B-169065, MAR. 17, 1970

B-169065: Mar 17, 1970

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DELAY WHEN HOUSE PURCHASE AT NEW DUTY STATION WAS NULLIFIED. AFTER SALE OF STOCKTON RESIDENCE DEPENDENTS WERE MOVED TO PORTLAND. UNTIL PERMANENT WASHINGTON QUARTERS WERE SECURED. WHILE LOCATION OF TEMPORARY QUARTERS IS NOT RESTRICTED. CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL MILEAGE AND PER DIEM IS DISALLOWED SINCE SECS. 2.2 (A) AND (B) AND 2.3A (2). CLEARLY LIMIT TRAVEL EXPENSES TO USUALLY TRAVELLED ROUTE BETWEEN OLD AND NEW STATIONS AT SPECIFIED DISTANCE PER DAY AND THERE IS NO PROVISION FOR PAYING TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES TO TEMPORARY QUARTERS LOCATION. DAVIS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 5. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT ORIGINALLY YOU WERE TRANSFERRED EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 5. YOU AND YOUR WIFE WERE AUTHORIZED ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL TO SEEK PERMANENT RESIDENCE QUARTERS AT YOUR NEW DUTY STATION.

B-169065, MAR. 17, 1970

TRANSPORTATION--DEPENDENTS--TRANSFERS--DELAY WHEN HOUSE PURCHASE AT NEW DUTY STATION WAS NULLIFIED, AFTER HOUSE HUNTING TRIP, UPON EMPLOYEE'S DELAYED TRANSFER FROM STOCKTON, CALIF; TO WASHINGTON, D.C; AND AFTER SALE OF STOCKTON RESIDENCE DEPENDENTS WERE MOVED TO PORTLAND, ORE; UNTIL PERMANENT WASHINGTON QUARTERS WERE SECURED, LATER BEING TRANSPORTED TO WASHINGTON BY CIRCUITOUS ROUTE BECAUSE OF DEPENDENTS' PHYSICAL CONDITION, WHILE LOCATION OF TEMPORARY QUARTERS IS NOT RESTRICTED, CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL MILEAGE AND PER DIEM IS DISALLOWED SINCE SECS. 2.2 (A) AND (B) AND 2.3A (2), BOB CIR. NO. A 56, CLEARLY LIMIT TRAVEL EXPENSES TO USUALLY TRAVELLED ROUTE BETWEEN OLD AND NEW STATIONS AT SPECIFIED DISTANCE PER DAY AND THERE IS NO PROVISION FOR PAYING TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES TO TEMPORARY QUARTERS LOCATION.

TO MR. HAROLD J. DAVIS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 5, 1970, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF OUR DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL TRAVEL ALLOWANCES OF $300.48 INCIDENT TO YOUR TRANSFER FROM STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA, TO WASHINGTON, D.C; AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT ORIGINALLY YOU WERE TRANSFERRED EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 5, 1967. BY TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. PMDS-68-64, AUGUST 16, 1967, YOU AND YOUR WIFE WERE AUTHORIZED ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL TO SEEK PERMANENT RESIDENCE QUARTERS AT YOUR NEW DUTY STATION. AS A RESULT OF YOUR HOUSE HUNTING TRIP YOU PURCHASED A HOUSE AT YOUR NEW DUTY STATION CONTINGENT UPON YOUR TRANSFER. SHORTLY BEFORE YOUR DEPARTURE FOR YOUR NEW DUTY STATION YOU WERE NOTIFIED YOUR TRANSFER WOULD BE DELAYED BECAUSE OF ECONOMY MEASURES AND YOUR HOUSE PURCHASE WAS NULLIFIED. SUBSEQUENTLY YOU WERE NOTIFIED YOUR TRANSFER WOULD BE EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 11, 1968. AFTER THE SALE OF YOUR HOUSE IN STOCKTON, YOU WERE UNABLE TO LOCATE SUITABLE TEMPORARY QUARTERS IN STOCKTON FOR YOUR WIFE AND CHILDREN. SINCE YOU WERE RELUCTANT TO BRING THEM TO WASHINGTON UNTIL YOU HAD SECURED PERMANENT QUARTERS, YOU DECIDED TO MOVE THEM TO PORTLAND, OREGON, WHERE YOUR WIFE COULD OBTAIN HELP FROM HER FAMILY IF SHE NEEDED ANY.

DURING THE STAY IN PORTLAND YOUR WIFE WAS HOSPITALIZED FOR SURGERY. SHORTLY THEREAFTER YOU TRANSPORTED YOUR FAMILY BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE TO WASHINGTON. DUE TO YOUR WIFE'S PHYSICAL CONDITION AND THAT OF ONE OF YOUR CHILDREN, YOU TRAVELED BY A CIRCUITOUS ROUTE AND STOPPED MORE OFTEN THAN WOULD HAVE BEEN OTHERWISE NECESSARY. THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE DISALLOWED 664 MILES OF YOUR FAMILY'S TRAVEL AT 12 CENTS PER MILE, $79.68, AND 2 DAYS PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE AT $36 PER DAY, $72. YOU SUBSEQUENTLY RECLAIMED THESE AMOUNTS AND REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR FAMILY FROM STOCKTON TO PORTLAND IN THE AMOUNT OF $148.80 (640 MILES AT 12 CENTS PER MILE AND 2 DAYS PER DIEM AT $36 PER DAY). OUR CLAIMS DIVISION DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM. YOU REQUEST RECONSIDERATION OF THE DISALLOWANCE AND BELIEVE YOU ARE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT BECAUSE THE REGULATIONS DO NOT REQUIRE THE OCCUPANCY OF TEMPORARY QUARTERS AT THE OLD OR NEW STATION AND THE ADDITIONAL EXPENSES WERE INCURRED AS A RESULT OF THE GOVERNMENT'S ACTION IN DELAYING YOUR TRANSFER.

SECTION 2.5 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 PROVIDES FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OF THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS WHEN AN EMPLOYEE IS TRANSFERRED TO A NEW STATION. SECTION 2.5A OF THE CIRCULAR STATES THAT AS A GENERAL POLICY ALLOWANCES FOR TEMPORARY QUARTERS SHOULD BE REDUCED OR AVOIDED IF A ROUND TRIP TO SEEK PERMANENT QUARTERS HAS BEEN MADE OR IF, AS A RESULT OF OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES, THE EMPLOYEE HAS HAD ADEQUATE OPPORTUNITY TO COMPLETE ARRANGEMENTS FOR TEMPORARY QUARTERS. YOU WERE AUTHORIZED A ROUND TRIP TO SEEK PERMANENT QUARTERS BUT, AS A RESULT OF THE DELAY IN YOUR TRANSFER, THE ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE NEW QUARTERS WERE NULLIFIED. ACCORDINGLY, YOUR AGENCY AUTHORIZED THE MAXIMUM TEMPORARY QUARTERS ALLOWANCE.

AS YOU POINT OUT THERE IS NO RESTRICTION AS TO THE LOCATION OF THE TEMPORARY QUARTERS. HOWEVER, WITH RESPECT TO THE ALLOWABLE AMOUNT SECTION 2.5D OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"(1) REIMBURSEMENT SHALL BE ONLY FOR ACTUAL SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED PROVIDED THESE ARE DIRECTLY RELATED TO OCCUPANCY OF TEMPORARY QUARTERS AND ARE REASONABLE BOTH AS TO AMOUNT AND DURATION. ALLOWABLE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCLUDE ONLY CHARGES FOR MEALS, LODGING, FEES AND TIPS INCIDENT TO MEALS AND LODGING, LAUNDRY, CLEANING AND PRESSING OF CLOTHING. * * *" INASMUCH AS THE TEMPORARY QUARTERS ALLOWANCE IS EXPRESSLY LIMITED TO SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES, AND WE ARE NOT AWARE OF ANY PROVISION FOR THE PAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES TO A TEMPORARY QUARTERS LOCATION, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR THE PAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF YOUR FAMILY TO PORTLAND.

SECTION 2.2 OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56, AUTHORIZING TRANSPORTATION AND A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE FOR THE MEMBERS OF THE EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"A. TRANSPORTATION. EXCEPT AS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED IN THESE REGULATIONS, ALLOWABLE TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR THE EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY, INCLUDING TRANSPORTATION, ARE GOVERNED BY THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, AND THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. TRAVEL OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY MAY BEGIN AT THE EMPLOYEE'S OLD OFFICIAL STATION OR SOME OTHER POINT, OR PARTIALLY AT BOTH, OR MAY END AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION OR SOME OTHER PLACE SELECTED BY THE EMPLOYEE, OR PARTIALLY AT BOTH. HOWEVER, THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY WILL NOT EXCEED THE ALLOWABLE COST BY USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BETWEEN THE EMPLOYEE'S OLD AND NEW OFFICIAL STATIONS.

"B. PER DIEM ALLOWANCE WHEN EN ROUTE BETWEEN EMPLOYEE'S OLD AND NEW OFFICIAL STATION. WHEN AN EMPLOYEE IS TRANSFERRED, AN ALLOWANCE SHALL BE PAID FOR PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY WHILE TRAVELING BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW OFFICIAL STATIONS, REGARDLESS OF WHERE THE OLD AND NEW STATIONS ARE LOCATED. IF THE ACTUAL TRAVEL INVOLVES DEPARTURE AND/OR DESTINATION POINTS OTHER THAN THE OLD OR NEW OFFICIAL STATION, THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE WILL NOT EXCEED THE AMOUNT TO WHICH MEMBERS OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED IF THEY HAD TRAVELED BY USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW OFFICIAL STATIONS. * * *" SECTION 2.3A (2) OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"PER DIEM ALLOWANCES WILL BE COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF REASONABLE DRIVING DISTANCE PER DAY, AS ESTABLISHED BY THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED BUT NOT LESS THAN AN AVERAGE OF 300 MILES PER CALENDAR DAY. * * *"

THE ABOVE REGULATIONS CLEARLY LIMIT THE TRAVEL EXPENSES APPLICABLE TO TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE TO THE EXPENSES TO WHICH THE MEMBERS OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED IF THEY HAD TRAVELED BY A USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW STATIONS AT THE SPECIFIED DISTANCE PER DAY. WE ARE UNAWARE OF ANY REGULATION THAT WOULD PERMIT PAYMENT OF AN INCREASED ALLOWANCE BECAUSE OF EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES, SUCH AS THOSE PRESENT IN YOUR CASE. IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE AND SINCE YOU HAVE BEEN REIMBURSED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS FOR TRAVEL BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW DUTY STATIONS, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR ANY ADDITIONAL ALLOWANCE. ACCORDINGLY, THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.