B-168513, DEC. 29, 1969

B-168513: Dec 29, 1969

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WAS GRANTED RESCHEDULING OF FINAL SETTLEMENT DATE ON HOUSE PURCHASE FROM JUNE 15 TO JULY 14. WHEN SETTLEMENT WAS MADE. DATE EXPENSES ARE INCURRED IS CONTROLLING IN MOST SITUATIONS. EMPLOYEE COULD HAVE TRANSFERRED TITLE BY USING POWER OF ATTORNEY. THE FINAL SETTLEMENT DATE FOR THE CLOSING OF HIS PROPERTY WAS SCHEDULED FOR JUNE 15. BARNES WAS OFFICIALLY ORDERED BY HIS OFFICE TO TRAVEL TO WASHINGTON. BARNES REQUESTED A POSTPONEMENT OF THE SETTLEMENT DATE AND THE SETTLEMENT DATE WAS RESCHEDULED FOR JULY 14. THE FINAL SETTLEMENT ON THE PROPERTY WAS MADE ON THAT DATE. THIS FEE "LENDERS LOAN ORIGINATION FEE" WAS REMOVED FROM THE LISTING OF REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES UNDER SECTION 4.2D RELATING TO ALLOWANCE FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH RESIDENCE TRANSACTIONS.

B-168513, DEC. 29, 1969

OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES--TRANSFERS--RELOCATION EXPENSES--EFFECTIVE DATE- LOAN ORIGINATION FEE TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE, ORDERED FROM NEW YORK TO WASHINGTON FOR TEMPORARY DUTY FROM JUNE 9 TO 20, 1969, WAS GRANTED RESCHEDULING OF FINAL SETTLEMENT DATE ON HOUSE PURCHASE FROM JUNE 15 TO JULY 14, 1969, WHEN SETTLEMENT WAS MADE. VOUCHER FOR $340, REPRESENTING LOAN ORIGINATION FEE, MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, NOTWITHSTANDING NEITHER AGENCY NOR EMPLOYEE KNEW AT TIME OF POSTPONEMENT THAT REVISED BUREAU OF BUDGET CIR. NO. A-56 (T.M. NO. 5, EFFECTIVE JUNE 26, 1969) WOULD REMOVE "LENDERS LOAN ORIGINATION FEE" FROM REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES UNDER SEC. 4.2D. UNDER PUB. L. 89-516, DATE EXPENSES ARE INCURRED IS CONTROLLING IN MOST SITUATIONS, AND ON JULY 14, 1969 REGULATIONS NO LONGER CONTAINED PROVISION AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT FOR LOAN ORIGINATION FEE. EMPLOYEE COULD HAVE TRANSFERRED TITLE BY USING POWER OF ATTORNEY. SEE 47 COMP. GEN. 582.

TO MR. MAURICE F. ROW:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 26, 1969, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION FROM OUR OFFICE AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. STEPHEN G. BARNES FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF CERTAIN REAL ESTATE EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE PURCHASE OF A RESIDENCE AT HIS NEW DUTY STATION INCIDENT TO HIS TRANSFER FROM AMARILLO, TEXAS, TO NEW YORK, NEW YORK.

MR. BARNES REPORTED TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION DECEMBER 9, 1968. ON MAY 14, 1969, HE CONTRACTED TO PURCHASE A HOME AT HIS NEW DUTY STATION, AND THE FINAL SETTLEMENT DATE FOR THE CLOSING OF HIS PROPERTY WAS SCHEDULED FOR JUNE 15, 1969. SUBSEQUENT TO THE COMMITMENT ON THE CLOSING DATE MR. BARNES WAS OFFICIALLY ORDERED BY HIS OFFICE TO TRAVEL TO WASHINGTON, D. C; FOR TEMPORARY DUTY DURING THE PERIOD JUNE 9, 1969, TO JUNE 20, 1969. UPON RECEIPT OF HIS TEMPORARY DUTY ORDERS MR. BARNES REQUESTED A POSTPONEMENT OF THE SETTLEMENT DATE AND THE SETTLEMENT DATE WAS RESCHEDULED FOR JULY 14, 1969. THE FINAL SETTLEMENT ON THE PROPERTY WAS MADE ON THAT DATE.

THE AMOUNT OF THE VOUCHER, $340, REPRESENTS A LOAN ORIGINATION FEE. WITH THE REVISION OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 AS PROVIDED UNDER TRANSMITTAL MEMORANDUM NO. 5, EFFECTIVE JUNE 26, 1969, THIS FEE "LENDERS LOAN ORIGINATION FEE" WAS REMOVED FROM THE LISTING OF REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES UNDER SECTION 4.2D RELATING TO ALLOWANCE FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH RESIDENCE TRANSACTIONS. YOU SAY THAT AT THE TIME MR. BARNES POSTPONED THE INITIAL SETTLEMENT DATE BECAUSE OF TEMPORARY DUTY IN WASHINGTON, D. C; NEITHER YOUR OFFICE NOR MR. BARNES KNEW THAT THE NEW REGULATIONS WOULD BE ISSUED PROHIBITING REIMBURSEMENT OF A LOAN ORIGINATION FEE.

UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 89-516, NOW 5 U.S.C. 5724A, OUR VIEW HAS BEEN THAT THE DATE THE EXPENSES ARE INCURRED IS CONTROLLING IN MOST SITUATIONS. SEE 47 COMP. GEN. 582. HERE THE EXPENSES WERE INCURRED AT THE TIME OF SETTLEMENT ON JULY 14, 1969. SINCE THE REGULATIONS IN EFFECT ON THAT DATE NO LONGER CONTAINED ANY PROVISION AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT OF A LOAN ORIGINATION FEE, THE CLAIM MAY NOT BE ALLOWED.

THE FACT THAT NEITHER YOUR OFFICE NOR MR. BARNES HAD KNOWLEDGE THAT NEW REGULATIONS WERE BEING ISSUED IS IMMATERIAL. INSTEAD OF POSTPONING THE INITIAL SETTLEMENT DATE WHEN ORDERED ON TEMPORARY DUTY MR. BARNES COULD HAVE APPOINTED SOMEONE WITH POWER OF ATTORNEY TO ACT IN HIS BEHALF AND SIGN THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS TRANSFERRING TITLE.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE, WE DO NOT BELIEVE A SUFFICIENT BASIS EXISTS FOR APPLICATION OF THE PRIOR REGULATIONS AND THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.