B-161959, AUG. 10, 1967

B-161959: Aug 10, 1967

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WHICH PRECLUDES ANY ADDITIONAL REIMBURSEMENT WHEN AN EMPLOYEE IS REIMBURSED A BROKER'S FEE FOR SUCH SALE. AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT REPRESENTING DIFFERENCE BETWEEN $200 ALLOWANCE AND TWO WEEKS BASIC SALARY SHOULD BE DISALLOWED SINCE COSTS REIMBURSABLE UNDER MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE SECTION OF A-56 INCLUDE ONLY THOSE THAT HAVE NOT BEEN CONSIDERED AND REJECTED AS ALLOWABLE UNDER ONE OR MORE OF THE SPECIFIC CATEGORIES OF COST. THE EXPENDITURE OF INTEREST IS SUCH AN ITEM. LIKEWISE CLAIM FOR UTILITY EXPENSE AND GROCERIES AT OLD RESIDENCE PRIOR TO VACATION OF THE RESIDENCE IS FOR DISALLOWANCE. ALSO COST OF TWO TRIPS BETWEEN OLD AND NEW RESIDENCE WHEN SUCH TRIPS COULD HAVE BEEN ACCOMPLISHED BY CORRESPONDENCE MUST BE DENIED.

B-161959, AUG. 10, 1967

EMPLOYEES - TRANSFERS - PUBLIC LAW 89-516 - EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT DECISION TO CERTIFYING OFFICER, BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT RE REIMBURSEMENT TO EMPLOYEE FOR ADVERTISING SALE OF HOME AND FOR MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES INCIDENT TO TRANSFER. EMPLOYEE WHO INCIDENT TO TRANSFER FROM ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, TO RAWLINS, CLAIMS ADVERTISING EXPENSES FOR SALE OF HOME BEFORE TURNING SALE OVER TO BROKER, MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED FOR ADVERTISING EXPENSES UNDER SEC. 4.2B, BOB CIRCULAR A 56, WHICH PRECLUDES ANY ADDITIONAL REIMBURSEMENT WHEN AN EMPLOYEE IS REIMBURSED A BROKER'S FEE FOR SUCH SALE. AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT REPRESENTING DIFFERENCE BETWEEN $200 ALLOWANCE AND TWO WEEKS BASIC SALARY SHOULD BE DISALLOWED SINCE COSTS REIMBURSABLE UNDER MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE SECTION OF A-56 INCLUDE ONLY THOSE THAT HAVE NOT BEEN CONSIDERED AND REJECTED AS ALLOWABLE UNDER ONE OR MORE OF THE SPECIFIC CATEGORIES OF COST. THE EXPENDITURE OF INTEREST IS SUCH AN ITEM. LIKEWISE CLAIM FOR UTILITY EXPENSE AND GROCERIES AT OLD RESIDENCE PRIOR TO VACATION OF THE RESIDENCE IS FOR DISALLOWANCE. ALSO COST OF TWO TRIPS BETWEEN OLD AND NEW RESIDENCE WHEN SUCH TRIPS COULD HAVE BEEN ACCOMPLISHED BY CORRESPONDENCE MUST BE DENIED.

TO MR. VORBON D. WALKER, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 26, 1967, REFERENCE (D 733B-2), REQUESTING OUR DECISION CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFICATION FOR PAYMENT A RECLAIM VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. CLAUDE A. MARTIN ON WHICH HE CLAIMS (1) ADVERTISING EXPENSES INCURRED IN ATTEMPTING TO SELL HIS RESIDENCE AT HIS OLD DUTY STATION PRIOR TO TURNING IT OVER TO A REAL ESTATE BROKER WHO ULTIMATELY OBTAINED A PURCHASER AND WAS PAID A COMMISSION FOR HIS SERVICES AND (2) ADDITIONAL REIMBURSEMENT FOR MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES IN THE AMOUNT OF $295 REPRESENTING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE $200 ALLOWANCE ALREADY PAID HIM AND TWO WEEKS BASIC SALARY ($495).

WHENEVER AN EMPLOYEE IS REIMBURSED A BROKER'S FEE FOR SELLING HIS RESIDENCE HE MAY NOT RECEIVE UNDER APPLICABLE REGULATIONS (SECTION 4.2B, BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56), ANY ADDITIONAL REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE AMOUNT HE MAY HAVE EXPENDED FOR ADVERTISING PURPOSES PRIOR TO HIS TURNING THE PROPERTY OVER TO THE BROKER FOR SALE. SEE DECISIONS OF MAY 19, 1967, B-161320, AND JULY 21, 1967, B 161527, COPIES OF WHICH ARE ATTACHED.

THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNT CLAIMED BY MR. MARTIN AS A MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE ALSO SHOULD BE DISALLOWED. OUR UNDERSTANDING IS THAT THE COSTS INTENDED TO BE REIMBURSABLE UNDER THE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE (SECTION 3 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56) INCLUDE ONLY THOSE THAT HAVE NOT BEEN CONSIDERED AND REJECTED AS NOT BEING ALLOWABLE UNDER ONE OR MORE OF THE SPECIFIC CATEGORIES OF COST REIMBURSEMENT PROVIDED BY THE REGULATIONS.

THE EXPENDITURE FOR INTEREST IN THE AMOUNT $297.17 IS OF SUCH A NATURE. IN SUCH CONNECTION SECTION 4.2D OF THE CIRCULAR SPECIFIES THAT INTEREST ON LOANS AT THE OLD AND NEW POSTS OF DUTY ARE NOT REIMBURSABLE.

SIMILARLY THE AMOUNT EXPENDED FOR UTILITY EXPENSE AND SUBSISTENCE (GROCERIES) AT THE OLD RESIDENCE, ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, IS NOT FOR CONSIDERATION. SUCH AMOUNTS ARE IN THE NATURE OF THE BENEFITS DESIGNATED UNDER THE REGULATIONS AS SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS WHEN AN EMPLOYEE IS TRANSFERRED TO A NEW OFFICIAL STATION. SEE SECTION 2.5 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56. IT IS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED IN THAT SECTION THAT SUCH BENEFITS ARE PAYABLE ONLY AFTER THE EMPLOYEE AND/OR MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY VACATE THE RESIDENCE QUARTERS IN WHICH THEY WERE RESIDING AT THE TIME OF TRANSFER. OUR UNDERSTANDING IS THAT MR. MARTIN'S FAMILY CONTINUED TO RESIDE AT HIS RESIDENCE IN ALBUQUERQUE AFTER HIS TRANSFER AND THAT THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES CLAIMED TO BE FOR CONSIDERATION IN DETERMINING THE AMOUNT OF HIS MISCELLANEOUS ALLOWANCE WERE INCURRED PRIOR TO HIS FAMILY'S VACATING SUCH RESIDENCE AT ALBUQUERQUE. MOREOVER, WE UNDERSTAND THAT MR. MARTIN, HIMSELF, WHILE TEMPORARILY QUARTERED IN RAWLINS RECEIVED A TEMPORARY QUARTERS ALLOWANCE.

FINALLY, WE HAVE SERIOUS DOUBT CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF CONSIDERING THE TWO $50 ITEMS REPRESENTING THE ROUND TRIPS MR. MARTIN MADE BETWEEN RAWLINS AND ALBUQUERQUE INCIDENT TO HIS FINALLY DISPOSING OF HIS RESIDENCE AT ALBUQUERQUE. IT APPEARS THAT THE OBJECTIVES ACCOMPLISHED BY MAKING THE TRIPS MIGHT VERY READILY HAVE BEEN ACCOMPLISHED BY CORRESPONDENCE AT NO APPRECIABLE COST. IN ANY EVENT THESE ITEMS TOGETHER WITH OTHERS THAT PROPERLY MAY BE FOR CONSIDERATION WOULD NOT EXCEED THE $200 ALREADY PAID MR. MARTIN AS A MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE.

THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.