[Question Concerning Inability To Sell Residence at Old Duty Station]

B-219263: Sep 17, 1985

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The Bureau of Prisons requested a decision as to whether an employee is entitled to have his old duty station residence purchased by the government. GAO noted that: (1) the employee had been unable to sell his residence for a period of 3 years due to a depressed real estate market; and (2) the employee had been granted two extensions to allow him time to sell his residence. The claimant argued that it is proper for the government to purchase his residence because: (1) he did not apply for his current position but was reassigned to it by the agency; (2) the extension granted to sell his residence was still in effect; and (3) the agency has the authority to provide relocation services to employees. GAO found that: (1) the appropriate statute provides that each agency is authorized to enter into contracts to provide services, including arranging for the purchase of a transferred employee's residence; (2) Federal Travel Regulations prohibit the purchase of an employee's residence by the government; (3) the statute in question only applies to employees whose effective date of transfer is on or after November 1983; and (4) the statute and regulations are not applicable to the claim since the employee transferred in November 1981. Accordingly, the claim may not be granted.