B-166400, APR. 17, 1969

B-166400: Apr 17, 1969

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THE PURCHASE OF YOUR RESIDENCE WAS NOT COMPLETED UNTIL JULY 26. YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH PURCHASE WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 4.1D OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 WHICH AUTHORIZES REIMBURSEMENT OF OTHERWISE ALLOWABLE EXPENSES PROVIDED: "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.'.

B-166400, APR. 17, 1969

TO MR. ALVIN A. PEARIS:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 26, 1969, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING REVIEW OF OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT DATED FEBRUARY 12, 1969, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF REAL ESTATE EXPENSES INCURRED BY YOU IN CONNECTION WITH THE PURCHASE OF A RESIDENCE INCIDENT TO YOUR TRANSFER FROM NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, TO CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU REPORTED FOR DUTY AT CHARLOTTESVILLE ON APRIL 10, 1967. HOWEVER, THE PURCHASE OF YOUR RESIDENCE WAS NOT COMPLETED UNTIL JULY 26, 1968. YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH PURCHASE WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 4.1D OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 WHICH AUTHORIZES REIMBURSEMENT OF OTHERWISE ALLOWABLE EXPENSES PROVIDED:

"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.'

IN YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 26, 1969, YOU EXPLAIN THAT YOU WERE UNABLE TO COMPLETE THE PURCHASE OF A SUITABLE RESIDENCE WITHIN THE 1 YEAR PERIOD PRESCRIBED IN SECTION 4.1D, ABOVE, BECAUSE OF THE DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICES IN REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS WHICH YOU SAY PREVAILED IN THE CHARLOTTESVILLE AREA. YOU BELIEVE THAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF YOUR CASE WARRANT A WAIVER OF THE 1-YEAR LIMITATION PERIOD.

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 YOUR PURCHASE OF A HOUSE WAS DELAYED FOR REASONS BEYOND YOUR CONTROL, OUR OFFICE MAY NOT BE DECISION ENLARGE THE SCOPE OF THE REGULATIONS BY CREATING ADDITIONAL EXCEPTIONS TO THE 1-YEAR LIMITATION.