UPON INITIAL REPORTING PRIOR TO REPORTING ABOARD SHIP.

THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY SAYS THAT IT IS RECOGNIZED THAT EXCEPT FOR THE RESTRICTION IN PARAGRAPH 4061 NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS, THE MEMBER OCCUPYING PRIVATE QUARTERS AT THE HOME PORT PRIOR TO REPORTING ON BOARD THE VESSEL WOULD HAVE NO NEED FOR TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE FOR HIMSELF BECAUSE THE TRAVEL PER DIEM ALLOWANCE WOULD COVER HIS LIVING EXPENSES. SAYS, HOWEVER, THAT IN DETERMINING THE APPLICABLE AMOUNT OF TRAVEL PER DIEM PAYABLE, THE AVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND/OR MESS TO THE MEMBER IN A TRAVEL STATUS OFTEN RESULTS IN A REDUCED PER DIEM, AND IF THE MEMBER OCCUPIES HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS WITH DEPENDENTS HE RECEIVES NO ALLOWANCE FOR HIS PORTION OF THE HOTEL EXPENSES.

THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY SAYS THAT IT HAS BEEN PROPOSED THAT THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS BE AMENDED TO AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE ON BEHALF OF A MEMBER IN THE FOLLOWING SITUATIONS WHEN THE MEMBER IS REQUIRED TO OCCUPY HOTEL OR HOTEL-LIKE ACCOMMODATIONS AT THE HOME PORT OF A VESSEL TO WHICH ASSIGNED:

(1) WHEN THE VESSEL IS AWAY FROM THE HOME PORT WHEN THE MEMBER ARRIVES THEREAT UNDER PERMANENT-CHANGE-OF-STATION ORDERS.

(2) WHEN ASSIGNED TO A TWO-CREW NUCLEAR-POWERED SUBMARINE AND THE MEMBER, UPON ARRIVAL AT THE HOME PORT UNDER PERMANENT CHANGE-OF STATION ORDERS, IS TEMPORARILY ASSIGNED TO THE OFF-SHIP CREW AT THE HOME PORT PENDING RETURN OF THE SUBMARINE.

SECTION 405 OF TITLE 37, U.S.C. PROVIDES THAT THE SECRETARIES OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES MAY AUTHORIZE PAYMENT TO MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ON DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES OR IN HAWAII OR ALASKA, WHETHER OR NOT IN A TRAVEL STATUS, OF A PER DIEM CONSIDERING ALL ELEMENTS OF THE COST OF LIVING TO MEMBERS AND THEIR DEPENDENTS, INCLUDING THE COST OF QUARTERS, SUBSISTENCE, AND OTHER INCIDENTAL EXPENSES, EXCEPT THAT DEPENDENTS MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED IN DETERMINING THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE FOR A MEMBER IN A TRAVEL STATUS.

THE PURPOSE OF THOSE STATUTORY PROVISIONS IS TO PERMIT PAYMENT OF ALLOWANCES TO COVER THE ADDITIONAL LIVING EXPENSES INCLUDING COST OF QUARTERS, SUBSISTENCE AND OTHER INCIDENTAL EXPENSES A MEMBER IS REQUIRED TO MEET WHILE SERVING OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES. UNDER THAT AUTHORITY, THE PERTINENT PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH M4303, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AUTHORIZE TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE, AT THE RATES PRESCRIBED, FOR THE PURPOSE OF PARTIALLY REIMBURSING A MEMBER FOR THE MORE THAN NORMAL EXPENSES INCURRED UPON ARRIVAL AT A PERMANENT DUTY STATION OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES.

THIS ALLOWANCE IS AUTHORIZED FOR PERIODS NOT TO EXCEED THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF DAYS PRESCRIBED BY THE REGULATIONS WHEN GOVERNMENT QUARTERS ARE NOT FURNISHED TO THE MEMBER, HIS DEPENDENTS, OR THE MEMBER AND HIS DEPENDENTS, IF WITH DEPENDENTS, AND THE MEMBER IS REQUIRED TO SECURE HOTEL OR HOTEL- LIKE ACCOMMODATIONS AND USE PUBLIC RESTAURANTS AT PERSONAL EXPENSE. THE ALLOWANCE CONTINUES WITH THE PRESCRIBED LIMITATIONS PENDING ASSIGNMENT OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS OR COMPLETION OF ARRANGEMENTS FOR OTHER PERMANENT LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS. THE TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE THUS PROVIDED IS EXPRESSLY PRESCRIBED AS A PERMANENT STATION ALLOWANCE.

IN CONNECTION WITH AN ASSIGNMENT TO A VESSEL, THE DEFINITION OF "PERMANENT STATION" CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPH M1150-10, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, INSOFAR AS TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS IS INVOLVED, INCLUDES THE HOME PORT OR HOME YARD OF THE VESSEL. BUT AS FAR AS THE MEMBER IS CONCERNED, THE VESSEL IS THE PERMANENT STATION. THE CASE OF A VESSEL HAVING TWO CREWS, SUCH AS A NUCLEAR POWERED SUBMARINE, THE VESSEL IS CONSIDERED TO BE THE PERMANENT DUTY STATION OF MEMBERS OF BOTH CREWS. 45 COMP. GEN. 689.

CONSEQUENTLY, WHILE RECOGNIZING THAT TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE MAY ACCRUE FROM THE DATE OF THE DEPENDENTS ARRIVAL AT THE HOME PORT, IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT SUCH ALLOWANCE, TO THE EXTENT APPLICABLE TO THE MEMBER HIMSELF, MAY NOT BE PAID FOR ANY PERIOD HE IS IN A TRAVEL STATUS AND PRIOR TO REPORTING ABOARD THE VESSEL TO WHICH ASSIGNED, HIS PERMANENT STATION. 40 COMP. GEN. 271; 45 ID. 689; 47 ID. GEN. 724.

SINCE THE PERMANENT STATION OF A MEMBER ASSIGNED ON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TO A VESSEL, INCLUDING TWO-CREW NUCLEAR-POWERED SUBMARINES, IS THE VESSEL ITSELF, AND ENTITLEMENT TO TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE ON BEHALF OF A MEMBER MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED TO ACCRUE PRIOR TO HIS ACTUAL REPORTING UNDER THE ORDERS ABOARD THE VESSEL, WE ARE OF THE VIEW THAT THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS FOR THE PROPOSED CHANGE IN THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IN EITHER OF THE SITUATIONS INDICATED BY THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY, BUT THAT ANY ALLOWANCE OF THE NATURE CONTEMPLATED PROPERLY WOULD OF NECESSITY BE THE SUBJECT OF AUTHORIZATION AS A TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IN THE INTEREST OF THE MEMBER. CF. 48 COMP. GEN. 480.