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Office of the General Counsel

In Reply Refer To: Your Reference:

Date: June 24, 1998
Matter of: [xxx]
File Number: 98001597

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 Court.

Control Panel