B-176757, MAR 12, 1973

B-176757: Mar 12, 1973

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REIMBURSEMENT FOR REAL ESTATE EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE SALE OF A RESIDENCE IS ALLOWABLE WHEN THE EMPLOYEE WAS LIVING AT THE RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF OFFICIAL NOTIFICATION OF TRANSFER OF DUTY STATION. REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS IS PRECLUDED SINCE 5 U.S.C. 5724 PROVIDES FOR REIMBURSEMENT ONLY WHEN SUCH TRANSPORTATION IS INCIDENT TO A CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION AND NOT INCIDENT TO A TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT. 41 COMP. REIMBURSEMENT FOR MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES IS PRECLUDED SINCE OMB CIRCULAR NO. TO MISS LOUISE MCMILLAN: THIS IS IN REPLY TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 3. WALLEY BEFORE HE WAS FORMALLY NOTIFIED OF A TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION FROM MOBILE. WALLEY WAS INFORMED THAT HE WAS TO BE DETAILED FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION.

B-176757, MAR 12, 1973

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - REIMBURSEMENT - RELOCATION PRIOR TO OFFICIAL NOTIFICATION DECISION DENYING CERTIFICATION FOR PAYMENT OF A VOUCHER SUBMITTED BY JAMES H. WALLEY, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE IN THE AMOUNT OF $2,240.02, REPRESENTING RELOCATION EXPENSES INCURRED PRIOR TO FORMAL NOTIFICATION OF A TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION FROM MOBILE, ALA., TO ATLANTA, GA. REIMBURSEMENT FOR REAL ESTATE EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE SALE OF A RESIDENCE IS ALLOWABLE WHEN THE EMPLOYEE WAS LIVING AT THE RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF OFFICIAL NOTIFICATION OF TRANSFER OF DUTY STATION. THUS MR. WALLEY'S RELOCATION IN ATLANTA PRIOR TO NOTIFICATION PRECLUDES REIMBURSEMENT. OMB CIRCULAR A-56, SECTION 4.1, 46 COMP. GEN. 703 (1967). FURTHER, LACKING ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL OR AUTHORIZATION IN THE TRAVEL ORDER, REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS IS PRECLUDED SINCE 5 U.S.C. 5724 PROVIDES FOR REIMBURSEMENT ONLY WHEN SUCH TRANSPORTATION IS INCIDENT TO A CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION AND NOT INCIDENT TO A TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT. 41 COMP. GEN. 582 (1962). ALSO, REIMBURSEMENT FOR MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES IS PRECLUDED SINCE OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-56, SECTION 3.1A CONTEMPLATES A DISCONTINUATION OF ONE RESIDENCE AND AN ESTABLISHMENT OF ANOTHER RESIDENCE INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION.

TO MISS LOUISE MCMILLAN:

THIS IS IN REPLY TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 3, 1972, REFERENCE ADFF:SB, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER SUBMITTED BY MR. JAMES H. WALLEY, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, IN THE AMOUNT OF $2,240.02, REPRESENTING RELOCATION EXPENSES INCURRED BY MR. WALLEY BEFORE HE WAS FORMALLY NOTIFIED OF A TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION FROM MOBILE, ALABAMA, TO ATLANTA, GEORGIA.

IN AUGUST 1971 MR. WALLEY WAS INFORMED THAT HE WAS TO BE DETAILED FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION, MOBILE, TO ATLANTA TO WORK ON THE NARCOTICS TRAFFICKERS PROJECT. THIS DETAIL COMMENCED ON OCTOBER 1, 1971, AND WAS TO BE FOR A PERIOD OF UP TO TWO YEARS. DUE TO THE LENGTH OF DETAIL, MR. WALLEY SOLD HIS RESIDENCE IN MOBILE ON OCTOBER 1, 1971, AND MOVED HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND FAMILY TO ATLANTA. IN APRIL 1972 WHILE MR. WALLEY WAS ON DETAIL IN ATLANTA, AN OPENING IN THE ATLANTA DISTRICT BECAME AVAILABLE AND WAS OFFERED TO MR. WALLEY. SINCE MR. WALLEY WAS AGREEABLE TO THIS TRANSFER, HIS OFFICIAL STATION WAS CHANGED FROM MOBILE TO ATLANTA, EFFECTIVE APRIL 16, 1972. IT IS ON THE BASIS OF THIS TRANSFER THAT MR. WALLEY CLAIMS THAT HE IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR VARIOUS RELOCATION EXPENSES.

IN REGARD TO MR. WALLEY'S CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR REAL ESTATE EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENCE, SECTION 4.1 OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED SEPTEMBER 1, 1971, PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

***TO 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 *** PROVIDED THAT:

D. *** 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. ***

IN THE PRESENT CASE, MR. WALLEY SOLD HIS RESIDENCE IN MOBILE AND MOVED HIS FAMILY TO ATLANTA ON OCTOBER 1, 1971. THUS THE HOUSE COULD NOT HAVE BEEN HIS RESIDENCE IN APRIL 1972 WHEN HE WAS FIRST INFORMED OF THE TRANSFER AS REQUIRED BY THE ABOVE REGULATION. SEE 46 COMP. GEN. 703 (1967). ACCORDINGLY, WE MUST CONCLUDE THAT THERE IS NO BASIS FOR REIMBURSING MR. WALLEY FOR THE CLAIMED REAL ESTATE EXPENSES.

WITH RESPECT TO MR. WALLEY'S CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS, 5 U.S.C. 5724 CONTEMPLATES REIMBURSEMENT TO AN EMPLOYEE FOR THE COST OF TRANSPORTING HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS WHEN SUCH TRANSPORTATION IS INCIDENT TO A CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION NECESSITATED BY EXIGENCIES OF THE SERVICE, BUT NOT WHEN SUCH TRANSPORTATION IS INCIDENT TO A TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT. MOREOVER, IN ORDER THAT TRANSPORTATION MAY BE DEEMED TO BE INCIDENT TO A CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION - IN CASES WHERE IT OCCURS PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF THE FORMAL WRITTEN TRANSFER - THERE MUST HAVE BEEN COMMUNICATED TO THE EMPLOYEE VERBAL INSTRUCTIONS TO PERFORM TRAVEL OR, AT THE VERY LEAST A CLEARLY EXPRESSED ADMINISTRATIVE INTENTION TO EFFECT SUCH TRANSFER. WHEN SUCH CONDITIONS EXIST AND THE TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEE THEREAFTER TAKES PLACE, THE EXPENSES OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION ARE REIMBURSABLE IF AUTHORIZED IN THE TRANSFER ORDER OR OTHERWISE ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED. SEE 41 COMP. GEN. 582 (1962). THE PRESENT RECORD CLEARLY INDICATES THAT ON OCTOBER 1, 1971, WHEN THE TRANSPORTATION FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED TOOK PLACE, THERE WAS NO ADMINISTRATIVE INTENTION TO TRANSFER MR. WALLEY AND THAT THE SOLE PURPOSE OF THE TRANSPORTATION WAS MR. WALLEY'S DESIRE TO HAVE HIS FAMILY WITH HIM DURING THE EXTENDED DETAIL. ACCORDINGLY, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR PAYING MR. WALLEY FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS PERFORMED PRIOR TO HIS TRANSFER.

WITH RESPECT TO THE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES ALLOWANCE CLAIMED BY MR. WALLEY, SECTION 3.1A OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

*** THE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES ALLOWANCE *** IS FOR THE PURPOSE OF DEFRAYING VARIOUS CONTINGENT COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH DISCONTINUING RESIDENCE AT ONE LOCATION AND ESTABLISHING RESIDENCE AT A NEW LOCATION IN CONNECTION WITH AN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. SINCE MR. WALLEY HAD APPARENTLY ESTABLISHED HIS RESIDENCE IN ATLANTA PRIOR TO HIS TRANSFER AND THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT A RESIDENCE WAS ESTABLISHED AT A NEW LOCATION IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSFER, MR. WALLEY WOULD NOT BE ENTITLED TO THE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES ALLOWANCE. B-165417, NOVEMBER 7, 1968.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE THE VOUCHER RETURNED HEREWITH MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.