B-179497, MAR 21, 1974

B-179497: Mar 21, 1974

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

EMPLOYEE ASSIGNED TO TEMPORARY DUTY IN VIETNAM WHEN IT WAS MANDATORY THAT HE USE AVAILABLE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AT A REDUCED PER DIEM RATE WOULD. BE ENTITLED TO THE MAXIMUM RATE FROM THE DATE INSTRUCTIONS WERE ISSUED REQUIRING THE REMOVAL OF THE MANDATORY REQUIREMENT EVEN THOUGH THE AMENDMENT TO THE TRAVEL ORDER REMOVING THE RESTRICTION WAS NOT ISSUED. REPRESENTING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE $11.50 PER DIEM HE WAS PAID AND PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $22 FOR THE PERIOD DECEMBER 7 TO DECEMBER 30. WHILE HE WAS ASSIGNED TO TEMPORARY DUTY IN VIETNAM UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES RELATED BELOW. WAS ASSIGNED TO TEMPORARY DUTY IN VIETNAM FOR A PERIOD OF 90 DAYS BY TRAVEL ORDER NO. THE ORIGINAL TRAVEL ORDER WAS AMENDED TO EXTEND THE TEMPORARY DUTY TO 179 DAYS.

B-179497, MAR 21, 1974

EMPLOYEE ASSIGNED TO TEMPORARY DUTY IN VIETNAM WHEN IT WAS MANDATORY THAT HE USE AVAILABLE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AT A REDUCED PER DIEM RATE WOULD, WHERE THE EMPLOYEE ACTUALLY USED COMMERCIAL QUARTERS, BE ENTITLED TO THE MAXIMUM RATE FROM THE DATE INSTRUCTIONS WERE ISSUED REQUIRING THE REMOVAL OF THE MANDATORY REQUIREMENT EVEN THOUGH THE AMENDMENT TO THE TRAVEL ORDER REMOVING THE RESTRICTION WAS NOT ISSUED.

TO LT. COL. O. MEDLIN:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 9, 1973, REFERENCE ACF, WITH ENCLOSURES, FORWARDED HERE BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE ON AUGUST 9, 1973, PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 73-40, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY PAY MR. PORTER BILLINGSLEY, JR. THE AMOUNT OF $252.50, REPRESENTING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE $11.50 PER DIEM HE WAS PAID AND PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $22 FOR THE PERIOD DECEMBER 7 TO DECEMBER 30, 1972, WHILE HE WAS ASSIGNED TO TEMPORARY DUTY IN VIETNAM UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES RELATED BELOW.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT MR. BILLINGSLEY, WAS ASSIGNED TO TEMPORARY DUTY IN VIETNAM FOR A PERIOD OF 90 DAYS BY TRAVEL ORDER NO. TA-4317, ISSUED AUGUST 16, 1972. BY ORDER NO. TA-5442, DATED OCTOBER 17, 1972, THE ORIGINAL TRAVEL ORDER WAS AMENDED TO EXTEND THE TEMPORARY DUTY TO 179 DAYS. THE TRAVEL ORDER AUTHORIZED PER DIEM IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (JTR). UNDER REMARKS THE FOLLOWING NOTATION APPEARS:

"TRAVELERS ARE REQUIRED TO OCCUPY ADEQUATE GOVT QTR WHILE IN RVN IAW AFLC/MCACA 212022Z AUG 69. IF QTR ARE NOT AVAL, A NONAVAILABILITY CERT MUST ACCOMPANY EACH TVL CLAIM. ***"

DURING THE PERIOD OF HIS CLAIM FROM DECEMBER 7 TO DECEMBER 30, 1972, MR. BILLINGSLEY WHILE ON TEMPORARY DUTY AT TAN SON NHUT AIR BASE, WAS ASSIGNED GOVERNMENT QUARTERS FOR WHICH HE PAID A DAILY FIFTY CENT BOQ FEE. ALTHOUGH GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE ASSIGNED TO HIM, MR. BILLINGSLEY BY PERSONAL CHOICE RENTED A COMMERCIAL LODGING OFF BASE ON TRUMAN KEY SHORT, SAIGON, RATHER THAN OCCUPY THE ASSIGNED GOVERNMENT QUARTERS. THE FACT THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE SMALL, WITH NO LOCKS FOR VALUABLES AND TWO BEDS IN A ROOM INFLUENCED MR. BILLINGSLEY TO DECIDE NOT TO OCCUPY THE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS. UPON CONCLUSION OF HIS TEMPORARY DUTY HE SUBMITTED A VOUCHER ON WHICH HE CERTIFIED HE USED GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND CLAIMED A BOQ FEE OF FIFTY CENTS PER DAY FOR THE PERIOD DECEMBER 7 TO DECEMBER 30, 1972. HE WAS REIMBURSED PER DIEM AT THE 50 PERCENT RATE OF $11 PER DAY PLUS THE ALLOWABLE BOQ CHARGE FOR A TOTAL PER DIEM OF $11.50.

THE CLAIM AROSE AS THE RESULT OF MESSAGES YOU IDENTIFY AS CSAF DPCMC ALMAJCOM 551/73 AND CSAF DPCMC ALAMAJCOM 743/73 WHEREIN AUTHORIZATION WAS DELEGATED TO BASE LEVEL ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE OFFICES TO REIMBURSE CIVILIAN TRAVELERS FOR VIETNAM TEMPORARY DUTY WHO CHOSE TO LIVE IN OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AT THE FULL PER DIEM RATE EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 1, 1972. AS A RESULT OF THIS AUTHORIZATION MR. BILLINGSLEY SUBMITTED A SUPPLEMENTAL VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $252.50 REPRESENTING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PER DIEM RATE HE WAS PAID FOR THE PERIOD AND MAXIMUM PER DIEM OF $22 PER DAY. MR. BILLINGSLEY STATED THAT AT THE TIME HE SUBMITTED HIS ORIGINAL TRAVEL VOUCHER HE CERTIFIED HE USED GOVERNMENT QUARTERS BECAUSE THEY WERE DIRECTED TO BE USED IN HIS TRAVEL ORDERS, WERE ASSIGNED AND BOQ FEES WERE PAID.

ONE OF THE ENCLOSURES SUBMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER OF JULY 20, 1973, IS A COPY OF A MESSAGE FROM THE AIR FORCE LOGISTIC COMMAND, WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO, DATED MARCH 2, 1973, SUBJECT: REQUIRED OCCUPANCY OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS, WHICH READS IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"***VIETNAM POLICY PERTAINING TO MANDATORY OCCUPANCY OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WHILE ON TDY IN VIETNAM HAS BEEN RESCINDED EFFECTIVE 1 NOVEMBER 1972. FOLLOWING IS QUOTED FROM CSAF MESSAGE DPCMC ALMAJCOM 551/73: 'CURRENT TRAVEL ORDERS AUTHORIZING OFFICIAL TRAVEL TO REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM WHICH CONTAIN A RESTRICTIVE CLAUSE (I.E. REQUIRING OCCUPANCY OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WHEN AVAILABLE) SHOULD BE AMENDED TO DELETE THAT REQUIREMENT. THE FULL RATE OF PER DIEM MAY BE PAID LOCALLY FROM THE AMENDING DATE ONLY FOR THOSE EMPLOYEES WHO CHOSE TO LIVE IN OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WHILE ON TDY IN VIETNAM. THE BALANCE OF SUCH CLAIMS COVERING THE PERIOD BETWEEN 1 NOVEMBER 1972 AND THE DATE THE TRAVEL ORDERS ARE AMENDED MAY NOT BE PAID LOCALLY AT THE MAXIMUM RATE. SUCH TRAVELERS HAVE A RIGHT TO FILE A CLAIM WITH THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR THE DIFFERENCE. ***'"

UNDER THE ABOVE-QUOTED MESSAGE THE POLICY PERTAINING TO THE MANDATORY OCCUPANCY OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS IN VIETNAM WAS RESCINDED EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 1, 1972. THOSE EMPLOYEES WHO WERE ON TEMPORARY DUTY ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CHANGE AND THEREAFTER ELECTED TO OCCUPY OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE THE MAXIMUM RATE OF PER DIEM FOR THE LOCALITY FROM THE DATE AMENDED TRAVEL ORDERS WERE ISSUED REMOVING THE RESTRICTION. THERE HAS BEEN NO EVIDENCE FURNISHED SHOWING THAT AN AMENDMENT WAS ISSUED TO THE ORIGINAL TRAVEL ORDER OTHER THAN AN AMENDMENT DATED OCTOBER 17, 1972, EXTENDING THE PERIOD OF TEMPORARY DUTY FROM 90 DAYS TO 179 DAYS. THE REASON FOR NOT AMENDING THE TRAVEL ORDER TO REMOVE THE RESTRICTION REQUIRING THE USE OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS IS NOT SHOWN.

SINCE INSTRUCTIONS WERE ISSUED THAT THE TRAVEL ORDERS BE AMENDED IT IS OUR VIEW THAT THE CLAIM SHOULD BE PAID PROVIDED IT IS DETERMINED THE EMPLOYEE DID NOT ACTUALLY USE THE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS DURING THE PERIOD IN QUESTION.

ACTION ON THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, SHOULD BE TAKEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING.