B-164379, AUG. 21, 1968

B-164379: Aug 21, 1968

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THE QUARTERS WERE TEMPORARILY FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT WITH CERTAIN ESSENTIAL HOUSEHOLD ITEMS WHICH YOU REMOVED UPON THE ARRIVAL OF YOUR OWN HOUSEHOLD GOODS ON OR ABOUT DECEMBER 20. WAS DISALLOWED BY THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF OUR OFFICE ON THE GROUND THAT THE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS OCCUPIED BY YOU AND YOUR FAMILY DURING THE PERIOD OF YOUR CLAIM WERE PERMANENT RESIDENCE QUARTERS. WERE TEMPORARY. YOU STATE THAT YOUR CONTINUED OCCUPANCY OF SUCH QUARTERS WAS NOT COMPLETELY OF YOUR OWN CHOICE. WE NOTE THAT YOU HAVE FAILED TO OFFER ANY INFORMATION IN EXPLANATION OF THE LATTER STATEMENT. AFTER A TRANSFER HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AND AFTER THE EMPLOYEE AND/OR MEMBERS OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY VACATE THE RESIDENCE QUARTERS IN WHICH THEY WERE RESIDING AT THE TIME OF THE TRANSFER.

B-164379, AUG. 21, 1968

TO MR. JOHN M. BONVISSUTO:

YOUR LETTERS OF MAY 9 AND JULY 23, 1968, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUEST REVIEW OF OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT DATED APRIL 23, 1968, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHICH YOU INCURRED WHILE PURPORTEDLY OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS IN CONNECTION WITH THE CHANGE OF YOUR OFFICIAL STATION FROM GUAM TO THE PANAMA CANAL ZONE.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY ARRIVED IN THE CANAL ZONE ON OR ABOUT SEPTEMBER 1, 1966, AND IMMEDIATELY MOVED INTO GOVERNMENT QUARTERS ON A RENTAL BASIS. THE QUARTERS WERE TEMPORARILY FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT WITH CERTAIN ESSENTIAL HOUSEHOLD ITEMS WHICH YOU REMOVED UPON THE ARRIVAL OF YOUR OWN HOUSEHOLD GOODS ON OR ABOUT DECEMBER 20, 1966. YOU CONTINUED TO OCCUPY SUCH QUARTERS AT LEAST THROUGH SEPTEMBER 17, 1967.

YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES COVERING THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 1 THROUGH OCTOBER 30, 1966, WAS DISALLOWED BY THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF OUR OFFICE ON THE GROUND THAT THE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS OCCUPIED BY YOU AND YOUR FAMILY DURING THE PERIOD OF YOUR CLAIM WERE PERMANENT RESIDENCE QUARTERS.

YOU CONTEND THAT THE QUARTERS, IN FACT, WERE TEMPORARY, AND YOU STATE THAT YOUR CONTINUED OCCUPANCY OF SUCH QUARTERS WAS NOT COMPLETELY OF YOUR OWN CHOICE. WE NOTE THAT YOU HAVE FAILED TO OFFER ANY INFORMATION IN EXPLANATION OF THE LATTER STATEMENT.

SECTION 2.5B. (3) OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966, ROVIDES:

"TEMPORARY QUARTERS REFER TO LODGING OBTAINED TEMPORARILY, AFTER A TRANSFER HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED AND AFTER THE EMPLOYEE AND/OR MEMBERS OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY VACATE THE RESIDENCE QUARTERS IN WHICH THEY WERE RESIDING AT THE TIME OF THE TRANSFER, UNTIL THE EMPLOYEE MOVES, WITHIN THE ALLOWABLE 30 OR 60 DAYS' TIME LIMIT, INTO PERMANENT RESIDENCE QUARTERS.'

THE TERM "TEMPORARY QUARTERS" IS NOT SUSCEPTIBLE OF ANY PRECISE DEFINITION, AND, THEREFORE, EACH CASE MUST BE DECIDED ON THE BASIS OF THE PARTICULAR FACTS INVOLVED. THE DURATION OF A LEASE, MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS INTO THE QUARTERS, TYPE OF QUARTERS, EXPRESSIONS OF INTENT, AND THE PERIOD OF OCCUPANCY ON THE PART OF AN EMPLOYEE ARE ALL FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED IN DETERMINING WHETHER THE QUARTERS OCCUPIED ARE TEMPORARY IN NATURE. THE PRESENCE OR ABSENCE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S OWN HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IS NOT, BY ITSELF, DETERMINATIVE OF WHETHER THE QUARTERS ARE PERMANENT OR TEMPORARY. SEE 46 COMP. GEN. 709, 712.

THE FACT THAT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY CONTINUED TO RESIDE IN THE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS FOR A PERIOD IN EXCESS OF A YEAR RAISES A STRONG PRESUMPTION THAT SUCH QUARTERS WERE PERMANENT IN NATURE. THE FILE CONTAINS NO EVIDENCE OF A BONA FIDE EFFORT ON YOUR PART TO VACATE SUCH QUARTERS AT ANY SPECIFIC TIME.

ON THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT RECORD WE ARE UNABLE TO CONCLUDE THAT THE QUARTERS OCCUPIED BY YOU DURING THE PERIOD OF YOUR CLAIM WERE "TEMPORARY QUARTERS" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT TERM AS IT IS USED IN THE CONTROLLING LAW AND REGULATIONS. SEE B-162510, OCTOBER 10, 1967, AND B-163043, JUNE 18, 1968 (COPIES ENCLOSED).

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