B-236290, Sep 28, 1989

B-236290: Sep 28, 1989

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CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - Relocation - Residence transaction expenses - Litigation expenses - Attorney fees - Reimbursement DIGEST: This summary letter decision addresses well established rules which have been discussed in previous Comptroller General decisions. Was reimbursed for legal fees incurred incident to the purchase of another residence at his new duty station. Incurred by an employee incident to a transfer of official duty station is found in 5 U.S.C. The intent of the provisions of the FTR relating to the reimbursement of real estate expenses is to reimburse authorized expenses incident to one sale and one purchase. We have consistently held that the costs associated with incomplete contracts are duplicative and are analogous to losses due to market conditions which are not reimbursable.

B-236290, Sep 28, 1989

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - Relocation - Residence transaction expenses - Litigation expenses - Attorney fees - Reimbursement DIGEST: This summary letter decision addresses well established rules which have been discussed in previous Comptroller General decisions. To locate substantive decisions addressing this issue, refer to decisions indexed under the above listed index entry.

William W. Buisch:

This responds to a request for an advance decision from the Department of Agriculture concerning a claim for attorney fees paid by an employee in connection with an unsuccessful attempt to purchase a residence at his new permanent duty station. /1/ The agency denied the claim because the employee, Mr. William W. Buisch, was reimbursed for legal fees incurred incident to the purchase of another residence at his new duty station.

The authority for reimbursement of real estate expenses, including legal fees, incurred by an employee incident to a transfer of official duty station is found in 5 U.S.C. Sec. 5724a (1982) and implementing regulations in the Federal Travel Regulations, Para. 26.1 (Supp. 4, Aug. 23, 1982), incorp. by ref., 41 C.F.R. Sec. 1017.003 (1988). The intent of the provisions of the FTR relating to the reimbursement of real estate expenses is to reimburse authorized expenses incident to one sale and one purchase. We have consistently held that the costs associated with incomplete contracts are duplicative and are analogous to losses due to market conditions which are not reimbursable. George W. Lay, 56 Comp.Gen. 561, 566 (1977); Donovan H. Williams, B-200744, Sept. 18, 1981; Robert A. Benson, B-184869, Sept. 21, 1976. Accordingly, Mr. Buisch's claim may not be certified for payment.

/1/ The request was submitted by W.D. Moorman, an authorized certifying officer of the Office of Finance and Management, National Finance Center.