Claim for Relocation Expenses

B-199943: Aug 4, 1981

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An employee requested that an agency determination that his transfer was primarily for his convenience or benefit or at his request, thereby disqualifying him for relocation expenses, be overturned. The employee received a lateral transfer after applying for and being awarded a position that had been advertised in a vacancy announcement. The documents connected to this relocation stated that moving expenses were not authorized. The employee contended that his transfer was in the interest of the Government, and he requested reimbursement of relocation expenses from the agency. The request was denied since the agency felt that the move was primarily for the employee's convenience and not in the interest of the Government. The fact that a transfer resulted from a vacancy announcement is not sufficient grounds for GAO to overturn an agency determination that the transfer was primarily for the benefit of the employee. Since GAO found no basis for disturbing the agency's determination, the employee's claim for relocation expenses could not be allowed.