B-231351, Nov 21, 1989

B-231351: Nov 21, 1989

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CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - Relocation - Temporary quarters - Interruption - Actual subsistence expenses - Amount determination CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - Relocation - Household goods - Temporary storage - Reimbursement - Eligibility DIGEST: This summary letter decision addresses well established rules which have been discussed in previous Comptroller General decisions. We have held that when an employee moves into a house she intends to purchase. Snyder's entitlement to this benefit terminated after her household goods were moved from initial temporary storage to the residence she intended to occupy on a permanent basis. The movement of her effects from that residence back into temporary storage was not incident to the transportation of the household goods at government expense or incident to the official transfer orders.

B-231351, Nov 21, 1989

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - Relocation - Temporary quarters - Interruption - Actual subsistence expenses - Amount determination CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - Relocation - Household goods - Temporary storage - Reimbursement - Eligibility DIGEST: This summary letter decision addresses well established rules which have been discussed in previous Comptroller General decisions. To locate substantive decisions addressing this issue, refer to decisions indexed under the above listed index entry.

Kathleen M. Snyder:

Ms. Kathleen M. Snyder, an employee of the Department of Energy, upon a change of official station, occupied temporary quarters for which she received temporary quarters subsistence expense (TQSE) reimbursement. She later vacated these quarters and moved her family into a residence she had contracted to purchase. She also moved her household goods from storage into this residence. Thereafter, she cancelled the purchase contract, vacated the residence, placed her household goods back in storage and returned to temporary quarters. The Department asks whether Ms. Snyder may be reimbursed TQSE for the second period of occupancy of temporary quarters and may be reimbursed for the storage costs of the household goods upon their return to temporary storage.

Ms. Snyder states that she and her family moved into the residence "with intentions of purchasing this home and making it our permanent residence." Paragraph 2-5.2f of the Federal Travel Regulations (FTR) (Supp. 10, Mar. 13, 1984), provides that the period of eligibility for TQSE shall terminate when the employee occupies permanent residence quarters or when the authorized period of time expires, whichever occurs first. Thus, we have held that when an employee moves into a house she intends to purchase, even though final settlement on the house has not occurred, she has ceased to occupy temporary quarters. See, e.g., Kent N. Rosenlof, 66 Comp.Gen. 701 (1987), and cases cited therein. Here, Ms. Snyder's occupancy of permanent residence quarters terminated her eligibility to reimbursement of TQSE.

With respect to the temporary storage of household goods, such storage, at government expense, may be allowed only when incident to transportation of the employee's household effects at government expense. See FTR, para. 2-8.5a (Supp. 1, Sept. 28, 1981). Thus, Ms. Snyder's entitlement to this benefit terminated after her household goods were moved from initial temporary storage to the residence she intended to occupy on a permanent basis. The movement of her effects from that residence back into temporary storage was not incident to the transportation of the household goods at government expense or incident to the official transfer orders. See Patrick V. Vail, B-196294, Aug. 19, 1980.

Therefore, Ms. Snyder is not entitled to reimbursement of TQSE or temporary storage of her household goods after she vacated temporary quarters and moved her family and household goods into the residence she intended to purchase.