B-164201, MAY 27, 1968

B-164201: May 27, 1968

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YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BECAUSE THE SALE OF YOUR DWELLING DID NOT TAKE PLACE WITHIN ONE YEAR FROM THE DATE YOU REPORTED TO YOUR NEW DUTY STATION AS PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 4.1D OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. WHICH READS AS FOLLOWS: "THE SETTLEMENT DATES FOR THE SALE AND PURCHASE OR LEASE TERMINATION TRANSACTIONS FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS REQUESTED ARE NOT LATER THAN ONE YEAR AFTER THE DATE ON WHICH THE EMPLOYEE REPORTED FOR DUTY AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION. EXCEPT THAT AN APPROPRIATE EXTENSION OF TIME MAY BE AUTHORIZED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR HIS DESIGNEE WHEN SETTLEMENT IS NECESSARILY DELAYED BECAUSE OF LITIGATION.'. SEVERAL BIDS WERE MADE WITHIN THE ONE YEAR PERIOD TO PURCHASE YOUR DWELLING BUT THE INTERESTED PARTIES COULD NOT RAISE THE MONEY.

B-164201, MAY 27, 1968

TO MR. GERALD W. RUSSELL:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 22, 1968, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1968, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF YOUR DWELLING AT YOUR OLD OFFICIAL STATION UNDER TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION OF OCTOBER 14, 1966, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BECAUSE THE SALE OF YOUR DWELLING DID NOT TAKE PLACE WITHIN ONE YEAR FROM THE DATE YOU REPORTED TO YOUR NEW DUTY STATION AS PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 4.1D OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966, WHICH READS AS FOLLOWS:

"THE SETTLEMENT DATES FOR THE SALE AND PURCHASE OR LEASE TERMINATION TRANSACTIONS FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS REQUESTED ARE NOT LATER THAN ONE YEAR AFTER THE DATE ON WHICH THE EMPLOYEE REPORTED FOR DUTY AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION, EXCEPT THAT AN APPROPRIATE EXTENSION OF TIME MAY BE AUTHORIZED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR HIS DESIGNEE WHEN SETTLEMENT IS NECESSARILY DELAYED BECAUSE OF LITIGATION.'

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU REPORTED FOR DUTY AT YOUR NEW DUTY STATION ON OCTOBER 23, 1966. SEVERAL BIDS WERE MADE WITHIN THE ONE YEAR PERIOD TO PURCHASE YOUR DWELLING BUT THE INTERESTED PARTIES COULD NOT RAISE THE MONEY. ON OCTOBER 19, 1967, THE PURCHASER OF YOUR DWELLING SIGNED AN "OFFER TO PURCHASE REAL ESTATE.' HOWEVER, DUE TO THE SCARCITY OF MONEY FOR HOUSE LOANS IN THE AREA WHERE THE DWELLING WAS LOCATED, THE PURCHASER WAS UNABLE TO OBTAIN A LOAN IMMEDIATELY WHICH RESULTED IN THE ACTUAL SETTLEMENT BEING POSTPONED UNTIL DECEMBER 8, 1967. THIS DELAY CAUSED THE SETTLEMENT TO BE EXTENDED BEYOND THE ONE YEAR PERIOD. THE REGULATION PRESCRIBES ONLY ONE EXCEPTION WHEREBY THE DESIGNATED ONE YEAR PERIOD CAN BE EXTENDED. SUCH EXCEPTION PROVIDES THAT AN APPROPRIATE EXTENSION OF TIME MAY BE AUTHORIZED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR HIS DESIGNEE WHEN SETTLEMENT IS NECESSARILY DELAYED BECAUSE OF LITIGATION. THERE IS NOTHING IN THE FILE TO INDICATE THAT THE DELAY IN SELLING YOUR DWELLING WAS CAUSED BY LITIGATION.

ALTHOUGH YOU WERE NOT ABLE TO OBTAIN SETTLEMENT ON THE SALE OF YOUR DWELLING UNTIL AFTER EXPIRATION OF THE ONE YEAR PERIOD BECAUSE OF CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND YOUR CONTROL, THE REGULATIONS CONTAINED IN THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR ARE CONTROLLING AND, THEREFORE, REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COSTS INCURRED BY YOU IN SELLING YOUR DWELLING AT YOUR OLD DUTY STATION WOULD NOT BE PROPER. WHILE WE RECOGNIZE THAT THIS RESULT IS AN UNFORTUNATE ONE IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF YOUR CASE, OUR OFFICE MAY NOT BY DECISION ENLARGE THE SCOPE OF THE STATUTORY REGULATIONS BY ADDING ADDITIONAL EXCEPTIONS TO THE ONE YEAR RESTRICTION. ANY AMENDMENT IN THAT REGARD WOULD BE FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF THE BUDGET.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, THE SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1968, DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM MUST BE SUSTAINED.