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Pay & Leave Claim Decisions

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Office of the General Counsel

Date: January 13, 1999
Matter of: [xxx]
File Number: S9700909

OPM Contact: Murray M. Meeker

The claimant seeks an initial travel agreement, a living quarters allowance (LQA), and a tropical differential in connection with her former employment in the [xxx]. Initially, we note that the General Services Administration, and not the Office of Personnel Management, has jurisdiction to settle claims for transportation benefits. Accordingly, we decline to review that claim. For the reasons discussed herein, the LQA and tropical differential claims are denied.

As reported by the [xxx] in 1978, the claimant was locally hired for a position at the [xxx] in [xxx]. In 1979, the claimant married a civilian employee at [xxx]. In 1981, the claimant was reassigned from the [xxx] to the [xxx] Intern Program and subsequently accepted a position at [xxx]. On February 1, 1985, the claimant resigned from her position at [xxx], and on September 16, 1985, the claimant was appointed to a position at the [xxx] in [xxx].

An LQA may only be granted to an employee who has been recruited within the United States. Department of Defense (DoD) Instruction 1400.30. See Costas Mountanos, B-189463, November 23, 1977; Frederick L. Neylor, B-173424, September 2, 1971. Only employees who have been recruited outside the [xxx] are eligible for the [xxx] Area tropical differential. 35 C.F.R. 251.32. See Albert J. Joyce, Jr., B-208715, August 16, 1983. Because the claimant initially was locally hired in her first position, she does not meet the requirements for either the LQA or the tropical differential.

Accordingly, the claim is denied. This settlement is final. No further administrative review is available within OPM. Nothing in this settlement limits the employee's right to bring an action in an appropriate United States Court.

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