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Department of State Standardized Regulations   - (Last updated 8/30/2009)
  

120  TEMPORARY QUARTERS SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE (Last updated 8/30/2009)

121 Definition

"Temporary quarters subsistence allowance" means an allowance granted to an employee for the reasonable cost of temporary quarters, meals and laundry expenses incurred by the employee and/or family members:

a. for a period not to exceed 90 days after first arrival at a new post in a foreign area or a period ending with the occupation of residence (permanent) quarters, if earlier; or

b. for a period not to exceed 30 days immediately preceding final departure from the post subsequent to the necessary vacating of residence quarters.

122 Scope

122.1 Purpose

The temporary quarters subsistence allowance is intended to assist in covering the average cost of adequate but not elaborate or unnecessarily expensive accommodations in a hotel, pension, or other transient-type quarters at the post of assignment, plus reasonable meal and laundry expenses for a period not in excess of 90 days after first arrival at a new post of assignment in a foreign area, ending with the occupation of residence quarters if earlier, or 30 days immediately preceding final departure from the post following necessary vacating of residence quarters.

122.2 Extension

The 90 and 30 day temporary quarters subsistence periods may be extended up to but not more than an additional 60 days in each case if it is determined by the head of agency that compelling reasons beyond the control of the employee require continued occupancy of temporary quarters.

122.3 Agency Options

Instead of paying TQSA as provided herein, an agency or post may choose to provide temporary quarters directly, to limit the number of days TQSA may be paid to fewer than the maximum number of days, and/or not to pay any TQSA if quarters with cooking facilities are provided.

123 Temporary Quarters Subsistence Allowance Upon First Arrival

123.1 Commencement

The temporary quarters subsistence allowance grant to an employee upon first arrival at a new post, including an employee or family member occupying temporary quarters at no expense, (e.g. government-owned or leased housing), shall commence as of the applicable date shown below, or the date expenses for temporary lodging are incurred, if later:

a. the date the employee arrives at a new post;

b. the date a family member arrives at the new post prior to employee when the employee is delayed because of being ordered to report at another place for consultation or detail;

c. the effective date of transfer when the employee is already at the post to which transferred, (in this instance the 90 day period begins on the date of transfer); or

d. the date of return of the employee to the post after a temporary absence within the 90 days after first arrival (or the arrival of a family member if earlier), in circumstances where no temporary quarters subsistence allowance was paid for the period of the employee's absence.

123.2 Termination

The temporary quarters subsistence allowance granted upon first arrival at a new post shall terminate as of the earliest of the following dates:

a. on the 91st day following first arrival of the employee or family member, if earlier, unless an extension is authorized under Section 122.2 by the head of agency;

b. the date temporary quarters are no longer occupied;

c. the date of occupancy of residence (permanent) quarters;

d. the date of the employee's departure, or the date of departure of family members if later, under transfer orders.  Where the employee's departure for transfer precedes that of family members, the temporary quarters subsistence allowance at his/her previous post shall not extend beyond the date immediately preceding the date of arrival at his/her new post; or

e. the date of separation from a Federal agency.

123.3 Amounts

The amount of the temporary quarters subsistence allowance which may be reimbursed shall be the lesser of either the actual amount of allowable expenses incurred by the employee and family members for each time period or the amount computed as follows (reference: Section 960 TQSA worksheet):

123.31 First Thirty Days

a. For the initial occupant (employee or family member age 12 or over), a daily rate not in excess of 75% of the per diem rate listed for the foreign post in Section 925 of the Standardized Regulations (Government Civilians, Foreign Areas); and

b. For each additional occupant, whether employee or family member age 12 or over, 50% of the per diem rate listed for the foreign post.

c. For each family member occupant under age 12, 40% of the per diem rate listed for the foreign post.

123.32 Second Thirty Days

a. For the initial occupant (employee or family member age 12 or over), a daily rate not in excess of 65% of the per diem rate listed for the foreign post in Section 925 of the Standardized Regulations (Government Civilians, Foreign Areas); and

b. For each additional occupant, whether employee or family member age 12 or over,45% of the per diem rate listed for the foreign post.

c. For each family member occupant under age 12, 35% of the per diem rate listed for the foreign post.

123.33 Third Thirty Days

a. For the initial occupant (employee or family member age 12 or over), a daily rate not in excess of 55% of the per diem rate listed for the foreign post in Section 925 of the Standardized Regulations (Government Civilians, Foreign Areas); and

b. For each additional occupant, whether employee or family member age 12 or over, 40% of the per diem rate listed for the foreign post.

c. For each family member occupant under age 12, 30% of the per diem rate listed for the foreign post.

123.34 Additional Sixty Days:

When the head of agency determines, on a case by case basis, that an extension of time is necessary due to compelling reasons beyond the control of the employee, up to an additional sixty days may be authorized, computed at the same rates established for the third thirty day period.

123.35 Reduction When No Cost Quarters are Occupied

When no cost temporary housing is occupied by the employee an amount not to exceed one-half of the amount established in 123.3 for each occupant shall be the maximum amount payable for actual meal, laundry and dry cleaning costs while occupying such quarters.

123.36 Excessive Lodging Costs After the First 30 Days

In exceptional circumstances when temporary lodging facilities in the locality are extremely limited and necessary lodging costs are excessive, the head of agency may authorize an amount of actual expenses incurred not to exceed the rate produced by Section 123.31.  Prior to exercise of this authority the authorizing official must certify in writing that every effort has been made to obtain a lower lodging rate for the period in question.  All other alternatives should be exhausted before this special authorization is used.

124 Temporary Quarters Subsistence Allowance Preceding Final Departure

124.1 Commencement

If the head of agency determines that it is necessary for an employee to occupy temporary quarters immediately preceding final departure from the post, the grant of a temporary quarters subsistence allowance may commence as of the latest of the following dates:

a. the date following the necessary vacating of government owned or leased quarters or termination of the living quarters allowance grant (exception: the head of agency or designee may determine that up to five days are required for payment of both the living quarters allowance and the temporary quarters subsistence allowance because the employee must necessarily vacate permanent residence quarters in order to comply with stringent lease requirements for cleaning and repair);

b. the date expenditures for temporary lodging are first incurred following the necessary vacating of residence quarters.  However, see Section 124.33 for employee occupying no cost temporary quarters.

The agency head or designee may authorize the grant of temporary quarters subsistence allowance up to five days prior to the termination of the grant of living quarters allowance if such agency head or designee determines that it is necessary for the employee to vacate existing quarters in order to meet lease requirements for cleaning and repair.

124.2 Termination

A temporary quarters subsistence allowance granted immediately preceding the employee's final departure from the post shall terminate as of the earliest of the following dates:

a. on the 31st day following commencement of the grant unless an extension is authorized under Section 122.2 by the head of agency;

b. the date expenses for temporary lodging are no longer incurred; however, see Section 124.33 for employee occupying no cost temporary quarters;

c. the date of the employee's departure, or the date of departure of family members if later, under transfer orders.  Where the employee's departure for transfer precedes that of family members, the temporary quarters subsistence allowance at the previous post shall not extend beyond the date preceding the date of the arrival of the new employee at the new post; or

d. the date of separation from a Federal agency.

124.3 Amounts

The amount of the temporary quarters subsistence allowance which may be reimbursed shall be the lesser of either the actual amount of allowable expenses incurred by the employee and family members for each time period or the amount computed as follows (reference:  Section 960 TQSA worksheet):

124.31 First thirty days

a. For the initial occupant (employee or family member age 12 or over), a daily rate not in excess of 75% of the per diem rate listed for the foreign post in Section 925 of the Standardized Regulations (Government Civilians, Foreign Areas); and

b. For each additional occupant, whether employee or family member age 12 or over, 50% of the per diem listed for the foreign post.

c. For each family member occupant under age 12, 40% of the per diem rate listed for the foreign post.

124.32 Additional sixty days

When the head of agency determines, on a case by case basis,that an extension of time is necessary due to compelling reasons beyond the control of the employee, up to an additional sixty days may be authorized as follows:

(1) First thirty day extension

(a) For the initial occupant (employee or family member age 12 or over), a daily rate not in excess of 65% of the foreign per diem rate listed for the post in Section 925 of the Standardized Regulations (Government Civilians, Foreign Areas); and

(b) For each additional occupant, whether employee or family member age 12 or over, 45% of the per diem rate listed for the foreign post.

(c) For each family member occupant under age 12, 35% of the per diem rate listed for the foreign post.

(2) Second thirty day extension

(a) For the initial occupant (employee or family member age 12 or over), a daily rate not in excess of 55% of the foreign per diem rate listed for the post in Section 925 of the Standardized Regulations (Government Civilians, Foreign Areas); and

(b) For each additional occupant, whether employee or family member age 12 or over, 40% of the per diem listed for the foreign post.

(c) For each family member occupant under age 12, 30% of the per diem rate listed for the foreign post.

124.33 Reduction When No Cost Quarters are Occupied

When no cost temporary quarters are occupied by the employee an amount not to exceed one-half of the amount established in 124.3 for each occupant shall be the maximum amount payable for actual meal, laundry and dry cleaning costs while occupying such quarters. For example, if the total per diem rate for the post is $100 for lodging and $50 for M&IE, the employee in no cost quarters would be eligible for half of the allowed rate of $112.50 (75% of $150 applying the rules of 124.3) which would be $56.25 per day.

124.34 Excessive Lodging Costs After the First 30 Days

In exceptional circumstances when temporary lodging facilities in the locality are extremely limited and necessary lodging costs are excessive, the head of agency may authorize an amount of actual expenses incurred not to exceed the rate produced by Section 124.31.  Prior to exercise of this authority the authorizing official must certify in writing that every effort has been made to obtain a lower lodging rate for the period in question.  All other alternatives should be exhausted before this special authorization is used.

125 Determination of Rate

The rate at which the temporary quarters subsistence allowance may be granted shall be the total amount of the reasonable and necessary expenses for the employee and family members for meals, including tax, service charges and tips, laundry/dry cleaning and temporary lodging (including room and bath, heat, light, fuel, water and the cost of service fees and taxes imposed by the management or local government upon the occupant during the period or periods allowed by Sections 123 and 124) or the total of the maximum rates for such period or periods, whichever is less. The location of the temporary quarters must be within reasonable proximity of the post.  Evidence of the daily cost of meals, laundry and dry cleaning shall be a certified statement by the employee.  Supporting receipts or other appropriate documentation for the daily cost of temporary lodging shall also be supplied.  Only actual subsistence expenses incurred, which are reasonable in amount and incident to the occupancy of temporary quarters, shall be reimbursed.  Section 960 TQSA Worksheet may be used to support a TQSA claim.

The daily actual expenses for temporary lodging, meals (including groceries consumed during occupancy of temporary quarters), fees and tips incident to meals and lodging, laundry and cleaning of clothing will be totaled for each 30 day period to permit a comparison with the maximum amount for each specified period.  If less than a 30 day period is authorized, or used, the maximum allowable amount will be based on the number of days authorized, or used, multiplied by the applicable daily rate.  Expenses of local transportation and other expenses not directly related to lodging, meals and the laundry/dry cleaning of clothes are not reimbursable under this allowance.

126 Special Rules

126.1 Married Couple Employees or Domestic Partnership Employees at the Same Post (interim eff. 7/5/2009 TL:SR 711; final eff. 8/30/2009 TL:SR 715)

Each married couple employee or domestic partnership employee may be granted the "initial occupant" rate under Sections 123 and 124, but only one employee may be granted applicable amounts for any additional family members.  Alternatively, the couple may agree to consider one spouse or domestic partner as a family member only.

126.2 Payment During Periods of Official Travel

The temporary quarters subsistence allowance may continue on behalf of any individual (employee or family member) during any period of official travel which authorizes per diem on behalf of that individual.  However, payment shall be authorized only when the head of agency has determined that the employee has acted responsibly in retaining temporary quarters during the period of official travel.  Payment for the temporary quarters maintained at the post of assignment shall be computed using only the lodging portion of the applicable per diem rate and the formulas found in Sections 123.3 and 124.3.

126.3 Payment to Family Members of Deceased Employee (interim eff. 7/5/2009 TL:SR 711; final eff. 8/30/2009 TL:SR 715)

When the employee has died while stationed in a foreign area, family members may be reimbursed for up to five days of TQSA when the head of agency or designee determines it is necessary to occupy temporary quarters after vacating permanent quarters prior to final departure from post.

127 Prohibitions

Any post allowance which would be otherwise authorized under Section 220 of these regulations shall not be paid for any period during which the temporary quarters subsistence allowance is paid.

128 Effective Dates of Revisions

The temporary quarters subsistence allowance grant shall be appropriately revised as of:

a. the effective date of an authorized change in the per diem rate of the post as shown Section 925 of the Standardized Regulations, (Government Civilians, Foreign Areas);

b. the date of change in the employee's family size.

129 Payment

The grant of the temporary quarters subsistence allowance may be paid in a lump-sum amount.  The allowance must be claimed by the employee on the Standard Form 1190.  Employee should list the following in Box 18, Remarks:  (1) Temporary Quarters occupied by the employee and family; (2) total claim being made for quarters and subsistence; and (3) total of any advance of funds provided under Section 113.2.  Receipts and other documentation required by Section 125, or pertinent agency regulations, should be attached to the SF-1190 prior to submission to the approval or granting official of the agency.