B-174500, DEC 21, 1971

B-174500: Dec 21, 1971

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

THE DENIAL WAS BASED ON THE FACT THAT CLAIMANT VOLUNTARILY SIGNED A ONE- YEAR RENTAL LEASE AFTER REPORTING TO HIS NEW STATION. FROM THE PAPERS SUBMITTED IT APPEARS THAT YOU AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE WERE TRANSFERRED TO RICHARDS-GEBAUR AIR FORCE BASE WITH REPORTING DATE THERE OF AUGUST 28. WAS INCLUDED IN YOUR SUBMISSION. YOUR REQUEST FOR AN EXTENSION OF 20-30 DAYS BEYOND THE YEAR AFTER YOUR REPORTING DATE WAS DENIED ADMINISTRATIVELY AS NOT BEING JUSTIFIED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (JTR) PAR. "I WAS UNABLE TO FIND SUITABLE QUARTERS FOR MY FAMILY DURING THE TRANSFER TO RICHARDS-GEBAUR AND THEREFORE HAD TO RENT AN APARTMENT UNDER A ONE-YEAR LEASE AGREEMENT.".

B-174500, DEC 21, 1971

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - REAL ESTATE EXPENSES - TIME LIMIT DECISION DENYING REQUEST OF MR. ROBERT F. LUTZ THAT GAO ENCOURAGE HIS EMPLOYING AGENCY, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, TO REVERSE ITS REFUSAL TO EXTEND THE PERIOD OF ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT OF CERTAIN REAL ESTATE EXPENSES INCIDENT TO PURCHASE OF RESIDENCE AT HIS NEW DUTY STATION. THE DENIAL WAS BASED ON THE FACT THAT CLAIMANT VOLUNTARILY SIGNED A ONE- YEAR RENTAL LEASE AFTER REPORTING TO HIS NEW STATION, AND THIS HAD MADE SETTLEMENT WITHIN THE PRESCRIBED PERIOD MORE DIFFICULT. ALTHOUGH GAO WOULD NOT OBJECT TO THE 20 OR 30-DAY EXTENSION, IT DECLINES TO ENCOURAGE THE AGENCY TO DO SO.

TO MR. ROBERT F. LUTZ:

WE REFER FURTHER TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 5, 1971, CONCERNING YOUR REQUEST FOR AN EXTENSION OF TIME IN ORDER TO COMPLETE A REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION IN CONNECTION WITH ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT OF CERTAIN REAL ESTATE EXPENSES.

FROM THE PAPERS SUBMITTED IT APPEARS THAT YOU AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE WERE TRANSFERRED TO RICHARDS-GEBAUR AIR FORCE BASE WITH REPORTING DATE THERE OF AUGUST 28, 1970. YOUR TRAVEL ORDERS DATED JUNE 29, 1970, INDICATES AUTHORITY FOR ROUND TRIP TRAVEL FOR EMPLOYEE AND SPOUSE FROM ROME, NEW YORK, TO KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, TO SEEK PERMANENT RESIDENCE. A COPY OF LEASE FOR AN APARTMENT AT OVERLAND PARK, KANSAS, DATED JULY 14, 1970, WITH TERM OF ONE YEAR ENDING AUGUST 31, 1971, WAS INCLUDED IN YOUR SUBMISSION. YOU STATE THAT ON AUGUST 19, 1971, YOU SIGNED A REAL ESTATE CONTRACT TO PURCHASE A RESIDENCE AT YOUR NEW DUTY STATION WITH SETTLEMENT SCHEDULED FOR SEPTEMBER 15, 1971. YOUR REQUEST FOR AN EXTENSION OF 20-30 DAYS BEYOND THE YEAR AFTER YOUR REPORTING DATE WAS DENIED ADMINISTRATIVELY AS NOT BEING JUSTIFIED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (JTR) PAR. C8350.

YOUR REASON FOR REQUESTING EXTENSION STATES, "I WAS UNABLE TO FIND SUITABLE QUARTERS FOR MY FAMILY DURING THE TRANSFER TO RICHARDS-GEBAUR AND THEREFORE HAD TO RENT AN APARTMENT UNDER A ONE-YEAR LEASE AGREEMENT." IS NOT CLEAR WHAT YOUR EFFORTS TO PURCHASE A RESIDENCE WERE BETWEEN THE DATE OF THE LEASE, JULY 14, 1970, AND THE DATE OF YOUR OFFER TO PURCHASE ON AUGUST 15, 1971. IN THIS CONNECTION WE NOTE THE COPY OF THE LEASE SUBMITTED CONTAINS A TERMINATION PROVISION AT THE OPTION OF THE TENANT BY GIVING TWO MONTHS WRITTEN NOTICE ACCOMPANIED BY PAYMENT OF A CANCELLATION CHARGE EQUAL TO ONE MONTH'S RENT.

IN YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 5, 1971, YOU URGE THAT SINCE YOU SIGNED THE PURCHASE CONTRACT WITHIN THE INITIAL ONE-YEAR PERIOD FROM REPORTING DATE, AN EXTENSION OF TIME SHOULD BE GRANTED TO OBTAIN THE MORTGAGE COMMITMENT WHICH COULD NOT BE ACCOMPLISHED TOGETHER WITH SETTLEMENT WITHIN THE INITIAL YEAR.

PARAGRAPH C8350 OF THE JTR IN PERTINENT PART PROVIDES FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF CERTAIN REAL ESTATE EXPENSES WHERE:

"4. THE SETTLEMENT DATES FOR THE SALE AND PURCHASE OR LEASE TERMINATION TRANSACTIONS, FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS REQUESTED, ARE NOT LATER THAN 1 (INITIAL) YEAR AFTER THE DATE ON WHICH THE EMPLOYEE REPORTED FOR DUTY AT THE NEW DUTY STATION, EXCEPT THAT AN APPROPRIATE EXTENSION OF TIME MAY BE AUTHORIZED BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE ACTIVITY BEARING THE COST, OR HIS DESIGNEE, WHEN SETTLEMENT IS NECESSARILY DELAYED BECAUSE OF LITIGATION; OR THAT AN ADDITIONAL PERIOD OF TIME NOT IN EXCESS OF 1 YEAR MAY BE AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE ACTIVITY BEARING THE COST, OR HIS DESIGNEE WHEN IT IS DETERMINED THAT CIRCUMSTANCES JUSTIFYING THE EXCEPTION EXIST WHICH PRECLUDED SETTLEMENT WITHIN THE INITIAL 1-YEAR PERIOD OF THE SALE/PURCHASE CONTRACTS OR LEASE TERMINATION ARRANGEMENT ENTERED INTO IN GOOD FAITH BY THE EMPLOYEE WITHIN THE INITIAL 1-YEAR PERIOD (THE CIRCUMSTANCES ON WHICH THE DETERMINATION IS MADE TO JUSTIFY THE EXCEPTION WILL BE SET FORTH IN WRITING);

"ACCEPTABLE REASONS FOR GRANTING EXTENSIONS UNDER THE FOREGOING ITEM 4 INCLUDE:

"1. ANY STRIKE WHICH UNDULY DELAYS CONSTRUCTION OR REMODELING BEYOND THE 1-YEAR LIMITATION,

"2. CIVIL DISTURBANCE OR SIMILAR SITUATION RENDERING PROPERTY IN THE AFFECTED AREA MORE DIFFICULT TO SELL,

"3. PENDING CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS WHEN ACTUAL LITIGATION HAS NOT BEEN INSTITUTED,

"4. EXTENDED TEMPORARY DUTY PRECLUDING TAKING TIMELY ACTION.

"DELAYS ATTRIBUTED TO NORMAL MARKET FLUCTUATIONS AND IGNORANCE OF THE PRESCRIBED LIMITATIONS WILL NOT CONSTITUTE JUSTIFICATION FOR AN EXTENSION. DOUBTFUL CASES MAY BE SUBMITTED TO THE APPROPRIATE HEADQUARTERS OFFICE, THROUGH CHANNELS, WITH A FULL STATEMENT OF THE FACTS."

YOU RECOGNIZE IT IS NOT OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO GRANT EXTENSIONS OF TIME NOR OVERRULE THE AGENCY DECISION TO DISALLOW YOUR REQUEST. YOU ASK, HOWEVER, IF WE FEEL YOUR REQUEST JUSTIFIED THAT WE ENCOURAGE A REVERSAL OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION.

THE DENIAL OF YOUR REQUEST BY YOUR AGENCY APPEARS TO BE WITHIN ITS AUTHORITY. ON REVIEW YOUR AGENCY STATED THAT THE FOUR REASONS LISTED IN PAR. C8350 OF THE JTR WERE NOT THE SOLE REASONS FOR GRANTING AN EXTENSION. IT HELD, HOWEVER, THAT YOUR REASON FOR REQUESTING AN EXTENSION - THE SIGNING OF THE LEASE FOR A YEAR, A VOLUNTARY ACT ON YOUR PART - IN FACT MADE MORE DIFFICULT YOUR SETTLEMENT WITHIN THE INITIAL YEAR ALLOWED AND THAT YOU DID NOT PROVIDE EVIDENCE OF CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND YOUR CONTROL WHICH DELAYED SETTLEMENT BEYOND THE INITIAL YEAR. ON THE RECORD WE CANNOT SAY THAT THE ACTION OF YOUR AGENCY IN DENYING YOUR REQUEST FOR AN EXTENSION OF TIME IS UNREASONABLE. WHILE WE WOULD NOT OBJECT TO THE GRANTING OF SUCH AN EXTENSION, WE MUST DECLINE TO ENCOURAGE YOUR AGENCY TO DO SO. ..END :