B-164111, JUN. 10, 1968

B-164111: Jun 10, 1968

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BY WHICH YOU WERE ALLOWED REIMBURSEMENT OF ONLY $200 FOR MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES UNDER SECTION 3 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. THE AMOUNT ALLOWED FOR MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES UNDER THE SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 28 WAS THE COMMUTED ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 3.2A (1) (B) OF CIRCULAR NO. YOU HAVE SUBMITTED EVIDENCE OF EXPENDITURES IN EXCESS OF THE COMMUTED AMOUNT AND REQUEST THAT WE CONSIDER YOUR ENTITLEMENT TO AN ADDITIONAL PAYMENT UNDER SECTION 3.2A (2) OF CIRCULAR NO. FOR ONE WEEK IF THE EMPLOYEE IS WITHOUT IMMEDIATE FAMILY OR FOR TWO WEEKS IF THE EMPLOYEE HAS IMMEDIATE FAMILY. IF AN AMOUNT IS CLAIMED IN EXCESS OF THAT AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID WITHOUT SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION UNDER SUBSECTION 3.2A (1).

B-164111, JUN. 10, 1968

TO MR. LOUIS A. GARLAND:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 9, 1968, REQUESTING REVIEW OF OFFICE CLAIMS SETTLEMENT, DATED FEBRUARY 28, 1968, BY WHICH YOU WERE ALLOWED REIMBURSEMENT OF ONLY $200 FOR MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES UNDER SECTION 3 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, INCIDENT TO YOUR TRANSFER FROM SIOUX CITY, IOWA, TO WHEATON, ILLINOIS, IN AUGUST 1967,AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, TREASURY DEPARTMENT.

THE AMOUNT ALLOWED FOR MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES UNDER THE SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 28 WAS THE COMMUTED ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 3.2A (1) (B) OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56. YOU HAVE SUBMITTED EVIDENCE OF EXPENDITURES IN EXCESS OF THE COMMUTED AMOUNT AND REQUEST THAT WE CONSIDER YOUR ENTITLEMENT TO AN ADDITIONAL PAYMENT UNDER SECTION 3.2A (2) OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 WHICH PROVIDES:

"AN ALLOWANCE AMOUNT IN EXCESS OF THAT SPECIFIED IN SUBSECTION 3.2A (1), ABOVE, MAY BE AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED, IF SUPPORTED BY AN ACCEPTABLE STATEMENT OF FACTS OR PAID BILLS JUSTIFYING AMOUNTS IN EXCESS OF THOSE SPECIFIED IN SUBSECTION 3.2A (1), ABOVE, PROVIDED THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT DOES NOT EXCEED THE EMPLOYEE'S BASIC SALARY RATE AT THE TIME THE EMPLOYEE REPORTED FOR DUTY -- FOR ONE WEEK IF THE EMPLOYEE IS WITHOUT IMMEDIATE FAMILY OR FOR TWO WEEKS IF THE EMPLOYEE HAS IMMEDIATE FAMILY. IN NO INSTANCE SHALL THE ALLOWANCE AMOUNT EXCEED THE MAXIMUM RATE AT THE TIME THE EMPLOYEE REPORTED FOR DUTY OF GRADE GS-13 IN THE GENERAL SCHEDULE OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED. IF AN AMOUNT IS CLAIMED IN EXCESS OF THAT AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID WITHOUT SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION UNDER SUBSECTION 3.2A (1), ABOVE, THE ENTIRE AMOUNT CLAIMED MUST BE SUPPORTED BY PAID BILLS OR OTHER ACCEPTABLE EVIDENCE OF THE EXPENSES INCURRED.'

FIVE OF THE ITEMS FOR WHICH YOU CLAIM REIMBURSEMENT (ITEMS 1, 5, 6, 7, AND 11), AMOUNTING TO A TOTAL OF $22.85, INVOLVE EXPENDITURES WHICH YOU INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE AND PURCHASE OF RESIDENCES AT YOUR OLD AND NEW OFFICIAL STATIONS. IN THE DECISION B-162320, SEPTEMBER 18, 1967, COPY ENCLOSED, IT WAS HELD THAT ALLOWABLE MISCELLANEOUS COSTS DO NOT INCLUDE COSTS WHICH HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED AND REJECTED AS NOT BEING ALLOWABLE UNDER ONE OR MORE OF THE SPECIFIC CATEGORIES OF COST REIMBURSEMENT PROVIDED BY CIRCULAR NO. A-56. SINCE THE FIVE ITEMS OF COST HERE IN QUESTION WERE INCURRED BY YOU IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE AND PURCHASE OF RESIDENCES, THEY MAY NOT BE INCLUDED AS REIMBURSABLE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE NOT CONSIDERED TO BE ALLOWABLE UNDER SECTION 4 OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56, WHICH RELATES TO REIMBURSEMENT OF REAL ESTATE EXPENSES.

FOUR OTHER ITEMS REPRESENTING EXPENSES INCURRED FOR DISCONNECTING AND CONNECTING APPLIANCES, EQUIPMENT, AND UTILITIES (ITEMS 8, 9, 10, AND 17), APPEAR TO INCLUDE COSTS OF STRUCTURAL ALTERATIONS, REMODELING OR MODERNIZING OF LIVING QUARTERS IN ORDER TO ACCOMMODATE SUCH APPLIANCES, EQUIPMENT, OR UTILITIES AT THE NEW RESIDENCE. ITEM 8, FOR TELEPHONE INSTALLATION, INCLUDES $22.64 CHARGED FOR INSTALLATION OF "JACK EQUIPMENT" IN ADDITION TO $6.47 CHARGED FOR CONNECTING TELEPHONE SERVICE. ITEM 9, INVOLVING THE INSTALLATION OF AN AUTOMATIC WASHER, INCLUDES $36.38 FOR PLUMBING MODIFICATIONS AND/OR REPAIR IN ADDITION TO AN INSTALLATION FEE OF $7.56. ITEM 10, INVOLVING INSTALLATION OF A WATER SOFTENER, ALSO APPEARS TO INCLUDE IN THE TOTAL CHARGE OF $41.72 THE COSTS OF PLUMBING MODIFICATIONS. ITEM 17, FOR $35, INVOLVES THE INSTALLATION OF ELECTRIC WIRING TO ACCOMMODATE AN AIR-CONDITIONER. IN OUR DECISION B-161565, NOVEMBER 2, 1967, COPY ENCLOSED, IT WAS HELD THAT EXPENSES INCURRED FOR INSTALLING A 220 VOLT ELECTRIC CIRCUIT AND FOR VENTING A CLOTHES DRYER WERE COSTS OF STRUCTURAL ALTERATION, REMODELING OR MODERNIZING OF LIVING QUARTERS. THEREFORE, THE COSTS INVOLVED WERE NOT CONSIDERED AS REIMBURSABLE ITEMS IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 3.1C (12) OF CIRCULAR NO. A- 56. A SIMILAR CONCLUSION MUST BE REACHED WITH REGARD TO THE INSTALLATION OF YOUR AUTOMATIC WASHER AND WATER SOFTENER IN THE "UTILITY ROOM" OF YOUR NEW RESIDENCE AS WELL AS THE INSTALLATION OF TELEPHONE "JACK EQUIPMENT.'

SINCE THE TOTAL OF NONALLOWABLE ITEMS, AS DISCUSSED ABOVE, REDUCES YOUR TOTAL CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES TO LESS THAN $200, YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT IN EXCESS OF THE COMMUTED ALLOWANCE ON THE BASIS OF THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED.

WE MAKE NO COMMENT AS TO WHETHER OTHER SPECIFIC ITEMS WHICH YOU CLAIM WOULD OR WOULD NOT BE ALLOWABLE UNDER SECTION 3.2A (2) OF CIRCULAR NO. A- 56 IF YOU HAD INCURRED REIMBURSABLE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES IN EXCESS OF $200.

FOR THE REASONS STATED, THE CLAIMS SETTLEMENT DATED FEBRUARY 28, 1968, BY WHICH YOU WERE DENIED AN ALLOWANCE IN EXCESS OF $200 FOR MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES, IS SUSTAINED.