B-183598, NOV 11, 1975

B-183598: Nov 11, 1975

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REIMBURSEMENT OF MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES OF MOVING HOUSETRAILER IN CONNECTION WITH TRANSFER OF STATION IS LIMITED BY FTR 2-3.3B WHICH PROVIDES THAT AN EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO AN ALLOWANCE FOR ACTUAL MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE IF HE CAN PRESENT ACCEPTABLE EVIDENCE JUSTIFYING THE EXPENSES CLAIMED PROVIDED THAT THE AGGREGATE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE MAY NOT EXCEED 1 WEEK BASIC PAY IN THE CASE OF AN EMPLOYEE WITHOUT AN IMMEDIATE FAMILY. BUCK - MISCELLANEOUS AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCURRED IN MOVING MOBILE HOME: THIS ACTION IS IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST BY A CERTIFYING OFFICER OF THE NATIONAL FINANCE CENTER. WAS AUTHORIZED TRAVEL INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF DUTY STATION FROM BOZEMAN.

B-183598, NOV 11, 1975

REIMBURSEMENT OF MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES OF MOVING HOUSETRAILER IN CONNECTION WITH TRANSFER OF STATION IS LIMITED BY FTR 2-3.3B WHICH PROVIDES THAT AN EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO AN ALLOWANCE FOR ACTUAL MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE IF HE CAN PRESENT ACCEPTABLE EVIDENCE JUSTIFYING THE EXPENSES CLAIMED PROVIDED THAT THE AGGREGATE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE MAY NOT EXCEED 1 WEEK BASIC PAY IN THE CASE OF AN EMPLOYEE WITHOUT AN IMMEDIATE FAMILY.

CLIFFORD M. BUCK - MISCELLANEOUS AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCURRED IN MOVING MOBILE HOME:

THIS ACTION IS IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST BY A CERTIFYING OFFICER OF THE NATIONAL FINANCE CENTER, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT A RECLAIM VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $456.66 IN FAVOR OF MR. CLIFFORD M. BUCK REPRESENTING VARIOUS EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS MOBILE HOME INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF DUTY STATION.

BY TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. 74-23, DATED JUNE 10, 1974, MR. CLIFFORD M. BUCK, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, OFFICE OF AUDIT, WAS AUTHORIZED TRAVEL INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF DUTY STATION FROM BOZEMAN, MONTANA, TO DENVER, COLORADO. PURSUANT TO PART 7, OF CHAPTER 2 OF THE FEDERAL TRAVEL REGULATIONS (FPMR 101-7) (MAY 1973), MR. BUCK WAS ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE AN ALLOWANCE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS MOBILE HOME FOR USE AS A RESIDENCE AT HIS NEW DUTY STATION.

AS AUTHORIZED BY FTR PARA. 2-7.3D (MAY 1973), THE GOVERNMENT ASSUMED RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE MOBILE HOME AND PAID THOSE COSTS DIRECTLY TO THE COMMERCIAL CARRIER INVOLVED THROUGH U.S. GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING. FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF OTHER EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE MOVE, MR. BUCK SUBMITTED TRAVEL VOUCHERS TOTALING THE AMOUNT OF $767. THIS RESULTED IN THE ISSUANCE OF A VOUCHER DIFFERENCE STATEMENT DATED OCTOBER 17, 1974, WHICH SUSPENDED THE AMOUNT OF $456.66 FROM THE PREVIOUSLY SUBMITTED VOUCHER, IN ACCORDANCE WITH FTR PARA. 2 3.3B (MAY 1973). THAT PROVISION ENTITLES AN EMPLOYEE TO AN ALLOWANCE FOR ACTUAL EXPENSES IF HE CAN PRESENT ACCEPTABLE EVIDENCE JUSTIFYING THE EXPENSES CLAIMED PROVIDED THAT THE AGGREGATE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE MAY NOT EXCEED 1 WEEK BASIC PAY IN THE CASE OF AN EMPLOYEE WITHOUT AN IMMEDIATE FAMILY. SINCE MR. BUCK, WHOSE ANNUAL PAY RATE IS STATED TO BE $16,138 (WEEKLY RATE $310.34), IS WITHOUT AN IMMEDIATE FAMILY, HIS MAXIMUM ALLOWANCE IS $310.34 WHICH WAS APPROVED. MR. BUCK SUBMITTED A RECLAIM TRAVEL VOUCHER FOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN $310.34 AND THE AMOUNT OF ACTUAL MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES INCURRED. IT HAS BEEN SUGGESTED THAT THE LIMITATIONS IN FTR PARA. 2-3.3B (MAY 1973), FOR MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE DISCRIMINATE AGAINST SINGLE AND LOWER SALARIED EMPLOYEES WHO COULD INCUR THE SAME COSTS IN RELOCATING A MOBILE HOME AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH AN IMMEDIATE FAMILY. (IN THE CASE OF AN EMPLOYEE WITH AN IMMEDIATE FAMILY THE REGULATION PROVIDES FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED 2 WEEKS BASIC PAY. IN NO CASE WILL AMOUNT EXCEED THE MAXIMUM RATE OF A GRADE GS-13 PROVIDED IN 5 U.S.C. SEC. 5332, AT THE TIME THE EMPLOYEE REPORTS FOR DUTY.)

SINCE MR. BUCK HAS BEEN REIMBURSED THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT ALLOWABLE UNDER REGULATION FOR MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE, THE VOUCHER MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT. CONCERNING THE CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTION, WE DO NOT CONSIDER IT OUR PREROGATIVE OR DUTY TO QUESTION THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO STATUTORY AUTHORITY. RATHER, UNTIL THE COURTS HAVE TAKEN FINAL ACTION HOLDING A PARTICULAR REGULATION UNCONSTITUTIONAL, IT IS OUR VIEW THAT FULL EFFECT SHOULD BE GIVEN THERETO BY OUR OFFICE ACCORDING TO ITS TERMS.

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