B-167930, NOV. 19, 1969

B-167930: Nov 19, 1969

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THE EMPLOYEE WAS TRANSFERRED IN FEBRUARY 1969 FROM WASHINGTON. THE EMPLOYEE STATES THAT THE USE OF TEMPORARY QUARTERS WAS NOT AUTHORIZED BECAUSE IT WAS ANTICIPATED THAT HE WOULD BE TOURING FIELD OFFICES WITHIN THE ST. LOUIS REGIONAL OFFICE AND BECAUSE HIS FAMILY WAS TO BE TRANSFERRED TO ST. CONCERNING THE PERIODS FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED OUR DECISIONS HOLD THAT THE 30-DAY PERIOD MEANS CONSECUTIVE DAYS. UNLESS THE OCCUPANCY IS INTERRUPTED BY REASONS OF OFFICIAL NECESSITY. WE HAVE HELD.

B-167930, NOV. 19, 1969

OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES--TRANSFERS--RELOCATION EXPENSES--TEMPORARY QUARTERS--ABSENCES UPON PERMANENT TRANSFER OF STATION WHERE ORDERS DID NOT PROVIDE FOR TEMPORARY QUARTERS AND NATURE OF ASSIGNMENT AT NEW STATION PERMITTED INTERMITTENT TIME AT NEW HEADQUARTERS ALTHOUGH HE HAS PROFFERED EVIDENCE OF MOTEL RECEIPTS, IN ABSENCE OF ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL FOR TEMPORARY QUARTERS, OR ITEMIZATION OF MEAL EXPENSES, EMPLOYEE MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES THEREFOR.

TO MISS ROSE M. SPERLING:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 15, 1969, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION BY THIS OFFICE AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER OF CHARLES S. RILEY, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE FEDERAL MEDIATION AND CONCILIATION SERVICE, FOR EXPENSES INCURRED WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS.

THE EMPLOYEE WAS TRANSFERRED IN FEBRUARY 1969 FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI. THE FEBRUARY 11, 1969, TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION COVERING TRAVEL INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFER DID NOT AUTHORIZE THE USE OF TEMPORARY QUARTERS.

IN A LETTER TO OUR OFFICE DATED SEPTEMBER 20, 1969, THE EMPLOYEE STATES THAT THE USE OF TEMPORARY QUARTERS WAS NOT AUTHORIZED BECAUSE IT WAS ANTICIPATED THAT HE WOULD BE TOURING FIELD OFFICES WITHIN THE ST. LOUIS REGIONAL OFFICE AND BECAUSE HIS FAMILY WAS TO BE TRANSFERRED TO ST. LOUIS SEVERAL MONTHS LATER.

THE EMPLOYEE FURTHER STATES THAT AFTER TRANSFERRING TO ST. LOUIS THE NATURE OF HIS ASSIGNMENT PERMITTED HIM TO SPEND TIME ON AN INTERMITTENT BASIS AT HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION. HE SUBMITTED AN AMENDED VOUCHER, DATED SEPTEMBER 2, 1969, AND CLAIMED $200 FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS FOR 20 DAYS DURING THE INTERMITTENT RETURNS TO ST. LOUIS BETWEEN FEBRUARY 17 AND APRIL 17, 1969. HE SUPPORTS HIS EXPENDITURES FOR TEMPORARY QUARTERS WITH MOTEL RECEIPTS BUT HIS SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE FOR MEALS HAS NOT BEEN ITEMIZED AS REQUIRED BY THE REGULATIONS.

CONCERNING THE PERIODS FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED OUR DECISIONS HOLD THAT THE 30-DAY PERIOD MEANS CONSECUTIVE DAYS, UNLESS THE OCCUPANCY IS INTERRUPTED BY REASONS OF OFFICIAL NECESSITY, SUCH AS TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENTS. 47 COMP. GEN. 322 (1967).

WE HAVE HELD, HOWEVER, THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL OF THE USE OF TEMPORARY QUARTERS AN EMPLOYEE MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FOR USE OF SUCH QUARTERS. SEE B-162741, MARCH 21, 1968.

THEREFORE, IN THE ABSENCE OF SUCH AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL AND AN ITEMIZATION OF EXPENSES FOR MEALS THE VOUCHER, RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.