[Authority To Grant Exceptions to Time Limit Applicable to Overseas Household Goods Shipment]

B-212278: Sep 2, 1983

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GAO was asked for a decision concerning the authority of the Committee on Exceptions to the Foreign Service Travel Regulations to grant exceptions to the time limits applicable to the shipment of Foreign Service officers' household effects after separation or death. In the case in question, the spouse of a Foreign Service officer who died while stationed in Washington, D.C., was entitled to transport her household effects to the place where her family was to reside. By regulation such transportation was required to take place within a maximum of 18 months after the officer's death. The widow requested that the time limit be extended beyond 2 years from the date of her husband's death so that she could settle the estate. GAO ruled that no authority exists for allowing the Committee on Exceptions to the Foreign Service Travel Regulations to grant exceptions to definite regulatory provisions on a case-by-case basis without such authority being contained in the regulatory provisions involved. Accordingly, GAO held that the Committee did not have the authority to extend the time limit for transportation of household goods beyond the 18-month period.

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