B-168595, FEB. 10, 1970

B-168595: Feb 10, 1970

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AN OFFICER'S CLAIM FOR TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE FOR PERIOD AFTER HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE SURRENDERED FOR SHIPMENT TO NEW STATION WHICH CLAIM IS NOT ACCOMPAINED BY AN AUTHORIZATION THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE NOT AVAILABLE MAY NOT BE ALLOWED. CONCURRENT TRAVEL FOR DEPENDENTS WAS AUTHORIZED. THAT THE POST HOUSING OFFICE HAD NO RECORD OR INFORMATION WHICH WOULD INDICATE WHETHER YOU WERE REQUIRED TO OCCUPY TEMPORARY LODGINGS OR WHETHER GOVERNMENT MESS WAS AVAILABLE. ALSO RECEIVED FROM YOU WAS HC FORM 20. YOUR CLAIM WAS THEN FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE. STATES THAT TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCES ARE AUTHORIZED FOR THE PURPOSE OF PARTIALLY REIMBURSING A MEMBER FOR MORE THAN NORMAL PUBLIC RESTAURANTS IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING DEPARTURE ON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM A PERMANENT DUTY STATION OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES AND AFTER TERMINATION OF ASSIGNMENT TO GOVERNMENT QUARTERS OR AFTER SURRENDER OF OTHER PERMANENT LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS.

B-168595, FEB. 10, 1970

MILITARY--TEMPORARY LODGING DECISION SUSTAINING SETTLEMENT DISALLOWING CLAIM OF RETIRED MAJOR OF ARMY OF UNITED STATES FOR TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE INCIDENT TO PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. AN OFFICER'S CLAIM FOR TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE FOR PERIOD AFTER HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE SURRENDERED FOR SHIPMENT TO NEW STATION WHICH CLAIM IS NOT ACCOMPAINED BY AN AUTHORIZATION THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE NOT AVAILABLE MAY NOT BE ALLOWED.

TO WAYNE L. CRAVEN, MAJOR:

YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 21, 1969, IN EFFECT REQUESTS REVIEW OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 12, 1969, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE FOR THE PERIOD FROM OCTOBER 17 TO 19, 1967, INCIDENT TO YOUR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM HEADQUARTERS, U.S. STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS COMMAND PACIFIC, APO SAN FRANCISCO 96557, TO OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, FOR RETIREMENT PROCESSING.

PARAGRAPH 1, SPECIAL ORDERS 92, DATED AUGUST 4, 1967, DIRECTED YOU TO REPORT, UPON RECEIPT OF ORDERS, TO SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, HAWAII, FOR TRANSPORTATION TO THE U.S. ARMY STATION, OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA. CONCURRENT TRAVEL FOR DEPENDENTS WAS AUTHORIZED.

THE DEPUTY FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING OFFICER, HEADQUARTERS, U.S. ARMY, HAWAII, ON SEPTEMBER 16, 1968, ADVISED THE FINANCE CENTER, U.S. ARMY, THAT YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS HAD BEEN SURRENDERED TO THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER FOR SHIPMENT ON OCTOBER 17, 1967, BUT THAT THE POST HOUSING OFFICE HAD NO RECORD OR INFORMATION WHICH WOULD INDICATE WHETHER YOU WERE REQUIRED TO OCCUPY TEMPORARY LODGINGS OR WHETHER GOVERNMENT MESS WAS AVAILABLE, SINCE YOU DID NOT CLEAR THROUGH THAT OFFICE. AFTER RECEIPT OF THIS INFORMATION THE FINANCE CENTER DENIED YOUR CLAIM.

THEREAFTER, THE FINANCE CENTER RECEIVED A RECEIPTED BILL FOR HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS FOR OCTOBER 17 TO 19, 1967, IN THE SUM OF $62.40. ALSO RECEIVED FROM YOU WAS HC FORM 20, "STATEMENT TO SUBSTANTIATE PAYMENT OF TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE," DATED APRIL 15, 1969, AND SIGNED BY H. HASIS, MANAGER, FHD (FAMILY HOUSING DIVISION). YOUR CLAIM WAS THEN FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE.

PARAGRAPH M4303-1.2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, CHANGE 171, APRIL 1, 1967 (PARAGRAPH M4303-1.3 OF THE CURRENT REGULATIONS), STATES THAT TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCES ARE AUTHORIZED FOR THE PURPOSE OF PARTIALLY REIMBURSING A MEMBER FOR MORE THAN NORMAL PUBLIC RESTAURANTS IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING DEPARTURE ON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM A PERMANENT DUTY STATION OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES AND AFTER TERMINATION OF ASSIGNMENT TO GOVERNMENT QUARTERS OR AFTER SURRENDER OF OTHER PERMANENT LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS.

PARAGRAPH M4303-2B PROVIDES THAT THE OVERSEAS COMMANDER WILL DETERMINE WHETHER IT IS NECESSARY FOR MEMBERS AND/OR DEPENDENTS TO OCCUPY HOTEL OR HOTEL-LIKE ACCOMMODATIONS IMMEDIATELY BEFORE THEY LEAVE AN ASSIGNED OVERSEAS STATION. ALSO, IT PROVIDES THAT WHEN THE OVERSEAS COMMANDER DETERMINES THAT OCCUPANCY OF TEMPORARY LODGING IS NECESSARY, HE WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ISSUING A STATEMENT OF NON AVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS.

SUPPLEMENTING THOSE PROVISIONS, ARMY REGULATION 37-106-1, DATED APRIL 5,1967 (SECTION I, PAR. 4) EFFECTIVE DURING THE PERIOD IN QUESTION, STATES THAT THE OVERSEAS COMMANDER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR DETERMINING WHETHER IT IS NECESSARY FOR MEMBERS AND/OR DEPENDENTS TO OCCUPY TEMPORARY LODGINGS IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO DEPARTURE FROM THE OVERSEA DUTY STATION. ALSO, HE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ADMINISTERING THE REQUIREMENTS SET FORTH IN THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, TO INCLUDE SECURING CLOSE COORDINATION BETWEEN THE MEMBER, HOUSING OFFICER AND TRANSPORTATION OFFICER TO INSURE THAT, UNDER NORMAL CONDITIONS, TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCES BEGIN NO EARLIER THAN THE DAY HOUSEHOLD GOODS ARE PICKED UP BY THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER AND THAT THE NEED FOR OCCUPANCY OF TEMPORARY LODGING WILL BE ELIMINATED WHEREVER POSSIBLE BY REQUIRING PERSONNEL TO OCCUPY SUITABLE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS, TRANSIT OR OTHERWISE.

THE CITED REGULATIONS CONTEMPLATE AN AUTHORIZATION FOR THE PAYMENT OF TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE ONLY IN CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE NECESSITY FOR OCCUPANCY OF HOTEL OR HOTEL-LIKE ACCOMMODATIONS ARISES BECAUSE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS (TRANSIT OR OTHERWISE) ARE NOT AVAILABLE TO MEET THE MEMBER'S NEED FOR TEMPORARY LODGINGS. THEY REQUIRE THE ISSUANCE BY THE OVERSEAS COMMANDER OF A STATEMENT OF NON-AVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS SUITABLE FOR SUCH PURPOSE AS EVIDENCE OF THAT FACT. IN VIEW OF THAT REQUIREMENT, WE MAY NOT AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF THE ALLOWANCE ON A CLAIM NOT SUPPORTED BY SUCH STATEMENT OF NON AVAILABILITY OR OTHER EVIDENCE TO SHOW THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS SUITABLE FOR THE CLAIMANT'S LODGING REQUIREMENTS WERE NOT IN FACT AVAILABLE HAD APPLICATION BEEN MADE FOR THEIR USE.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED IN THE SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 12, 1969, IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE OF NON-AVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS FOR YOUR USE DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED.

THE FORM YOU HAVE SUBMITTED (HC FORM 20), INDICATES THAT YOUR NON GOVERNMENT PERMANENT HOUSING WAS VACATED ON OCTOBER 17, 1967, AND THAT OCCUPANCY OF TEMPORARY LODGINGS WAS NECESSARY FROM THAT DATE BECAUSE YOUR REPORTING DATE FOR TRANSPORTATION WAS OCTOBER 20, 1969. IT CONTAINS NO STATEMENT, HOWEVER, THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE NOT AVAILABLE THAT COULD HAVE FILLED THAT NEED. CONSEQUENTLY, WE CANNOT ACCEPT IT AS EVIDENCE THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE NOT AVAILABLE FOR YOUR USE DURING THE PERIOD COVERED BY YOUR CLAIM.

ON THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT RECORD, AND IN THE ABSENCE OF THE STATEMENT OF NON-AVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS REQUIRED BY THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS, IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT NO AUTHORITY EXISTS FOR THE PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM. ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 12, 1969, IS SUSTAINED.