B-175300, APR 20, 1972

B-175300: Apr 20, 1972

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REIMBURSEMENT IS LIMITED TO THE AMOUNT WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN REIMBURSABLE HAD THE TRANSFER BEEN COMPLETED. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT CONSIDERATION BE GIVEN TO WHETHER ANY COSTS INCURRED AS A RESULT OF CLAIMANT'S DISCONTINUING HIS FORMER RESIDENCE MIGHT BE ALLOWABLE AS MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES. OEHMEN WAS FORMALLY ADVISED OF A REDUCTION IN FORCE AT THE DCASO INSTALLATION. WAS OFFERED A CHANGE TO A LOWER GRADE TO A POSITION OF CONTRACT DATA AND COMMUNICATIONS CLERK. HE WAS ADVISED BY MANAGEMENT OF THE APARTMENT THAT IF THEY WERE SUCCESSFUL IN RELETTING THE APARTMENT WITH NO LAPSE IN OCCUPANCY HE WOULD BE REFUNDED WHATEVER AMOUNT MIGHT BE DUE OF HIS INITIAL $360 SECURITY DEPOSIT. OEHMEN AND HIS WIFE WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM MIAMI LAKES.

B-175300, APR 20, 1972

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION - REIMBURSEMENT CONCERNING THE CLAIM OF HENRY OEHMEN FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO THE CANCELLATION OF HIS PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS. IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, REIMBURSEMENT IS LIMITED TO THE AMOUNT WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN REIMBURSABLE HAD THE TRANSFER BEEN COMPLETED. ACCORDINGLY, MR. OEHMEN MAY PROPERLY BE REIMBURSED FOR THE COST OF TRANSPORTING HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND EFFECTS TO HIS NEW APARTMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 6.3 OF OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-56. HOWEVER, SECTION 3.1(C) OF THE CIRCULAR PRECLUDES REIMBURSEMENT FOR INCREASED RENTAL, TAXES, AND NEW DRAPERIES. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT CONSIDERATION BE GIVEN TO WHETHER ANY COSTS INCURRED AS A RESULT OF CLAIMANT'S DISCONTINUING HIS FORMER RESIDENCE MIGHT BE ALLOWABLE AS MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES.

TO CAPTAIN H. M. ROSENBERG:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 9, 1972, FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE, PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 72-5, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE ALLOWABILITY OF MR. HENRY OEHMEN'S CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED AS A RESULT OF CANCELLATION OF HIS PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS.

BY LETTER OF AUGUST 20, 1970, MR. OEHMEN WAS FORMALLY ADVISED OF A REDUCTION IN FORCE AT THE DCASO INSTALLATION, MIAMI, FLORIDA, AND WAS OFFERED A CHANGE TO A LOWER GRADE TO A POSITION OF CONTRACT DATA AND COMMUNICATIONS CLERK, GS-301-6, DCASO, ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA. ACCEPTED THIS OFFER ON AUGUST 26, 1970, AND GAVE NOTICE TO HIS LANDLORD OF THE NECESSITY FOR PREMATURE TERMINATION OF THE LEASE OF HIS APARTMENT, TO BE EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 31, 1970. BY LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 11, 1970, HE WAS ADVISED BY MANAGEMENT OF THE APARTMENT THAT IF THEY WERE SUCCESSFUL IN RELETTING THE APARTMENT WITH NO LAPSE IN OCCUPANCY HE WOULD BE REFUNDED WHATEVER AMOUNT MIGHT BE DUE OF HIS INITIAL $360 SECURITY DEPOSIT. TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION DATED OCTOBER 7, 1970, MR. OEHMEN AND HIS WIFE WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM MIAMI LAKES, FLORIDA, TO ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA, WHERE MR. OEHMEN WAS TO REPORT FOR DUTY ON OCTOBER 31, 1970. MR. OEHMEN HAD SIGNED THE TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT ON SEPTEMBER 29, 1970.

ON OCTOBER 22, 1970, AN AMENDMENT TO THE REDUCTION-IN-FORCE NOTICE OF AUGUST 20, 1970, WAS ISSUED CHANGING THE POSITION OFFERED TO ONE LOCATED AT HIS ORIGINAL DUTY STATION IN MIAMI, AND INVALIDATING THE OCTOBER 7, 1970 TRAVEL ORDERS. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT BY THAT DATE MR. OEHMEN'S APARTMENT HAD BEEN RELET AND HE WAS OBLIGED TO FIND A NEW APARTMENT. OCTOBER 26, 1970, HE SIGNED A LEASE FOR A NEW APARTMENT, AT A RENTAL RATE IN EXCESS OF THE RATE FOR HIS FORMER APARTMENT. ON NOVEMBER 10, 1970, HE WAS REFUNDED THE AMOUNT OF HIS SECURITY DEPOSIT ON THE FORMER APARTMENT LESS $50 WHICH IS INDICATED TO HAVE BEEN THE CHARGE FOR "RENTING SERVICES" IN CONNECTION WITH RELETTING. THE RECORD CONTAINS RECEIPTS FOR MOVING EXPENSES IN THE AMOUNT OF $125.37 AND FOR PURCHASE OF NEW DRAPERIES FOR THE APARTMENT.

THE VOUCHER SUBMITTED BY MR. OEHMEN REQUESTS REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES AS FOLLOWS:

CHARGE FOR RENTING SERVICE $ 50.00

MOVING EXPENSES 125.37

INCREASE IN RENTAL AND FLORIDA SALES TAX 228.00

DRAPES FOR NEW APARTMENT 203.84

TOTAL $607.21

THIS OFFICE HAS HELD THAT EXPENSES INCURRED AS A RESULT OF COMPLIANCE WITH CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS, PRIOR TO THE CANCELLATION OF THOSE ORDERS, MAY BE REIMBURSED WHERE BOTH THE INITIALLY ORDERED CHANGE OF STATION AND THE CANCELLATION OF THOSE ORDERS WERE FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE GOVERNMENT. THE AMOUNT ALLOWABLE, HOWEVER, IS LIMITED TO THE AMOUNT WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN REIMBURSABLE HAD THE TRANSFER BEEN COMPLETED. WE WOULD THEREFORE HAVE NO OBJECTION TO PAYMENT OF THE $50 FEE FOR "RENTAL SERVICES" WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WAS REQUIRED TO PAY FOR SETTLEMENT OF THE UNEXPIRED LEASE ON HIS APARTMENT AS IF THE TRANSFER HAD IN FACT BEEN EFFECTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 4 OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED JUNE 26, 1969. SINCE UNDER SECTION 6.3 OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE MADE FOR TRANSPORTING GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS WHETHER THE POINT OF DESTINATION IS THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION OR SOME OTHER POINT SELECTED BY THE EMPLOYEE PROVIDED THE TOTAL AMOUNT DOES NOT EXCEED THE COST OF TRANSPORTING THE PROPERTY IN ONE LOAD BY THE MOST ECONOMICAL ROUTE FROM THE LAST OFFICIAL STATION, MR. OEHMEN MAY ALSO BE REIMBURSED FOR THE COST OF TRANSPORTING HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS TO HIS NEW APARTMENT. THE RECORD CONTAINS PROPER EVIDENCE THAT THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF GOODS SHIPPED WAS 3,700 POUNDS AND IT IS CLEAR THAT REIMBURSEMENT OF THE AMOUNT CLAIMED WOULD NOT HAVE EXCEEDED THE COST OF SHIPMENT HAD THE TRANSFER BEEN COMPLETED.

THE CLAIM OF AMOUNTS FOR INCREASED RENTAL, TAXES AND NEW DRAPERIES IS FOR DISALLOWANCE. WE POINT OUT THAT EVEN IF THE TRANSFER HAD BEEN COMPLETED THESE COSTS WOULD NOT BE REIMBURSABLE. SECTION 3.1(C) OF CIRCULAR NO. A- 56 EXPRESSLY PROHIBITS REIMBURSEMENT FOR OR ON THE BASIS OF EXPENSES WHICH ARE INCURRED FOR REASONS OF PERSONAL TASTE OR PREFERENCE, OR WHICH ARE FOR NEWLY ACQUIRED ITEMS SUCH AS DRAPERIES, AS WELL AS FOR INCREASED TAXES.

ALTHOUGH MR. OEHMEN HAS NOT CLAIMED REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES ALLOWANCE PROVIDED FOR BY SECTION 3 OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 NOR ARE THE THREE ITEMS DISALLOWED ABOVE SUCH AS WOULD SUPPORT HIS ENTITLEMENT TO THAT ALLOWANCE, WE WOULD SUGGEST THAT CONSIDERATION BE GIVEN TO WHETHER, IN DISCONTINUING HIS RESIDENCE AT HIS FORMER APARTMENT, ANY SUCH EXPENSES WERE IN FACT INCURRED. IF SO, THE $200 MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES ALLOWANCE WOULD BE PROPER FOR PAYMENT.

IT IS REGRETTABLE THAT MR. OEHMEN HAS BEEN PUT TO THE INCONVENIENCE AND EXPENSE OF RELOCATING HIS HOUSEHOLD IN MIAMI BECAUSE OF AGENCY ACTIONS. THERE IS, HOWEVER, NO AUTHORITY FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES OTHER THAN THOSE INDICATED ABOVE.

THE ENCLOSURES FORWARDED WITH YOUR LETTER ARE RETURNED.