5 CFR 180.108 - Settlement of claims.
(a) Authority. Associate Directors and Regional Directors are authorized to settle and pay any claim not exceeding $500 and arising under this part. The General Counsel is authorized to settle and pay any claim not exceeding $15,000 and arising under this part. Unless cognizable under § 180.104(c)(3), claims for damage to or loss of motor vehicles may be settled and paid only by the General Counsel.
(b) Redelegation. The approving authorities may establish such procedures and make such redelegations as may be required to fulfill the objectives of this part.
(c) Cost or value. The amount awarded on any item of property will not exceed the cost of the item (either the price paid in cash or property) or the value at the time of acquisition if not acquired by purchase or exchange. The amount payable will be determined by applying the principles of depreciation to the adjusted dollar value or other base price of property lost or damaged beyond economical repair; by allowing the cost of repairs when an item is economically repairable, provided the cost of repairs does not exceed the depreciated value of the item; and by deducting salvage value, if appropriate.
(d) Depreciation. Depreciation in value of an item is determined by considering the type of article involved, its cost, condition when damaged beyond economical repair or lost, and the time elapsed between the date of acquisition and the date of damage or loss.
(e) Appreciation. There will be no allowance for appreciation in the value of the property except that the cost of the item may be adjusted to reflect changes in the purchasing power of the dollar before depreciation is computed. Appreciation will not be allowed solely because the loss occurred or the claimant now resides in an area remote from the place of purchase of the property.
(f) Expensive articles. Allowance for expensive items (including heirlooms and antiques) or for items purchased at unreasonably high prices will be based on the fair and reasonable purchase price for substitute articles of a similar nature.
(g) Acquisition. Allowance for articles acquired by barter will not exceed the cost of the articles tendered in barter. No reimbursement will be made for articles acquired in black market or other prohibited activities.
(h) Replacement. Replacement of damaged or lost property may be made in kind whenever appropriate.
(i) Amount allowable. Subject to the limitations of §§ 180.108(c) through 180.108(h), the amount allowable in settlement of a claim is either:
(1) The depreciated value immediately prior to damage or loss of property damaged beyond economical repair or lost, less any salvage value; or
(2) The reasonable cost of repairs when property is economically repairable, provided that the cost of repairs does not exceed the depreciated value.
(j) Notification. The approving authority shall notify the claimant in writing of the action taken on the claim and, if the claim is disapproved or only partially approved, the reasons therefor.
(k) Carrier or insurer. In the event a claim submitted against a carrier or insurer under § 180.106 had not been settled before settlement of a claim against the Government under this part, the approving authority shall notify such carrier or insurer to pay the proceeds of the claim to OPM to the extent OPM has made payment to the claimant.
(l) Review. The action of the approving authority is final; however, the decision may be reconsidered if the claimant so requests and submits a written explanation why reconsideration is appropriate.
(m) Attorney's fees. No more than 10 per centum of the amount paid in settlement of each individual claim submitted and settled under this subpart shall be paid or delivered to or received by any agent or attorney on account of services rendered in connection with that claim and the same shall be unlawful, any contract to the contrary notwithstanding. Any person violating this or any other provision of sections 240 to 243 of title 31, United States Code, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined in any sum not exceeding $1000.