Claim for Per Diem While on Temporary Duty

B-203440: Feb 26, 1982

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An advance decision was requested regarding the propriety of certifying for payment the vouchers submitted by a new employee for expenses incurred during a temporary duty training assignment. The orders included reimbursement for subsistence under the lodgings plus system. The employee decided to rent a house at the temporary duty location while attending the training course, and he ultimately decided to remain at that location and commute to his permanent job location. GAO was asked whether the employee was entitled to per diem during the temporary duty since he did not have a permanent residence at the time the duty began and since his residence at the temporary duty location remained his residence after the completion of the temporary duty. Federal regulations do not preclude the payment of per diem where an employee does not maintain a permanent residence during a temporary duty assignment. While it was evident that the employee ultimately decided to remain in the residence which he rented at the temporary duty location and commute to his official duty station, his entitlement to per diem would not terminate until the residence at his temporary duty station became his permanent residence. Accordingly, the employee's vouchers could be certified for payment through the date on which the employee decided to remain at the temporary duty location as a permanent residence.

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