Relocation Benefits Passed

September 17, 1996

Relocation Benefits Passed

Federal employees will receive more benefits for job relocation under an amendment attached to the Defense authorization bill passed by the Senate, Federal Times reports this week. Employees of all agencies are covered under the amendment.

The new benefits include reimbursement for house-hunting trips, incentive fees to employees who want to sell their homes themselves, pay for property management services for employees who want to rent, rather then sell, their houses, and reimbursement for the cost of transporting a vehicle within the United States. In addition, employees will not have to obtain pre-approval for long distance calls that are listed on travel vouchers anyway.

The amendment, called the "Federal Employees Travel Reform Act," was introduced by Sen. William Cohen, R-Maine, after an interagency work group made recommendations based on a study of travel reimbursement in the private sector. Cohen's amendment did not include the work group's recommendation to provide job assistance for transferred employees' spouses or a proposal that would have required employees to use government-issued charge cards for travel expenses.

Rep. Steve Horn, R-Calif., said he will push to attach those recommendations to another bill later this month.

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