B-168254, NOV. 19, 1969

B-168254: Nov 19, 1969

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ATTORNEYS FEES ATTORNEY'S FEE FOR PREPARING POWER OF ATTORNEY IN CONNECTION WITH PURCHASE OF HOUSE AT EMPLOYEE'S NEW OFFICIAL STATION IS NOT REIMBURSABLE EXPENSE UNDER SEC. 4.2C OF BUREAU OF BUDGET CIR. CRUGNALE: THIS IS IN REPLY TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 21. THE ITEM IN QUESTION WAS DISALLOWED BECAUSE IT WAS CONSIDERED TO BE SIMILAR TO FEES FOR LEGAL REPRESENTATION AND ADVICE WHICH ARE NOT REIMBURSABLE UNDER SECTION 4 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. STATES THAT THE FEE WAS NOT FOR LEGAL ADVICE AND THAT THE POWER OF ATTORNEY AUTHORIZING HIM TO ACT FOR HIS WIFE WAS NECESSARY SINCE SHE WAS UNDER MEDICAL TREATMENT AND UNABLE TO BE PRESENT AT THE CLOSING TO SIGN THE NECESSARY PAPERS. THE FEE RECEIPT IS DATED JULY 15.

B-168254, NOV. 19, 1969

OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES--TRANSFERS--RELOCATION EXPENSES--ATTORNEYS FEES ATTORNEY'S FEE FOR PREPARING POWER OF ATTORNEY IN CONNECTION WITH PURCHASE OF HOUSE AT EMPLOYEE'S NEW OFFICIAL STATION IS NOT REIMBURSABLE EXPENSE UNDER SEC. 4.2C OF BUREAU OF BUDGET CIR. NO. A-56 AS AMENDED BY TRANSMITTAL MEMORANDUM NO. 5, EFFECTIVE JUNE 26, 1969, AS AMENDED BY TRANSMITTAL MEMORANDUM NO. 5, EFFECTIVE JUNE 26, 1969, SINCE REGULATION DOES NOT PROVIDE FOR PAYMENT OF FEE CLAIMED, NECESSITY FOR FEE NOT ARISING FROM PURCHASE TRANSACTION BUT THROUGH INABILITY OF EMPLOYEE'S WIFE TO BE PRESENT AT SETTLEMENT.

TO MISS ANNE M. CRUGNALE:

THIS IS IN REPLY TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 21, 1969, REFERENCE A:F:F:V, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY A RECLAIM TRAVEL VOUCHER FOR $25 IN FAVOR OF MR. NOEL M. RHEINS, AN EMPLOYEE OF YOUR AGENCY, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF AN ATTORNEY'S FEE FOR THE PREPARATION OF A POWER OF ATTORNEY IN CONNECTION WITH THE PURCHASE OF A HOUSE AT THE EMPLOYEE'S NEW OFFICIAL STATION.

THE ITEM IN QUESTION WAS DISALLOWED BECAUSE IT WAS CONSIDERED TO BE SIMILAR TO FEES FOR LEGAL REPRESENTATION AND ADVICE WHICH ARE NOT REIMBURSABLE UNDER SECTION 4 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A 56. MR. RHEINS, WHO TAKES EXCEPTION TO THE DISALLOWANCE, STATES THAT THE FEE WAS NOT FOR LEGAL ADVICE AND THAT THE POWER OF ATTORNEY AUTHORIZING HIM TO ACT FOR HIS WIFE WAS NECESSARY SINCE SHE WAS UNDER MEDICAL TREATMENT AND UNABLE TO BE PRESENT AT THE CLOSING TO SIGN THE NECESSARY PAPERS.

THE FEE RECEIPT IS DATED JULY 15, 1969, AND SETTLEMENT WAS MADE ON AUGUST 1, 1969. SECTION 4.2C OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56, AS AMENDED BY TRANSMITTAL MEMORANDUM NO. 5 EFFECTIVE JUNE 26, 1969, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"C. LEGAL AND RELATED COSTS. TO THE EXTENT SUCH COSTS HAVE NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN BROKERS' OR SIMILAR SERVICES FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED UNDER OTHER CATEGORIES, THE FOLLOWING EXPENSES ARE REIMBURSABLE WITH RESPECT TO THE SALE AND PURCHASE OF RESIDENCES IF THEY ARE CUSTOMARILY PAID BY THE SELLER OF A RESIDENCE AT THE OLD OFFICIAL STATION OR IF CUSTOMARILY PAID BY THE PURCHASER OF A RESIDENCE AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION, TO THE EXTENT THEY DO NOT EXCEED AMOUNTS CUSTOMARILY CHARGED IN THE LOCALITY OF THE RESIDENCE; COSTS OF (1) SEARCHING TITLE, PREPARING ABSTRACT, AND LEGAL FEES FOR A TITLE OPINION, OR (2) WHERE CUSTOMARILY FURNISHED BY THE SELLER, THE COST OF A TITLE INSURANCE POLICY; COSTS OF PREPARING CONVEYANCES, OTHER INSTRUMENTS, AND CONTRACTS; RELATED NOTARY FEES AND RECORDING FEES; COSTS OF MAKING SURVEYS, PREPARING DRAWINGS OR PLATS WHEN REQUIRED FOR LEGAL OR FINANCING PURPOSES; AND SIMILAR EXPENSES. COSTS OF LITIGATION ARE NOT REIMBURSABLE.' THE REGULATION DOES NOT PROVIDE FOR PAYMENT OF THE FEE RECLAIMED. MOREOVER, THE NECESSITY FOR THE FEE DID NOT ARISE FROM THE PURCHASE TRANSACTION ITSELF, BUT FROM THE INABILITY OF MRS. RHEINS TO BE PRESENT AT THE SETTLEMENT. THEREFORE, THE FEE IS TO BE REGARDED AS A PERSONAL EXPENSE WHICH MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED BY THE GOVERNMENT.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT. THE PAPERS SUBMITTED WITH YOUR SUBMISSION ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.