Claim for Reimbursement of Commercial Laundry Expenses

B-205354: Jun 2, 1982

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A member of the armed services appealed the disallowance of his claim for reimbursement of laundry expenses which he incurred while on temporary duty overseas. The member's travel orders provided that quarters would be furnished by the Government and that he would be authorized per diem. The orders also permitted the member to travel in civilian clothes and provided him with a clothing allowance. The member's quarters were to include laundry facilities; however, these facilities were not available and the member had to obtain commercial laundry services. After the assignment, the employee requested an amendment of the original orders to reflect that laundry facilities were not available in the quarters and that reimbursement for the high cost of commercial laundry was allowed. His orders were not so amended, and his claim for laundry expenses was denied on the basis that the laundry expenses were considered to be covered by the per diem allowance. The Claims Group also disallowed the claim on the basis that the member had failed to submit any evidence to show that his orders had been amended to include approval for reimbursement of the laundry costs. Unless there is specific statutory or regulatory authority, the established per diem rates apply regardless of actual expenses incurred by an individual in excess of the established rates. Since laundry costs are regarded as covered by the per diem paid to the member, the Claims Group's disallowance of his claim was sustained.