B-162703, NOVEMBER 24, 1967, 47 COMP. GEN. 306

B-162703: Nov 24, 1967

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OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES - TRANSFERS - RELOCATION EXPENSES - APPRAISAL FEES AN EMPLOYEE WHO HAD OBTAINED BOTH FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION (FHA) AND VETERANS ADMINISTRATION (VA) APPRAISALS INCIDENT TO THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENCE AT HIS OLD DUTY STATION IN ORDER TO FACILITATE THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENCE AS THE TWO APPRAISALS WERE NOT INTERCHANGEABLE. THE EMPLOYEE SAYS THAT APPRAISALS FROM THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION AND THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION WERE NECESSARY PRIOR TO FINAL OFFER OF THE BUYER. FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION AND VETERANS ADMINISTRATION APPRAISALS ARE NOT INTERCHANGEABLE. THE RESIDENCE WAS FINALLY SOLD UNDER FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION FINANCING AND THE EMPLOYEE HAS BEEN REIMBURSED THE $35 FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION APPRAISAL FEE.

B-162703, NOVEMBER 24, 1967, 47 COMP. GEN. 306

OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES - TRANSFERS - RELOCATION EXPENSES - APPRAISAL FEES AN EMPLOYEE WHO HAD OBTAINED BOTH FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION (FHA) AND VETERANS ADMINISTRATION (VA) APPRAISALS INCIDENT TO THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENCE AT HIS OLD DUTY STATION IN ORDER TO FACILITATE THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENCE AS THE TWO APPRAISALS WERE NOT INTERCHANGEABLE, HAVING SOLD HIS RESIDENCE UNDER FHA FINANCING AND RECEIVED REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE FHA APPRAISAL MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED PURSUANT TO SECTION 4.2B OF THE BURAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 FOR THE COST OF THE VA APPRAISAL, ABSENT AUTHORITY FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF MORE THAN ONE APPRAISAL FEE INCIDENT TO THE SALE BY AN EMPLOYEE OF HIS RESIDENCE AT A FORMER DUTY STATION, ONE APPRAISAL BEING CONSIDERED SUFFICIENT TO ENABLE A SELLER TO DETERMINE THE ASKING PRICE FOR HIS PROPERTY.

TO STEVE J. ORLOVSKI, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, NOVEMBER 24, 1967:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 12, 1967, WITH ENCLOSURES, REFERENCE D-311A, REQUESTING OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER FOR $25 IN FAVOR OF MR. JOHN V. WALKER, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION.

THE $25 REPRESENTS A VETERANS ADMINISTRATION APPRAISAL FEE OBTAINED BY THE EMPLOYEE INCIDENT TO THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENCE AT HIS OLD DUTY STATION UPON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. THE EMPLOYEE SAYS THAT APPRAISALS FROM THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION AND THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION WERE NECESSARY PRIOR TO FINAL OFFER OF THE BUYER. FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION AND VETERANS ADMINISTRATION APPRAISALS ARE NOT INTERCHANGEABLE. THE RESIDENCE WAS FINALLY SOLD UNDER FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION FINANCING AND THE EMPLOYEE HAS BEEN REIMBURSED THE $35 FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION APPRAISAL FEE.

SECTION 2 OF PUB. L. 89-516, APPROVED JULY 21, 1966, 80 STAT. 323, AMENDED THE FORMER ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946 (60 STAT. 806) BY PROVIDING, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE PRESIDENT MAY PRESCRIBE REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE MADE TO AN EMPLOYEE FOR COSTS INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENCE INCIDENT TO A CHANGE OF HIS OFFICIAL STATION WITHIN THE UNITED STATES AND OTHER AREAS DESIGNATED THEREIN. BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 11290, DATED JULY 21, 1966, THE PRESIDENT DELEGATED HIS AUTHORITY TO PRESCRIBE SUCH REGULATIONS TO THE DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF THE BUDGET. SUCH REGULATIONS HAVE BEEN PRESCRIBED IN THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966. SECTION 4.2B THEREOF PROVIDES FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF "OTHER ADVERTISING AND SELLING EXPENSES" AND INCLUDES AUTHORITY FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE "CUSTOMARY COSTS OF APPRAISAL.'

THE REGULATION DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY PROVIDE WHETHER THE SELLER MAY BE REIMBURSED THE COST OF MORE THAN ONE APPRAISAL INCIDENT TO THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENCE. ADMITTEDLY, THE PROCURING OF A NUMBER OF APPRAISALS (BOTH GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE) BY THE SELLER (EMPLOYEE) MIGHT FACILITATE THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENCE. HOWEVER, ONE APPRAISAL NORMALLY IS SUFFICIENT TO ENABLE A SELLER TO DETERMINE THE ASKING PRICE FOR THE PROPERTY. WHETHER A SELLER, FOR THE BENEFIT OF A PURCHASER, OBLIGATES HIMSELF TO PROCURE ADDITIONAL APPRAISALS IS A MATTER OF NEGOTIATION BETWEEN THE PARTIES MUCH IN THE SAME MANNER AS THE PRICE OF THE PROPERTY. THUS, IN THE ABSENCE OF A REGULATION OF THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT FOR MORE THAN ONE APPRAISAL FEE INCIDENT TO THE SALE OF A RESIDENCE AT THE FORMER STATION OF THE EMPLOYEE WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT THE COST OF ONLY ONE SUCH APPRAISAL IS REIMBURSABLE.

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