B-169893, JUL. 29, 1970

B-169893: Jul 29, 1970

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QUARTERS IS ENTITLED TO EXPENSES INCURRED IN PACKING AND MOVING TO STORAGE ON BASIS THAT MOVE WAS FOR CONVENIENCE OF GOVT. GEORGE'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS WHILE HE WAS ON A TRAINING ASSIGNMENT FOR THE 3-MONTH PERIOD SEPTEMBER 8 TO DECEMBER 7. IS BEING HELD BY YOU AND THAT ADDITIONAL VOUCHERS MAY BE SUBMITTED BY MR. THE TRAINING IS ACCOMPLISHED AT VARIOUS TRAINING STATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES AND COVERS A PERIOD OF APPROXIMATELY 10 MONTHS. THE FIRM POLICY OF THE AGENCY IS TO TRANSFER AN EMPLOYEE WHO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETES THE TRAINING ALTHOUGH HIS SPECIFIC ASSIGNMENT TO A NEW DUTY STATION IS NOT MADE UNTIL AFTER SUCH SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION. HE WAS AT THE CLIFTON. WHILE AT THAT STATION HE WAS REQUIRED TO OCCUPY A GOVERNMENT-OWNED RESIDENCE.

B-169893, JUL. 29, 1970

CIVIL PAY -- REIMBURSEMENT -- HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS MOVED TO STORAGE FOR CONVENIENCE OF GOVERNMENT DECISION TO CERTIFYING OFFICER, DEPT. OF AGRICULTURE AUTHORIZING CERTIFICATION OF VOUCHER FOR PARTIAL PAYMENT TO AN EMPLOYEE FOR PACKING AND MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM GOVT. QUARTERS TO STORAGE, BUT DENYING PAYMENT FOR CONTINUOUS STORAGE. EMPLOYEE WHO, INCIDENT TO ASSIGNMENT TO VARIOUS TRAINING STATIONS MOVES HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO STORAGE BECAUSE HE HAS TO VACATE GOVT. QUARTERS IS ENTITLED TO EXPENSES INCURRED IN PACKING AND MOVING TO STORAGE ON BASIS THAT MOVE WAS FOR CONVENIENCE OF GOVT. HOWEVER, SINCE EMPLOYEE RECEIVES PER DIEM WHILE IN TRAINING HE MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED FOR COSTS OF CONTINUOUS STORAGE OF EFFECTS DURING THE TRAINING PERIOD WHEN HE SAVED COST OF RENTAL OF QUARTERS.

TO MR. A. D. COX:

ON MAY 18, 1970, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOUR OFFICE MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER FOR $126.60 IN FAVOR OF MR. ALAN E. GEORGE, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE. THIS VOUCHER COVERS EXPENSES OF STORAGE OF MR. GEORGE'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS WHILE HE WAS ON A TRAINING ASSIGNMENT FOR THE 3-MONTH PERIOD SEPTEMBER 8 TO DECEMBER 7, 1969. YOU SAY A SECOND VOUCHER COVERING THE CONTINUED STORAGE OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM DECEMBER 8, 1969, TO FEBRUARY 7, 1970, IS BEING HELD BY YOU AND THAT ADDITIONAL VOUCHERS MAY BE SUBMITTED BY MR. GEORGE FOR THE REMAINING TIME OF HIS TRAINING ASSIGNMENT.

YOU INFORM US THAT THE ANIMAL HEALTH DIVISION OF THE AGENCY SELECTS FOR TRAINING UNDER THE VETERINARY ADMINISTRATOR DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM (VADP) EMPLOYEES WITH POTENTIAL FOR POSITIONS OF GREATER RESPONSIBILITY. THE TRAINING IS ACCOMPLISHED AT VARIOUS TRAINING STATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES AND COVERS A PERIOD OF APPROXIMATELY 10 MONTHS. THE FIRM POLICY OF THE AGENCY IS TO TRANSFER AN EMPLOYEE WHO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETES THE TRAINING ALTHOUGH HIS SPECIFIC ASSIGNMENT TO A NEW DUTY STATION IS NOT MADE UNTIL AFTER SUCH SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION.

PRIOR TO MR. GEORGE'S ASSIGNMENT TO THE VADP TRAINING PROGRAM, HE WAS AT THE CLIFTON, NEW JERSEY, ANIMAL QUARANTINE STATION. WHILE AT THAT STATION HE WAS REQUIRED TO OCCUPY A GOVERNMENT-OWNED RESIDENCE. UPON ENTERING TRAINING, IT WAS NECESSARY THAT HE VACATE THE GOVERNMENT-OWNED RESIDENCE IN ORDER THAT IT COULD BE REMODELED AND MADE AVAILABLE FOR OCCUPANCY BY ANOTHER EMPLOYEE AS HIS REPLACEMENT.

THEREFORE, A PURCHASE ORDER WAS ISSUED BY THE AGENCY TO COVER THE COST OF HAVING 7,500 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS OF MR. GEORGE PICKED UP AND PLACED IN STORAGE. THE COPY OF THE MOVING AND STORAGE BILL DATED NOVEMBER 26, 1969, SHOWS THAT ACTUAL STORAGE BEGAN ON AUGUST 8, 1969, AT THE RATE OF $42.20 PER MONTH.

OUR DECISION B-168224 DATED NOVEMBER 19, 1969, TO WHICH YOU REFER, HELD THAT A VADP TRAINEE WHO SELLS HIS RESIDENCE AT THE BEGINNING OF TRAINING, IN ANTICIPATION OF TRANSFER TO A NEW DUTY STATION, MAY BE REIMBURSED SUCH REAL ESTATE EXPENSES UPON TRANSFER TO HIS NEW STATION FOLLOWING COMPLETION OF HIS TRAINING. HOWEVER, THERE IS HERE INVOLVED THE QUESTION OF REIMBURSEMENT FOR COSTS OF STORAGE WHICH IS FOR CONSIDERATION UNDER THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES' TRAINING PROVISIONS OF 5 U.S.C. 4101-4118.

AMONG THE EXPENSES OF TRAINING WHICH AN AGENCY MAY PAY OR REIMBURSE TO AN EMPLOYEE AS SPECIFIED IN 5 U.S.C. 4109 ARE THE NECESSARY COSTS OF TRAVEL AND PER DIEM INSTEAD OF SUBSISTENCE FOR THE PERIOD OF TRAINING, OR, IN LIEU THEREOF, THE COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION OF IMMEDIATE FAMILY, HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS, PACKING, CRATING, TEMPORARY STORAGE, DRAYING, AND UNPACKING WHEN THE ESTIMATED COSTS THEREOF ARE LESS THAN THE ESTIMATED AGGREGATE PER DIEM PAYMENTS FOR SUCH PERIOD OF TRAINING. THE STATUTORY PROVISIONS APPEAR TO CONTEMPLATE THAT WHEN A PER DIEM IS PAID, SUCH AS WE ASSUME WAS DONE IN THIS CASE, THE SHIPMENT, STORAGE OR MAINTENANCE OF THE HOUSEHOLD IS TO BE AT THE EXPENSE OF THE EMPLOYEE. IN THAT CONNECTION WE NOTE THAT THE EMPLOYEE PRESUMABLY HAS BEEN SAVED THE COST OF RENTAL OF QUARTERS DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED. ACCORDINGLY, OUR VIEW IS THAT REIMBURSEMENT OF STORAGE CHARGES ARE NOT AUTHORIZED.

AS TO THE PACKING AND MOVING OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO STORAGE, WE HAVE HELD THAT WHERE FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT AN EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS ARE MOVED INTO OR OUT OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS, THE EXPENSES OF SUCH A MOVE ARE PROPERLY FOR CONSIDERATION AS PART OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE COST OF OPERATING THE INSTALLATION. B 165713 DATED JANUARY 27, 1969, B-163088 DATED FEBRUARY 28, 1968, AND B 138678 DATED APRIL 22, 1959. WE BELIEVE THE RATIONALE OF THOSE DECISIONS IS APPLICABLE HERE. THEREFORE, THE PAYMENTS HERETOFORE MADE FOR PACKING AND MOVING OF THE EFFECTS ARE REGARDED AS PROPER.

THE VOUCHER SUBMITTED BY YOU, WHICH IS RETURNED, AND THE VOUCHER HELD BY YOU MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.