B-237542, Aug 28, 1990

B-237542: Aug 28, 1990

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CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - Relocation - Temporary quarters - Actual subsistence expenses - Eligibility - Extension DIGEST: This summary letter decision addresses well established rules which have been discussed in previous Comptroller General decisions. Rogers was granted two 30-day periods of temporary quarters subsistence expenses in connection with his transfer to a new duty station. /2/ an agency may authorize payment for an additional period of temporary quarters for up to 60 days if the appropriate agency official determines that there are compelling reasons for the continued occupancy of temporary quarters and there is a demonstrated need for the continued occupancy of temporary quarters due to circumstances beyond the employee's control which have occurred during the initial 60-day period.

B-237542, Aug 28, 1990

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - Relocation - Temporary quarters - Actual subsistence expenses - Eligibility - Extension 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.

Jeffrey W. Rogers:

This decision concerns the claim of an employee for an extension of 60- day period of temporary quarters subsistence expenses upon his transfer to a new duty station. /1/ sustain the agency's denial of the extension.

Mr. Jeffrey W. Rogers was granted two 30-day periods of temporary quarters subsistence expenses in connection with his transfer to a new duty station. He requests an additional 14 days of temporary quarters and states that sufficiently compelling events occurred during his initial period of temporary quarters to justify the extension, specifically his wife's illness during this period and the delay in settlement on his new house due to the VA, the guarantor of the Rogers's loan, requiring that the builder be enrolled in the HOW Warranty program.

The agency denied the request for an extension of the period of temporary quarters on the grounds that Mrs. Rogers had sufficient time to recover from her medical problems and that local housing conditions did not warrant additional time in temporary quarters.

Under the provisions of paragraph 2-5.2a(2) of the Federal Travel Regulations, /2/ an agency may authorize payment for an additional period of temporary quarters for up to 60 days if the appropriate agency official determines that there are compelling reasons for the continued occupancy of temporary quarters and there is a demonstrated need for the continued occupancy of temporary quarters due to circumstances beyond the employee's control which have occurred during the initial 60-day period. We have interpreted these regulations as granting to the agency broad discretion to limit the period of temporary quarters, and we will not challenge the agency's determination absent evidence it was arbitrary, capricious, or contrary to law. Alexander Bell, B-201382, Aug. 26, 1981; Donald F. Daly, B-209873, July 6, 1983.

In this case, the agency has not accepted Mr. Rogers's reasons for an extension, and, in light of the discretion granted to the agency, we have no basis to conclude that the agency's decision to deny an extension of temporary quarters was arbitrary, capricious, or an abuse of discretion.

Accordingly, we sustain the agency's denial of Mr. Rogers's claim.

/1/ This decision responds to a request from Conrad R. Hoffman, Principal Deputy Assistant, Secretary for Finance and Planning, Department of Veterans Affairs.

/2/ Supp. 10, March 12, 1983, incorp. by ref., 41 C.F.R. Sec. 101 7.003 (1987).