B-169335, MAY 22, 1970

B-169335: May 22, 1970

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WHILE RENTAL FEE PAID TO SECURE HOUSING IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES IS NOT INCLUDED IN BOB CIR. NEITHER IS IT EXCLUDED. SINCE SUCH FEE IS PECULIAR TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES IT IS PROPER AS MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE. REMODELING LIVING QUARTERS OR COST OF REPLACING OR REPAIRING DEFECTIVE APPLIANCES ARE NOT REIMBURSABLE. THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNT IN QUESTION IS REPRESENTED BY THE RENTAL BROKER'S FEE PAID BY YOU ON NOVEMBER 30. A RENTAL FEE PAID IN ORDER TO SECURE HOUSING IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES IS NOT AMONG THE ITEMS MENTIONED IN SECTION 3 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. NEITHER IS IT MENTIONED AS BEING EXCLUDED. SECTION 3.1C DOES PROVIDE THAT THE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES ALLOWANCE WILL NOT BE USED TO REIMBURSE THE EMPLOYEE FOR COSTS OR EXPENSES THAT HE INCURRED WHICH EXCEED THE MAXIMUM PROVIDED BY STATUTE OR IN THOSE REGULATIONS OR FOR COSTS REIMBURSED UNDER OTHER PROVISIONS OF LAW OR REGULATION.

B-169335, MAY 22, 1970

OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES--TRANSFERS--RELOCATION EXPENSES--MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES--RENTAL FEE IN FOREIGN COUNTRY IN RECONSIDERATION OF CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL EXPENSES INCURRED IN EXCESS OF $200 MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES ALLOWANCE ADMINISTRATIVELY PAID INCIDENT TO CHANGE OF STATION, WHILE RENTAL FEE PAID TO SECURE HOUSING IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES IS NOT INCLUDED IN BOB CIR. NO. A-56 UNDER MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES ALLOWANCE, NEITHER IS IT EXCLUDED, AND SINCE SUCH FEE IS PECULIAR TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES IT IS PROPER AS MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE, BUT OTHER ITEMS CLAIMED, INCLUDING COSTS INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH STRUCTURAL ALTERATIONS, REMODELING LIVING QUARTERS OR COST OF REPLACING OR REPAIRING DEFECTIVE APPLIANCES ARE NOT REIMBURSABLE.

TO MR. JOSEPH E. GRIZZARD:

YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 9, 1970, IN EFFECT REQUESTS THAT WE REVIEW OUR SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE DATED NOVEMBER 25, 1969, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR CERTAIN ADDITIONAL EXPENSES IN EXCESS OF THE $200 MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES ALLOWANCE ADMINISTRATIVELY PAID TO YOU INCIDENT TO YOUR CHANGE OF STATION UNDER SPECIAL ORDER NO. AC-454 DATED SEPTEMBER 28, 1967, EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 8, 1967, FROM WASHINGTON, D. C; TO WIESBADEN, GERMANY.

THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNT IN QUESTION IS REPRESENTED BY THE RENTAL BROKER'S FEE PAID BY YOU ON NOVEMBER 30, 1967, INCIDENT TO YOUR RENTAL OF A RESIDENCE IN WIESBADEN AND THE COST OF NEW KITCHEN CABINETS, DRAPERY MATERIAL, HARDWARE AND CARPENTRY COSTS ENUMERATED BELOW.

A RENTAL FEE PAID IN ORDER TO SECURE HOUSING IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES IS NOT AMONG THE ITEMS MENTIONED IN SECTION 3 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 AS BEING INCLUDED IN THE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES ALLOWANCE, BUT NEITHER IS IT MENTIONED AS BEING EXCLUDED. SECTION 3.1C DOES PROVIDE THAT THE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES ALLOWANCE WILL NOT BE USED TO REIMBURSE THE EMPLOYEE FOR COSTS OR EXPENSES THAT HE INCURRED WHICH EXCEED THE MAXIMUM PROVIDED BY STATUTE OR IN THOSE REGULATIONS OR FOR COSTS REIMBURSED UNDER OTHER PROVISIONS OF LAW OR REGULATION. WHILE IT MIGHT BE ARGUED THAT THE ITEM IS ONE RELATED TO REAL ESTATE AND THUS ALLOWABLE ONLY IF AUTHORIZED UNDER SECTION 4 OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 COVERING EXPENSES OF REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS, WE DO NOT VIEW SUCH PROVISIONS AS PROHIBITING THE INCLUSION OF RENTAL FEES CUSTOMARILY CHARGED BY RENTAL AGENTS FOR SECURING HOUSING IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES. IN THAT CONNECTION WE UNDERSTAND A RENTAL FEE SUCH AS HERE INVOLVED IS PECULIAR TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES AND HAS NEVER BEEN A PRACTICE IN THE UNITED STATES. ACCORDINGLY, OUR VIEW IS THAT SECTION 4 WAS NOT INTENDED TO AUTHORIZE OR DENY SUCH A FEE AS A REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION. IT FOLLOWS THAT SUCH A FEE IS PROPER FOR REGARDING AS PART OF THE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES ALLOWANCE ASSUMING, OF COURSE, THAT THE FEE IS NOT REIMBURSABLE AS A PART OF THE LIVING QUARTERS ALLOWANCE UNDER CHAPTER 130, STANDARDIZED REGULATIONS (GOVERNMENT CIVILIANS, FOREIGN AREAS). APPARENTLY, IT HAS NOT BEEN TREATED AS SUCH IN THE PAST. SEE CHANGE 31, DATED JANUARY 1, 1968, TO THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, VOLUME 2, PARAGRAPH C 8300.

THE OTHER ITEMS CLAIMED BY YOU ARE PRECLUDED BY SECTION 3.1C WHICH CONTAINS EXAMPLES OF TYPES OF COSTS WHICH ARE NOT REIMBURSABLE, INCLUDING: "(12) COSTS INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH STRUCTURAL ALTERATIONS; REMODELING OR MODERNIZING LIVING QUARTERS * * *; OR THE COST OF REPLACING OR REPAIRING WORN OUT OR DEFECTIVE APPLIANCES OR EQUIPMENT SHIPPED TO THE NEW LOCATION."

IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING WE HAVE RECOMPUTED YOUR ALLOWABLE ITEMS UNDER THE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES CATEGORY AS FOLLOWS:

NATURE OF EXPENSES CLAIMED DISALLOWED ALLOWABLE

1. RENTAL AGENT'S DM 650.00 650.00

COMMISSION, 11/30/67

2. KITCHEN CABINETS-- 936.00 936.00

PURCHASE, 12/27/67

3. STOVE AND LAMP 18.00 18.00

CONNECTED, 12/2/67

4. CHANDELIER AND LAMP 49.30

INSTALLATION, LABOR 39.80

1/24/68--INCLUDING

NEW HARDWARE 9.50

5. DRAPER'S BILLING, 1,124.48

2/9/68--INCLUDING

NEW MATERIAL AND

HARDWARE; 841.98

SEWING ALTERATION

OWNER'S CURTAINS,

INSTALLATION 282.50

6. CARPENTER'S BILLING, 716.75 716.75

12/28/67

CONSTRUCTION OF

SHELVES AND

WARDROBE CHAMBER

7. CONVERSION OF 30.00 30.00

STEREO, 60 TO 50

CYCLES

TOTALS DM 3,524.53 2,504.23 1,020.30

(4 DM TO $1) ($255.08)

SINCE THE ALLOWABLE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES TOTAL $255.08 AND YOU HAVE ALREADY RECEIVED $200 THEREOF, A SUPPLEMENTAL SETTLEMENT FOR $55.08 WILL BE ISSUED IN YOUR FAVOR IN DUE COURSE. THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM OTHERWISE IS SUSTAINED.

IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT WE HAVE ALLOWED YOU ONLY DM 282.50 ($70.62) UNDER ITEM NO. 5 ABOVE (DRAPER'S BILLING) INSTEAD OF THE $172.47 REFERRED TO IN OUR SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 25, 1969, AND YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 9, 1970. THIS IS SO BECAUSE THE BILLING SUBMITTED WITH YOUR VOUCHER DATED JANUARY 16, 1969, FAILS TO SUBSTANTIATE YOUR PREVIOUS STATEMENT THAT ONLY DM 434.60 ($108.65) WAS EXPENDED FOR NEW MATERIALS. IF YOU WILL FURNISH AN EXPLANATION FROM THE COMPANY WHICH FURNISHED THE SERVICES SHOWING WHAT PART OF THEIR DRAPERY AND CURTAIN BILLING REPRESENTED CHARGES FOR NEW MATERIALS (RODS, TRACKS, PULLERS AND CURTAIN OR DRAPERY GOODS) WE WILL BE GLAD TO FURTHER CONSIDER THE MATTER.