B-203750(2), AUG 7, 1981

B-203750(2): Aug 7, 1981

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DIGEST: WHERE EMPLOYEE OF POSTAL SERVICE TRANSFERS TO EXECUTIVE AGENCY AND IS REIMBURSED FOR TRAVEL. RELOCATION EXPENSES TO WHICH HE IS NOT ENTITLED SINCE POSTAL SERVICE IS NOT AN EXECUTIVE AGENCY. REDMOND: THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 24. YOU POINT OUT THAT WE MADE SUCH RECOMMENDATION IN A CASE WHICH WAS SIMILAR TO YOURS. AN EMPLOYEE WHO TRANSFERS FROM THE POSTAL SERVICE TO AN EXECUTIVE AGENCY IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF RELOCATION EXPENSES. YOU ARE INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES FOR ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS MADE TO YOU AND WE ARE NOT AWARE OF ANY EXISTING AUTHORITY WHICH WOULD RELIEVE YOU FROM REPAYMENT. WE HAVE. OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET THAT WE HAVE NO OBJECTION TO THE PROPOSED PRIVATE RELIEF LEGISLATION PREPARED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

B-203750(2), AUG 7, 1981

DIGEST: WHERE EMPLOYEE OF POSTAL SERVICE TRANSFERS TO EXECUTIVE AGENCY AND IS REIMBURSED FOR TRAVEL, TRANSPORTATION, AND RELOCATION EXPENSES TO WHICH HE IS NOT ENTITLED SINCE POSTAL SERVICE IS NOT AN EXECUTIVE AGENCY, GAO HAS NO OBJECTION TO PROPOSED PRIVATE LEGISLATION RELIEVING HIM OF DEBT RESULTING FROM NON-ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT, SINCE SIMILAR CASE DECIDED EARLIER RESULTED IN GAO RECOMMENDING TO CONGRESS UNDER THE MERITORIOUS CLAIMS ACT, 31 U.S.C. 236, RELIEF OF THE DEBT INCURRED BY THE EMPLOYEE INVOLVED.

MR. ROY A. REDMOND:

THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 24, 1981, IN WHICH YOU REQUEST THAT THIS OFFICE SUBMIT TO THE CONGRESS UNDER THE MERITORIOUS CLAIMS ACT, 31 U.S.C. 236, FOR ITS CONSIDERATION A RECOMMENDATION TO RELIEVE YOU OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES. YOU POINT OUT THAT WE MADE SUCH RECOMMENDATION IN A CASE WHICH WAS SIMILAR TO YOURS.

YOUR DEBT TO THE UNITED STATES AROSE AS THE RESULT OF THE PAYMENT TO YOU OF TRAVEL, TRANSPORTATION AND RELOCATION EXPENSES INCIDENT TO YOUR TRANSFER FROM THE UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR. AN EMPLOYEE WHO TRANSFERS FROM THE POSTAL SERVICE TO AN EXECUTIVE AGENCY IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF RELOCATION EXPENSES. SEE MATTER OF JAMES G. SCHULTZ, 59 COMP.GEN. 28 (1979); MATTER OF POSTAL SERVICE EMPLOYEES 58 COMP.GEN. 132 (1978). FURTHERMORE, THE FACT THAT AN EMPLOYEE ACTS IN GOOD FAITH AND RELIES ON ERRONEOUS INFORMATION PROVIDED BY GOVERNMENT AGENTS DOES NOT ESTOP THE GOVERNMENT FROM COLLECTION OF SUCH DEBT. SEE MATTER OF JOSEPH PRADARITS, 56 COMP.GEN. 131 (1976).

THUS, YOU ARE INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES FOR ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS MADE TO YOU AND WE ARE NOT AWARE OF ANY EXISTING AUTHORITY WHICH WOULD RELIEVE YOU FROM REPAYMENT.

WE HAVE, HOWEVER, BY LETTER B-203750 OF TODAY INFORMED THE DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET THAT WE HAVE NO OBJECTION TO THE PROPOSED PRIVATE RELIEF LEGISLATION PREPARED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR. IN VIEW OF THIS, THERE DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE ANY NECESSITY FOR US TO CONSIDER YOUR CASE UNDER THE MERITORIOUS CLAIMS ACT.