B-164318, JUN. 21, 1968

B-164318: Jun 21, 1968

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CRUGNALE: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 9. KERRIGAN WAS TRANSFERRED FROM GREENSBURG TO WASHINGTON. HE WAS DETAILED TO PITTSBURGH. HE WAS TRANSFERRED TO PITTSBURGH. WHICH IS IN THE PITTSBURGH AREA. KERRIGAN WAS PAID THE EXPENSES HE INCURRED IN THE SALE OF THE GREENSBURG RESIDENCE TO THE EXTENT AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 4 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. ON SUBSEQUENT REVIEW OF THAT PAYMENT IT WAS DETERMINED THAT HE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO SUCH REIMBURSEMENT BECAUSE HE HAD NOT SOLD THE RESIDENCE IN QUESTION WITHIN ONE YEAR AFTER HIS TRANSFER FROM GREENSBURG TO WASHINGTON AS IS REQUIRED BY SECTION 4.1D OF CIRCULAR NO. THE AMOUNT PAID HIM IN CONNECTION WITH THAT SALE WAS DEDUCTED FROM THE VOUCHER HE SUBMITTED FOR REIMBURSEMENT IN CONNECTION WITH THE PURCHASE OF THE RESIDENCE IN CARNEGIE AND HE WAS REQUESTED TO REFUND THE BALANCE OF THE AMOUNT IN QUESTION.

B-164318, JUN. 21, 1968

TO MISS ANNE M. CRUGNALE:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 9, 1968, YOUR REFERENCE:A:F:F:V, CONCERNING THE CLAIM OF MR. JAMES J. KERRIGAN AN EMPLOYEE OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES HE INCURRED IN THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENCE IN GREENSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA, UNDER THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES SET OUT BELOW.

ON SEPTEMBER 19, 1966, MR. KERRIGAN WAS TRANSFERRED FROM GREENSBURG TO WASHINGTON, D. C. EFFECTIVE MARCH 15, 1967, HE TRANSFERRED FROM THAT DUTY STATION TO PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA; HOWEVER, HE WAS DETAILED TO PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, EFFECTIVE THE SAME DATE. ON MAY 21, 1967, PRIOR TO HIS REPORTING FOR DUTY IN PHILADELPHIA, HE WAS TRANSFERRED TO PITTSBURGH. WHILE ON DETAIL IN PITTSBURGH, MR. KERRIGAN LIVED IN THE RESIDENCE HE OWNED IN GREENSBURG -- A DISTANCE OF APPROXIMATELY 35 MILES FROM PITTSBURGH. APPARENTLY, HIS FAMILY DID NOT ACCOMPANY HIM TO WASHINGTON IN CONNECTION WITH HIS ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY THERE BUT CONTINUED TO RESIDE IN THE SAME GREENSBURG RESIDENCE. ON NOVEMBER 24, 1967, HE SOLD THE GREENSBURG RESIDENCE AND ON DECEMBER 12, 1967, HE PURCHASED A RESIDENCE IN CARNEGIE, PENNSYLVANIA, WHICH IS IN THE PITTSBURGH AREA.

MR. KERRIGAN WAS PAID THE EXPENSES HE INCURRED IN THE SALE OF THE GREENSBURG RESIDENCE TO THE EXTENT AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 4 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56; HOWEVER, ON SUBSEQUENT REVIEW OF THAT PAYMENT IT WAS DETERMINED THAT HE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO SUCH REIMBURSEMENT BECAUSE HE HAD NOT SOLD THE RESIDENCE IN QUESTION WITHIN ONE YEAR AFTER HIS TRANSFER FROM GREENSBURG TO WASHINGTON AS IS REQUIRED BY SECTION 4.1D OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56. ACCORDINGLY, THE AMOUNT PAID HIM IN CONNECTION WITH THAT SALE WAS DEDUCTED FROM THE VOUCHER HE SUBMITTED FOR REIMBURSEMENT IN CONNECTION WITH THE PURCHASE OF THE RESIDENCE IN CARNEGIE AND HE WAS REQUESTED TO REFUND THE BALANCE OF THE AMOUNT IN QUESTION.

YOU ASK WHETHER THE ACTION TAKEN TO COLLECT THE PAYMENT MADE TO MR. KERRIGAN FOR EXPENSES HE INCURRED IN THE SALE OF HIS GREENSBURG RESIDENCE WAS PROPER. IT IS CLEAR THAT REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES IN QUESTION WAS NOT PROPER BASED ON THE TRANSFER FROM GREENSBURG TO WASHINGTON BECAUSE THE SALE WAS NOT CONSUMMATED WITHIN ONE YEAR AFTER THAT TRANSFER.

REGARDING THE POSSIBILITY OF HIS ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE SALE OF THAT RESIDENCE BASED ON A SUBSEQUENT TRANSFER, THE DECISION B-160898, MARCH 10, 1967, 46 COMP. GEN. 703, WHICH IS CITED IN THE FILE ATTACHED TO YOUR LETTER QUOTES THE FOLLOWING FROM SECTION 4.1 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56:

"TO THE EXTENT ALLOWABLE UNDER THIS PROVISION, THE GOVERNMENT WILL REIMBURSE AN EMPLOYEE FOR EXPENSES REQUIRED TO BE PAID BY HIM IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF ONE RESIDENCE AT HIS OLD OFFICIAL STATION; PURCHASE OF ONE DWELLING AT HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION; OR THE SETTLEMENT OF AN UNEXPIRED LEASE AT HIS PLACE OF RESIDENCE AT THE OLD OFFICIAL STATION; PROVIDED THAT:

"C. THE DWELLING AT THE OLD OFFICIAL STATION WAS THE EMPLOYEE'S ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME HE WAS FIRST DEFINITELY INFORMED THAT HE IS TO BE TRANSFERRED TO THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION.'

REFERRING TO THAT QUOTATION WE SAID IN THAT DECISION:

"THE LANGUAGE OF THE ABOVE-QUOTED REGULATION IS CLEAR AND UNAMBIGUOUS. REIMBURSEMENT UNDER SECTION 4 OF THE REGULATIONS IS AUTHORIZED ONLY IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF A DWELLING AT THE OLD OFFICIAL DUTY STATION WHICH WAS THE ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF HIS OFFICIAL TRANSFER. * *

IN 47 COMP. GEN. 109 WE HELD THAT THE LAW AND REGULATIONS WHICH PERMIT REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES FOR THE SALE OF AN EMPLOYEE'S RESIDENCE AT THE OLD OFFICIAL STATION ARE NOT APPLICABLE TO THE SALE OF A RESIDENCE WHICH IS NOT ACTUALLY LOCATED AT THE EMPLOYEE'S OLD DUTY STATION OR AT A PLACE TO WHICH HE COMMUTES ON A DAILY BASIS TO THAT STATION EXCEPT UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES NOT HERE APPARENT. THEREFORE, REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES INVOLVED MAY NOT BE BASED ON THE TRANSFER FROM WASHINGTON TO PHILADELPHIA OR THE TRANSFER FROM PHILADELPHIA TO PITTSBURGH.

FOR THE REASONS STATED, MR. KERRIGAN IS NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES HE INCURRED IN SELLING HIS RESIDENCE IN GREENSBURG AND ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN TO COLLECT FROM HIM ANY AMOUNT HE STILL OWES THE UNITED STATES AS A RESULT OF THE ERRONEOUS PAYMENT BASED ON THAT TRANSACTION. THE FILE ATTACHED TO YOUR LETTER IS RETURNED.