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B-167193, DEC. 15, 1969

OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES--TRANSFERS--RELOCATION EXPENSES--TRANSPORTATION FOR HOUSE HUNTING--TIME LIMITATION ALTHOUGH BUREAU OF BUDGET CIR. NO. A-56 PROVIDES FOR ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION IN AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES OF HOUSE-HUNTING TRIP INCIDENT TO PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, AUTHORIZED PERIOD OF TRAVEL UNDER SEC. 2.4B IS LIMITED TO 6 CALENDAR DAYS AND NO BASIS IS FOUND FOR EXCLUDING "TRAVEL TIME FROM 6-DAY LIMITATION." SINCE REGULATIONS WERE PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO STATUTORY AUTHORITY AND MUST BE VIEWED AS STATUTORY REGULATIONS WHICH HAVE FORCE AND EFFECT OF STATUTE ITSELF, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR GAO TO EXTEND OR INCREASE TIME LIMIT SPECIFIED IN REGULATIONS FOR HOUSE-HUNTING TRIP.

TO MR. RAYMOND L. MILOT:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 15, 1969, WHEREIN YOU REQUEST THAT YOU BE ALLOWED 10-1/2 DAYS FOR A HOUSE HUNTING TRIP INCIDENT TO A TRANSFER OF STATION INSTEAD OF THE 6 DAYS ALLOWED.

INITIALLY, IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THE AUTOMOBILE TRAVEL FOR HOUSE HUNTING CANNOT PROPERLY BE CONSIDERED AS INCLUDED IN THE SUBSEQUENT TRAVEL FOR CHANGE OF STATION AS SUGGESTED BY YOU.

YOU SAY THAT BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966, WAS ISSUED AS A GUIDE TO AGENCIES AND THE 6-DAY PERIOD IS NOT A RIGID LIMITATION.

THE AUTHORITY TO REIMBURSE AN EMPLOYEE FOR A HOUSE HUNTING TRIP INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION IS CONTAINED IN SECTION 2 OF PUBLIC LAW 89-516, APPROVED JULY 21, 1966, WHICH ADDED SECTION 23 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946. SECTION 23 (2) OF THAT ACT AS NOW CODIFIED IN 5 U.S.C. 5724A PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"/A) UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE PRESIDENT MAY PRESCRIBE AND TO THE EXTENT CONSIDERED NECESSARY AND APPROPRIATE, AS PROVIDED THEREIN, APPROPRIATIONS OR OTHER FUNDS AVAILABLE TO AN AGENCY FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF ALL OR PART OF THE FOLLOWING EXPENSES OF AN EMPLOYEE FOR WHOM THE GOVERNMENT PAYS EXPENSES OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION UNDER SECTION 5724 (A) OF THIS TITLE:

"/2) * * * EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION TO SEEK PERMANENT RESIDENCE QUARTERS AT A NEW OFFICIAL STATION WHEN BOTH THE OLD AND NEW STATIONS ARE LOCATED WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. HOWEVER, EXPENSES UNDER THIS PARAGRAPH MAY BE ALLOWED ONLY FOR ONE ROUND TRIP IN CONNECTION WITH EACH CHANGE OF STATION OF THE EMPLOYEE.'

THE AUTHORITY TO REGULATE CONTAINED IN THE PROVISIONS QUOTED ABOVE WAS DELEGATED BY THE PRESIDENT TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUDGET WHO UNDER SUCH DELEGATION PROMULGATED BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966. SECTION 2.4A OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 PROVIDES IN PART THAT PAYMENT OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF THE EMPLOYEE AND SPOUSE TRAVELING TOGETHER, OR EITHER ONE OF THEM, FOR ONE ROUND TRIP BETWEEN THE LOCALITIES OF THE OLD AND NEW DUTY STATIONS FOR THE PURPOSE OF SEEKING RESIDENCE QUARTERS MAY BE AUTHORIZED WHEN CIRCUMSTANCES WARRANT. HOWEVER, SECTION B OF SAID CIRCULAR PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"DURATION OF TRIP. THE ADVANCE TRIP SHOULD BE ALLOWED FOR A REASONABLE PERIOD OF TIME CONSIDERING DISTANCE BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW OFFICIAL STATIONS, MODE OF TRANSPORTATION TO BE USED, AND HOUSING SITUATION AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION LOCATION. IN NO CASE WILL THE PERIOD OF THE ADVANCE ROUND TRIP AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE BE ALLOWED IN EXCESS OF 6 CALENDAR DAYS, INCLUDING TRAVEL TIME. * * *"

UNDER THE ABOVE-CITED REGULATION THE AUTHORIZED PERIOD OF TRAVEL INCIDENT TO A HOUSE HUNTING TRIP IS LIMITED TO 6 CALENDAR DAYS. WE FIND NO BASIS FOR EXCLUDING "TRAVEL TIME" FROM THE 6-DAY LIMITATION. MOREOVER, THE REGULATIONS WERE PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO STATUTORY AUTHORITY AND MUST BE VIEWED AS STATUTORY REGULATIONS WHICH HAVE THE FORCE AND EFFECT OF THE STATUTE ITSELF. THUS, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR OUR OFFICE TO EXTEND OR INCREASE THE TIME LIMIT SPECIFIED IN THOSE REGULATIONS FOR A HOUSE HUNTING TRIP.

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