B-169500, JUL. 20, 1970

B-169500: Jul 20, 1970

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WHO IS A RETIRED SERVICEMAN AND WHOSE WIFE ACCOMPANIED HIM ON TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVEL AND OCCUPIED GOVT. QUARTERS FOR WHICH HE PAID NOMINAL CHARGE IS NOT REQUIRED TO HAVE HIS PER DIEM FURTHER REDUCED BECAUSE OF OCCUPANCY OF GOVT. FOR SIX NIGHTS FOR WHICH THEY EACH WERE CHARGED A NOMINAL FEE OF $2 PER NIGHT. YOU SAY THAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES ARE SIMILAR TO THOSE CONSIDERED IN DECISION B-140061 OF AUGUST 19. ELLIOTT HAS ASKED WHETHER HIS CASE SHOULD BE DISTINGUISHED SINCE HE IS A RETIRED MILITARY OFFICER AND THE PRIVILEGE OF OCCUPYING GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WOULD BE EXTENDED TO HIS WIFE BY REASON OF HIS RETIRED MILITARY STATUS. YOU SAY IT APPEARS THAT WIVES OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES ARE PERMITTED TO OCCUPY GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WHEN THEY ACCOMPANY THEIR HUSBANDS ON OFFICIAL TRAVEL.

B-169500, JUL. 20, 1970

CIVIL PAY -- PER DIEM -- TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVEL WITH WIFE DECISION TO CERTIFYING OFFICER, ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION AUTHORIZING CERTIFICATION OF A VOUCHER FOR PER DIEM ON A PARTIAL BASIS TO AN EMPLOYEE, FORMER RETIRED SERVICEMAN, WHO PERFORMED TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVEL FROM ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO TO ORLANDO, FLORIDA AND WHOSE WIFE SHARED GOVT. QUARTERS WITH HIM AT PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, DURING PERIOD OF TEMPORARY DUTY. EMPLOYEE, WHO IS A RETIRED SERVICEMAN AND WHOSE WIFE ACCOMPANIED HIM ON TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVEL AND OCCUPIED GOVT. QUARTERS FOR WHICH HE PAID NOMINAL CHARGE IS NOT REQUIRED TO HAVE HIS PER DIEM FURTHER REDUCED BECAUSE OF OCCUPANCY OF GOVT. QUARTERS BY WIFE.

TO MR. P. T. MARQUESS:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 20, 1970, ENCLOSING A VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $441.24 IN FAVOR OF MR. RICHARD G. ELLIOTT, ON ACCOUNT OF TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVEL, REQUESTS A DECISION AS TO THE PER DIEM PAYABLE IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES SET FORTH IN YOUR LETTER.

MR. ELLIOTT, A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE, TRAVELED FROM ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, TO ORLANDO, FLORIDA, AND RETURN ON ORDERED TEMPORARY DUTY DURING THE PERIOD NOVEMBER 8 TO 20, 1969. MR. ELLIOTT'S WIFE ACCOMPANIED HIM DURING THE TRAVEL AND THEY BOTH OCCUPIED GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AT PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, FLORIDA, FOR SIX NIGHTS FOR WHICH THEY EACH WERE CHARGED A NOMINAL FEE OF $2 PER NIGHT.

YOU SAY THAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES ARE SIMILAR TO THOSE CONSIDERED IN DECISION B-140061 OF AUGUST 19, 1959 (39 COMP. GEN. 117). HOWEVER, MR. ELLIOTT HAS ASKED WHETHER HIS CASE SHOULD BE DISTINGUISHED SINCE HE IS A RETIRED MILITARY OFFICER AND THE PRIVILEGE OF OCCUPYING GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WOULD BE EXTENDED TO HIS WIFE BY REASON OF HIS RETIRED MILITARY STATUS. ALSO, YOU SAY IT APPEARS THAT WIVES OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES ARE PERMITTED TO OCCUPY GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WHEN THEY ACCOMPANY THEIR HUSBANDS ON OFFICIAL TRAVEL, BUT YOU HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE PRIVILEGES SO EXTENDED ARE COEXTENSIVE WITH THOSE GRANTED TO A SPOUSE OF A RETIRED MILITARY MEMBER.

OUR DECISION OF AUGUST 19, 1959, 39 COMP. GEN. 117, INVOLVED AN EMPLOYEE ON TEMPORARY DUTY OCCUPYING FAMILY TYPE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS OVERSEAS WITHOUT CHARGE FOR A LENGTHY PERIOD. THE PRIMARY REASON FOR HOLDING THAT AN ADDITIONAL SUM SHOULD BE DEDUCTED FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S PER DIEM WAS TO ASSURE THAT THE GOVERNMENT OBTAINED PROPER REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE REASONABLE VALUE OF THE QUARTERS. WE DO NOT REGARD THAT DECISION AS APPLICABLE TO A SITUATION SUCH AS HERE WHERE THE EMPLOYEE HAS BEEN CHARGED FOR THE MILITARY QUARTERS OCCUPIED BY HIMSELF AS WELL AS HIS WIFE. MOREOVER, WE NOTE THAT UNDER THE COMMISSIONS' REGULATIONS AN EMPLOYEE'S PER DIEM IS REDUCED IF HE OCCUPIES GOVERNMENT QUARTERS (ONE-HALF UNDER CURRENT REGULATION). HOWEVER, ANY CHARGE MADE FOR HIS USE OF SUCH QUARTERS IS ADDED TO THE REDUCED PER DIEM.

ACCORDINGLY, WE SEE NO BASIS FOR ANY FURTHER REDUCTION IN THE EMPLOYEE'S PER DIEM BECAUSE OF OCCUPANCY OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS BY HIS WIFE. THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.