B-162443, SEP. 26, 1967

B-162443: Sep 26, 1967

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RECEIVED NOTIFICATION OF CHANGE OF STATION AND WAS REQUIRED TO PAY FOR FOUNDATION AND FOR ITS REMOVAL MAY NOT HAVE SUCH EXPENSES REGARDED AS EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH SALE OF RESIDENCE FOR ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT. EVEN IF LOT AND FOUNDATION HAD BEEN SOLD IT WOULD NOT HAVE CONSTITUTED SALE OF RESIDENCE FOR REIMBURSEMENT PURPOSES. HE WAS NOTIFIED THAT HE WAS TO BE TRANSFERRED. HE WAS NOT SUCCESSFUL IN DOING SO AND INCURRED EXPENSES OF $3. YOU INQUIRE AS TO WHETHER THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR COSTS INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE INITIAL PHASE OF CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW HOME AT HIS OLD OFFICIAL STATION JUST PRIOR TO RECEIPT OF NOTIFICATION THAT HE WAS TO BE TRANSFERRED. 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.

B-162443, SEP. 26, 1967

EMPLOYEES - TRANSFERS - PUBLIC LAW - 89-516 - HOME SALE/PURCHASE EXPENSES DECISION TO CERTIFYING OFFICER, AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE CONCERNING PROPRIETY OF REIMBURSING EMPLOYEE FOR INITIAL PHASE OF CONSTRUCTION OF NEW HOME PRIOR TO TRANSFER UNDER P. L. 89-516. EMPLOYEE WHO, AFTER CONCRETE FOUNDATION SLAB FOR NEW HOME HAD BEEN POURED, RECEIVED NOTIFICATION OF CHANGE OF STATION AND WAS REQUIRED TO PAY FOR FOUNDATION AND FOR ITS REMOVAL MAY NOT HAVE SUCH EXPENSES REGARDED AS EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH SALE OF RESIDENCE FOR ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT. EVEN IF LOT AND FOUNDATION HAD BEEN SOLD IT WOULD NOT HAVE CONSTITUTED SALE OF RESIDENCE FOR REIMBURSEMENT PURPOSES.

TO MR. A. D. COX, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 6, 1967, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER FOR $3,055.90 SUBMITTED BY DR. PAUL G. ROTHMAN, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, FOR EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH HIS RECENT CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION FROM STONEVILLE, MISSISSIPPI, TO ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA.

YOU INDICATE THAT ON FEBRUARY 3, 1967, THE EMPLOYEE SIGNED A CONTRACT FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW HOME AT HIS OLD OFFICIAL STATION. SHORTLY THEREAFTER ON FEBRUARY 17, 1967, HE WAS NOTIFIED THAT HE WAS TO BE TRANSFERRED.

WHEN THE EMPLOYEE RECEIVED NOTIFICATION OF THE CHANGE OF STATION THE CONCRETE FOUNDATION SLAB FOR THE NEW HOME HAD ALREADY BEEN POURED. THE CONTRACTOR AGREED TO RELEASE THE EMPLOYEE FROM THE CONTRACT IF HE COULD FIND ANOTHER BUYER. HE WAS NOT SUCCESSFUL IN DOING SO AND INCURRED EXPENSES OF $3,055.90 IN PAYING FOR THE SLAB AND THE COST OF ITS REMOVAL.

YOU INQUIRE AS TO WHETHER THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR COSTS INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE INITIAL PHASE OF CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW HOME AT HIS OLD OFFICIAL STATION JUST PRIOR TO RECEIPT OF NOTIFICATION THAT HE WAS TO BE TRANSFERRED.

SECTION 23 (4) OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946 (60 STAT. 806), AS ADDED BY SECTION 2 OF PUB. L. 89-516, APPROVED JULY 21, 1966, 80 STAT. 324, PROVIDES FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES OF THE SALE OF A RESIDENCE AT THE OLD OFFICIAL STATION OR PURCHASE OF A HOME AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION INCURRED BY AN EMPLOYEE UPON PERMANENT CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION.

THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY DOES NOT INDICATE ANY CONGRESSIONAL INTENT TO EXTEND REIMBURSEMENT TO A SITUATION SUCH AS HERE INVOLVED. SEE H. REPT. NO. 1199, 89TH CONG., 1ST SESS; S. REPT. NO. 1357, 89TH CONG., 2D SESS.; HEARINGS BEFORE THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS ON H. R. 10607, 89TH CONG., 1ST SESS.

IN IMPLEMENTING PUB. L. 89-516, BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR LETTER NO. A-56, APPROVED OCTOBER 12, 1966, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"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; * * *

"C. THE DWELLING AT THE OLD OFFICIAL STATION WAS THE EMPLOYEE'S ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME HE WAS FIRST DEFINITELY INFORMED THAT HE IS TO BE TRANSFERRED TO THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION.'

UNDER THE FOREGOING STATUTE AND REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT THERETO THE REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES ARE LIMITED TO THOSE IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF A RESIDENCE OR DWELLING AT THE OLD OFFICIAL STATION IN WHICH THE EMPLOYEE ACTUALLY RESIDED. EVEN IF THE LOT AND/OR THE SLAB HAD BEEN SOLD IT WOULD NOT HAVE CONSTITUTED THE SALE OF A RESIDENCE WITHIN THE CONTEMPLATION OF THE STATUTE OR PERTINENT REGULATIONS.

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