B-163701, MAR. 25, 1968

B-163701: Mar 25, 1968

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ON THE DOCUMENT ENTITLED "ESCROW INSTRUCTIONS" WHICH APPEARS TO BE A CONTRACT FOR SALE IT WAS AGREED BY THE PARTIES THAT MR. RICKARD WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO PAY REIMBURSABLE COSTS SUBSTANTIALLY IN EXCESS OF $100 BUT THAT YOU ARE UNABLE TO BREAK DOWN THE COSTS PAID WITH MR. RICKARD HAS PAID THE $100 FOR WHICH HE CLAIMS REIMBURSEMENT AND SINCE THAT AMOUNT WAS LESS THAN HE WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO PAY FOR OTHERWISE REIMBURSABLE COSTS UNDER THE CUSTOMS OF THE LOCALITY IN WHICH THE RESIDENCE WAS PURCHASED. WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT REIMBURSEMENT SHOULD BE WITHHELD MERELY BECAUSE THE COSTS TO WHICH THAT SUM WAS ALLOCATED CANNOT BE IDENTIFIED. THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.

B-163701, MAR. 25, 1968

TO MR. E. C. CRARY:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 8, 1968, RECEIVED HERE MARCH 1, YOUR REFERENCE 6540, BY WHICH YOU FORWARDED FOR OUR ADVANCE DECISION THE VOUCHER OF MR. HARRY C. RICKARD, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, TO REIMBURSE HIM THE EXPENSE HE INCURRED IN PURCHASE OF A RESIDENCE AT HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 5 U.S.C. 5724A (A) AND SECTION 4 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A -56.

ON THE DOCUMENT ENTITLED "ESCROW INSTRUCTIONS" WHICH APPEARS TO BE A CONTRACT FOR SALE IT WAS AGREED BY THE PARTIES THAT MR. RICKARD WOULD PAY ONLY $100 TOWARD THE CLOSING COSTS USUALLY PAID BY A PURCHASER IN THE AREA INVOLVED AND THAT THE SELLER WOULD PAY ANY BALANCE OF SUCH COSTS. THE CLOSING STATEMENT INDICATES THAT THE SELLER PAID $326.51, IN ADDITION TO THE $100 PAID BY MR. RICKARD, FOR CLOSING COSTS NORMALLY PAID BY THE PURCHASER.

YOU SAY THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF THE SPECIAL AGREEMENT MR. RICKARD WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO PAY REIMBURSABLE COSTS SUBSTANTIALLY IN EXCESS OF $100 BUT THAT YOU ARE UNABLE TO BREAK DOWN THE COSTS PAID WITH MR. RICKARD'S $100.

SINCE MR. RICKARD HAS PAID THE $100 FOR WHICH HE CLAIMS REIMBURSEMENT AND SINCE THAT AMOUNT WAS LESS THAN HE WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO PAY FOR OTHERWISE REIMBURSABLE COSTS UNDER THE CUSTOMS OF THE LOCALITY IN WHICH THE RESIDENCE WAS PURCHASED, WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT REIMBURSEMENT SHOULD BE WITHHELD MERELY BECAUSE THE COSTS TO WHICH THAT SUM WAS ALLOCATED CANNOT BE IDENTIFIED.

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