B-167962, NOV. 7, 1969

B-167962: Nov 7, 1969

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HOUSE SALE- TITLE IN MORE THAN ONE PERSON PERMANENTLY TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE WHOSE MOTHER-IN-LAW (NONDEPENDENT) HELD PART TITLE TO BOTH SOLD AND PURCHASED RESIDENCES TO PROTECT HER HELD PART TITLE TO BOTH SOLD AND PURCHASED RESIDENCES TO PROTECT HER FINANCIAL INTEREST THEREIN IS PRECLUDED BY SEC. 4.2D. IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES ONLY TO EXTENT OF HIS AND WIFE'S INTEREST. IN VIEW OF SEC. 4.1B PROVISION WHICH AUTHORIZES REIMBURSEMENT WHERE TITLE IS IN EMPLOYEE'S NAME OR IN HIS NAME AND ONE OR MORE MEMBERS OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY. THE BASES FOR THE AUDIT INQUIRY WERE THAT MR. BARBU'S INTEREST IN THAT PROPERTY IS AN UNDIVIDED ONE-THIRD. BARBU IS NOT CONSIDERED BY MR. IT IS MR.

B-167962, NOV. 7, 1969

OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES--TRANSFERS--RELOCATION EXPENSES--HOUSE SALE- TITLE IN MORE THAN ONE PERSON PERMANENTLY TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE WHOSE MOTHER-IN-LAW (NONDEPENDENT) HELD PART TITLE TO BOTH SOLD AND PURCHASED RESIDENCES TO PROTECT HER HELD PART TITLE TO BOTH SOLD AND PURCHASED RESIDENCES TO PROTECT HER FINANCIAL INTEREST THEREIN IS PRECLUDED BY SEC. 4.2D, BUREAU OF BUDGET CIR. NO. A- 56, FROM REIMBURSEMENT OF OWNERS TITLE POLICIES, AND, NOTWITHSTANDING HE PAID ALL SALE AND PURCHASE EXPENSES, IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES ONLY TO EXTENT OF HIS AND WIFE'S INTEREST, NAMELY 51 PERCENT ON SALE AND 66-2/3 PERCENT ON PURCHASE, IN INTEREST, NAMELY 51 PERCENT ON SALE AND 66-2/3 PERCENT ON PURCHASE, IN VIEW OF SEC. 4.1B PROVISION WHICH AUTHORIZES REIMBURSEMENT WHERE TITLE IS IN EMPLOYEE'S NAME OR IN HIS NAME AND ONE OR MORE MEMBERS OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY, AND SEC. 1.2D EXCLUDES NONDEPENDENT PARENTS IN DEFINITION OF "IMMEDIATE FAMILY."

TO MR. VLADIMIR OLEYNIK:

WE REFER FURTHER TO THE LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 22, 1969, BY MR. NEIL NEWMAN, A MEMBER OF YOUR STAFF, REQUESTING A DECISION ON THE PROPRIETY OF REIMBURSING MR. FRANCIS J. WARD OF CERTAIN REAL ESTATE EXPENSES INCIDENT TO HIS CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION FROM NEWARK, NEW JERSEY, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

MR. WARD HAS BEEN REIMBURSED $3,189.90 FOR REAL ESTATE EXPENSES WITH $2,645 THEREOF RELATED TO THE SALE OF RESIDENCE AT HIS OLD STATION AT FRANKLIN LAKES, NEW JERSEY, AND $544.90 RELATED TO CLOSING COSTS OF PURCHASE OF RESIDENCE AT HIS NEW STATION IN SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND.

OUR CIVIL AUDIT DIVISION BY INFORMAL INQUIRY NO. 68-15 OF FEBRUARY 19, 1969, QUESTIONED $1,638.02 OF THE REIMBURSEMENT INCLUDING $147 DESIGNATED AS AMOUNT PAID FOR OWNERS' TITLE INSURANCE ON THE STATEMENT DATED JUNE 30, 1967, FOR THE SILVER SPRING PROPERTY. THE BASES FOR THE AUDIT INQUIRY WERE THAT MR. WARD'S MOTHER-IN-LAW, THERESIA BARBU, HAD A FINANCIAL INTEREST IN BOTH PROPERTIES (AT THE TIME OF THE AUDIT INQUIRY PRESUMABLY 49 PERCENT IN EACH PROPERTY) AND THAT BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A- 56, SECTION 4.2D SPECIFICALLY PRECLUDES REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE EXPENSE OF OWNERS' TITLE POLICIES.

A COPY OF THE DEED TO THE SILVER SPRING PROPERTY SUBSEQUENTLY FURNISHED BY MR. EDWARD L. RODGERS, JR. OF YOUR STAFF SHOWS THAT MRS. BARBU'S INTEREST IN THAT PROPERTY IS AN UNDIVIDED ONE-THIRD. ADDITIONALLY MR. RODGERS ADVISES THAT MRS. BARBU IS NOT CONSIDERED BY MR. WARD TO BE HIS DEPENDENT.

IT IS MR. WARD'S POSITION THAT MAKING MRS. BARBU PART OWNER OF EACH PROPERTY WAS A DEVICE TO PROVIDE HER WITH A SENSE OF FAMILY SECURITY AS WELL AS PROTECTING HER FINANCIAL INTERESTS AND AS SUCH SHOULD NOT PRECLUDE HIS RECEIVING FULL REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE EXPENSES OF SALE OF THE NEW JERSEY PROPERTY AND THE PURCHASE OF THE SILVER SPRING PROPERTY. HE URGES THAT IN ANY EVENT SINCE MRS. BARBU'S INTEREST IN THE SILVER SPRING PROPERTY IS ONE-THIRD RATHER THAN 49 PERCENT, THE AMOUNT FOR DISALLOWANCE ON THE CLOSING COSTS CLAIMED AS A PURCHASER -- $544.90 -- WOULD AMOUNT TO $181.63 NOT $267, OR A REDUCTION OF $85.37.

5 U.S.C. 5724A (A) (4) ALLOWS REIMBURSEMENT TO TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES OF CERTAIN EXPENSES OF THE SALE OF THE RESIDENCE AT THE OLD DUTY STATION AND THE PURCHASE OF A HOME AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION. SECTION 4.1B OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 (OCTOBER 12, 1966 REVISION) PROVIDES FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES OF THE SALE OR PURCHASE OF PROPERTY WHERE THE TITLE TO SUCH PROPERTY "IS IN THE NAME OF THE EMPLOYEE ALONE, OR IN THE JOINT NAMES OF THE EMPLOYEE AND ONE OR MORE MEMBERS OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY, OR SOLELY IN THE NAME OF ONE OR MORE MEMBERS OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY.' SECTION 1.2D OF SUCH CIRCULAR IN DEFINING "IMMEDIATE FAMILY" DOES NOT INCLUDE AS MEMBERS THEREOF THE NONDEPENDENT PARENTS OF AN EMPLOYEE OR HIS SPOUSE. IT IS NOTED THAT THE CURRENT REVISION (JUNE 26, 1969) OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 LIKEWISE EXCLUDES "NONDEPENDENT PARENTS" IN THE DEFINITION OF "IMMEDIATE FAMILY.'

WE HAVE NOT OVERLOOKED THE EMPLOYEE'S STATEMENT THAT HE ACTUALLY PAID ALL OF THE EXPENSES OF THE SALE AND PURCHASE OF THE RESIDENCES HERE INVOLVED. HOWEVER, UNDER THE ABOVE REGULATIONS WE MAY AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES ONLY TO THE EXTENT OF HIS INTEREST AND THAT OF HIS WIFE THEREIN, NAMELY, 51 PERCENT IN THE SALE OF THE RESIDENCE AT THE OLD STATION AND 66 2/3 PERCENT IN THE PURCHASE OF THE RESIDENCE AT THE NEW STATION. THE AMOUNT FOR RECOVERY ON THE PURCHASE TRANSACTION SHOULD BE REDUCED BY $85.37.