B-168484, JAN. 5, 1970

B-168484: Jan 5, 1970

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INCIDENT TO PURCHASE OF LOT AND CONSTRUCTION OF HOME ACTUALLY COMPLETED REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION AND MOVED INTO A TRAILER ON THE LOT PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF A YEAR FROM THE TRANSFER DATE BUT WHO WILL NOT COMPLETE CONSTRUCTION UNTIL JANUARY 1970 MAY HAVE PURCHASE OF LOT AND CONSTRUCTION VIEWED AS SINGLE TRANSACTION FOR SECTION 4. A-56 AND THEREFORE SINCE EVIDENCE DOES NOT SHOW ANY DUPLICATION OF EXPENSES OR EXPENSES PECULIAR TO CONSTRUCTION AS COMPARED WITH PURCHASE EXPENSES ARE REIMBURSABLE. IN FEBRUARY 1969 HE PURCHASED A BUILDING LOT AND IN SEPTEMBER 1969 HE WAS ABLE TO OBTAIN A LOAN FROM THE FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF OREGON. WHICH WAS SECURED BY A MORTGAGE AGAINST THE PROPERTY. THE SETTLEMENT DATES FOR THE LOT AND THE LOAN WERE IN FEBRUARY AND SEPTEMBER.

B-168484, JAN. 5, 1970

CIVIL PAY--RELOCATION EXPENSES--HOME CONSTRUCTION--TIME LIMIT DECISION TO CERTIFYING OFFICER OF BUREAU OF RECLAMATION AUTHORIZING CERTIFICATION OF VOUCHER FOR $200.50 REPRESENTING EXPENSES INCIDENT TO PURCHASE OF LOT LOAN AS REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES OF TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE. TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE WHO, INCIDENT TO PURCHASE OF LOT AND CONSTRUCTION OF HOME ACTUALLY COMPLETED REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION AND MOVED INTO A TRAILER ON THE LOT PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF A YEAR FROM THE TRANSFER DATE BUT WHO WILL NOT COMPLETE CONSTRUCTION UNTIL JANUARY 1970 MAY HAVE PURCHASE OF LOT AND CONSTRUCTION VIEWED AS SINGLE TRANSACTION FOR SECTION 4, BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 AND THEREFORE SINCE EVIDENCE DOES NOT SHOW ANY DUPLICATION OF EXPENSES OR EXPENSES PECULIAR TO CONSTRUCTION AS COMPARED WITH PURCHASE EXPENSES ARE REIMBURSABLE.

TO MRS. NEDRA A. BLACKWELL:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 19, 1969, YOUR REFERENCE 360, IN WHICH YOU REQUEST OUR ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT THE RECLAIM VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $200.50 OF MR. RONALD R. HILL, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT MR. HILL ASSUMED HIS DUTIES AT HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION, FOREST GROVE, OREGON, ON OCTOBER 23, 1968. IN FEBRUARY 1969 HE PURCHASED A BUILDING LOT AND IN SEPTEMBER 1969 HE WAS ABLE TO OBTAIN A LOAN FROM THE FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF OREGON, WHICH WAS SECURED BY A MORTGAGE AGAINST THE PROPERTY. THE SETTLEMENT DATES FOR THE LOT AND THE LOAN WERE IN FEBRUARY AND SEPTEMBER, RESPECTIVELY, AND THE DEED AND THE MORTGAGE WERE DULY RECORDED SHORTLY THEREAFTER.

MR. HILL HAS SUBMITTED A STATEMENT WHICH SHOWS THAT HE IS ACTING AS HIS OWN CONTRACTOR; THAT HE HAS SUBCONTRACTED A NUMBER OF JOBS, AND THAT HE HIMSELF IS FINISHING CERTAIN WORK ON THE HOUSE. IT APPEARS THAT THE HOUSE WILL NOT BE COMPLETED UNTIL JANUARY 1970. HOWEVER, MR. HILL DID MOVE ON THE PROPERTY IN A TRAILER ON OCTOBER 22, 1969.

YOU ASK WHETHER UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES THE REAL ESTATE EXPENSES WHICH WERE INCURRED FOR THE PURCHASE OF THE LOT AND EXPENSES INCIDENTAL TO THE LOAN ARE REIMBURSABLE IF OTHERWISE PROPER.

SECTION 4.1E OF THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, AS REVISED BY TRANSMITTAL MEMORANDUM NO. 5, JUNE 26, 1969, PROVIDES, AMONG OTHER THINGS, AS FOLLOWS:

"E. THE SETTLEMENT DATES FOR THE SALE AND PURCHASE OR LEASE TERMINATION TRANSACTIONS FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS REQUESTED ARE NOT LATER THAN ONE (INITIAL) YEAR AFTER THE DATE ON WHICH THE EMPLOYEE REPORTED FOR DUTY AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION * * *"

IN THE INSTANT CASE ALL TRANSACTIONS, INCLUDING THE RECORDING OF THE DEED AND THE MORTGAGE, TOOK PLACE WITHIN A YEAR AFTER THE EMPLOYEE REPORTED FOR DUTY AT HIS OFFICIAL STATION. MOREOVER, THE EMPLOYEE WAS ACTUALLY RESIDING ON THE PROPERTY WITHIN A YEAR FROM HIS REPORTING ON DUTY.

THE LAST PARAGRAPH OF SECTION 4.2D OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A -56 (IBID.) PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"IN CASES INVOLVING CONSTRUCTION OF A RESIDENCE, REIMBURSEMENT WOULD INCLUDE THOSE ITEMS OF EXPENSE WHICH ARE COMPARABLE TO EXPENSES THAT ARE REIMBURSABLE IN CONNECTION WITH THE PURCHASE OF EXISTING RESIDENCES AND WILL NOT INCLUDE EXPENSES WHICH RESULT FROM CONSTRUCTION."

THE SETTLEMENT SHEETS WHICH WERE SUBMITTED AS SUPPORTING EVIDENCE FOR THE CLAIM DO NOT SHOW ANY DUPLICATION OF REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES NOR ANY EXPENSES WHICH ARE PECULIAR TO THE CONSTRUCTION OF A RESIDENCE AS COMPARED WITH THE PURCHASE OF A RESIDENCE. MOREOVER, WE HAVE PREVIOUSLY HELD THAT THE PURCHASE OF A BUILDING LOT AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF A HOUSE UPON IT MAY BE VIEWED AS A SINGLE TRANSACTION FOR THE PURPOSE OF SECTION 4 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A 56. SEE B-164044, JUNE 7, 1968.

ACCORDINGLY, THE RECLAIM VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE. WE AGREE THAT THE LOAN FEE OF $288 PROPERLY WAS FOR DEDUCTION FROM THE TOTAL AMOUNT ORIGINALLY CLAIMED.