B-180767, MAY 16, 1974

B-180767: May 16, 1974

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WHO WERE NOT FAMILY-RELATED. SUBSECTION 4.1F AUTHORIZES REIMBURSEMENT ON PRO RATA BASIS WHERE EMPLOYEE'S INTEREST IN REAL PROPERTY IS LESS THAN COMPLETE TITLE. THE VOUCHERS WERE SUBMITTED BY TWO TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES. WHO ARE NOT FAMILY-RELATED AND WHO PURCHASED A RESIDENCE ON APRIL 9. THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING THE VOUCHERS WAS QUESTIONED BECAUSE OF THE TITLE PROVISIONS IN SECTION 4 OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. WHICH WAS IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF EMPLOYEES' TRANSFER. THAT SECTION PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS: "4.1 CONDITIONS AND REQUIREMENTS UNDER WHICH ALLOWANCES ARE PAYABLE. THE GOVERNMENT WILL REIMBURSE AN EMPLOYEE FOR EXPENSES REQUIRED TO BE PAID BY HIM IN CONNECTION WITH *** PURCHASE (INCLUDING CONSTRUCTION) OF ONE DWELLING AT HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION.

B-180767, MAY 16, 1974

TWO TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES, WHO WERE NOT FAMILY-RELATED, PURCHASED RESIDENCE AS JOINT TENANTS AT NEW STATION AND CLAIMED REIMBURSEMENT ON TRAVEL VOUCHERS. VOUCHERS MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT TO EXTENT OF AMOUNTS ACTUALLY PAID BY EACH EMPLOYEE SINCE OMB CIRCULAR A-56, SECTION 4.1C, AUTHORIZES REIMBURSEMENT TO EMPLOYEE WHO HAS AN INTEREST IN A COOPERATIVELY OWNED DWELLING, AND SUBSECTION 4.1F AUTHORIZES REIMBURSEMENT ON PRO RATA BASIS WHERE EMPLOYEE'S INTEREST IN REAL PROPERTY IS LESS THAN COMPLETE TITLE.

TO DEPT. OF HOUSING AND URBAN RENEWEL:

A CERTIFYING OFFICER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, IN LETTER DATED MARCH 1, 1974, REQUESTED A DECISION AS TO WHETHER 2 VOUCHERS, EACH IN THE AMOUNT OF $201.37, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT. THE VOUCHERS WERE SUBMITTED BY TWO TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES, ROBERT E. MENDOZA AND ROBERT L. ARCHILA, WHO ARE NOT FAMILY-RELATED AND WHO PURCHASED A RESIDENCE ON APRIL 9, 1973, AS JOINT TENANTS AT THEIR NEW OFFICAL STATION.

THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING THE VOUCHERS WAS QUESTIONED BECAUSE OF THE TITLE PROVISIONS IN SECTION 4 OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, AS REVISED AUGUST 17, 1971, WHICH WAS IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF EMPLOYEES' TRANSFER. THAT SECTION 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 *** PURCHASE (INCLUDING CONSTRUCTION) OF ONE DWELLING AT HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION; *** PROVIDED THAT:

"C. TITLE REQUIREMENTS. THE TITLE TO THE RESIDENCE OR DWELLING AT THE OLD OR NEW OFFICIAL STATION, OR THE INTEREST IN A COOPERATIVELY OWNED DWELLING OR IN AN UNEXPIRED LEASE, IS IN THE NAME OF THE EMPLOYEE ALONE, OR IN THE JOINT NAMES OF THE EMPLOYEE AND ONE OR MORE MEMBERS OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY, OR SOLELY IN THE NAME OF ONE OR MORE MEMBERS OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY. ***"

IN THE CASE HERE PRESENTED, SUBSECTION 4.1C COULD BE READ SO AS TO DENY REIMBURSEMENT OF REAL ESTATE EXPENSES TO THE TWO EMPLOYEES SINCE THE JOINT TITLE WAS IN TWO EMPLOYEES WHO WERE NOT RELATED. HOWEVER, THAT SUBSECTION ALSO PROVIDES FOR REIMBURSEMENT WHEN THE EMPLOYEE HAS AN "INTEREST IN A COOPERATIVELY OWNED DWELLING." SINCE THE RESIDENCE PURCHASED MAY BE REGARDED AS SUCH A DWELLING, REIMBURSEMENT TO THE TWO EMPLOYEES IS NOT PRECLUDED BY THE LANGUAGE STATING THAT TITLE MUST BE IN AN EMPLOYEE OR MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY. FURTHERMORE, SECTION 4.1F OF THE CIRCULAR AUTHORIZES REIMBURSEMENT ON A PRO RATA BASIS WHERE THE EMPLOYEE'S INTEREST IN REAL PROPERTY IS LESS THAN COMPLETE TITLE AND WHERE THE EXPENSES FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS BEING CLAIMED WERE ACTUALLY PAID BY THE CLAIMING EMPLOYEE. IN VIEW OF THESE PROVISIONS REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE ALLOWED UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THIS CASE, WITH EACH EMPLOYEE BEING REIMBURSED HIS SHARE OF ALLOWABLE EXPENSES. SEE B 177091, DECEMBER 12, 1972, AND B- 167962, NOVEMBER 7, 1969.

ACCORDINGLY, BOTH VOUCHERS MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.