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A National Weather Service employee appealed a Claims Group decision denying him reimbursement for expenses incurred when he sold his residence in anticipation of a transfer to a new duty station. The employee claimed that he was advised by agency officials that it was likely he would be selected for a position at a different duty station. He promptly sold his residence before he received official notice of his transfer. The Claims Group denied his claim for reimbursement of real estate expenses incurred in the sale of his residence since it no longer belonged to him at the time that he was officially informed of his transfer. Although Federal Travel Regulations allow reimbursements to transferred employees for real estate expenses, they require that the dwelling be the employee's residence at the time of official notification of his transfer. GAO has held that, if an employee incurs relocation expenses prior to and in anticipation of a transfer, expenses may be reimbursed only if the travel order authorizes them. While it appeared that agency officials were optimistic about the prospects for a transfer, no definite commitments were made until the employee was officially selected. Accordingly, GAO sustained the denial of his claim for reimbursement.

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