[Request for Advance Decision Concerning a HUD Employee's Claim for Temporary Quarters Subsistence Expenses]

B-215055: Feb 7, 1985

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Pursuant to a request for an advance decision, GAO reviewed whether a federal employee was entitled to reimbursement of expenses incurred in purchasing a mobile home for use as temporary quarters at his new duty station. The employee received a reduction-in-force notice, but he was offered a transfer to another Department of Housing and Urban Development office. Upon notification of the proposed transfer, the employee purchased a mobile home for use as temporary quarters at the new location and claimed costs incurred for the downpayment on the mobile home, delivery and set-up, electrical hook-ups, furnishings, and linens. He also claimed reimbursement for expenses he incurred for trips to the new duty station area and for mortgage and lot rent payments. Before the employee reported to his new duty station, a vacant position at his old duty station was offered to him. He accepted the position, so his transfer was cancelled and he did not vacate his old residence. Therefore, GAO determined that the employee was not entitled to reimbursement for any temporary quarters subsistence expenses. Further, even in the event of a cancelled transfer, reimbursement for the items in question is allowable only if incurred in connection with the acquisition of a permanent residence at a new duty station. Since the employee intended the mobile home to be used as temporary quarters, and not as a permanent residence, there was no authority for payment of his claim.

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