B-176078, JUL 14, 1972

B-176078: Jul 14, 1972

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IS PAID TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE UNDER SEC. 120 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE STANDARDIZED REGULATIONS. A -56 ARE CLEAR AND UNAMBIGUOUS. ONLY THOSE EMPLOYEES WHO ARE TRANSFERRED EITHER TO OR FROM HAWAII. THE 30-DAY LIMITATION IS STATUTORY IN NATURE AND CANNOT BE WAIVED. ANTONELLI AND HIS FAMILY WERE GRANTED ONE MONTH OF TEMPORARY QUARTERS PRIOR TO FINAL DEPARTURE FROM HIS OLD DUTY STATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 120 OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT STANDARDIZED REGULATIONS. ANTONELLI AND HIS FAMILY WERE AUTHORIZED THE MAXIMUM ALLOWANCE OF 30 CONSECUTIVE DAYS FOR TEMPORARY QUARTERS PURSUANT TO SECTION 8 OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET (OMB) CIRCULAR NO. ANTONELLI IS NOW SEEKING REIMBURSEMENT FOR LODGING EXPENSES FOR THE 51 DAYS HE AND HIS FAMILY HAD TO OCCUPY TEMPORARY QUARTERS IN EXCESS OF THE 30 DAYS AUTHORIZED.

B-176078, JUL 14, 1972

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - TEMPORARY QUARTERS SUBSISTENCE - EXTENSION OF TIME DECISION THAT A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MICHAEL A. ANTONELLI, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF NARCOTICS AND DANGEROUS DRUGS, IN THE AMOUNT OF $510.76, REPRESENTING REIMBURSEMENT OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS INCIDENT TO A CHANGE OF STATION FROM ROME, ITALY, TO LOS ANGELES, CALIF., MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT. THE PROVISIONS OF OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-56 DO NOT PRECLUDE THE PAYMENT OF TEMPORARY QUARTERS SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE IN THE UNITED STATES, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 5 U.S.C. 5724AA)(3), TO AN EMPLOYEE WHO, PURSUANT TO ORDERS TRANSFERRING HIS OFFICIAL STATION FROM AN OVERSEAS POST OF DUTY TO A UNITED STATES POST OF DUTY, IS PAID TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE UNDER SEC. 120 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE STANDARDIZED REGULATIONS. THE PROVISIONS OF 5 U.S.C. 5724AA)(3) AND SECTION 8 OF OMB CIRCULAR NO. A -56 ARE CLEAR AND UNAMBIGUOUS. ONLY THOSE EMPLOYEES WHO ARE TRANSFERRED EITHER TO OR FROM HAWAII, ALASKA, THE TERRITORIES OR POSSESSIONS, THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO, OR THE CANAL ZONE MAY BE ALLOWED SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FOR AN ADDITIONAL 30 DAYS WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS UNDER THOSE AUTHORITIES. THE 30-DAY LIMITATION IS STATUTORY IN NATURE AND CANNOT BE WAIVED.

TO MISS JUNET M. BLEDSOE:

YOUR LETTER OF MAY 25, 1972, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTS OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER FOR MR. MICHAEL A. ANTONELLI, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF NARCOTICS AND DANGEROUS DRUGS, IN THE AMOUNT OF $510.76 REPRESENTING REIMBURSEMENT OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS INCIDENT TO A TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION FROM ROME, ITALY, TO LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA.

MR. ANTONELLI AND HIS FAMILY WERE GRANTED ONE MONTH OF TEMPORARY QUARTERS PRIOR TO FINAL DEPARTURE FROM HIS OLD DUTY STATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 120 OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT STANDARDIZED REGULATIONS. ALSO IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSFER, MR. ANTONELLI AND HIS FAMILY WERE AUTHORIZED THE MAXIMUM ALLOWANCE OF 30 CONSECUTIVE DAYS FOR TEMPORARY QUARTERS PURSUANT TO SECTION 8 OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET (OMB) CIRCULAR NO. A-56. AFTER THE EMPLOYEE ARRIVED AT HIS NEW DUTY STATION, HE AND HIS FAMILY OCCUPIED TEMPORARY QUARTERS FROM JULY 18, 1971, TO OCTOBER 7, 1971, A TOTAL OF 81 DAYS. A DOCK STRIKE CALLED ON JULY 1, 1971, CAUSED A DELAY IN THE DELIVERY OF MR. ANTONELLI'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND THIS IN TURN PREVENTED HIM AND HIS FAMILY FROM MOVING INTO THEIR PERMANENT RESIDENCE AND FORCED THEM TO REMAIN IN TEMPORARY QUARTERS FOR THE EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME. MR. ANTONELLI IS NOW SEEKING REIMBURSEMENT FOR LODGING EXPENSES FOR THE 51 DAYS HE AND HIS FAMILY HAD TO OCCUPY TEMPORARY QUARTERS IN EXCESS OF THE 30 DAYS AUTHORIZED.

IN CONNECTION WITH MR. ANTONELLI'S CASE, YOUR LETTER OF MAY 25, 1971, STATES THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS FOR OUR CONSIDERATION:

"PLEASE ADVISE US IF (1) THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO 30 DAYS TEMPORARY QUARTERS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE FROM OLD DUTY STATION AND 30 DAYS AT NEW DUTY STATION, (2) THE 30-DAY TEMPORARY QUARTERS PROVISION REGARDING THE EMPLOYEE'S OCCUPANCY IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES MAY BE WAIVED, AND (3) A WAIVER IS AUTHORIZED IN SIMILAR CASES WHERE A DOCK STRIKE IS INVOLVED IN THE FUTURE, IF ITEM (2) ABOVE IS AFFIRMATIVE."

OUR DECISION OF NOVEMBER 1, 1968, B-165392, COPY ENCLOSED, HELD THAT THE PROVISIONS OF OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-56 DO NOT PRECLUDE THE PAYMENT OF TEMPORARY QUARTERS SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE IN THE UNITED STATES, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 5 U.S.C. 5724AA)(3), TO AN EMPLOYEE WHO, PURSUANT TO ORDERS TRANSFERRING HIS OFFICIAL STATION FROM AN OVERSEAS POST OF DUTY TO A UNITED STATES POST OF DUTY, IS PAID TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE UNDER SECTION 120 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE STANDARDIZED REGULATIONS (GOVERNMENT CIVILIANS, FOREIGN AREA). ACCORDINGLY, THE ANSWER TO YOUR FIRST QUESTION IS AFFIRMATIVE.

WITH RESPECT TO YOUR SECOND QUESTION, THE PROVISIONS OF 5 U.S.C. 5724AA)(3) AND SECTION 8 OF OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-56 ARE CLEAR AND UNAMBIGUOUS. ONLY THOSE EMPLOYEES WHO ARE TRANSFERRED EITHER TO OR FROM HAWAII, ALASKA, THE TERRITORIES OR POSSESSIONS, THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO, OR THE CANAL ZONE MAY BE ALLOWED SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FOR AN ADDITIONAL 30 DAYS WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS UNDER THOSE AUTHORITIES. THE 30-DAY LIMITATION IS STATUTORY IN NATURE AND CANNOT BE WAIVED. SEE OUR DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 29, 1969, B-167871 (50 COMP. GEN. 829), COPY ENCLOSED. ACCORDINGLY, THE SECOND QUESTION IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE AND THE THIRD QUESTION NEED NOT BE ANSWERED.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, THE VOUCHER RETURNED HEREWITH MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.