B-172739, JUN 14, 1971

B-172739: Jun 14, 1971

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A WIFE IS AUTHORIZED THE ALLOWANCE OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE (NOT IN EXCESS OF SIX DAYS) FOR HER SEPARATE TRAVEL TO THE HUSBAND'S NEW DUTY STATION (TO WHICH HE HAS ALREADY REPORTED) FOR THE PURPOSE OF LOOKING FOR A HOUSE INCLUDING THE TIME SPENT AT THE NEW DUTY STATION. IS PAYABLE IN FULL FOR THE PERIOD OF TIME MRS. SEAMAN WAS IN ROUTE TO RICHMOND AND AT THE THREE-QUARTERS RATE FOR PERIOD OF HER STAY THERE WHEN SHE WAS LIVING WITH HER HUSBAND. A-56 NO SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES ARE ALLOWED WHICH DUPLICATE PAYMENTS OTHERWISE RECEIVED. SEAMAN WAS NOT ENTITLED TO MORE THAN ONE-HALF OF THE ROOM RENTAL FEE FOR THE PERIOD HIS WIFE WAS LIVING WITH HIM. SEAMAN WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM MISHAWAKA.

B-172739, JUN 14, 1971

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - TRANSFERS - SEPARATE TRAVEL BY SPOUSE AUTHORIZING PAYMENT, WITH ADJUSTMENTS, OF CLAIM OF MR. VERCIAL J. SEAMAN, EMPLOYEE OF THE DSA, FOR EXPENSES OF HIS WIFE IN CONNECTION WITH A HOUSE HUNTING TRIP ARISING OUT OF HIS TRANSFER FROM MISHAWAKA, IND., TO RICHMOND, VIRGINIA. MR. SEAMAN CAME TO RICHMOND AND OCCUPIED TEMPORARY QUARTERS THERE. HIS WIFE, TRAVELING ALONE, JOINED HIM LATER. UNDER SECTION 2.4 OF OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-56, A WIFE IS AUTHORIZED THE ALLOWANCE OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE (NOT IN EXCESS OF SIX DAYS) FOR HER SEPARATE TRAVEL TO THE HUSBAND'S NEW DUTY STATION (TO WHICH HE HAS ALREADY REPORTED) FOR THE PURPOSE OF LOOKING FOR A HOUSE INCLUDING THE TIME SPENT AT THE NEW DUTY STATION. THE PER DIEM, RATE UNDER C 8102-3 OF THE JTR, IS PAYABLE IN FULL FOR THE PERIOD OF TIME MRS. SEAMAN WAS IN ROUTE TO RICHMOND AND AT THE THREE-QUARTERS RATE FOR PERIOD OF HER STAY THERE WHEN SHE WAS LIVING WITH HER HUSBAND. HOWEVER, SINCE UNDER SECTION 2.5B(8) OF OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-56 NO SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES ARE ALLOWED WHICH DUPLICATE PAYMENTS OTHERWISE RECEIVED, MR. SEAMAN WAS NOT ENTITLED TO MORE THAN ONE-HALF OF THE ROOM RENTAL FEE FOR THE PERIOD HIS WIFE WAS LIVING WITH HIM.

TO MR. M. E. SMITH:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 11, 1971, ENCLOSING A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. VERCIAL J. SEAMAN, A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY, COVERING REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES OF HIS WIFE IN CONNECTION WITH A HOUSE HUNTING TRIP ARISING OUT OF HIS TRANSFER TO RICHMOND, VIRGINIA. YOU EXPRESS DOUBT AS TO THE AMOUNT PAYABLE.

BY TRAVEL ORDER DATED SEPTEMBER 3, 1970, MR. SEAMAN WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM MISHAWAKA, INDIANA, TO RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, TO EFFECT A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION AT WHICH HE WAS TO REPORT ON SEPTEMBER 21, 1970. TRAVEL OF HIS DEPENDENTS WAS AUTHORIZED AT A LATER DATE. ADDITION, THE ORDERS AUTHORIZED A ROUND TRIP FOR HIS WIFE FOR THE PURPOSE OF LOCATING A PERMANENT RESIDENCE AT THE NEW PERMANENT STATION, AS WELL AS TEMPORARY QUARTERS SUBSISTENCE NOT IN EXCESS OF 30 DAYS.

MR. SEAMAN ARRIVED IN RICHMOND ON SEPTEMBER 19, 1970, AND CLAIMED THE TEMPORARY QUARTERS FROM SEPTEMBER 20, 1970, THROUGH OCTOBER 19, 1970, FOR WHICH HE WAS ALLOWED THE AMOUNT OF $334.65. ON SEPTEMBER 24, 1970, MRS. SEAMAN TRAVELED TO AND ARRIVED IN RICHMOND FOR THE PURPOSE OF LOCATING A PERMANENT RESIDENCE THERE AS HAD BEEN AUTHORIZED. FROM SEPTEMBER 24, 1970, THROUGH THE DATE OF HER DEPARTURE ON SEPTEMBER 30, 1970, MRS. SEAMAN SHARED THE TEMPORARY QUARTERS OCCUPIED BY HER HUSBAND AT NO ADDITIONAL RENTAL CHARGE. MRS. SEAMAN AND THE TWO CHILDREN DEPARTED FOR RICHMOND ON A PERMANENT BASIS ON OCTOBER 18, 1970.

THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS AS FOLLOWS:

"ARE TDY PAYMENTS AUTHORIZED DURING THE ENTIRE PERIOD OF THE HOUSE HUNTING TRIP OR DURING THE ENROUTE PORTION ONLY. IF TDY IS PAYABLE DURING THE ENROUTE PORTION ONLY, MAY MR. SEAMAN SUBMIT A CLAIM FOR THE ADDITIONAL EXPENSE INCURRED IN OBTAINING MEALS DURING HIS WIFE'S VISIT?"

THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS CONTAINED IN SECTION 2.4 OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED JUNE 26, 1969, CONTEMPLATE THE ALLOWANCE OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE (NOT IN EXCESS OF SIX DAYS) TO AN EMPLOYEE FOR HIS WIFE'S SEPARATE TRAVEL TO THE NEW DUTY STATION (TO WHICH HE HAS ALREADY REPORTED) FOR THE PURPOSE OF LOOKING FOR A HOUSE INCLUDING THE TIME SPENT AT THE NEW DUTY STATION. THE DECISIONS OF OUR OFFICE HAVE SO RECOGNIZED FROM THE INCEPTION OF THE REGULATIONS ON OCTOBER 12, 1966.

WITH REGARD TO THE PER DIEM RATE PAYABLE ON ACCOUNT OF MRS. SEAMAN'S SEPARATE TRAVEL FROM MISHAWAKA, INDIANA, TO RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, TO SEEK PERMANENT RESIDENCE QUARTERS, WE REFER YOU TO VOLUME 2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH PROVIDES AT C 8102-3 AS FOLLOWS:

"3. ROUND TRIP TO SEEK PERMANENT RESIDENCE. WHEN THE SPOUSE OF AN EMPLOYEE PERFORMS TRAVEL, UNACCOMPANIED BY THE EMPLOYEE, PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF PAR. C 4107, PER DIEM WILL BE PAYABLE AT THE SAME RATE AS THAT TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WOULD BE ENTITLED UNDER PAR. C 8101 FOR THE PERIOD OF TIME AUTHORIZED. WHEN BOTH THE EMPLOYEE AND SPOUSE TRAVEL TOGETHER PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF PAR. C 4107, THE PER DIEM FOR THE SPOUSE WILL BE THREE-FOURTHS OF THE PER DIEM RATE TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED UNDER PAR. C 8101. *** " IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE, PER DIEM AT THE RATE AUTHORIZED WHEN THE SPOUSE IS UNACCOMPANIED BY THE EMPLOYEE IS PAYABLE FOR THE PERIOD OF TIME MRS. SEAMAN WAS EN ROUTE TO RICHMOND. THE THREE-QUARTERS RATE IS PAYABLE FOR THE PERIOD OF HER STAY AT RICHMOND DURING WHICH SHE LIVED WITH HER HUSBAND.

IT APPEARS THAT MR. SEAMAN HAS BEEN PAID ACTUAL SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES BASED ON THE FULL RENTAL RATE FOR THE HOTEL ROOM WHICH HE OCCUPIED FOR THE 30-DAY PERIOD. SECTION 2.5B(8) OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 PROVIDES WITH REGARD TO THE ELIGIBILITY OF A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE AND HIS FAMILY FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS AS FOLLOWS:

"(8) IN NO CASE SHALL SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES UNDER THESE PROVISIONS BE ALLOWED WHICH DUPLICATE IN WHOLE OR PART PAYMENTS RECEIVED UNDER OTHER LAWS OR REGULATIONS COVERING SIMILAR COSTS. *** "

INASMUCH AS THE PER DIEM AUTHORIZED FOR MRS. SEAMAN FOR THE TIME DURING WHICH SHE OCCUPIED TEMPORARY QUARTERS TOGETHER WITH HER HUSBAND COVERED THE COST OF HER LODGING, THE ALLOWANCE OF LODGING EXPENSES FOR MR. SEAMAN FOR THAT PERIOD OF TIME BASED ON THE FULL RENTAL FEE FOR THE MOTEL ROOM WOULD BE DUPLICATIVE. REIMBURSEMENT OF LODGING EXPENSES FOR THOSE DAYS SHOULD INCLUDE ONLY ONE-HALF THE ROOM RENTAL FEE. AS PAYMENT FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES TO MR. SEAMAN HAS ALREADY BEEN MADE, APPROPRIATE ADJUSTMENT SHOULD BE MADE TO RECOVER ONE-HALF OF THE RENTAL FEE AS INDICATED ABOVE. SEE B-166119, MARCH 6, 1969, COPY HEREWITH.

THE VOUCHER, WITH ATTACHMENTS, IS RETURNED HEREWITH FOR HANDLING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE.