Matter of: Gary B. Sidder File: B-246940 Date: June 1, 1992

B-246940: Jun 1, 1992

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CIVILIAN PERSONNEL Relocation Residence transaction expenses Reimbursement Eligibility Overseas personnel Employee who was transferred to and from an overseas post of duty under the Foreign Service Act of 1980. Specifically exclude employees who are transferred under the Foreign Service Act of 1980. Decision This decision is in response to a request for a decision by Mr. The pertinent facts are as follows. Sidder was transferred from Menlo Park. The Act provides that employees 50 assigned are entitled to receive allowances and benefits under the Fore Service Act of 1980. He was transferred to Denver. To authorize reimbursement of expenses of the sale of an employee's residence from which he was transferred to the overseas post of duty.

Matter of: Gary B. Sidder File: B-246940 Date: June 1, 1992

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL Relocation Residence transaction expenses Reimbursement Eligibility Overseas personnel Employee who was transferred to and from an overseas post of duty under the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, 22 U.S.C. Sec. 3901 et seq. (1988), may not be reimbursed for real estate expenses incurred in sale of his former residence in California. The applicable statute and regulations, 5 U.S.C. Sec. 5724(g) (1988) and 41 C.F.R. Sec. 302-1.2(b) (1) (1992), specifically exclude employees who are transferred under the Foreign Service Act of 1980. See William J. Shampine, 63 Comp.Gen. 195 (1984); Charles R. Vincent, B-194741, Feb. 19, 1981.

Decision This decision is in response to a request for a decision by Mr. Roy J. Heinbuch, Finance and Accounting Officer, U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior, as to whether Mr. Gary B. Sidder, an employee of the agency, may be reimbursed for real estate expenses incurred in the sale of his former residence in California.

The pertinent facts are as follows. Mr. Sidder was transferred from Menlo Park, California, to Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela, in September 1987 to serve as a technical advisor to a Venezuelan government-owned mineral exploration company under the authority of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, 22 U.S.C. Sec. 2385(d) (1988). The Act provides that employees 50 assigned are entitled to receive allowances and benefits under the Fore Service Act of 1980, 22 U.S.C. Sec. 3901 et seq. (1988). While serving in Venezuela, Mr. Sidder remained an employee of the Geological Survey. Upon completion of that assignment, he was transferred to Denver, Colorado.

During his assignment in Venezuela, Public Law 100-202, Dec. 22, 1987, 101 Stat. 1329-430, as enacted by the Congress of the United States. The law amended 5 U.S.C. Sec. 5724a, effective February 20, 1988, to authorize reimbursement of expenses of the sale of an employee's residence from which he was transferred to the overseas post of duty, upon transfer from the overseas post to a different duty station in the United States.

Mr. Sidder was transferred from Venezuela to Denver, Colorado, in July 1989. His primary contention is that even though his transfer from Venezuela to Denver was covered by the Foreign Service Act of 1980, Public Law 100-202 permits reimbursement of his real estate sales transaction since, under that law, both duty stations are no longer required to be located within the United States.

In a long line of decisions, this Office has interpreted 5 U.S.C. Sec. 5724(g) (1988) and the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR), 41 C.F.R. Sec. 302-1.2(b) (1) (1992), to preclude reimbursement of relocation expenses under 5 U.S.C. chapter 57, including real estate expenses, to employees who are transferred overseas under the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended. [1] Under the statute and regulation, employees who are so transferred are specifically excluded from receiving relocation allowances under the FTR. The liberalizing provisions of Public Law 100- 202 have no effect upon the previously cited statutory and regulatory provisions.

Accordingly, since Mr. Sidder was transferred to and from his overseas post of duty under the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, he is not entitled to reimbursement of the expenses incurred in the sale of his residence in California.

1. See Dennis H. Shimkoski, 68 Comp.Gen. 692 (1989); William J. Shampine, 63 Comp.Gen. 195 (1984); Charles R. Vincent, B-194741, Feb. 19, 1981; Department of Agriculture B-186548, Feb. 28, 1977; B-177277, May 3, 1973; and Feb. 12, 1973; and B-163639, Mar. 7, 1968.