B-177131, FEB 12, 1973

B-177131: Feb 12, 1973

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A-56 PROVIDES FOR PAYMENT OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS WHEN THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION IS LOCATED WITHIN THE UNITED STATES. ARE NOT REIMBURSABLE. BLEDSOE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 21. WHO WAS TRANSFERRED IN NOVEMBER 1971 FROM WASHINGTON. PICINI'S TRANSFER WAS AUTHORIZED ON NOVEMBER 1. THE EMPLOYEE STATES THAT THE OCCUPANCY OF TEMPORARY QUARTERS WAS NECESSITATED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE'S FAILURE TO TIMELY DELIVER THE PASSPORTS. UNDER THIS DEFINITION PAYMENT OF TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE IS PREDICATED UPON OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS AT A POST IN A FOREIGN AREA. THERE IS NO PROVISION FOR AN ALLOWANCE UPON A DEPARTURE FROM THE UNITED STATES TO REPORT FOR AN OVERSEAS ASSIGNMENT.

B-177131, FEB 12, 1973

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - TRAVEL VOUCHER - EXPENSES PRIOR TO DEPARTURE CONCERNING AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT THE TRAVEL VOUCHER OF MICHAEL PICINI, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF NARCOTICS AND DANGEROUS DRUGS, INCIDENT TO A TRANSFER FROM WASHINGTON, D. C. TO TOKYO, JAPAN. WHILE STATE DEPARTMENT STANDARDIZED REGULATIONS, CHAPTER 100, SECTION 120 AUTHORIZES PAYMENT OF TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCES FOR OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS AT A POST IN A FOREIGN AREA, OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-56 PROVIDES FOR PAYMENT OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS WHEN THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION IS LOCATED WITHIN THE UNITED STATES. THEREFORE, EXPENSES INCURRED BY CLAIMANT AND HIS FAMILY FOR MOTEL LODGING IN THE UNITED STATES, PRIOR TO THE TRANSFER TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION IN JAPAN, ARE NOT REIMBURSABLE.

TO MRS. JUNET M. BLEDSOE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 21, 1972, WHEREIN YOU ASK FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT THE ATTACHED TRAVEL VOUCHER, SF-1012, IN FAVOR OF MR. MICHAEL G. PICINI, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF NARCOTICS AND DANGEROUS DRUGS (BNDD), WHO WAS TRANSFERRED IN NOVEMBER 1971 FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO TOKYO, JAPAN.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT MR. PICINI'S TRANSFER WAS AUTHORIZED ON NOVEMBER 1, 1971. HIS TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. CS-133-11-72 PROVIDED, AMONG OTHER THINGS, FOR A REPORTING DATE O/A NOVEMBER 30, 1971, AND FOR A TEMPORARY QUARTERS ALLOWANCE FOR THE EMPLOYEE AND TWO MEMBERS OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY UNDER CHAPTER 120 OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT STANDARDIZED REGULATIONS (GOVERNMENT CIVILIANS, FOREIGN AREAS).

THE RECORD FURTHER SHOWS THAT AFTER VACATING THEIR RESIDENCE IN THE WASHINGTON, D. C. AREA, THE PICINI FAMILY MOVED TO A MOTEL IN ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA, AND OCCUPIED TEMPORARY QUARTERS THERE FROM NOVEMBER 19 THROUGH NOVEMBER 25, 1971. THE EMPLOYEE STATES THAT THE OCCUPANCY OF TEMPORARY QUARTERS WAS NECESSITATED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE'S FAILURE TO TIMELY DELIVER THE PASSPORTS, THUS DELAYING DEPARTURE. AFTER ARRIVING IN TOKYO, JAPAN, MR. PICINI SUBMITTED A TRAVEL VOUCHER DATED MARCH 6, 1972, IN THE AMOUNT OF $370.50 COVERING SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES (LODGING AND MEALS) FOR HIS FAMILY AND HIMSELF WHILE STAYING IN THE MOTEL BEFORE DEPARTURE FOR JAPAN.

YOU ASK IF THIS AMOUNT MAY PROPERLY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT UNDER EITHER THE STATE DEPARTMENT STANDARDIZED REGULATIONS, CHAPTER 100, SECTION 120, OR OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET (OMB) CIRCULAR NO. A 56.

SECTION 120 OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT REGULATIONS READS AS FOLLOWS:

"'TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE' MEANS A QUARTERS ALLOWANCE GRANTED TO AN EMPLOYEE FOR THE REASONABLE COST OF TEMPORARY QUARTERS INCURRED BY THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS FAMILY FOR A PERIOD NOT IN EXCESS OF (1) THREE MONTHS AFTER FIRST ARRIVAL AT A NEW POST IN A FOREIGN AREA OR A PERIOD ENDING WITH THE OCCUPATION OF RESIDENCE (PERMANENT) QUARTERS, IF EARLIER, AND (2) ONE MONTH IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING FINAL DEPARTURE FROM THE POST SUBSEQUENT TO THE NECESSARY VACATING OF RESIDENCE QUARTERS."

UNDER THIS DEFINITION PAYMENT OF TEMPORARY LODGING ALLOWANCE IS PREDICATED UPON OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS AT A POST IN A FOREIGN AREA. THERE IS NO PROVISION FOR AN ALLOWANCE UPON A DEPARTURE FROM THE UNITED STATES TO REPORT FOR AN OVERSEAS ASSIGNMENT.

THE PROVISIONS OF OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-56, WHICH IS BASED ON 5 U.S.C. 5724A(3), ONLY AUTHORIZE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS WHEN THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION IS LOCATED WITHIN THE UNITED STATES, ITS TERRITORIES AND POSSESSIONS, THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO OR THE CANAL ZONE.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING WE FIND NO LEGAL BASIS FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EMPLOYEE'S EXPENSES.

THE TRAVEL VOUCHER IS RETURNED HEREWITH AND MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.