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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

340.2 - Permanent Change of Station

Date:  12/23/14

OPR:  Office of Administration/Office of Accounting and Financial Management

Instruction:  Chapter is revised to reflect current U.S. Geological (USGS) policy on permanent change of station and to renumber the chapter from SM 340.6 to SM 340.2.

1.  Purpose.  This chapter describes the references and applicability for an official change of station.

2.  Authority.

A.  Federal Travel Regulations, Chapter 302, Relocation Allowances.

A. U.S. Department of the Interior Permanent Change of Station Policy Handbook contains the standards and procedures for relocation travel allowances.

4.  Eligibility.

A.  A new hire appointed to the first official duty station.  New appointees are not entitled to house-hunting trips, en route per diem for family, temporary quarters, real estate expense reimbursement, home marketing incentive, third-party relocation services, withholding tax allowance, or the relocation income tax allowance.  The criteria for defining a new employee is set forth at 41 C.F.R. § 302-3.1.

B.  When a bureau determines that it is in the interest of the Department to transfer a current Government employee from one agency or duty station to another for permanent duty, and the new duty station is at least 50 miles or more distant from the employees current residence than the distance from the same residence and the old duty station.  For example, if the old duty station is 5 miles from the current residence, then the new duty station must be 55 miles from the same residence.  On a case-by-case basis and having considered the following criteria, the head of the bureau or designee may authorize the reimbursement of relocation expenses of less than 50 miles when he/she determines that it is in the interest of the Department.

(1)  The one-way commuting pattern between the old and new official station increases by at least 10 miles but no more than 50 miles.

(2)  There is an increase in the commuting time to the new official station by at least 30 minutes one way.

(3)  A financial hardship is imposed due to increased commuting costs.

C.  An employee performing travel in accordance with the overseas tour renewal agreement.

D.  An employee returning to the place of residence after completion of a prescribed tour of duty for the purposes of separation from Government service or separation from the overseas assignment for reassignment to the same or different Government agency.

E.  A student trainee assigned to any position upon completion of college work.

F.  An employee eligible for a “last move home” benefit upon separation from the Government (and the immediate family; i.e., spouse and eligible dependents in the event of the employee’s death prior to separation or after separation but prior to relocating).

G.  A career appointee to the Senior Executive Service (SES) as defined in 5 U.S.C. 3132(a)(4), and a prior SES appointee who is returning to the official residence for separation and who will be retaining SES retirement benefits.

H.  An employee that is being assigned to a temporary duty station in connection with a long-term assignment.

I.  Employees upon re-employment within 1 year of separation by a reduction in force.

5.  Relocation Entitlements.

A.  New appointees are entitled to:

(1)  En route transportation expenses for employee and immediate family (see paragraph C below for the definition of immediately family) for the actual trip from the old duty station to the new duty station to report for duty.

(2)  En route per diem for employee only.

(3)  Transportation and storage of household goods.

B.  Transferring employees are entitled to:

(1)  En route transportation expenses for employee and immediate family ( see paragraph C below for the definition of immediately family) for actual trip from the old duty station to the new duty station to report for duty.

(2)  En route per diem for employee and their immediate family.

(3)  Miscellaneous expense allowance.

(4)  Real estate transaction reimbursement.

(a)  Transportation and temporary storage of household goods.

(b)  Relocation income tax allowance.

C.  Immediate family includes any of the following members of an employee’s household at the time he/she reports for duty at the new duty station:

(a)  Spouse.

(b)  Children of the employee or employee’s spouse who are unmarried and under 21 years of age or who, regardless of age, are physically or mentally incapable of self-support.

(c)  Dependent parents.

(d)  Dependent brothers and sisters of the employee or employee’s spouse who are unmarried and under the age of 21 or who, regardless of age, are physically or mentally incapable of self-support.

(e)  Same-sex domestic partner of the relocating employee.

D. Transferees may be entitled, depending on individual circumstances, the office’s discretion, and what is authorized/documented on the travel authorization, to:

(1)  One house-hunting trip.

(2)  Temporary quarters up to 30 days.

(3)  Use of relocation service companies and the home marketing incentive.

E.  New appointees and transferees should always coordinate with the Bureau PCS coordinator prior to incurring expenses.

F.  Employees will have 1 year from the time they report to their new official duty station to incur all authorized relocation expenses.  Employees may request an extension of 1 year to incur relocation expenses under specific compelling reasons.




/s/ Katherine McCulloch                                                                    December 23, 2014
_________________________________________                          ________________________
Katherine McCulloch                                                                                                 Date
Acting Associate Director for Administration


 


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