B-166119, MAR. 6, 1969

B-166119: Mar 6, 1969

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WHICH WAS EFFECTIVE AUGUST 20. BIRCHER IS CONSIDERED TO HAVE TRANSFERRED IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT HE WAS TRANSFERRING FROM ANOTHER AGENCY AND THE FACT THAT HE ENTERED ON DUTY IN CODY ON AUGUST 21. BIRCHER'S ORIGINAL VOUCHER WAS INCORRECT. BIRCHER'S TRIP TO CODY BETWEEN AUGUST 20 AND 26 WAS AN AUTHORIZED HOUSE HUNTING TRIP AND THAT HER TRAVEL FOR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION WAS PERFORMED ON SEPTEMBER 7 EVEN THOUGH MR. IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED THAT REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF A HOUSE HUNTING TRIP MADE BY AN EMPLOYEE'S SPOUSE IS NOT PRECLUDED MERELY BECAUSE THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED AFTER THE EMPLOYEE HAD TRANSFERRED IF SUCH TRIP IS PERFORMED PRIOR TO THE FAMILY'S MOVE TO THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION.

B-166119, MAR. 6, 1969

TO MR. HAROLD J. FARRALL:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 4, 1969, YOUR REFERENCE 7-360, CONCERNING THE PAYMENTS MADE TO MR. ROBERT P. BIRCHER, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, INCIDENT TO HIS TRANSFER FROM CHEYENNE, WYOMING, TO CODY, WYOMING, WHICH WAS EFFECTIVE AUGUST 20, 1967. CERTAIN QUESTIONS WHICH YOU NOW PRESENT AROSE AS THE RESULT OF A POST AUDIT OF CLAIMS PAID TO TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JULY 21, 1966, PUBLIC LAW 89-516.

MR. BIRCHER AND HIS WIFE, THE ONLY MEMBER OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY, TRAVELED FROM CHEYENNE TO CODY ON AUGUST 20, 1967, AT WHICH TIME MR. BIRCHER IS CONSIDERED TO HAVE TRANSFERRED IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT HE WAS TRANSFERRING FROM ANOTHER AGENCY AND THE FACT THAT HE ENTERED ON DUTY IN CODY ON AUGUST 21. ON AUGUST 26 MR. BIRCHER WITH MRS. BIRCHER RETURNED TO CHEYENNE FOR THE PERIOD ENDING SEPTEMBER 7 FOR PERSONAL REASONS (INCLUDING THE SALE OF A RESIDENCE AT THAT PLACE) ON ANNUAL LEAVE. THE COMPUTATION AND PAYMENT OF MR. BIRCHER'S ORIGINAL VOUCHER WAS INCORRECT. YOU WISH TO RECOMPUTE THE AMOUNTS ALLOWABLE TO MR. BIRCHER ON THE BASIS THAT MRS. BIRCHER'S TRIP TO CODY BETWEEN AUGUST 20 AND 26 WAS AN AUTHORIZED HOUSE HUNTING TRIP AND THAT HER TRAVEL FOR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION WAS PERFORMED ON SEPTEMBER 7 EVEN THOUGH MR. BIRCHER'S TRAVEL ON AUGUST 20 MUST BE CONSIDERED AS TRAVEL INCIDENT TO HIS TRANSFER.

IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED THAT REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF A HOUSE HUNTING TRIP MADE BY AN EMPLOYEE'S SPOUSE IS NOT PRECLUDED MERELY BECAUSE THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED AFTER THE EMPLOYEE HAD TRANSFERRED IF SUCH TRIP IS PERFORMED PRIOR TO THE FAMILY'S MOVE TO THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION. CONSIDER THAT DETERMINATION TO BE APPLICABLE TO THIS CASE SO AS TO PERMIT RECOMPUTATION OF MR. BIRCHER'S ALLOWANCES ON THE BASIS SUGGESTED.

YOU SUBMIT FOR OUR CONSIDERATION THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

"1. IN LIGHT OF THE FACT THAT MR. BIRCHER'S WIFE WOULD BE GETTING PER DIEM DURING THE PERIOD, HOW SHOULD MR. BIRCHER'S ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR HIM AND HIS WIFE FOR THE PERIOD AUGUST 20-26 BE PRORATED SO AS TO DETERMINE THE SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE FOR MR. BIRCHER?

"2. IN LIGHT OF THE FACT THAT MR. BIRCHER WAS ON ANNUAL LEAVE FROM AUGUST 28 - SEPTEMBER 15, WOULD THE 10-DAY PERIODS FOR FIGURING SUBSISTENCE BE AS FOLLOWS?

1ST 10 DAYS - AUGUST 21 - 30

2ND 10 DAYS - AUGUST 31 - SEPTEMBER 9

3RD 10 DAYS - SEPTEMBER 10 - 19

"3. SHOULD THE TOTAL MILEAGE ALLOWANCE BE CORRECTED TO $79.04 AS FOLLOWS?

DATE MILEAGE RATE

8-20 394 X .08 $31.52

8-26 396 X .06 23.76

9-7 396 X .06 23.76

TOTAL $79.04"

REGARDING QUESTION 1, IN VIEW OF THE EVIDENCE OF ACTUAL EXPENSES PRESENTED, IT WOULD APPEAR APPROPRIATE TO REIMBURSE MR. BIRCHER FOR TEMPORARY LODGING DURING THE PERIOD AUGUST 20-26, 1967, ON THE BASIS OF ONE-HALF THE AMOUNTS SHOWN AS EXPENSES FOR HIMSELF AND HIS WIFE NOT TO EXCEED THE MAXIMUM AS PROVIDED BY SECTION 2.5 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56. REIMBURSEMENT ON ACCOUNT OF MRS. BIRCHER'S TRAVEL DURING THAT PERIOD SHOULD BE AT RATES ESTABLISHED BY SECTION 2.4 OF THAT REGULATION AND BY THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION INVOLVED.

SINCE THE RUNNING OF THE MAXIMUM 30-DAY PERIOD FOR TEMPORARY LODGING IS NOT INTERRUPTED BY THE TAKING OF ANNUAL LEAVE, THE SCHEDULE PROPOSED FOR DETERMINING MAXIMUM REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUCH EXPENSES AS CONTAINED IN YOUR SECOND QUESTION IS CORRECT. SEE 47 COMP. GEN. 322.

IN VIEW OF ALL THE FACTS IN THIS CASE, WE BELIEVE THAT REIMBURSEMENT AT MILEAGE RATES FOR TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE SHOULD BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THOSE STATED IN YOUR QUESTION 3.

MR. BIRCHER'S ENTITLEMENT SHOULD BE RECOMPUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE AND THE OVERPAYMENT WHICH APPARENTLY WILL RESULT FROM SUCH RECOMPUTATION SHOULD BE COLLECTED FROM HIM. THE FILE FORWARDED WITH YOUR LETTER IS RETURNED.