[Request for Reconsideration of VA Employees' Requests for Waiver of Debt for Excess Shipment Costs]

B-261483,B-265864.2: Aug 29, 1996

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Two Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employees requested reconsideration of their denied waivers of indebtedness for excess costs for shipping personal automobiles incident to their transfers to their first duty stations. GAO had held that it did not have the authority to waive the employees' debt, since the debt was not due to erroneous payments or travel orders. Upon reconsideration, GAO held that the employees: (1) reasonably relied upon the VA purchasing official's incorrect advice regarding shipment costs to their detriment; and (2) were entitled to waive that portion of their debt that exceeded what their costs would have been if they had used alternative and less expensive shipment methods. Accordingly, the waivers were partially granted.

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