[Views on H.R. 6761]

B-199549(BRP): Published: Sep 30, 1982. Publicly Released: Sep 30, 1982.

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GAO was asked for its views concerning proposed legislation which would permit Federal agencies to reimburse their employees for residence sale and purchase expenses upon transfer from an overseas post to a new duty station. At the present time, these expenses are not reimbursable. GAO feels that the statutory provision prohibiting such reimbursement is unduly harsh and impacts heavily, from a financial standpoint, on Federal employees who are recruited to perform overseas tours of duty and who, upon completion of their tours of duty, are reassigned to duty stations in the United States. Currently, Federal employees are reimbursed for such expenses when the employees' old and new duty stations are located within the United States, its territories or possessions, Puerto Rico, or the Canal Zone. GAO has objected to a practice used by Federal agencies to circumvent the regulations by assigning employees returning from overseas to their old duty stations for a short period of time before assigning them to their new permanent duty stations. GAO urged Congress to give favorable consideration to the proposed legislation as soon as possible. GAO believes that the amendments should be prospective only in effect. If, however, it is deemed advisable to make the amendments retroactive in effect, the selection of such a date would be arbitrary and might cause administrative problems and the cost thereof would be highly conjectural.

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