A-14749, JULY 16, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 40

A-14749: Jul 16, 1926

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PRIVATE - LOST OR DESTROYED IN MILITARY SERVICE PRIVATE PROPERTY OF AN OFFICER OF THE ARMY LOST WHILE IN STORAGE FOR HIS CONVENIENCE IN A WAREHOUSE AT POINT OF DESTINATION IS NOT LOST WHILE IN TRANSIT. IS NOT AUTHORIZED. IT APPEARS FROM THE EVIDENCE AND THE PAPERS WITH THE VOUCHER THAT CAPTAIN MILLER WAS ON DUTY WITH THE NATIONAL GUARD AT SCRANTON. HE WAS RELIEVED FROM THAT DUTY AT SUCH DATE AS WOULD ENABLE HIM TO COMPLY WITH THAT ORDER AND DIRECTED TO REPORT IN PERSON TO THE SUPERINTENDENT. THEY WERE RECEIVED BY THE CARRIER AT SCRANTON. THEY WERE RECEIVED AT WEST POINT JULY 17. AS CAPTAIN MILLER HAD NOT REPORTED HIS GOODS WERE PLACED IN STORAGE AWAITING HIS ARRIVAL. IT WAS FOUND ONE CHEST CONTAINING THE ARTICLES FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT WAS MADE HAD BEEN STOLEN.

A-14749, JULY 16, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 40

PROPERTY, PRIVATE - LOST OR DESTROYED IN MILITARY SERVICE PRIVATE PROPERTY OF AN OFFICER OF THE ARMY LOST WHILE IN STORAGE FOR HIS CONVENIENCE IN A WAREHOUSE AT POINT OF DESTINATION IS NOT LOST WHILE IN TRANSIT, EITHER BY A COMMON CARRIER OR BY AN AGENT OR AGENCY OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUCH LOSS, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1921, 41 STAT. 1437, IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO COLONEL E. P. ORTON, UNITED STATES ARMY, JULY 16, 1926:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR REQUEST AS CUSTODIAN OF THE RECORDS OF CAPT. CARL HALLA, FINANCE DEPARTMENT, FOR REVIEW OF ACTION IN DISALLOWING IN SETTLEMENT NO. 711, DATED MARCH 27, 1926, CREDIT FOR $323.48 IN THE ACCOUNTS OF CAPTAIN HALLA PAID CAPTAIN MAURICE L. MILLER ON VOUCHER 4031, AUGUST, 1925, ACCOUNTS OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER, FOR PRIVATE PROPERTY LOST IN THE MILITARY SERVICE.

IT APPEARS FROM THE EVIDENCE AND THE PAPERS WITH THE VOUCHER THAT CAPTAIN MILLER WAS ON DUTY WITH THE NATIONAL GUARD AT SCRANTON, PA., WHEN, BY PARAGRAPH 58 OF WAR DEPARTMENT, SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 88, DATED APRIL 14, 1924, HE WAS RELIEVED FROM THAT DUTY AT SUCH DATE AS WOULD ENABLE HIM TO COMPLY WITH THAT ORDER AND DIRECTED TO REPORT IN PERSON TO THE SUPERINTENDENT, UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY, WEST POINT, AUGUST 25, 1924. HE ARRANGED THROUGH THE QUARTERMASTER, THIRD CORPS AREA, BALTIMORE, FOR THE SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS, AND ON JULY 9, 1924, THEY WERE RECEIVED BY THE CARRIER AT SCRANTON, CONSIGNED TO CAPTAIN MILLER, CARE OF QUARTERMASTER AT WEST POINT. THEY WERE RECEIVED AT WEST POINT JULY 17, AND AS CAPTAIN MILLER HAD NOT REPORTED HIS GOODS WERE PLACED IN STORAGE AWAITING HIS ARRIVAL. UPON DELIVERY TO HIM AUGUST 29, 1924, IT WAS FOUND ONE CHEST CONTAINING THE ARTICLES FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT WAS MADE HAD BEEN STOLEN. SOME OF THE ITEMS CONTAINED IN THE CHEST WERE SUBSEQUENTLY FOUND IN THE STOREHOUSE IN WHICH THE PROPERTY HAD BEEN STORED. THE EVIDENCE IS CLEAR THE MISSING PROPERTY WAS STOLEN AFTER THE ARRIVAL OF THE GOODS AT WEST POINT, AND AFTER THEY WERE PLACED IN STORAGE.

THE THIRD CLAUSE OF SECTION 1, ACT OF MARCH 4, 1921, 41 STAT. 1436, PROVIDES:

THIRD. WHEN DURING TRAVEL UNDER ORDERS SUCH PRIVATE PROPERTY, INCLUDING THE REGULATING ALLOWANCE OF BAGGAGE, TRANSFERRED BY A COMMON CARRIER, OR OTHERWISE TRANSPORTED BY THE PROPER AGENT OR AGENCY OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT IS LOST, DAMAGED, OR DESTROYED; BUT REPLACEMENT, RECOUPMENT, OR COMMUTATION IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, WHERE THE PROPERTY WAS OR SHALL BE TRANSPORTED BY A COMMON CARRIER, SHALL BE LIMITED TO THE EXTENT OF SUCH LOSS, DAMAGE, OR DESTRUCTION OVER AND ABOVE THE AMOUNT RECOVERABLE FROM SAID CARRIER.

THAT THIS PROVISION OF LAW COVERS LOSS OF PROPERTY IN STORAGE HAS BEEN NEGATIVED IN SEVERAL DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE. IT IS CONTENDED IN THIS CASE THAT THE DECISION, 3 COMP. GEN. 610, AUTHORIZES PAYMENT. THAT WAS A CASE OF LOSS WHILE PROPERTY WAS ACTUALLY IN COURSE OF SHIPMENT AND WAS NECESSARILY IN THE QUARTERMASTER'S WAREHOUSE FOR WEIGHING, PACKING, AND MARKING INCIDENT TO DELIVERY TO THE CARRIER. IT IS NOT AUTHORITY FOR THE PROPOSITION THAT AN OFFICER MAY CONSIGN HIS PROPERTY TO A NEW STATION TO ARRIVE THERE WEEKS OR MONTHS BEFORE HE IS REQUIRED TO REPORT AND THE GOODS STILL BE "IN TRANSIT.' THIS PROPERTY WAS IN STORAGE BY THE ACTION OF THE OFFICER AND ITS LOSS IS NOT WITHIN ANY OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT.

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