B-167518, AUG. 8, 1969

B-167518: Aug 8, 1969

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

EMPLOYEE WHO WAS NOT ABLE TO HAVE FINAL SETTLEMENT ON HOME AT OLD DUTY STATION EFFECTED UNTIL MORE THAN 2 YEARS AFTER TRANSFER BECAUSE UNKNOWN PORTION OF PROPERTY WAS UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR HIGHWAY PURPOSES MAY NOT HAVE 1 YEAR TIME LIMITATION WAIVER AND THEREFORE REAL ESTATE EXPENSES ARE NOT REIMBURSABLE. THE ISSUE IS WHETHER MR. MILLER'S RESIDENCE WAS LISTED WITH A REAL ESTATE AGENT IN EXPECTATION OF HIS TRANSFER FROM EL PASO. MILLER WAS NOTIFIED BY THE REAL ESTATE AGENT THAT PART OF HIS LISTED PROPERTY WAS TO BE USED FOR A TEXAS STATE HIGHWAY RIGHT OF WAY. ALTHOUGH IT WAS KNOWN THAT THE HIGHWAY PROJECT WAS APPROACHING. MILLER WAS TRANSFERRED FROM EL PASO TO DENVER. IN VIEW OF THE UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES YOU ASK WHETHER PAYMENT OF THE CLAIM IS AUTHORIZED EVEN THOUGH THE SETTLEMENT OCCURRED AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF THE MAXIMUM PERIOD ALLOWED UNDER SECTION 4.LD OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO.

B-167518, AUG. 8, 1969

CIVIL PAY - RELOCATION EXPENSES - REAL ESTATE DECISION TO DEPUTY ASSISTANT REGIONAL COMMISSIONER, BUREAU OF CUSTOMS, TREASURY, (CERTIFYING OFFICER) CONCERNING REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES TO CHARLES L. MILLER INCURRED IN SELLING HIS RESIDENCE. EMPLOYEE WHO WAS NOT ABLE TO HAVE FINAL SETTLEMENT ON HOME AT OLD DUTY STATION EFFECTED UNTIL MORE THAN 2 YEARS AFTER TRANSFER BECAUSE UNKNOWN PORTION OF PROPERTY WAS UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR HIGHWAY PURPOSES MAY NOT HAVE 1 YEAR TIME LIMITATION WAIVER AND THEREFORE REAL ESTATE EXPENSES ARE NOT REIMBURSABLE.

TO MR. W. E. BOARMAN:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 15, 1969, REFERENCE FIS-8-FM, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION IN THE CASE OF MR. CHARLES L. MILLER, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT, BUREAU OF CUSTOMS. THE ISSUE IS WHETHER MR. MILLER'S TRAVEL VOUCHER, A COPY OF WHICH YOU ENCLOSED, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN SELLING HIS RESIDENCE AT HIS OLD OFFICIAL STATION INCIDENT TO HIS TRANSFER, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

IN OCTOBER 1966 MR. MILLER'S RESIDENCE WAS LISTED WITH A REAL ESTATE AGENT IN EXPECTATION OF HIS TRANSFER FROM EL PASO, TEXAS, TO DENVER, COLORADO. WITHIN A FEW DAYS MR. MILLER WAS NOTIFIED BY THE REAL ESTATE AGENT THAT PART OF HIS LISTED PROPERTY WAS TO BE USED FOR A TEXAS STATE HIGHWAY RIGHT OF WAY. ALTHOUGH IT WAS KNOWN THAT THE HIGHWAY PROJECT WAS APPROACHING, NO ONE KNEW EXACTLY WHAT PORTION OF THE PROPERTY WOULD BE TAKEN, THUS MAKING SALE A NEAR IMPOSSIBILITY. ON JANUARY 29, 1967, MR. MILLER WAS TRANSFERRED FROM EL PASO TO DENVER. THE FINAL SETTLEMENT ON THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENCE OCCURRED OVER 2 YEARS AFTER MR. MILLER REPORTED AT HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION.

IN VIEW OF THE UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES YOU ASK WHETHER PAYMENT OF THE CLAIM IS AUTHORIZED EVEN THOUGH THE SETTLEMENT OCCURRED AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF THE MAXIMUM PERIOD ALLOWED UNDER SECTION 4.LD OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966, WHICH PROVIDES:

"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.'

THERE IS NOTHING IN THE RECORD TO SHOW THAT THIS CASE FITS WITHIN THE SOLE EXCEPTION TO THE 1-YEAR LIMIT, WHICH IS DELAY BECAUSE OF LITIGATION. AT THE TIME OF EXPIRATION OF THE 1-YEAR PERIOD MR. MILLER WAS NOT INVOLVED IN ANY LITIGATION, I.E., ACTION BEFORE THE COURTS, WHICH COULD HAVE BEEN THE CAUSE OF ANY SETTLEMENT DELAY. SEE 48 COMP. GEN. 71.

SINCE THE ABOVE REGULATION WAS ISSUED UNDER AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF JULY 21, 1966, PUBLIC LAW 89-516, NOW 5 U.S.C. 5724A (4), IT IS STATUTORY IN NATURE AND MAY NOT BE WAIVED OR MODIFIED BY THIS OFFICE OR BY THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED.

FOR THE REASONS STATED, THE VOUCHER MAY NOT PROPERLY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.