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OPM Contact: Jo-Ann Chabot
The claimant, an employee of the [agency] is stationed overseas. His claim is for reimbursement of the costs that he incurred when he breached his rent and moving company contracts. The claimant also is seeking reimbursement for the finance charges that resulted when he obtained a loan to pay for settling the breach of contract claim that his landlord filed against him. The claimant states that these costs resulted from erroneous information, based on a superseded regulation, that his local human resources office provided concerning his eligibility for a living quarters allowance (LQA) and that he relied to his detriment on the information. The claimant further reports that he is filing an LQA claim with his employing agency.
According to 31 U.S.C. 3702(a)(2), OPM's authority to settle claims extends only to claims for compensation and leave filed by, or on behalf of, federal civilian employees or former federal employees regarding compensation and leave matters that arose during their employment. The scope of OPM's authority under section 3702(a)(2) does not extend to considering or deciding claims for monetary damages for property loss, e.g. financial assets, or to awarding monetary damages on the basis of such claims. Matter of John W. Breedlove, B-199606 (March 9, 1981) (No jurisdiction over claims sounding in tort); Matter of Betty L. Scavella, B-170195 (August 19, 1970) (No jurisdiction over claims for damages under the Military Personnel Claims Act, 10 USC 2733). Accordingly, OPM does not have jurisdiction to consider, or settle, this claim.
This settlement is final. No further administrative review is available within the Office of Personnel Management. Nothing in this settlement limits the claimant's right to bring an action in an appropriate United States Court.