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CIVILIAN PERSONNEL Relocation Mobile homes Shipment Actual expenses Reimbursement A portable garage which is a separate building and not a part of an employee's mobile home may not be shipped at government expense incident to a relocation with her double-wide mobile home even though the employee considered garage to be a major part of her lifestyle in the mobile home and she had it wired for electricity and decorated to match the mobile home. That the documents you have enclosed with your request establish that the garage was not a part of Ms. Bernardini's mobile home but was a separate building purchased from a different manufacturer. The garage may be portable and may have been insulated.

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B-252774 March 29, 1994

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL Relocation Mobile homes Shipment Actual expenses Reimbursement A portable garage which is a separate building and not a part of an employee's mobile home may not be shipped at government expense incident to a relocation with her double-wide mobile home even though the employee considered garage to be a major part of her lifestyle in the mobile home and she had it wired for electricity and decorated to match the mobile home.

Ms. Sandra S. Williams Authorized Certifying Officer Office of Finance and Management National Finance Center P.O. Box 60,000 New Orleans, Louisiana 70160

Dear Ms. Williams:

This further replies to your March 16, 1993, request for an advance decision whether the garage of Mrs. Cynthia K. Bernardini, an employee of the Rural Development Administration, may be shipped at government expense incident to a transfer of station along with her double-wide mobile home. A General Services Administration official, citing a decision of our Office, has advised Ms. Bernardini that it does not qualify for transportation at government expense.

Ms. Bernardini argues that the total cost of moving her mobile home and her 12'x24' garage would not exceed the cost of moving a triple-wide mobile home. We note, however, that the documents you have enclosed with your request establish that the garage was not a part of Ms. Bernardini's mobile home but was a separate building purchased from a different manufacturer. Although, as Ms. Bernardini states, the garage may be portable and may have been insulated, wired for electricity, decorated to match the mobile home, and considered to be a major part of her lifestyle in the mobile home, it cannot be considered an integral part of the mobile home eligible for shipment at government expense.[1]

This point was decided in 44 Comp.Gen. 619 (1965), involving a "utility house," where it was held that such a building is an additional item to the mobile home, and only the shipment of the mobile home is authorized at government expense--to the exclusion of other items. This reasoning is applicable to the garage in this case, as it was also to the storage shed in the case referred to by the General Services Administration, B-184372, Sept. 12, 1975, in their letter to Ms. Bernardini concerning this matter. In addition, the cost of shipping such additional items, that cannot be transported in the mobile home, may not be reimbursed under the miscellaneous expense allowance authorized in part 302-3 of 41 C.F.R. (1993), the Federal Travel Regulation. See B-166247, Mar. 13, 1969; B-165919, Jan. 22, 1969. Accordingly, Ms. Bernardini's garage may not be shipped at government expense.

1. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. Sec. 5724(b), the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR), Part 302-7, provides the regulations governing allowances for transportation of an employee's mobile home. FTR, para. 302-1.4 defines a mobile home as "any type of house trailer or mobile dwelling constructed for use as a residence and designed to be moved overland."

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