B-176532, SEP 6, 1972

B-176532: Sep 6, 1972

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NIXON WAS STATIONED AT ATLANTA. NIXON'S TRANSFER TO ATLANTA WAS NOT TO A STATION IN A REMOTE AREA NOT PERMITTING OF DAILY COMMUTING TO AND FROM WORK. THE FACTS OF HIS CASE ARE NOT SUCH AS TO BRING IT WITHIN THE EXCEPTION TO THE DAILY COMMUTING RULE AND MR. UPON WHICH SETTLEMENT WAS MADE 13 MONTHS AFTER THE DATE ON WHICH MR. SEC. 4.1(E) PROHIBITS REIMBURSEMENT FOR SALE AND PURCHASE TRANSACTIONS CONCLUDED LATER THAN ONE YEAR AFTER THE EMPLOYEE'S REPORTING DATE UNLESS EVIDENCE IS PRESENTED SO AS TO BRING THE TRANSACTION WITHIN ONE OF THE SPECIFIED EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE. NIXON WAS TRANSFERRED FROM YELLOW SPRINGS. NIXON MADE A HOUSE HUNTING TRIP TO ATLANTA AT WHICH TIME A DECISION WAS MADE THAT THE FAMILY OF MR.

B-176532, SEP 6, 1972

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - CHANGE IN OFFICIAL STATION - SALE AND PURCHASE OF HOME DECISION DISALLOWING CERTIFICATION FOR PAYMENT OF VOUCHERS REPRESENTING EXPENSES INCURRED BY OTHA E. NIXON IN SELLING A HOME IN YELLOW SPRINGS, OHIO, AND BUYING ONE IN COLUMBIA, MD., INCIDENT TO A TRANSFER OF STATION FROM ATLANTA, GA., TO WASHINGTON, D.C. OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-56, SEC. 4.1, AUTHORIZES REIMBURSEMENT UPON TRANSFER TO A NEW OFFICIAL STATION FOR THE SALE OF ONE RESIDENCE AT AN EMPLOYEE'S OLD OFFICIAL STATION. IN THE INSTANT CASE, THE FAMILY OF MR. NIXON HAD CHOSEN TO REMAIN IN YELLOW SPRINGS FOR THE SIX MONTHS MR. NIXON WAS STATIONED AT ATLANTA, AND SOLD THE OHIO HOME ONLY AFTER THE TRANSFER TO WASHINGTON, D.C. SINCE MR. NIXON'S TRANSFER TO ATLANTA WAS NOT TO A STATION IN A REMOTE AREA NOT PERMITTING OF DAILY COMMUTING TO AND FROM WORK, THE FACTS OF HIS CASE ARE NOT SUCH AS TO BRING IT WITHIN THE EXCEPTION TO THE DAILY COMMUTING RULE AND MR. NIXON WOULD NOT BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENCE. B-173672, AUGUST 5, 1971. WITH RESPECT TO THE PURCHASE OF A HOME IN COLUMBIA, MD., UPON WHICH SETTLEMENT WAS MADE 13 MONTHS AFTER THE DATE ON WHICH MR. NIXON REPORTED TO WORK IN WASHINGTON, D.C., OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-56, SEC. 4.1(E) PROHIBITS REIMBURSEMENT FOR SALE AND PURCHASE TRANSACTIONS CONCLUDED LATER THAN ONE YEAR AFTER THE EMPLOYEE'S REPORTING DATE UNLESS EVIDENCE IS PRESENTED SO AS TO BRING THE TRANSACTION WITHIN ONE OF THE SPECIFIED EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE. ON THE PRESENT RECORD, HOWEVER, MR. NIXON WOULD NOT BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE PURCHASE OF THE COLUMBIA, MD. HOME.

TO MISS ANNORA F. FRAASA:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 7, 1972, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $2,412.53 MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT. THE VOUCHER REPRESENTS EXPENSES INCURRED IN SELLING AND BUYING A HOME INCIDENT TO A TRANSFER OF STATION.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BY TRAVEL ORDER DATED JULY 29, 1970, MR. OTHA E. NIXON WAS TRANSFERRED FROM YELLOW SPRINGS, OHIO, TO ATLANTA, GEORGIA. INCIDENT TO THIS MOVE MRS. NIXON MADE A HOUSE HUNTING TRIP TO ATLANTA AT WHICH TIME A DECISION WAS MADE THAT THE FAMILY OF MR. NIXON WOULD REMAIN IN YELLOW SPRINGS AND HE DID NOT SELL HIS HOUSE AT THIS TIME. IN FEBRUARY 1971 MR. NIXON WAS TRANSFERRED TO WASHINGTON, D.C., AND APPARENTLY REPORTED FOR DUTY FEBRUARY 22, 1971. INCIDENT TO THIS MOVE MR. NIXON WAS REIMBURSED EXPENSES FOR A 6-DAY HOUSE HUNTING TRIP WHICH OCCURRED IN APRIL 1971. SETTLEMENT ON THE SALE OF MR. NIXON'S HOUSE IN YELLOW SPRINGS WAS MADE ON JANUARY 14, 1972. WHILE YOU STATE THAT MR. NIXON PURCHASED A RESIDENCE IN MARYLAND IN JANUARY 1972, THE SETTLEMENT SHEET FOR THE PURCHASE OF A RESIDENCE IN COLUMBIA, MARYLAND, IS DATED APRIL 4, 1972. ALSO, THE EMPLOYEE'S APPLICATION FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED UPON SALE OR PURCHASE (OR BOTH) OF RESIDENCE UPON CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION SHOWS THE DATE OF SETTLEMENT ON THE RESIDENCE IN COLUMBIA AS APRIL 4, 1972. MOREOVER, THE RECORD DOES NOT CONTAIN A COPY OF A PURCHASE CONTRACT FOR THIS RESIDENCE. OF THE AMOUNT CLAIMED $1,342.30 REPRESENTS EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE SALE OF THE RESIDENCE AT YELLOW SPRINGS AND $1,070.23 INCIDENT TO THE PURCHASE OF A RESIDENCE AT COLUMBIA, MARYLAND.

SECTION 4.1 OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 1971, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"4.1 CONDITIONS AND REQUIREMENTS UNDER WHICH ALLOWANCES ARE PAYABLE. THE EXTENT ALLOWABLE UNDER THIS PROVISION, THE GOVERNMENT WILL REIMBURSE AN EMPLOYEE FOR EXPENSES REQUIRED TO BE PAID BY HIM IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF ONE RESIDENCE AT HIS OLD OFFICIAL STATION; PURCHASE (INCLUDING CONSTRUCTION) OF ONE DWELLING AT HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION; OR THE SETTLEMENT OF AN UNEXPIRED LEASE INVOLVING HIS RESIDENCE OR A LOT ON WHICH A MOBILE HOME USED AS HIS RESIDENCE WAS LOCATED AT THE OLD OFFICIAL STATION; PROVIDED THAT:

"D. OCCUPANCY REQUIREMENTS. THE DWELLING FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT OF SELLING EXPENSES IS CLAIMED WAS THE EMPLOYEE'S RESIDENCE AT THE TIME HE WAS FIRST DEFINITELY INFORMED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY THAT HE IS TO BE TRANSFERRED TO THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION.

"E. TIME LIMITATION. THE SETTLEMENT DATES FOR THE SALE AND PURCHASE OR LEASE TERMINATION TRANSACTIONS FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS REQUESTED ARE NOT LATER THAN ONE (INITIAL) YEAR AFTER THE DATE ON WHICH THE EMPLOYEE REPORTED FOR DUTY AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION, EXCEPT THAT (1) AN APPROPRIATE EXTENSION OF TIME MAY BE AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY THE HEAD OF THE AGENCY OR HIS DESIGNEE WHEN SETTLEMENT IS NECESSARILY DELAYED BECAUSE OF LITIGATION, OR (2) AN ADDITIONAL PERIOD OF TIME NOT IN EXCESS OF ONE YEAR MAY BE AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY THE HEAD OF THE AGENCY OR HIS DESIGNEE WHEN HE DETERMINES THAT CIRCUMSTANCES JUSTIFYING THE EXCEPTION EXIST WHICH PRECLUDED SETTLEMENT WITHIN THE INITIAL ONE YEAR PERIOD OF THE SALE/PURCHASE CONTRACTS OR LEASE TERMINATION ARRANGEMENT ENTERED INTO IN GOOD FAITH BY THE EMPLOYEE WITHIN THE INITIAL ONE-YEAR PERIOD. THE CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH ARE DETERMINED BY THE HEAD OF THE AGENCY OR HIS DESIGNEE TO JUSTIFY THE EXCEPTION UNDER (2) ABOVE SHALL BE SET FORTH IN WRITING."

IN THE INSTANT CASE THE HOUSE WHICH WAS SOLD AT YELLOW SPRINGS WAS NOT LOCATED AT THE DUTY STATION FROM WHICH MR. NIXON WAS TRANSFERRED TO WASHINGTON, OR AT A PLACE TO WHICH HE COMMUTED ON A DAILY BASIS. IN 47 COMP. GEN. 109 (1967) WE RECOGNIZED AN EXCEPTION TO THE DAILY COMMUTING RULE WHERE AN EMPLOYEE IS STATIONED IN A REMOTE AREA AND CANNOT OBTAIN A RESIDENCE FOR HIMSELF AND HIS FAMILY WHICH PERMITS DAILY COMMUTING TO WORK. HOWEVER, THE FACTS OF THIS CASE ARE NOT SUCH AS TO BRING IT WITHIN THE EXCEPTION TO THE DAILY COMMUTING RULE AND MR. NIXON WOULD NOT BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENCE. B-173672, AUGUST 5, 1971.

REGARDING THE PURCHASE OF THE DWELLING AT COLUMBIA, THE SETTLEMENT WAS MADE MORE THAN ONE YEAR AFTER MR. NIXON'S TRANSFER TO WASHINGTON AND THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT SETTLEMENT WAS DELAYED BECAUSE OF CIRCUMSTANCES JUSTIFYING AN EXTENSION OF TIME UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 4.1E OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56. THEREFORE, ON THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT RECORD, MR. NIXON WOULD NOT BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO THE PURCHASE OF THE DWELLING. HOWEVER, PAYMENT OF ALLOWABLE EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE PURCHASE OF THIS RESIDENCE MAY BE MADE IF EVIDENCE IS OBTAINED OF A VALID PURCHASE CONTRACT MADE WITHIN THE INITIAL ONE-YEAR PERIOD AND THE HEAD OF YOUR AGENCY APPROVES AN EXTENSION OF TIME IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 4.1E OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF REAL ESTATE EXPENSES INCURRED BY MR. NIXON INCIDENT TO THE SALE AND PURCHASE OF A DWELLING IS RETURNED HEREWITH AND NO PART THEREOF MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT AT THE PRESENT TIME.