B-166681, JUL. 9, 1969

B-166681: Jul 9, 1969

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SIMPSON ALSO CLAIMS HE WILL BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION EXPENSES IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 4 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. YOUR LETTER IS. WAS IN WASHINGTON. HE WAS THEN TRANSFERRED TO AN OFFICIAL DUTY STATION IN WEST VIRGINIA. THIS WAS A ROTATIONAL TRAINING ASSIGNMENT. (IT IS OUR PRACTICE TO REQUEST SUCH INFORMATION FOR EACH INTERN PRIOR TO HIS GRADUATION. WE THEN ASSIGN HIM TO A POSITION WHERE WE HAVE THE GREATEST NEED FOR HIS SKILLS BUT. HE WAS PERMANENTLY ASSIGNED THERE ON DECEMBER 29. HIS PERMANENT PLACEMENT WAS DETERMINED AFTER HE HAD BEEN SENT TO WEST VIRGINIA ON A TRAINING ASSIGNMENT. NO OTHER TRANSFER EXPENSE WAS INVOLVED IN HIS PERMANENT PLACEMENT.'.

B-166681, JUL. 9, 1969

TO MR. BARTELSMEYER:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 26, 1969, REFERENCE 24-18, CONCERNING THE CLAIM OF MR. F. DOUGLAS SIMPSON FOR A MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE OF $200 INCIDENT TO HIS TRANSFER FROM WASHINGTON, C., TO CHARLESTON, WEST VIRGINIA. MR. SIMPSON ALSO CLAIMS HE WILL BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION EXPENSES IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 4 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 SHOULD HE PURCHASE A RESIDENCE AT HIS NEW DUTY STATION WITHIN THE TIME LIMITATION FROM THE DATE OF HIS TRANSFER AS SPECIFIED IN SECTION 4.1 (D).

YOUR LETTER IS, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"FROM MARCH 25 - JULY 26, 1968, MR. SIMPSON'S OFFICIAL DUTY STATION, A ROTATIONAL TRAINING ASSIGNMENT, WAS IN WASHINGTON, D.C. HE WAS THEN TRANSFERRED TO AN OFFICIAL DUTY STATION IN WEST VIRGINIA, EFFECTIVE JULY 28, 1968, FOR HIS FINAL ROTATIONAL TRAINING ASSIGNMENT (SEE ENCLOSED TRANSFER NOTICE). IN OUR OPINION, THIS WAS A ROTATIONAL TRAINING ASSIGNMENT, WITH LIMITED REIMBURSEMENT RIGHTS FOR TRANSFER OF SHORT DURATION, WHICH SUBSEQUENTLY BECAME HIS PERMANENT STATION UPON GRADUATION.

"APPROXIMATELY THREE MONTHS BEFORE MR. SIMPSON'S GRADUATION, OUR PLACEMENT SECTION REQUESTED HIS PREFERENCE FOR LOCATION UPON COMPLETION OF HIS TRAINING FROM THE FORMAL PROGRAM ON DECEMBER 29, 1968. (IT IS OUR PRACTICE TO REQUEST SUCH INFORMATION FOR EACH INTERN PRIOR TO HIS GRADUATION. WE THEN ASSIGN HIM TO A POSITION WHERE WE HAVE THE GREATEST NEED FOR HIS SKILLS BUT, ALSO, WE HONOR HIS GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION PREFERENCE WHEN IT CORRESPONDS TO OUR NEEDS.) MR. SIMPSON REQUESTED ASSIGNMENT IN WEST VIRGINIA AND, SINCE THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION HAD A NEED FOR MR. SIMPSON'S SKILLS IN WEST VIRGINIA, HE WAS PERMANENTLY ASSIGNED THERE ON DECEMBER 29, 1968.

"MR. SIMPSON HAS BEEN REIMBURSED FOR THE TRAVEL EXPENSE RELATED TO THIS FINAL TRAINING ASSIGNMENT IN WEST VIRGINIA (SEE ENCLOSED TRAVEL VOUCHER). WE DO NOT, THEREFORE, RECOMMEND ANY FURTHER REIMBURSEMENT FOR EITHER MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE OF $200 OR FOR REAL ESTATE EXPENSE. HIS PERMANENT PLACEMENT WAS DETERMINED AFTER HE HAD BEEN SENT TO WEST VIRGINIA ON A TRAINING ASSIGNMENT. NO OTHER TRANSFER EXPENSE WAS INVOLVED IN HIS PERMANENT PLACEMENT.'

PARAGRAPH 5A, CHAPTER XI, VOLUME 38 OF BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS ADMINISTRATIVE MANUAL IS AS FOLLOWS:

"TRANSFERS OF LIMITED DURATION. EMPLOYEES ON OFFICIAL TRANSFERS FOR LIMITED PERIOD OF TIME ESTABLISHED IN ADVANCE, FOR LESS THAN 12 MONTHS DURATION, MAY, WHEN DULY AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED, BE REIMBURSED FOR TRAVEL, TRANSPORTATION AND CERTAIN MOVING EXPENSES AS OUTLINED IN PARAGRAPH 4 ABOVE, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BELOW:

"/1) HOUSE HUNTING TRIPS. REIMBURSEMENT SHALL NOT BE AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED FOR ROUND TRIP TRAVEL BETWEEN OLD AND NEW OFFICIAL STATIONS TO SEEK HOUSING. (SEC. 2.4, BOB A-56)

"/2) TEMPORARY QUARTERS ALLOWANCE. REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE AUTHORIZED FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES NOT TO EXCEED TEN DAYS FOR THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY WHILE OCCUPYING TEMPORARY QUARTERS AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION. (SEC. 2.5, BOB A-56)

"/3) ACTUAL MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES. REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE AUTHORIZED FOR ACTUAL MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES ASSOCIATED WITH DISCONTINUING RESIDENCE AT ONE LOCATION AND ESTABLISHING RESIDENCE AT A NEW LOCATION, EXCEPT THAT PAYMENT WILL BE LIMITED TO AMOUNTS AUTHORIZED IN SEC. 3.2 (1) (A) AND (B), BOB A-56. THE TYPES OF COSTS ARE OUTLINED IN SEC. 3.1 OF THE REGULATIONS. AMOUNTS CLAIMED SHALL BE SUPPORTED BY PAID BILLS OR OTHER ACCEPTABLE EVIDENCE OF THE EXPENSES INCURRED.

"/4) REAL ESTATE EXPENSES. REIMBURSEMENT SHALL NOT BE AUTHORIZED FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS, EXCEPT FOR EXPENSES INCURRED FOR SETTLING AN UNEXPIRED LEASE ON RESIDENCE QUARTERS OCCUPIED BY THE EMPLOYEE AT THE OLD OFFICIAL STATION, PROVIDED THE TERM OF THE LEASE DOES NOT EXCEED PERIOD OF ASSIGNMENT. (SEC. 4, BOB A-56).'

THE $100 OR $200 MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE IS PAYABLE TO AN EMPLOYEE IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 3.2A (1) OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 REGARDLESS OF HIS FAILURE TO SUBMIT RECEIPTS. IN MOST CASES, PARTICULARLY WHEN THERE IS A CHANGE OF RESIDENCE INVOLVING MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OR WHEN THE TRANSFER IS FROM ONE STATE TO ANOTHER IT MAY BE ASSUMED THAT MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES HAVE BEEN INCURRED SO AS TO WARRANT PAYMENT OF THE ALLOWANCE WITHOUT REGARD TO ANY STATEMENT FROM THE EMPLOYEE. SEE B-163632, APRIL 9, 1968, COPY HEREWITH. ALSO, WE HAVE HELD THAT CERTAIN OF THE BENEFITS PROVIDED UNDER CIRCULAR NO. A-56 MUST BE APPLIED UNIFORMLY UNDER THE REGULATIONS AND THAT WHEN THE TRANSFER AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED THERE IS NO DISCRETIONARY AUTHORITY IN INDIVIDUAL DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES TO REDUCE OR CHANGE THE BENEFITS OTHERWISE PROVIDED UNDER THE CIRCULAR. SUCH BENEFITS ARE THE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE AND REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION EXPENSES. SEE B-161583, JUNE 15, 1967, A COPY OF WHICH ALSO IS ENCLOSED.

IN LINE WITH THE FOREGOING DECISIONS YOUR BUREAU SHOULD PROCESS PAYMENT TO MR. SIMPSON OF THE $200 MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE WITHOUT RECEIPTS OR OTHER EVIDENCE OF EXPENSE, UNLESS YOU HAVE REASON TO BELIEVE HE HAD NO EXPENSES OF THE NATURE CONTEMPLATED BY THE ALLOWANCE IN WHICH EVENT A STATEMENT OR OTHER EVIDENCE OF SOME EXPENSE SHOULD BE OBTAINED FROM THE EMPLOYEE. ALSO, HE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR REAL ESTATE EXPENSES TO THE EXTENT AUTHORIZED IN SECTION 4 OF THE CIRCULAR, SHOULD HE INCUR SUCH EXPENSES IN PURCHASING A RESIDENCE AT HIS NEW STATION WITHIN THE TIME LIMITATION SPECIFIED IN SUCH CIRCULAR.

YOUR ADMINISTRATIVE MANUAL SHOULD BE MODIFIED TO CONFORM WITH THE FOREGOING.