B-194977(1),L/M, APR 26, 1982

B-194977(1),L/M: Apr 26, 1982

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GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION: THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO A LETTER OF DECEMBER 31. PERRIN'S SITUATION IS SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME AS THAT OF MR. THIS WAS A TRANSFER FROM THE UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE. AFTER THE TRANSFER AND AFTER PART OF THE TRAVEL AND RELOCATION EXPENSES WERE PAID. WHICH HELD THAT AN EMPLOYEE WHO TRANSFERS FROM THE POSTAL SERVICE TO AN EXECUTIVE AGENCY IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND RELOCATION EXPENSES. SCHULTZ WAS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR THE USUAL TRANSPORTATION AND RELOCATION EXPENSES OF A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE. SCHULTZ'S DEBT ARE OF AN UNUSUAL NATURE AND ARE UNLIKELY TO CONSTITUTE A RECURRING PROBLEM.". PERRIN'S SITUATION IS SIMILAR TO MR. WE DO NOT NOW BELIEVE THAT THIS SITUATION IS "OF AN UNUSUAL NATURE" TO THE DEGREE THAT IT APPEARED TO BE WHEN WE REFERRED MR.

B-194977(1),L/M, APR 26, 1982

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

GERALD P. CARMEN, GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION:

THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO A LETTER OF DECEMBER 31, 1981, FROM YOUR ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR FOR PLANS, PROGRAMS AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT. THE ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR RECOMMENDS THAT WE REFER MR. KENNETH L. PERRIN'S CASE INVOLVING TRAVEL AND RELOCATION EXPENSES INCURRED IN HIS TRANSFER FROM THE UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE TO THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION TO THE CONGRESS AS A MERITORIOUS CLAIM PURSUANT TO THE ACT OF APRIL 10, 1928, 45 STAT. 413, 31 U.S.C. SEC. 236 (1976). ALTHOUGH WE AGREE THAT MR. PERRIN'S SITUATION IS SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME AS THAT OF MR. SCHULTZ, WHOSE CASE WE DID REFER TO CONGRESS PURSUANT TO THE MERITORIOUS CLAIMS ACT, WE DECLINE TO REFER MR. PERRIN'S CASE TO CONGRESS PURSUANT TO THAT ACT.

THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, IN A LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 20, 1978, NOTIFIED MR. PERRIN OF HIS SELECTION FOR A TRANSFER-CAREER APPOINTMENT TO THE POSITION OF REALTY SPECIALIST WITH THE ADMINISTRATION IN DENVER, COLORADO. THIS WAS A TRANSFER FROM THE UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE, TAMPA, FLORIDA, FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND THE LETTER STATED THAT COST OF TRANSPORTATION AND MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WOULD BE BORNE BY THE ADMINISTRATION. AFTER THE TRANSFER AND AFTER PART OF THE TRAVEL AND RELOCATION EXPENSES WERE PAID, THE ADMINISTRATION RECEIVED OUR DECISION OF DECEMBER 4, 1978, MATTER OF POSTAL SERVICE EMPLOYEES, 58 COMP.GEN. 132 (1978), WHICH HELD THAT AN EMPLOYEE WHO TRANSFERS FROM THE POSTAL SERVICE TO AN EXECUTIVE AGENCY IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND RELOCATION EXPENSES. THEREFORE, THE ADMINISTRATION INITIATED COLLECTION ACTION FOR THE EXPENSES ALREADY PAID AND DENIED FURTHER CLAIMS FROM MR. PERRIN FOR THE REST OF HIS TRANSPORTATION AND RELOCATION EXPENSES.

THE ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR MENTIONS A LATER EXAMPLE OF A POSTAL SERVICE EMPLOYEE, JAMES A. SCHULTZ, WHO TRANSFERRED TO AN EXECUTIVE AGENCY. HELD, ON THE BASIS OF 58 COMP.GEN. 132 (1978), THAT MR. SCHULTZ WAS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR THE USUAL TRANSPORTATION AND RELOCATION EXPENSES OF A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE, THAT THOSE EXPENSES WHICH HAD BEEN PAID BY THE AGENCY MUST BE RECOVERED, AND THAT THEY COULD NOT BE WAIVED UNDER 5 U.S.C. SEC. 5584 (1976). SEE MATTER OF SCHULTZ, 59 COMP.GEN. 28 (1979). HOWEVER, AS YOU POINT OUT, WE SUBSEQUENTLY REFERRED MR. SCHULTZ'S CASE TO THE CONGRESS PURSUANT TO THE MERITORIOUS CLAIMS ACT " *** IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE SPECIFIC EQUITABLE CIRCUMSTANCES GIVING RISE TO THE CREATION OF MR. SCHULTZ'S DEBT ARE OF AN UNUSUAL NATURE AND ARE UNLIKELY TO CONSTITUTE A RECURRING PROBLEM." THE CONGRESS ENACTED PRIVATE LAW 96-115, 94 STAT. 3634, APPROVED DECEMBER 22, 1980, GRANTING RELIEF TO MR. SCHULTZ.

EVEN THOUGH WE AGREE THAT MR. PERRIN'S SITUATION IS SIMILAR TO MR. SCHULTZ'S, WE DO NOT NOW BELIEVE THAT THIS SITUATION IS "OF AN UNUSUAL NATURE" TO THE DEGREE THAT IT APPEARED TO BE WHEN WE REFERRED MR. SCHULTZ'S CASE TO THE CONGRESS IN FEBRUARY 1980. WE HAVE SINCE BECOME AWARE THAT THERE ARE NUMEROUS SIMILAR CASES. SINCE WE REFER TO CONGRESS UNDER THE MERITORIOUS CLAIMS ACT ONLY THOSE CASES WHICH INVOLVE UNIQUE OR VERY UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES AND WHICH ARE UNLIKELY TO CONSTITUTE A RECURRING PROBLEM, WE DO NOT NOW FIND IT APPROPRIATE TO REFER MR. PERRIN'S CASE UNDER THAT ACT. HOWEVER, SEVERAL OF THE CASES INVOLVING EMPLOYEES WHO TRANSFERRED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, SIMILAR TO THE SCHULTZ CASE, WERE AGGREGATED BY THAT DEPARTMENT INTO PROPOSED PRIVATE RELIEF LEGISLATION THAT WAS SUBMITTED FOR APPROVAL TO THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET. IN RESPONDING TO A REQUEST FOR COMMENTS ON THAT PROPOSED LEGISLATION, WE DID SUGGEST THAT IN VIEW OF THE NUMEROUS SIMILAR CASES WHICH HAVE COME TO LIGHT, GENERAL LEGISLATION MAY BE MORE APPROPRIATE. HOWEVER, WE STATED THAT WE HAD NO OBJECTION TO THE PROPOSED PRIVATE RELIEF LEGISLATION IN VIEW OF OUR ACTION IN THE SCHULTZ CASE. FOR THE SAME REASON WE WOULD HAVE NO OBJECTION SHOULD THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION PROPOSE PRIVATE RELIEF LEGISLATION FOR MR. PERRIN.

WE APPRECIATE YOUR CONCERN FOR MR. PERRIN'S SITUATION; HOWEVER, AS IS INDICATED ABOVE, WE DO NOT NOW FIND HIS CASE APPROPRIATE FOR US TO SUBMIT TO THE CONGRESS.

WE HAVE BEEN INFORMALLY ADVISED THAT THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET HAS CLEARED THE PRIVATE RELIEF LEGISLATION PROPOSED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND THAT IT HAS NO OBJECTION TO ITS INCLUSION IN THE PRESIDENT'S LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM. YOU MAY WISH TO COORDINATE WITH THAT OFFICE IF YOU DECIDE THAT PRIVATE RELIEF LEGISLATION FOR MR. PERRIN IS APPROPRIATE.