A-57080, SEPTEMBER 17, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 227

A-57080: Sep 17, 1934

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WHICH WAS RENDERED AND FOR WHICH I WAS THEREFORE LEGALLY BOUND TO PAY. 2. THE AMOUNT PAID BY ME WAS CONFINED TO ACTUAL CHARGES MADE BY THE COMPANY. WHICH WAS ENCLOSED WITH MY ACCOUNT AS SUBVOUCHER NO. 11. I WAS IN NOWISE RELIEVED OF MY OBLIGATION BY THE FACT THAT THE COMPANY'S CHARGES FOR INDIVIDUAL ITEMS. MADE AFTER THE SERVICE WAS RENDERED. WERE HIGHER OR LOWER THAN THEY HAD BEEN ESTIMATED TO AMOUNT TO IN THE COMPANY'S ORIGINAL BID. WERE MERELY ESTIMATES. WERE NEITHER OFFERED BY THE COMPANY NOR ACCEPTED BY ME AS FIXED BIDS FOR THE INDIVIDUAL ITEMS. AS THE WORDING IN THE NOTICE OF EXCEPTION WOULD SEEM TO INDICATE THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL ASSUMES WAS DONE. IT IS NOT AT ALL IMPROBABLE THAT IN A COUNTRY OF SUCH UNSTABLE CONDITIONS AND FLUCTUATING PRICES AND SERVICE CHARGES AS RUMANIA.

A-57080, SEPTEMBER 17, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 227

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - FOREIGN SERVICE AS THE APPROPRIATION FOR TRANSPORTATION OF FAMILIES AND EFFECTS OF FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS LIMITS REIMBURSEMENT TO ITEMIZED AND VERIFIED STATEMENTS OF ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION, THE OFFICER MAY NOT CONTRACT WITH SOME OTHER AGENCY THAN THE ONE PERFORMING THE SERVICE FOR THE SHIPMENT OF HIS EFFECTS UPON AN ESTIMATED COST, BUT SHOULD PAY DIRECT TO THE CARRIER THE ACTUAL AND NECESSARY COSTS OF THE SHIPMENT.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, SEPTEMBER 17, 1934:

REVIEW HAS BEEN REQUESTED OF THE ACTION OF THIS OFFICE IN DISALLOWING CREDIT ON VOUCHER NO. 16444 OF THE ACCOUNT FOR JUNE 1933, OF VICTOR M. LENZER, DISTRICT ACCOUNTING AND DISBURSING OFFICER, PARIS, FRANCE, FOR AN ITEM OF $28 CLAIMED BY ALFRED W. DONEGAN, AMERICAN CONSUL, BASEL, SWITZERLAND, AS EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTING HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM BUCHAREST, RUMANIA, TO BASEL IN MARCH 1933. IN JUSTIFICATION OF THE CHARGE THE OFFICER STATES AS FOLLOWS:

1. I OBTAINED THREE BIDS FROM INTERNATIONAL FORWARDING COMPANIES FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF MY HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF REVISED STATUTES 3709, AND ACCEPTED THE LOWEST BID, I.E., THAT OF BERTHOLD JACOBY OF HAMBURG, GERMANY, IN THE AMOUNT OF $522 (COPY ATTACHED HERETO). FOR THIS AMOUNT THE COMPANY ASSUMED THE OBLIGATION TO TRANSPORT MY EFFECTS FROM HOUSE BUCHAREST TO HOUSE BASEL, INCLUDING THE NECESSARY PACKING AND UNPACKING OF THE EFFECTS. I ASSUMED THE OBLIGATION TO PAY THE COMPANY $522 FOR THIS SERVICE, WHICH WAS RENDERED AND FOR WHICH I WAS THEREFORE LEGALLY BOUND TO PAY.

2. THE AMOUNT PAID BY ME WAS CONFINED TO ACTUAL CHARGES MADE BY THE COMPANY, SUPPORTED BY THE BILL OF LADING AND THE COMPANY'S VOUCHER, WHICH WAS ENCLOSED WITH MY ACCOUNT AS SUBVOUCHER NO. 11. SINCE THE TOTAL OF THE COMPANY'S CHARGES FOR PACKING IN BUCHAREST AND UNPACKING IN BASEL, CARTING IN BUCHAREST AND BASEL AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES PLUS FREIGHT DID NOT EXCEED THE AMOUNT OF THE BID, I HAD THE LEGAL OBLIGATION TO PAY THE ENTIRE SUM COVERING THESE CHARGES. I WAS IN NOWISE RELIEVED OF MY OBLIGATION BY THE FACT THAT THE COMPANY'S CHARGES FOR INDIVIDUAL ITEMS, MADE AFTER THE SERVICE WAS RENDERED, WERE HIGHER OR LOWER THAN THEY HAD BEEN ESTIMATED TO AMOUNT TO IN THE COMPANY'S ORIGINAL BID, FOR THESE ESTIMATES MADE AT MY REQUEST FOR THE PURPOSE OF ASCERTAINING APPROXIMATELY THE BASIS OF THE BID, WERE MERELY ESTIMATES, I.E., CALCULATIONS IN ADVANCE AS APPROXIMATE, AND WERE NEITHER OFFERED BY THE COMPANY NOR ACCEPTED BY ME AS FIXED BIDS FOR THE INDIVIDUAL ITEMS.

THAT THERE PROVED TO BE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE INDIVIDUAL AMOUNTS ESTIMATED IN ADVANCE AND SUBSEQUENTLY CHARGED, DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN THAT THE COMPANY RAISED "THE OTHER ITEMS OF THE ESTIMATE IN ORDER TO CLAIM THE FULL AMOUNT" OF THE BID, AS THE WORDING IN THE NOTICE OF EXCEPTION WOULD SEEM TO INDICATE THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL ASSUMES WAS DONE. ON THE CONTRARY, IT IS NOT AT ALL IMPROBABLE THAT IN A COUNTRY OF SUCH UNSTABLE CONDITIONS AND FLUCTUATING PRICES AND SERVICE CHARGES AS RUMANIA, THE ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE GERMAN FORWARDING COMPANY FOR PACKING, DRAYAGE, AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES PROVED CONSIDERABLY HIGHER THAN HAD BEEN CALCULATED IN ADVANCE.

3. SINCE, TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE AND BELIEF, I COULD NOT HAVE SHIPPED MY EFFECTS AT LOWER COST TO THE GOVERNMENT THAN THE SUM CHARGED BY BERTHOLD JACOBY AND SINCE THIS SUM COVERED ONLY CHARGES MADE TO ME FOR SUCH ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES AS ARE PROPERLY CHARGEABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT UNDER EXISTING REGULATIONS, I RESPECTFULLY REQUEST THAT THE DISALLOWANCE OF $28 BE REMOVED FROM MY ACCOUNT.

THE BID OF BERTHOLD JACOBY, OF HAMBURG, GERMANY, TO WHICH REFERENCE IS MADE, IS ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER AND READS AS FOLLOWS:

REFERRING TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 16, 1933, I INFORM YOU HEREWITH THAT I AM IN A POSITION TO UNDERTAKE THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN TWO CLOSED RAILWAY CARS

FROM HOUSE BUCHAREST TO

FREE HOUSE BASEL FOR THE SUM OF $522.

THIS PRICE INCLUDES THE COST OF PACKING AND UNPACKING OF GLASS, CHINA, AND FURNITURE AND THE SUPPLY OF THE NECESSARY PACKING MATERIAL AND THE CASES AS A LOAN. IT ALSO INCLUDES THE CHARGES FOR CUSTOMS CLEARANCE AT BASEL. THE TRANSPORTATION PRICE IS PAYABLE ON LOADING AT BUCHAREST AND FOR THIS TRANSPORTATION THE ENCLOSED GENERAL STIPULATIONS OF THE GERMAN FURNITURE REMOVERS ARE VALID.

THE ABOVE-MENTIONED SUM DOES NOT INCLUDE THE COST FOR TRANSPORTATION INSURANCE.

ITEMIZED ESTIMATES OF THE INDIVIDUAL COSTS OF THE TRANSPORTATION FOLLOW: PACKING AND UNPACKING CHARGES -------------------------------- ---- $100 CARTING IN BUCHAREST AND BASEL ----------------------------- ------ 120 FREIGHT BUCHAREST TO BASEL ------------------------------- -------- 260 OTHER EXPENSES, CUSTOMS CLEARANCE, ETC. ---------------- ---------- 42

522

RECEIPT OF THE SUM OF $522 WAS ACKNOWLEDGED BY BERTHOLD JACOBY, HAMBURG, MAY 3, 1933, ON SUBVOUCHER 11, WHEREON THE CHARGE IS ITEMIZED AS FOLLOWS:

RE: THE REMOVAL OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM BUCHAREST TO BASEL, TWO RAILWAY CARS (5,920 KOS.--- 13,060 LBS.) PACKING IN BUCHAREST AND UNPACKING IN BASEL ----------------------- $110 CARTING IN BUCHAREST AND BASEL ------------------------------------ 130 FREIGHT FROM BUCHAREST TO BASEL ----------------------------------- 232 ANY OTHER EXPENSES NOT INCLUDED IN THE ABOVE, F.I. PACKING

MATERIAL, CUSTOMS CLEARANCE, A.S.O. ---------------------------- 50

522

IN SUPPORT OF THE ITEM OF FREIGHT TWO BILLS OF LADING ARE SUBMITTED SHOWING PAYMENT IN SWISS FRANCS 602.15 AND 602.05, RESPECTIVELY. THERE ARE SUBMITTED ALSO TWO RECEIPTS OF THE CONTRACTOR'S AGENTS, ONE DATED BUCHAREST MARCH 16, 1933, FOR LEI 58,625 REPRESENTING THE EQUIVALENT OF $350 ,IN PART PAYMENT OF THE CHARGE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF CONSUL DONEGAN'S FURNITURE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM BUCHAREST, RUMANIA, TO BASEL, SWITZERLAND," AND ANOTHER DATED BASEL MAY 3, 1933, FOR THE SUM OF $172 "TO COVER BALANCE PAYMENT OF THE CHARGE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF CONSUL DONEGAN'S FURNITURE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS.'

THE ACT OF JULY 1, 1932, 47 STAT. 479, MAKING APPROPRIATION FOR "TRANSPORTATION OF FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS, 1933," PROVIDES---

TO PAY THE TRAVELING EXPENSES OF DIPLOMATIC, CONSULAR, AND FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS. * * * AND THE ITEMIZED AND VERIFIED STATEMENTS OF THE ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE, UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE SECRETARY OF STATE MAY PRESCRIBE, OF THEIR FAMILIES AND EFFECTS, IN GOING TO AND RETURNING FROM THEIR POSTS * * *.

IT WILL BE NOTED THAT PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ONLY FOR ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES WHEN SUPPORTED BY ITEMIZED AND VERIFIED STATEMENTS AND THERE IS NO AUTHORITY IN THE STATUTE FOR AN OFFICER TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH SOME AGENCY OTHER THAN THE CARRIER FOR THE SHIPMENT OF HIS EFFECTS UPON THE BASIS OF THE ESTIMATED COST OF THE SHIPMENT. IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT THE PROPER PROCEDURE IN SUCH CASES IS FOR THE OFFICER HIMSELF TO PAY THE ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES OF THE SHIPMENT TO THE PERSONS OR FIRMS RENDERING THE SERVICE AND TO CLAIM REIMBURSEMENT UPON PROPERLY SUPPORTED VOUCHERS. SEE DECISION OF MAY 24, 1932, A-41955.

THERE HAS BEEN SUBMITTED NO ITEMIZATION OR VERIFICATION OF THE AMOUNTS PAID TO THE AGENTS OF THE CONTRACTOR OTHER THAN THE FREIGHT CHARGE OF SWISS FRANCS 1,204.20 WHICH AT THE RATE OF 5.19 EQUALS $232 RATHER THAN THE ESTIMATED COST OF $260. THERE EXISTS, THEREFORE, NO AUTHORITY FOR REIMBURSEMENT FROM PUBLIC FUNDS OF ANY SUM IN EXCESS OF THE COST OF FREIGHT AS EVIDENCED BY THE BILLS OF LADING SUBMITTED.

ACCORDINGLY, CREDIT IS ALLOWED FOR $232, AND IN ADDITION TO THE SUM OF $28 HERETOFORE DISALLOWED THERE IS AN ADDITION DISALLOWANCE OF $262 MAKING THE TOTAL AMOUNT FOR DEPOSIT IN THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES $290.