B-181737, AUG 19, 1974

B-181737: Aug 19, 1974

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A-56 OR ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE EVIDENCE THAT SHE WAS REQUIRED 'TO PAY FORFEITURE. THE ONLY EVIDENCE SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF THE CLAIM IS THE STATEMENT OF MRS. THE EXPLANATION FOR NOT SUBMITTING ANY CORROBORATIVE EVIDENCE IS THAT THE COPY OF THE LEASE WAS LOST IN THE MOVE AND THAT THE LANDLORD HIMSELF HAS SINCE THEN MOVED AND HIS WHEREABOUTS IS UNKNOWN. THE AGENCY STATES IT HAS ATTEMPTED TO LOCATE THE LANDLORD BUT ITS EFFORTS LIKEWISE HAVE BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL. DENTZ' TRANSFER WAS OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. SUCH EXPENSES ARE REIMBURSABLE WHEN (1) APPLICABLE LAWS OR THE TERMS OF THE LEASE PROVIDE FOR PAYMENT OF SETTLEMENT EXPENSES. (4) THE BROKER'S FEES OR ADVERTISING CHARGES ARE NOT IN EXCESS OF THOSE CUSTOMARILY CHARGED FOR COMPARABLE SERVICES IN THAT LOCALITY.

B-181737, AUG 19, 1974

EMPLOYEE WHO TRANSFERRED FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, IN OCTOBER 1971 AND CLAIMED $425 AS EXPENSES INCURRED FOR SETTLEMENT OF UNEXPIRED LEASE BUT WHO LOST LEASE AND CANNOT LOCATE LANDLORD TO OBTAIN COPY OF LEASE, MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED SINCE SHE HAS NOT SUBMITTED DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED BY SECTION 4.2H OF OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-56 OR ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE EVIDENCE THAT SHE WAS REQUIRED 'TO PAY FORFEITURE.

CAROL A. DENTZ - SETTLEMENT OF UNEXPIRED LEASE - DOCUMENTATION:

THIS DECISION INVOLVES THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT THE TRAVEL VOUCHER OF MRS. CAROL A. DENTZ IN THE AMOUNT OF $425 FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE SETTLEMENT OF AN UNEXPIRED LEASE AT THE OLD OFFICIAL DUTY STATION UPON HER TRANSFER FROM WASHINGTON D.C., TO LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, IN OCTOBER 1971 IN THE ABSENCE OF A COPY OF THE LEASE.

THE ONLY EVIDENCE SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF THE CLAIM IS THE STATEMENT OF MRS. DENTZ ON THE BACK OF THE TRAVEL VOUCHER WHICH EXPLAINS THAT THE CLAIM FOR $425 CONSTITUTES THE FORFEITURE OF 1 MONTH'S RENT. THE EXPLANATION FOR NOT SUBMITTING ANY CORROBORATIVE EVIDENCE IS THAT THE COPY OF THE LEASE WAS LOST IN THE MOVE AND THAT THE LANDLORD HIMSELF HAS SINCE THEN MOVED AND HIS WHEREABOUTS IS UNKNOWN. THE AGENCY STATES IT HAS ATTEMPTED TO LOCATE THE LANDLORD BUT ITS EFFORTS LIKEWISE HAVE BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL.

THE APPLICABLE REGULATION AT THE TIME OF MRS. DENTZ' TRANSFER WAS OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED, AUGUST 17, 1971, WHICH PROVIDES, AMONG OTHER THINGS, AS FOLLOWS IN SECTION 4.2:

"H. SETTLEMENT OF AN UNEXPIRED LEASE. EXPENSES INCURRED FOR SETTLING AN UNEXPIRED LEASE (INCLUDING MONTH-TO-MONTH RENTAL) ON RESIDENCE QUARTERS OCCUPIED BY THE EMPLOYEE AT THE OLD OFFICIAL STATION MAY INCLUDE BROKER'S FEES FOR OBTAINING A SUBLEASE OR CHARGES FOR ADVERTISING AN UNEXPIRED LEASE. SUCH EXPENSES ARE REIMBURSABLE WHEN (1) APPLICABLE LAWS OR THE TERMS OF THE LEASE PROVIDE FOR PAYMENT OF SETTLEMENT EXPENSES, (2) SUCH EXPENSES CANNOT BE AVOIDED BY SUBLEASE OR OTHER ARRANGEMENT, (3) THE EMPLOYEE HAS NOT CONTRIBUTED TO THE EXPENSE BY FAILING TO GIVE APPROPRIATE LEASE TERMINATION NOTICE PROMPTLY AFTER HE HAS DEFINITE KNOWLEDGE OF THE PROPOSED TRANSFER, AND (4) THE BROKER'S FEES OR ADVERTISING CHARGES ARE NOT IN EXCESS OF THOSE CUSTOMARILY CHARGED FOR COMPARABLE SERVICES IN THAT LOCALITY. ITEMIZATION OF THESE EXPENSES IS REQUIRED AND THE TOTAL AMOUNT WILL BE ENTERED ON AN APPROPRIATE TRAVEL VOUCHER. THIS VOUCHER MAY BE SUBMITTED SEPARATELY OR WITH A CLAIM THAT IS TO BE MADE FOR EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE PURCHASE OF A DWELLING. EACH ITEM MUST BE SUPPORTED BY DOCUMENTATION SHOWING THAT THE EXPENSE WAS IN FACT INCURRED AND PAID BY THE EMPLOYEE."

THE NECESSARY DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION HAS NOT BEEN FURNISHED TO THE AUTHORIZING OFFICIALS OR TO THIS OFFICE. SINCE THE REGULATION IS STATUTORY IN NATURE AND HAS THE FORCE AND EFFECT OF LAW, THIS OFFICE IS WITHOUT POWER TO WAIVE ITS PROVISIONS. THE REGULATION CLEARLY REQUIRES THAT DOCUMENTATION BE SUBMITTED THAT EXPENSES INCIDENT TO LEASE TERMINATION WERE INCURRED, THAT SUCH EXPENSES COULD NOT HAVE BEEN AVOIDED BY SUBLETTING, ETC. SUCH DOCUMENTATION HAS NOT BEEN SUBMITTED. MOREOVER, THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT TIMELY EFFORTS WERE MADE BY MRS. DENTZ TO OBTAIN ALTERNATE EVIDENCE IN PLACE OF THE LOST LEASE.

ACCORDINGLY, WE FIND NO BASIS UPON WHICH HER CLAIM COULD BE PAID AND THE TRAVEL VOUCHER MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.