Matter of: James R. Adams File: B-252629 Date: August 17, 1993

B-252629: Aug 17, 1993

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CIVILIAN PERSONNEL Relocation Miscellaneous expenses Reimbursement Eligibility Employee was transferred from Connecticut to Louisiana in the interest of the government. There is no provision in the Federal Travel Regulation which authorizes reimbursement for the purchase of a conveyance. Since no rental trailers were available and the employee's actions saved the government approximately $1. Was transferred in the interest of the government. The cost estimates provided by the General Services Administration were $1. 479.01 was too much expense to incur for the small amount of his household goods. (Labor Day was Monday. Since there were no trailers available for rent. Is unsure whether the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR).

Matter of: James R. Adams File: B-252629 Date: August 17, 1993

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL Relocation Miscellaneous expenses Reimbursement Eligibility Employee was transferred from Connecticut to Louisiana in the interest of the government. Due to small amount of household goods, nonavailability of trailers for rent, and significant cost savings to the government, the employee purchased a trailer kit and miscellaneous supplies, constructed a trailer, and moved himself. There is no provision in the Federal Travel Regulation which authorizes reimbursement for the purchase of a conveyance, such as a truck or trailer, as part of the relocation expenses of a civilian federal employee. Thus we deny the employee's claim for purchase of a trailer kit and miscellaneous supplies in connection therewith.

DECISION The Department of Agriculture asks whether an employee may be reimbursed in the amount of $354.43 for the cost of a self-constructed trailer, as part of his relocation expenses, since no rental trailers were available and the employee's actions saved the government approximately $1,124.[1] For the following reasons, the employee's claim may not be paid.

Mr. James R. Adams, an employee of the Farmers Home Administration, Department of Agriculture, was transferred in the interest of the government, from East Windsor, Connecticut, to Alexandria, Louisiana, by a travel authorization, dated September 3, 1992. The cost estimates provided by the General Services Administration were $1,479.01 by the actual expense (GBL) method and $2,170.60 by the commuted rate method. The Department of Agriculture authorized Mr. Adams to move under the actual expense method.

Mr. Adams felt that even the low cost estimate of $1,479.01 was too much expense to incur for the small amount of his household goods, and so he attempted to rent a trailer, intending to move over the Labor Day weekend in 1992. (Labor Day was Monday, September 7, 1992.) However, since there were no trailers available for rent, he decided to purchase a trailer kit and miscellaneous supplies, which cost $354.43, and to move his household goods himself. He did this and thus saved the government approximately $1,124. He now seeks reimbursement of $354.43, the cost of his trailer kit and miscellaneous supplies. The Department of Agriculture disallowed reimbursement, but supports Mr. Adams's claim as advantageous to the government, but is unsure whether the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR),[2] permits reimbursement for such expenses.[3]

Unfortunately, in the instant case, there is no provision in the FTR which authorizes reimbursement for the purchase of a conveyance, such as a truck or a trailer, as part of the relocation expenses of a civilian federal employee.[4] See Dale Conn, B-229259, July 25, 1988. Thus, there is no legal basis upon which the claim may be paid.

Accordingly, Mr. Adams's claim is denied.

1. This request was submitted by Ms. Susan C. Lauga, Authorized Certifying Officer, National Finance Center, Department of Agriculture, New Orleans, Louisiana.

2. 41 C.F.R. Parts 301-1 to 304-2 (1992).

3. We note that the Department of Agriculture's submission correctly observes that since Mr. Adams's self-constructed trailer is a newly acquired item under 41 C.F.R. Sec. 302-3.1(c)(5) (1992), it is a type of cost which cannot be covered under the allowance for miscellaneous expenses. Also, the trailer could not be considered as professional equipment under 41 C.F.R. Part 302-8 (1992).

4. We note that the FTR does have reimbursement provisions for the hire of a special conveyance, and for incidental charges connected therewith, 41 C.F.R. Secs. 301-3.2(a) and (b) (1992), but those provisions are not applicable here.