Entitlement to Subsistence Allowance

B-193401: May 5, 1981

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A decision was requested regarding the entitlement of a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) employee to per diem or actual expense allowances. The request resulted from a prior decision which held that the employee was entitled to a transportation allowance for travel between her residence and a temporary duty station in Arlington, Virginia. Arlington was considered her temporary duty station since the employee was assigned there only for processing and assignment of duties while waiting for clearance prior to an overseas assignment. On the basis of the determination that Arlington was the employee's temporary duty station and not her permanent duty station, it was asked whether DIA could issue confirmatory orders assigning her to a permanent duty station, with appropriate per diem or actual expenses for temporary duty. The record showed that the employee commuted daily from her permanent residence to the temporary duty locations in and around the Washington D.C., area. Prior decisions have prohibited payment of per diem in these circumstances holding that an employee is not entitled to subsistence or per diem at a temporary duty site where no additional expense is incurred. Since the employee commuted to her temporary duty assignment from her permanent residence, it would not appear that she incurred any additional subsistence expenses by virtue of the temporary duty assignment. In addition, it was asked whether the answer to the preceding question would be different if the employee had been assigned to Washington, D.C., for temporary duty prior to reporting to an overseas duty station from a place of residence outside of the Washington, D.C., area. An employee would undoubtedly incur lodging and other expenses in addition to those necessary to maintain a permanent residence. Thus, both new hires and transferees may be authorized a subsistence allowance at Washington, D.C. since, under the circumstances presented, it was a training or temporary duty site, not a permanent duty station.

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