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The FERC Relocation Process for New Appointees

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An 8-Step Overview of the Process for New Appointees

  1. The FERC is notified via email by your agency’s Human Resources (HR) or Program Office of a new Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move. The email shall include a PDF of the SF-50 and an Agreement to Remain in Government Service.
  2. The FERC sends a New Appointee Questionnaire to the employee (with a copy to HR/Program Office) to be completed and returned.
  3. The FERC will schedule a conference call with the employee to discuss entitlements and allowances according to the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) and your agency’s relocation policy.
  4. All official agency travel must be documented with a Travel Authorization (TA). The FERC will electronically create the employee official TA in preparation for your relocation. FERC will email the completed TA to your point of contact to be approved and signed by the approving official. Please note that FERC cannot continue the relocation process until the TA is approved and signed.
  5. After the TA is approved, FERC will coordinate the shipping and storage of the employee household goods, en-route travel, and other entitlements and authorized allowances. The employee should keep all their receipts for reimbursement.
  6. As the employee completes each portion of their move they will be reimbursed through FERC via travel voucher. The FERC will generate an electronic travel voucher and e-mail it to the agency for signatures.
  7. After the travel voucher is signed, the voucher and any accompanying receipts would then be sent back to the FERC for processing. You may e-mail the voucher and documentation or send it via postal mail to FERC.
  8. Once FERC receives the travel voucher, the reimbursement payment will be processed and paid.

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Frequent Questions about the Process

The following questions and answers apply to agencies who follow the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR):

Who is considered to be a new appointee?
A new appointee is:
  • An individual who is employed with the federal government for the very first time (including an individual who has performed transition activities under section 3 of the Presidential Transition Act of 1963 (3 U.S.C. 102 note), and is appointed in the same fiscal year as the Presidential inauguration);
  • An employee who is returning to the government after a break in service (except an employee separated as a result of reduction in force or transfer of functions and is re-employed within one year after such action); or
  • A student trainee assigned to the government upon completion of his/her college work.
What is my effective transfer or appointment date?

Your effective transfer or appointment date is the date on which you report for duty at your new or first official station.

As a new appointee what relocation expenses will my agency pay?

As a new or political appointee or student trainee being assigned to a first official station, there are mandatory and discretionary relocation expenses. Once your agency decides to pay or reimburse relocation expenses, all the mandatory allowances in Column 1 below must be paid or reimbursed. The discretionary relocation allowances in Column 2 may or may not be paid by your agency. 

Table A: Assigned to First Official Station in the Continental United States (CONUS)
Relocation entitlements that the agency MUST pay or reimburse  Relocation allowances that the agency HAS DISCRETIONARY AUTHORITY to pay or reimburse
  1. Transportation of employee and immediate family member(s)
  2. Per diem for employee only
  3. Transportation and temporary storage of household goods
  4. Extended storage of household goods. Transportation of a mobile home or boat used as a primary residence in lieu of the transportation of household goods.
  5. Transportation of a mobile home or boat used as a primary residence in lieu of the transportation of household goods (Part 302-10 of the FTR). 
  1. Shipment of privately owned vehicle (POV)
As a new appointee, are there any expenses that my agency will not pay?

Yes, as a new employee, your agency will not pay for expenses that are not listed in §302-3.2 (e.g., per diem for family, cost of house-hunting trip, miscellaneous expense allowance, etc.).

May I relocate to my new official duty station before I receive a written travel authorization?

No, you must have the written TA (paper or electronic) before you relocate to your new official duty station.

If I travel to my first official station before I have been appointed, will I be reimbursed for my relocation expenses?

Generally, you may not be reimbursed for relocation expenses incurred before you have been appointed to a federal position and signed an agreement to remain in government service for 12 months after appointment. There is an exception for appointees who have performed presidential transition activities. Such appointees may be reimbursed allowable travel and transportation expenses incurred at any time following the most recent presidential election once they have signed a service agreement. However, appointment must occur in the same fiscal year as the presidential transition activities.

If I am approved by my agency for relocation expenses, when should I start making my travel arrangements?

You and your immediate family member(s) may begin travel immediately upon receipt of your travel authorization (TA).

Can my agency pay my travel and transportation expenses when I leave government service if I am a political appointee?

Unfortunately, the government is not authorized to pay relocation expenses for separating presidential appointees, non-career SES appointees, or Schedule C appointees to return to private industry or to their place of residence.

When must I complete all aspects of my relocation?

You and your immediate family member(s) must complete all aspects of your relocation within one year from the effective date of your transfer or appointment, except as provided in §302-2.11

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