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In Reply Refer To: Your Reference:
OPM Contact: Joann Charleston
An employee of the [agency] requests that we review his claim
for the rental portion of his living quarters allowance (LQA). We
have completed our review of this claim and have determined that it
may not be allowed.
Under the applicable rules issued by the Department of State and
the Department of Defense, eligible civilian employees overseas may
receive as part of their annual living quarters allowance for rent
in an amount up to 10 percent of the original purchase price of a
residence. This allowance, however, may be paid only for 10 years.
An employee transferred to another duty station and who purchases a
new residence there may receive this allowance for another 10-year
period. A new 10-year period does not start, though, when an
employee purchases a new residence within the commuting distance of
the same post.
In this case, the claimant purchased a residence at his overseas
duty post and received the allowance described above for the
maximum 10-year period. Based on erroneous information from an
agency employee, the claimant purchased a new residence within
commuting distance of his duty post expecting to start another
10-year period in which to receive the living quarters allowance.
There is no dispute that under the applicable regulations, the
claimant is not entitled to continue to receive that portion of his
living quarters allowance.
While it is unfortunate that the employee may have been led to
believe that he would receive the rental portion of the LQA, his
rights are for determination on the basis of the facts in the
matter rather than on such erroneous information. In the absence of
specific statutory authority, the United States is not liable
for the negligent or erroneous acts of its officers, employees,
or agents, even though committed in the performances of their
official duties. 44 Com. Gen. 337 (1964).
Accordingly, the claim is denied.
This settlement is final. No further administrative review is
available within OPM. Nothing in this settlement limits the
claimant's right to bring an action in an appropriate United States