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Non-Availibility lodging/letter

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Does anyone know where I can find the reg that states when TDY to a location and staying less than 24 hrs, you do not require a Letter of Non-A if staying at other than gov't quarters?

I am contantly battling our finance office on getting paid when RON somewhere for one night and I stay offbase with no Non-A letter.

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!

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I am currently TDY Enroute at Nellis. I'm half way through my stay(off base) and Nellis lodging gave me a Non-Availability letter, but only for my first part of the stay. Can they legally force me to move back on base? I've been told by an O-4 and O-5 they can't, but the A1C at the lovely reception desk says they can. I've searched the only reg I can find, AFI 34-246, Air Force Lodging Program, but I can't find anything one way or the other. Anyone have any advise?

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I am currently TDY Enroute at Nellis. I'm half way through my stay(off base) and Nellis lodging gave me a Non-Availability letter, but only for my first part of the stay. Can they legally force me to move back on base? I've been told by an O-4 and O-5 they can't, but the A1C at the lovely reception desk says they can. I've searched the only reg I can find, AFI 34-246, Air Force Lodging Program, but I can't find anything one way or the other. Anyone have any advise?

They cannot "Force" you to move back on base. They can offer you a room on base but once they have provided you a Non-A, there is no requirement you check back again. Therefore, they should have gave you a Non-A for the entire period of time and not just the first part of your stay.

Show the A1C this JFTR Reference.

U1045 GOV’T QUARTERS USE/AVAILABILITY

NOTE 2: The member is not required to seek (or check for) GOV’T quarters when TDY to a U.S. Installation

after non-availability documentation has been initially provided. Checking quarters availability is a one-time

requirement at a TDY U.S. Installation. (Ex: A member, who is required to check quarters availability on arrival

at a U.S. Installation, does so and is issued non-availability documentation, cannot be required to re-check later

for quarters availability at that U.S. Installation during that TDY period there). See par. U1045-C.

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Guest joedirt
Well, it was still a hard fight. I went into lodging and showed them the reg, but lodging argued that because I'm at Nellis for 2 different classes, they can pull me back on base between the classes. I continued to argue, but then I found out that because I was actually taking the second class at Creech, I was able to stay off of base because of the commute. Lodging continued to try to force me on base, even making reservations for me and then complaining because I was a no-show, but I had enough and told them to take it up with my leadership. I haven't heard anything since.

So, long story short, Lodging can not force you back on base once a Non-A slip has been issued.

Lodging and my finance people told me that they can't force you out but your lodging & Per Diem rate will still change. For example, I was on a 3 month TDY to southern California and lodging gave me a Non-A for the first week. After that they booked me for the remainder of my TDY on base. Problem is that your lodging rate goes from $110 to $33 and Per Diem goes from $60 to $20. I could still stay at the hotel off base that I was paying $110 at, but after the first week, I'd only be getting reimbursed $33 / night. Are you saying that even if there is a Non-A for just 1 day, they have to give you the Non-A for your entire TDY period?

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Lodging and my finance people told me that they can't force you out but your lodging & Per Diem rate will still change. For example, I was on a 3 month TDY to southern California and lodging gave me a Non-A for the first week. After that they booked me for the remainder of my TDY on base. Problem is that your lodging rate goes from $110 to $33 and Per Diem goes from $60 to $20. I could still stay at the hotel off base that I was paying $110 at, but after the first week, I'd only be getting reimbursed $33 / night. Are you saying that even if there is a Non-A for just 1 day, they have to give you the Non-A for your entire TDY period?

That's the way the JFTR reads. It's a 1-time requirement, so if they don't have a room that first night, then they better give you a non-A for the whole time--that is if you want to stay off-base. You can voluntarily move back on base.

In your case, did you move back on base? If you didn't, I see where you have a claim you could file with the Def. Office of Hearing and Appeals (DOHA).

Edit for additional comment. Having just said all that, there could be other influences that can make you change your mind. Say for example a GO that is keenly aware of funding and want's his/her TDY member's to keep excessive TDY costs down. They might provide some suggestions that if offered the opportunity to move back on base, do so--our budget is tight. Just some additional thoughts.

Edited by Finance_Guy

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Finance Guy or anyone else who might know,

If you get a Non-A letter and on it they tell you it's only good for a certain place. Is that legal? Can you change lodging even though they booked it like that?

LRAFB and McChord AFB do this.

(I'll start browsing the JFTR now, just thought someone would know outright)

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That's the way the JFTR reads. It's a 1-time requirement, so if they don't have a room that first night, then they better give you a non-A for the whole time--that is if you want to stay off-base. You can voluntarily move back on base.

In your case, did you move back on base? If you didn't, I see where you have a claim you could file with the Def. Office of Hearing and Appeals (DOHA).

Edit for additional comment. Having just said all that, there could be other influences that can make you change your mind. Say for example a GO that is keenly aware of funding and want's his/her TDY member's to keep excessive TDY costs down. They might provide some suggestions that if offered the opportunity to move back on base, do so--our budget is tight. Just some additional thoughts.

We're having the same issue at Vandenberg for training. They have an O-5 whose sole job is to nickle and dime the TDY students out of everything. She is "requiring" we submit all receipts, including dry cleaning, even if they are under the $50(or is it $75) limit that DTS imposes and we get a whopping $13.80 pre diem which buys you about 1 hamburger in CA. They also have lodging issuing people Non-A letters for the first week or two weeks of class and then making them move back on base. If they're staying off base in contracted lodging (I'm assuming that is the correct term since they were directed 3 different hotels they are allowed to use) should they still technically be allowed to remain off base for the duration of the TDY?

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Same thing going on at Little Rock. Here's the thing: The JFTR can say whatever it says, but the Wing at which you are TDY can issue "more restrictive" guidelines. So, as in the case at Little Rock, it is mandated that if you are here TDY as a "student", then you must stay on base, even if that means moving you around between buildings on base if your graduation dates move back, or moving you off base if there is absolutely no room, and then moving back on once there is. It's crazy. There is no way to really barracks-lawyer your way around it - trust me, I've tried.

The only thing that really works is appealing to whoever the clerk is at the front desk of the Air Force lodge, explain to him/her the situation, and they may/may not give you a non-A slip for the duration of the TDY.

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.... but the Wing at which you are TDY can issue "more restrictive" guidelines. So, as in the case at Little Rock, it is mandated that if you are here TDY as a "student", then you must stay on base, even if that means moving you around between buildings on base if your graduation dates move back, or moving you off base if there is absolutely no room, and then moving back on once there is....

That SPECIFIC scenario is PROHIBITED in the JFTR in no uncertain language.

Take it up with the services commander, then the IG, then whatever finance office pays your voucher.

Don't let a shoe or overzealous lodging manager screw you (even though they may just be following "policy").

Fight it until the policy gets fixed, or they change the JFTR.

This shit is getting out of hand!

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I refer to "contract quarters" in the sense that the rooms (typically a whole hotel) are rented/reserved by base Lodging (via Contracting). In such cases, you often won't even be paying the bill yourself (your lodging cost for that location is 0), rather it's paid for via the USAF contract. In either case, the hotel effectively "becomes" Billeting (just like your rental car is a GOV). In that sense, quarters ARE available--they just happen to be off-base. In the cases where I've been in contract quarters (of the sort I describe here), YES, it is a different form, and it's an "assignment of quarters" rather a "quarters not available" form.

If there's another flavor of "contract quarters" out there wherein you get issued a non-A slip, that may be a finer point I'm unaware of. I suspect the language on any form you're given when you don't get a room on base should make it clear whether you're being *assigned* a lodging location, versus *denied* base lodging (even if there's a downtown location written on the form). I've had several non-A's over the years where they "helpfully" made reservations at one of the hotels they work w/ downtown. Those are only suggestions and may save some effort/time on your part. Of course, the closest hotel may be a fleabag in which you have no intention of staying. Sometimes I've used the one they've made, others I haven't--and I've never had a problem w/ off base lodging that's at or below the local lodging rate, so long as I have the non-A form (regardless of whether the hotel on the form matches the hotel on my receipt).

Someone shake Finance Guy's cage--this is far more up his alley than mine.... :beer:

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Well, I may be mangling my terms here. I refer to "contract quarters" in the sense that the rooms (typically a whole hotel) are rented/reserved by base Lodging (via Contracting). In such cases, you often won't even be paying the bill yourself (your lodging cost for that location is 0), rather it's paid for via the USAF contract. In either case, the hotel effectively "becomes" Billeting (just like your rental car is a GOV). In that sense, quarters ARE available--they just happen to be off-base. In the cases where I've been in contract quarters (of the sort I describe here), YES, it is a different form, and it's an "assignment of quarters" rather a "quarters not available" form.

If there's another flavor of "contract quarters" out there wherein you get issued a non-A slip, that may be a finer point I'm unaware of. I suspect the language on any form you're given when you don't get a room on base should make it clear whether you're being *assigned* a lodging location, versus *denied* base lodging (even if there's a downtown location written on the form). I've had several non-A's over the years where they "helpfully" made reservations at one of the hotels they work w/ downtown. Those are only suggestions and may save some effort/time on your part. Of course, the closest hotel may be a fleabag in which you have no intention of staying. Sometimes I've used the one they've made, others I haven't--and I've never had a problem w/ off base lodging that's at or below the local lodging rate, so long as I have the non-A form (regardless of whether the hotel on the form matches the hotel on my receipt).

Someone shake Finance Guy's cage--this is far more up his alley than mine.... :beer:

Sorry all for not chiming in earlier--been out of pocket for medical reasons. Below my reply is a 2006 message that may clear up alot of the questions on contract quarters. If you still have to pay for the quarters, then they are still considered commercial quarters and are not an extension of billeting--when you pay, that means there's merely a memo of understanding (MOU) or a blanket purchase agreement (BPA) set up. IMO a contract qtr letter is the same as a Non-A. The message below basically says the same thing. True "Contract" quarters is when the government has made previous arrangements and has paid for the qtrs under contract. We really only see this for AMC enroute locations for the transient aircrews.

//UNCLASSIFIED//

FROM PLA: HQ USAF WASHINGTON DC// A1SF//

SUBJECT: LODGING REIMBURSEMENT UNIFORMED MEMBERS

R 221800Z DEC 06

FM HQ USAF WASHINGTON DC// A1SF//

ALMAJCOM-FOA//A1/FM//

********* THIS IS A COMBINED MESSAGE *********

SUBJECT: LODGING REIMBURSEMENT UNIFORMED MEMBERS 1. JFTR, PAR. U1045 STIPULATES THAT MEMBERS ORDERED TO A U.S. INSTALLATION (AS OPPOSED TO A GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION LIKE A TOWN OR CITY) ARE REQUIRED TO CHECK GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AVAILABILITY AT THE U.S. INSTALLATION TO WHICH THEY ARE ASSIGNED TDY. FURTHER, THE AUTHORIZING/ORDER-ISSUING OFFICIAL (AO) MAY DIRECT ADEQUATE AVAILABLE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS USE FOR UNIFORMED MEMBERS ON A U.S. INSTALLATION ONLY IF THE UNIFORMED MEMBER IS TDY TO THAT U.S. INSTALLATION.

2. IN THE EVENT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS ARE NOT AVAILABLE, NON-AVAILABILITY MUST BE DOCUMENTED AS INDICATED IN JFTR, PAR.

U1045-C, WHICH STATES:

QUOTE

"C. TRAVEL ORDER/VOUCHER

1. DOCUMENTATION. A TRAVEL ORDER/VOUCHER MUST DOCUMENT AVAILABILITY/NON-AVAILABILITY BY:

A. CONFIRMATION NUMBER PROVIDED BY THE SERVICE S LODGING REGISTRATION PROCESS; B. THE DATE THE MEMBER ATTEMPTED TO MAKE RESERVATIONS, AND THE PHONE NUMBER AND NAME OF THE BILLETING OFFICE POC; OR C. MEMBER CERTIFICATION THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE NOT AVAILABLE ON ARRIVAL.

2. AUTHORIZATION/APPROVAL. WHEN A MEMBER PROVIDES ACCEPTABLE DOCUMENTATION ON A TRAVEL ORDER/VOUCHER OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS NON-AVAILABILITY, THE AO MUST AUTHORIZE/APPROVE REIMBURSEMENT FOR COMMERCIAL LODGINGS."

UNQUOTE

3. THE DOCUMENTATION OF NON-AVAILABILITY INDICATED IN PARAGRAPH U1045-C IS REQUIRED ONLY FOR GOVERNMENT LODGING AT THE U.S.

INSTALLATION AT WHICH THE MEMBER IS ASSIGNED TDY. MEMBERS WHO CERTIFY NON-AVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS MUST INCLUDE THE LODGING POC, PHONE NUMBER, AND DATE CONTACTED.

4. MEMBERS SHOULD USE ADEQUATE AVAILABLE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS ON THE U.S. INSTALLATION AT WHICH THEY ARE ASSIGNED TDY; HOWEVER, WHEN ADEQUATE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE U.S. INSTALLATION TO WHICH A MEMBER IS ASSIGNED TDY AND THE MEMBER USES OTHER LODGINGS AS A PERSONAL CHOICE, LODGING REIMBURSEMENT IS LIMITED TO THE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS COST ON THE U.S INSTALLATION TO WHICH ASSIGNED TDY (44 COMP. GEN. 626 (1965)).

5. JFTR APPENDIX A DEFINES THE FOLLOWING AS GOVERNMENT QUARTERS:

GOVERNMENT QUARTERS.

A. SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS (INCLUDING ABOARD A SHIP) OWNED, OPERATED, OR LEASED BY THE U.S. GOVERNMENT; B. LODGINGS OR OTHER QUARTERS OBTAINED BY U.S. GOVERNMENT CONTRACT; C. QUARTERS IN A STATE-OWNED NATIONAL GUARD CAMP; D. SLEEPING FACILITIES IN A NATIONAL GUARD ARMORY WHEN THESE FACILITIES ACTUALLY ARE USED OR COMPETENT AUTHORITY DIRECTS THEIR USE FOR ANNUAL OR YEAR-ROUND ANNUAL TRAINING EVEN THOUGH NOT USED; E. TEMPORARY LODGING AS DEFINED IN JFTR, APPENDIX A; F. LODGING FACILITIES ON A U.S. INSTALLATION OTHER THAN PRIVATIZED HOUSING, OWNED AND OPERATED BY A PRIVATE CORPORATION, IF THE USE OF THESE FACILITIES IS DIRECTED BY SERVICE REGULATIONS; AND G. FAMILY-TYPE HOUSING OWNED OR LEASED BY THE U.S. GOVERNMENT (DOES NOT INCLUDE PRIVATIZED HOUSING).

6. PER DIEM CANNOT BE LIMITED BASED ON THE PRESENCE OF NEARBY GOVERNMENT QUARTERS (I.E., NOT ON THE U.S. INSTALLATION TO WHICH THE MEMBER IS ASSIGNED TDY BUT ON ANOTHER NEARBY U.S. INSTALLATION OR OTHER UNIFORMED FACILITY). MEMBERS CANNOT BE LIMITED TO HOTELS OFFERING REDUCED LODGING RATES ARRANGED LOCALLY BETWEEN LODGING AND OFF BASE HOTELS.

7. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

A. I AM A UNIFORMED MEMBER GOING TDY TO A U.S. INSTALLATION, AM I REQUIRED TO STAY ON BASE?

ANSWER: IF YOUR ORDERS DIRECT THE USE OF AVAILABLE ADEQUATE QUARTERS ON THAT INSTALLATION, YOU ARE REQUIRED TO CHECK THE AVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS ON THE INSTALLATION. IF YOU ARE DIRECTED TO USE ADEQUATE AVAILABLE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS BUT NONE ARE AVAILABLE, YOU SHOULD BE PROVIDED NON-AVAILABILITY DOCUMENTATION (A STATEMENT, A NUMBER, ETC.), FROM THE BASE LODGING OFFICE, TO FILE WITH YOUR CLAIM.

YOU MAY THEN STAY IN OFF-BASE QUARTERS LIMITED ONLY BY THE TDY LOCATION PER DIEM LODGING CEILING. IF ADEQUATE GOVERNMENT QUARTERS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE U.S. INSTALLATION TO WHICH YOU ARE SENT TDY AND YOU CHOOSE TO STAY IN COMMERCIAL LODGINGS, YOUR LODGING REIMBURSEMENT IS LIMITED TO THE ON-BASE QUARTERS COST.

B. WHAT IF I AM NOT PROVIDED A NON-AVAILABILITY STATEMENT?

ANSWER: NON-AVAILABILITY CAN BE DOCUMENTED/DETERMINED BY ONE OF THREE OPTIONS: A.) CONFIRMATION NUMBER PROVIDED BY THE SERVICE S LODGING REGISTRATION PROCESS; B.) THE DATE THE MEMBER ATTEMPTED TO MAKE RESERVATIONS, AND THE PHONE NUMBER AND NAME OF THE LODGING OFFICE POC; OR C.) MEMBER CERTIFICATION THAT GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WERE NOT AVAILABLE ON ARRIVAL. (NOTE: MEMBERS WHO CERTIFY NON-AVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS MUST INCLUDE THE LODGING POC, PHONE NUMBER, AND DATE CONTACTED).

C. THERE ARE NO GOVERNMENT QUARTERS AVAILABLE ON THE U.S.

INSTALLATION; HOWEVER, THE LODGING OFFICE HAS ARRANGED WITH OFF-BASE HOTELS REDUCED RATES THROUGH A MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT (MOA) OR BLANKET PURCHASE AGREEMENT (BPA). AM I REQUIRED TO STAY AT THOSE LOCATIONS?

ANSWER: NO, IF GOVERNMENT QUARTERS ARE NOT AVAILABLE ON THE INSTALLATION, YOU SHOULD BE PROVIDED A QUARTERS NON-AVAILABILITY

********* START OF SECTION 2 *********

STATEMENT. HOWEVER, TRAVELERS ARE REMINDED OF THEIR OBLIGATION TO EXERCISE PRUDENCE IN TRAVEL AND TO EXERCISE THE SAME CARE AND REGARD FOR INCURRING EXPENSES TO BE PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT AS WOULD A PRUDENT PERSON TRAVELING AT PERSONAL EXPENSE. HOTELS AVAILABLE UNDER THE BASE MOA/BPA HAVE MET BASE FIRE AND ENVIRONMENTAL INSPECTIONS, NORMALLY COST LESS THAN THE LOCAL HOTEL PER DIEM RATE AND ARE NEAR THE BASE. THE LOCAL LODGING OFFICE WILL HELP YOU ARRANGE BOOKING YOUR RESERVATION AT THESE HOTELS.

D. CAN FINANCE LIMIT MY LODGING REIMBURSEMENT TO THE RATES NEGOTIATED WITH OFF-BASE LODGING ESTABLISHMENTS?

ANSWER: NO, YOUR LODGING REIMBURSEMENT IS LIMITED TO THE MAXIMUM LODGING RATE FOR YOUR TDY LOCATION. HOWEVER, AS REFLECTED IN QUESTION C ABOVE, MEMBERS ARE REMINDED TO EXERCISE PRUDENCE WHEN INCURRING LODGING EXPENSES.

E. WHAT ARE CONTRACT QUARTERS?

ANSWER: QUARTERS ARRANGED THROUGH A U.S. GOVERNMENT CONTRACT WHERE THE MEMBER DOES NOT PAY FOR THE QUARTERS; THE GOVERNMENT PAYS.

F. ARE COMMERCIAL QUARTERS UNDER A MOA/BPA, WHERE THE MEMBER PAYS THE LODGING EXPENSE, THE SAME AS CONTRACT QUARTERS?

ANSWER: NO, THESE QUARTERS ARE CONSIDERED COMMERCIAL QUARTERS.

8. QUESTIONS REGARDING THIS MESSAGE SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO YOUR LOCAL FINANCE OFFICE WHO SHOULD ELEVATE TO MAJCOM IF NECESSARY. ALWAYS CONSULT JFTR FIRST TO SEE IF THERE HAVE BEEN CHANGES TO THE ABOVE CITED PROVISIONS. THE JFTR IS ON THE PDTATAC WEBSITE HTTPS://SECUREAPP2.HQDA.PENTAGON.MIL/PERDIEM/.

9. THIS MESSAGE HAS BEEN REVIEWED BY PDTATAC IN ACCORDANCE WITH DODD 5154.29, DATED 9 MARCH 1993, AS PDTATAC CASE RR061115. THIS IS A COORDINATED SAF/FMP AND AF/A1S MESSAGE.

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This was in an earlier post:

PURPOSE AND AUTHORITY

This Volume’s regulations pertain to per diem, travel and transportation allowances, relocation allowances, and

certain other allowances of Uniformed Service Active Duty and Reserve Component members.

When necessary, a Uniformed Service may supplement these regulations with administrative regulations (see par.

U1010), but may not prescribe allowances that differ in amount or type from those authorized by these

regulations, unless specifically permitted.

Here is what's listed in the Kirtland AFB formal school welcome letter:

If you have any problems with billeting, please bring them to the attention of the billeting front desk and the billeting manager. If you are unable to resolve the issue with the billeting staff, contact the 58 TRS First Sergeant, 3-xxxx. We will work with you and the billeting staff to resolve the matter. Kirtland AFB billeting has a waiver from HQ USAF that allows them to involuntarily move students back to on-base quarters after initially being sent to commercial lodging. If you are given commercial lodging during your stay, be prepared to come back to the base.

Any thoughts on this?

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I stayed off base during a TDY enroute. I had read this thread, and complied with JFTR 1045C by stating on my travel voucher that government quarters were not available. The off base lodging was not reimbursed, and I am now being told I have to supply a non-availability letter. I received the following from the MSgt in charge of finance:

Please review the below reference out of the JFTR. This is in Appendix O, paragraph T4040, A1b.

b. Uniformed Member A member ordered to a U.S. INSTALLATION (as opposed to a geographic location like a town or city) is required to check the GOVT QTRS availability (e.g., through the CTOs/TMCs) at the U.S. INSTALLATION to which assigned TDY. The AO may direct adequate (based on DOD and Service standards) available GOVT QTRS use for a uniformed member on a U.S. INSTALLATION only if the uniformed member is TDY to that U.S. INSTALLATION. Availability/nonavailability must be documented as indicated in par. U1045-C. A member should use adequate available GOVT QTRS on the U.S. INSTALLATION at which assigned TDY; however, when adequate GOVT QTRS are available on the U.S. INSTALLATION to which a member is assigned TDY and the member uses other lodgings as a personal choice, lodging reimbursement is limited to the GOVT QTRS cost on the U.S INSTALLATION to which assigned TDY (44 Comp. Gen. 626 (1965)).

Paragraph U1045-C states:

C. Travel Authorization/Order or Voucher

1. Documentation. A travel authorization/order/voucher must document availability/non-availability by:

a. Confirmation number provided by the Services lodging registration process;

b. The date the member attempted to make reservations, and the phone number and name of the billeting

office PoC; or

c. Member certification that GOVT QTRS were not available on arrival.

2. Authorization/Approval. When a member provides acceptable documentation on a travel authorization/

order/voucher of GOVT QTRS non-availability, the AO must authorize/approve reimbursement for commercial

lodgings.

Under item C1c, you are required to certify that Qrts were not available. However, item 2 states that the orders approving official must authorize reimbursement for commercial lodging. The orders approving official for PCS orders is the MPF.

The bottom-line on this for your reimbursement, you either need a non-availability slip from the Shaw AFB lodging office, or the MPF will need to amend your order authorizing your use of commercial lodging. Please let me know if you need any additional information.

Thanks,

MSgt X

What is my recourse? Who can I contact that is a higher authority? Who can call and set this straight for him?

Edited by Jaded

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As far as I can tell, they are correct. Do you have a Non-A from billeting? If so, end of story. Did you call and get told there were no rooms avail? If so, who and when; end of story. It sounds like you don't, so go to the MPF explain and show them in the JFTR where they need to provide documentation to finance, since they are the AO. What's the rest of the story? Did you refuse on-base lodging in this case or just decide not to spend the time to deal with on base?

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As far as I can tell, they are correct. Do you have a Non-A from billeting? If so, end of story. Did you call and get told there were no rooms avail? If so, who and when; end of story. It sounds like you don't, so go to the MPF explain and show them in the JFTR where they need to provide documentation to finance, since they are the AO. What's the rest of the story? Did you refuse on-base lodging in this case or just decide not to spend the time to deal with on base?

No non-A letter; lodging was arranged through the formal course, and there was no availability on base due to an ORI. JFTR 1045 states:

C. Travel Authorization/Order or Voucher

1. Documentation. A travel authorization/order/voucher must document availability/non-availability by:

a. Confirmation number provided by the Service’s lodging registration process;

b. The date the member attempted to make reservations, and the phone number and name of the billeting

office PoC; or

c. Member certification that GOV’T QTRS were not available on arrival.

From what I understand, a non-availability letter is only one of three separate things that can document non-availability. Am I reading this wrong?

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No non-A letter; lodging was arranged through the formal course, and there was no availability on base due to an ORI. JFTR 1045 states:

C. Travel Authorization/Order or Voucher

1. Documentation. A travel authorization/order/voucher must document availability/non-availability by:

a. Confirmation number provided by the Service’s lodging registration process;

b. The date the member attempted to make reservations, and the phone number and name of the billeting

office PoC; or

c. Member certification that GOV’T QTRS were not available on arrival.

From what I understand, a non-availability letter is only one of three separate things that can document non-availability. Am I reading this wrong?

No, you're right, but MSgt X is also right. Since your para above, when taken in context has to be followed up with what he is saying, "2. Authorization/Approval. When a member provides acceptable documentation on a travel authorization/order/voucher of GOV’T QTRS non-availability, the AO must authorize/approve reimbursement for commercial lodgings."

You have provided the 'acceptable documentation' and now the AO has to approve it before finance can pay you. If there was an ORI and the formal school provided the lodging info, I'm sure they worked with lodging to do this. Just contact lodging or the formal school and explain and see if a Non-A confirmation number was issued. They should have it. FWIW, I wouldn't think that the MPF would have to cut and amendment, rather the Chief of MPF should be able to sign off on the voucher just like an AO in the squadron could do on their own orders, but I'm no expert.

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I specifically asked if a Non-A only showed for two week would that non-A be legal for off-base entitlements for the entire TDY and I was told Yes it does. So a request through your channels to AF/A1 should obtain the same results and then your finance and MAJCOM will be further enlightened on how to properly pay travel vouchers.

I will address the recent post about LR again to AF/A1 and request they also send out a clarification. Maybe that will help.

OK folks, here it is. This is what was sent 29 July 09 from the AF policy office (SAF/FMP-AFAFO) to all the MAJCOM Finance offices. So if you run into issues with the local finance office, ask them if they have received this clarification. This one is must have in your travel tool kit. Print it and keep it handy.

Begin Quote:

______________

ALCON,

Just a reminder that if a member provides documentation showing non-availability of government quarters (contract quarters letter/Non-A slip, or other similar justification), the member is authorized reimbursement for commercial lodging and meals for the entire period of TDY to that location (if commercial lodging is occupied for the entire period and the member submits proper receipts).

The JFTR specifies that checking for quarters availability is a one-time requirement.

______________

JFTR U1045 A Note 2:

NOTE 2: The member is not required to seek (or check for) GOV'T QTRS when TDY to a U.S. INSTALLATION after non-availability documentation has been initially provided.

Checking QTRS availability is a one-time requirement at a TDY U.S. INSTALLATION. (Ex: A member, who is required to check QTRS availability on arrival at a U.S. INSTALLATION, does so and is issued non-availability documentation, cannot be required to re-check later for QTRS availability at that U.S. INSTALLATION during that TDY period there). See par.

U1045-C.

______________

Example 1: Member is TDY from 1-10 July. They check with billeting, and no rooms are available and they are issued a contract quarters letter that only covers 2 nights. The member stays off base for the entire period of TDY anyway. The member is reimbursed for commercial quarters and meals for the entire TDY, as the non-availability of government quarters was established upon arrival as required by the JFTR. The number of nights specified is irrelevant.

Example 2: Member is TDY from 11-20 July. Orders state that they must check daily for availability of quarters (in direct conflict with the governing authority (JFTR)). The member is issued a non-availability statement for one night, and is told to come back every day to receive a new one. This member stays off base the entire TDY period at that location, and turns in necessary receipts, and the Non-A documentation from that first night only. Member is paid for commercial quarters/meals for the entire TDY period at that location.

Example 3: Member is TDY from 21-30 July. They check into billeting and are told that quarters are not available for the first 5 nights, but they are available the last 5 days. Member stays off base for the entire period. Member is reimbursed commercial rates for the entire period. There is no "loophole" where you can be initially given contract quarters/non-availability documentation and at the same time be told that quarters are "available" on a future date.

Currently, Interim Change 1 to AFI 34-246 has an exception that states AETC TDY-to-school students can be required to move back on base (in certain circumstances) after initial non-availability documentation has been provided. The JFTR is the governing authority on this issue, and this requirement is invalid for travel pay reimbursement purposes. We are working with our POCs in Services to have this matter addressed/rectified.

Of course, travelers are expected to use prudence when spending the government's money on official business, and are *encouraged* to utilize available government quarters in the above examples (as quarters become available). However, they are not *required* to do so, and must be reimbursed in full (not to exceed locality rates) when a properly substantiated claim is presented IAW the JFTR.

______________

End Quote

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Here's something else--clarifies you don't have to have hardcopy paper non-A. It can be verbal and you merely wright the circumstances on the voucher and your AO would have to approve that you provided proper justification per the JFTR.

PDTATAC/tlw 11 August 2009

MEMORANDUM FOR SEE DISTRIBUTION

SUBJECT: UTD for MAP 54-09(E) -- Clarify That a Written Non-Availability Statement Is Not Required

1. SYNOPSIS: Clarifies wording based on USD memorandum dated 29 Aug 1995, and effective 1 October 1995, stating that DOD travelers are not required to obtain paper non-availability statements to justify reimbursement for commercial lodging and per diem.

2. These changes are scheduled to appear in JFTR change number 275.

3. This determination is effective when printed in the JFTR on 1 November 2009.

Director, Strategic Planning and Policy Division

U1045-C3

C. Travel Authorization/Order or Voucher

1. ***************

2. ***************

3. Paper Non-Availability Statement Not Required (Effective 1 October 1995). Per USD memorandum, dated 29 August 1995, DOD travelers are not required to obtain paper non-availability statements to justify reimbursement for commercial lodging and per diem.

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Finance Guy, one of the guys I work with is getting sent to Vandenberg for training and the directions he received seem like they directly contradict the direction you provided in this thread. It's the same training I went through last year when I started asking about this. Here is the direction in the letter from the command (the bold emphasis is theirs not mine).

Student Quarters: Government quarters are available for pipleline (initial skills training) students and TDY (retraining) students. Students should stay on-base. Off-base lodging is only authorized if the billeting office provides you with a lodging non-availability letter. If you are lodged off-base, you MUST have VAFB lodging place your name on a waiting list for available on-base lodging and you MUST move back on base should lodging become available. We will check with lodging – if on-base lodging is available and you DO NOT move back on base, additional lodging charges will be paid by your unit.

Does that not violate the JFTR?

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Finance Guy, one of the guys I work with is getting sent to Vandenberg for training and the directions he received seem like they directly contradict the direction you provided in this thread. It's the same training I went through last year when I started asking about this. Here is the direction in the letter from the command (the bold emphasis is theirs not mine).

Does that not violate the JFTR?

You are exactly right. Their direction is in violation of the JFTR rules. Vandenberg is AFSPACE right? Looks like we need to educate their services squadrons too. Below is the the JFTR clarification from AFAFO again. Have your guy find out who the billeting officer (or SVS/CC) is and forward this to them. Billeting needs to stop dictating how travelers will be paid. I know they want to keep occupancy levels high but this is not the way.

-----Original Message-----

From: MSG AFAFO

Sent: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 12:22 PM

Subject: Non-Availability of Government Quarters--Clarification

ALCON,

Just a reminder that if a member provides documentation showing non-availability of government quarters (contract quarters letter/Non-A slip, or other similar justification), the member is authorized reimbursement for commercial lodging and meals for the entire period of TDY to that location (if commercial lodging is occupied for the entire period and the member submits proper receipts).

The JFTR specifies that checking for quarters availability is a one-time requirement.

______________

JFTR U1045 A Note 2:

NOTE 2: The member is not required to seek (or check for) GOV'T QTRS when TDY to a U.S. INSTALLATION after non-availability documentation has been initially provided.

Checking QTRS availability is a one-time requirement at a TDY U.S. INSTALLATION. (Ex: A member, who is required to check QTRS availability on arrival at a U.S. INSTALLATION, does so and is issued non-availability documentation, cannot be required to re-check later for QTRS availability at that U.S. INSTALLATION during that TDY period there). See par.

U1045-C.

______________

Example 1: Member is TDY from 1-10 July. They check with billeting, and no rooms are available and they are issued a contract quarters letter that only covers 2 nights. The member stays off base for the entire period of TDY anyway. The member is reimbursed for commercial quarters and meals for the entire TDY, as the non-availability of government quarters was established upon arrival as required by the JFTR. The number of nights specified is irrelevant.

Example 2: Member is TDY from 11-20 July. Orders state that they must check daily for availability of quarters (in direct conflict with the governing authority (JFTR)). The member is issued a non-availability statement for one night, and is told to come back every day to receive a new one. This member stays off base the entire TDY period at that location, and turns in necessary receipts, and the Non-A documentation from that first night only. Member is paid for commercial quarters/meals for the entire TDY period at that location.

Example 3: Member is TDY from 21-30 July. They check into billeting and are told that quarters are not available for the first 5 nights, but they are available the last 5 days. Member stays off base for the entire period. Member is reimbursed commercial rates for the entire period. There is no "loophole" where you can be initially given contract quarters/non-availability documentation and at the same time be told that quarters are "available" on a future date.

Currently, Interim Change 1 to AFI 34-246 has an exception that states AETC TDY-to-school students can be required to move back on base (in certain circumstances) after initial non-availability documentation has been provided. The JFTR is the governing authority on this issue, and this requirement is invalid for travel pay reimbursement purposes. We are working with our POCs in Services to have this matter addressed/rectified.

Of course, travelers are expected to use prudence when spending the government's money on official business, and are *encouraged* to utilize available government quarters in the above examples (as quarters become available). However, they are not *required* to do so, and must be reimbursed in full (not to exceed locality rates) when a properly substantiated claim is presented IAW the JFTR.

Travel Pay Analyst

SAF/FMP (AFAFO)

DFAS-Indianapolis

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Just to clarify, if I get a non-A letter while on TDY, I can go to any hotel with a government rate and never have to check back in with the base hotel? And I'll be backed up by the JTFR and get the full lodging amount allowable in whatever area I'm in? I had the same lovenote on my orders at water survival last week.

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Just to clarify, if I get a non-A letter while on TDY, I can go to any hotel with a government rate and never have to check back in with the base hotel? And I'll be backed up by the JTFR and get the full lodging amount allowable in whatever area I'm in? I had the same lovenote on my orders at water survival last week.

Here's the deal: You can stay anywhere you want at any time. This includes a standard hotel, renting a house, or even purchasing a house.

If you don't have a Non-A, you're per diem rate will whatever your orders say and you will only be reimbursed the lodging rate for on-base (regardless of what you actually pay).

If you do have a Non-A, you'll be paid full per diem and up to the locality rate for lodging up to actual expenses. For the entire duration of the TDY.

If anyone (lodging, services, finance, etc.) tries to tell you any different, show them the JFTR or ignore them and take it up with whoever is paying your voucher.

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FG- quick question, what if your stay is extended a couple days past your non-a? I got a non-a and it stated it was for 17 days (which was the original length I was supposed to be here). Now my stay has been extended by a few more days. Do I need to get an updated non-a showing the additional days or is the original statement good?

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FG- quick question, what if your stay is extended a couple days past your non-a? I got a non-a and it stated it was for 17 days (which was the original length I was supposed to be here). Now my stay has been extended by a few more days. Do I need to get an updated non-a showing the additional days or is the original statement good?

No. As long as you didn't leave that TDY location (check out) and come back, that one Non-A covers the entire time. As mentioned many times before, the #days specified is not relevant. Was is relevant is they had no quarters available on your first day.

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