B-170597, NOV. 23, 1970

B-170597: Nov 23, 1970

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ALSO WE HAVE NOTED YOUR STATEMENT DATED OCTOBER 20. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE NOT LOADED FROM THE TULSA RESIDENCE UNTIL AUGUST 29. ARE AS FOLLOWS: "A. IF DATE OF VACANCY OF OLD RESIDENCE IS TO BE ESTABLISHED AS AUGUST 13. "B. IF DETERMINATION IS MADE THAT EMPLOYEE VACATED OLD RESIDENCE ON AUGUST 29. 1969 IS AUTHORIZED AS CLAIMED OR WHETHER HE ALONE IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN HIS BEHALF.". THE EMPLOYEE STATES THAT HE UTILIZED THE PREMISES IN TULSA FOR LODGING BECAUSE HIS RENT WAS PAID THROUGH AUGUST 31. APPARENTLY HE WAS ABLE TO DO THIS ALTHOUGH HIS EFFECTS HAD PREVIOUSLY BEEN PACKED FOR SHIPMENT BY MOTOR CARRIER. WOULD NOT HAVE REOCCUPIED IT EXCEPT FOR THE TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT AND THE AVAILABILITY OF THAT RESIDENCE IN PREFERENCE OVER THE HOTEL-TYPE LODGINGS BY HIMSELF ALONE.

B-170597, NOV. 23, 1970

TRANSFERS - TEMPORARY QUARTERS - RETURN TO VACATED HOME ALLOWING CERTIFICATION OF VOUCHER FOR TEMPORARY QUARTERS ALLOWANCE FOR AN EMPLOYEE TRANSFERRED FROM TULSA, OKLA., TO OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA., WHEN HE RETURNED TO VACATED HOME AFTER HAVING "PERMANENTLY VACATED". EMPLOYEE WHO, AFTER TRANSFER TO NEW STATION AND VACATION OF HOME PERFORMED A PERIOD OF TEMPORARY DUTY AT HIS OLD STATION AND LIVED AT HIS FORMER RESIDENCE WITH HIS FAMILY MAY BE REGARDED AS HAVING VACATED HIS OLD RESIDENCE AT TIME OF FIRST DEPARTURE FOR OKLAHOMA CITY, AND MAY BE PAID FOR TEMPORARY QUARTERS THERE, ESPECIALLY SINCE GOVERNMENT ACCURED SAVINGS BY REASON OF HIS OCCUPYING OLD HOME IN PERFERENCE TO HIS FAMILY'S REMAINING IN LODGING AT THE NEW STATION AND BY AVERTING A POSSIBLE CLAIM FOR LEASE TERMINATION OR STORAGE.

TO MR. LEWELL V. AUTREY:

ON AUGUST 12, 1970, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION CONCERNING CERTIFICATION OF A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. KELLEY D. MCCULLOUGH IN THE AMOUNT OF $251.82. YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER RELATES TO THE SUM OF $238.50 WHICH REPRESENTS TEMPORARY QUARTERS SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE EMPLOYEE FOR HIMSELF AND FAMILY DURING THE PERIOD OF AUGUST 13 TO 22, 1969, AT OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA, INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFER OF HIS OFFICIAL STATION FROM TULSA, OKLAHOMA, UNDER TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. 00-34 DATED JULY 9, 1969. ALSO WE HAVE NOTED YOUR STATEMENT DATED OCTOBER 20, 1970, AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE DISALLOWANCE STATEMENT DATED FEBRUARY 4, 1970.

MR. MCCULLOUGH ASSERTS THAT HE AND HIS FAMILY "PERMANENTLY VACATED" THEIR TULSA RESIDENCE ON AUGUST 13, 1969. HOWEVER, FOR PURPOSES OF PERFORMING A PERIOD OF TEMPORARY DUTY AT TULSA, FROM AUGUST 22 TO 29, 1969, HE TRAVELED THERETO BY GOVERNMENT VEHICLE AND HIS FAMILY ALSO WENT BACK TO TULSA, APPARENTLY BY PERSONAL AUTOMOBILE. WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE WHOLE FAMILY REOCCUPIED THE FORMER RESIDENCE IN TULSA, AND THAT THE EMPLOYEE HAS NOT CLAIMED PER DIEM OR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FOR THIS PERIOD OF TEMPORARY DUTY.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE NOT LOADED FROM THE TULSA RESIDENCE UNTIL AUGUST 29, 1969, FOR DELIVERY INTO THE NEW RESIDENCE AT OKLAHOMA CITY. YOUR QUESTIONS IN LIGHT OF THE PROVISIONS IN SECTIONS 2.5B(3) AND (5) OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED JUNE 26, 1969, ARE AS FOLLOWS:

"A. IF DATE OF VACANCY OF OLD RESIDENCE IS TO BE ESTABLISHED AS AUGUST 13, 1969 OR AUGUST 29, 1969.

"B. IF DETERMINATION IS MADE THAT EMPLOYEE VACATED OLD RESIDENCE ON AUGUST 29, 1969, WHETHER REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FOR THE PERIOD AUGUST 13-22, 1969 IS AUTHORIZED AS CLAIMED OR WHETHER HE ALONE IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN HIS BEHALF."

THE PROVISIONS IN SECTION 2.5B(1) RECOGNIZE THAT AN EMPLOYEE'S TEMPORARY QUARTERS ALLOWANCE MAY BE INTERRUPTED BY CIRCUMSTANCES ATTRIBUTABLE TO OFFICIAL NECESSITY, AS FOR EXAMPLE, AN INTERVENING TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT. THE EMPLOYEE STATES THAT HE UTILIZED THE PREMISES IN TULSA FOR LODGING BECAUSE HIS RENT WAS PAID THROUGH AUGUST 31, 1969. APPARENTLY HE WAS ABLE TO DO THIS ALTHOUGH HIS EFFECTS HAD PREVIOUSLY BEEN PACKED FOR SHIPMENT BY MOTOR CARRIER.

WE BELIEVE THE RECORD SUPPORTS THE VIEW THAT MR. MCCULLOUGH CLEARLY INTENDED TO VACATE THE RESIDENCE IN TULSA ON AUGUST 13, 1969, AND WOULD NOT HAVE REOCCUPIED IT EXCEPT FOR THE TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT AND THE AVAILABILITY OF THAT RESIDENCE IN PREFERENCE OVER THE HOTEL-TYPE LODGINGS BY HIMSELF ALONE.

WE NOTE THAT SECTION 2.5B(6) PROVIDES IN PART THAT THE PERIOD OF ELIGIBILITY FOR TEMPORARY QUARTERS EXPENSE WILL TERMINATE WHEN THE EMPLOYEE OR ANY MEMBER OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY OCCUPIES PERMANENT-TYPE RESIDENCE QUARTERS. HOWEVER, UNDER SECTION 2.5B(7), IF HIS FAMILY HAD REMAINED IN LODGINGS AT OKLAHOMA CITY, FURTHER EXPENSES OF TEMPORARY QUARTERS WOULD HAVE OCCURRED WHILE WAITING FOR THE ARRIVAL OF THE SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW RESIDENCE. ALSO, MR. MCCULLOUGH IN ADDITION TO PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FOR THE TEMPORARY DUTY MIGHT HAVE HAD A CLAIM FOR LEASE TERMINATION OR STORAGE OF EFFECTS DURING THE PERIOD AUGUST 13-31, 1969.

UPON A REVIEW OF THE CONTEXT OF THE CITED PROVISIONS IN CIRCULAR NO. A-56 AND GIVING CONSIDERATION TO THE PROBABLE SAVINGS TO THE GOVERNMENT IN LIGHT OF THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES MENTIONED ABOVE, OUR VIEW OF THIS CASE IS THAT MR. MCCULLOUGH'S DEPARTURE WITH HIS FAMILY FROM THE TULSA RESIDENCE ON AUGUST 13, 1969, COMPLIED WITH THE SPIRIT AND INTENT OF SUCH CITED PROVISIONS OF THE CIRCULAR. HENCE, THE TEMPORARY QUARTERS EXPENSES CLAIMED FROM AUGUST 13 TO 22, 1969, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF THEY ARE OTHERWISE CORRECT.

THE VOUCHER WITH RELATED PAPERS IS RETURNED HEREWITH.