B-162842, NOV. 22, 1967

B-162842: Nov 22, 1967

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SOLD HIS HOME BEFORE THE EXECUTION OF AN EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT OR RECEIPT OF TRAVEL ORDERS BUT WHO DID NOT TRANSFER TITLE UNTIL DAY BEFORE TRAVEL ORDER DATE MAY HAVE SALE REGARDED AS RESULT OF ANTICIPATED TRANSFER AND THEREFORE SALE COSTS ARE PROPERLY FOR REIMBURSEMENT UNDER PUBLIC LAW 89-516. REIMBURSEMENT OF REAL ESTATE FEES IN CONNECTION WITH A TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION IS GOVERNED BY SECTION 4.1 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. 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. A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED * * *. "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.'.

B-162842, NOV. 22, 1967

EMPLOYEES - TRANSFERS - PUBLIC LAW 89-516 - TIME FOR BENEFITS DECISION TO CERTIFYING OFFICER OF INTERIOR DEPT. RE PROPRIETY OF REIMBURSING EMPLOYEE FOR EXPENSES OF SALE OF RESIDENCE ON CHANGE OF STATION FROM SPOKANE, WASHINGTON TO SALEM, OREGON. EMPLOYEE WHO, WHEN VERBALLY ADVISED OF TENTATIVE SELECTION FOR POSITION AT NEW STATION, SOLD HIS HOME BEFORE THE EXECUTION OF AN EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT OR RECEIPT OF TRAVEL ORDERS BUT WHO DID NOT TRANSFER TITLE UNTIL DAY BEFORE TRAVEL ORDER DATE MAY HAVE SALE REGARDED AS RESULT OF ANTICIPATED TRANSFER AND THEREFORE SALE COSTS ARE PROPERLY FOR REIMBURSEMENT UNDER PUBLIC LAW 89-516.

TO MRS. NEDRA A. BLACKWELL:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 11, 1967, REFERENCE 360, REQUESTING OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER FOR $1,363.35 IN FAVOR OF MR. CHARLES W. LAYTHE, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, TO REIMBURSE HIM FOR CERTAIN COSTS HE INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENCE INCIDENT TO A TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION FROM SPOKANE, WASHINGTON, TO SALEM, OREGON.

YOUR DOUBT WITH REGARD TO MR. LAYTHE'S VOUCHER ARISES BECAUSE THE SALE OF HIS HOUSE AT HIS OLD DUTY STATION OCCURRED PRIOR TO THE DATE HE RECEIVED OFFICIAL WRITTEN NOTICE OF HIS TRANSFER. REIMBURSEMENT OF REAL ESTATE FEES IN CONNECTION WITH A TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION IS GOVERNED BY SECTION 4.1 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966, WHICH 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; * * * PROVIDED THAT:

"A. A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED * * *.

"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.'

THE INFORMATION OF RECORD SHOWS THAT ON JULY 3, 1967, OR SHORTLY THEREAFTER MR. LAYTHE WAS VERBALLY NOTIFIED OF HIS TENTATIVE SELECTION FOR THE POSITION AT SALEM, OREGON. THE EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT WAS SIGNED ON AUGUST 4, 1967. HIS TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION WAS APPROVED AUGUST 7, 1967, AND HIS STANDARD FORM 50 NOTIFICATION OF PERSONNEL ACTION WAS APPROVED AUGUST 9, 1967, FOR PROMOTION AND CHANGE OF OFFICE EFFECTIVE AUGUST 27, 1967. THE DEED TRANSFERRING TITLE TO THE PROPERTY WAS EXECUTED BY MR. LAYTHE ON AUGUST 7 AND RECORDED AUGUST 8, 1967.

AS STATED IN YOUR LETTER, IT APPEARS THAT ALL THE TRANSACTIONS REVOLVING AROUND THE SALE OF THE PROPERTY WHICH THE EMPLOYEE OWNED WERE THE RESULT OF THE ANTICIPATED TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEE. OUR OPINION IS THAT THE PURPOSES OF SECTION 4.1C OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 WERE MET WHEN THE EMPLOYEE WAS VERBALLY NOTIFIED ON OR SHORTLY AFTER JULY 3, 1967, THAT HE HAD BEEN SELECTED FOR TRANSFER. THEREFORE, IT APPEARS THAT EXPENSES INCURRED BY MR. LAYTHE FALL WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF PUB. L. 89-516, APPROVED JULY 21, 1966, AND THE IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS PROMULGATED BY THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET. SEE 27 COMP. GEN. 97.

THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.