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The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) requested a decision on whether it had the authority to reimburse an employee for attorney fees and related expenses, photocopying costs, and interest charges on a loan to pay attorney's fees she incurred after she successfully contested an annual performance rating. GAO held that: (1) USCG should determine whether unjustified or unwarranted personnel actions affected the employee's rating and an award of attorney fees was in the interest of justice; (2) the employee was not entitled to reimbursement for her attorney's photocopying costs, since such costs were excluded from the attorney fees; and (3) the employee was not entitled to reimbursement for the interest charges on her loan, since there was no authorization for such a payment. Accordingly, claim was remanded in part and denied in part.


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