B-197545, SEP 4, 1980

B-197545: Sep 4, 1980

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PAYMENT OF A DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE AT THE WITHOUT-DEPENDENT RATE MAY BE MADE TO AN AIR FORCE MEMBER WITH DEPENDENTS WHO WERE AUTHORIZED TO MOVE WITH HIM TO HIS NEW STATION BUT. USAF: THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO A LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR OF ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE. THE REQUEST WAS ASSIGNED CONTROL NUMBER 80-5 AND FORWARDED TO US BY THE PER DIEM. WAS DIRECTED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION (PCS) FROM WASHINGTON. WE CONSTRUED THE LAW AND REGULATIONS TO MEAN THAT THE WITHOUT-DEPENDENTS ALLOWANCE WAS PAYABLE ONLY TO A MEMBER WHO HAD NO DEPENDENTS OR WHOSE DEPENDENTS WERE NOT AUTHORIZED TO MOVE TO THE NEW DUTY STATION. THE WITH-DEPENDENTS ALLOWANCE WAS CONSTRUED AS PAYABLE TO A MEMBER WHO HAD DEPENDENTS WHO WERE AUTHORIZED TO AND IN FACT DID MOVE TO THE NEW DUTY STATION.

B-197545, SEP 4, 1980

DIGEST: UNDER THE RULE OF B-196121, APRIL 8, 1980, 59 COMP.GEN. , PAYMENT OF A DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE AT THE WITHOUT-DEPENDENT RATE MAY BE MADE TO AN AIR FORCE MEMBER WITH DEPENDENTS WHO WERE AUTHORIZED TO MOVE WITH HIM TO HIS NEW STATION BUT, DUE TO PERSONAL CONSIDERATIONS, DID NOT MOVE TO THE NEW STATION.

COLONEL JOSEPH W. O'NEIL, USAF:

THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO A LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR OF ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE, HEADQUARTERS ARMAMENT DIVISION, EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, FLORIDA, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION CONCERNING THE PAYMENT OF A CLAIM FOR A DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE AT THE WITHOUT-DEPENDENT RATE TO AN AIR FORCE MEMBER WHO HAD DEPENDENTS, BUT CHOSE NOT TO MOVE THEM TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION. THE REQUEST WAS ASSIGNED CONTROL NUMBER 80-5 AND FORWARDED TO US BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE. WE CONCLUDE THAT PAYMENT OF A DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE MAY BE MADE AT THE WITHOUT-DEPENDENT RATE IN THIS CASE.

BY ORDERS DATED JUNE 25, 1979, COLONEL JOSEPH W. O'NEIL, USAF, WAS DIRECTED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION (PCS) FROM WASHINGTON, D. C., TO EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, FLORIDA. DUE TO PERSONAL CONSIDERATIONS, COLONEL O'NEIL DECIDED THAT HIS DEPENDENTS WOULD NOT ACCOMPANY HIM TO THE NEW DUTY STATION. UPON ARRIVAL AT EGLIN, COLONEL O'NEIL ELECTED NOT TO ACCEPT THE ASSIGNMENT OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AND HE INCURRED CERTAIN EXPENSES IN RELOCATING HIS PERSONAL HOUSEHOLD. SOON THEREAFTER, ON SEPTEMBER 14, 1979, HE SUBMITTED A CLAIM FOR A DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE AT THE SINGLE RATE BASED UPON HIS PCS MOVE.

PURSUANT TO 37 U.S.C. SEC. 407 (1976), CHAPTER 9 OF VOLUME 1, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROVIDES FOR PAYMENT OF DISLOCATION ALLOWANCES AT RATES FOR MEMBERS WITH DEPENDENTS AND LOWER RATES FOR MEMBERS WITHOUT DEPENDENTS. PREVIOUSLY, WE CONSTRUED THE LAW AND REGULATIONS TO MEAN THAT THE WITHOUT-DEPENDENTS ALLOWANCE WAS PAYABLE ONLY TO A MEMBER WHO HAD NO DEPENDENTS OR WHOSE DEPENDENTS WERE NOT AUTHORIZED TO MOVE TO THE NEW DUTY STATION. THE WITH-DEPENDENTS ALLOWANCE WAS CONSTRUED AS PAYABLE TO A MEMBER WHO HAD DEPENDENTS WHO WERE AUTHORIZED TO AND IN FACT DID MOVE TO THE NEW DUTY STATION. HOWEVER, A MEMBER WHO HAD DEPENDENTS HE WAS AUTHORIZED TO MOVE, BUT DID NOT MOVE THEM IN CONNECTION WITH HIS CHANGE OF STATION, WAS NOT ENTITLED TO ANY DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE. SEE, 48 COMP. GEN. 782 (1969).

IN B-196121, APRIL 8, 1980, 59 COMP.GEN. , WE RECONSIDERED THE MATTER AND DETERMINED THAT THE LAW AUTHORIZES, AND THE REGULATIONS COULD BE AMENDED, TO PROVIDE THAT MEMBERS IN SITUATIONS SUCH AS COLONEL O'NEIL'S WOULD BE CONSIDERED TO BE WITHOUT DEPENDENTS AND PAID A DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE ON THAT BASIS. ACCORDINGLY, 48 COMP.GEN. 782 WAS OVERRULED.

SINCE COLONEL O'NEIL'S CLAIM HAD BEEN RECEIVED IN OUR OFFICE AND WAS UNDER CONSIDERATION AT THE TIME THE APRIL 8, 1980 DECISION WAS RENDERED, IT MAY BE PAID BASED ON THAT DECISION. ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER PRESENTED IS BEING RETURNED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.