B-165875, FEB. 27, 1969

B-165875: Feb 27, 1969

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WE ARE ADDRESSING OUR DECISION TO YOU. DUE TO THE UNFAVORABLE REAL ESTATE MARKET CONDITIONS EXISTING IN THE CARSON CITY AREA HE WAS NOT ABLE TO SELL HIS FORMER RESIDENCE UNTIL AUGUST 14. 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 ABOVE-QUOTED REGULATION WAS ISSUED PURSUANT TO PUBLIC LAW 89 516. THUS IS STATUTORY IN NATURE. O-CALLAGHAN'S HOUSE WAS DELAYED FOR REASONS BEYOND HIS CONTROL.

B-165875, FEB. 27, 1969

TO MR. WILLIAM B. RICE:

WE REFER TO LETTER OF DECEMBER 26, 1968, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM MR. M. M. MERKER, FORMER DEPUTY DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. DONAL N. O-CALLAGHAN FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF REAL ESTATE EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF HIS FORMER RESIDENCE INCIDENT TO HIS TRANSFER FROM CARSON CITY, NEVADA, TO SANTA ROSA, CALIFORNIA. IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF 31 U.S.C. 74 AND 82D, WE ARE ADDRESSING OUR DECISION TO YOU.

MR. O-CALLAGHAN REPORTED FOR DUTY AT SANTA ROSA ON JUNE 1, 1967. HOWEVER, DUE TO THE UNFAVORABLE REAL ESTATE MARKET CONDITIONS EXISTING IN THE CARSON CITY AREA HE WAS NOT ABLE TO SELL HIS FORMER RESIDENCE UNTIL AUGUST 14, 1968. IN HIS LETTER OF DECEMBER 26 MR. MERKER POINTS OUT THAT THE EMPLOYEE MADE EVERY POSSIBLE EFFORT TO SELL HIS HOME WITHIN THE 1-YEAR LIMITATION PERIOD PRESCRIBED BY SUBSECTION 4.1D OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, AND HE EXPRESSES THE VIEW THAT APPLICATION OF SUCH LIMITATION TO THE FACTS OF THIS CASE WOULD BE ARBITRARY AND UNFAIR.

SECTION 4.1 OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 PROVIDES FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF REAL ESTATE EXPENSES ONLY WHEN:

"D. 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 ABOVE-QUOTED REGULATION WAS ISSUED PURSUANT TO PUBLIC LAW 89 516, 80 STAT. 323, AND THUS IS STATUTORY IN NATURE. OUR OFFICE HAS NO AUTHORITY EITHER TO WAIVE OR EXTEND THE LIMITATION PERIOD PRESCRIBED THEREIN. THE REGULATION PROVIDES ONLY ONE EXCEPTION, NOT APPLICABLE HERE, WHEREBY THE DESIGNATED 1-YEAR PERIOD CAN BE EXTENDED. WHILE WE RECOGNIZE THAT THE SALE OF MR. O-CALLAGHAN'S HOUSE WAS DELAYED FOR REASONS BEYOND HIS CONTROL, OUR OFFICE MAY NOT BY DECISION ENLARGE THE SCOPE OF THE REGULATIONS BY CREATING ADDITIONAL EXCEPTIONS TO THE 1 YEAR LIMITATION.

THEREFORE, THE VOUCHER MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT. THE COPY OF THE VOUCHER FORWARDED TO US IS RETURNED HEREWITH.