B-177583, FEB 9, 1973

B-177583: Feb 9, 1973

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AN EMPLOYEE IS NOT ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED THE EXPENSES OF SELLING HIS HOME IF HE DOES NOT REGULARLY COMMUTE FROM THIS HOME TO AND FROM WORK. UNLESS IT IS SHOWN THAT ADEQUATE FAMILY HOUSING WAS UNAVAILABLE AT THIS OLD OFFICIAL STATION. HOFFMAN: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 28. WAS REGARDED AS THE EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION WHEREAS THE HOUSE WAS LOCATED APPROXIMATELY 149 MILES AWAY AT SATELLITE BEACH. SUNDSTROM STATES HE WAS REINSTATED AS A CAREER-CONDITIONAL EMPLOYEE AND REPORTED TO DUNNELLON. WHEN HIS STATION WAS CHANGED TO FORT LAUDERDALE. 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.

B-177583, FEB 9, 1973

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - SALE OF HOUSE - REAL ESTATE EXPENSES - ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT DUTY STATION DECISION DENYING THE CLAIM OF CARL H. SUNDSTROM, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF HIS HOUSE AT SATELLITE BEACH, FLA., INCIDENT TO TRANSFER OF HIS OFFICIAL STATION FROM DUNNELLON, FLA., TO FT. LAUDERDALE, FLA. AN EMPLOYEE IS NOT ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED THE EXPENSES OF SELLING HIS HOME IF HE DOES NOT REGULARLY COMMUTE FROM THIS HOME TO AND FROM WORK, UNLESS IT IS SHOWN THAT ADEQUATE FAMILY HOUSING WAS UNAVAILABLE AT THIS OLD OFFICIAL STATION. SEE 46 COMP. GEN. 703 (1967).

TO MR. D. W. HOFFMAN:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 28, 1972, REFERENCE SAJFF, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION ON THE PAYMENT OF A VOUCHER FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES AMOUNTING TO $1,434.40 SUBMITTED BY MR. CARL H. SUNDSTROM, INCURRED BY HIM IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF HIS HOUSE AT SATELLITE BEACH, FLORIDA, INCIDENT TO TRANSFER OF HIS OFFICIAL STATION AT DUNNELLON, FLORIDA, TO FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA, EFFECTIVE JANUARY 31, 1972, PURSUANT TO TRAVEL ORDER NO. C-1003, DATED JANUARY 28, 1972. YOU RECOMMEND DISALLOWANCE OF THIS CLAIM BECAUSE DUNNELLON, FLORIDA, WAS REGARDED AS THE EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION WHEREAS THE HOUSE WAS LOCATED APPROXIMATELY 149 MILES AWAY AT SATELLITE BEACH, FLORIDA, AND NOT WITHIN REGULAR COMMUTING DISTANCE OF THAT STATION.

MR. SUNDSTROM STATES HE WAS REINSTATED AS A CAREER-CONDITIONAL EMPLOYEE AND REPORTED TO DUNNELLON, FLORIDA, ON JANUARY 18, 1971, WHERE A CORPS OF ENGINEER AREA OFFICE HAD BEEN ESTABLISHED TO SUPERVISE CONSTRUCTION WORK ON THE CROSS FLORIDA BARGE CANAL PROJECT. TWO DAYS AFTER HE REPORTED, THE PRESIDENT SUSPENDED ALL NEW CONSTRUCTION WORK ON THE PROJECT WHICH CAUSED THE EMPLOYEE TO DOUBT THE PERMANENCY OF HIS POSITION. IN VIEW OF THIS UNCERTAINTY, MR. SUNDSTROM CLAIMS HE DECIDED TO RENT AN EFFICIENCY APARTMENT IN DUNNELLON, FLORIDA, AS A TEMPORARY EXPEDIENT AND RETAIN HIS HOUSE IN SATELLITE BEACH, FLORIDA. THE EMPLOYEE CONTENDS THAT SINCE HE CONSIDERED HIS ASSIGNMENT AT DUNNELLON, FLORIDA, AS TEMPORARY, HE RETAINED HIS PERMANENT LEGAL RESIDENCE IN SATELLITE BEACH, FLORIDA, AND RETURNED THERE ON WEEKENDS. HE REASONS, THEREFORE, THAT HE SHOULD BE REIMBURSED FOR EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENTIAL DWELLING AT SATELLITE BEACH, FLORIDA, WHEN HIS STATION WAS CHANGED TO FORT LAUDERDALE.

SECTION 4.1 OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET (OMB) CIRCULAR NO. A 56, REVISED, DATED AUGUST 17, 1971, ISSUED IN IMPLEMENTATION OF 5 U.S.C. 5724(A), TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF EMPLOYEES TRANSFERRED, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART:

" *** 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; 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. *** 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."

SECTION 1.2(I), OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-56, FURTHER PROVIDES IN PART:

" *** WITH RESPECT TO ENTITLEMENT UNDER THESE REGULATIONS RELATING TO THE RESIDENCE AND THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS OF AN EMPLOYEE, OFFICIAL STATION OR POST OF DUTY ALSO MEANS THE RESIDENCE OR OTHER QUARTERS FROM WHICH THE EMPLOYEE REGULARLY COMMUTES TO AND FROM WORK, EXCEPT THAT WHERE THE OFFICIAL STATION OR POST OF DUTY IS IN A REMOTE AREA WHERE ADEQUATE FAMILY HOUSING IS NOT AVAILABLE WITHIN REASONABLE DAILY COMMUTING DISTANCE THEN RESIDENCE INCLUDES THE DWELLING WHERE THE FAMILY OF THE EMPLOYEE RESIDES OR WILL RESIDE, BUT ONLY IF SUCH RESIDENCE REASONABLY RELATES TO THE OFFICIAL STATION AS DETERMINED BY AN APPROPRIATE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIAL."

THE RECORD INDICATES MR. SUNDSTROM'S SATELLITE BEACH, FLORIDA, DWELLING WAS NEITHER LOCATED AT HIS OLD OFFICIAL STATION, NOR DID HE COMMUTE ON A DAILY BASIS FROM SUCH DWELLING TO HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION. FURTHER THE RECORD DOES NOT REFLECT THAT ADEQUATE FAMILY HOUSING WAS UNAVAILABLE IN DUNNELLON, FLORIDA. CONSEQUENTLY, WE CAN FIND NO BASIS FOR REGARDING HIS HOME IN SATELLITE BEACH, FLORIDA, AS BEING HIS RESIDENCE SO AS TO ENTITLE HIM TO REIMBURSEMENT OF SELLING EXPENSES. SEE 46 COMP. GEN. 703 (1967); 47 ID. 109 (1967); B-173672, AUGUST 5, 1971; B-172534, MAY 25, 1971.

SINCE PAYMENT OF THE VOUCHER IS NOT AUTHORIZED IT IS BEING RETAINED IN OUR FILE.