B-174695, JAN 24, 1972

B-174695: Jan 24, 1972

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WOULD HAVE NO OBJECTION TO PAYMENT ON THE BASIS OF THAT CONSTRUCTION. WERE NOT ACCURATELY DETERMINED. ANDERS CANNOT BE RELATED TO THE ITEMS FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS REQUESTED AND THAT THE TWO SEPARATE WEIGHT CERTIFICATES PRESENTED IN SUPPORT OF MR. A-56 PROVIDES AT SECTION 2.2B(1)(B) THAT A SPOUSE WHO TRAVELS UNACCOMPANIED BY HER HUSBAND IS ENTITLED TO THE RATE OF PER DIEM PAYABLE FOR THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL. ANDERS HAS APPARENTLY ASSUMED THAT THE 30-DAY PERIOD FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT WAS AUTHORIZED RUNS SEPARATELY FOR HIMSELF AND FOR HIS FAMILY. SUCH TIME WILL BEGIN TO RUN FOR THE EMPLOYEE AND ALL MEMBERS OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY WHEN EITHER THE EMPLOYEE OR ANY MEMBER OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY BEGINS THE PERIOD OF USE OF SUCH QUARTERS FOR WHICH A CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT IS MADE AND THE TIME SHALL RUN CONCURRENTLY. *** " AS TO THE REQUIREMENT FOR DOCUMENTATION OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES.

B-174695, JAN 24, 1972

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - TRANSPORTATION AND PER DIEM EXPENSES - IMPROPER DOCUMENTATION CONCERNING A CLAIM BY MR. WILLIAM J. ANDERS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH HIS CHANGE OF PERMANENT DUTY STATION AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE OFFICE OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY. ALTHOUGH THE SUBMITTED DOCUMENTATION OF EXPENSES LACKS CLARITY, GAO HAS ATTEMPTED TO INTERPRET AND RE-DOCUMENT EXPENSES BASED ON THE INFORMATION PRESENTED AND THE COMP. GEN. WOULD HAVE NO OBJECTION TO PAYMENT ON THE BASIS OF THAT CONSTRUCTION. HOWEVER, THE AMOUNT CLAIMED AS COST OF TERMINATION UNDER THE ORAL LEASE AGREEMENT ON CLAIMANT'S FORMER RESIDENCE CANNOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT ABSENT PARTICULARS AS TO THE NATURE, TERMS, AND CONDITIONS OF THE ARRANGEMENT. THE VOUCHER MAY OTHERWISE BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT AS AMENDED, AND CLAIMANT SHOULD RE-SUBMIT ANY ITEMS WHICH, IN HIS OPINION, WERE NOT ACCURATELY DETERMINED.

TO MISS ANNORA FRAASA:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 2, 1971, REQUESTING OUR ADVANCE DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE VOUCHER SUBMITTED BY MR. WILLIAM J. ANDERS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH HIS CHANGE OF PERMANENT DUTY STATION FROM KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, TO DENVER, COLORADO, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT. MR. ANDERS' CLAIM INCLUDES AMOUNTS FOR TRANSPORTATION AND PER DIEM EXPENSES FOR HIS TRAVEL AND FOR THAT OF HIS FAMILY FROM KANSAS CITY TO DENVER, SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FOR HIMSELF AND HIS FAMILY WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS AT HIS NEW DUTY STATION, AN AMOUNT OF $125 FOR TERMINATION OF THE LEASE AT HIS OLD RESIDENCE, $582.40 FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS, A TOTAL OF $65 FOR STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS, AND $200 FOR MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES. YOU INDICATE THAT THE SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION OFFERED BY MR. ANDERS CANNOT BE RELATED TO THE ITEMS FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS REQUESTED AND THAT THE TWO SEPARATE WEIGHT CERTIFICATES PRESENTED IN SUPPORT OF MR. ANDERS' CLAIM FOR MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS CANNOT BE RELATED TO THE WEIGHT CLAIMED.

WE SEE NO OBJECTION TO EITHER THE CLAIM OF $65 FOR STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS OR THE CLAIM OF $200 FOR MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 3.3 OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED JUNE 26, 1969. WITH REGARD TO THE COMPUTATION OF AMOUNTS OF PER DIEM IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRAVEL OF MR. ANDERS' FAMILY, WE POINT OUT THAT CIRCULAR NO. A-56 PROVIDES AT SECTION 2.2B(1)(B) THAT A SPOUSE WHO TRAVELS UNACCOMPANIED BY HER HUSBAND IS ENTITLED TO THE RATE OF PER DIEM PAYABLE FOR THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL. IT APPEARS THAT MR. ANDERS HAS CLAIMED ONLY 75 PERCENT OF THAT AMOUNT FOR HIS WIFE'S TRAVEL. ASIDE FROM THIS, THE AMOUNTS CLAIMED FOR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES AND FOR PER DIEM IN CONNECTION WITH MR. ANDERS AND HIS FAMILY'S TRAVEL APPEAR TO BE PROPER.

WITH RESPECT TO THE AMOUNT CLAIMED AS SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH THEIR OCCUPANCY OF TEMPORARY QUARTERS, MR. ANDERS HAS APPARENTLY ASSUMED THAT THE 30-DAY PERIOD FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT WAS AUTHORIZED RUNS SEPARATELY FOR HIMSELF AND FOR HIS FAMILY. THE PERIOD, HOWEVER, RUNS CONCURRENTLY FOR ALL FAMILY MEMBERS. SECTION 2.5B(6) OF THE CIRCULAR SPECIFICALLY SO PROVIDES:

"IN COMPUTING THE LENGTH OF TIME ALLOWED FOR TEMPORARY QUARTERS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UNDER THE 30 OR 60-DAY LIMITATIONS SPECIFIED HEREIN, SUCH TIME WILL BEGIN TO RUN FOR THE EMPLOYEE AND ALL MEMBERS OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY WHEN EITHER THE EMPLOYEE OR ANY MEMBER OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY BEGINS THE PERIOD OF USE OF SUCH QUARTERS FOR WHICH A CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT IS MADE AND THE TIME SHALL RUN CONCURRENTLY. *** "

AS TO THE REQUIREMENT FOR DOCUMENTATION OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES, SECTION 2.5D(1) OF THE CIRCULAR PROVIDES:

"REIMBURSEMENT WILL BE ONLY FOR ACTUAL SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED PROVIDED THESE ARE INCIDENT TO OCCUPANCY OF TEMPORARY QUARTERS AND ARE REASONABLE AS TO AMOUNT. ALLOWABLE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCLUDE ONLY CHARGES FOR MEALS (INCLUDING GROCERIES CONSUMED WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS), LODGING, FEES AND TIPS INCIDENT TO MEALS AND LODGING, LAUNDRY, CLEANING AND PRESSING OF CLOTHING. THE ACTUAL EXPENSES WILL BE ITEMIZED IN A MANNER PRESCRIBED BY THE HEAD OF THE AGENCY WHICH WILL PERMIT AT LEAST A REVIEW OF THE AMOUNTS SPENT DAILY FOR (1) LODGING, (2) MEALS, AND (3) ALL OTHER ITEMS OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES. RECEIPTS WILL BE REQUIRED AT LEAST FOR LODGING AND LAUNDRY AND CLEANING EXPENSES *** "

WHILE UNDER THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE ABOVE REGULATION ESTIMATES OF AVERAGE MEAL COSTS ARE NOT GENERALLY ACCEPTABLE, WHERE, AS HERE, IT APPEARS THAT THE ESTIMATES ARE REASONABLE AND REPRESENT ACTUAL EXPENSES, WE HAVE NOT REQUIRED FURTHER ITEMIZATION.

ALTHOUGH THE CLARITY OF MR. ANDERS' DOCUMENTATION LEAVES MUCH TO BE DESIRED, WE HAVE ATTEMPTED TO RECONSTRUCT HIS ALLOWABLE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES ON THE BASIS OF THE DOCUMENTATION AVAILABLE. WE WOULD HAVE NO OBJECTION TO HIS BEING PAID ON THE BASIS OF THAT CONSTRUCTION BUT SUGGEST THAT IF MR. ANDERS SHOULD PRESENT MORE COMPLETE DOCUMENTATION WHICH WOULD AFFECT THAT COMPUTATION, THESE FIGURES SHOULD BE ACCORDINGLY ADJUSTED.

THE DIFFICULTY IN RECONSTRUCTING MR. ANDERS' ACTUAL LODGING EXPENSES IS PRESENTED BY THE FACT THAT RECEIPTS FROM THE IRON HORSE MOTEL ARE APPARENTLY INCONSISTENT. FOR INSTANCE, THE MARCH 17 RECEIPT FOR $48.41 PURPORTS TO COVER THE PERIODS FROM MARCH 14 THROUGH MARCH 18 AND MARCH 23 THROUGH MARCH 27 WHILE THE APRIL 3 RECEIPT, WHICH WE ASSUME COVERS THE PERIOD FROM MARCH 28 THROUGH APRIL 3, IS IN THE AMOUNT OF $123.60. MAKING OUR COMPUTATIONS WE HAVE THEREFORE ASSUMED THAT THE THREE RECEIPTS FROM THE IRON HORSE MOTEL, WHICH TOTAL $244.11, ARE ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE 17 DAYS COVERING PERIODS FROM MARCH 14 THROUGH MARCH 18 AND MARCH 23 THROUGH APRIL 3.

IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING, OUR COMPUTATION OF ALLOWABLE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES IS AS FOLLOWS:

FIRST 10-DAY PERIOD

COMPARISON COSTS COMPUTED PER SECTION 2.5D OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56

EMPLOYEE, 10 DAYS AT $18.75 $187.50

FAMILY, 5 MEMBERS, 5 DAYS AT $12.50 312.50

$500.00

ACTUAL COSTS

MARCH 8 - 12

MEALS $ 30.00

LODGING 21.00

10% TIPS 5.10

MARCH 13

MEALS 45.00

LODGING 32.96

10% TIPS 7.80

MARCH 14 - 17

MEALS 180.00

LODGING 45.40

10% TIPS 12.54

LAUNDRY 4.30

$384.10

ALLOWABLE COSTS: ACTUAL COSTS ARE LESS THAN COSTS COMPUTED PER SECTION 2.5D; THEREFORE, REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES FOR FIRST 10 DAYS, $384.10

SECOND 10-DAY PERIOD

COMPARISON COSTS COMPUTED PER SECTION 2.5D OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56

EMPLOYEE, 10 DAYS AT $12.50 $125.00

FAMILY, 5 MEMBERS, 10 DAYS AT $8.34 417.00

$542.00

ACTUAL COSTS

MARCH 18

MEALS 45.00

LODGING 11.35

10% TIPS 5.64

MARCH 19

MEALS 45.00

LODGING 10.30

10% TIPS 5.53

MARCH 20 - 22

MEALS 135.00

LODGING 29.37

10% TIPS 16.44

MARCH 23 - 27

MEALS 225.00

LODGING 56.75

10% TIPS 28.18

LAUNDRY 1.75

$615.31

ALLOWABLE COSTS: COSTS COMPUTED PER SECTION 2.5D ARE LESS THAN ACTUAL EXPENSES; THEREFORE, REIMBURSABLE COSTS $542.00.

THIRD 10-DAY PERIOD

COMPARISON COSTS COMPUTED PER SECTION 2.5D OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56

EMPLOYEE, 8 DAYS AT $9.38 $ 75.04

FAMILY, 5 MEMBERS, 8 DAYS AT $6.25 250.00

$325.04

ACTUAL COSTS

MARCH 28 - APRIL 4

MEALS $360.00

LODGING 79.45

10% TIPS 43.95

LAUNDRY 12.60

$496.00

ALLOWABLE COSTS: COSTS COMPUTED PER SECTION 2.5D ARE LESS THAN ACTUAL EXPENSES; THEREFORE REIMBURSABLE COSTS $325.04.

TOTAL ALLOWABLE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES, $1,251.14

THE DOCUMENTATION IN SUPPORT OF THE 4,550 WEIGHT FIGURE USED BY MR. ANDERS IN COMPUTING THE $582.40 AMOUNT OF HIS CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS CONSISTS OF TWO WEIGHT CERTIFICATES PERTAINING TO HIS RENTAL TRUCK. THE TWO FIGURES ON EACH OF THE CERTIFICATES REPRESENT SEPARATE WEIGHINGS OF THE AXLES OF THE TRUCKS, THE ADDITION OF WHICH TWO FIGURES GIVES THE TOTAL WEIGHT OF THE TRUCK. THE CERTIFICATE DATED MARCH 22, 1971, INDICATES AN EMPTY WEIGHT OF 8,400 POUNDS WHILE THE MARCH 23, 1971, CERTIFICATE INDICATES A LOADED WEIGHT OF 12,950 POUNDS, THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHICH TWO FIGURES IS THE 4,550 POUND FIGURE WHICH APPEARS ON MR. ANDERS' VOUCHER. THE COMMUTED RATE APPLICABLE TO THE MOVEMENT OF 4,550 POUNDS OVER A DISTANCE OF 619 MILES, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, AND GOLDEN, COLORADO, AS COMPUTED FROM THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS MILEAGE GUIDE, IS $12.90 PER HUNDRED WEIGHT RATHER THAN THE $12.80 FIGURE INDICATED ON THE VOUCHER. MR. ANDERS MAY THEREFORE BE REIMBURSED THE AMOUNT OF $586.95 RATHER THAN $582.40 FOR SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS.

FROM THE DOCUMENTATION PRESENTED, WE ARE UNABLE TO DETERMINE THE ALLOWABILITY OF THE $125 AMOUNT CLAIMED BY MR. ANDERS AS THE COST OF TERMINATION UNDER THE ORAL LEASE AGREEMENT ON HIS KANSAS CITY RESIDENCE. SECTION 4.2F OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 PROVIDES:

"SETTLEMENT OF AN UNEXPIRED LEASE. EXPENSES INCURRED FOR SETTLING AN UNEXPIRED LEASE (INCLUDING MONTH-TO-MONTH RENTAL) ON RESIDENCE QUARTERS OCCUPIED BY THE EMPLOYEE AT THE OLD OFFICIAL STATION MAY INCLUDE BROKER'S FEES FOR OBTAINING A SUBLEASE OR CHARGES FOR ADVERTISING AN UNEXPIRED LEASE. SUCH EXPENSES ARE REIMBURSABLE WHEN (1) APPLICABLE LAWS OR THE TERMS OF THE LEASE PROVIDE FOR PAYMENT OF SETTLEMENT EXPENSES, (2) SUCH EXPENSES CANNOT BE AVOIDED BY SUBLEASE OR OTHER ARRANGEMENT, (3) THE EMPLOYEE HAS NOT CONTRIBUTED TO THE EXPENSE BY FAILING TO GIVE APPROPRIATE LEASE TERMINATION NOTICE PROMPTLY AFTER HE HAS DEFINITE KNOWLEDGE OF THE PROPOSED TRANSFER, AND (4) THE BROKER'S FEES OR ADVERTISING CHARGES ARE NOT IN EXCESS OF THOSE CUSTOMARILY CHARGED FOR COMPARABLE SERVICES IN THAT LOCALITY. ITEMIZATION OF THESE EXPENSES IS REQUIRED AND THE TOTAL AMOUNT WILL BE ENTERED ON AN APPROPRIATE TRAVEL VOUCHER. THIS VOUCHER MAY BE SUBMITTED SEPARATELY OR WITH A CLAIM THAT IS TO BE MADE FOR EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE PURCHASE OF A DWELLING. *** "

ABSENT PARTICULARS AS TO THE NATURE, TERMS, AND CONDITIONS OF THE LEASE ARRANGEMENT, WE ARE WITHOUT ANY BASIS TO MAKE THE NECESSARY DETERMINATION. THE $125 AMOUNT MAY THEREFORE NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT. WE WOULD SUGGEST, HOWEVER, IF THE EMPLOYEE FEELS THAT THE $125 EXPENDITURE WAS MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE ABOVE REGULATION, THAT HE SUBMIT A RECLAIM VOUCHER PROVIDING FULL INFORMATION AS TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE LEASE. AT SUCH TIME, THE AMOUNT MAY BE PAID UPON THE ADVICE EITHER OF YOUR COUNSEL OR THIS OFFICE THAT THE TERMINATION EXPENSE WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE REGULATION.

THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH MAY BE CERTIFIED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE.