Travel and Relocation Payment Appeals

Section 11: Chapter 3

The Civilian Board of Contract Appeals has authority to resolve questions involving payment of claims for reimbursement of expenses that federal employees incurred while on official temporary duty travel and claims for reimbursement of expenses incurred in connection with relocation to a new duty station. 

Any claim for entitlement to travel or relocation expenses must first be filed with the claimant’s own department or agency. The agency will 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 disbursing or certifying official of an agency, or the head of an agency, may request from the Board a decision on a question involving a payment the disbursing official or head of agency will make, or a voucher presented to a certifying official for certification, which concerns a claim for reimbursement of travel or relocation expenses.) 

A claim must 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, state the amount sought and should include: 

• the name, address, telephone number, and fax number, if available, of the claimant; 

• the name, address, telephone number, and fax number, if available, of the agency employee who denied the claim; 

• a copy of the denial of the claim; and 

• any other information which the claimant believes the Board should consider. 

The Board is located at 1800 M Street, N.W., 6th Floor, Washington, DC 20036, phone (202) 606-8800; its mailing address is 1800 F St. N.W., Washington, DC 20405. Claims may be mailed to the F Street address, delivered in person, by courier or overnight delivery to the M Street location, faxed to (202) 606-0019, or emailed to cbca.efile@cbca.gov (additional requirements for electronic filing are at https://cbca.gov/howto/efiling.html).

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 official submitting a request for a decision must send to the affected employee copies of all material provided to the Board. Generally, a claim by a federal civilian employee for travel or relocation expenses must be filed within six years after the claim accrues. An employee filing a claim must provide the agency deciding official with a copy of the request and the agency then makes a response. The employee may then file a reply to the agency’s response. To expedite proceedings, if the employee does not wish to reply, the employee should notify the Board and the agency. The agency or the affected employee may request additional time to make any filing. Also see https://cbca.gov/howto/filing.html.

The judge may hold a conference with the agency and the affected employee, at any time, for any purpose. The judge may provide the participants a memorandum reflecting the results of a conference and 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 agency and the affected employee, and information provided during conferences. The agency and the affected employee will each be furnished a copy of the decision by the Office of the Clerk of the Board. In addition, Board decisions are posted on https://cbca.gov.

A request for reconsideration may be made by the agency or the affected employee. Such requests generally must be received by the Board within 30 calendar days after the date the decision was issued. 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 Board also offers several types of voluntary alternative dispute resolution; if that fails to resolve the dispute completely, the appeal generally will be returned to the appropriate judge for adjudication. The agency must pay amounts the Board determines are due to a claimant.

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