B-160959, MAR. 23, 1967

B-160959: Mar 23, 1967

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YOU SAY THAT THERE WAS NO WRITTEN LEASE BETWEEN MR. THE AMOUNT CLAIMED REPRESENTS ONE-HALF THE RENT PAID FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST OR THE APPROXIMATE AMOUNT OF RENT HE PAID FOR THE PERIOD AFTER THE DATE HE WAS TRANSFERRED ON AUGUST 14. EXPENSES INCURRED FOR SETTLING AN UNEXPIRED LEASE ON RESIDENCE QUARTERS OCCUPIED BY THE EMPLOYEE AT THE OLD OFFICIAL STATION ARE REIMBURSABLE WHEN (1) THE TERMS OF THE LEASE PROVIDE FOR PAYMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES. SCARBROUGH WAS REASONABLY NECESSARY UNDER VERBAL AGREEMENT OR UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE PARTIES. IT IS NOT STATED IN YOUR LETTER OR THE ATTACHMENTS THERETO THAT MR. SCARBROUGH COULD NOT HAVE AVOIDED THE PAYMENT OF RENT FOR THE FULL MONTH OF AUGUST BY A SUBLEASE ARRANGEMENT OR THAT HE DID NOT KNOW OF THE PROPOSED CHANGE IN HIS DUTY STATION IN SUFFICIENT TIME TO ENABLE HIM TO AVOID PAYMENT OF RENT FOR THE FULL MONTH.

B-160959, MAR. 23, 1967

TO AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 20, 1967, BY WHICH YOU REQUEST OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY PROPERLY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE ATTACHED SUPPLEMENTAL TRAVEL VOUCHER OF MR. JAMES H. SCARBROUGH, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, TO REIMBURSE HIM CERTAIN EXPENSES CONNECTED WITH HIS TRANSFER OF STATION ON AUGUST 14, 1066.

YOU PARTICULARLY QUESTION THE ALLOWANCE OF MR. SCARBROUGH'S CLAIM FOR $56.50 AS THE COST OF SETTLEMENT OF AN UNEXPIRED LEASE. YOU SAY THAT THERE WAS NO WRITTEN LEASE BETWEEN MR. SCARBROUGH AND THE OWNER OF THE HOUSE HE RENTED BUT THAT MR. SCARBROUGH PAID RENT IN ADVANCE FOR EACH MONTH. THE AMOUNT CLAIMED REPRESENTS ONE-HALF THE RENT PAID FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST OR THE APPROXIMATE AMOUNT OF RENT HE PAID FOR THE PERIOD AFTER THE DATE HE WAS TRANSFERRED ON AUGUST 14, 1966.

SECTION 4.2F OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED, OCTOBER 12, 1966, PROVIDES:

"SETTLEMENT OF AN UNEXPIRED LEASE. EXPENSES INCURRED FOR SETTLING AN UNEXPIRED LEASE ON RESIDENCE QUARTERS OCCUPIED BY THE EMPLOYEE AT THE OLD OFFICIAL STATION ARE REIMBURSABLE WHEN (1) THE TERMS OF THE LEASE PROVIDE FOR PAYMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES, (2)SUCH COSTS CANNOT BE AVOIDED BY SUBLEASING OR OTHER ARRANGEMENTS, AND (3) THE EMPLOYEE HAS NOT CONTRIBUTED TO THE COST BY FAILING TO GIVE TIMELY NOTICE OF INTENT TO MOVE PROMPTLY AFTER HE HAS KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRANSFER TO A NEW OFFICIAL STATION.'

THE PRESENT RECORD FAILS TO CONTAIN SUFFICIENT INFORMATION UPON WHICH WE COULD DETERMINE THAT THE PAYMENT MADE BY MR. SCARBROUGH WAS REASONABLY NECESSARY UNDER VERBAL AGREEMENT OR UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE PARTIES. FOR EXAMPLE, IT IS NOT STATED IN YOUR LETTER OR THE ATTACHMENTS THERETO THAT MR. SCARBROUGH COULD NOT HAVE AVOIDED THE PAYMENT OF RENT FOR THE FULL MONTH OF AUGUST BY A SUBLEASE ARRANGEMENT OR THAT HE DID NOT KNOW OF THE PROPOSED CHANGE IN HIS DUTY STATION IN SUFFICIENT TIME TO ENABLE HIM TO AVOID PAYMENT OF RENT FOR THE FULL MONTH. THEREFORE, WE MAY NOT AT THIS TIME CONCLUDE THAT MR. SCARBROUGH IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF $56.50 AS THE COST OF SETTLEMENT OF AN UNEXPIRED LEASE.

THE VOUCHER, WITH ENCLOSURES, IS RETURNED HEREWITH AND MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT AFTER DELETION OF THE ITEM OF $56.50.