B-166958, JULY 9, 1969, 49 COMP. GEN. 15

B-166958: Jul 9, 1969

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A-56 PRESCRIBING THAT A HOUSETRAILER IS WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE TERMS "RESIDENCE" OR "DWELLING" AS THOSE TERMS ARE USED IN THE CIRCULAR. ALTHOUGH THE FEE OF 15 PERCENT OF THE ACTUAL SALES PRICE PAID IS THE NORMAL COMMISSION CHARGED INCIDENT TO THE SALE OF A RESIDENCE BY DEALERS IN THE AREA FROM WHICH THE EMPLOYEE TRANSFERRED. REIMBURSEMENT TO HIM IS LIMITED UNDER SECTION 4.2H TO A FEE THAT DOES NOT EXCEED 10 PERCENT OF THE ACTUAL SALES PRICE. WHICHEVER IS THE SMALLER AMOUNT. 48 COMP. BURLESON WAS HIRED BY THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT IN THE SHORTAGE CATEGORY AS A MINING ENGINEER IN DECEMBER 1967 WHEREUPON. WAS PURCHASED IN PHILLIPSBURG. WAS HIS HOME UNTIL HE WAS TOLD OF THE IMPENDING TRANSFER TO PRINEVILLE.

B-166958, JULY 9, 1969, 49 COMP. GEN. 15

OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES -- TRANSFERS -- RELOCATION EXPENSES -- HOUSETRAILER EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT -- SALE OF TRAILER THE JUNE 26, 1969 REVISION OF SECTION 4.1B OF THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 PRESCRIBING THAT A HOUSETRAILER IS WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE TERMS "RESIDENCE" OR "DWELLING" AS THOSE TERMS ARE USED IN THE CIRCULAR, THE BROKERAGE FEE PAID BY A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE TO SELL HIS MOBILE HOME AT HIS OLD DUTY STATION MAY BE REIMBURSED TO HIM. ALTHOUGH THE FEE OF 15 PERCENT OF THE ACTUAL SALES PRICE PAID IS THE NORMAL COMMISSION CHARGED INCIDENT TO THE SALE OF A RESIDENCE BY DEALERS IN THE AREA FROM WHICH THE EMPLOYEE TRANSFERRED, REIMBURSEMENT TO HIM IS LIMITED UNDER SECTION 4.2H TO A FEE THAT DOES NOT EXCEED 10 PERCENT OF THE ACTUAL SALES PRICE, THE SECTION AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED 10 PERCENT OR $5,000, WHICHEVER IS THE SMALLER AMOUNT. 48 COMP. GEN. 115; B-163856, APRIL 30, 1968; B-165255, OCTOBER 24, 1968, MODIFIED.

TO MARY M. RYDQUIST, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, JULY 9, 1969:

YOUR LETTER OF MAY 7, 1969, FORWARDED A CLAIM BY MR. JOHN B. BURLESON, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE BROKERAGE FEES PAID BY HIM IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF HIS MOBILE HOME, INCIDENT TO A TRANSFER OF DUTY STATION FROM PORTLAND TO PRINEVILLE, OREGON.

THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT MR. BURLESON WAS HIRED BY THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT IN THE SHORTAGE CATEGORY AS A MINING ENGINEER IN DECEMBER 1967 WHEREUPON, ON PROPER AUTHORIZATION, HE MOVED HIS TRAILER HOME FROM HALL, MONTANA, TO PORTLAND, OREGON, TO BE USED AS A RESIDENCE. THE 1966 SKYLINE 107 MOBILE HOME, WITH DIMENSIONS OF 10 FEET BY 54 FEET, WAS PURCHASED IN PHILLIPSBURG, MONTANA, IN NOVEMBER 1966, AND WAS HIS HOME UNTIL HE WAS TOLD OF THE IMPENDING TRANSFER TO PRINEVILLE, OREGON, IN MAY 1968. JUNE 13, 1968, MR. BURLESON WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRANSFER FROM PORTLAND TO PRINEVILLE, OREGON, EFFECTIVE JUNE 30, 1968. IN PREPARING FOR HIS MOVE HE MADE INQUIRY CONCERNING THE POSSIBILITY OF SELLING HIS MOBILE HOME TO ASCERTAIN IF HE COULD BE REIMBURSED FOR THE BROKER'S FEE AND WAS ADVISED THAT SINCE THIS MOBILE HOME WAS HIS RESIDENCE, HE WAS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT. HE THEREUPON LISTED HIS MOBILE HOME WITH MCCUEN TRAILER SALES, INC., AND IT WAS SOLD FOR $3,400 UPON WHICH MR. BURLESON PAID A 15 PERCENT COMMISSION OF $510. HE SUBMITTED HIS CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF REAL ESTATE EXPENSES ON NOVEMBER 26, 1968, AT WHICH TIME THE CERTIFYING OFFICER RETURNED IT UNPAID. THE EMPLOYEE RESUBMITTED HIS VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT ON JANUARY 31, 1969, REQUESTING THAT AN OPINION BE OBTAINED FROM THIS OFFICE.

YOU ASK "MAY A TRAILER HOME MEASURING 10' X 54' BE CONSIDERED A DWELLING WITHIN THE PROVISIONS OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A 56, SECTION 4.1?" SECTION 4.1 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A 56, REVISED OCTOBER 1966, DEALS WITH REIMBURSEMENT OF AN EMPLOYEE FOR EXPENSES REQUIRED TO BE PAID BY HIM IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF A RESIDENCE AT HIS OLD OFFICIAL STATION. SECTION 4.2A ALLOWS BROKER'S FEES AS A REIMBURSABLE EXPENSE WHICH CONSTRUED IN LIGHT OF SECTION 4.1B OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED, DATED JUNE 26, 1969, PERMITS THE REIMBURSEMENT OF BROKER'S FEES PAID BY AN EMPLOYEE IN THE SALE OF A MOBILE HOME (HOUSE TRAILER).

SECTION 4.1B STATES:

THE RESIDENCE OR DWELLING IS THE RESIDENCE AS DESCRIBED IN SECTION 1.2I WHICH MAY BE A HOUSE TRAILER AND/OR THE LOT ON WHICH SUCH HOUSE TRAILER IS LOCATED OR WILL BE LOCATED.

THIS LATTER REVISION IS A CLARIFICATION OF THE SCOPE OF THE TERMS "RESIDENCE" OR "DWELLING" AS CONTAINED IN BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED OCTOBER 1966, RATHER THAN A SUBSTANTIVE AMENDMENT. THEREFORE, MR. BURLESON MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR BROKER'S FEES INCURRED IN THE SALE OF HIS MOBILE HOME.

REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE ABOVE-MENTIONED BROKER'S FEE IS SUBJECT TO THE OVERALL LIMITATIONS OF SECTION 4.2H OF BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 WHICH, IN PERTINENT PART, PROVIDES THAT THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT OF EXPENSES WHICH MAY BE REIMBURSED IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF THE RESIDENCE AT THE OLD OFFICIAL STATION SHALL NOT EXCEED 10 PERCENT OF THE ACTUAL SALE PRICE OR $5,000, WHICHEVER IS THE SMALLER AMOUNT. THEREFORE, NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT 15 PERCENT OF THE ACTUAL SALE PRICE HAS BEEN STATED BY YOU TO BE "THE NORMAL COMMISSION CHARGED BY ALL DEALERS IN THE PORTLAND, OREGON AREA," AND REIMBURSABLE UNDER SECTION 4.2A OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 IN NOT BEING IN EXCESS OF RATES GENERALLY CHARGED FOR SUCH SERVICES BY BROKERS IN THE LOCALITY OF THE OLD OFFICIAL STATION, THE AFOREMENTIONED CONTROLLING PROVISIONS OF SECTION 4.2H OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 SPECIFICALLY PROHIBIT ALLOWANCE OF REIMBURSEMENT OF THE BROKER'S FEE PAID IN EXCESS OF 10 PERCENT OF THE ACTUAL SALE PRICE OR $340.

OUT PRIOR DECISIONS DENYING REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED BY AN EMPLOYEE IN THE SALE OF A MOBILE HOME, USED AS A RESIDENCE, INCIDENT TO TRANSFER ARE MODIFIED ACCORDINGLY.

THE VOUCHER RETURNED HEREWITH MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT ONLY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE AFORE GOING, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.

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