B-161583, JUN. 15, 1967

B-161583: Jun 15, 1967

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HE WAS ADVISED THAT BECAUSE OF HIS LIMITED INFORMATION AS TO WHAT THE ALLOWANCES WOULD BE UNDER PUB.L. 89-516 HE SHOULD KEEP DETAILED RECORDS AND OBTAIN RECEIPTS FOR EXPENSES THAT COULD BE ALLOWED UNDER THE NEW STATUTE. BAILEY'S CLAIM IS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES HE INCURRED IN SELLING A RESIDENCE AT HIS OLD DUTY STATION AND PURCHASING A RESIDENCE AT HIS NEW DUTY STATION AND FOR THE MINIMUM AUTHORIZED MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE FOR AN EMPLOYEE WITH IMMEDIATE FAMILY OF $200. YOU HAVE NOT CERTIFIED MR. HAS DETERMINED THAT THE ADMINISTRATION WILL NOT AUTHORIZE OR APPROVE REIMBURSEMENT OF OTHERWISE ALLOWABLE REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION EXPENSES OR PAYMENT OF THE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE TO TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES UNLESS THE TRANSFER IS TO A POSITION FOR WHICH A MANPOWER SHORTAGE EXISTS AS DETERMINED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION AND UNLESS THERE IS COMPETITION FOR THE SERVICES OF THE INDIVIDUAL CONCERNED FROM PRIVATE INDUSTRY.

B-161583, JUN. 15, 1967

TO AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 15, 1967, YOUR REFERENCE SPA-ABF, TRANSMITTING FOR OUR ADVANCE DECISION THE VOUCHER OF MR. JAMES R. BAILEY, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE SOUTHWESTERN POWER ADMINISTRATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, WITH DUTY STATION IN TULSA, OKLAHOMA, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF CERTAIN EXPENSES HE INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH HIS TRANSFER FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, OKLAHOMA, TO HIS PRESENT POSITION AND DUTY STATION.

AT THE TIME OF MR. BAILEY'S TRANSFER ON AUGUST 28, 1966, THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JULY 21, 1966, PUB.L. 89-516 RELATING TO REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED BY TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES HAD NOT BEEN IMPLEMENTED BY REGULATIONS. HOWEVER, HIS ORDERS DID AUTHORIZE HIM TO INCUR NECESSARY EXPENSES IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE LAW AND REGULATIONS INCLUDING THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS. ALSO, HE WAS ADVISED THAT BECAUSE OF HIS LIMITED INFORMATION AS TO WHAT THE ALLOWANCES WOULD BE UNDER PUB.L. 89-516 HE SHOULD KEEP DETAILED RECORDS AND OBTAIN RECEIPTS FOR EXPENSES THAT COULD BE ALLOWED UNDER THE NEW STATUTE. MR. BAILEY'S CLAIM IS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES HE INCURRED IN SELLING A RESIDENCE AT HIS OLD DUTY STATION AND PURCHASING A RESIDENCE AT HIS NEW DUTY STATION AND FOR THE MINIMUM AUTHORIZED MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE FOR AN EMPLOYEE WITH IMMEDIATE FAMILY OF $200, AS AUTHORIZED IN BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 REVISED, OCTOBER 12, 1966. YOU HAVE NOT CERTIFIED MR. BAILEY'S VOUCHER FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THOSE EXPENSES BECAUSE THE ADMINISTRATOR, SOUTHWESTERN POWER ADMINISTRATION, HAS DETERMINED THAT THE ADMINISTRATION WILL NOT AUTHORIZE OR APPROVE REIMBURSEMENT OF OTHERWISE ALLOWABLE REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION EXPENSES OR PAYMENT OF THE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE TO TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES UNLESS THE TRANSFER IS TO A POSITION FOR WHICH A MANPOWER SHORTAGE EXISTS AS DETERMINED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION AND UNLESS THERE IS COMPETITION FOR THE SERVICES OF THE INDIVIDUAL CONCERNED FROM PRIVATE INDUSTRY.

REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INVOLVED IN THE SALE AND PURCHASE OF RESIDENCES AT THE OLD AND NEW STATIONS IS AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 23 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, AS ADDED BY PUB.L. 89-516. THAT SECTION MAKES APPROPRIATED AND OTHER FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES INCURRED BY TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES FOR THE SALE AND PURCHASE OF RESIDENCES AT THE OLD AND NEW STATIONS RESPECTIVELY AND OTHER TYPES OF EXPENSES OCCASIONED BY THE TRANSFER IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATIONS TO BE PRESCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT. BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 REVISED, OCTOBER 12, 1966, WAS ISSUED TO IMPLEMENT THAT AND THE OTHER SECTIONS OF PUB.L. 89-516 UNDER AUTHORITY DELEGATED FROM THE PRESIDENT IN EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 11290, JULY 21, 1966, AMENDING EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 11230, JUNE 28, 1965.

SECTION 4 OF THAT CIRCULAR WHICH PERTAINS TO REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INVOLVED IN REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS PROVIDES IN PART:

"4.1 CONDITIONS AND REQUIREMENTS UNDER WHICH ALLOWANCES MAY BE PAID. THE EXTENT ALLOWABLE UNDER THIS PROVISION, THE GOVERNMENT WILL REIMBURSE AN EMPLOYEE FOR EXPENSES REQUIRED TO BE PAID BY HIM IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF ONE RESIDENCE AT HIS OLD OFFICIAL STATION; PURCHASE OF ONE DWELLING AT HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION; OR THE SETTLEMENT OF AN UNEXPIRED LEASE AT HIS PLACE OF RESIDENCE AT THE OLD OFFICIAL STATION * * *"

SECTION 24 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, AS ADDED BY PUB.L. 89-516 AND SECTION 3 OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 PROVIDE AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF AN ALLOWANCE TO REIMBURSE EMPLOYEES FOR MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH TRANSFERS. SECTION 3.2A OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART:

"A. A MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE SHALL BE PAYABLE TO AN EMPLOYEE FOR WHOM A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED, REGARDLESS OF WHERE THE OLD OR NEW OFFICIAL STATIONS ARE LOCATED, SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING LIMITATIONS AND CONDITIONS AND PROVIDED THE AGREEMENT REQUIRED IN SUBSECTION 1.3C IS SIGNED.

"/1) ALLOWANCES IN THE FOLLOWING AMOUNTS MAY BE PAID WITHOUT BEING SUPPORTED BY RECEIPTS OR ITEMIZED STATEMENTS INDICATING THE NATURE OF COSTS OR EXPENSES BEING REIMBURSED:

"/A) $100 OR THE EQUIVALENT OF ONE WEEK'S BASIC COMPENSATION, WHICHEVER IS THE LESSER AMOUNT, FOR AN EMPLOYEE WITHOUT IMMEDIATE FAMILY.

"/B) $200 OR THE EQUIVALENT OF TWO WEEKS' BASIC COMPENSATION, WHICHEVER IS THE LESSER AMOUNT, FOR AN EMPLOYEE WITH IMMEDIATE FAMILY.'

THE PURPOSE OF THE REIMBURSEMENTS AND ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED BY PUB.L. 89- 516, AS EVIDENCED BY THE REPORTS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ON THE BILL H.R. 10607, 89TH CONGRESS, WAS TO REIMBURSE EMPLOYEES EXPENSES THEY INCUR IN CONNECTION WITH OFFICIAL TRANSFERS OF STATION. THERE IS NO INDICATION THAT CONGRESS INTENDED THE NEW BENEFITS TO BE USED AS A RECRUITMENT INCENTIVE AND APPLIED ONLY TO TRANSFERS OF EMPLOYEES IN SHORTAGE CATEGORIES OR FOR WHICH THERE IS COMPETITION IN PRIVATE INDUSTRY. S.REPT. NO. 1357, 89THCONGRESS, 2D SESSION, PAGE 4; H.REPT. NO. 1199, 89TH CONGRESS, 1ST SESSION, PAGES 2 AND 3. THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET HAS PROVIDED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION IN AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT OF CERTAIN OF THE EXPENSES COVERED BY PUB.L. 89-516, FOR EXAMPLE, THE EXPENSES OF HOUSE HUNTING TRIPS AND THE EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS. HOWEVER, AS INDICATED IN SECTIONS 2.4 AND 2.5 OF THOSE REGULATIONS SUCH DISCRETION IS TO BE EXERCISED TO AVOID INCURRENCE OF UNNECESSARY REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES BY TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES. OTHER PROVISIONS OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 SEEN TO CONTEMPLATE THAT AGENCIES WILL APPLY THE REGULATIONS UNIFORMLY TO ALL EMPLOYEES. THE PROVISIONS OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56, QUOTED ABOVE, PROVIDE THAT REIMBURSEMENT OF REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION EXPENSES AND PAYMENT OF THE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE WILL BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS CONTAINED IN THE CIRCULAR.

SINCE THE TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEE WAS AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IN THE FIRST INSTANCE OUR VIEW IS THAT ANY ATTEMPT TO NOW DENY APPROVAL OF THE EXPENSES OF PURCHASE AND SALE OF RESIDENCE AT THE OLD AND NEW STATIONS AND THE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE IS INEFFECTIVE. THEREFORE, SUCH EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO BE PAID SUCH EXPENSES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET REGULATIONS.

THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.