B-175330, APR 5, 1972

B-175330: Apr 5, 1972

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BASKIN IN ANTICIPATION OF AN OFFICIAL TRANSFER APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN REASONABLY BASED ON HIS KNOWLEDGE OF A PREVIOUSLY EXISTING ADMINISTRATIVE INTENTION. HE WAS SENT TO SAN FRANCISCO IN JUNE 1971 APPARENTLY ON A TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT. THE PURCHASE AGREEMENT ON A NEW RESIDENCE IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA WAS EXECUTED ON JUNE 22. THE SETTLEMENT DATE WAS JULY 22. THE EXPENSE INCURRED IN STORING AND MOVING HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS IS QUESTIONED BECAUSE THEY WERE INCURRED PRIOR TO OFFICIAL APPROVAL OF THE TRANSFER AND PRIOR TO ISSUANCE OF TRAVEL ORDER TO CARRY OUT THE TRANSFER. WE HAVE HELD THAT REIMBURSEMENT OF MOVING EXPENSES INCURRED PRIOR TO AND IN ANTICIPATION OF A TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL DUTY STATION MAY BE ALLOWED IF THE TRAVEL ORDER SUBSEQUENTLY ISSUED INCLUDES AUTHORIZATION FOR THE EXPENSES ON THE BASIS OF "A PREVIOUSLY EXISTING ADMINISTRATIVE INTENTION.

B-175330, APR 5, 1972

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION - REAL ESTATE AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES - REIMBURSEMENT CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF PAYMENT TO WAYNE W. BASKIN FOR REAL ESTATE AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO A TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL DUTY STATION FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. THE EXPENSES INCURRED BY MR. BASKIN IN ANTICIPATION OF AN OFFICIAL TRANSFER APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN REASONABLY BASED ON HIS KNOWLEDGE OF A PREVIOUSLY EXISTING ADMINISTRATIVE INTENTION. SEE 48 COMP. GEN. 395 (1968). ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER MAY PROPERLY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.

TO MR. JOHN C. MACKALL:

YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 23, 1972, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTS OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER MAY BE PROPERLY CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IN FAVOR OF MR. WAYNE W. BASKIN, IN THE AMOUNT OF $543.75, REPRESENTING REAL ESTATE EXPENSES AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO A TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL DUTY STATION FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA. YOU ALSO REQUEST OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER MR. BASKIN SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO REFUND THE SUM OF $1,002.59 EXPENDED BY THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION FOR MOVING AND STORAGE OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS INCIDENT TO THE SAME TRANSFER.

IT APPEARS THAT PRIOR TO ORDERS BEING ISSUED ON AUGUST 4, 1971, AUTHORIZING MR. BASKIN'S TRANSFER FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, HE WAS SENT TO SAN FRANCISCO IN JUNE 1971 APPARENTLY ON A TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT MR. BASKIN TRANSPORTED HIS WIFE AND CAR TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION AT HIS OWN EXPENSE WHILE ON ANNUAL LEAVE. ALSO, HE ARRANGED FOR SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO SAN FRANCISCO IN ANTICIPATION OF HIS TRANSFER THERE AT A LATER DATE. THE PURCHASE AGREEMENT ON A NEW RESIDENCE IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA WAS EXECUTED ON JUNE 22, 1971, AND THE SETTLEMENT DATE WAS JULY 22, 1971.

THE REIMBURSEMENT OF MR. BASKIN'S REAL ESTATE EXPENSES, MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES, AND THE EXPENSE INCURRED IN STORING AND MOVING HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS IS QUESTIONED BECAUSE THEY WERE INCURRED PRIOR TO OFFICIAL APPROVAL OF THE TRANSFER AND PRIOR TO ISSUANCE OF TRAVEL ORDER TO CARRY OUT THE TRANSFER. WE HAVE HELD THAT REIMBURSEMENT OF MOVING EXPENSES INCURRED PRIOR TO AND IN ANTICIPATION OF A TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL DUTY STATION MAY BE ALLOWED IF THE TRAVEL ORDER SUBSEQUENTLY ISSUED INCLUDES AUTHORIZATION FOR THE EXPENSES ON THE BASIS OF "A PREVIOUSLY EXISTING ADMINISTRATIVE INTENTION, CLEARLY EVIDENT AT THE TIME THE EXPENSES WERE INCURRED BY THE EMPLOYEE, TO TRANSFER THE EMPLOYEE'S HEADQUARTERS." 48 COMP. GEN. 395, 396 (1968).

IT IS STATED THAT THE DECISION TO TRANSFER MR. BASKIN WAS MADE IN JUNE 1971. APPARENTLY, THIS DECISION AS WELL AS THE DIFFICULTIES INVOLVED IN OFFICIALLY DOCUMENTING THE TRANSFER WERE KNOWN TO MR. BASKIN AT THE TIME HE IN FACT LEFT HIS OLD DUTY STATION AND TRAVELED TO SAN FRANCISCO ON OR ABOUT JUNE 14, 1971. SINCE MR. BASKIN INCURRED THE EXPENSES FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS QUESTIONED ONLY AFTER THIS DATE, WE BELIEVE THAT THERE HAS BEEN SUBSTANTIAL COMPLIANCE WITH THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS AND THAT HE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR ALLOWABLE REAL ESTATE AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES. SIMILARLY, MR. BASKIN NEED NOT REIMBURSE THE SUM OF $1,002.59 EXPENDED BY THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION FOR THE MOVING AND STORAGE OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS IF SUCH EXPENSE WAS OTHERWISE PROPERLY INCURRED. THE DECISIONS TO WHICH YOU REFER, 11 COMP. GEN. 459 (1932) AND 17 COMP. GEN. 606 (1938), WERE RENDERED PRIOR TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, NOW CONTAINED IN SUBCHAPTER II OF CHAPTER 57, TITLE 5, UNITED STATES CODE.

THE VOUCHER, RETURNED WITH SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.