Legal Briefs: Money for nothing

Every Friday on, Legal Briefs reviews cases that involve, or provide valuable lessons to, federal managers. We report on the decisions of a wide range of review panels, including the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Federal Labor Relations Authority and federal courts.

Kenneth Billings was living in Staunton, Ill., when he became a regional financial institution examiner for the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) in 1997. NCUA is an independent agency that supervises and insures federal and state-chartered credit unions.

Billings' appointment document listed his official duty station as Escanaba, Mich., though he never lived or worked, even temporarily, in or around Escanaba during his tenure.

NCUA explained that, in an attempt by certain agency officials to get around competitive hiring procedures, Billings and other employees were assigned-on paper-to false duty stations. Several NCUA officials were suspended and demoted because of the improper hiring practices.

Before resigning in 1998, Billings filed a claim for almost $20,000 in per diem expenses, saying that since his official duty station was in Escanaba, he should be paid per diem while on temporary duty travel to Staunton. Billings defined "official" as the duty station listed on his appointment document: Escanaba.

The Board of Contract Appeals called the bluff, saying that an employee's permanent duty station is not a debatable matter, but a salient fact, determined "by where an employee expects and is expected to spend the greater part of his time."

Lesson: There may be no place like home, but there's no per diem for being there.

In the Matter of Kenneth E. Billings (GSBCA 15264-TRAV) GSBCA, May 30, 2000.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.