Reconsideration was requested of the Claims Group's denial of a civilian Air Force employee's claim for additional expenses incident to a temporary duty assignment at remote locations in Alaska. The employee contended that money was improperly deducted from his per diem for his use of Government quarters in the course of his assignments. The employee had used Government quarters because no other lodgings were available at the duty sites. Since the employee used Government quarters at no charge, his per diem was reduced. The employee argued that the quarters he used did not meet Department of Defense standards and, therefore, did not constitute Government quarters. GAO stated that the character of lodgings as Government quarters is not affected by their adequacy or inadequacy. Per diem is an allowance authorized in lieu of reimbursement of subsistence expenses on an actual expense basis. The employee did not incur lodging costs; however, he claimed that he should receive additional per diem to compensate for the hardship he experienced in occupying less than adequate lodgings. GAO has stated that subsistence expenses are not intended to compensate an individual for inconveniences that may be occasioned by travel. Accordingly, the claim must be denied and the Claims Group's settlement was upheld.
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