Fedweek Legal

Employees often get frustrated when dealing with agencies’ responses to requests for reimbursement of travel expenses. For some, the problem is inexplicable delays in approving requests for reimbursement or issuing payment. Other times, the problem is a disagreement over the appropriate amount of the reimbursement. Still other problems arise over whether the expense claimed is allowable at all. Disputes over reimbursement of travel expenses are more than just mere inconveniences. These disputes rob employees of pay–it is the employee who has laid out the expense out of his or her own pocket. Employees need not put up with agency indecision or denials of reimbursements without recourse.

The General Services Administration’s Board of Contract Appeals (GSBCA) hears and decides claims by federal employees for reimbursement of expenses incurred while on official temporary duty travel or in connection with relocation to a new duty station. The GSBCA’s procedures are relatively simple: First, you must file your claim with your employing agency. An employee disagreeing with the agency’s adjudication of the claim may then file with the GSBCA. The employee bears the burden of proving the timeliness of the claim to the agency and entitlement to payment. Make sure to include all supporting documentation, including receipts, and argument as to your entitlement to the reimbursement.

A claim to the GSBCA should include: the employee’s name, address and telephone/fax numbers; name, address and telephone/fax numbers of the individual who denied the claim; copy of the denial of the claim; and all information the GSBCA would need to consider the claim. Claims should be sent to: Office of the Clerk of the Board, Room 7022, General Services Administration, 1800 F Street, NW, Washington, DC 20405. A filing by fax can be sent to: 202-501-0664. Send a copy to the agency official named because the agency is entitled to file a response. After all the information is considered one of the GSBCA judges will issue a decision. Each side may request reconsideration. The final GSBCA decision is binding with no further appeals.

** This information is provided by the attorneys at Passman & Kaplan, P.C., a law firm dedicated to the representation of federal employees worldwide. For more information on Passman & Kaplan, P.C., go to http://www.passmanandkaplan.com. **