[Appeal of Denial of Claim for Reimbursement of Real Estate Expenses]

B-219222: Dec 20, 1985

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An employee of the South Dakota Air National Guard appealed the Claims Group's settlement which denied his claim for reimbursement of the real estate expenses incurred in the sale of his residence incident to a change in official duty station. The employee claimed that the failure to sell his residence within the specified time limitation, including a granted extension, was caused by the litigation which resulted from the failure of the buyers to complete the purchase of the property and was beyond his control. GAO has held that: (1) if settlement does not take place within a 2-year period, real estate expenses incurred may not be reimbursed; and (2) cited regulations have the force and effect of law and may not be waived or modified. GAO found that the residence was not sold until over 5 months after the 3-year entitlement period ended; therefore, there was no legal basis to allow the claim. Accordingly, the Claims Group's settlement was affirmed.

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