B-174582, JAN 12, 1972

B-174582: Jan 12, 1972

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RUDDY: THIS WILL REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 15. DOANE WAS MARRIED IN FALLS CHURCH. WHICH IS TO BE REGARDED AS HAVING OCCURRED PRIOR TO THE CONSUMMATION OF HIS TRANSFER SINCE HE DID NOT REPORT FOR DUTY UNTIL JULY 1. WE WERE FORCED TO OBTAIN ANOTHER APARTMENT. THE BURDEN OF RELOCATING WAS MY SPOUSE'S AND. THE ONLY APARTMENT OF ADEQUATE SIZE AND DESIRABILITY WAS AVAILABLE ON AUGUST 1. WE WERE REQUIRED TO PUT DOWN A SECURITY DEPOSIT ON THIS APARTMENT (SEE ATTACHED CHECK NO. 113. DATED 22 JUNE 1968) UNTIL SUCH TIME AS THE APARTMENT WAS AVAILABLE AND THE LEASE AGREEMENT WAS READY. THE GIRL WHO HAD JOINTLY OCCUPIED THE APARTMENT WITH MY SPOUSE OFFERED TO LET US STAY WITH HER UNTIL OUR APARTMENT WAS AVAILABLE.

B-174582, JAN 12, 1972

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - REIMBURSEMENT - TEMPORARY QUARTERS DECISION ALLOWING RECOMPUTATION OF PAYMENT TO HERBERT S. DOANE AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR TEMPORARY QUARTERS EXPENSE INCIDENT TO HIS CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION FROM BELFORD, N.J., TO WASHINGTON, D.C. SINCE NO LAW OR REGULATION DEFINES THE TERM "TEMPORARY QUARTERS," DECISIONS MUST BE RENDERED ON A CASE-BY-CASE BASIS. SUBSECTION 2.5D(1) OF OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-56 REQUIRES THAT ACTUAL EXPENSES MAY BE REIMBURSED ONLY WHEN ITEMIZED AS PROVIDED IN SUBSECTION 6.12F OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. IF A REASONABLE ITEMIZATION CAN BE MADE, THE ALLOWANCE MAY BE RECOMPUTED.

TO MISS MARY E. RUDDY:

THIS WILL REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 15, 1971, REFERENCE A:F:AF, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF A PAYMENT MADE TO MR. HERBERT S. DOANE AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR TEMPORARY QUARTERS OCCUPIED INCIDENT TO HIS CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION FROM BELFORD, NEW JERSEY, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1968.

AS STATED BY MR. DOANE IN A LETTER DATED AUGUST 23, 1968, HE DEPARTED BELFORD, NEW JERSEY, ON THURSDAY, JUNE 27, AND SPENT FRIDAY, JUNE 28, ON ANNUAL LEAVE IN FAIRFAX COUNTY, VIRGINIA. ON JUNE 29, 1968, MR. DOANE WAS MARRIED IN FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA, WHICH IS TO BE REGARDED AS HAVING OCCURRED PRIOR TO THE CONSUMMATION OF HIS TRANSFER SINCE HE DID NOT REPORT FOR DUTY UNTIL JULY 1, 1968, A MONDAY. THE QUESTION PRESENTED CONCERNING THE EMPLOYEE'S ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE EXPENSE OF OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS UNDER PROVISIONS OF SUBSECTION 5724AA)(3) OF TITLE 5, U.S.C. AND SUBSECTION 2.5 OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET (OMB) CIRCULAR NO. A-56 ARISES FROM THE LIVING ARRANGEMENT INTO WHICH HE AND HIS BRIDE ENTERED SHORTLY AFTER THEIR MARRIAGE. FOLLOWING THE NIGHT OF JUNE 29, WHICH THE COUPLE SPENT AT A MOTEL, IT APPEARS FROM THE FILE THAT MR. DOANE BEGAN AND HIS WIFE RESUMED RESIDENCE AT AN APARTMENT ALSO OCCUPIED BY THE WOMAN WITH WHOM MRS. DOANE HAD SHARED LIVING EXPENSES PRIOR TO HER MARRIAGE.

MR. DOANE'S LETTER EXPLAINS THAT:

" *** WHEN MY SPOUSE AND I DECIDED TO GET MARRIED IN THE LATTER PART OF JUNE, WE WERE FORCED TO OBTAIN ANOTHER APARTMENT, BECAUSE MY SPOUSE BROKE THE ASSOCIATION OR STATUS QUO WITH THE OTHER TENANT-IN COMMON BY HER STATED INTENTION OF GETTING MARRIED, AND THE BURDEN OF RELOCATING WAS MY SPOUSE'S AND, THEREFORE, MINE. HOWEVER, WE DECIDED TO OBTAIN AN APARTMENT IN THE SAME APARTMENT COMPLEX (SPRINGHILL APARTMENTS), AS MY SPOUSE PREFERRED THE AREA. THE ONLY APARTMENT OF ADEQUATE SIZE AND DESIRABILITY WAS AVAILABLE ON AUGUST 1, 1968. WE WERE REQUIRED TO PUT DOWN A SECURITY DEPOSIT ON THIS APARTMENT (SEE ATTACHED CHECK NO. 113, ON ACCOUNT OF HERBERT S. DOANE, DATED 22 JUNE 1968) UNTIL SUCH TIME AS THE APARTMENT WAS AVAILABLE AND THE LEASE AGREEMENT WAS READY. ON JUNE 29, 1968, MY SPOUSE AND I STAYED IN A MOTEL (HOLIDAY INN - SEE ATTACHED RECEIPT AND CHECK NO. 115, ON ACCOUNT OF HERBERT S. DOANE, DATED 29 JUNE 1968), AND THIS CONSTITUTED OUR FIRST NIGHT IN TEMPORARY QUARTERS. THE GIRL WHO HAD JOINTLY OCCUPIED THE APARTMENT WITH MY SPOUSE OFFERED TO LET US STAY WITH HER UNTIL OUR APARTMENT WAS AVAILABLE, IN CONSIDERATION FOR WHICH WE AGREED TO PAY ONE-HALF OF THE RENT (SEE ATTACHED CHECK NO. 21, ON ACCOUNT OF CAROLYN MOWER, SPOUSE, DATED 27 JUNE 1968) AND WOULD AGREE TO SHOW THE APARTMENT TO OTHER POTENTIAL (SINGLE GIRL) OCCUPANTS. WE STAYED IN THIS APARTMENT UNTIL OURS BECAME AVAILABLE ON JULY 29, 1968. MY CONTENTION IS THAT MY SPOUSE'S INTENTIONS OF OBTAINING ANOTHER APARTMENT (AS EVIDENCED BY SECURITY DEPOSIT) AND OUR OCCUPYING THIS ONE ON A TEMPORARY BASIS CONSTITUTES IT FOR HER AND MYSELF AS A PLACE OF TEMPORARY QUARTERS (LODGING) AND A CONTINUATION OF TEMPORARY LODGING COMMENCING JUNE 29, 1968, AND TERMINATING JULY 28, 1968. WE COMPLETED MOVING INTO PERMANENT QUARTERS AND SPENT THE FIRST NIGHT ON JULY 29, 1968."

OUR DECISIONS HAVE RECOGNIZED THAT NO DEFINITION OF THE TERM "TEMPORARY QUARTERS" IS PROVIDED BY EITHER THE GOVERNING LAW OR REGULATIONS. THEREFORE, A DETERMINATION AS TO WHETHER A PARTICULAR LIVING ARRANGEMENT CONSTITUTES TEMPORARY QUARTERS DEPENDS UPON THE FACTS OF EACH CASE, GIVING WEIGHT TO THE EXPRESSED INTENT OF THE EMPLOYEE AS MANIFESTED BY WORDS AND ACTIONS AT THE TIME QUARTERS ARE OCCUPIED. SEE 47 COMP. GEN. 84 (1967) AND B-173585, SEPTEMBER 17, 1971, COPY OF LATTER DECISION ENCLOSED.

THUS, INSOFAR AS MR. DOANE IS CONCERNED, A FINDING COULD BE MADE THAT OCCUPANCY OF THE APARTMENT IN QUESTION CONSTITUTED TEMPORARY QUARTERS FOR HIM. HOWEVER, SINCE MRS. DOANE NEVER ACTUALLY VACATED THE APARTMENT, THE EMPLOYEE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT ON HER ACCOUNT. SEE B-161816, AUGUST 4, 1967; B-165802, MARCH 24, 1969, AND JULY 14, 1969; B-173595, SEPTEMBER 17, 1971; COPIES ENCLOSED.

WE NOTE THAT THE COST OF LODGING FOR THE PERIOD JUNE 30, 1968, THROUGH JULY 28, 1968, WAS $73.75, REPRESENTING ONE-HALF THE RENT OF THE APARTMENT SHARED WITH A THIRD PERSON. ON THE BASIS THAT MR. DOANE INCURRED ONE-HALF OF THAT EXPENSE ON HIS OWN ACCOUNT, HE WAS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT ACCORDINGLY. AS FOR THE EXPENSE OF MOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS ON JUNE 29, WE HAVE NOT ATTEMPTED TO VERIFY THE ACTUAL COST OF SINGLE OCCUPANCY AS THE BASIS FOR REIMBURSING MR. DOANE FOR THAT ITEM; HOWEVER, WE BELIEVE HE WAS ENTITLED TO AN AMOUNT NOT EXCEEDING $16 FOR THAT PARTICULAR NIGHT.

IN ADDITION TO HIS CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR LODGING, MR. DOANE'S VOUCHER LISTS CLAIMS FOR MEALS, LAUNDRY, AND TIPS IN IDENTICAL AMOUNTS OF $14, $2, AND $2, RESPECTIVELY, FOR EACH DAY BEGINNING JUNE 29 AND EXTENDING THROUGH JULY 28.

SUBSECTION 2.5D(1) OF OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-56 REQUIRES THAT ACTUAL EXPENSES MAY BE REIMBURSED ONLY WHEN ITEMIZED AS PROVIDED IN SUBSECTION 6.12F OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. OUR DECISIONS HAVE HELD THAT AN AVERAGING OR ESTIMATES OF SUCH EXPENSES AS APPEAR ON MR. DOANE'S VOUCHER DO NOT CONSTITUTE COMPLIANCE WITH THE REGULATION AND A CLAIM PRESENTED IN THIS MANNER MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED. SEE B 161796, SEPTEMBER 1, 1967; B-162617, DECEMBER 1, 1967; AND B-164057, JUNE 5, 1968; COPIES ENCLOSED.

IF THE EMPLOYEE CAN NOW SUPPLY A REASONABLE ITEMIZATION OF HIS MEAL EXPENSES, NOT INCLUDING THOSE OF HIS WIFE, FOR THE PERIOD IN QUESTION, SUCH AMOUNTS MAY BE INCLUDED IN RECOMPUTING THE TEMPORARY QUARTERS ALLOWANCE TO WHICH HE WAS ENTITLED UNDER THE LAW AND REGULATIONS.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE AMOUNT FOUND DUE UPON RECOMPUTATION AS INDICATED ABOVE AND THE $433.33 REIMBURSED TO MR. DOANE SHOULD BE RECOVERED.