Request for Reimbursement for Purchasing Residence

B-195563: Apr 7, 1980

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A Federal employee claimed reimbursement for residence purchase expenses incident to his transfer to Guam. The employee's travel order showed that he claimant was authorized residence transaction expenses. The issue was whether the employee was making a permanent transfer. GAO has held that employees stationed in a foreign country for 6 months are considered permanently stationed there. The fixing of the tenure of an appointment as either temporary or permanent is not synonymous with the fixing of a temporary or permanent duty station for the purpose of reimbursing an employee's travel expenses. The claimant's travel orders and the personnel action stated that the nature of the action taken was a change in duty station. It was clear that a transfer of permanent duty was effected within the meaning of the statute. Accordingly, the employee was eligible for residence purchase expenses.