Claim for Per Diem and Travel Expenses Incident to Assignment Under Intergovernmental Personnel Act

B-193797: May 11, 1979

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An employee of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was detailed to the University of California for 1-year. The employee claimed per diem and travel expenses for himself and his family incident to his assignment. The claimant reported that after 6 months had lapsed on his 1-year temporary assignment and after payment of his initial voucher, he was informed by NOAA that he did not have the option of per diem in lieu of subsistence and travel allowances, or payment for transportation of household goods and travel allowances; but that he had to make a choice between per diem only, or transportation of his household effects and family. The claimant contended that he could not, in the middle of the 1-year assignment, change his circumstances. Since the agency would not take any action on any of the travel vouchers he had submitted for payment, he signed a document opting to receive per diem, reserving the right to appeal upon completion of his temporary assignment. The agency reported that inasmuch as an error was made in the regulations of NOAA and in the application of law by officials of the agency, the claimant was allowed to choose between receiving per diem for himself and transportation of his household goods and family in a best effort to minimize reimbursement to the employee by the Government. In view of the circumstances, there was no objection to the election by the claimant to receive per diem in lieu of subsistence instead of change-of-station allowances. Since the employee elected to receive per diem, he is not entitled to payment of change-of-station allowances.