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The Bureau of Mines' Division of Finance requested a decision on several vouchers submitted by an employee who claimed: (1) temporary duty expenses at his subsequently designated permanent duty station, (2) the cost of househunting travel performed by his wife, and (3) expenses incurred in his family's relocation to the new station. At the time the employee was notified that he would be transferred to a new duty station, his supervisor informed him that his transfer would not become effective for several months after his arrival. Although his work would be classified as temporary at his new duty post, the employee would be obligated to perform his principal duties. Subsequent to his arrival, the employee's family relocated to the area, at which time the employee's wife began househunting activities. GAO noted that, for several weeks prior to his departure from his old duty station, the employee and his agency were aware that he would be transferred to the new duty station. GAO held that, since the employee was effectively transferred when he arrived at the new duty station and began to perform the principal part of his duties, he was not entitled to temporary travel expenses. Similarly, since his wife's househunting activities were not performed prior to the family's effective relocation, the employee was not entitled to those expenses. However, travel costs in both instances were reimbursable. Accordingly, GAO stated that the agency should compute the employee's entitlement to travel expenses on the basis that his and his family's travel to the new duty station constituted permanent change of station travel.

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