B-181032, AUG 19, 1974

B-181032: Aug 19, 1974

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EMPLOYEE WHO WAS TRANSFERRED FOR OFFICIAL CHANGE OF STATION CLOSED THE SALE ON HIS RESIDENCE ON AUGUST 27 AND WAS INTENDING TO DEPART OLD STATION ON SAME DAY BUT WAS PREVENTED FROM DOING SO DUE TO BREAKDOWN OF MOVING VAN IS ENTITLED TO RECOVER SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES UNDER SECTION 2 5.2C OF FEDERAL TRAVEL REGULATIONS COVERING MEALS FOR HIMSELF AND HIS FAMILY UNTIL SEPTEMBER 1. THE FACTS IN THIS CASE ARE NOT IN DISPUTE. IN PREPARATION FOR THE PICKUP THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE PACKED. THE HOUSE WAS CLEANED. DRIVER AND HIS FAMILY SLEPT ON MATTRESSES IN THE OLD RESIDENCE BY SPECIAL PERMISSION OF THE NEW OWNER AND SPENT $50 FOR MEALS WHICH ARE PROPERLY ITEMIZED BY DATE. THE AMOUNT CLAIMED WAS ORIGINALLY SUSPENDED ON THE BASIS OF SECTION 2 5.2C OF THE FEDERAL TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

B-181032, AUG 19, 1974

EMPLOYEE WHO WAS TRANSFERRED FOR OFFICIAL CHANGE OF STATION CLOSED THE SALE ON HIS RESIDENCE ON AUGUST 27 AND WAS INTENDING TO DEPART OLD STATION ON SAME DAY BUT WAS PREVENTED FROM DOING SO DUE TO BREAKDOWN OF MOVING VAN IS ENTITLED TO RECOVER SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES UNDER SECTION 2 5.2C OF FEDERAL TRAVEL REGULATIONS COVERING MEALS FOR HIMSELF AND HIS FAMILY UNTIL SEPTEMBER 1, DAY OF DEPARTURE ON GROUND OF HAVING CONSTRUCTIVELY VACATED OLD RESIDENCE QUARTERS ON AUGUST 27.

BEVERLY L. DRIVER - WHAT CONSTITUTES TEMPORARY QUARTERS:

THIS DECISION INVOLVES THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT THE RECLAIM VOUCHER OF MR. BEVERLY L. DRIVER IN THE AMOUNT OF $50 REPRESENTING SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED AS A RESULT OF HIS CHANGE OF OFFICIAL DUTY STATION FROM ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN, TO FORT COLLINS, COLORADO, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. THE FACTS IN THIS CASE ARE NOT IN DISPUTE. IN IMPLEMENTING HIS TRANSFER FROM ANN ARBOR TO FORT COLLINS, MR. DRIVER HAD CLOSED THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENCE AT THE OLD DUTY STATION ON AUGUST 27, 1973, AND HAD MADE ARRANGEMENTS WITH A COMMON CARRIER TO PICK UP HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ON THE SAME DATE FOR TRANSFER TO FORT COLLINS. IN PREPARATION FOR THE PICKUP THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE PACKED, INCLUDING STOVE AND REFRIGERATOR, AND THE HOUSE WAS CLEANED. DUE TO A BREAKDOWN OF THE MOVING VAN IN CALIFORNIA, THE COMMON CARRIER FAILED TO PICK UP ITS CARGO AND MR. DRIVER AND HIS FAMILY REMAINED IN THE OLD RESIDENCE UNTIL SEPTEMBER 1, 1973, THE DAY ON WHICH THE COMMON CARRIER PICKED UP THE HOSEHOLD GOODS.

FROM AUGUST 27 UNTIL SEPTEMBER 1, MR. DRIVER AND HIS FAMILY SLEPT ON MATTRESSES IN THE OLD RESIDENCE BY SPECIAL PERMISSION OF THE NEW OWNER AND SPENT $50 FOR MEALS WHICH ARE PROPERLY ITEMIZED BY DATE.

THE AMOUNT CLAIMED WAS ORIGINALLY SUSPENDED ON THE BASIS OF SECTION 2 5.2C OF THE FEDERAL TRAVEL REGULATIONS, WHICH REQUIRES THAT THE RESIDENCE QUARTERS IN WHICH THE FAMILY WAS RESIDING AT THE TIME THE TRANSFER WAS AUTHORIZED BE VACATED PRIOR TO OCCUPYING "TEMPORARY QUARTERS."

ON RESUBMISSION OF THE CAIM BY MR. DRIVER, THE APPROPRIATE AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER HAS SUBMITTED THE VOUCHER TO THIS OFFICE AND REQUESTED AN ADVANCE DECISION UPON IT UNDER 31 U.S.C. 82D AS A DOUBTFUL CLAIM.

THIS OFFICE HAS IN THE PAST GIVEN GREAT WEIGHT TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING EACH CASE WHERE THE QUESTION OF WHAT CONSTITUTES "TEMPORARY QUARTERS" HAS ARISEN. WE HAVE PAID PARTICULAR ATTENTION TO THE INTENT OF THE EMPLOYEE IN MAKING A RESIDENCE HIS PERMANENT LIVING QUARTERS.

UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THIS CASE THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT THE RESIDENCE OCCUPIED BY MR. DRIVER AND HIS FAMILY AFTER THE CLOSING OF THE SALE WAS NOT INTENDED AS PERMANENT QUARTERS. HE HAD, TO ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES, VACATED THE RESIDENCE WHICH NO LONGER BELONGED TO HIM, AND WAS PERMITTED TO REOCCUPY IT ONLY AT THE SUFFERANCE OF THE NEW OWNERS. SUCH RESIDENCE COULD THEREFORE BE CONSIDERED, CONSTRUCTIVELY, AS TEMPORARY QUARTERS AFTER THE CLOSING OF THE SALE AND THE DATE ON WHICH THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE PICKED UP FOR TRANSFER TO THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION.

ACCORDINGLY, THE RECLAIM VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.