B-171824, MAR 15, 1971

B-171824: Mar 15, 1971

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A-56 PROVIDES IN PART THAT "NO SUCH FEE OR COMMISSION IS REIMBURSABLE IN CONNECTION WITH THE PURCHASE OF A HOME AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION.". SECTION 4.1F WHICH ALLOWS "THE EXPENSES FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED WERE PAID BY THE EMPLOYEE" REFERS ONLY TO EXPENSES OTHERWISE ALLOWABLE BY THE CIRCULAR NO. DODGE WAS TRANSFERRED FROM RAMAH. IT IS STATED THAT THE TRANSFER WAS RATHER ABRUPT DUE TO UNCONTROLLABLE CIRCUMSTANCES AND IN THE CONFUSION IN INSTRUCTIONS AND THE NEED FOR HASTE IN VACATING HIS OLD QUARTERS AND FINDING NEW QUARTERS AT HIS NEW POST MR. WAS REDUCED BY THE AMOUNT OF SALES COMMISSION PAID BY THE CLAIMANT. A BROKER'S FEE OR REAL ESTATE COMMISSION PAID BY THE EMPLOYEE FOR SERVICES IN SELLING HIS RESIDENCE IS REIMBURSABLE BUT NOT IN EXCESS OF RATES GENERALLY CHARGED FOR SUCH SERVICES BY THE BROKER OR BY BROKERS IN THE LOCALITY OF THE OLD OFFICIAL STATION.

B-171824, MAR 15, 1971

REAL ESTATE EXPENSES - SALES COMMISSION DECISION HOLDING THAT $1,809.60 REPRESENTING SALES COMMISSION AND 4 PERCENT SALES TAX THEREON, MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED CLIFTON D. DODGE. SECTION 4.2A OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 PROVIDES IN PART THAT "NO SUCH FEE OR COMMISSION IS REIMBURSABLE IN CONNECTION WITH THE PURCHASE OF A HOME AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION." SECTION 4.1F WHICH ALLOWS "THE EXPENSES FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED WERE PAID BY THE EMPLOYEE" REFERS ONLY TO EXPENSES OTHERWISE ALLOWABLE BY THE CIRCULAR NO. A-56. DUE TO THE EXPRESS PROHIBITION AGAINST REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUCH CHARGES AT THE NEW DUTY STATION, THE VOUCHER MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

TO MR. FRANK A. SCHORR:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 29, 1971, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION WHETHER A VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,809.60 IN FAVOR OF MR. CLIFTON D. DODGE, AN EMPLOYEE OF YOUR AGENCY, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

THE INFORMATION FURNISHED SHOWS THAT MR. DODGE WAS TRANSFERRED FROM RAMAH, NEW MEXICO, TO ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO. IT IS STATED THAT THE TRANSFER WAS RATHER ABRUPT DUE TO UNCONTROLLABLE CIRCUMSTANCES AND IN THE CONFUSION IN INSTRUCTIONS AND THE NEED FOR HASTE IN VACATING HIS OLD QUARTERS AND FINDING NEW QUARTERS AT HIS NEW POST MR. DODGE, INCIDENT TO THE PURCHASE OF A RESIDENCE AT HIS NEW DUTY STATION, PAID $1,740 SALES COMMISSION, PLUS $69.60, A 4 PERCENT SALES TAX ON THE REAL ESTATE COMMISSION. THE BALANCE OF MR. DODGE'S TRANSFER EXPENSES HAS BEEN APPROVED AND PAID ON ANOTHER VOUCHER.

ALTHOUGH NOT MENTIONED IN YOUR LETTER WE NOTE THAT THE SALES PRICE OF THE HOUSE, $29,000, WAS REDUCED BY THE AMOUNT OF SALES COMMISSION PAID BY THE CLAIMANT.

YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER ARISES BY REASON OF SECTION 4.2A OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 WHICH PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"A. BROKER'S FEES AND REAL ESTATE COMMISSIONS. A BROKER'S FEE OR REAL ESTATE COMMISSION PAID BY THE EMPLOYEE FOR SERVICES IN SELLING HIS RESIDENCE IS REIMBURSABLE BUT NOT IN EXCESS OF RATES GENERALLY CHARGED FOR SUCH SERVICES BY THE BROKER OR BY BROKERS IN THE LOCALITY OF THE OLD OFFICIAL STATION. NO SUCH FEE OR COMMISSION IS REIMBURSABLE IN CONNECTION WITH THE PURCHASE OF A HOME AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION."

THE ABOVE-QUOTED SECTION SPECIFICALLY PRECLUDES REIMBURSEMENT OF A COMMISSION INCIDENT TO THE PURCHASE OF A HOME AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION OF A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE AND WE FIND NO AUTHORITY IN THE CIRCULAR UNDER WHICH THE CLAIMANT MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR SUCH AN ITEM.

YOU REFER TO SECTION 4.1F OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 WHICH STATES IN PART THAT "THE EXPENSES FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED WERE PAID BY THE EMPLOYEE." THIS HAS REFERENCE TO EXPENSES OTHERWISE ALLOWABLE BY CIRCULAR NO. A-56 THAT THE EMPLOYEE HAS INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH RESIDENCE TRANSACTIONS, AND ACCORDINGLY IS NOT PERTINENT TO THE SITUATION HERE CONCERNED.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.