B-163420, MAR. 25, 1968

B-163420: Mar 25, 1968

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THE ATTORNEY'S FEE WAS INCURRED BY THE EMPLOYEE IN CONNECTION WITH HIS PURCHASE OF A RESIDENCE INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFER OF HIS OFFICIAL STATION TO CHICAGO. APPEARANCE AT THE LENDING AGENCY FOR THE CLOSING OF THE TRANSACTION AT WHICH TIME A REAL ESTATE TAX QUESTION AROSE AND WAS SETTLED. THE PREPARATION AND EXAMINATION OF DOCUMENTS RELATING TO AN EFFECTIVE TRANSFER OF TITLE FREE OF ANY CLAIMS THAT MIGHT HAVE ARISEN SINCE THE DATE OF THE REPORT OF TITLE AS WELL AS TO THE TAX QUESTION WHICH HAD ARISEN. * * *" SECTION 4.2C OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 PROVIDES THAT TO THE EXTENT SUCH COSTS HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE BROKERS' OR SIMILAR SERVICES FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED UNDER OTHER CATEGORIES.

B-163420, MAR. 25, 1968

TO MR. MACY:

BY LETTER DATED JANUARY 24, 1968, WITH ENCLOSURE, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION WHETHER AN EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION MAY PROPERLY BE REIMBURSED FOR AN ATTORNEY'S FEE OF $200 UNDER SECTION 4.2C OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966.

THE ATTORNEY'S FEE WAS INCURRED BY THE EMPLOYEE IN CONNECTION WITH HIS PURCHASE OF A RESIDENCE INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFER OF HIS OFFICIAL STATION TO CHICAGO, ILLINOIS. IN LETTER OF DECEMBER 29, 1967, ADDRESSED TO THE EMPLOYEE, THE ATTORNEY DESCRIBED THE LEGAL SERVICES WHICH HE RENDERED AS FOLLOWS:

"MY SERVICES CONSISTED PRIMARILY OF THE LEGAL EVALUATION OF THE CONTRACT OF PURCHASE, THE MORTGAGE DOCUMENTS AND THE PRELIMINARY REPORT ON TITLE OF THE CHICAGO TITLE AND TRUST COMPANY; A SEARCH OF TITLE TO CLEAR UP A DISCREPANCY IN THE REPORT OF TITLE; THE PROCUREMENT OF A CORRECTION OF THE REPORT OF TITLE; APPEARANCE AT THE LENDING AGENCY FOR THE CLOSING OF THE TRANSACTION AT WHICH TIME A REAL ESTATE TAX QUESTION AROSE AND WAS SETTLED; THE PREPARATION AND EXAMINATION OF DOCUMENTS RELATING TO AN EFFECTIVE TRANSFER OF TITLE FREE OF ANY CLAIMS THAT MIGHT HAVE ARISEN SINCE THE DATE OF THE REPORT OF TITLE AS WELL AS TO THE TAX QUESTION WHICH HAD ARISEN. * * *"

SECTION 4.2C OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 PROVIDES THAT TO THE EXTENT SUCH COSTS HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE BROKERS' OR SIMILAR SERVICES FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED UNDER OTHER CATEGORIES, CUSTOMARY COSTS OF SEARCHING TITLE, PREPARING CONVEYANCES AND OTHER INSTRUMENTS, AND PREPARING CONTRACTS, RELATED NOTARY FEES, RECORDING FEES, MAKING SURVEYS, PREPARING DRAWINGS OR PLATS WHEN REQUIRED FOR LEGAL OR FINANCING PURPOSES, AND SIMILAR EXPENSES, MAY BE REIMBURSED EITHER WITH RESPECT TO SALE OF THE RESIDENCE AT THE OLD OFFICIAL STATION OR PURCHASE OF A DWELLING AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION, BUT THE SAME TYPES OF COSTS SHALL NOT BE PAID AT BOTH LOCATIONS.

IN OUR DECISION OF DECEMBER 5, 1967, B-162858 (COPY ENCLOSED), WE POINTED OUT THAT SECTION 4.2C DOES NOT PURPORT TO AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT OF FEES OF ATTORNEYS RETAINED BY EMPLOYEES TO REPRESENT AND COUNSEL THEM IN REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS. ALSO, SEE ENCLOSED COPY OF B-163203, MARCH 1, 1968.

OF THE VARIOUS SERVICES PERFORMED BY THE ATTORNEY IN THIS CASE, ONLY TWO -- SEARCH OF TITLE AND PREPARATION OF DOCUMENTS RELATING TO TRANSFER OF TITLE -- APPEAR TO BE REIMBURSABLE ITEMS UNDER SECTION 4.2C OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56. UPON PROPER IDENTIFICATION OF THE AMOUNT ALLOCABLE TO THOSE ITEMS THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR SUCH EXPENSE BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION.