B-162858, DEC. 5, 1967

B-162858: Dec 5, 1967

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CLOSING MATTERS INCIDENT TO SALE OF HOME ARE NOT EXCEPT FOR SERVICES FOR DRAFTING DEED ITEMS FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE ALLOWED UNDER SEC. 4.2 (C) OF BOB CIRCULAR NO. ALSO SINCE IT IS SHOWN THAT EMPLOYEE WAS REIMBURSED FOR ATTORNEY'S FEES IN CONNECTION WITH SEARCHING TITLE AND PREPARING CONVEYANCES IN CONNECTION WITH PURCHASE OF HOME AT NEW STATION THE PROVISIONS OF SEC. 4.2 (C) OF THE REGULATIONS PRECLUDE REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE SAME TYPE OF COSTS AT BOTH LOCATIONS. OTHER ESSENTIAL INSTRUMENTS OR CONTRACTS WHICH ARE OF A LEGAL NATURE. REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE SPECIFIC AND NECESSARY SERVICES ARE PERFORMED BY ATTORNEYS. HARRIS' ATTORNEYS IN CHICAGO ARE NOT READILY IDENTIFIABLE AS ITEMS FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS PROVIDED BY SECTION 4.2 (C) OF CIRCULAR NO.

B-162858, DEC. 5, 1967

EMPLOYEES - TRANSFERS - PUBLIC LAW 89-516 - HOME SALE/PURCHASE EXPENSES DECISION TO CERTIFYING OFFICER OF INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION DENYING AUTHORITY FOR CERTIFICATION OF VOUCHER COVERING ATTORNEYS FEES INCIDENT TO SALE OF HOME BY TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE. ATTORNEYS FEES FOR DRAFTING DEED, COUNSELING EMPLOYEE ON TITLE, INSURANCE, CLOSING MATTERS INCIDENT TO SALE OF HOME ARE NOT EXCEPT FOR SERVICES FOR DRAFTING DEED ITEMS FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE ALLOWED UNDER SEC. 4.2 (C) OF BOB CIRCULAR NO. A-56. ALSO SINCE IT IS SHOWN THAT EMPLOYEE WAS REIMBURSED FOR ATTORNEY'S FEES IN CONNECTION WITH SEARCHING TITLE AND PREPARING CONVEYANCES IN CONNECTION WITH PURCHASE OF HOME AT NEW STATION THE PROVISIONS OF SEC. 4.2 (C) OF THE REGULATIONS PRECLUDE REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE SAME TYPE OF COSTS AT BOTH LOCATIONS. THEREFORE, REIMBURSEMENT WOULD NOT BE PROPER.

TO MRS. MARGUERITE B. CASEY:

YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 1, 1967, REFERENCE MDB, WITH ENCLOSED VOUCHER FOR $238.10 IN FAVOR OF MR. N. THOMAS HARRIS, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER $190 OF THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER MAY LAWFULLY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

THE QUESTIONED AMOUNT REPRESENTS EXPENSE FOR ATTORNEYS' FEES INCURRED BY MR. HARRIS IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENCE IN WHEATON, ILLINOIS, INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFER OF HIS OFFICIAL STATION FROM CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, TO WASHINGTON, D.C. IN JULY 1967.

AS DESCRIBED IN HIS ATTORNEYS' BILL, THE PROFESSIONAL SERVICES CONSISTED OF THE FOLLOWING: ,STUDY OF CONTRACT AND SURVEY, DRAFT OF DEED, INSURANCE ASSIGNMENTS AND OTHER DOCUMENTS, CONFERENCES WITH CHICAGO TITLE AND TRUST COMPANY REGARDING TITLE, TELEPHONE CONFERENCES WITH BROKER AND WITH BUYERS' ATTORNEY, CONFERENCES WITH INSURANCE AGENCY AND FIRST FEDERAL, PREPARATION OF FINAL DOCUMENTS AND ATTENDANCE AT CLOSING, HANDLING "STOP PAYMENT" CHECK MATTER, CORRESPONDENCE WITH CLIENTS AT ALL STAGES OF THE CASE ........................$190.00"

THE DESCRIBED SERVICES APPEAR TO INCLUDE NOT ONLY THOSE REQUIRED BY ILLINOIS LAW TO BE PERFORMED BY LICENSED ATTORNEYS BUT ALSO COUNSEL, ADVICE AND OTHER SERVICES WHICH PROPERLY MAY BE PERFORMED BY LAWYERS FOR THEIR CLIENTS.

SECTION 4.2 (C) OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966, DOES NOT PURPORT TO AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT OF FEES OF ATTORNEYS RETAINED BY EMPLOYEES TO REPRESENT AND COUNSEL THEM IN REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS. SEE B-161891, AUGUST 21, 1967, CITED IN YOUR LETTER. RATHER THAT SUBSECTION AUTHORIZES REIMBURSEMENT OF THE CUSTOMARY COSTS OF SEARCHING TITLE, PREPARING DEEDS, AND OTHER ESSENTIAL INSTRUMENTS OR CONTRACTS WHICH ARE OF A LEGAL NATURE, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE SPECIFIC AND NECESSARY SERVICES ARE PERFORMED BY ATTORNEYS, BROKERS, TITLE COMPANIES, OR OTHERS. OTHER THAN THE DRAFT OF THE DEED, THE SERVICES PERFORMED BY MR. HARRIS' ATTORNEYS IN CHICAGO ARE NOT READILY IDENTIFIABLE AS ITEMS FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS PROVIDED BY SECTION 4.2 (C) OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56.

YOUR LETTER POINTS OUT THAT MR. HARRIS HAS BEEN REIMBURSED FOR THE SERVICES OF AN ATTORNEY IN SEARCHING TITLE AND PREPARING CONVEYANCES IN CONNECTION WITH THE PURCHASE OF HIS HOUSE IN POTOMAC, MARYLAND. SINCE SECTION 4.2 (C) OF THE CIRCULAR PRECLUDES REIMBURSEMENT OF THE SAME TYPE OF COSTS WITH RESPECT TO THE SALE OF THE RESIDENCE AT THE OLD OFFICIAL STATION AND THE PURCHASE OF A RESIDENCE AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT MR. HARRIS HAS BEEN ALLOWED ALL TO WHICH HE IS ENTITLED UNDER THAT SECTION OF THE CIRCULAR.

THE VOUCHER TRANSMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER IS RETURNED HEREWITH BUT ON THE PRESENT RECORD THE ITEM OF $190 MAY NOT PROPERLY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.