[Claim for Relocation Expenses]

B-209873: Jul 6, 1983

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The Department of Education requested an advance decision concerning an employee's reclaim for relocation expenses incurred incident to a permanent change of station. The employee had been separated from the Department of the Interior due to a reduction in force. The employee was then hired by Education and he relocated to a different area, although he had not been authorized reimbursement of relocation expenses. After the employee had relocated, it was determined that he was entitled to reimbursement for relocation expenses. The employee submitted a reclaim voucher after Education had disallowed or reduced most of his claims. In response to the employee's claims, GAO held that: (1) since the employee had been separated involuntarily by Interior and had been hired by Education within 1 year, he was entitled to usual relocation expenses; (2) Education properly denied the employee's claim for reimbursement for use of a second privately owned vehicle; (3) although relocation would have been less costly had the employee used a government bill of lading (GBL), Education failed to compute the GBL cost prior to the relocation which entitled the employee to actual relocation expenses; (4) the employee was not entitled to temporary subsistence expenses absent authorization by Education. Accordingly, the voucher was returned for action in accordance with this decision.