[Claim for Storage Expenses]

B-206294: Dec 15, 1982

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Thomas H. Armstrong
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ArmstrongT@gao.gov

 

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GAO was asked to determine whether an Air Force officer is entitled to reimbursement of the expenses he incurred for the temporary storage of household goods while his reassignment from Europe to the United States was pending under permanent change-of-station orders. At the time the officer received his orders, the officer's wife was living in the United States in a rented apartment. Her lease was scheduled to expire and she was faced with the choice of either vacating the premises or renewing the lease for another year. He wrote to tell her not to renew the lease and to make arrangements for shipment of their household goods to his new duty station. The transportation officer advised her that because she did not have her husband's power of attorney, the Air Force would not arrange to have their household goods removed from the apartment. She was instructed to make arrangements for temporary storage of the goods and to have her husband sign an Air Force power of attorney form, following receipt of which the traffic management office would make arrangements to have the goods shipped under Government contract. GAO held that reimbursement of storage costs is authorized since service personnel are entitled to transportation which includes temporary storage of household goods at Government expense upon receipt of a permanent change-of-station order, and a member is entitled to reimbursement of all costs incurred if the transportation officer declines to accept responsibility for his household good shipment. Accordingly, the voucher may be paid upon recalculation of the actual expenses incurred.