B-189075,(CPL),L/M, AUG 17, 1981, OFFICE OF GENERAL COUNSEL

B-189075,(CPL),L/M: Aug 17, 1981

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JACKSON: THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 12. WE ARE UNABLE TO RENDER A FORMAL DECISION TO YOU AT THIS TIME. YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE ENTITLED TO RELOCATION EXPENSES. CLAIMS COGNIZABLE BY OUR OFFICE ARE SUBJECT TO A 6 YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS AS PROVIDED IN 31 U.S.C. THE RECORD BEFORE US INDICATES THAT YOU ARE PRESENTLY EMPLOYED AT ANDREWS AFB. YOU WERE RETIRED FROM YOUR POSITION THROUGH THE PROCEDURES OF AN AGENCY-INITIATED DISABILITY RETIREMENT ACTION. YOU WERE SUBSEQUENTLY REGISTERED INTO THE PROGRAM AND YOU AGREED TO REGISTER FOR THE GEOGRAPHIC AREAS OF ARIZONA AS WELL AS WASHINGTON. C. YOU WERE OFFERED AND ACCEPTED A POSITION AT ANDREWS AFB EFFECTIVE JUNE 21. EMPLOYEES WHO ARE TRANSFERRED BETWEEN POSITIONS AND NEW APPOINTEES WHO ARE ASSIGNED TO POSITIONS OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES OR TO MANPOWER SHORTAGE POSITIONS ARE ENTITLED TO RELOCATION EXPENSES UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS.

B-189075,(CPL),L/M, AUG 17, 1981, OFFICE OF GENERAL COUNSEL

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

MR. EDWARD J. JACKSON:

THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 12, 1981, CONCERNING YOUR ENTITLEMENT TO RELOCATION EXPENSES INCIDENT TO YOUR EMPLOYMENT AT ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE (AFB), MARYLAND.

IN VIEW OF THE STATUTES RELATING TO OUR DECISION-MAKING AUTHORITY, WE ARE UNABLE TO RENDER A FORMAL DECISION TO YOU AT THIS TIME. SEE 31 U.S.C. SECS. 74, 82D. HOWEVER, ON THE BASIS OF THE INFORMATION BEFORE US, WE OFFER THE FOLLOWING COMMENTS ON YOUR SITUATION. IF, AFTER STUDYING THESE COMMENTS, YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE ENTITLED TO RELOCATION EXPENSES, YOU MAY SUBMIT YOUR CLAIM THROUGH YOUR AGENCY TO OUR CLAIMS GROUP IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF 31 U.S.C. SEC. 71 AND 4 C.F.R. PART 31. CLAIMS COGNIZABLE BY OUR OFFICE ARE SUBJECT TO A 6 YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS AS PROVIDED IN 31 U.S.C. SECS. 71A AND 237.

THE RECORD BEFORE US INDICATES THAT YOU ARE PRESENTLY EMPLOYED AT ANDREWS AFB, AFTER RETURNING TO GOVERNMENT SERVICE UNDER THE DISPLACED EMPLOYEE PROGRAM. DUE TO AN ON-THE-JOB INJURY, YOU RECEIVED FEDERAL EMPLOYEE'S COMPENSATION ACT BENEFITS FROM 1971 TO 1974 WHILE EMPLOYED AT DAVIS- MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE. IN 1974, YOU WERE RETIRED FROM YOUR POSITION THROUGH THE PROCEDURES OF AN AGENCY-INITIATED DISABILITY RETIREMENT ACTION.

IN 1975, YOU SUBMITTED AN APPLICATION TO THE DAVIS-MONTHAN AFB CIVILIAN PERSONNEL OFFICE FOR REEMPLOYMENT CONSIDERATION AND REGISTRATION IN THE DISPLACED EMPLOYEE PROGRAM. YOU WERE SUBSEQUENTLY REGISTERED INTO THE PROGRAM AND YOU AGREED TO REGISTER FOR THE GEOGRAPHIC AREAS OF ARIZONA AS WELL AS WASHINGTON, D. C. YOU WERE OFFERED AND ACCEPTED A POSITION AT ANDREWS AFB EFFECTIVE JUNE 21, 1976.

IN RESPONSE TO A CONGRESSIONAL INQUIRY, WE REVIEWED YOUR ENTITLEMENT TO REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS AND RELOCATION EXPENSES. YOU NOW REQUEST RECONSIDERATION OF OUR DETERMINATION BASED ON THE PRECEDENT OF OUR DECISION IN B-188048, NOVEMBER 30, 1977.

UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF 5 U.S.C. SECS. 5721 ET SEQ. (1976), EMPLOYEES WHO ARE TRANSFERRED BETWEEN POSITIONS AND NEW APPOINTEES WHO ARE ASSIGNED TO POSITIONS OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES OR TO MANPOWER SHORTAGE POSITIONS ARE ENTITLED TO RELOCATION EXPENSES UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS. HOWEVER, THERE IS NO SPECIFIC AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF RELOCATION EXPENSES TO A REEMPLOYED ANNUITANT EXCEPT WHERE THE FORMER EMPLOYEE HAS BEEN SEPARATED BY REASON OF A REDUCTION IN FORCE OR TRANSFER OF FUNCTION AND THE FORMER EMPLOYEE IS REEMPLOYED WITHIN 1 YEAR AT A DIFFERENT GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION FROM THAT WHERE THE SEPARATION OCCURRED. SEE 5 U.S.C. SEC. 5724AC).

IN OUR DECISION IN STEPHEN P. SZARKA, B-188048, NOVEMBER 30, 1977, COPY ENCLOSED, WE DETERMINED THAT THE CLAIMANT'S TRANSFER UNDER THE MERIT PROMOTION PROGRAM WAS IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT BASED UPON THE APPLICABLE AIR FORCE REGULATIONS. IT APPEARS THAT YOUR SITUATION IS DISTINGUISHABLE FROM THAT PRESENTED IN SZARKA SINCE YOU WERE REINSTATED, NOT TRANSFERRED, TO YOUR POSITION AT ANDREWS AFB.

FINALLY, WE NOTE THAT YOUR RELOCATION WAS AT YOUR OWN REQUEST TO A GEOGRAPHIC AREA OF YOUR CHOOSING. WHERE AN EMPLOYEE'S TRANSFER OR RELOCATION IS FOR HIS OWN CONVENIENCE AND AT HIS OWN REQUEST, THIS OFFICE HAS DENIED RELOCATION EXPENSES, UNLESS AS IN B-188048, SUPRA, THE TRANSFER IS UNDER THE MERIT PROMOTION PROGRAM. SEE ROBERT A. CAVEN, B-193666, AUGUST 20, 1979. LIKEWISE, WHERE AN EMPLOYEE INITIATES AND OBTAINS A TRANSFER FOR HIS OWN BENEFIT, WITHOUT STATUTORY OR REGULATORY AUTHORITY PROVIDING OTHERWISE, THE TRANSFER IS DEEMED NOT IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT AND THE EMPLOYEE IS NOT ENTITLED TO RELOCATION EXPENSES. SEE DONALD E. CELLEMME, B-195382, JUNE 23, 1980.

WE TRUST THAT THE ABOVE INFORMATION IS OF ASSISTANCE TO YOU.