B-166222, APR. 21, 1969

B-166222: Apr 21, 1969

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THE COSTS WHICH WERE COLLECTED FROM HIS OCCUPANCY ACCOUNT UPON THE TERMINATION OF HIS OCCUPANCY UNDER THE AGREEMENT PERTAINING TO HIS FORMER RESIDENCE. ALLOWANCE FOR THESE TYPES OF EXPENSES INCIDENT TO TRANSFER OF AN EMPLOYEE ARE GOVERNED BY THE PROVISIONS CONTAINED IN SECTIONS 2. REPRESENTING PART OF THE $306.70 PREVIOUSLY CLAIMED FOR TEMPORARY QUARTERS SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHICH WERE SUSPENDED JANUARY 16 ON VOUCHER NO. 22-2286. BAYER'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE LOADED AND SHIPPED FROM BRONX. NO EXPLANATION OTHER TAN YOUR COMMENT IS GIVEN ABOUT THE "FAMILY RATE" PAID BY HIM FOR THE HOTEL LODGINGS PROCURED BY HIM FOR JULY 4 TO 6. WE NOTE THAT COMPARISON OF THE HOTEL'S "SINGLE" RATE OF $14 WHICH WE UNDERSTAND ALSO WAS AVAILABLE DURING JULY 1968.

B-166222, APR. 21, 1969

TO MRS. DOLORES T. HODGES:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTERS OF FEBRUARY 14 AND MARCH 14, 1969, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE TWO RECLAIM VOUCHERS SUBMITTED BY MR. SYLVAN BAYER RELATIVE TO HIS TRANSFER FROM ANOTHER AGENCY TO YOUR AGENCY UNDER TRAVEL ORDER NO. 26, DATED JULY 31, 1968, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

YOU ALSO ENCLOSED MEMORANDUM COPIES OF HIS PRIOR VOUCHERS SHOWING THE BASIS FOR THE ADMINISTRATIVE DIFFERENCE STATEMENT ON JANUARY 16, 1969, RELATIVE TO HIS PRIOR CLAIMS FOR TEMPORARY QUARTERS EXPENSES, MISCELLANEOUS MOVING EXPENSES, AND THE COSTS WHICH WERE COLLECTED FROM HIS OCCUPANCY ACCOUNT UPON THE TERMINATION OF HIS OCCUPANCY UNDER THE AGREEMENT PERTAINING TO HIS FORMER RESIDENCE. ALLOWANCE FOR THESE TYPES OF EXPENSES INCIDENT TO TRANSFER OF AN EMPLOYEE ARE GOVERNED BY THE PROVISIONS CONTAINED IN SECTIONS 2, 3 AND 4 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED, ISSUED PURSUANT TO 5 U.S.C. 5724A.

REGARDING THE UNNUMBERED VOUCHER FOR $260, REPRESENTING PART OF THE $306.70 PREVIOUSLY CLAIMED FOR TEMPORARY QUARTERS SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHICH WERE SUSPENDED JANUARY 16 ON VOUCHER NO. 22-2286, WE NOTE THAT THE TRAVEL ORDER ITEM 8 AUTHORIZED TEMPORARY LIVING QUARTERS AT THE NEW STATION "FOR EMPLOYEE ONLY," FOR 30 DAYS. IN THAT REGARD THE CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS FOR ELIGIBILITY UNDER SUBSECTIONS 2.5B AND D OF THE CIRCULAR DO NOT PRECLUDE AN EMPLOYEE FROM USING TEMPORARY QUARTERS AT DIFFERENT PLACES ON DIFFERENT DAYS AFTER HE HAS DEPARTED FROM THE RESIDENCE AT THE FORMER STATION.

FURTHER, WE NOTE THAT MR. BAYER'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE LOADED AND SHIPPED FROM BRONX, NEW YORK, ON AUGUST 23, 1968. PRESUMABLY THE MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY OCCUPIED THE FORMER RESIDENCE UNTIL THE SHIPMENT OF THE GOODS BEGAN. NO EXPLANATION OTHER TAN YOUR COMMENT IS GIVEN ABOUT THE "FAMILY RATE" PAID BY HIM FOR THE HOTEL LODGINGS PROCURED BY HIM FOR JULY 4 TO 6. WE NOTE THAT COMPARISON OF THE HOTEL'S "SINGLE" RATE OF $14 WHICH WE UNDERSTAND ALSO WAS AVAILABLE DURING JULY 1968, TOGETHER WITH THE DAILY RATE OF APPROXIMATELY $2.97 FOR 7 OF THE DAYS PAID DURING THE FIRST 10-DAY PERIOD FOR THE LESS EXPENSIVE LODGINGS ($142.60 PAID FOR 48 DAYS, JUNE 30 TO AUGUST 16), WOULD NOT CAUSE THE OTHERWISE ALLOWABLE LODGING COSTS TO BECOME LESS THAN THE 10-DAY SUMS COMPUTED UNDER SUBSECTIONS 2.5D (2) (A), (B) AND (C) OF THE CIRCULAR. WE ASSUME THAT THE MEALS AND LAUNDRY COSTS CLAIMED AT THE RATE OF $7 PER DAY FOR THE ALLOWABLE 30 DAYS ARE OTHERWISE CORRECT. IF THAT BE SO, THE FORMULA SUM OF $260 RECLAIMED BY MR. BAYER ON THE UNNUMBERED VOUCHER MAY BE ALLOWED.

AS TO MR. BAYER'S RECLAIM OF $499.32 FOR MISCELLANEOUS MOVING EXPENSES UNDER SECTION 3 OF THE CIRCULAR, WE RECOGNIZE THAT THE COST OF CUTTING AND FITTING OF WALL-TO-WALL CARPETS INCIDENT TO THEIR DELIVERY AT THE NEW RESIDENCE USUALLY MAY BE MORE THAN THE COST FOR MERELY LIFTING THE CARPETS AND PACKAGING THEM AT THE FORMER RESIDENCE FOR SHIPMENT. HOWEVER, THE COST OF LIFTING AND PREPARING SUCH PROPERTY MERELY FOR SHIPMENT IS COVERED BY THE COMMUTATION FOR TRANSPORTATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS. SEE SUBSECTION 3.1C (2). THEREFORE, WHILE THE ITEM OF $154.93 PAID BY MR. BAYER FOR INSTALLATION OF HIS CARPETS AT HIS NEW RESIDENCE MAY BE CONSIDERED UNDER SUBSECTION 3.1B (2) -- WHICH WOULD WARRANT PAYMENT TO HIM OF THE $200 ALLOWANCE UNDERSUBSECTION 3.2A (1) (B) OF THE CIRCULAR -- THE OTHER ITEMS MAKING UP HIS CLAIM FOR THE SUM OF $499.32 MAY NOT BE FAVORABLY CONSIDERED UNDER SECTION 3, NOTWITHSTANDING THE CONCLUSIONS OF FACT AND LAW WHICH ARE SUGGESTED BY THE ITEMIZED STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT WHICH WAS FURNISHED TO MR. BAYER BY THE MANAGEMENT OFFICE OF HIS FORMER RESIDENCE. BRIEFLY STATED, WE ARE AWARE OF NO PROVISION IN THE ABOVE- CITED LAW AND CIRCULAR WHICH WOULD AUTHORIZE US TO REIMBURSE AN EMPLOYEE FOR THE COSTS THAT HE MAY INCUR UNDER HIS PERSONAL OBLIGATION TO PAY FOR ANY DAMAGE AND WEAR RESULTING FROM HIS OCCUPANCY OF HIS FORMER RESIDENCE FOR WHICH HE MAY BECOME LIABLE PERSONALLY UNDER A CONTRACT, OR FOR ANY COSTS THAT MIGHT RESULT FROM HIS RESPONSIBILITY FOR DAMAGES OCCURRING DURING THE REMOVAL OF HIS GOODS AND FIXTURES FROM A RESIDENCE.

THE FIRST PARAGRAPH OF SUBSECTION 3.1C EXPRESSLY PROVIDES IN PART THAT THE ALLOWANCE FOR MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES WILL NOT BE USED TO REIMBURSE THE EMPLOYEE FOR "COSTS OR EXPENSES THAT HE INCURRED WHICH EXCEED THE MAXIMUMS PROVIDED BY STATUTE OR IN THESE REGULATIONS; * * * OR ANY OTHER EXPENSES BROUGHT ABOUT BY CIRCUMSTANCES, FACTORS OR ACTIONS IN WHICH THE MOVE TO A NEW DUTY STATION WAS NOT THE PROXIMATE CAUSE.' OUR VIEW IS THAT THE DAMAGE TO THE FLOORS OF HIS FORMER RESIDENCE IS NOT ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE TERMINATION OF THE LEASE. THAT ITEM, IN FACT, AND THE CHARGES FOR REPAIR, CLEANING, ETC., APPEAR TO ARISE UNDER HIS PERSONAL OBLIGATION TO VACATE THE PREMISES IN AS GOOD STATE OF REPAIR AS WHEN HE ENTERED THEREON, AS PROVIDED IN THE ARTICLE "THIRD" (2) OF THE OCCUPANCY AGREEMENT OF MARCH 25, 1965. THEREFORE THE ITEMS CHARGED TO HIM BY THE MANAGEMENT OFFICE FOR THE REPAIR, CLEANING, ESCROW AND "MISC. CHARGES" IN THE REFERRED-TO STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT ARE NOT CHARGEABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT BECAUSE OF TERMINATION OF THE LEASE PRIOR TO ITS EXPIRATION UPON HIS TRANSFER TO WASHINGTON.

ON THE OTHER HAD, REGARDING THE MONTHLY RENTAL CHARGE OF $209.13 IN THE STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT FROM AUGUST 15 TO SEPTEMBER 15, 1968, THE GOVERNMENT'S OBLIGATION UNDER SECTION 4 OF THE CIRCULAR IS FOR PAYMENT OF ONLY THAT PART OF AN "UNEXPIRED LEASE" WHICH IS ATTRIBUTABLE TO A TRANSFER, BEGINNING IN MR. BAYER'S CASE ON OR ABOUT AUGUST 23 WHEN HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE REMOVED FROM THE RESIDENCE FOR LOADING AND SHIPMENT AS EVIDENCED BY THE BILL OF LADING ATTACHED TO VOUCHER NO. 22 2247. THEREFORE THE PAYMENT UNDER SECTION 4 IS TO BE COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF THE DAILY EQUIVALENT RATE OF RENT COLLECTED FROM HIM FOR THE 24-DAY PERIOD, AUGUST 23 TO SEPTEMBER 15, INCLUSIVE.

THE RECLAIM VOUCHERS, TOGETHER WITH THE COPIES OF VOUCHERS MENTIONED ABOVE, ARE RETURNED HEREWITH FOR HANDLING AS INDICATED BY THE FOREGOING COMMENTS AND DETERMINATIONS.