(a) Authority. These procedures govern the Board's resolution of claims by federal civilian employees for certain travel or relocation expenses that were formerly settled by the Comptroller General under 31 U.S.C. 3702. Section 201(n)(3) of the General Accounting Office Act of 1996, Pub. L. 104-316, transfers the authority to resolve these claims to the Administrator of General Services, who has redelegated that function to the General Services Administration Board of Contract Appeals. The requirements contained in 31 U.S.C. 3702, including limitations on the time within which claims may be filed, apply to the Board's review of these claims.
(b) Types of claims. These procedures are applicable to the review of two types of claims made against the United States by federal civilian employees:
(1) claims for reimbursement of expenses incurred while on official temporary duty travel; and
(2) claims for reimbursement of expenses incurred in connection with relocation to a new duty station.
(c) Review of claims. Any claim for entitlement to travel or relocation expenses must first be filed with the claimant's own department or agency (the agency). The agency shall initially adjudicate the claim. A claimant disagreeing with the agency's determination may request review of the claim by the Board. The burden is on the claimant to establish the timeliness of the claim, the liability of the agency, and the claimant's right to payment. The Board will issue the final decision on a claim based on the information submitted by the claimant and the agency.
(a) Filing claims. A claim may be sent to the Board in either of the following ways:
(1) Claim filed by claimant. A claim shall be in writing and must be signed by the claimant or by the claimant's attorney or authorized representative. No particular form is required. The request should describe the basis for the claim and state the amount sought. The request should also include:
(i) the name, address, telephone number, and facsimile machine number, if available, of the claimant;
(ii) the name, address, telephone number, and facsimile machine number, if available, of the agency employee who denied the claim;
(iii) a copy of the denial of the claim; and
(iv) any other information which the claimant believes the Board should consider.
(2) Claim forwarded by agency on behalf of claimant. If an agency has denied a claim for travel or relocation expenses, it may, at the claimant's request, forward the claim to the Board. The agency shall include the information required by paragraph (1) of this rule and by Rule 403.
(3) Where claims are filed. A claim should be sent to the Board at the following address: Office of the Clerk of the Board, Room 7022, General Services Administration Building, 1800 F Street, NW, Washington, DC 20405. The Clerk's telephone number is: (202) 501-0116. The Clerk's facsimile machine number is: (202) 501-0664. The Board's working hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Eastern Time, on each day other than a Saturday, Sunday, or federal holiday.
(b) Notice of docketing. A request for review will be docketed by the Office of the Clerk of the Board. A written notice of docketing will be sent promptly to the claimant and the agency contact. The notice of docketing will identify the judge to whom the claim has been assigned.
(c) Service of copy. The claimant shall send to the agency employee identified in subparagraph (a)(1)(ii) of this rule, or the individual otherwise identified by the agency to handle the claim, copies of all material provided to the Board. If an agency forwards a claim to the Board, it shall, at the same time, send to the claimant a copy of all material sent to the Board. All submissions to the Board shall indicate that a copy has been provided to the claimant or the agency.
(a) Content of response. When a claim has been filed with the Board by a claimant, within 30 calendar days after docketing by the Board (or within 60 calendar days after docketing, if the agency office involved is located outside the 50 states and the District of Columbia), the agency shall submit to the Board:
(1) a simple, concise, and direct statement of its response to the claim;
(2) citations to applicable statutes, regulations, and cases; and
(3) any additional information the agency considers necessary to the Board's review of the claim.
(b) Service of copy. A copy of these submissions shall also be sent to the claimant. To expedite proceedings, if the agency believes its reasons for denying the claim were sufficiently explained in the material filed by the claimant, it should notify the Board and the claimant that it does not intend to file a response.
A claimant may file a reply to the agency response within 30 calendar days after receiving the response (or within 60 calendar days after receiving the response, if the claimant is located outside the 50 states and the District of Columbia). If the claim has been forwarded by the agency, the claimant shall have 30 calendar days from the time the claim is docketed by the Board (or 60 calendar days after docketing, if the claimant is located outside the 50 states and the District of Columbia) to reply. To expedite proceedings, if the claimant does not wish to reply, the claimant should so notify the Board and the agency.
(a) Requests for additional time. The claimant or the agency may request additional time to make any filing.
(b) Conferences. The judge will not engage in ex parte communications involving the underlying facts or merits of the claim. The judge may hold a conference with the claimant and the agency contact, at any time, for any purpose. The judge may provide the participants a memorandum reflecting the results of a conference.
(c) Additional submissions. The judge may require the submission of additional information at any time.
The judge will issue a written decision based upon the record, which includes submissions by the claimant and the agency, and information provided during conferences. The claimant and the agency will each be furnished a copy of the decision by the Office of the Clerk of the Board. In addition, all Board decisions are posted weekly on the Internet. The Board's Internet address is: www.gsbca.gsa.gov.
A request for reconsideration may be made by the claimant or the agency. Such requests must be received by the Board within 30 calendar days after the date the decision was issued (or within 60 calendar days after the date the decision was issued, if the claimant or the agency office making the request is located outside the 50 states and the District of Columbia). The request for reconsideration should state the reasons why the Board should consider the request. Mere disagreement with a decision or re- argument of points already made is not a sufficient ground for seeking reconsideration.
The agency shall pay amounts the Board determines are due the claimant.