B-169696, JUN. 2, 1970

B-169696: Jun 2, 1970

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NAVY REGIONAL FINANCE CENTER: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR SECOND ENDORSEMENT DATED JANUARY 5. ORRANTIA WAS ASSIGNED TO THE NAVAL INVESTIGATIVE SERVICE OFFICE. AT THE CONCLUSION OF THIS TOUR HE WAS ASSIGNED TO HONOLULU. BECAUSE APPLICABLE LAW AND REGULATIONS DO NOT PERMIT REIMBURSEMENT OF SALE AND PURCHASE OF RESIDENCE EXPENSES WHEN THE OLD OR THE NEW DUTY STATION IS WITHIN A FOREIGN COUNTRY. AMOUNTS CLAIMED THEREFOR ON HIS TRAVEL VOUCHER HAVE BEEN QUESTIONED. IN PERTINENT PART 5 U.S.C. 5724A READS AS FOLLOWS: "(A) *** APPROPRIATIONS *** ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF ALL OR PART OF THE FOLLOWING EXPENSES OF AN EMPLOYEE FOR WHOM THE GOVERNMENT PAYS EXPENSES OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION UNDER SECTION 5724(A) OF THIS TITLE: "(4) EXPENSES OF THE SALE OF THE RESIDENCE *** OF THE EMPLOYEE AT THE OLD STATION AND PURCHASE OF A HOME AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION REQUIRED TO BE PAID BY HIM WHEN THE OLD AND NEW OFFICIAL STATIONS ARE LOCATED WITHIN THE UNITED STATES.

B-169696, JUN. 2, 1970

TO COMMANDING OFFICER, NAVY REGIONAL FINANCE CENTER:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR SECOND ENDORSEMENT DATED JANUARY 5, 1970, REFERENCE FD:TM, AND ENCLOSURES, FORWARDED HERE BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE ON APRIL 28, 1970, PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 70-19, FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION WHETHER EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS MAY BE ALLOWED TO MR. FRANK E. ORRANTIA INCIDENT TO HIS TRANSFER FROM VIETNAM TO HAWAII.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT MR. ORRANTIA WAS ASSIGNED TO THE NAVAL INVESTIGATIVE SERVICE OFFICE, SAN DIEGO, AND RESIDED IN REDLANDS, CALIFORNIA, AND THAT IN THE SPRING OF 1968 HE VOLUNTEERED FOR A ONE YEAR UNACCOMPANIED TOUR IN DA NANG, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM. THIS BECAME HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION. AT THE CONCLUSION OF THIS TOUR HE WAS ASSIGNED TO HONOLULU, HAWAII, HIS NEW PERMANENT DUTY STATION, TO WHICH HE REPORTED FOR DUTY ON SEPTEMBER 22, 1969. BECAUSE APPLICABLE LAW AND REGULATIONS DO NOT PERMIT REIMBURSEMENT OF SALE AND PURCHASE OF RESIDENCE EXPENSES WHEN THE OLD OR THE NEW DUTY STATION IS WITHIN A FOREIGN COUNTRY, AMOUNTS CLAIMED THEREFOR ON HIS TRAVEL VOUCHER HAVE BEEN QUESTIONED.

SECTION 23 OF PUBLIC LAW 89-516, 80 STAT. 323, NOW CODIFIED IN 5 U.S.C. 5724A, AUTHORIZES THE REIMBURSEMENT OF CERTAIN EXPENSES ASSOCIATED WITH THE SALE OR PURCHASE OF A RESIDENCE INCIDENT TO AN EMPLOYEE'S TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION. IN PERTINENT PART 5 U.S.C. 5724A READS AS FOLLOWS:

"(A) *** APPROPRIATIONS *** ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF ALL OR PART OF THE FOLLOWING EXPENSES OF AN EMPLOYEE FOR WHOM THE GOVERNMENT PAYS EXPENSES OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION UNDER SECTION 5724(A) OF THIS TITLE:

"(4) EXPENSES OF THE SALE OF THE RESIDENCE *** OF THE EMPLOYEE AT THE OLD STATION AND PURCHASE OF A HOME AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION REQUIRED TO BE PAID BY HIM WHEN THE OLD AND NEW OFFICIAL STATIONS ARE LOCATED WITHIN THE UNITED STATES, ITS TERRITORIES OR POSSESSIONS, THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO, OR THE CANAL ZONE. *** "

MR. ORRANTIA CONTENDS THAT SINCE HE EFFECTED A SALE AT HIS "LAST PERMANENT RESIDENCE (REDLANDS) AND PURCHASED A HOME AT *** (HIS) NEW (ACCOMPANIED) DUTY STATION (HONOLULU)" BOTH TRANSACTIONS OCCURRED WITHIN THE UNITED STATES AND THAT THE INTERVENING SERVICE IN VIETNAM HAD NO RELATIONSHIP TO THE "PERMANENT RESIDENCY STATUS OF MYSELF OR MY FAMILY."

SUBSECTION 5724AA)(4) OF TITLE 5, SPECIFICALLY REQUIRES THAT THE OLD AND NEW OFFICIAL STATIONS BE LOCATED WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OR THE OTHER NAMED AREAS BEFORE THE RIGHT TO REIMBURSEMENT WILL ARISE. THIS REQUIREMENT IS IN ACCORD WITH THE EXPLANATORY STATEMENT OF THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET IN CONNECTION WITH THE ALLOWANCES CONTAINED IN H. R. 10607, ENACTED AS PUBLIC LAW 89-516, WHICH INTERPRETED THE BILL AS LIMITING AUTHORIZATION FOR REIMBURSEMENT TO THOSE INSTANCES WHERE BOTH THE OLD AND NEW STATIONS ARE LOCATED IN THE UNITED STATES (INCLUDING DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA), ITS TERRITORIES AND POSSESSIONS, THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO, AND THE CANAL ZONE. S. REPT. NO. 1357, JUNE 30, 1966, 89TH CONG; 2D SESS; PAGE 8.

WHEN THE CONGRESS DESIRED TO MAKE THE EXPENSE REIMBURSABLE IF ONLY THE NEW STATION IS REQUIRED TO BE LOCATED IN THE UNITED STATES (AND OTHER NAMED PLACES) THE LAW SO STATED AS IN CONNECTION WITH THE ALLOWANCE FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FOR TEMPORARY QUARTERS CONTAINED IN SUBSECTION 5724AA)(3). HOWEVER, WHEN BOTH THE OLD AND THE NEW STATIONS WERE REQUIRED TO BE LOCATED IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES OR THE UNITED STATES (AND OTHER SPECIFICALLY NAMED PLACES) THE LAW SPELLED OUT THIS REQUIREMENT AS IN THE SUBSECTIONS DEALING WITH LOCATING A RESIDENCE AND EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OR PURCHASE OF A HOME, SUBSECTIONS 5724AA)(2) AND 5724AA)(4), RESPECTIVELY.

THE RECORD CLEARLY INDICATES THAT MR. ORRANTIA WAS COMPLETING A TOUR OF DUTY AT VIETNAM, HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION, AND WAS TRANSFERRED TO HONOLULU, HAWAII, HIS NEW DUTY STATION. SINCE HIS OLD STATION WAS NOT LOCATED IN THE UNITED STATES OR OTHER NAMED AREAS, THERE IS NO BASIS AT LAW UNDER WHICH PAYMENT MAY BE MADE FOR EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE SALE AND PURCHASE OF HIS RESIDENCE. THE AMOUNTS CLAIMED ON THE VOUCHER FOR THESE EXPENSES SHOULD, THEREFORE, BE DISALLOWED.

IT IS NOTED THAT THE VOUCHER INCLUDES, IN ADDITION TO THE QUESTIONED EXPENSES, ITEMS FOR MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES, $200; TAXI FARE, $5; AND TEMPORARY QUARTERS SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES, $917.91. THE VOUCHER, WITH ENCLOSURES, IS, THEREFORE, RETURNED FOR CONSIDERATION AND PAYMENT OF THOSE ITEMS IF OTHERWISE PROPER.