The Army requested an advance decision concerning a transferred employee's claim for reimbursement for attorney fees he incurred in: (1) renegotiating a residence purchase contract; and (2) preparing the instant claim. The Army advised that the claimant, upon learning of a possible transfer, renegotiated the contract, which legally obligated him to purchase a residence at his old duty station, to include an option to terminate the contract without losing his deposit. GAO held that the Army: (1) should not reimburse the claimant's attorney fees for contract renegotiation as a real estate expense, since the claimant did not acquire an interest in the property; and (2) could reimburse the fees as a miscellaneous expense, if it determined that it expressed an administrative intent to offer the claimant the transfer before he incurred the expenses. GAO also held that no statutory authority allowed reimbursement for the legal fees the claimant incurred in pursuing the claim. Accordingly, the claim was denied.
Skip to Highlights