B-171410, FEB 3, 1971

B-171410: Feb 3, 1971

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INCIDENT TO TRANSFER WHEN EMPLOYEE WAS NOT RESIDING AT HOME. AFTER OFFER OF POSITION IN LOUISVILLE WAS TRANSFERRED FROM BALTIMORE TO PATRICK AFB WHERE THE WORK WAS BEING PHASED OUT AND WHERE EMPLOYEE ONLY STAYED FOR A FEW DAYS WHEN HE ACCEPTED THE LOUISVILLE POSITION AND WAS TRANSFERRED THERE MAY NOT. HAVE SUCH ASSIGNMENT REGARDED AS A TRANSFER BUT RATHER AS A TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT. SINCE THE EMPLOYEE WAS NOT LIVING AT HIS FORMER RESIDENCE IN FLORIDA BECAUSE IT WAS RENTED AT THE TIME OF TRANSFER TO LOUISVILLE HE MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED FOR THE REAL ESTATE EXPENSES INCIDENT TO SALE OF HOME. JOHNSON: THIS IS IN REPLY TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 13. ERHART WAS TRANSFERRED FROM THE CANAVERAL DISTRICT.

B-171410, FEB 3, 1971

EMPLOYEES - TRANSFERS - REAL ESTATE EXPENSES REIMBURSEMENT DECISION DISALLOWING CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF REAL ESTATE EXPENSES INCIDENT TO SALE OF RESIDENCE AT TITUSVILLE, FLA., INCIDENT TO TRANSFER WHEN EMPLOYEE WAS NOT RESIDING AT HOME. AN EMPLOYEE WHO, AFTER OFFER OF POSITION IN LOUISVILLE WAS TRANSFERRED FROM BALTIMORE TO PATRICK AFB WHERE THE WORK WAS BEING PHASED OUT AND WHERE EMPLOYEE ONLY STAYED FOR A FEW DAYS WHEN HE ACCEPTED THE LOUISVILLE POSITION AND WAS TRANSFERRED THERE MAY NOT, IN VIEW OF UNCERTAINTY OF EMPLOYMENT AT PATRICK AFB AND THE SHORT DURATION, HAVE SUCH ASSIGNMENT REGARDED AS A TRANSFER BUT RATHER AS A TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT. THEREFORE, SINCE THE EMPLOYEE WAS NOT LIVING AT HIS FORMER RESIDENCE IN FLORIDA BECAUSE IT WAS RENTED AT THE TIME OF TRANSFER TO LOUISVILLE HE MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED FOR THE REAL ESTATE EXPENSES INCIDENT TO SALE OF HOME.

TO MR. ROBERT M. JOHNSON:

THIS IS IN REPLY TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 13, 1970, REFERENCE ORLDC F, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ALLOWABILITY OF AN ITEM OF $1,045.30 ON A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. RANDOLPH H. ERHART, AN EMPLOYEE OF YOUR AGENCY. THE ITEM REPRESENTS REAL ESTATE EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE SALE OF MR. ERHART'S HOUSE IN TITUSVILLE, FLORIDA, INCIDENT TO HIS TRANSFER FROM PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, FLORIDA, TO LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT BY TRAVEL ORDER NO. M-184, DATED JANUARY 19, 1967, MR. ERHART WAS TRANSFERRED FROM THE CANAVERAL DISTRICT, MERRITT ISLAND, FLORIDA, TO BALTIMORE, MARYLAND. MR. ERHART RENTED HIS HOUSE IN TITUSVILLE INSTEAD OF SELLING IT SINCE THE PROJECT UPON WHICH HE WAS EMPLOYED WAS SCHEDULED FOR COMPLETION IN NOVEMBER 1967. BY LETTER OF APRIL 18, 1968, MR. ERHART WAS NOTIFIED BY HIS EMPLOYING DISTRICT OF A REDUCTION IN FORCE AND OFFERED A POSITION AT KWAJALEIN, MARSHALL ISLANDS. THIS LETTER ALSO ADVISED MR. ERHART OF HIS REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS IN THE CANAVERAL DISTRICT.

MR. ERHART DECLINED THE KWAJALEIN OFFER AND BY LETTER OF MAY 13, 1968, AGREED TO ACCEPT A POSITION AT LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY. HOWEVER, BEFORE MAKING A FINAL ACCEPTANCE OF THE LOUISVILLE POSITION, MR. ERHART INQUIRED AS TO WHETHER THE GOVERNMENT WOULD PAY THE EXPENSES OF SELLING HIS HOUSE IN TITUSVILLE. AFTER BEING ADVISED THAT HE WOULD NOT BE REIMBURSED SUCH EXPENSES UPON TRANSFER FROM BALTIMORE TO LOUISVILLE, MR. ERHART DECLINED THE LOUISVILLE OFFER AND EXERCISED HIS REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS IN THE CANAVERAL DISTRICT. BY TRAVEL ORDER DATED JUNE 25, 1968, MR. ERHART WAS TRANSFERRED FROM BALTIMORE TO PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE. MR. ERHART LEFT HIS DEPENDENTS IN MARYLAND, TRAVELED ALONE TO PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, AND DID NOT LIVE IN HIS HOUSE IN TITUSVILLE DURING HIS ASSIGNMENT THERE. APPEARS THERE WAS A PHASING OUT OF WORK IN THE CANAVERAL DISTRICT AND MR. ERHART WAS TRANSFERRED TO LOUISVILLE BY TRAVEL ORDER DATED JULY 3, 1968.

SECTION 4.1C OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966, PROVIDES FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COSTS OF SELLING ONE RESIDENCE AT THE OLD OFFICIAL STATION, PROVIDED THAT THE DWELLING AT SUCH STATION WAS THE EMPLOYEE'S ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME HE WAS FIRST DEFINITELY INFORMED THAT HE IS TO BE TRANSFERRED TO THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION. IN THE INSTANT CASE MR. ERHART WAS NOT LIVING IN HIS HOUSE AT THE TIME OF HIS TRANSFER TO LOUISVILLE. WITH RESPECT TO HIS TRANSFER TO PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, THE OFFICIALS IN THE CANAVERAL DISTRICT WERE AWARE THAT MR. ERHART HAD BEEN OFFERED A POSITION AT LOUISVILLE AND THAT WORK IN THEIR DISTRICT WAS BEING PHASED OUT. THESE FACTORS MADE THE LENGTH OF MR. ERHART'S EMPLOYMENT AT PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE RATHER UNCERTAIN. IN VIEW OF THIS UNCERTAINTY WE DO NOT BELIEVE MR. ERHART'S TRANSFER WAS JUSTIFIED AND WE REGARD HIS ASSIGNMENT THERE AS A TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT. SEE B-166181, APRIL 1, 1969, COPY ENCLOSED.

ACCORDINGLY, THE ITEM IN QUESTION IS NOT PAYABLE. THE VOUCHER IS RETURNED FOR PROCESSING OF THE OTHER ITEM THEREON IF OTHERWISE PROPER.